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ISKCON 50 Meditations: November 2, 2015

By: for ISKCON News on Nov. 2, 2015

How to Meditate on Srila Prabhupada All the Time

One psychologist was talking about the importance of noticing things: If you notice when you get angry, or you notice when you are acting, you can curb these tendencies.  He recommended a simple technique of just paying attention to your own breathing and noting how your skin or eyes feel.  In order to work deeply, the noticing should be kept very simple.  It is not a matter of thinking of concepts, but the primitive act of noticing.  When I read of this technique, I thought of applying it to my Prabhupada meditations.  I think it’s something anyone can do.

For example, someone pronounces the word “Prabhupada.”  You become alert.  You don’t have to think about it.  You can feel “Prabhupada’s name was just spoken.”  On another occasion, say you are taking prasadam in the association of devotees, suddenly you notice that you are among devotees and the prasadam you are eating has been cooked in a particular way; that the child of the couple to your left has a Sanskrit name – everything has been taught to us by Prabhupada.  You may feel this in an overall way, or you may notice particular details.  It doesn’t require a verbal acknowledgement, but you want to feel the awareness of Prabhupada in everything you do.

This act of noticing is not intended as a substitute to the more discursive methods of glorifying Prabhupada with our intelligence and words, but it can supplement our present meditation.  Sometimes we are tired of talking, or we realize that words will not be able to capture our experience.  Perhaps we are with people who have no interest in Prabhupada, or we ourselves don’t feel inspired enough to speak.  At times like this, this “awareness” technique can be fully utilized.  We stop in the midst of outward activities, perhaps starting by becoming aware of our own breath, and then turn up the “awareness” volume until we perceive Prabhupada’s blessing and presence. 

If we are fortunate to live in a society of devotees, then whether we “notice” or not, we are regularly being exposed to Prabhupada’s lectures, books, kirtanas and way of life.  Even when we don’t actively remember him, we can be assured that our inner self is benefiting by exposure to Prabhupada.  If an iron rod is placed in fire gradually it will become hotter and hotter, even if only by imperceptible degrees.  Prabhupada used to give that example that a preoccupied airplane passenger may not notice when the plane takes off, but after awhile he will be surprised to see that he is thousands of feet above the Earth.  Similarly, even if we sometimes fail to notice the benefit of living in Prabhupada’s shelter, eventually Prabhupada will bless us to become more aware. 

The Scriptures inform us that the association of devotees gives the greatest benefit and is the only solace in this material world.  More important than techniques meant to bring us into greater awareness of Prabhupada is to first situate ourselves solidly in the association of devotees.  In this way our hearts and minds will automatically fill up with Krishna consciousness.  But when we do become situated, we will want to develop our abilities to remember and love Prabhupada.  We will want to fill our minds only with positive impressions of Prabhupada’s presence in our lives.  This will not only help us come closer to Krishna, but will give us greater appreciation for Prabhupada’s other followers.  It will help to eradicate envy from our hearts, which in turn will give us a stronger desire to absorb ourselves in Prabhupada consciousness.

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