“Everything can provoke you but you must understand, Are you going to get provoked by it? If anything and everything can provoke you, where is your balance? You have to always understand, Are you a human being or a yoyo? Just question yourself before acting. Who am I? What am I going to do? Am I an individual slave to be played on the strings of environment, commotions, emotions and circumstances, or am I an individual who has to make a way? This is the basis on which you can shape your life.” (21 Stages of Meditation Book page 51)
The 21 Stages of Meditation are a systematic, simple, artful yet masterfully subtle practical map of the steps the soul travels through crystallization, self – expression and transcendence. The journey that begins with struggle and suffering as the soul begins to turn outer attention inwards: a dispersed uncommitted searching, a hunger that knows no limits, always grabbing yet never finds what it wants – into a focused and maturely solid shiny self that is contained and content in itself. The ultimate radical transformation. A self that delights in self and expressing self in a multitude of manners to such an extent that light within bursts out in all directions. The quality, nature and refinement of this light offering back light to the light in a human form, is dependent on the fullness to which consciousness is brought to all stages. This is the miraculous 3 part journey with 7 stages each and the potential that each one of us can choose.
“Some people say, ‘There is only one way to live.’ This is very confusing. Some people say, ‘Well there are many teachers and many paths and many this and that.’ No, no, no, that doesn’t work. Whether you are Christian, you are a Jew, you are something, anything or nothing, it doesn’t make any difference! As long as you are a human being you have to understand one thing: either you are to play in the hand of circumstances or you have to make the circumstances play in your hand. You have to decide either way.” (21 Stages of Meditation Book page 51)
A significant gift from this Training, especially in these troubling times, are tools for working through the initial stages of Journey 1: upset, boredom, irritation, and frustration. You don’t have to get stuck in any of these. There are alternatives you can learn to remember to practice. Experience the dignity that flowers when you stop to meet them with a full and deep exhale rather than with reactive subconscious patterning. In other words truly facing yourself and the real work of your life until – the victory of you in you, unshakeable and solid in yourself in any circumstance. The “I am. I am” with no further justification or explanation required.
The diamond soul seed having navigated its way towards the light through rock, grit, mud and darkness, finds itself extending both in and out in the second Journey (days 3 and 4 of the training course). Roots form that give it grip inside itself, water brings it to life and juices flow. The Self breathes in, the Self breathes out. Is a crystallised Self. Whether cooking or cleaning, walking or talking, it gets to experience the joys and challenges of Self – expressing it’s Self.
Each stage of this journey is mapped out with illustrations. It enables the Mind, that imagines visually to picture possibilities, glimpses, beginner comprehensions of the more refined states that would usually remain only intellectual conceptions. What is this enlightenment? What could your relationship to it be, not at some fantastical future time, but now? Could it’s gentle breeze bring a touch of ease to your daily grind?
Each session offers at least one, if not several, 31 minute meditations – time to stop and sit with you in you – and again once more. Feel yourself traversing through all the difficulties that for want of the easier way, Mind tries to ignore but – instead, you turn around in yourself, to face yourself. You know what you want, the work that has your soul’s name on it and is that which you are destined to do. You breath in, you breath out, you manually and mechanically move your navel, you feel the pain of being human but you don’t numb out. You chant the mantra from your heart even more than ever before. All this spiritual effort pays off. A series of inaudible clicks as you unlock the code to yourself in yourself, one tiny step at a time.
If this article inspired you, check out the 21 Stages of Meditation courses offered in October – click here to find out more!
Here is the first meditation for Upset with some suggested subjects to contemplate afterwards:
Meditation to Conquer Upset
March 16, 1978 (21 Stages of Meditation Book page 53)
Put aside a little time afterwards to write a few minutes on each of these subjects:
What do you get most upset about?
Look at the illustration from this stage. What do you see?
How do act when you over re-act or act in a manner that reflects your higher self when you are upset? Draw or paint a little scenario of both.
How do you illustrate this stage?
Explore writing out the word itself? Breaking it up and turning it around.
Upset. Setup. No need to force it to make some rational sense. Let the gift in the process come to you in its own time.
Jagat Joti Kaur 04.07.2022
If you are touched by any of the words I share, they are from my understanding of the Teachings through sitting in class with my Teacher most weeks each month each year. I am a Level 2 qualified Kundalini Yoga Teacher presently sharing in Level 3 and student of Sacred Numerology through the Karam Kriya School, a student of Shiv Charan Singh. I hold a 550hour Ayurveda Lifestyle and Nutrition Practitioner qualification with the European Institute of Vedic Studies. I set up a yoga and healing arts programme across various acute NHS mental hospitals in London in 2008 and have worked with galleries such as Tate Modern, Tate Britain and the National Portrait Gallery exploring the art of yoga and the yoga of art because I love to share what I love for myself, to write, draw, paint, sculpt, sew and cook, a creative, juicy life worth living. I was born in Cape Town, South Africa where I live as part of the international Ashram Guru Ram Das family.