~ A text by Yoginâm Frédéric Antonious ~
Psychological and Spiritual benefits
Many people draw great psychological benefit from regular meditation and from attending silent retreats. However
psychological benefit is not the ultimate purpose of these instruments. For thousands of years they have been used by people for exploring what it means to be human and for searching guidance in finding, in a very practical sense, the purpose of living.
You could meditate for hours every day without drawing spiritual benefit from it. You could sincerely enjoy a silent retreat but, upon return to the ‘ordinary’ world, again be confronted with the same stress, discomfort and anxieties. While at the same time the benefit of meditation and silent retreat could easily be profound and lasting.
In order to draw the greatest benefit from meditation and silent retreat, both psychologically and spiritually, they should
correspond as much as possible with the Task of Living in which all members of the human species equally share.
The problem with much of the spiritual activities nowadays is that they are directed at obtaining individual well-being and therefore not spiritual in the real sense. Universally all spiritual endeavour, from ancient times onward, has always been characterised by transcending the customary self.
The promoted aim of the consumer society is to reach the best possible satisfaction. Of course lasting satisfaction does not exist and needs to be replenished by more buying, more workshops, more methods and more courses.
The Bliss of the Return
The ideal of the spiritual endeavour is not satisfaction. It is a realisation and general application of the Drop-Ocean-Water triangle. Of course this is a metaphor but it is a very illustrative one. Although you may see yourself as an independent drop and act, think, feel and desire accordingly, in reality you are an integral part of an ocean. You flow in the ocean and together with all creatures and environments, you constitute its currents and its waves. But beyond this sharing of all drops together, the ocean and drops are nothing other than water. In the realisation of water there are no drops and there is no ocean. This is the Bliss of the Return.
The Task of Living
This is not just a nice idea. The Task of Human Living is reaching, by means of this very living that we do, the Water realisation. A drop could describe the drop, it could also imagine what the ocean would be like, but water is beyond that. This is Nâm: the affirmation of Certainty.
In order to reach this ‘water’ realisation you do not need a religion or a belief. It emerges in the very living that you do, provided that you observe the right attunement. which implies attitudes and behaviour. Nâm is not something apart from life, like a philosophy. It is the living itself and most of all it is the constant reminder that this living is expressing infinity itself.
Nâm is natural, it is what you are. Meditation and Silent Retreats are occasions in which you open the door for its guidance and its brilliance. By using very simple instruments for inner orientation and attunement during the Nâm silent retreat and meditation, you will be guided away from the trap of ego satisfaction so that you can draw full spiritual benefit from your endeavour.
Never forget you are sharing in the Certainty of Nâm, while the stage between birth and death is a phase of living with a particular purpose. Only fulfilling this purpose generates an unconditional state of Well-Being that applies to living, to dying and to post living.
Act of Service
You are sharing in all, your spiritual endeavour is an act of service to a whole, that is so all-embracing that it is unknowable for us. What we do know is that all that lives shares equally in it.
Therefore always perform your meditation and observe a silent retreat as an act of service to all and everything. When you do, and you will find out for yourself, this is the deep joy that your direction in Nâm generates.
By Yoginâm Frédéric Antonious