From Dada Krsnasevananda’s presentation at the interfaith “Sermon on the Steps” outside St. Paul’s cathedral, London, 29- October 2011.
We are gathered in the city squares and streets of the world because we are the 99 percent. We have allowed a small minority to dominate us but we are waking up and we will be free. Alongside this struggle we are waging another struggle, a hidden struggle — the struggle for inner liberation. The two are part of each other and together are creating a force which no power on earth can resist.
Each and every one of us is 99 percent spirit and 1 percent material. Yet we have allowed the 1 percent of matter which is the smallest part of us to dominate the 99 percent of spirit which is our true nature. We have allowed the one percent which divides us to dominate the 99 percent which unites us all as brothers and sisters – as inextricable parts of the entire universe. But we are waking up and we will be free.
What are our weapons in this struggle for inner liberation? The first is to constantly redirect our attention from that tiny part of ourselves which is matter to that great part of ourselves which is love and spirit. We must declare with a lion’s voice – “I am spirit” – “I am the 99 percent”.
There is a song which captures this great idea. It was written by one of the first spiritual teachers who brought Yoga to the West, Swami Yogananda, and it goes like this:
I am That I am
I am That I am
I am That I am
I am That I am
I am neither body nor mind
Eternal Self I am
Neither body nor mind
Eternal Self I am
By embracing the meaning of this song and identifying our sense of Self with that within us which is most beautiful and great we can liberate ourselves from the bondage of the finite and claim the freedom of infinite spirit.
The second weapon we have in this struggle is the power of sustained attention. It is not enough to remind ourselves now and then, “I am spirit”. To fully experience the actual meaning of these words requires something more. We must focus the attention of our entire being on the idea of spirit and hold this focus for a sustained period of time. We must do this regularly. When, through practice, we are able to sustain our attention, without pause or waver, on the thought of love and spirit -. at that moment we will be free. This is called meditation. The following is a simple yet powerful meditation technique which can be used for this purpose:
Sit comfortably with your back straight but relaxed. Close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths. Focus on the feeling of love which unites us all — which is your own true self. As you breathe in think the words, “I am”. As you breathe out think the word, “Love”. Breathing in “I am”, breathing out “Love”. With patient persistence continue meditating in this way as long as you are able. Whenever any other thought or feeling disturbs your mind just gently and patiently keep returning to the beautiful rhythm and meaning of the mantra, “I am — Love”.
We are standing on the brink of a new world. Let the beauty of spirit which unites us all shine forth in smiles of inner peace and the brightness of social justice.
Monk of Ananda Marga
One thought on “A Meditation for the 99 Percent”
Guided Meditation for Occupiers
First, find a nice place to sit. It may be a chair or the floor. It is better not to use a very comfortable chair or your bed as you may fall asleep there. If needed you may want to use some blanket or some pillows so that you are comfortable but aware!
Now become aware of your body in a very relaxed way. Observe your body is breathing. It is an automatic process. You do not have to do anything to make it happen, just observe.
You will notice that when you breathe in, the lungs get bigger and when you breathe out, the lungs become smaller. Just observe. As you observe the breathing, the breathing will gradually become slower as you proceed through this exercise.
To do this exercise in meditation you need to use your imagination. Start by imagining or sensing the existence of your right leg. Then imagine that as you breathe the right leg is getting bigger with each breath in and smaller with each breath out. There is no need to hurry just breath a few times imagining that your right leg is getting bigger and smaller.
Now imagine your left leg in the same way. As you breathe in the left leg gets bigger and as you breathe out the left leg gets smaller. As you breath imagining each part of your body, you will feel that that part of your body is very relaxed and perhaps you will mentally forget about it for the moment.
Imagine your abdominal area and breath in and out with the same feeling. Again do this in a very relaxed way and observe the breathing as you mentally try to sense or see that body part.
Now your lungs and chest. Watch the lungs and chest getting bigger and smaller with each breath.
Then proceed to the head. Imagine that your head is getting bigger and smaller with each breath. Always remember that you are the observer. The body part is breathing and you are watching it.
Concentrate in the center of the brain. Imagine a point at the center of the brain and feel as though that point is breathing. Keep your mind concentrated here throughout the meditation exercise.
Now bring into your mind the emotion that you have selected. Allow this emotion the freedom to occupy your mind. Welcome it! It is your child. It is your creation. It is yours.
This emotion may have some associations. If there is any picture or scene associated with your emotion then bring that picture or scene together with your emotion now!
If there is any smell or taste associated with your feeling, then bring that smell or taste together with your emotion now.
Perhaps there is a sense of touch or sound associated with your feeling. Bring that sound or touch together with your emotion now!
Let your emotion, your feeling, with all its associations, occupy your mind now.
Now, focusing on your emotion and all its associations, start to repeat the mantra:
Baba Nam Kevalam.
As you repeat the mantra, imagine that the power of the mantra is radiating out of the mantra and entering into your emotion. As you repeat the mantra, a stream of energy, like a river, is flowing from the mantra, filling your emotion with the power of Baba Nam Kevalam.
If at anytime, while repeating Baba Nam Kevalam, this emotion vanishes and another emotion arises in your mind, allow the new emotion to freely occupy your mind.
Allow this new emotion with all its associations to occupy your mind. Now repeat Baba Nam Kevalam and feel that a steady stream of energy is coming from the mantra and entering into your emotion.
Go on repeating Baba Nam Kevalam until you feel that your emotion is fully satisfied.
When you feel that your emotion is fully satisfied then you may open your eyes.