Our approach to wellbeing, extertise and experience
We offer an alternative approach to empower individuals better manage their mental and spiritual health based on the Vedanta philosophy (the science of human excellences) and meditation practices.
There is tremendous power, intelligence, bliss, beauty, purity etc within us all. We share the knowledge and techniques to access these.
VEDANTIC PERSPECTIVE OF HUMAN BEINGS AND PURPOSE OF LIFE
The Vedanta looks upon all human beings as the Self – a spiritual entity which is covered by a multi-layered personality. The three dimensions of our being and becoming, are as follows:
The Vedanta philosophy based on the culmination of Vedic wisdom more than 5000 years ago, views the whole existence as a universal Pure Consciousness of the essence infinite existence, knowledge, bliss, pure, eternal and ever free. Every being is a spark of this divine fire. We all are different waves in the Ocean of Infinite Consciousness. The differences are due to the manifestation of the power. The purpose of life is to manifest this divinity within us all and utilise that source for managing our everyday lives.
Meditation is the practice of turning the mind inwards and concentrating the mind on our inner divine Self, the source of our consciousness. As we approach the centre of our inner Self, we become more and more balanced and teh inner light shines through all our thoughts, worgs and activities.
Fundamentally we all are spiritual beings having a human experience. The inner divine light within us all is covered by multiple layers of our personality. Our thoughts, words and deeds through the journey of life are responsible for either covering or discovering our true Self. Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in us and spirituality is the manifestation of the divinity already in us. The mental dimension may be further sub-classified into intelligence, intellectual and emotional as follows:
Our sense of being a conscious living being with an individuality “I-sense” is experienced in this dimension. Being closer to our spiritual Self it is luminous with intelligence and bliss. It illumines the other mental levels and controls their activities through will-power, knowledge and action in thoughts, words and deeds. When this intelligence dimension is clear and transparent, the inner light of consciousness, bliss, freedom, power etc shines more brightly on the mental level. When clouded, the inner light of knowledge and bliss is obstructed. If one feels weak and disempowered from within, mainly due to our lop-sided education and culture of dependence on external supports, then we feel miserable, helpless, lost, alone when the external support structures such as family, community, health system etc are unable or incapable of helping us.
Development of this Intelligence level is the key to empowering people to be masters of their mental wellbeing. Unfortunately, our education system mostly neglects the systematic development of this very important dimension of our being. Meditation is the time-tested scientific technique for awakening the awareness of the innate powers of the Spiritual dimensions and thus saving us from much misery.
The intellectual or “head” domain functions through conceptualisation, reasoning, understanding, discernment, decision making, judgement which are all influenced by conditioning from our past experiences, desires, values etc. We act on and react to the external world through the mental level.
When the intellectual level is under the firm control of the intelligence level, we are the masters of ourselves and in control of our thoughts, feelings, actions etc. However, if the intelligence level itself is weak, due to lack of self-knowledge and training, then it fails to exercise sufficient control over the lower levels. A cloudy intelligence and excessive attachment to the physical body and extroversion towards material world robs us of our own inner knowledge, peace, joy, freedom etc. Thus, we become our worst enemy when enslaved by the lower levels of our being subject to ignorance, passions, lower desires.
However, when this same mind is properly disciplined and oriented towards the inner Consciousness its becomes our best friend and bestows inner balance, joy, knowledge, peace, freedom and ultimately enlightenment.
Regular and systematic practice of meditation strengthens our higher intelligence level which then becomes the tool to master the lower levels of our personality.
This “heart” domain functions through feelings and emotions. When the emotional mind is strongly connected to the inner spiritual dimension of ‘Oneness”, then positive emotions of love, kindness, empathy, compassion, friendliness, unselfishness, sacrifice etc find expression in us. However, when we drift away from the “Central Oneness” of our inner Universal Self then negative emotions of anger, hatred, greed, discrimination, selfishness, etc begin to find expression.
Thus our mind is our best friend when it derives its positive energies from our Inner Self and the same mind is verily our worst enemy when deprived from the pure and positive energies of our own Universal Inner Self.
Meditation techniques based on the above Vedanta philosophy empower us to strengthen our balance and connection to our inner which is of the nature of Infinite Existence, Consciousness and Bliss.
The sphere of body and its physical activities through which we physically engage with the world. It is controlled by the mental level and influenced by the external environment.
An important idea in Vedanta is the infinite power within us all waiting for its manifestation. We may be little waves but behind each wave is the same infinite ocean of power which connects us all through its Oneness.
Systematic training of the mental dimension makes it a better tool for both worldly and spiritual success, depending on how we apply the same.
The Vedic sages personally realised their inner Self and taught the methods through which others too may “discover” their true Self. Meditation and other mental sciences through which the mind is concentrated and controlled and the heart is purified are designed for this supreme goal of Self-realisation as well as success and happiness in life. The ultimate purpose of life is the realisation of the inner spiritual Self as the eternal and immortal Being behind the whole Existence. Pursuit of this goal gives true value and deeper meaning to our short life in this world.
Our education system is not designed to strengthening and sharpening of the mental level or accessing the spiritual level. It is focused mostly on gathering information and processing knowledge of the external world. It is Thus our inner weaknesses, due to lack knowledge and proper training, make us vulnerable to external forces which easily throw us off balance and bring us misery.
Benefits OF MEDITATION ON YOUTH
During meditation the attention of mind is directed inwards and focused on the luminous light of Consciousness or a divine form for a sustained period. Through long practice, the intensity of concentration and purity of mind is enhanced. As the turbulent mind becomes calmer and concentrated its higher Intelligence dimension begins to awaken and gain control and mastery over the lower mind and the senses. Meditation enhances the power of internal observation and mentally see thoughts as separate from the observer. This sharpens the power of discernment and improves the quality of decision making. The awakened inner intelligence and “Conscience” begins to function as the inner guide. Through practice, one develops the capacity to enter this personal inner luminous space and enjoy the serenity and tranquillity and bask in the radiance of one’s own inner eternal light of beauty, purity, peace, knowledge and grace. The external fluctuating world of worries, anxiety, tensions, etc cannot intrude into this inner refuge.
Regular practice of meditation has the following positive impact on youth:
UNIVERSAL MEDITATION CENTRE IN FIJI – A PROGRAM FOR HOLISTIC EDUCATION AND WELLBEING OF THE YOUTH
Ramakrishna Mission, Fiji pioneered the first private secondary school in 1949. Currently its Swami Vivekananda College has 1000+ students from all sections of the society. In response to the rising wellness challenges among the youth and aiming to provide a more holistic education to the students along the lines discussed above, the College under the leadership of Swami Tadananda undertook a “Meditation for Student Wellbeing” program to train all the students in the time tested techniques of meditation. In late 2016, a F$2.1M Universal Meditation Centre was inaugurated. Since 2017, all students having been practising meditation to enhance their concentration of mind and sharpen their intelligence. Sensitive to the cultural and spiritual diversity of the students, the program is conducted in a universal and non-religious way. The program has a wonderful positive impact on student behaviour through self-control and discipline and academic performance due to improved concentration of mind.
DADIRRI-MEDITATION PROGRAM AT HYMBA YUMBA INDEPENDENT SCHOOL IN BRISBANE.
In March 2020, Swami Tadananda became stranded in Brisbane due to covid travel restrictions. Whilst staying at the Vedanta Centre of Brisbane, he was requested by the Principal of the Hymba Yumba Independent School to teach meditation and mindfulness to the staff and students of the school. At his earnest request to help the students and enthusiasm of the teachers, a pilot program was evolved in partnership with the school management and teachers. It had the following steps:
- Interaction with grades 1, 6, 7, 8 and 9 to explore receptivity from students. Students and teachers were quite receptive to experimental guided meditation sessions.
- Research and consultation on how to deliver the meditation program being sensitive to the Aboriginal culture and spirituality. It was decided to embed the medication practice in the Aboriginal practice of Dadirri (deep listening and silent contemplation) and deliver it during the existing daily morning yarning-circle sessions in each class. The program was called Dadirri-Meditation for Students.
- A comprehensive workshop at the Vedanta Centre in Springfield was conducted for the teachers to work out the details of the project included a Training of Trainers program to teach the teachers the basic knowledge and skills of meditation for them to conduct the daily sessions for the students.
- The Training of Trainers program was conducted on four Monday afternoons after school and consisted on guided meditation sessions, discussions, feedback from their experience in the classes etc. Thus the program was developed in a participatory manner in partnership with the teachers based on the actual response from students.
- After the above steps, teachers began to confidently conduct the Dadirri-Meditation sessions and continued to build on the resources available from the Aboriginal culture and spirituality which resonated with the students.
The feedback from students and teachers has been very encouraging and the Dadirri-Meditation program has become a regular part of the school curriculum. It expected that as the program will continue to yield its various positive results as it rolls forth for a few years. The school Facebook has some interesting photos. Their website mentions, “The acknowledgement of Dadirri invites us to connect deeply with ourselves, this land and by doing so allows us to support and connect with others, where our differences can be acknowledged but our commonalities found.”