A Path to Awakening in the midst of ordinary life.
|1. The nature of the Problem|
|2. The Essence|
|3. The creation of the Android|
|6. The function of a Spiritual School|
|7. About Tayu Center|
|8. About our Teacher|
|9. Tayu Spiritual Exercises|
|10. The Seven Degrees of Reason|
|11. The Six Tayu Precepts|
The Nature of the Problem
Humanity as we find it is an incomplete creation. We know this is so instinctively because of the amount of suffering in human society. By suffering is not meant the unavoidable consequences of simply being alive, which include fear, pain, sadness, illness, loss, and death. These constitute the price which all living things must pay for the privilege of existing. The suffering we are considering is rather the unnecessary anguish which we unwittingly inflict upon ourselves virtually all the time.
We can do very little about the basic hazards of life. In fact, it is guaranteed that every human life will end in death and the loss of everything we have become attached to. And there is no magical way of dealing with the basic requirements of living: food, shelter, relationship, etc. But this challenging state of affairs does not of itself doom us to a life of unhappiness. The whole point of living is to learn to appreciate the basic joy of the Creation. This is the native state of all creatures, including humanity. We are born in this state, in the Garden of Eden, as it were, and only later fall from this grace through our encounter with human society.
What most people fail to recognize is that most of our suffering is unnecessary. It arises from identification with our desires and expectations about life. This is the process whereby we decide that our happiness depends on someone or something outside ourselves, upon the fulfillment of some dream. But there is no natural requirement that we suffer about these desires. This form of suffering is purely voluntary on our part, although most of us do not realize this. As such, we can learn how to stop punishing ourselves in this way.
Most of our suffering takes the form of mental anguish. There is always something we can worry about: mistakes we made in the past, mistakes we might make in the future, mistakes we are making right now. Most of us have desire upon desire that has not been fulfilled. Other people have failed to live up to our many expectations. Our parents most likely not raise us the way we would have wished. Society does not live up to our standards. Life may seem pointless and unsatisfying. There is an endless supply of things we can suffer about if we choose to.
Much of this unnecessary pain also arises from making poor choices in our moment by moment decisions about how to live our lives. The reason we make such poor choices is that we are not in touch with our inner selves, or essence. We therefore end up making choices based upon incomplete or even faulty information. How did this come about, and what can be done about it?
The problem for humanity arises basically from the curse/blessing of its third brain, the mental center. Other creatures have one or two brains, or centers, but humanity and the other primates have an additional one. The first center, the motive center, known by scientists as the limbic system, or reptilian brain, is concerned with the basics of primitive survival: breathing, eating, sleeping, procreation. It contains the primary instincts necessary for life.
The second center, the emotive center, or mammalian brain, is concerned with the basics of social or group interaction. It processes feelings and emotions, and makes possible family, pack or herd living, a generally more effective form of survival than the solitary existence available to one-brained creatures.
Humanity has been gifted with a third center, the intellectual or mental center, or primate brain. It processes words and ideas, and makes language possible. It provides the possibility of self-consciousness, of planning and creating, of changing the world to suit oneself. Unfortunately, for most of us this center does not generally work properly. This is demonstrated by its habit of constantly calling attention to itself like a squeaky wheel, through its internal dialogue (mental chatter).
All the other systems of the body, all the internal organs, only demand our attention when something is wrong or lacking. We notice our stomach (through hunger) only when we need to eat. We feel tired only when we need to rest. We feel physical pain only when there is a wound or injury of some kind. The fact that most of us feel constant or regular mental anguish, whether sharp or dull, demonstrates clearly that the mental center is not functioning properly. Strange as it may seem, if the mental center were functioning properly, we would hardly notice its existence, just like a properly functioning heart or lungs. It would not call constant attention to itself. It would be basically silent!
For most of us, however, the mental center is anything but silent. We are instead subjected to an endless chain of internal discussion and argument. It is as if our head were filled with hundreds of different personalities and viewpoints, each clamoring for attention and control of the activity of the organism. This is not far from the truth, in that each of these voices represents a part of ourselves that has in effect become separated or disconnected from the rest of us and is trying to get its own two cents worth of attention.
The result is that most of us have nary a moment's internal peace. One might think that this would be intolerable, and that people would do anything to quiet down this constant chatter. Instead, most people have learned how to reach an accommodation with this state of affairs, much like people who live near a freeway eventually learn to block out the noise from their consciousness. Many people have gotten so used to this constant companionship and entertainment that they would feel lost without it.
Thus most of us are in a similar position to that of a bird which has been raised its whole life inside a cage. If it should ever find itself outside the cage, it would be petrified with fear. So, too, most people in this society have come to believe that constant internal dialogue is the natural state of humanity. They would feel lost and frightened without this mental activity, and unable to decide what to do with their lives from moment to moment. And yet this is not ultimately a truly fulfilling condition for humanity, just as living by a freeway can never be as satisfying as experiencing the peace of the country.
Our primate brain, the mental center, is a wonderful but recent evolutionary development. But very much more recent is the development of language, and of the complex human society we call civilization. While it took millions of years for the primate brain to evolve, these important later developments have taken place only in the last few thousand years. It should not be all that surprising that the mental center might not automatically be able to handle without problem the stresses of dealing with the complex interactions involved, in much the same way that someone from a tribe in the Brazilian rainforest would be lost in the culture of Manhattan, no matter how intelligent or capable in their own culture. Despite its many accomplishments, the human organism has inherently not changed much from its cave-dwelling origins, and it can readily be overwhelmed by the challenges of society. It is precisely the manifold demands of dealing with language and civilization which have thrown the mental center out of kilter.
Although it will no doubt take considerable time for the entire race to evolve mental centers that can effectively handle these recent challenges of language and civilization, on an individual basis it has nevertheless always been possible to train one's mental center to do so. This requires first that one observe, become familiar with, and later harmonize, or balance, the operations of all three centers. This can only be done with the aid of one's internal guidance system, the essence.
Essence refers to the essential self, that unique being which is born in the world. It includes everything that makes us a distinct individual, our own person. When one observes a human infant or an animal, one is witnessing an entity that operates from essence. To operate from essence means to be wholly oneself, to be spontaneously self-directed. Such an existence is totally authentic, in that every action represents the truth of the experience of the being from moment to moment.
Another term to describe this state is innocence ("in essence"). All of us begin life in complete innocence, without any internal contradictions. This is a state of openness to the world and all its wonders, a willingness to attempt new things, and the absence of fear. Such innocence is necessarily a fragile state, as it is based upon a lack of experience. One can afford to be innocent in this way, to live completely in primal essence, only until one has been damaged or defeated in some way by the world.
An infant is not able to hide or dissemble in any way, because it lacks the tool with which to do so. That tool is language. A baby does not have thoughts. It has no language with which to think, in the sense of the customary internal dialogue that most of us engage in constantly. It has no words yet with which to hold a mental conversation. Nevertheless, it is able to make decisions, it knows what it likes, what it dislikes, and what it wishes to do from moment to moment. It may not always be able to express or communicate these wishes very well to others, but it always knows what it needs and wants. We all begin life this way. However, as a result of the eventual conflict between our personal will and the will of society, this sooner or later changes radically for almost all of us.
What robs us of our primal innocence? It is the need to adapt to the rules of society, of civilized life, concerning what we can be, do, and have. A child is faced with a bewildering array of requirements, some unnatural or even irrational, even about such basics of life as when and how one can eat, sleep, and eliminate waste. One is otherwise controlled in many ways, and is constantly forced to compromise one's own will. There are many things one is required to say and do, and others are prohibited. One's own wishes are often not consulted, and even when one learns to express them, are ignored, despite one's strongest efforts. And children are often belittled and ridiculed, sometimes intentionally, sometimes unknowingly, because they are young and inexperienced. Other children can be most selfish and hurtful, as well.
Our response to this is to learn how to lie. We begin to lie about who we are, what we are doing, and why we are doing it. We begin doing this first to others, in self-defense, as a way to exercise our own will despite the opposition of others, but ultimately, even to ourselves. And once we have learned how to lie to ourselves, to convince ourselves that we are being, doing, or having something other than the reality we experience in our essence, the fate of our early innocence is sealed.
The Creation of the Android
We learn language because it permits us to make our needs and wants known to the world. With it we expect to communicate more effectively with those who have been taking care of us. In this way we hope to show them how to do a better job of it. Unfortunately, things don't usually work out quite the way we may have expected. Language is a two-edged sword. Once we have learned it well enough to communicate our own needs and desires, we quickly discover that it now permits others to tell us what to do! And those around us want us to do many things, and live in a way that is often very artificial and sometimes even harmful, either physically, emotionally, or mentally. Yet we must now begin to follow the wishes of others, instead of our own. This is a tremendous shock to a being that has pretty much been getting its own way up to now.
Rather than simply submit to the humiliation of taking orders, we look for a way to save some small shred of self-respect. In order not to have our spirit be completely broken by the will of society, we bend. We construct within the mental center an artificial surrogate, the android. The main job of the android is to engage in the dirty work of submitting to civilized life on our behalf. We program it with the rules and rituals of society that we find distasteful or incomprehensible, and have it do what we would otherwise be forced to do ourselves. Forced to do, be, and say things against our will, we send in our android servant to get its hands dirty, instead of our own.
In the beginning, this seems to work reasonably well. Unfortunately, the demands of society grow quickly and continuously, until finally we become unable to comply on our own, without the aid of the android, even were we to attempt to. Our former servant becomes apparently indispensable. By shunting the knowledge of how to deal with human civilization and its requirements to the android, we prevent ourselves from learning further how to do this for ourselves. The experience we need to do so is all stored in the android in such a way, and in such quantities, that it seems a hopeless task to begin to wade through it all to find what we need to deal with any particular situation.
The result of this is that by the age of 3 or 4, most of us begin hiding from the world behind the buffer of the android. In the beginning this is only intermittent, but eventually it becomes our habitual condition. We gradually lose the ability to experience the world directly, through essence, and must instead consult the stored rules of conduct contained in the android before we can safely undertake any important, or in many cases, even any trivial action, since we can no longer rely on our basic internal sense of what to do from moment to moment. It is like someone who possesses a book on swimming who has never dared to go in the water. One would not wish to begin by jumping in a choppy ocean!
One can picture the android as a type of computer. It can receive a message, store it, and play it back. It can call up stored information by a process called association. But it cannot really understand or evaluate the information. It cannot truly consider anything. Only a living being can do this. So all information that is sent to the android remains in basically permanent storage, in the form of verbal messages. Under ordinary conditions it is never truly digested and made a part of the experience of the essence.
The android does what it can to help. In each life situation with which we are confronted, it will call up whatever verbal communications it has received and stored that are associated in any way with the current situation. Items are associated by obvious connections such as who said it, what the subject matter was, the circumstances under which we heard or read it, etc. The android will continue to call up all such messages that seem relevant to a situation in what is called a "stream of consciousness." This results in the constant babble of mind chatter which we are accustomed to very generously call "thinking."
Messages that are stored in the android, much like messages on an answering machine, will continue to be called up and replayed whenever they are associated in any way with the current situation or stream of consciousness. It makes no difference whether they are relevant in any meaningful way or not. Often this will create a form of feedback loop in which the ending of a thought pattern will activate its own beginning by the same process of association and keep playing in a compulsive way indefinitely. The android is an amazing but ultimately very simple creation.
Most people end up making their moment to moment decisions about how to live their lives on the basis of whichever thought pattern is the loudest or most attractive or part of the most numerous group at the time. Unfortunately, the android has no access to the basic needs and wishes of the essence, just as the essence has no effective understanding of the messages contained in the android.
The thought patterns that it calls up by association contain only the undigested messages received through the course of one's life from others, that is, it contains the opinions, wishes, rules, and requirements of one's own society of family, friends, teachers, employers, and other acquaintances. They contain nothing of our own essential life goals. One who spends his/her life primarily following the guidelines presented by association from the android is not likely to satisfy very well his or her own essential needs.
The result of all this is that the important part of oneself, one's essence, surrenders responsibility for the control and direction of the organism at an early age. From then on, it is as if the essence is asleep or hypnotized, and much like a child who spends all his or her time watching television, and never goes out to play, it never learns on its own about the true nature of life. One's life tends to take on the quality of an afternoon soap opera, filled with endless, pointless, negative emotions. One gets stuck in what might be called "virtual reality", and misses out on the real thing. It is this sleep-walking through life that causes most of the unnecessary human suffering in the world.
th has been demonstrated for us by all the great Teachers of the world, from Jesus and Buddha to Sufi saints and Indian gurus. It involves retracing one's steps back into the self, and undoing the creation of the android. One can learn how literally to eat the android and digest its contents. Done properly, the result is a being who has regained its innocence, who has learned how to live in the world and experience it from essence.
But there is an important difference in this innocence from that of an infant. This is innocence with understanding, able to meet the world on its own terms without flinching or hiding. It results from a decision to face the world despite one's clear knowledge of its dangers and problems. But to be able to truly make such a decision, one has to come to understand the way the world operates in reality, not as one may have decided in early childhood based upon a very limited experience of the world. From this enlightened viewpoint, one may hope to see the essential beauty and joy of the Creation.
The process of digesting the contents of the android begins with a special form of meditation called Self-observation. Self-observation is designed to permit us first to gain an objective understanding of the contents of the android and the current functioning of the organism, and later, to make available to essence the knowledge contained in the android, so that we will no longer be dependent upon it to navigate the shoals of human civilization. Through sincere, determined, and diligent Self-observation, we can expect eventually to experience our true nature, and discover what is needful to become the kind of person we came here to be.
The first requirement to practice Self-observation is the creation of an observer. This observer must be created in such a way that one can rely upon it to be totally impartial and objective. Begin by visualizing a line going up your spine, and another going from a point between your eyes to the back of your head. At the point where these two lines intersect, visualize a pinhole viewpoint. This observer viewpoint should be imagined as being similar to the lens of a video camera which one will use to record the activities of one's organism, including the operations of each of the three centers, mental, emotive, and motive. The important quality of this observer is that just like a video camera, it records faithfully whatever it sees and hears, but it does not judge, evaluate, or criticize anything. A video camera has no opinion! Therefore, the observer is silent. It never comments in any way on anything it observes.
In the beginning of one's attempts to create an effective and reliable observer, one is likely to discover what one had thought to be an objective observer beginning to participate in one's internal verbal dialogue by agreeing, disagreeing, or simply giving an opinion on something it has observed. This is not an adequate observer. The observer must not participate in any way in one's internal dialogue (which, after all, arises from the android itself, which one is trying to observe!). Thus, if one notices one's observer beginning to say anything at all, one should, in effect, take a mental step behind the so-called observer, and begin to observe that manifestation of the android as well. Eventually one will develop an observer that one can rely upon to be impartial and silent. In this way one can hope to begin to obtain truly objective self-knowledge.
Self-observation is a form of continuous meditation, or meditation-in-action. It is intended to be used in the midst of one's daily life. That is how one will discover what one is like under the ordinary conditions of existence, not in special surroundings or circumstances. Unfortunately, in the beginning the difficulty is to remember what one is trying to do. Ordinarily one becomes so wrapped up in, or identified with, one's everyday affairs that one has no attention left over. But with a strong enough intention, and with persistent practice, eventually one will remember to observe oneself in this way at least part of the time during every day. And the more one remembers to do one's Self-observation, the easier and more rewarding it will become. One will begin to develop a picture of one's life upon which one can rely when the time comes to begin making changes. And some things will begin to change simply by one's having gotten a good look at them!
Unlike most Eastern forms of meditation, Self-observation was designed to be effective under the normal conditions of life in Western culture. It is more difficult in the beginning than the better known forms of meditation which involve sitting in a quiet room, because one does not have the advantage of being constantly reminded by one's circumstances that one is engaged in meditation. But done properly, it is ultimately more efficient, because one automatically learns how to apply the insights gained to one's ordinary life. There is no artificial separation between one's meditative practice and one's daily activities. It is also possible to engage in extensive meditation in this way without the necessity for extended retreats or stays in a monastery.
There is also a separate form of Self-observation called Co-meditation. In this two-person meditation one enlists the help of another in one's quest for reliable self-knowledge. One learns how to use another being as a mirror in which one can see things about oneself that might otherwise be difficult or impossible to observe. Just as one cannot observe one's own back without help, many of our most important inner qualities are only revealed in contact with others. By observing the effect that essence contact with oneself has on a variety of other people, one can discover much about one's own essence nature.
The traditional forms of meditation which focus the awareness inwards were developed to aid those growing up in Eastern cultures. In these cultures, the primary social emphasis for centuries has been humility and cooperation. They were designed to balance the spiritual development of such people by strengthening their personal identities, by creating a kind of internal cave in which to engage in the process of learning to confront the Self. Such individual meditation, when employed alone by a Westerner without proper guidance, may only heighten an already strongly-developed sense of isolation and separateness.
Co-meditation was developed particularly for those who have grown up in Western culture. In this culture, the primary social emphasis has been personal identity and achievement. One is taught from childhood to be independent, to compete for one's place in life, to be self-reliant. While these are certainly virtues, they can leave one feeling isolated, cut-off, and very lonely. Co-meditation can teach one how to bridge the gulf between oneself and others, and to overcome the fear of openness and relationship that can result from our upbringing in this society. Co-meditation is designed to expand the awareness and focus it on the rest of Creation, in particular the other beings with whom we share this Universe.
The practice of Co-meditation involves learning how to establish and maintain essence contact with another being. The two persons who will be meditating together should sit facing each other as closely as possible without actually touching. The recommended position is to kneel on the floor with a zafu (meditation cushion) or other cushion under one's backside. Lotus posture or another comfortable sitting posture may be used, or the two partners may sit on chairs. The spine should be kept erect.
When both partners are ready, they should establish and maintain eye contact. The aim is to gently focus one's full awareness on one's partner. This does not mean a fixed stare, but an uninterrupted, relaxed observation. One should put the kind of attention on one's partner that one normally reserves for looking at oneself in the mirror. If one finds oneself identifying with (becoming absorbed in) communications from the android (mental chatter or internal dialogue), one should simply redirect one's attention back to one's partner. The face should also be relaxed, with a neutral expression. This meditation is normally carried out for twenty minutes at a time. One should engage in Co-meditation with as wide a variety of persons as possible, because each person that we meet can teach us something about ourselves.
The eyes have been called the "windows of the soul". This is why there have been so many cultural and even legal constraints upon establishing eye contact with another person. For example, a slave or peasant was normally not allowed to gaze directly at an aristocrat or nobleman. Such an offense was punishable by a beating, or even, as in feudal Japan, with instant beheading. Similarly, women in many cultures have been proscribed from establishing eye contact with men, lest they be considered sexually wanton. Such controls over eye contact have had the full force of both civil and religious law. It is clear that this form of contact is potentially very powerful. It is difficult to hide one's basic humanity, and to pretend to be superior or even divine, if others can freely get a clear look at us. In one's Self-observation practice, one should particularly note whom one has been willing to establish eye contact with, and whom one has avoided.
Throughout the ages, saints and sages, Sufis and Zen masters, have been considered either brave or foolhardy, because they were willing to look even kings in the eye, and speak the truth they saw thereby.
The Function of a Spiritual School
The process of Self-observation begins the process of digesting the contents of the android, and making these available to essence. While this practice is very important, alone it is insufficient. Without additional experience, the result will be an essence that can deal with the world on the terms that the world has taught; but those terms and conditions are very unhappy ones.
The human culture we experience is based almost completely on survival by selfishness. It teaches that the way to survive is to push everyone else out of our way, to put ourselves always first. The result is a life that is empty and lonely. It is no surprise that fully half our marriages end in divorce, that our children grow up even more lost than ourselves. Happiness does not arise from getting things, or even from getting our own way. It arises from learning how to love first oneself, and then others. The ultimate aim is to experience the essential Unity of the Creation.
Essence learns by demonstration, by experience, not through language. Just as our body lives on food, our essence lives on impressions. Just as a healthy body cannot be built with harmful food, a healthy, mature essence cannot be developed without the proper impressions of the higher possibilities of a human life. Thus the ever-increasing violence of our culture is not accidental. The demonstrations we provide ourselves of how a human life is to be lived, in our television and our motion pictures, are truly horrific. Someone who is exposed only to savagery should not be expected in the ordinary course of things to grow into a saint.
Thus, one of the most important functions of a spiritual school is to provide demonstrations of the other possibilities of a human life - love and compassion. Only a life based on a genuine understanding of and empathy with the rest of Creation can be at all fulfilling. This is not true because some holy book or prophet says so. It is true because it is true. The process of Self-observation, coupled with the necessary objective impressions of life, will clearly demonstrate this. But even at an obvious level, if everyone in the world is your potential enemy, then you are never safe and must be constantly on your guard. Whereas if everyone in the world is your potential friend, then the world becomes a giant family.
What is especially necessary are impressions of people acting with compassion and love even under the powerful stresses of life: conflict, hardship, danger. This is the function that saints and spiritual teachers have fulfilled throughout the ages. They have demonstrated love in the midst of hatred, and compassion in the midst of selfishness. By providing such powerful impressions of how people can act, even under the most trying conditions of life, they transformed the lives of those they came in contact with. This is so because of an important principle of essence: one positive impression will balance out an endless number of negative impressions of equal power.
A genuine spiritual school is thus a place where it is safe for people to begin to experience the world from essence, and second, a place where one can obtain the necessary positive impressions of the possibility of manifesting true love and compassion in a human lifetime.
About Tayu Center
The above material is an introduction to Tayu spiritual practice. Understanding this material is not the same as practicing it, and even then it can only begin the work of awakening the essence. Although it is generally true in any field of endeavor that a certain amount of help or instruction is necessary (one would not expect to become a doctor, lawyer, concert pianist, artist, or even a plumber without a teacher), in the field of spiritual study, which is basically the attempt to become an artist of Life itself, a teacher is particularly important. Only someone who can demonstrate the Awakened state is likely to be able to truly help us do the same. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, and even if we could, what is wrong with admitting that we can use some help? And the experience of someone who has gone before us can help us to avoid duplicating unnecessary mistakes.
Tayu Center is a Fourth Way spiritual school, founded in 1976 by Robert Daniel Ennis. The Fourth Way is a system of spiritual development introduced to the West by G.I. Gurdjieff. It is unusual in that it was specifically designed for those growing up in Western culture. It is also unusual in that it adapts itself to the time, place, and people who use it. Mainstream religions instead require that one adapt oneself to another time, place and culture, sometimes thousands of years old, and totally foreign in outlook and understanding.
The Fourth Way, as practiced at Tayu Center, is a living tradition. It is also one that does not require that one live in a monastery or practice austerities. Instead, Robert has developed effective spiritual techniques that permit one to utilize the stresses of ordinary human life as tools for spiritual transformation. All that is required is the willingness to practice Truth with oneself and others.
For more information about our public activities, contact Tayu Center at P.O. Box 11554, Santa Rosa, CA 95406. You may also call Tayu Center at (707) 829-9579 during normal business hours.
About our Teacher
In July of 1971, a young law student, Robert Daniel Ennis, had just taken the California bar examination. While he was waiting for the results, a neighbor in the apartment house where he was living told him about an interesting class she was attending. From her description, it sounded like some kind of ceremonial magic, and having nothing better to do at the time, he thought it would at least be interesting to observe something like this.
The class turned out to be a Fourth Way study group. And to his surprise, it dealt with issues that he had been wrestling with on his own for many years: Who am I? What is the nature of mind, and can it be made peaceful? What is the point of life? Although Robert had been working along these lines for many years, he had reached a point where he could see his life stretching in front of him in continuation of the trends of the past, without any real hope of genuine change, and in the ordinary course of things, without the possibility of true joy.
Over the next five years, Robert wrestled with himself in this spiritual context. Although there was much useful information and demonstration provided in the two schools he worked with, there was also much contradiction and wasted effort. Finally, by what he considered to be a highly fortunate and unlikely combination of influences, by July 4, 1976, all of his efforts resolved into what in the Fourth Way tradition is called Awakening: a condition in which one experiences the world continuously from essence, the genuine part of ourselves, as opposed to the artificial android, or personality (ego), which arises as a result of our conflict with civilization.
As a result of this transformation, Robert discovered that real change is possible for every human being. Whatever its portfolio of advantages and disadvantages, blessings and curses, all of our personal history is simply prelude and preparation for the possibility of Awakening. This is identical to the message of all true religions. It has been called the Perennial Philosophy, because it serves as the bedrock of all of our spiritual traditions. He founded Tayu Meditation Center in 1976 to provide a place to demonstrate this teaching.
Over the last 18 years Robert has been refining and expanding the spiritual techniques he used for himself. He has also explored the practices of other traditions. In the course of this research, one of the problems he has found with many of the Eastern spiritual traditions that have begun to teach in this country is that all too often they have required us to adopt the mode of life of another culture.
Robert feels that unless such traditions change to become truly American, they will always remain foreign, and never really take root in this country. Further, many of the spiritual techniques involved, having been created in and for another culture, simply do not work the same way for Westerners. For this reason, Robert has developed a system of meditation that takes into account the particular strengths and weaknesses of Westerners when approaching spiritual practice. He has distilled the essential elements of authentic spiritual practice into a powerful and effective system of self-transformation.
Harmonizing the Three Centers
The following exercises are designed to balance the functioning of each of the three centers as a means to ultimately harmonize the entire human organism.
Mental Center Training
1.1 Self-Observation - In
this exercise, sit comfortably on a cushion and maintain the
perspective of the Witness for 20 minutes. Simply observe the
thoughts that arise without becoming identified or engaged in
them. In addition to this exercise, you should of course attempt
to observe yourself (all three centers) from the perspective of
the Witness as much as possible throughout your daily activities.
1.2 The Time Lord Exercise
- This is an ongoing exercise in which you practice using the
past tense in all mental, written or spoken verbalizations about
yourself. For example, instead of saying, "I am lazy,"
you would say, "I have been lazy," or "I was lazy
at that time."
1.3.1 Single Thought -
(One Point Mind) Sit comfortably and select some object or image
on which to place full attention. For instance you could use a
pencil or a candle flame. For 10 minutes attempt to keep your
full attention on the object. Whenever a thought arises, either
make a mark on a sheet of paper or count off a rosary or mala
bead. At the end of this time, record the number of distractions
in your exercise log.
1.3.2 Silent Mind - Sit
for 10 minutes with your eyes closed and attempt to maintain a
silent, thought-free mind. Whenever a thought arises, note this
as above. Record the number of distractions that arose in your
1.4 Journal - Keep a daily
spiritual journal in which you record important events relating
to your practice. You should make at least one entry, however
brief, every day.
1.5 Alarm Clock Exercise -
Each evening decide upon some useless but harmless action to be
performed at a specific time the next day. Record this in your
journal. The next day, record the results.
Emotive Center Training
2.1.1 Co-Meditation -
Choose a partner. Sit comfortably on a cushion as close as
possible to your partner without touching. For 20 minutes, make
full eye contact and place your full attention on your partner.
As thoughts and distractions arise, simply return full attention
to your partner.
2.1.2 Object Co-meditation
- Seat yourself at a desk or table in a quiet room. Pick up an
object and feel its texture, look at it from various angles,
smell it, and do not request android comment. Concentrate on the
sensations. The moment you allow android comment, such as
"It is a pencil, it is red, it is smooth," drop it.
Time yourself and record the time in your exercise log.
2.2 Conscious Suffering -
When you have an itch, do not scratch it. Rather, place your
attention on the sensation and observe it until the urge to
scratch goes away.
2.3 The Gratitude Exercise
- In the morning after waking up, fill yourself with the feeling
of gratitude that you are indeed alive and that you have the
opportunity to work on yourself. Repeat this in the evening
before going to bed.
2.4 Karma Yoga - This is
also called the Yoga of Service. Perform some work or service for
someone or something without any expectation of return. This is
particularly effective when you perform service for your
spiritual school. Work Weekends are excellent opportunities for
Motive Center Training
3.1.1 Yoga - Hatha Yoga
should be practiced at least every other day. Do the asanas
slowly and deliberately. Observe the thoughts, feelings, and
sensations that arise during this practice from the perspective
of the Witness.
3.1.2 Aerobic Exercise -
Do some sort of aerobic exercise at least every other day. This
may involve running, bicycling, walking, etc. Do this for at
least 20 minutes.
3.2 Conscious Breathing -
Sit comfortably on a cushion in a quiet room. Take a deep, slow
breath. Observe yourself while breathing, and observe the
sensation of breathing. Place your full attention on your breath.
Begin by repeating this seven times, and then add a breath a day.
Do this twice a day.
3.3 Conscious Eating -
Begin each meal with a prayer of thanksgiving. While eating, put
full attention on the sensation of the food, its texture, its
smell, its taste. Do not read while eating. This should be done
with a feeling of appreciation toward the beings you are
incorporating within yourself, and attempt to join their
consciousness with your own.
THE SEVEN DEGREES OF REASON
(Stages of Human Consciousness)
PHYSICAL REASON - The
Reason of the Body. (Mesomorphic) The understanding of the
Universe from the viewpoint of the motive (motor/instinctive)
center, through which the world is experienced by manipulating
it. Based upon touch, taste, and smell. Slave of reflex.
EMOTIONAL REASON - The
Reason of the Heart. (Endomorphic) The understanding of the
Universe from the viewpoint of the emotive center, through which
the world is experienced by feeling and sensing it. Based upon
sound. Slave of sign or signal.
MENTAL REASON - The Reason
of the Mind. (Ectomorphic) The understanding of the Universe from
the viewpoint of the mental center, through which the world is
experienced by means of visual and verbal concepts. Based upon
sight. Slave of symbol.
SELF-CONSCIOUS REASON (the
sacred Degindad) - The Reason of one who has learned to observe
Self. (Protomorphic) Such a person has been touched by the Self
of an Awakened One, and has begun to explore the nature of the
Awakened State. Based upon trust. Slave of the Teacher.
ESSENTIAL REASON (the
sacred Ternoonald) - the Reason of one who has remembered Self,
and has learned how to experience life from essence. (Unimorphic)
One who has a unified personal Self. Such a person has become at
home in the Awakened State, and may invite others to visit. Based
upon intuition. Higher emotive center activated. Slave of essence
OBJECTIVE REASON (the
sacred Podkoolad) - the Reason of one who experiences the Self of
Others. (Multimorphic) One who has learned to visit other islands
of consciousness, and to experience the Awakened State through
the Being of Another. Higher mental center activated. Slave of
COSMIC REASON (the sacred
Anklad) - the Reason of one who experiences the Self of All That
Is. (Omnimorphic) One who has attained Perfected Being. One who
dwells in the Ocean of Consciousness, and for whom the Awakened
State is Omnipresent. Slave of God, Our Endless Endlessness.
The Six Tayu Precepts
I will Confront Ignorance,
I will seek nothing for which
I am not willing and able to pay.
I will create the most fulfilling existence
of which I am capable.
I will harm nothing in Creation without True Need.
I will love my Self,
I will love Others also.
I will Satisfy Needs,
Copyright (c) 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996 by Tayu Order, Inc.