Meditation, Mind and the
Flight Management Computer
by Swami Jnaneshvara
A modern metaphor for
mind and meditation.
The modern aircraft
autopilot system is called a flight management computer. It is so
sophisticated that it can take off, operate, and land a plane. All the
pilot has to do is enter the instructions into the computer. Imagine one
next step: that the computer could be operated by voice. All the pilot
would have to do is say, "Airplane, please take me to city 'X'." The
computer would do all of the complex calculations and operate the
controls of the plane.
The mind is an
incredible instrument that operates all of our automatic inner
processes, as well as the actions we do consciously. Now, for a moment,
imagine that you could "ask" your mind to do actions for you, similar to
the way our pilot might "ask" the computer to operate the airplane.
Imagine that you could "ask" your inner wisdom aspect of mind (buddhi)
for insights about this or that.
This is meant
literally, not just metaphorically. It is a process called "internal
dialogue" or "vichara" in Sanskrit. Internal dialogue is a process
whereby one part of the mind is talking to another part of the mind.
This does not mean split personalities or psychosis. It is an extremely
practical tool that prepares one for meditation. It is the important
tool of contemplation.
"Mind, please focus
on the touch of the air flowing in the nostrils."
"Mind, let's not
fight, you and I. Mind, please be my friend."
"Mind, please allow
the body to relax. Please allow it to be still."
"Mind, please heal
that aching part that is disturbing meditation."
"Mind, please focus
on the feeling space at the heart center."
"Mind, what do I
want? Why? Is this useful? Is it better that I keep doing this, or
that I let go of this?"
"Mind, what's wrong
with my meditation? What do I need to do to make it better? What do
I need to cease doing to make it better?"
"Mind, what can I
do in my daily life to make life a joy, a pleasant practice of
meditation while doing my actions?"
Insights and answers
will definitely come. It is the mind that causes the breath and body to
move, be tensed, or do other actions. Asking the mind to change these
will have an effect, whether quickly or slowly. The deep inner wisdom is
available, and will gradually come just by asking. It is a literal
practice. Literally form the words in your inner mind field. If asking a
question, pause, and wait. The response may come in words, feelings,
thoughts, emotions or sensations. Something will come. Make it a
dialogue, the way you would have a conversation with another person.
This site is devoted to
presenting the ancient Self-Realization path of
the Tradition of the Himalayan masters
in simple, understandable and beneficial ways, while not compromising
quality or depth. The goal of our sadhana or practices is the highest
Joy that comes from the Realization in direct experience of the
center of consciousness, the Self, the Atman or Purusha, which is
one and the same with the Absolute Reality.
This Self-Realization comes through Yoga meditation of the Yoga
Sutras, the contemplative insight of Advaita Vedanta, and the
intense devotion of Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra, the three of which
complement one another like fingers on a hand.
We employ the classical approaches of Raja, Jnana, Karma, and Bhakti
Yoga, as well as Hatha, Kriya, Kundalini, Laya, Mantra, Nada, Siddha,
and Tantra Yoga. Meditation, contemplation, mantra and prayer
finally converge into a unified force directed towards the final
stage, piercing the pearl of wisdom called bindu, leading to the