“Through our practice of Vedic Meditation, we learn that the direction that feels charming is likely to be the direction of the greatest evolution; meditators begin to find that they can have spontaneous right action.”Thom Knoles
Frequently on the podcast you’ll hear Thom mention ‘charm.’ While we all have a good understanding of the word charm, in Vedic Meditation circles, charm has a special, more nuanced meaning.
For a Vedic Meditator, charm is like an inner-guidance mechanism, a gentle tug that steers you in the direction of that which is most evolutionary, not just for yourself, but for all of Nature. It’s a subtle form of intuition that feels charming to experience and charming to follow, hence the name we give to it.
In this bonus ‘charm-inducing’ episode, Thom gives us a wee taste test of his soon-to-be-released course, The Art of Following Charm, in which he explores the nature of charm, how to recognize and cultivate it, and how every decision can become a matter of effortless attraction.
Enjoy the episode and, if you feel charmed to do so, we hope you put the art of following charm into practice and join us on the course.
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The Direction of Evolution
The Bija Mantra
The Charm of Mantra
The Desire of Our Mind to Move Towards More
The Home of All the Laws of Nature
Kriya – Spontaneous Right Action
The Art of Following Charm
Jai Guru Deva
The Art of Following Charm
[00:00:46] The Direction of Evolution
[00:00:46] My team has just released a course that we put together and prerecorded on the subject of charm. Charm really needs to be understood properly in its context. Of course, we’re not referring to charm bracelets or lucky charms. We’re referring to a phenomenon embedded in Nature itself that gives guidance to those who have regular experiences of transcendence about, in what direction does evolution lie right now?
[00:01:20] Let me take a few moments to explain, and perhaps if you find it charming, then you might like to enjoy a full course on the subject of charm.
[00:01:30] Very often, when we are faced with options, and frankly, as we all know, having options is a working definition of hell, we really want to have an option-free decisiveness, and be able to move in one particular direction in a way that is resolute. And to develop that resolute consciousness is such a liberating phenomenon.
[00:01:58] When we have the inability to make a decision about, “Which of many options I can act on,” we’re left with the relatively puny human intellect to try to figure out all of the potential pros and cons of any course of action. And I say rather puny human intellect because there’s another aspect which we have access to when we practice Vedic Meditation, which is cosmic intellect.
[00:02:29] The Bija Mantra
[00:02:29] When we go deep in meditation, we go deep based on the impulse of the medium of experience. That medium of experience is referred to as a Bija mantra. This is unlike the kinds of mantras that one might learn in a yoga studio, or chant. The kinds of mantras that we use in our practice of Vedic Meditation, is referred to as a Bija, B-I-J-A.
[00:02:52] It means in Sanskrit, a seed, a seed mantra, and one of the well-known characteristics or properties of a seed mantra, first of all, it has no intended meaning, it doesn’t work on that level, it works on the level of beautiful resonant sound.
[00:03:08] As the mind entertains the mantra in a very particular effortless fashion during the eyes-closed experience of Vedic Meditation, the first thing one notices is that the mantra, as a pulsation of sound repeating, becomes intrinsically more charming.
[00:03:25] And here’s that word charm. It becomes attractive. It becomes something which the mind prefers to experience. Prefers over what? Other possibilities of thinking other things. And so, the attraction of the mantra provides a distraction from all of the mundane trivia and trite thinking processes in which we’ve ordinarily been engaged throughout our day.
[00:03:54] The Charm of Mantra
[00:03:54] Mantra becomes increasingly more charming as it becomes subtler. And this is because the subtler layers or strata — a stratum is a layer of the conscious mind — are intrinsically more charming, and that is because, in turn, at the source of thought beyond the subtlest, beyond the most abstract, beyond the quietest pulsations of thought, lies the field of pure Being.
[00:04:24] Being here would be spelled with a capital B just to get a distinction. Being, as in awake and conscious, but absorbed in a state of consciousness, knowing itself, consciousness being aware only of consciousness.
[00:04:43] And the way that that happens is that Being is a condition of supreme inner contentedness or bliss. In Sanskrit, we use the word ananda. Ananda means that kind of supreme inner contentedness, which once the mind tastes it, it lets go of any aspiration to think anything that could produce any action or experience that’s better than where you are right now.
[00:05:11] Let me examine that stream of thought for a moment. Generally, we think because thinking gives us a way of escaping from the ever-repeating known to experience something more charming that is yet in the unknown. And so we think in order to solve problems, to unravel the problem because it feels charming to consider, “What if I was beyond this relativity, at this entanglement, of this problem?” or we think in order to expand our possibilities, we’d like to have a variety of experiences. And the implication of this is that whatever experience we’re currently having looks as though it’s either expired, in terms of its ability to continue providing contentedness, or it’s about to expire, and we want to move on to another experience of some kind.
[00:06:11] The Desire of Our Mind to Move Towards More
[00:06:11] Our mind is programmed, and has embedded in it, the natural tendency to move toward more and more, and this natural tendency should not be seen as a fundamental flaw of the human mind because, when properly used, it will take us to transcendence.
[00:06:30] So that desire of the mind to move in the direction of greater happiness, more expansiveness, when the mind experiences the mantra at ever-increasingly fine levels, the mantra becomes more and more intrinsically charming, that leads the mind from one stratum to the next, until the finest layer, the quietest layer of that pulsation of thought is being experienced. And then the mantra evaporates, and the mind is left for a moment in a state where there is no mantra and no thought replacing it.
[00:07:03] And that state is the state of Being. In a new meditator, it doesn’t last very long. The first thought that you have is, “This is it,” or “Here I am,” but one is no longer in that state now, when it’s thinking thoughts about the state. Those could be the thoughts that you have upon exiting from that state.
[00:07:22] So then one needs to know how, effortlessly, to return to that pulsation that becomes ever-increasingly more charming, that mantra, that Bija mantra, allowing the mind once again to step beyond thought and touch that state again.
[00:07:36] And all of the benefits of touching that least excited state are well documented, both by hundreds of thousands of meditators all over the world, but also by me and many other talks I’ve given on the subject.
[00:07:49] The Home of All the Laws of Nature
[00:07:49] Now I want to talk about how this self-same phenomenon of allowing the mind to follow charm can be used by a meditator to give guidance in the direction of the greatest and most frictionless path toward an evolution, or toward a change of experience, which is going to be life supporting and evolutionary in every way.
[00:08:13] I want to emphasize right away that this ‘following charm’ concept is a technique that works really strictly for people who regularly transcend thought. I find that obviously, if you say to the average citizen who has never had an experience of that deep inner quiet state, “Just follow charm,” well they could follow the charm right into a heroin addiction, or right into a life of crime, or right into the life of violence or anything.
[00:08:44] Any kind of heinous activity could be the consequence of somebody following, superficially, whatever they found charming. But someone who regularly steps beyond thought and experiences that source of thought is, according to the Vedic worldview, experiencing the home of all the laws of Nature.
[00:09:03] That home of all the laws of Nature is the place from which the entire evolutionary process is being generated. That home of all the laws of Nature is your own deep, inner quiet state of Being. And when regularly you imbibe that experience and include it into your daily experience, then you’ll begin to find that your mind is able easily to be guided in the direction of evolution by whether or not a proposition to action feels charming.
[00:09:38] Kriya – Spontaneous Right Action
[00:09:38] So then the idea is, as we continue our practice of Vedic Meditation, to learn that the direction that feels charming is likely to be the direction of the greatest evolution, meditators begin to find that they can have spontaneous right action.
[00:09:56] Spontaneous right action has a name in Sanskrit, Kriya, K-R-I-Y-A. The activity or actions that are produced by Nature’s intelligence itself to bring about the phenomenology of evolution, to bring about the phenomenology of a movement from less sophisticated forms and phenomena to more sophisticated forms and phenomena.
[00:10:21] So then, as a regular practitioner of Vedic Meditation, we may begin to find that we become “more intuitive.” People very often say, “My intuition is improving,” but when we asked them specifically, “What does that mean?” let’s remove it from the kind of crystal ballish kind of mysticism idea of, well, “I intuited it,” what does it mean?
[00:10:45] It means that at any given moment when there’s a time for a decision, there’s always a higher value, a more charming value, and a lower value, a less charming value. And that if one leans into, or defaults to, the more charming value then one is going to find that that’s the value which indeed brought about the greatest effect in terms of meeting the demands, challenges, and deadlines with the greatest amount of effective interactivity, being in the right place at the right time with greater frequency, being in the wrong place at the wrong time with lesser frequency.
[00:11:24] The Art of Following Charm
[00:11:24] So these ideas are explored much more thoroughly than I’m doing here in my summary, in my course on the subject of charm [The Art of Following Charm]. And I would really love for all of you who are charmed to do so, on the basis of what I’ve just said, to look into taking the course, and I guarantee you that it will be fascinating because it will provide you with a completely new outlook on how to move in the direction of the greatest evolution frictionlessly, regularly, and reliably.
[00:11:57] And of course, if you find all of this fascinating, but you do not yet have the practice of Vedic Meditation that would yield that regular transcendence, that will cause this charm guidance to be relevant then you need to learn the practice. And it’s a very ridiculously simple thing. to do,
[00:12:17] Make contact with my team, and they will guide you to the closest qualified teacher of Vedic Meditation, and can make arrangements for you to learn the technique as soon as possible.
[00:12:29] Jai Guru Deva.