Meditation, not Hypnosis or Nice Thoughts ~ Swami Janakanada

Swami Janakananda on Meditation….as opposed to hypnosis or positive thinking. This is an extract from his magazine called Bindu.


Source ~


Good thoughts - evil thoughts

Are "good" or "positive" thoughts of no use? Yes, if they do not foster guilt, shame or tensions, when trying to suppress the "evil" thoughts, then at least the "good" counter balance the "evil" ones. If we fight the thoughts, we end up getting entangled in them, and they do not let go. In meditation you avoid fighting the thoughts - for example, by looking at them attentively without clinging to them - and eventually you realise that you are not the thoughts. Thus the interest for them is lost and the mind calms down. Of course, this is not done by willpower or with effort, but by the meditation method used. Thoughts are dropped and awareness is maintained with the meditation object. The state is concentrated and deepened.

It does not mean that one should not think good thoughts. Some people send good thoughts in all four directions, and up and down, before they start their meditation, but this belongs to the ritual with which they surround their meditation, and not to the meditation itself. This is the equivalent of religious rituals and meditations where the gods are first called upon to awaken energy and protection, before commencing with the actual meditation. I have nothing to say about this, only that it has my respect. I know that if one meditates on God with no other purpose than love and a desire to do it, then the meditation is irresistible.

However, I prefer the attitude that Lao Tze expresses with these words:

"...when Tao is lost, there is goodness. When goodness is lost, there is kindness. When kindness is lost, there is justice. When justice is lost, there is ritual. Now ritual is the husk of faith and loyalty, the beginning of confusion. Knowledge of the future is only a flowery trapping of Tao. It is the beginning of folly.Therefore the truly great man dwells on what is real and not what is on the surface. On the fruit and not the flower. Therefore accept the one and reject the other..." and he continues: "Give up sainthood, renounce wisdom, and it will be a hundred times better for everyone; give up kindness, renounce morality, and men will rediscover filial piety and love; give up ingenuity, renounce profit, and bandits and thieves will disappear." (Tao Te Ching.)


The depth achieved when nothing other than meditation is sought, is vast and can not at all be compared with "positive thinking" or hypnosis, which are other words for many methods in fashion today. Just as the past thousand years or more have suffered from too much discipline and blind authority, so will the future suffer from a lack of discipline and of not being able to stay with one thing. A great deal of confusion will arise as a result of this, when one forgets oneself and runs from one sensational method to the next - the goal is lost from sight.

Behind the thoughts


….One should not manipulate in meditation, but seek the highest goal, which I can only describe with these modest words: a total letting go - and being.

No doubt it could also be expressed in other ways, religious, philosophical, etc. And not claiming that I have the only definition on coming close to the essence of one's being without strain,I shall again cite Lao Tze, and let him say it in his way:

"Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub; it is the center hole that makes it useful.Shape clay into a vessel; it is the space within that makes it useful.Cut doors and windows for a room; it is the holes which make it useful.Therefore profit comes from what is there; usefulness from what is not there."(Tao Te Ching)


I follow a method in my meditation that safeguards, that it does not turn into ideas, expectations or self hypnosis, but provides a real experience, so the relaxation becomes genuine and consciousness is expanded harmoniously...


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  • A couple of videos from Swami Janakananda.....taken in my teacher's home..she is there beside him :)

    What is the purpose of Satsang (keeping company with the wise/ it in person or books etc) ? The Purpose is to be reminded of the essence of the tradition....which is that capacity to return sometime to Being...

    Swami Janakananda. The purpose of Satsang. SYC London. from Bruce Singleton on Vimeo.

    And a casual conversation that moves between Being, Becoming, Karma Yoga which is where the tantric comes OUT into the world, and the wisdom of the Vikings and their links both ways with India....

    Swami Janakananda. Karma Yoga & Vikings. SYC London. from Bruce Singleton on Vimeo.

  • Some things he said this weekend...

    Do not deal with your mind or personality. Don't be concerned about them. Leave them! Just leave them as they are. Be natural.  Even if you are an asshole. Don't analyse.  Meditation is not is not trying to figure out the mind, one is simply observing it. Just be the seer.

    No dealing with philosophies that are concerned with ''ideas'' or ''index fingers''. Even Patanjali ( he said) was a finger wagger. It is not the tantric way. Patajali had his day at a highly moralistic was the fashion.

    Accept and tolerate completely whatever arises, experience, emotion, thought, accept it, let it have its time and expression and then return to the practice (awareness). (This 'practic'e is classically simple breath awareness, though it may be awareness of environment and here and now sensations and so on, leading ultimately to knowing that which experiences it all (existence, bliss).)

    Keep some personal things secret. It says it in all the folklore. If you are healed by 'magic', (prana) don't tell about it.

    If you look at something that arises and accept it, letting it have its time, when you return to being the Seer, don't check back to see if it still is there. It's gone, It's done.  Don't wonder if it is still hanging around. Chop Chop. It no longer exists.

    Even 'cosmic' experiences should be observed, accepted and then dropped as you return to abiding in the Seer. They are not more important than being the watching consciousness, the experiencer. ( As a kind of random rule of thumb, really just to emphasise not to dwell on anything besides the practice, whatever else happens should take up no more than one third of the meditation, no matter how fantastic. Two thirds must always be the simple practice of awareness. )

    Once the practice is done, just get on with living full tilt.

    (note: These are his points of view and advice.....not saying anything is so, simply recording ideas and inspirations)

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