Kambra McConnel – Staff Teacher
**If you prefer, you can read the written transcript of this article below, rather than listening to the audio recording.
“The Power of Silence, Solitude and Chanting” was the theme of the May 2019 Weekend Shaktipat Blessing Retreat, and Sadguru Kedarji began this wonderful retreat with a reminder of what really matters. Glorifying his own Guru, he set the tone of the entire retreat by sharing the utterance of his Master about this place, our world, being the enchanting play of the actor of the Universe!
This theme served as a perfect context for Kedarji’s lessons on how our “existence” or “life” actually occurs in the world of our inner impressions, and how we can realize this truth by engaging the power of silence, solitude and chanting.
Kedarji spoke about how we do not truly live in what we refer to as the “waking state.” What we call our “life experiences” are merely superimpositions in Consciousness that arise from the world of our inner impressions, the impressions that have been left behind on the mind, due to our ruminating over them. This rumination causes these impressions to be deposited in our memory. In our approach that is based on the time-honored path of Shaivism, “memory” is actually a part of this world of inner impressions that is also referred to as the subtle body or Sushumna Nadi.
So, what we call our “existence” is actually like one big play. Like actors, we all play roles within an even grander Universal play, born of the Mother of the Universe — the Self. In this retreat, Sadguru Kedarji explained the science of how this works and how it can be observed. From the world of our inner impressions (the subtle body) we superimpose or project outward into the waking state that which we review and ruminate over in the dream state of this world of inner impressions. The habit of superimposing in this way is a karmic one that shapes our ‘outer world’ experience, based on this ‘inner life’ we invoke by ruminating over these impressions that have been left behind on the mind.
This means that, from moment to moment, when we observe all of the limiting desires, cravings, attachments, attractions, aversions, doubts, worries and fears that we superimpose by way of the energy of the mind, we can just passively witness this grand play. Then we can surrender what we observe to inner silence and solitude. In this way, we become completely immersed in that Solitude and Silence. In this weekend Shaktipat Blessing retreat, we experienced, from this sacred space of silence and solitude, the Truth that we are perfect…that we are all the Self.
For example, while sitting for meditation after receiving Sadguru Kedarji’s Shaktipat Blessing, I felt a subtle awareness of how restless my mind has been lately and how grateful I am for the Guru’s Grace to help me become aware of this—in all ways. I heard noises outside, people talking, dogs barking, and then inwardly I heard “let go.” Then I experienced a very quiet mind. After meditation ended, I felt such joy fill my heart, and laughter welled up within me.
This is the true power of silence, solitude and chanting. This is where we want to be in our daily mundane existence. It is only when we quiet our minds through silence, solitude and chanting that we are capable of observing the grand play of this world, thanks to the Guru’s Grace. Steeped in awe, we can remember that we are the Self, and so we are already filled with simplicity, perfection, bliss and content.
Another participant reported an experience that illustrates this truth. During meditation after receipt of Sadguru Kedarji’s Shaktipat Blessing, she envisioned herself standing at what appeared to be a huge river and massive gorge. She appeared so small compared to that gorge. Twice in Meditation Kedarji said to her, “Just step over, the distance is so small.” As she looked again, this time from the Highest perspective of the Self, it appeared that she was merely looking at a few drops of water that had formed a small streak of water across the ground. Instead of being miles across in size, it was now just a centimeter wide. She realized that it was easy to scale that small distance that represents her fears, in order to bask in Joy.
Kedarji also reminded us that no one gets what they want by ruminating over a particular desire. In daily life, we focus on solutions in order to remove the obstacles to what is desired. He shared that, in spiritual life, it is no different. On the spiritual journey, with the right leadership and methods, we are able to focus on the removal of obstacles to our Liberation. In this regard, our restless minds are the chief obstacle to our Liberation. Here, we focus on our intention for removing every obstacle to attaining what is desired – the Peace, Joy and Love that we experience by going beyond the mind and beyond the senses – in solitude, silence and chanting.
For this reason, Sadguru Kedarji spoke about the importance of practicing the Witness Consciousness Centering methods taught as part of the Meditation practice he instructs. By applying Witness Consciousness Centering methods while in the waking state, we can observe firsthand how the energy of the mind travels in the world of our inner impressions.
Witness Consciousness Centering is more powerful than visualization techniques because it gives us the direct experience of what is beyond the mind and beyond the senses, as well as, allowing us to passively observe all those places that we allow our mind to wander into that are not useful for the experience of peace. In this way, during this weekend retreat, we experienced what Kedarji often speaks about – that the mind loves the places it frequents the most, we get what we meditate on and we become what we obey. It is so true that the mind that meditates on the silence, joy and peace of the inner Self becomes the inner Self!
Another participant reported a breakthrough when she observed the world of her inner impressions and dissolved her mind. During her meditation after receiving Sadguru Kedarji’s Shaktipat Blessing, from the place of the Witness to her mind, she observed that thoughts came and went. She sat in a meditative state for awhile, and she lost track of time. And then she experienced a new awareness about something that had taken place earlier in the retreat. Kedarji corrected her about a mix-up with chanting cards. At the time, she felt he was stern in his ‘scolding’ of her about the mix up. With this new, heightened awareness however, she realized that she had superimposed that notion – that Kedarji had not scolded her at all, and that she was the one who had been judging his correcting her and her own reaction to being corrected. She then realized the usefulness of not judging herself for initially feeling the way she did. Her thoughts about having been ‘scolded,’ that were not indicative of what had actually taken place, were neither good nor bad. And then everything seemed funny and delightful to her.
Kedarji also reminded us about the importance of reaching for the highest, most useful understandings imparted in the wisdom of the Sadgurus of our lineage. This wisdom is reflected in the utterances of the living Sadguru, and my experience is that they are reflected in Sadguru Kedarji. He explained that it only takes a split second to reach for the Guru’s understanding over our own – to reach for this wisdom that is the embodiment of the Guru-principle.
Through our self-effort of immersing in the power of silence, solitude and chanting, we can observe what we are reaching for. And then, we can shift our understandings in an instant, for example, in order to focus on the Grace of a situation instead of allowing our egos to spin what is happening in the moment.
When we follow Kedarji’s instruction in this way, we can be filled with inner bliss and content. We can exist in a state of readiness, and be inspired from within. We can live in a state of Grace that is the uninterrupted experience of Joy, Peace and Content – the Silence and Solitude of God.
Sadguru Kedarji tells us that this is the state to reach for. This is the state of the mind that has been trained to turn within to be silent, in order to relish in the Self. This is what it means to live in a state of Grace from moment to moment.
May all be joyful!