Centering: 112 Meditations

Talks between Devi and Shiva

This comes straight from the book Zen Flesh Zen Bones, which comes from the Centering section of the book. These are talks between both gods Shiva and Devi on the 112 ways to open the gates of consciousness. If you enjoy this, then you will enjoy the rest of the book and I highly suggest you buy and read it. I also wanted to thank Mike Ayers for introducing me to such a beautiful piece of literature. I’m quite surprised myself that I hadn’t found it earlier but am so glad that he pointed me in the right direction. So without further adoo!!

P.S. There are some of the numbers in the list that are bolded, pay no heed to these if you are uninterested, but the purpose of these bolds are ones that jumped out to me, so I chose to mark them in some way for my own reference; Enjoy!

112 Ways of Opening Consciousness – Language of Love

DEVI says:

O Shiva, what is your reality?

What is this wonder-filled universe?

What constitutes seed?

Who centers the universal wheel?

What is this life beyond form pervading forms?

How may we enter it fully, above space and time,

Names and descriptions?

Let my doubts be cleared!

SHIVA replies:

[Devi, though already enlightened, has asked the forgoing

questions so others through the universe might receive Shiva’s

instructions. Now follow Shiva’s reply, giving the 112]

  1. Radiant one, this experience may dawn between two breaths. After breath comes in (down) and just before turning up (out) – the beneficence.
  2. As breath turns from down to up, and again as breath curves from up to down – through both these turns, realize.
  3. Or, whenever inbreath and outbreath fuse, at this instant touch and energyless energy-filled center.
  4. Or, when breath is all out (up) and stopped—in such universal pause, one’s small self vanishes.
  5. Consider your essence as light rays rising from center to center up to the vertebrae, and so rises livingness in you.
  6. Or in the spaces between, feel this as lightning.
  7. Devi, imagine the Sanskrit letters in these honey-filled foci of awareness, first as letters, then more subtly as sounds, then most subtle feeling. Then, leaving them aside, be free.
  8. Attention between eyebrows, let mind be before thought. Let form fill with breath-essence to the top of the head, and there shower as light.
  9. Or, imagine the five-colored circles of the peacock tail to be your five senses in illimitable space. Now let their beauty melt within. Similarly, at any point in space or on a wall—until the point dissolves. Then your wish for another comes true.
  10. Eyes closed, see your inner being in detail. Thus see your true nature.
  11. Place your whole attention in the nerve, delicate as the lotus thread, in the center of your spinal column. In such be transformed.
  12. Closing the seven openings of the head with your hands, a space between your eyes  becomes all-inclusive.
  13. Touching eyeballs as a feather, lightness between them opens into heart and there permeates the cosmos.
  14. Bathe in the center of sound, as in the continuous sound of a waterfall. Or, by putting fingers in ears, hear the sound of sounds.
  15. Intone a sound, as a-u-m, slowly. As sound enters soundfulness, so do you.
  16. In the beginning and gradual refinement of sound of any letter, awake.
  17. While listening to stringed instruments, hear their composite central sound; thus omnipresence.
  18. Intone a sound audibly, then less and less audibly as feeling deepens into this silent harmony.
  19. Imagine spirit simultaneously within and around you until the entire universe spiritualizes.
  20. Kind Devi, enter etheric presence pervading far above and below your form.
  21. Put mind stuff in such inexpressible fineness above, below, and in your heart.
  22. Consider any area of your present form as timelessly spacious.
  23. Feel your substance, bones, flesh, blood, saturated with cosmic essence.
  24. Suppose your passive form to be empty room with walls of skin—empty.
  25. Blessed one, as senses are absorbed in heart, reach the center of the lotus.
  26. Unminding mind, keep in the middle—until.
  27. When in worldly activity, keep attentive between the two breaths, and so practicing, in a few days be born anew. [Lakshmanjoo says this is his favorite]
  28. Focus on fire rising through your form from the toes up until the body burns to ashes but not you.
  29. Meditate on the make-believe world as burning to ashes, and become being above human.
  30. Feel the fine qualities of creativity permeating your breasts and assuming delicate configurations.
  31. With intangible breath in center of forehead, as this reaches heart at the moment of sleep, have direction over dreams and over death itself.
  32. As, subjectively, letters flow into worlds and worlds into principles, find at last these converging in our being.
  33. Gracious one, play the universe is an empty shell wherein your mind frolics infinitely.
  34. Look upon a bowl without seeing the sides or the material. In a few moments become aware.
  35. Abide in some place endlessly spacious, clear of trees, hills habitations. Thence comes the end of mind pressures.
  36. Sweet-hearted one, meditate on knowing and not knowing, existing and not existing. Then leave both aside that you may be.
  37. Look lovingly on some object. Do not go on to another object. Here, in the middle of this object—the blessing.
  38. Feel cosmos as translucent ever-living presence.
  39. With utmost devotion, center on the two junctions of breath and know the knower.
  40. Consider the plenum to be your own body of bliss.
  41. While being caressed, sweet princess, enter the caressing as everlasting life.
  42. Stop the doors of senses when feeling the creeping of an ant. Then.
  43. At the start of sexual union, keep attentive on the fire in the beginning, and, so continuing, avoid the embers in the end.
  44. When in such embrace your senses are shaken as leaves, enter this shaking.
  45. Even remembering union, without the embrace, the transformation.
  46. On joyously seeing a long-absent friend, permeate this joy.
  47. When eating or drinking, become the taste of the food or drink, and be filled.
  48. O lotus-eyes one, sweet of touch, when singing, seeing, tasting, be aware you are and discover the ever-living.
  49. Wherever satisfaction is found, in whatever act, actualize this.
  50. At the point of sleep when sleep has not yet come and external wakefulness vanishes, at this point being is revealed. [Lakshmanjoo says this is another of his favorites.]
  51. In summer when you see the entire sky endlessly clear, enter such clarity.
  52. Lie down as dead. Enraged in wrath, stay so. Or stare without moving an eyelash. Or suck something and become the sucking.
  53. Without support for feet or hands, sit only on buttocks. Suddenly, the centering.
  54. In an easy position, gradually pervade an area between the armpits into great peace.
  55. See as if for the first time a beauteous person or an ordinary object.
  56. With mouth slightly open, keep mind in the middle of tongue. Or, as breath comes silently in, feel the sound HH.
  57. When on a bed or a seat, let yourself become weightless, beyond mind.
  58. In a moving vehicle, by rhythmically swaying, experience. Or in a still vehicle, by letting yourself swing in slowing invisible circles.
  59. Simply by looking into the blue sky beyond clouds, the serenity.
  60. Shakti, see all space as if already absorbed in your own head in the brilliance.
  61. Waking, sleeping, dreaming, know you as light.
  62. In rain during a black night, enter that blackness as the form of forms.
  63. When a moonless raining night is not present, close eyes and find blackness before you. Opening eyes, see blackness. So faults disappear forever.
  64. Just as you have the impulse to do something, stop.
  65. Center on the sound a-u-m without any a or m.
  66. Silently intone a word ending in AH. Then in the HH effortlessly, the spontaneity.
  67. Feel yourself as pervading all directions, far, near.
  68. Pierce some part of your nectar-filled form with a pin, and gently enter the piercing.
  69. Feel: My thought, I-ness, internal organs—me.
  70. Illusions deceive. Colors circumscribe. Even divisible are indivisible.
  71. When some desire comes, consider it. Then, suddenly, quit it.
  72. Before desire and before knowing, how can I say I am? Consider. Dissolve in the beauty.
  73. With your entire consciousness in the very start of desire, of knowing, know.
  74. O Shakti, each particular perception is limited, disappearing in omnipotence.
  75. In truth forms are inseperate. Inseperate are omnipresent being and your own form. Realize each as made of this consciousness.
  76. In moods of extreme desire, be undisturbed.
  77. This so-called universe appears as a juggling a picture show. To be happy look upon it so.
  78. O Beloved, put attention neither on pleasure or pain but between these.
  79. Toss attachment for the body aside, realizing I am everywhere. One who is everywhere is joyous.
  80. Objects and desires exist in me as in others.  So accepting, let them be translated.
  81. The appreciation of objects and subjects is the same for an enlightened as for an unenlightened person. The former has one greatness:  he remains in the subjective mood, not lost in things.
  82. Feel the consciousness of each person as your own consciousness. So, leaving aside concern for self, become each being.
  83. Thinking no thing, will limited-self unlimit.
  84. Believe omniscienct, omnipotent, pervading.
  85. As waves come with water and flames with fire, so the universal waves with us.
  86. Roam about until exhausted and then, dropping to the ground, in this dropping be whole.
  87. Suppose you are gradually being deprived of strength or of knowledge. At the instant of deprivation, transcened.
  88. Listen while the ultimate mystical teaching is imparted:  eyes still, without winking, at once become absolutely free.
  89. Stopping ears by pressing and rectum by contracting, enter the sound of sound.
  90. At the edge of a deep well look streadily into its depths until—wonderousness.
  91. Wherever your mind is wandering, internally or externally, at this very place, this.
  92. When vividly aware through some particular sense, keep in the awareness.
  93. At the start of sneezing, during fright, in anxiety, above a chasm, flying in battle, in extreme curiosity, at the beginning of hunger, at the end of hunger, be uninterruptedly aware.
  94. Let attention be at the place where you are seeing some past happening, and even your form, having lost its present characteristics, is transformed.
  95. Look upon some object, then slowly withdraw your sight from it, then slowly withdraw your thought from it. Then.
  96. Devotion frees.
  97. Feel an object before you. Feel the absence of all other objects but this one. Then, leaving aside the object-feeling and the absence-feeling, realize.
  98. The purity of other teachings is an impurity to us. In reality know nothing as pure or impure.
  99. This consciousness exists as each being, and nothing else exists.
  100. Be the unsame same to friend as to stranger, in honor and dishonor.
  101. When a mood against someone or for someone arises, do not place it on the person in question but remain centered.
  102. Suppose you contemplate something beyond perception, beyond grasping, beyond not being, you.
  103. Enter space, supportless, eternal, still.
  104. Wherever your attention alights, at this very point, experience.
  105. Enter the sound of your name and, through this sound, all sounds.
  106. I am existing. This is mine. This is this O Beloved, even in such know illimitably.
  107. This consciousness is the spirit of guidance of each one. Be this one.
  108. Here is a sphere of change, change, change. Through change consume change.
  109. As a hen mothers her chicks, mother particular knowings, particular doings, in reality.
  110. Since, in truth, bondage and freedom are relative, these words are only for those terrified with the universe. This universe is a reflection of minds. As you see many suns in water from one sun, so see bondage and liberation.
  111. Each thing is perceived through knowing, The self shines in space through knowing. Perceive one being as knower and known.
  112. Beloved, at this moment let mind, knowing, breath, form, be included.

Nick Myers, a 28 year old serial blogger. Also minimalist, zen participant, philosopher, author of Emotional Alchemist, and tea disciple. I am one who sees a potential lesson in every experience in life. Life is who we are and life is our ultimate guru. I seek to bring us together through our own shared experiences. And hope to not only learn deeply who I am but to learn deeply who others are by dropping my ideas from moment to moment about you.

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Posted in Zen
3 comments on “Centering: 112 Meditations
  1. msayers says:

    OK, wow! Thanks for the props, man. I really need to get another copy of this book. One, because the one I’ve got is on loan – has been for about 3 years now… doh! And two, because it’s OLD and falling apart. I can’t open it up without pages falling out or tearing. Ick! So, thanks for the Amazon link there, buddy.

    I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it. This is a gem, ain’t it? A lot of it will make you twist your eyebrows and nostrils trying to figure out what the hell they’re saying, or why. Fun.

    Hey, I love the new look, man. Be good, brother-man.

  2. yeah no problems Mike, you did show me such an amazing book, I couldn’t help but show off some of its amazing contents. The newer version probably has more stuff jam packed into it as well that might benefit you moreso now. I really do love the book (especially the gateless gate) which like you said, makes you rack your brain and say, “the hell is going on?!” but it gives a good feeling even if you don’t know completely what its all about. I don’t suspect to either, but this book is awesome.

    Thanks for the new look props, I actually got the idea from Madstone which is on my list of guys, him and I converse through e-mail and he showed it to me, this theme is called “wu-wei” or serene reflection is what it translates into. Him and I agreed that it is quite fitting for this kind of setting haha. Thanks for stopping by Mike, I hope what little eyes I have here can take a gander at your site too! I know for sure that they definitely won’t regret it! 🙂


  3. Robert K Schott says:

    How does one learn to ride a bicycle? By studying the aerodynamic principles of the proposition beforehand? Or rather, does one mount, fall, tries again and eventually…understands?

    Paul Reps speculated that these centering practices antedate Zen and perhaps formed it basis. If one studies these 112 metaphorical gates into enlightenment (existential understanding), then one discerns they all point to the same focal points: an event the purpose of which is to understand the illusory basis of all events, duality: “In moods of extreme desire, be undisturbed.” “This so-called universe appears as a juggling a picture show. To be happy look upon it so.” It’s not real!

    So what is real? What is the underlying structure of realty that cannot be further sublated and forms the basis for all that we perceive and experience as if such were real? Gess, number 99 virtually spells it out: “This consciousness exists as each being, and nothing else exists.”
    As with learning how to ride a bike, enlightenment is not a goal that can be comprehended and obtained on an intellectual basis because the underlying reality is consciousness, eternally and timelessly existing and exists within a logic that cannot be fathomed by the human intellect any more than a computer can comprehend a program written in a computer language it is not programed to interpret. Mystics of many religions and philosophical belief systems have told us this since time immemorial through the Upanishads and similar revelations such as these centering practices. “Centering” means the *knowledge* that all is one: “Each thing is perceived through knowing, The self shines in space through knowing. Perceive one being as knower and known.”

    Universal, undifferentiated (“one without a second”) consciousness unfolds like a Rubik’s cube, constantly changes its outward faces to form different patterns that we interpret as motion and change while all the while retaining its essential integrity as one. And who or what moves the cube’s faces? A metaphorical algorithm called “karma,” or work. “So as you sow so shall ye reap.” And where did this algorithm come from? “…let there be light, and He saw that it was good.”
    Intellectually understanding this principle is easy, learning how to experience it is the rub. These centering practices like so many tools in Zen and Advaita Vedanta (a more intellectual version of Zen, albeit Hindu and not Buddhist) directly point the way just as one can point a youngster to a bike. It is, however, up to the youngster to mount, fall try again and *understand*. It is an empirical endeavor, not an intellectual one.

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