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Mind Wandering in Two Meditation Movements in Modern India

Tue, June 23, 9:00 to 10:55am, North Building, Floor: 9th Floor, N904


Two modern Indian meditation movements represent alternative approaches to mind wandering. One is the karm-chitra “karmic pictures” of the surat shabd yoga practiced by Hindi sants; karm-chitra come up during meditation practices, carrying the weight of the past, eventually being absorbed into the lights on which the practitioner often meditates along with sounds. The other is the in-the-world transformation promoted in Sri Aurobindo’s integral yoga, where spontaneous disruptions during the practice may be seen as (almost) inevitable as divine force penetrates the being, indicating further aspects of the person that must be cultivated. In more advanced devotees these may be interpreted as contacts with a collective human psyche that one’s personal transformation affects and may eventually transform.