The Role of Practice

Any seeker, before long, can realize that without committed practice, even real experiences of awakening cannot bring us to a stable place in the inner realm. The purpose of meditative practice – which encompasses both sitting meditation and practice in activity – is to assist in a natural way, based on sensitivity and intelligent understanding, our process of awakening.

The nature of that inner work varies depending on the evolutionary requirement of the particular stage or moment. For most adepts, the guidance offered by the teacher or spiritual guide is of the utmost importance to ensure that he is indeed making the right effort, to correct his mistakes and to point him towards the next step.


Talk Three Pillars of Practice Listen

Talk Lower and Higher Understanding of the Higher Truth Listen

Talk The Four Stages of Stabilization Listen


Article The Three Pillars of Practice Read

The State of Meditation

Meditation is the way and the goal — the entrance to the inner realm and the inner realm itself. It is both the state of objectless abidance in the supreme reality and the self-contained presence of our true being. In the plane of forgetfulness, meditation is the most powerful tool we have to awaken our dormant self.

There are two gateways to the dimension of meditation: the inner gate of the now through which we enter the pure subjectivity of universal I am, and the gate of our individual essence through which we meet the pure subjectivity of the soul. The first gate leads to the beyond; the second, to the heart of our own existence. From the ultimate perspective, however, there are not two gates, but one — upon entering the beyond we realize our own soul, and upon awakening to our soul we merge with the beyond.


Talk Deeper Understanding of Recognition, Embodiment, Surrender and Non-Doing Listen

Talk Discipline and Devotion in Meditation Listen

Talk The Crucial Role of Non-Doing and Allowing in Meditation Listen

Article Meditation: The State of Intimacy Read

Article Revealing the Nature of Meditation Read

Article Integrating Meditation with Life Read

 

Grace and Cooperation

Although grace does play a vital role in our evolutionary progress, it does not diminish the necessity of the inner work. Practice manifests out of a deep command within the soul to use all means available to accelerate her spiritual enlightenment — it is an expression of our innermost collaboration with the divine will. If we fail to actively participate in our own evolution, how can we expect the divine to assist us? Waiting indolently for grace to do the inner work for us is an arrogant approach. It is no different than expecting water to spring from the ground without first digging a well. One needs to be ready to receive grace, and through conscious cooperation with one’s evolution, to increasingly mature into that readiness.

from
Book of Enlightenment

Introductory Guided Meditations

Preparatory Practice for Retreat with Anadi

We recommend that you prepare thoroughly for the upcoming retreat in the following ways:

Creating the foundation of meditation practice

Based on the practice given to you in your Skype meeting with Anadi, it is important to follow a daily routine of sitting meditation. You should preferably sit at least two hours a day, morning and evening, to prepare your body, mind and energy system for entering the space of the retreat and for long hours of sitting.

Practice prior to meeting Anadi

Because practicing with consciousness can easily be counterproductive, we do not recommend that you begin this practice prior to being properly initiated and guided through a private meeting with Anadi.

Until such a meeting is conducted, we recommend that in the time being you will sit in meditation on a daily basis, following the principle of “shikantaza” – just being, or non-doing. In addition one should gently contemplate the nature of the mind while trying to separate one’s sense of ‘I’ from thoughts and to let go of those thoughts. A gentle work of surrendering into being and connecting to the heart can also be beneficial, as well as conscious breathing to the belly.

Study of the teaching

It is essential to arrive to the retreat with a sound overall understanding of the concepts used in the teaching. This will help you to properly follow the personal and general guidance given in the retreat, and thus to gain the maximum benefit for yourself out of this sacred event. Therefore we recommend reading the available materials and listening to the recordings online.

Physical preparation

As the structure of the retreat includes daily 6-7 hours of sitting meditation, it is important to prepare the body by learning how to sit with the correct posture, as well as doing exercise and basic stretching or yoga. On registration day there will be a session offering sitting posture advice, where you will be shown how to sit comfortably and properly.

Should you have important questions relating to the above, or to your preparatory practice, you may write to Anadi at anadimail@gmail.com for guidance and advice.

Resources

Recordings

The audio recordings in the Recordings page are available for download. Please note that these recordings are not ‘lectures’. They are not communications from mind to mind. These are teachings recorded at retreats during practice sessions in which all students sit with closed eyes in the state of meditation. The words do not arise from a personal intelligence, but from the inner dimension of truth and understanding. We recommend to listen to these recordings while sitting in meditation.

To the Recordings page.

 

Advanced Guided Meditations

This section is composed of carefully selected guided meditations that address more advanced areas of practice and evolution into the inner realm. It has been created primarily to support older, more established students in their practice and contemplation. Students who are just beginning to engage with the teaching are advised to visit the Introductory Guided Meditations section of this page, where they will be introduced to the key concepts of the teaching and find guidance on how to commence their practice.

We periodically add new talks to this section as and when these key talks arise, giving particular emphasis to those which are of direct practical value in the context of sitting meditation.

To view the Advanced Guided Meditation page click here.

 

Recent Important Talks

This section is a selection of revelatory and important talks that Anadi has made in recent retreats. These talks are considered to be of crucial conceptual and practical value for students who are already following the teaching and wish to further their practice and deepen their understanding. Because much of this material is quite advanced, it requires a familiarity and grounding in the fundamental elements of the teaching. Therefore, if you are a new visitor, we recommend that you begin by listening to materials on the teaching and practice pages, which are designed to introduce its key concepts.

Sitting Posture Advice

Since the foundation of our inner work is in our sitting meditation, it is important to develop a comfortable sitting posture. The body should be fully relaxed and grounded, the spine erect, and the belly and chest open so that energy and breath can move and flow freely.

If you are not used to sitting in the traditional cross-legged sitting position, you may find that when you begin sitting that way, you need to develop and increase flexibility in different muscles that you are not used to using. Therefore it usually takes practice and time to feel fully comfortable, and a certain amount of muscular pain has to just be endured while this happens. It is up to you to find the balance. It is best to keep the body completely still during meditation practice, but when too much pain is present, you can slowly, gently, and mindfully adjust or change your position, integrating the movement with your inner focus and avoiding sharp, reactive movements.

To help develop and stretch the necessary muscles, and to open the subtle energy channels in your body, you may also consider learning a bit of yoga or chi gong.

Most people find this to be the most comfortable way to sit cross-legged (#1 + 2)

The best way to enter this position is by placing one hand under your inner thigh (just above the knee) and one hand around your heel, and drawing the legs in one at a time (#3). Ideally the top of the feet should rest on the floor in one line with the knees, and the heels should point up towards the ceiling. To ground yourself more, it is helpful if once you are seated, you lean forward, pulling the flesh of the buttocks out so that both sitting bones have firm contact with the pillow, and then you sit up straight. To open your chest, lift your shoulders up towards the ears, rolling the shoulder blades together and then grounding the shoulders down, relaxing your arms and hands. (#4 + 5)

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You can rest your hands either on your thighs or in your lap. You may find it helpful for your shoulders to place a cushion in your lap on which to rest your hands or to wrap a shawl around your waist and tuck your hands inside of it. (#6)

It is common to be more flexible on one side of the body than the other, so you may find that it is easier to sit with either your right or left foot on the inside. But by alternating which foot is in – even though it may be more difficult initially – you will stretch and strengthen both legs equally. Therefore, if you alternate, you may find that it is less painful to sit for long periods like in a retreat.

A variation of the basic posture is to bring one foot up on the other calf in ‘quarter lotus’ (#7) or to ‘half lotus’ (where one foot rests on the thigh) or ‘full lotus’ (#8), which you can try if your hips are very open and flexible. However, these postures should only be used if you can keep your ankles straight so as not to put strain on any ligaments or your knees.

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It is important to be grounded physically in your sitting posture. Your knees should not be elevated above the ground. (#9)

Initially you may find that sitting on a higher cushion will help you to achieve this without straining your hips and inner thigh muscles as much, and slowly over time, as you become more flexible, you can reduce the height until it is optimal for you.

If, even after adjusting the height of your cushion, you find that you are physically incapable of reaching the ground with your knees, you can use cushions or a folded blanket to support your knees (#10). This will create less of a stretch in your inner thigh muscles and hips. If you do this, put a cushion underneath both knees so that your hips open equally on both sides.

Or you may find that a kneeling posture is more comfortable for you initially. Those who are able to sit cross-legged, but find it is too painful for long periods or on retreat, can also alternate between sitting cross-legged and kneeling. You can either use a meditation-bench (these are not provided in our retreats, but can easily be purchased online). (#11) or you can sit on a few cushions or a bolster. (#12) To support your knees in an optimum way in these poses, the top of your feet should rest on the ground and your toes should be in line with your ankle and knee (in other words, your knees and feet should not be spread farther or less apart than your ankles, but should all be in a straight line).

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And if none of these variations work for you because of flexibility or due to an injury, you can sit on a chair. Since leaning back in a comfortable chair is less supportive for alertness, it is recommended to sit farther forward on the chair with the spine fully erect. (#13) Your legs should be hip width apart, and your feet should be firmly grounded on the floor. You may find it helpful to sit on the edge of a low cushion so that your pelvis is tilted slightly forward to encourage the natural curve in the lower spine. Sitting without support behind your back will also require you to develop new muscles, and initially you may feel some muscular strain as the muscles develop, but you will find that this greatly supports your alertness, which is crucial in work with consciousness, especially in the beginning.

Keeping your spine and neck straight (while allowing their natural curve) and not leaning to one side or the other is very important in every posture. It is easier to prevent bad habits in your posture from the beginning. Otherwise, you may actually become used to sitting in a bent way, and it may feel unnatural to sit straight. It is recommended to observe yourself occasionally sitting in front of a mirror in order to check and correct your posture, and/or to ask a friend to look at your sitting posture and help you to correct any misalignment in order to find the best posture you are capable of.

Whatever posture you choose, your intention should always be to be firmly grounded, finding the balance between strength and gentleness, alertness and relaxation – feeling so comfortable in your body that you could almost forget about it.

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