5 Steps to Effective Burning

5 Steps to Effective Burning

One of the most talked-about aspects of ISIP during the recent retreat in Mumbai was “burning.” This is mainly because burning usually deals with our responses, especially our habitual tendencies, to objects with which we have relationships —whether those objects are related to money, position, health, or anything else. More importantly, relationships with other people are where most of our tendencies interplay and interact.

What happens is that we begin a relationship with an object or person outside ourselves in the hope of finding happiness and comfort. But later on, as we move more deeply into that relationship, we commonly begin to experience a “toxic” dependency, where we feel the poison of attachment and fear in addition to the original happiness and comfort. Joy and happiness are then experienced mixed with sorrow and pain. Deep attachment and dependency usually are the cause of such feelings.

That is when we use and experience burning as a means to break free from that toxic dependency on the object. However, I have seen that most sadhakas “over-burn”— that is, they go through the process of burning over and over again by being attached to the story instead of the physical sensation triggered by the story. This creates a sort of obsession with the outside object that drains and frustrates them, and invites more and more suffering into their lives.

To avoid this, it becomes important to address the issue of how to prevent over-burning, and how to practice effective burning to remove the seeds of attachments and fear—of toxic dependency.

We know burning is a critically important aspect of ISIP, and an essential part of vasana practice. Burning is so important that I call it the “Vasana- Killer.”

But before you begin the actual burning, it is necessary to prepare yourself. Set aside a place and time—at home for 20 minutes, for example. Bring the object or person of obsession to mind, and follow these five steps for effective burning:

1) Know the problem is my fault:

Whenever you get triggered or agitated by someone or something, always tell yourself, “It is always my fault.” It is NEVER the trigger’s fault. It is very easy to blame someone or something for what is happening within you. But it is vital to remove the blame from others and instead move it to yourself, and what needs addressing inside you. In this way, you will be ready to deal exclusively with what is happening within you—the Truth—instead of getting distracted by the mind. The mind does not allow you to know the Truth, while coming back to yourself does.

2) Recognize the plan of Consciousness:

Everything in this Universe, whether we recognize it or not, is designed to break our attachment and dependency. Therefore, know that if Consciousness recognizes that you are over-dependent on anything, it will create situations to break you out of that illusion. The sooner you recognize this plan, the freer you will be. It is meant to be this way.

Consciousness recognizes that an over-dependent, toxic relationship with anyone or anything needs to be got rid of for your ultimate freedom. Consciousness wants you to be detached from things and people. It wants you to be in a loving, not dependent, partnership with people. If you are in a dependent relationship with something, you will in due course feel some hostility and negativity towards it. The inherent sense of captivity you begin to feel suffocates and eats you from within. The sense of  having a sturdy base that you think can support you is false; it always has some imperfections that will invariably disillusion you.

That is why Consciousness has a plan for your detachment and freedom. The more attached you are to a relationship with an outside object or person, the more you will suffer. That is why you need to understand that the play or game of Consciousness causes certain relationships to fail or move away, or certain desires to not be met. Consciousness wants to set you free!

3) Do not believe the Mind :

When you get triggered by something or someone, the mind conjures up various thoughts about it. “He did that.” “I should have said something.” “It’s all her fault.” The thoughts go on and on and do not stop. Do not believe all this rubbish!

The mind is the number one culprit in keeping our attention away from ourselves, and moving it onto the world. The mind is the one that is solely responsible for making us believe that we NEED something outside ourselves. It creates the web of toxic dependency.
Consider this: in deep sleep, when the mind has gone back into the Source, there are no objects and no people. Yet we are completely still and in the deepest bliss and joy. However, when the mind returns upon waking, it tells us we “need” to get more things, work on our relationships, and countless other things in order to be happy. The truth is we really do not need any of that.

But the mind is always trying to trick us, and to hypnotize us by repeating, “You need more money.” You need a bigger car.” “You need a bigger house.” There is absolutely no end to the mind’s madness. So do not believe it. The mind may not stop thinking, but we can choose not to believe it.

Once you stop believing the mind, you can stop believing your unhappiness is someone else’s fault. Then you can burn properly.

4) It is all Karma:

I said earlier that often when our relationship with someone falls out, whether at home or at work, with a loved one or business associate, we instantly want to find fault in the other. When we are in pain from disappointment or betrayal or other negative emotions, we cannot remember the good these people have done for us. The tendency of the mind is to always sway towards negative thoughts about people. We simply cannot remember the good times we had together. It is a Herculean task to do so. We just remember how nasty and horrible those people were. We cannot see the totality.

So let us make an effort to also remember and acknowledge the positive things these people have given us. When we do this, the negativity towards them dissipates. We can see a bigger, more honest picture of who they are.

We forget that it is all karma. In the relative world, we humans are nothing but the interplay of karma. That is why someone who showers us with so much love and attention sometimes suddenly moves away from us, and it appears like we no longer understand or know that person. The reason is karma. Consciousness can cause karmic shifts that take place beyond anyone’s control.

5) Thank the Trigger:

Knowing that Consciousness plans things as they are for our freedom, and knowing that relationships are all karmic interplays, we then can surely not blame the trigger for anything. Instead, we must thank it for being chosen by Consciousness to help us dive deeper into ourselves, where we can collect the fragmented and broken parts of ourselves that need to be brought back together. This is where we can realize how free we actually are, and how independent we truly are. The hypnotic spell of the mind is broken.

The trigger, therefore, actually helps us get free. So thank the triggers! Do not be worried or obsessed about them. Instead, thank them for giving you this opportunity. So whatever the obsession, thank the triggers for making you realize the toxic dependency you have on them. Then restrain yourself from indulging in the thoughts or acts that would induce even more dependency.

We often label people in various negative ways. “He is like that.” “She is like this.” But we can also easily label ourselves in the very same negative ways: “I too am like that.” “I too am like this.” These are all mind games, and none of them matter. What matters is honestly acknowledging what is happening within ourselves, and what contribution those people have made to our lives.

When gratitude and thankfulness are felt deeply in the Heart, they automatically blossom into unconditional love. 

At that time, the mind does not just stop; it actually dissolves. We go into a state of deep silence and love. The Heart opens and sings. Love pours forth to everyone. Is not this what we want? What else are we looking for?

We can also clearly see the self-imposed limitations of the triggers, and the sufferings they undergo. This gives rise to compassion. And it is gratitude, unconditional love, and compassion that really help us dive deeper into our SELF, and dissolve any pain or suffering we may feel. At that time, we can truly identify the physical sensation arising as the pain body, effectively merge with it, and burn the vasanas of attachment and fear.

Fear of being hurt has kept us from loving deeply. We fear the people who trigger us, separate ourselves from them, and become self-obsessed with our own thoughts. That is why we do not feel the gifts these people bring into our lives.

But without those triggers, burning is impossible. Without the people who bring us pain, it is impossible to know love. They are the gifts we inherited in this life.

So do not fear anyone. Be completely open. Enjoy and accept what is. Please have love and gratitude for everyone you meet, including those who despise and hurt you. This will free you from feeling like a victim. You can then experience what you truly are— Joy and Love for everyOne!

Understanding and Reversing Projections

Understanding and Reversing Projections

Before we begin, let us take a moment to remind ourselves of the Primary Rule of The ISIP Technique:

EVERYTHING is an opportunity to go within to your Self.

So every thought, every emotion, every feeling, including projection, is an opportunity to go within, to turn your attention around, back onto your Self.

Now, what is a ‘projection’? A projection is nothing more than a false belief in our thoughts, feelings and emotions directed towards others, or onto ourselves, which are then supported by various kinds of mental images to validate them.

It is amazing how often we come across situations where we judge others, form opinions about them, criticize them. We do not even realize we are doing it.

“Oh, I know her, she is like this.”
“I know him, he has always been this way”
“Why does he/she never listen to me?”
“I wish he/she had not done this or that.”

These words just come out of our mouth, or keep playing over and over again in our head, especially when we perceive ourselves to be in a hostile situation and we get ‘triggered’.

We even conjure up imagined mental images to support our thoughts and feelings, and then exaggerate them further to suit our perception of the situation. And then, when things settle down a bit, perhaps in a few days, we realize, “Oh, you know, it was not all that bad, I perhaps overreacted. She is not really like that, or he is actually not like that. He/she had a moment… I had a moment… everyone was having a bad moment.”

It is not until things become calm and normal again that we begin to recognize what actually happened. A form of sensibility dawns upon us. But in that moment of conflict, when we get ‘triggered’ by a person or situation, at that time we fall into the trap of thoughts, emotions and feelings — and we believe them. This then becomes a regular pattern repeated over and over again.

So why does this happen? Why do we believe these thoughts, these emotions, these feelings, which we later come to recognize and understand were exaggerated or magnified? Why do we believe them in the first place?

Simply stated, it is because of our projections — our self-imposed projections.

The Masters say that whatever you think about the ‘other’, or whatever judgement or opinions you have about the ‘other’, it is ALL your own Self… it ALL comes from within YOU. The other person (the trigger) is only a mirror of the emotions, feelings, personality, hidden within you.

However, the moment I say the projections are ‘you’, you then begin to judge your own self and say, “Well, I am the problem here!”… “It is all me”.

This is also a judgement, except that it is now directed towards you. It is the same false belief; there is no difference.

So, before you go into a self-victimizing mode and blame yourself, you should gain an understanding of how a projection is created.

First, it is important to understand that projections cannot be transcended by deliberately trying to stop them… “Oh, I should stop doing this, I should not be projecting.”

No. It will not help. And why? Because of the ‘I-thought’.

As we have been taught by the Masters, when we go into the deep sleep state, the mind, the I-thought, the ego, have all retired and are temporarily dissolved, or merged, into the Awareness of Ananda — Joy.

But as soon as we wake up, the I-thought arises and latches onto something that it can refer to, it latches onto a reference. Why? Because it is interested in living, surviving, expressing — the ego wants to thrive and live, and it needs a reference to do so.

So first of all, accept that all of us project. It is normal and natural to project. There is nothing wrong with it, because it is the inherent and spontaneous movement of the I-thought.

The I-thought has to move and latch onto something.

So, what does the I-thought latch onto? It latches onto a ‘memory file’.

Each of us, as human consciousness, are nothing but a collection of ‘memory files’. Within each of us is contained a huge storehouse of these memory files, piled up one upon another.

As soon as the I-thought shoots up into the brain (on waking up), it needs a reference so it quickly latches on to the memory file (good/positive or bad/negative) that it sees first, or that it can attach onto first.

So if you have memory files that are based predominantly upon bad memories, and memories of pain, negativity and suffering — these become your core experience; and if you have a predominance of good memory files, then these will become your core experience.

Hence, anything that the I-thought references becomes your perception of existence. You will cognize, feel and experience things based on the reference chosen by the I-thought at that moment.

In situations of conflict, or during arguments with another, it is typically the bad, the negative memory files that are referenced. But if you look at your past events and analyze them rationally, you will discover that there have also been times when the person you are now having a conflict with has been good to you, has supported you in the past. But you do not recollect that goodness or support in the ‘heat of the moment’. You only remember how they wronged you in this moment. Why? Because the bad memory files far outnumber the good memory files within us.

But here lies a crucial clue for you — while you may not be able to prevent the I-thought from latching onto the memory files at this stage, you do have the power to choose the memory files that the I-thought selects as its reference.

I will now explain how you can direct the I-thought to choose a good/positive memory file.

First, you need to understand that there is one basic rule and two steps involved.

THE BASIC RULE

Stop believing your thoughts. STOP believing them!
And stop believing how you feel. Do not believe it.

STEP 1

Know the location of the memory files, where they are stored.

STEP 2

Part 1 – Replace the bad/negative memory files with good/positive ones.
Part 2 – Burn ALL the memory files, including the I AM memory file.

So, in looking at The Basic Rule, the first question that arises is, “Why should I stop believing my thoughts and feelings?” The reason is simple, they are mixed with, and corrupted by, the bad/negative memory files and are not reliable enough to be trusted or depended upon.

The second question that arises is, “How am I going to deal with this going ahead, what am I supposed to do… what are the steps I need to follow?”

I will now explain the steps.

STEP 1

WHERE are these memories, these ‘files’, located and stored?

So, where exactly are the memory files located and stored? These files are located in two places within you.

One is in the Astral Storehouse, and the other is in the Causal Storehouse.

The Astral Storehouse (Subtle Storehouse) is located in the spine area.

Memory required to maintain physical (bodily) functions and subtle functions (mental and pranic aspects) of the body are recorded here.

They are encoded and kept here, in the area of your spine, as memory files. How you have led this life, and the type of thoughts or deeds you have entertained, are all recorded here, in the Astral Storehouse… the Sushumna Nadi.

The Sushumna Nadi (the middle channel) is the path of rightful action [see above diagram]. If your actions are more sattvic (dharmic) then the Sushumna gets activated; otherwise one’s consciousness moves between the Ida and Pingala.

The second location is the deeper one, the Causal Storehouse, where deep-rooted memories, usually binding memories (samskaras and vasanas), are stored in your Spiritual Heart. This is where past karmic impressions are stored as well.

So there are two places where the memory files are stored.

In Step 2 that follows, we will address HOW you can choose the memory file that the I-thought selects for its reference.

STEP 2

Part 1- Replacing the bad/negative memory files with good/positive memory files.

The first part of the second step, related to the Astral Storehouse, is to replace as many bad/negative files as possible with good/positive files. To do this, you direct your awareness to your Sushumna Nadi (in the area of your spine) as often as you can during the day.

As you direct your awareness to the Sushumna Nadi (middle channel – see above diagram), you should do a silent chant. On the inhale, through your breath, raise the energy (Prana) from the base of the spinal column up to the base of the brainstem, the Medulla (through the Sushumna Nadi), and mentally chant ‘I’. [See diagram above for the location of the Medulla]

Then, on the exhale, through your breath, release the energy back to the base of the spine and mentally chant ‘AM’.

‘I–AM’ … ‘I–AM’ … ‘I–AM’ … ‘I–AM’.

FEEL the movement of the energy going up and down, and the calming presence of I AM-ness within the middle channel.

In doing this, you connect to the energetic Sushumna Nadi, that is, the middle channel, where the physical, pranic and mental files are kept.

The result of this particular practice is that you ‘throw away’ the bad/negative memory file and replace it with the I AM file, the good/positive memory file — the purifying agent I AM file.

This practice works best when you are presented with a ‘triggering situation’ and, in that moment, instead of believing your thoughts/feelings/emotions (projections), you believe that, “I am going to activate the Sushumna Nadi, magnetize this Nadi, the middle channel, by synchronizing my breath with the Sushumna Nadi, and mentally chanting, ‘I (inhale) — AM (exhale)’ … ‘I–AM’ … ‘I–AM’ … ‘I–AM’.

So, to reiterate, the moment you feel agitated and compelled to act — and to react — instead of going with your habitual pattern of creating more bad/negative files within you — STOP — and bring your mind gently to your breath. And then, direct your attention to your spine area, to the Sushumna Nadi (middle channel), and on the inhale, raising the energy upwards towards the Medulla, mentally chant ‘I’. And on the exhale, releasing the energy back to the base of the spine, mentally chant ‘AM’ as many times as you feel necessary (in that situation).

After doing this practice for a few days, you will discover… and come to understand… that every ‘triggering situation’ is actually an opportunity to feel your I AM as a natural, sustained calmness and, with regular practice, you will find that bliss will begin to ooze out from your spine area, travel to the top of your head, and fill you with immense joy. What a blessing!

Special Notes: It is important to feel your Sushumna Nadi (middle channel), and if you do not initially feel it, simply hold the ‘intention’ of being in the Sushumna Nadi. In addition, you do not need to use a special breathing technique — just normal, relaxed breathing is fine. As you inhale, imagine your breath rising upwards from the base of the Sushumna, and when you exhale downwards, imagine your breath going back out the base of the Sushumna.

Part 2 – Burning ALL the memory files.
The second part of Step 2 is even deeper than the first part.

In the first part of the process — focusing your attention on the Sushumna Nadi — you were replacing the bad/negative memory files with the Divine I AM file.

However, the residue of the particular situation (hurt, pain, rawness) may still remain. This next part of the process (going into the Spiritual Heart) is where you will actually burn that remaining residue, even the good/positive memory files, permanently eliminating them.

So, after you have done the first part (Sushumna Nadi), you must then move into your Spiritual Heart, and sit in your Spiritual Heart with Love — actually feel that Love in your Spiritual Heart.

Note: if necessary, you can use your physical heart as a focal point and hold the ‘intention’ of feeling your Spiritual Heart until such time as you can actually feel your Spiritual Heart.

So, in the second part of the process — focusing your attention in the Spiritual Heart — you will actually be burning ALL the memory files… the good/positive memory files, the bad/negative memory files, even the I AM file. All of them.

Every memory file will be burned.

You have to go prior to the I AM by burning all the memory files. Nothing must remain… you are emptying yourself of everything.

Finally, after some practice, when you begin to burn all the memory files successfully, a powerful magnetic field begins to activate. A pathway is then discovered between the Sushumna Nadi (in the spine area) and the Brahma Nadi (at the Spiritual Heart).

When this pathway is discovered, the Sushumna Nadi and the Brahma Nadi merge as one, and an energetic field — a magnetic field — is created around you. They no longer appear as two different polar points but merge into ONE.

This will be a parallel existence. You will literally go into a different world.

Your body may still appear to live here on this Earth, eating, doing everything that it was doing just as before, but you will not be ‘of this world’. There will then be such immensity, such beauty, such spontaneity of Love and an ever-new, never-ending Joy.

You have become a Beacon of Light unto others as the only memory file that remains is the one transmitting spiritual Joy and Wisdom to others through Grace.

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