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May 08, 2006

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Hey Bri,

It's interesting that RSSB put so much emphasis on the "five names" given at the time of initiation, when really any words can be used to empty the mind. I admit I feel weird using those names now that I am off the path. I have tried "Radha Soami" as a substitute. But I have to admit that I have not been heavily into meditation since leaving RSSB. Maybe "wu" is the answer!

Also, can you recommend any decent meditation music?

Take care,
Cyn

Cyn, a mantra is a most personal thing. Or, no thing. I'm not sure which. There are meaningful mantras, words that mean something, and there are meaningless mantras. Almost meaningless, at least. Every sound probably has some meaning to the person uttering it.

If you have faith in a particular mantra, I'd say "use it." If not, then don't. Myself, I've experimented with various mantras. Like I said, the words don't seem to matter. Something elese matters. Not sure what it is. That's why I like "Wu." The only meaning it has for me is mystery.

I'm a terrible person to ask about meditation music. I've never combined meditation and music. I don't even listen to music much when I'm not meditating. Maybe someone else will have some suggestions.

I've done some "competitive" meditating, next to the highway, on the beach, in moving vehicles. It's a good way to mind the mind and have a change of, well, experience.

Brian Eno has recorded "Music for Airports" and "Discreet Music" which are really designed for background. These pieces are meditative in intent.

IMO music is basically math, in the same way that seashell growth, tree rings, electricity are all amenable to mathematic modeling. Which means that all of these things show the universe in a pleasing and symetrical way. I hear God in music, just like I see God in sunsets. Having mathematical language to describe these things doesn't diminish the experience, but makes them that much more miraculous.

Meditating with music, or while facing a house plant, is like the difference between saying your lover's name and seeing their face.

Once when my then partner, now husband, was very ill, cause unknown, we were in the emergency room and I was in extremis, worried and exhausted. A chronic alcoholic bum was there, telling a nurse or doctor how much he'd drunk the day before. I was listening and struggling to disapprove as usual, but I couldn't keep it up. There was a physical sensation of the net of my mind, my judgment, tearing. Reality tore through the restraining net of judgments which could not hold it back from being just as it was. I accepted the drunk just as he was instead of deploring him, and I was at peace. Maybe he was too.

This happened thirty years ago, and it was such an extraordinary sensation -- the net tearing, the peace -- that I've never forgotten it.

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