The instructions in the following are to be used as and when necessary -- we talk only on what he is talking -- only that part of the point that is useful or applicable to his situation should be used. Checkers should be careful to mention negative aspects as little as possible.
"If during the period of 2 minutes of silence, at the end of meditation, there is some sensation in the body, some movement anywhere in the body, in the heart or head, or some pressure somewhere, then let the mind continue to feel it. Be with it innocently , as it is, even if it increases or decreases in intensity. This is the time to _not_ open the eyes until the sensation has significantly diminished or faded away. Usually it happens after 2 or 3 minutes. But in case the sensation is strong and shows no si gn of diminishing or dissolving then the only thing to do is to continue with it in the same innocent and easy way.
"Or lie down and rest for 5 or 10 minutes and if you feel sleepy and doze off, don't mind the time and come out when you naturally wake up. Maybe some sleepiness comes in 5 to 10 minutes. This will indicate that some big block of stress is dissolved and no w the system is free for greater enjoyment and accomplishment."
- Such cases of many minutes of continued sensations or stress will be rare, but if stress is there, it is wise to allow it to dissolve through this innocent procedure. (This is after meditation.) This information will be given during the three days of check ing.
"Maybe at any time during meditation you feel sleepy, don't try to be alert in order to think the mantra. If sleep comes, let it come. Sleep either sitting or if it seems to be too strong lie down in bed and sleep. Maybe in 5, 10 minutes or half an hour -- whenever you are awake, it will be good to sit and meditate, even for 5 or 10 minutes because this rest has revitalized the nervous system and it's now ready for much clearer experiences of finer states of the mantra. Always if we fall asleep during medit ation, we meditate immediately after waking up."
"One piece of information which it will be good to have is that _if_ ("if" is very important here), if at all, at any time it happens that during meditation we suddenly feel that any particular thought is overpowering and at that time it is not possible to pick up the mantra, then we don't try to pick up the mantra by force against the thought, just let the mind be easy, without trying to pick up the mantra. In this easy state the mind will naturally be drawn to some physical sensation in the body. This physical sensation born of the release of some deep stress in that area is causing that powerful thought. As the attention is innocently drawn to the physical sensation, the process of release of stress is facilitated, causing the release to be more thorough and at the same time more smooth and easy."
- The shifting of the attention from the mental thought to the physical sensation has yet another value in that the mind is saved from the influence of the meaning of the thought. And this saves the psychology of the meditator from being spoiled by the nature or quality of stress that is being released.
"As the sensation begins to diminish it will cease to grip the mind and naturally the mind will begin to entertain other thoughts. When the thoughts start coming in this is the indication that the sensation is no longer dominating and this is the time to start the mantra."
"It is an important principle to note, that at any time that the mind is capable of thinking any thought it is capable of thinking the mantra. Another point of importance to remember is that to allow the mind to continue feeling any faint sensation at the time the mind is capable of thinking thoughts and therefore capable of thinking the mantra is not the process of Transcendental Meditation and has the effect of making the mind lazy and weakening the system."
- The meditator may not feel this lethargic influence in the system as he unnecessarily prolongs "feeling the body." The reason for this is that when he meditates using the mantra properly he does dive deep into finer levels of energy and thereby feels more energetic. This compensates for the weakening influence produced by prolonged feeling of physical sensations.
The very knowledge that the energy gained during meditation is used up (to whatever extent doesn't matter) to compensate for the weakening influence caused by deviating from the subtleties of instruction for right meditation should be enough for any meditator to refrain from prolonging "body feeling" once the thoughts have started to come and the mind can think the mantra.
- Note for checker: This principle of disallowing prolonged "body feeling" is however not to be confused with the special instructions given to initiators for certain mental cases.
"When we feel that we gain more energy in daily life it is important not to spend more energy than we gain. Take it easy, and always take time to meditate regularly. What has been experienced in different parts of the world is this: When a man starts to me ditate, within two or three days or weeks he begins to feel so fresh and full of energy that naturally he cannot resist entertaining greater activity. This is also due to the reason that he enjoys his activity more. This is the natural results of meditatio n, but there should be a limit of the increase of activity. If one increases activity more than the proportion of the increase of energy, then it will be naturally inevitable that one gathers fatigue.
"This is generally witnessed in the case of busy businessmen. They start to do more business yet feeling fresh they naturally want to do even more. Having unduly increased their business responsibilities they soon start gathering fatigue and find that they cannot cope with their increased responsibilities. The result is anxiety and this brings fatigue. With the loss of balance of mind, the first thing they naturally find is that they have so much to do that there is not time for meditation.
"This is like a gardener who has been watering the root everyday and when the fruits are ripe he is engaged in eating and enjoying them so much that he does not find time to water the root. Therefore, whatever the increasing energy level through meditation and whatever the increasing level of accomplishment, we should be innocently trying not to skip meditation because of the increased amount of responsibility and interest in work. The need to be regular in meditation is even more important when a man incre ases his responsibilities and undertakings."
"Regularity in meditation is of utmost importance and we always start with half a minute of silence and end with two minutes of silence."
- People who have been meditating more than three years are sometimes recommended by the initiator that, if they have time, they can meditate 30 or 40 minutes. If they ask the checker how long they should meditate, the checker should say:
"20 minutes is the usual time of each sitting of meditation. But if for any reason your initiator has advised you for longer or shorter periods of meditation it is better to go by this advice."
- In case a man complains that the mantra is going with the heartbeat or breath or tick tick of the clock, we say:
"We take it easy, we don't try to associate the mantra with the heartbeat or breath or tick tick of the clock. Only that we are not concerned with this heartbeat.... Mantra is our concern. If heartbeat comes along we don't mind. Neither we try to maintain the heartbeat with the mantra nor we try to forget about it. Mantra is all our concern. Innocently we favor the mantra. As when we are walking on a road if someone is found walking by our side we just don't mind."
- Sometimes, if someone is exposed to some unsuitable food which has resulted in influencing the digestive system, then the experiences will not be fascinating. In such a state even the points of checking will not prove to be very effective.
In such a case, after checking, it may be good to ask him if he has within 2 or 3 days eaten something after which he feels meditation is not to good as before. But in asking, be careful that you don't give an impression of great horror.
Just say to him:
" It doesn't matter, sometimes it happens. You don't have to worry much about it. If something wrong has been eaten, the effect of that will only last for 2 or 3 days and then you will have good meditation. What you have to do is just be regular in practice. It won't be good to stop for 2 or 3 days. Keep on meditating without effort, just not minding at this time whether the meditation is good or not."
- Even tiredness can sometimes bring the influence of unsuitable food. The same situation can be found in case of medicine. If a man asks, "I don't want to take medicine because it will influence my meditation," tell him:
"Remaining ill will spoil the meditation more than the use of medicine. The advice is to choose the lesser evil. If we have to choose between illness or medicine, it is more useful to decide for medicine and against sickness. The effect of medicine, even if it overshadows clear meditations, is, in the final analysis, useful even in the cause of meditation."
With reference to point number 29A:
If after 10 minutes meditation some difficulty arises and we need to return to point number 24 to give a further period of 3-4 minutes of meditation, then continue also to point number 27,if time allows, so that the meditator finishes with 10 minutes of easy, comfortable meditation.
"When we meditate at home, we don't open and close the eyes many times before starting the mantra."
Shaking, etc. (expressions of release of stress)
"These are all expressions of the release of stress. Because meditation is a natural process, naturally the body twists and turns in a manner which is favorable to the release of some specific stress. The way to meet with this situation is to 1) take it as it comes. Never do we try to physically resist the movement. If the movements become violent and seem to be going out of hand, then instead of physically trying to stop them, we can open the eyes so that our awareness comes out. With this the movements will naturally become less violent and stop. Opening the eyes is one thing we do from our side.
"2) We don't cooperate with the movements in order to continue them. That means: we do not hold in our mind the idea that because these movements are the expressions of release of stress, and the they are allowed to go on the more the stress will be released, therefore let me enjoy the movements and continue them. If there is a slightest willingness to promote movements in order to release stress, then the chances are that the movements will continue even beyond their natural need.
"3) It is safer to hold the idea in our mind that it is, after all, absolutely necessary that the movements should go on; even without movements the stress can be released. This idea in the mind without any application of physical force to stop movements w ill be found to be useful in naturally stopping the movements, but if in spite of this attitude, the movements tend to continue, then we know that they are necessary; we just be with them."
In case during checking we feel that man may be shy to say "no" to any point, just at that moment it will be good to verify his quote "yes" by asking him "How did you feel?" or "How is it?", so he has a chance to elaborate on that "yes" just so we can see that his quote "yes" is genuine and not out of shyness.
"Sometimes it may happen that a person complains of pressure in the forehead, back of the head, or pain in the temples, or pain in the neck, appearing during meditation. This may be due to 2 different reasons:
"1. Due to some faint or weak element of pain existing somewhere in the head, inside somewhere, which is not experienced when the awareness is in the gross and which begins to be experienced when the attention reaches that subtle level. In such a situation , one can't do anything other than experience it or go through the experience of it whenever it starts to be felt. This feeling of pain will inevitably continue time after time in almost every meditation until the wound is healed completely or until the si tuation is repaired. This situation may also be said to be the experience of pain during meditation arising from the process of release of stress. The formula in this case is take it as it comes and allow it to go the way it can go.
"2. Some effort to meditate some trying to think the mantra -- some intention even faint to continue thinking the mantra or some idea to continue to experience the mantra or comprehend very faint states of the mantra -- all this can be summarized in one wo rd: effort during meditation. This can certainly be remedied by stopping repeating the mantra the moment the pain begins to dominate (bringing the attention to the mantra at this time would be a strain) and sitting doing nothing until the pain has somewhat diminished. Maybe it will take a few seconds or half a minute or one minute. Then start the mantra again.
"This procedure of stopping the mantra the moment pain begins to dominate at any time during meditation should be adopted for both situations, number one or number two. It is not necessary to try to locate the reason, whether the headache is from situation number one or number two, because there is no way to determine the exact cause of this experience of pain during meditation.
"Any experience of pain in the head, heart, or anywhere arising during meditation should be handled in this way.
"Regarding pain in the neck: After sitting 2 minutes without the mantra with eyes closed, one may bring the head forward and backward and if necessary roll the head in a way that the neck feels increasingly comfortable."
"If at any time during meditation we become aware that the head is tilted forward and is not erect, it may be better to very slowly and easily bring the head back to an upright position. In case it is uncomfortable to bring it upright then leave it the way it is and continue to enjoy meditation.
"If the head is tilted back then rather than strain the neck to bring the head forward, we should bend forward very slowly and easily from the waist allowing the head to come forward gently. Then sit up and continue meditation.
"If we become aware that the head is moving from front to back or sideways, we shouldn't try to this movement. When the moving has stopped, then we easily bring the head back upright following the above instructions."