66 The Secret to Happiness, Part 2

There is no wisdom for one who is not yoked. And there is no meditation for one who is not yoked. Without meditation there is no serenity. Without serenity, where is happiness? — Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 66


The word for “wisdom” is buddhi, meaning ‘understanding’, ‘comprehension’. Buddhi is that function of the mind that differentiates, is intuitive, makes judgements, and generally sorts things out, and it is that feature of nature that knows what to do and where to go, right down to every single cell and function of your body. The basis of buddhi is duality.

The basis of duality is you as a Divine One having exercised your ability to be conscious. To be conscious, there must be something to be conscious of, so there is you and other-than-you: duality. There is no consciousness without two—you and what you perceive—which brings us back to your means of perception, the senses, which, for the purpose of meditation, must be ‘yoked’.

There is no consciousness without two:
you and what you perceive.


Yukta is usually translated as ‘controlled’. What is to be controlled is the senses. We’re after a quiet mind, which is necessary to enter into a meditative state. So the key is control of the senses since it is they that keep the mind stimulated. But there’s a hitch to this idea of controlling them.

To control your senses you will have to use your will, which means using your mind. But using the mind keeps the mind active and defeats the purpose! So what is one to do? The obvious solution is to submit yourself to That Which Is Already Perfect-Pure-Absolute-Unchanging-Truth (shall we just call it “God”?), and That will do the controlling for you. These are your options: will or surrender, do it yourself or delegate God.

The meaning of yukta is essentially the same as yoga which has the same root, yuj, ‘to yoke together’, ‘to harness’. The senses become harnessed through pratyahara. The mind becomes calm, and you slip into meditation. There is no true meditation without it. Once the senses are harnessed, the concentration (dharana) of prana and attention yokes you and the-divine-other-than-you, and you experience union (yoga).

Attention – a flow of consciousness
Prana – life energy

Where the attention goes, the energy flows.
And visa versa.


This broad term speaks more to the experience of meditation than the act of meditating—the effect of being benefited in many ways and how this feels, the feeling of the devotion it fosters, and with direct experience we have this to remember and to call upon as well. Bhavana is a different state altogether than what we are familiar with on a day to day basis, but it begins to affect us on a daily basis, making it more interesting to be meditating than driving the fast lane. 


The word shanti not only means ‘peace, tranquillity and serentiy’, but some things that we have talked about before: ‘the absence of passion’, ‘indifference’. This harkens back to verse 62 where we learned how to get what we want without trying. Now we learn that shanti is instrumental in getting this little trick to work. It tells us that (1) there is no shanti without meditation and that (2) we need shanti in order to achieve…..


This one is rather fun. The word means ‘having a good axle hole’. If your bullock-cart has a good axel hole it will run smoothly and easily, so sukham means ‘ease, comfort, prosperity, pleasure, joy, delight, and happiness’.

(It is tempting to compare the bullock cart with the body, as it is needed for everything in this life, as is the bullock-cart to the farmer. This would lead to the idea that the complete well-being of the body would rely on serenity, shanti, which relies on meditation. I am still playing with this, but it’s looking good. What do you think?)

Here’s the recipe in a nutshell:

Get ‘yoked’
to access wisdom, achieve meditation and serenity,
 be happy.

Pratyahara keeps coming up, doesn’t it? It is the turning point where we begin to experience true meditation (dhyana) and its overall effects (bhavana) in our lives. And to get there, all we have to do is meditate. There are different ways to do this, but my personal favorite is to submit to God in Surrender Meditation.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma

Through shaktipat diksha and initiation into this radical meditation, you will put God in the driver’s seat. Surrender to the Absolute will do all the work for you, and Kundalini will awaken naturally and safely. Schedule a Shaktipat Intensive.

If you can’t manage a Shaktipat Intensive in Phoenix, you will be glad to learn that Remote Shaktipat is back with a new program that provides as much information, teachings, and guidance as a person could ever want, need, or expect to get online.  

This link will take you to nine progressive courses in authentic meditation for both beginning and experienced meditators. I have designed these courses to provide basic essentials for anyone on any path (or no path), and so that the meditation that is most natural and comfortable for you becomes apparent to you.

64-65 The Secret to Happiness, Part 1

If you’re on the spiritual yoga party line you will have heard that you should strive to not have attachments. But I’ll bet you haven’t heard that it isn’t you that is attached, but your senses. They are the culprits, not you. They’re the ones that throw out a line like the fishers they are, latching on to something and getting you all excited about what they’ve caught. And then you get attached to having (or keeping) these things.

Well, you can always ignore them instead of wanting them and trying to figure out how to get them for yourself. We have learned that the outcome of chasing these things is that it revs up your mental energy and causes the mind to become turbulent, making deeper states of meditation and samadhi impossible. So watch the show, but don’t take a role in the play.

Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 64-65

Set free from the attractions of the mighty force of the wandering senses by having oneself employed self-submission, one obtains serenity. (64)

In tranquillity the cessation of all sorrows is born. For the tranquil-minded the intelligence definitely becomes steady immediately. (65)

Alternate translations:

With the elimination of like and dislike, even though engaging the objects of the senses, one who is susceptible of control by the self by self-restraint attains serenity. (64)

In serenity one finds the cessation of all miseries. For this happy-minded person, the mind definitely becomes steady quickly, and one’s wisdom not only stands firm, but is at its highest. (65)

“Having oneself employed self-submission”

In other words, we submit ourselves by our own choice, to God. Because of this surrender, we are no longer at the mercy of the senses because now we are not involved—we have turned everything over to God.

Only one who is ready to give up control can manage this surrender. But one can practice it in meditation where it can be done fearlessly, and soon it will become familiar and easy. By this means, one comes to the lovely experience of what it is like to be in this surrendered state, and not at the mercy of the many attractions ‘out there’ that cause us to become entangled and the mind too ‘busy’ to settle down. And the more this is experienced, the more easily it comes.

By this means, “even though engaging the objects of the senses,” we are free from the domination of the senses themselves. This is a reference to a stage of yoga in which objects are engaged by the sense faculties but not the sense organs, as one perceives sights, sounds, etc., while viewing and experiencing the higher realms directly.

The sense faculties are your powers of perception. The sense organs are physical manifestations of these powers. The faculties and the organs become separated from each other when the attention and life energy (prana) become withdrawn—the sense faculties disengage from their corresponding organs (pratyahara)—and concentrated in one place (dharana) to bring about the meditative state (dhyana) and samadhi (equanimity).

After some experience with this, freedom from the domination of the senses begins to spill over into ordinary states outside of meditation. We begin to lose our strong attachments to the things of this world. By this detachment a peaceful mind and tranquillity are achieved. It is the secret to happiness.

It is easy to be happy and serene when we’re not miserable. How can there be anything but happiness in this state, where turbulence of the mind, longings and sorrows have departed? Even though the senses are engaged with objects of sense, control is in the hands of God, restraint is automatically achieved, and serenity naturally follows. What could be simpler?

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!),
Durga Ma

Through shaktipat diksha and initiation into Surrender Meditation you will put God in the driver’s seat. Surrender to the Absolute will do all the work for you, and Kundalini will awaken naturally and safely. Schedule a Shaktipat Intensive with Durga Ma.

If you can’t manage a Shaktipat Intensive with Durga Ma in Phoenix, you will be glad to learn that Remote Shaktipat is back with a new program that provides as much information, teachings, and guidance as a person could ever want, need, or expect to get online.  

This link will take you to nine progressive courses in authentic meditation for both beginning and experienced meditators. I have designed these courses to help you sort out the road you want to take, and to provide basic essentials for anyone on any path…..or no path.

How to Meditate on a Bus

The following suggestions are not meant for Surrender Meditation, but can be used outside of Surrender Meditation.

If you don’t meditate but would like to, or if you meditate and have difficulty finding the time or just want a little extra meditation time, this may be of interest to you:

Once you understand what meditation is and how it works, you can meditate anywhere — on a bus, a train, a plane, a subway (but not driving, of course). The most ideal situation for meditation is to have a quiet, private room all to yourself, but it is possible to meditate for even just a few minutes in the most adverse circumstances.

The other day I was sitting in a waiting room with several people. The energy emanating from a mother and her teenage son soon began to bring on a huge headache. They had everyone’s attention, which of course only exacerbated the situation, and the headache got worse. This all happened in a matter of minutes.

I thought about the difficulties we hard-core meditators run into when going about in the world at large. I thought I didn’t like this very much. Then I thought, I don’t have to let this continue to disturb me. Remembering a similar incident on a village-bound bus in India decades ago, in which I thought the ride and the noise would surely vibrate my fillings right out of my teeth, I went “inside”.

Within seconds the headache was gone and the mother and her son ceased their activity. I looked around the room and noticed that other people were no longer reacting to the mother and her son who were now sitting quietly side-by-side. It seemed that a few seconds of meditation by one single person had affected a whole room full of previously agitated people.

Technically meditation is a steady flow of attention to one thing. So make that “one thing” you, or some part of your own body, like the hairs on your arm, or all of your body, or look at your shoe. Using something physical like your body is easier in these circumstances. Using the mind isn’t as effective because it is subtle compared to the body, and you’re not in a subtle situation.

You can close your eyes and go inside as I did, or you can pretend you’re looking out the window while in fact you are looking at your eyelashes, or you can drop your eyelids and stare at your wrist or another body part, or you can put your attention on your whole body riding on the bus and the sensations within it. You can pretend to read or listen to your iPod — that’s a good one, because people will think you’re listening to music and not paying any attention to them, so they won’t pay any attention to you.

My own version of “going inside” was to simply withdraw the tentacles of my attention until they were no longer out there picking things up from the environment and delivering them to my mind, but resting inside my head behind my eyes. If you can do this, I recommend it.

It might be a good idea to secure any belongings or sit on them so you aren’t distracted worrying about thieves. And if you are stuck having to stand up, get your feet and your balance stablized first.

You probably won’t go into samadhi or have a direct experience meditating on a bus, but you never know. It can take place in a fraction of a timeless-second, so it’s certainly not impossible. It has happened to me in the most unlikely situations (like a movie theatre, a great place where no one will notice a thing).

So no excuses now. Meditate, and get it however you can. I have had people completely new to meditation find it easy to meditate in odd places using one of my One Minute Meditations. One woman would go into the ladies’ room, into a stall, close the door, meditate for one minute, and go back to work refreshed, unharried, and no longer angry at her most unfavorite co-worker.

If you can’t think of a good reason to meditate for yourself, meditate as a service to the world.

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God),
Durga Ma