Yogi Shanti Desai's Philosophy


Yogi Shanti DesaiMeditation is the continuous flow of concentration and thought. Concentration is like dripping water and meditation is like flowing water. The mind becomes quieter and more harmonious as restlessness is removed. In meditation the mind does not go blank, but the frequency of brain waves change. Meditation produces alpha brain waves, which is the creative and intuitive state of mind.

The purpose of meditation is to know thy self. Our true Self (Atman) is the true source of happiness (Bliss) and wisdom. It is covered up with many layers of ignorance. The clouds of ignorance hide the bliss experience of the Self. The ignorance is identifying our self as body, senses, mind or intellect. We further identify with possessions, people and belief system. As these layers are gradually removed, we get closer to the Self and experience glimpses of bliss.

As one moves closer to the Self, his mental horizon expands. One gets stuck in the traffic jam and does not know where to turn. The traffic reporter with the aerial view can see the traffic pattern and direct the traffic on the ground. Meditation gives us a panoramic vision of life to rise above petty attachments, find peace and expand our love to others.

Meditation is to remove the memories and regrets of the past, fantasy and worries of the future and to settle in the present. One cultivates aloneness of the Self. With this, one gains wisdom, intuition and direction in life.

Most problems in life are imagined, created by a restless mind. When the mind settles down, one can eliminate these illusions. With meditation, restlessness is removed and the underlying reality of the Self is experienced.

Our normal experiences are objective experiences, which are colored by mental disturbances. The reality is twisted, which is the cause of human suffering. By experiencing reality as is, one becomes free from illusions and finds bliss.

The mind is the cause of bondage or freedom. Meditation involves taming the mind using awareness (Gnana), devotion (Bhakti), Selfless service (Karma) or scientific control of body, senses and mind (Raja Yoga). The experience of reality is that only consciousness exists while the universe is impermanent and incomplete (illusive). Behind all the names and forms in the universe there is only the reality of universal consciousness, just like gold is the essence of all golden ornaments. As the illusions are removed, one remains content within his own Self.

The mind can be made quieter simply by awareness and observation of the breath. The activity of breath and mind are closely connected. When the breath becomes slower the rhythmic the mind also becomes sharper and clearer. One finds freedom from stress and basic health problems. You can gain mastery of compulsive behavior, remaining in the present and acting wisely. This turns daily activities into meditation. This is the primary stage of meditation and can be attained by an average person at any age or physical condition.

One learns to apply meditation to everyday life situations such as while driving, cooking or waiting in line. During the activities of the day, one can remain centered within and slow down the breath. One maintains conscious awareness and a desire for liberation (Mumuksha) as an undercurrent, and cultivates wisdom (spiritual discrimination) to see the impermanent nature of the world and gains renunciation. This practice is called Active Meditation.

During the quiet sitting meditation, one harmonizes his body, energy, mind, intellect and consciousness. Meditation involves removing deep-rooted mental impurities (Sanskaras). This is accomplished by mindfulness (Concentration) and insight (Vipashyana). One cultivates sharpness of mind with concentration practice. With equanimity of mind (Samata) one observes the impermanent nature of his existence. He allows deep impressions of the mind (Sanskaras) to manifest and release through the body as sensations and through the mind in the form of imagery. After removing Sanskaras, one experiences reality as pure consciousness and attains liberation. This practice is known as Passive Meditation.

Anyone can apply these techniques from waking up until going to sleep using active and passive meditation techniques to turn their entire life into meditation.

Meditation Techniques

Sit comfortably and steadily for passive meditation. Be aware of your breath. Observe it passively. The breath flows in and out. Observe it as a witness without judgment. You observe the breath as if you are sitting on the bank of a river and watching the river flow.

Many thoughts and distractions come due to habits. Ignore the thoughts and they will go away. If you resist, fight or try too hard you will be trapped. Success comes in small steps. You have to be patient and persistent in practice on a regular basis in sitting meditation and remain aware frequently during the day whenever you think of it. It will become second nature. The results are subtle and you should not be attached to gaining quick results. The sign of progress will be indicated by inner tranquility and bliss that is different than the normal experience of pleasure or excitement.

The breath will slow down simply by watching it. Breath and mind are closely connected. The mind also will slow down. Distractions will be removed. The mind will become sharp like a sharpened knife used for surgery. This mind becomes worthy of introspection and awareness to perform the surgery of dissecting life's experiences and seeing the reality behind them.

A quieter mind awakens consciousness, which is a neutral observer. It watches and observes everything without getting involved. This awareness is considered to be rooted in the Self. One tries to maintain this awareness to get firsthand intuitive knowledge, apply it and find transformation. These processes will all happen simultaneously. This transformation means you have removed deep rooted addictions or
conditioning (Sanskaras) and you are free.

There is another technique to become more rooted in to the Self. Be aware of the breath going to your inner permanent center (Atman), when you breathe in. Be aware of the breath flowing out into infinity (Brahman) when you breathe out. There is a transition period between breaths, where there is stillness that transcends mind, time and space. Awareness of the flow with the breath provides concentration to slow down the mind.

Negations & Affirmations

Self as Infinity (Brahman) Active meditation

One uses life and situations in life as a school to learn spiritual lessons. One uses selfless service to expand consciousness. One experiences universality with all living creatures. One sees that all creation is interconnected like beads in a garland with a common thread of supreme consciousness. Everyone is like a wave in the cosmic ocean of life. One experiences his own existence as the ocean instead of the identity of an individual wave. The individual wave has a beginning and an end, while the universal ocean is immortal (Sat), consciousness (Chit) and bliss (Anand). One harmonizes his own life to remain in rhythm with the universe. The acts we perform to remain in rhythm are called Dharma or the universal law. Dharma is the way for personal and universal transformation.

The process involves personal attunement, negations, affirmations and expansions.

  • Personal attunement: to open up for personal transformation.
  • Negations: to remove or eliminate all illusions.
  • Affirmations: to confirm reality and experience bliss.
  • Expansions: to spread the bliss experience.

Personal Attunement

I accept myself.
I love myself.
I love life and the creation of God.
I forgive all beings and pray for their well-being.
I thank God for all the gifts of life.
I accept these gifts as privileges.
I am created in the image of God.
The Lord is my guide and companion.
Health and happiness are my birth rights.
I deserve the grace of God.
I take responsibility for all the situations in my life.
I accept all the challenges of life with a smiling face.
I am willing to grow and transform myself.
The entire world is my family.
I am willing to share my bliss with the world.

Negations to Eliminate Illusions

I have no race or nationality. The human race is my nationality.
I have no religion. Dharma is my universal religion.
I have no dogma or belief. Divine light removes my ignorance.

I have no family. All living creatures are my family members.
I have no home. The entire universe is my home.
I have no fame or power. All I have is a small reflection of the divine.
I own nothing. All my needs are provided by the divine.
I possess no one. I am here to serve others for my purification and evolution.
I control nothing. I am an instrument. Cosmic law governs everything.
I rely on nothing and no one. I rely on divine grace and satsang.

I have no name. Name is just a label.
I am not a father, brother, son, mother or sister. These are the roles I play.
I am not male or female. I am the spirit without boundaries.
I am not the body. It is vibrating energy that changes constantly.
I am not the senses. They are only the means of perception and action.
I am not the mind. The mind does not exist. The mind is changing waves.
I am free from duality. Free from pleasure-pain, gain-loss, honor-insult.
I am not emotions. They change constantly.
I am not intellect. I rely on divine guidance and intuition.

Affirmations to Confirm Bliss

I am the Self (Atman), the spark of God as sat, chit and anand.
I am bliss consciousness, an uninvolved passive witness to the drama of life.
I am immortal, never born, never dying. I am sustained by the divine energy.
I have nothing to attain, nothing to be, nowhere to go.
I am perfect, self sufficient, content. I need nothing added to life.
I am perfect and free here and now. Nothing or no one binds me.

Expansions to Spread Bliss Experience

Not all children have the same age, talent, aptitude and physical conditions. Some are at the level of mineral, plant, insect, animal or bird. They are perfect in themselves and evolve at their own level. For example, tomato plants grow to the height of a few feet and reach maturity in a few months while oak trees grow to a much greater height and live for hundreds of years. Humans have evolved to the highest level of consciousness. All creation has different names and forms but their basic constitution is made of five basic elements: earth, water, fire, air and space. Gold jewelry, like a necklace or earrings, have different names and forms, but the essence is gold. The waves in an ocean are analogous to creation in the cosmic ocean of God’s consciousness. Though the waves in an ocean may be created and destroyed, they still remain as the ocean at all times. All creation is connected with the invisible common thread of God consciousness.

The entire universe is one family.
God (universal consciousness) is our father.
Goddess (God’s energy or prakriti) is our mother.
The earth is our root.
The sky is our roof.
The four directions are the walls.
We are all children of eternity.
I am grateful to God for all the gifts of life.
I am grateful to all my ancestors, parents, teachers, society, nature and myself.
I forgive all the beings that may have offended me knowingly or unknowingly in the past.
I pray for the health, harmony and peace of all beings.
I love my family of diversity.
Everyone is evolving at his or her own rate. I love them with compassion as they are.
I feel the security and protection of my divine father and mother.
I feel the friendship of my family members.
I am surrounded by love, peace and abundance.
I feel the joy of living and flourish in the comfort of the harmonious universe.
I feel content.