But it depends on the use you have in mind and what you may be seeking. For instance, if you’re on a vision quest and seeking a path forward, you want to let the awakened mind do it’s job and inspire. Let me tell you a story of a recent lucid dream that captured my interest deeply. It wasn’t a meditation, per se, but the idea is the same. If the vision had come to me in the early moments of candle gazing, I might have been just as inclined to follow it through to the end. After all, Gyan shines down from on High.
In the dream, I was running through a shopping arcade in Japan, chasing after something. Suddenly the scene changed at the speed of mind and I was standing with the family of a business associate of mine who operates an Ayurvedic hospital in New Delhi. We stood around an impossibly dexterous yogi who was showing us his feats of flexibility and dynamic strength, modeling for us the secrets of immortality.
At the moment I realized myself to be viewing a dream, I took control and began asking questions of the Yogi; all other dream characters were pushed aside while I focused on the answers I received. It wasn’t easy. The dreamscape after all can be an amorphous phantasm difficult to apprehend clearly. Likewise are the observations of a mind striving to meditate. But I focused. And as soon as I had received the answers I needed, I woke myself up to write them down for further analysis later. This is what I received from the mighty, immortal yogi.
- Hareez (with an addendum that this last should be regarded mythologically.)
My challenge was now to make heads or tails of the information. Could following this trail of vague information be helpful to me? It depends. Am I really still searching for immortality? Why should my mind generate a powerful Yogi out of the blue like this? What is the reality of astral communication? How vast is the spectrum of Siddhi and need I concern myself at this moment with any of that? These are several questions that I must answer for itself. And so I researched.
Aurobindo is a name I am familiar with. I know of his place in Pondicherry. I know he was a philosopher of sorts. And that is the extent of my knowledge of this man. The latter three words I’d never heard before. It took a bit of diligence to discover that before Aurobindo became a Yogi, he was, in fact, a nationalist active during the Indian revolution for freedom from the grip of Britain. I found an old text that told me of his activities in securing an army at Hareez. I also understood the word hareez to connote strength and guardianship in both Arabic and Urdu languages.
Further research brought me to an obscure document written by Aurobindo between 1890 and 1910 under the title of Early Cultural Writings with the sub-title Hatha Yoga. The only two references I found for the word nawak were to a french colloquialism connoting idiocy, or an early Mughal weapon similar to a blow gun. The latter definition appeals in so far as there is a particular exercise of pranayam which makes use of just such an instrument.
Thus, in conclusion, I may understand that if I really am interested to understand the ways of that mighty yogi who came to me in the dream, I would do well to look a bit further into Aurobindo’s commentaries on Hatha, particularly as breath is concerned. And perhaps a good place to begin might be with Aurobindo’s schools in Orissa, where Sodong is located.
Can following a thought during meditation be helpful? Can following any thought be helpful at all? Yes. Gyana is going to reveal itself to you firstly through your mind. Meditation is often a state in which the mind has slowed down enough to be receptive, where the Gyan wakes up. How deep does your gyan go? How well can you analyze all that? How important is it to you? It’s a case by case thing, but meditation is a good place to begin identifying thoughts and separating the wheat from the chaff.
And, too, there is that Fr. colloquialism hinting that all this might just be a load of banana peels, too.
…is a Saiva Tantrika, Gyana Yogi and founder of Uma Maheshwara Yoga & Ayurveda. David has an MA in Semiotics, lives in Japan with his family and works as a coach in L & D, devoting his time to developing science-based tools and programs that help people reach the fullest potential of the human condition.