Concentrate on Killing the Concentrater?
Jul 26, 1996 08:42 PM
by Keith Price
Dharana is concentration. Sustained concentration (dharana) is meditation
(dhyana). That's verse 2 of Book 3 of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, and VOS is
one of those links between theosophy (or at least, HPB) and raja-yoga.
Vivekananda traces the path of
concentration/meditation/samadhi-enlightenment as a matter of sequential
control of the mind. He gets pretty specific, which I'm not so sure about,
but all commentators on Patanjali's terms seem to agree on the *time*
element as the difference between concentration and meditation. Without
concentration, there can be no meditation (or, sustained concentration).
VOS starts off with the requirement of sustained concentration as the
I think it will be interesting to read Kim's promised glossary expansion,
and I'm especially looking forward to seeing if any of the "mystical" branch
of the TS/theos-l join in on this VOS discussion, for surely one of the more
misunderstood writings of HPB occurs on the opening page: after starting the
first paragraph with the necessity of meditation and mental control, it
continues with "The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real. Let the Disciple
slay the Slayer."
Yes, this is what drives novices from theosophy and zen and many areas of
spirituality. It seems we have go to try like hell to stop trying. We have got
to desire with all our might to kill desire. We have got to concentrate on not
concentrating. All these paradoxes can lead to frustration or disgust or a
rather humorous scene of those zen monastaries MUing all night long (practcing
the koan: does a dog have Buddha-nature? MU! or NO!
Thus enlightenment the goal is to be goaless, desireless, analysis-less (non
dualistic) and by containing the paradox of duality, one breaks through to a
liberation of unity with the one beyond concentration, desire, analysis,
duality. Or at least I hope so. I have attained some results (IMHO). But I pity
the soul's that are just starting out and see all this a sheer nonsense or
The answer to koans, it seems. if often, not words, but a gesture, a pointing to
the tree in the garden as oneself, one's mind, one's unity, one's
However, I believe, Blavatsky was trying to get this across to English speaking
Westerners and she was trying with the level of consciousness and terminology
available to her or which she herself created or intuited from her own VOICE OF
THE SILENCE (inner master).
I plan to hang with her as I am trying to approach the VOS in a fresh way and am
trying to give her the benefit of the doubt and have faith that she knows what
she is talking about (big of me, huh?) :)
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