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Discussions specifically related with the various aspects of practice of bhakti-sadhana in Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

Guided Visualization Outline - Goloka Vrindavan

Jagat - Wed, 01 Sep 2004 17:11:02 +0530
Sometime ago I had the idea of doing a guided visualisation using the descriptions of the shastras. Unfortunately I never executed that. How was this executed by you all?

Guided visualization (Outline).

I. Preparation

Savasana. Guided relaxation: deep breathing, contraction and decontracton of toes, knees, buttocks, lower back, shoulder blades, arms, shoulders, face, etc.

II. Mapping of the bhakti-lata onto the spinal cord / chakras.

(1) svadhisthana -- sraddha, sadhusanga, bhajanakriya -- the engines of devotion
(2) muladhara -- anartha nivritti
(3) Manipuraka -- nishtha
(4) Anahata -- ruchi
(5) Visuddha -- asakti
(6) Ajna -- bhava
(7) Sahasrara -- prema

(Though this is just a convenience, it works rather well. When bhakti is in your gut, that's nishtha. When it reaches your heart, that is ruchi. When it's in your throat, that's asakti, etc. This is not meant to be scientific, but just a way of thinking about how the bhakti-lata grows. Meditating on its growing, helps its growing, just as meditation on a real plant also helps it to grow.

III. Visualizing the Yoga Pith

The Sahasrara chakra is a fuller meditation on Goloka Vrindavan, the thousand petalled lotus as described in Brahma-samhita (sahasra-patraM kamalaM gokulAkhyaM mahat padam).

Here the visualization consisted of a walk through the Vrindavan forest to the Yoga Pitha and a detailed meditation on the Yoga Pith, explanation of mantra-mayi meditation as opposed to svarasiki.

IV. Conclusion.

The meditation ends in two stages:

(1) "Post-hypnotic suggestion" Something like: "This is your inner world. Carry it with you wherever you go. It pervades you both within and without. It is your refuge, to which you can always return with the sound of the Holy Name or your mantra. This world is the source of peace, love and inspiration."

(2) A memory of Mahaprabhu returning to external consciousness on the beaches of Puri to the sounds of the Holy Name. So a recording would end with the quiet sounds of kirtan.

(3) Stretches. (Wiggling toes, stretching heels, legs, arms, coming to sitting position.)

(4) And, (again neglected in NY), the whole thing should end with an appropriate mangalacharana. I was a little rusty on my mangalacharanas, which again needs a little work. And I think we need some English language prayers (dainyam, lalasa, samprarthana) to conclude the whole thing.


The whole thing should take about an hour. I took a little less time, mainly due to lack of full preparation: I had it in my head, but not on paper. I needed to add more details on the Goloka meditation. (Possible alternative meditations: Yavat, Nanda Baba's house, Radha Kund, etc.)

I also need to get feedback on timing the silences--I don't think more than a minute of silence at a time is good, but towards the end there should be a longer silent period.

I talked to Braj briefly about perhaps recording it. We would probably need to find some kind of appropriate inobtrusive musical background to add.
purifried - Thu, 02 Sep 2004 02:44:28 +0530
It was a fun exercise. I think most everyone was more creative in their visions than I was. I tried my best to bring some transcendental images into mind, but I suppose it takes practice. I can't help but say that it was so relaxing that I heard one person snoring a bit! biggrin.gif

I'd like to try this meditation again and see what happens! Thanks for the notes on 'how to' Jagat.