Song of Meditation
– An Inner-view with Swami
SWAMI DHYAN GITEN, spiritual teacher and best.selling author, has more than 30 years of experience in individual counselling and in teaching awareness and meditation. He is trained in both modern psychology and in classic Eastern methods for awareness and meditation in USA, Italy, Sweden and India. He received further education in advanced spiritual psychotherapy at Institute for Spiritual counselling and Training in USA and Academy of Meditation in Italy.
Giten experienced his first satori, his first glimpse of spiritual awakening, when he was 9 years old. This created a deep thirst and longing in his heart and being to return to this natural and effortless experience of being one with the Whole.
Swami Dhyan Giten has dedicated his life to teach the art of awareness and meditation. He conducts individual consultations, seminars and courses internationally. His quotes, articles and books have touched the hearts of thousands and are appearing with increasing frequency in magazines, blogs and websites.
Since he began to meditate when he was 15 years old, he has dedicated his life to the study and exploration of the inner journey in order to move out of his own way, to be in a flow, and to discover the authentic inner being, the meditative quality within, the inner silence and emptiness, the capacity to surrender to life. He does not belong to any spiritual group or tradition; he is only interested to explore what it means to live with open eyes.
Giten’s first professional passion when he was 15 years old was to become an actor. After training as an actor, he worked as an actor until he was 23 years old. Working as actor taught him a lot about life and to emphatically understand the situation and life of other people, since acting is really a spiritual occupation. It taught him about spirituality, since working as an actor means to play a role totally, while at the same time as you know deep down that you are not the role you are playing. After working as an actor for a number of years, Giten began to understand that his early passion for theatre was really an unconscious search for a spiritual discipline. When he realized this, he began to feel a thirst to work with people in a more direct way in awareness and meditation.
In 1982, when Giten was 23 years old, he was directed by the Divine presence in a trance session with the American trance chancellor Lin David Martin: “You have listened to your intuition, to your true inner voice, more than most. You have been searching for the contact with the Spirit for a long time and now it is beginning to manifest on the outer plane. You have been gifted many times in previous embodiments and now everything will come rather easy for you. I want you to put your energy into the lives of others, because you can”.
His three creative areas to express the mysteries of meditation in outer form are teaching, writing and painting. His meditative art is internationally recognized and have been nominated for the international art exhibition The Florence Biennale in Italy, which is arranged in cooperation with The United Nations.
He is author of the best-selling book in Swedish Meditationens Sång – Om meditation, relationer och andlig kreativitet (Solrosens forlag, 2001, available from Internet book store Adlibris: http://www.adlibris.com), and The Silent Whisperings of the Heart – An Introduction to Giten’s Approach to Life (2008, available as paperback at Internet book store Lulu.com and as free e-book at award winning book site Obooko.com), Presence – Working from Within. The Psychology of Being (2011, available as paperback at Internet book store Lulu.com), Meditation – A Yes to Life, Healing Is Pure Love, Presence – The Inner Source of Love, Truth and Wholeness and The Language of Silence – From Darkness to Light (the last four books are available as free e-books at book site Obooko.com).
Swami Dhyan Giten has been accepted as Goodreads author on the international book site Goodreads with 9 million users together with best-selling spiritual author Paulo Coelho, # 1 New York Best-selling author Alyson Noel and award winning author Margaret Atwood (http://www.goodreads.com/SwamiDhyanGiten).
Recommendations, quotes and discussions of Giten’s articles and books and its content are also beginning to appear with increasing frequency in magazines and on sites ranging from The Times of India, the largest daily English newspaper in the World, USA Today, the largest daily newspaper in the US, the US news site Newsblaze, Edge Life Magazine, a leading source for psychology, education and world transformation in the US, and Sentient Times Magazine to the large Internet communities MySpace.com, a large Internet community for young people, Wasteland, the American online magazine Alternative Approaches, Motivateus.com, MSN.com, Yahoo.com, newsletters of American High tech companies to small discussion forums and blogs focused on spirituality, health, art and literature.
On September 8, 2008, The American presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign site Obama Campaign Today: shared Giten’s article on The Silent Revolution of the Heart – The Challenge for the 21st Century.
Swami Dhyan Giten is based in Stockholm, Sweden, where he conducts individual consultations, individual therapy- and meditation programes, seminars, courses and trainings.
Visit Giten’s World – A School for the Heart. 350 Pages of Medicine for the Soul: http://www.giten.net
Giten’s blog with the latest information: https://swamidhyangiten.wordpress.com
The inner journey
Can you say something about your own inner journey?
Life is like playing hide the key with God. God has hidden the key and now it is up to us to find the key again. It also takes us a while to realize that the key is hidden in our own heart. The heart is the door to allow life to guide us. The heart is the door to say “yes” to life. The heart is the door to surrender to life.
I have always had the capacity to go within myself and to discover the silence within, the inner meditative quality, the inner source of love and truth – the inner language of silence. Now I also notice that this silence is going deeper, and that I go beyond the ego and disappear into the silence.
First this brought up fear, but now I am enjoying this meditation of disappering into the silence and to be nobody. I have started experimenting with this phenomenon to understand how to consciously go beyond the ego: yesterday when I took a cofee at a restaurant, I consciously turned my attention within and disappeared into the silence, which was like finding an inner source of bliss.
In aloneness, I experiment with being consciously alone as a door to be egoless. In conscious aloneness, the ego can not function. In aloneness, your are not. When I am walking, I consciously experiment with being with Existence without having the mind constantly commenting. I try to just be wordlessly with the people and situations that I meet on my walk. When I can just be with Existence, it opens the door to be one with the Whole.
The most valuable insight I have got through my own inner journey is how Existence continuously has guided me towards a greater awareness that life is fundamentally one. Existence has continuously guided me with a greater lovingness and caring than I ever could imagine. Long before I was even aware of it, life has continuously guided me through periods of love and aloneness, joy and sadness, light and darkness, success and failure and negative and positive experiences. My own inner journey towards awareness and meditation has step by step developed the trust, sensitivity and subtle listening, which is necessary to surrender to life and to allow life to be my teacher.
Life is continuously communicating with us and it is a valuable experience to look back and see how life — despite my sleep, unconsciousness, lack of trust and resistance — continuously has guided me towards a greater awareness that life is one. Life has continuously lead me to the people I need to meet, to the situations I need to experience and to the places where I need to be. There has never been any real reason to worry since we are all small rivers already leading to the ocean, to the whole. Awareness is not about swimming faster or fighting with life, it is about relaxing and floating with life in a basic trust that life is already leading towards the ocean of consciousness, towards the whole.
I was 9 years old when I had my first glimpse of wholeness. It was early Christmas morning and I was standing in my pajamas in the living room and looked out of the large windows. Outside the white snow flakes silently singled down toward a snowclad landscape. Suddenly I was filled with a feeling of being one with the slowly dancing snowflakes, one with the silent landscape. I did not understand then that this was my first taste of meditation, but it created a deep thirst and a longing in my heart to return to this natural and effortless experience of being one with the Whole.
The deepest pain in my heart has always been to be separated from life, to be separated from the inner song of meditation, to be separated from the Universal song. The most important thing in my life has been to discover the inner song of meditation in my own heart and being.
I have always felt deep within myself that I do not trust that I am already OK as I am, and that I do not trust that life takes care of me. But now I discover a silent place in the depth of my inner being, where I am already one with life, where I am OK as I am. It is also a silent inner place of healing and wholeness, where I can find a love and acceptance for that which is imperfect within myself.
Being and working with people in courses has also been a meditation in itself for me. It has been a valuable experience in learning to trust and listen to my intuition, to the inner source of love, truth and wisdom, to the Existential voice within. It has been a lesson in how we through our intuition, through the silent whisperings of our heart, is in continuos contact with Existence.
Our heart is the door to allowing Existence to guide us. Intuition is a capacity of our heart. Our heart is the door to allowing Existence to guide us, instead of being directed by our ideas, desires and expectations. Since the days of Aristotle’s, we have been taught that logic is the only way to reach a solution. But while logic works in a step-by-step-process to reach a solution, intuition simply takes a quantum leap to a solution without any intermediate steps.
Intuition is the language of silence, the Existential language. The word “in-tuition” means to listen within yourself. Intuition is the silent voice within, which is already in contact with the Existence. Intuition is the voice of God.
The more you come in contact with the inner silence, the inner emptiness, the more you have access to your intuition. Silence is the nourishment for intuition.
If something increases your love, joy and silence, it is the criterion that it is the right path for you. If something decreases your love, joy and silence, it is a sign that you are on the wrong path.
Do not compare yourself with others when it comes to take a decision about what you should do, follow the love, joy and silence of your heart and inner being. When you are in contact with your inner silence, you just know what you should do – you do not have to think about it, and you do not need not compare the pros and cons – you just know. You can listen to the advice of others, but always listen to your intuition, to your inner teacher and guide in life, when you take the final decision. The intuition, the language of silence, will always lead your right.
To see life from the perspective of intuition is to have vision. To see life from the perspective of intuition is to see life from the perspective of wholeness. It is to understand that life is basically one and that we are part of life. While the intellect can only see the details, intuition sees the whole. To see life from the perspective of intuition is like looking at life from the summit of the mountain, whereas seeing life only from the perspective of intellect is like looking at life from the foot of the mountain. Through learning to listen to our intuition, we learn to be in contact with the Whole.
When I did a therapist education in USA 1984, one of the course leaders – who had given personal and spiritual guidance to thousands of seekers of truth from all over the world, and who I consider to be one of the best spiritual therapists in the world – said that I was going to get enlightened, that I would ”disappear into the silence”.
I did not really understand what he meant then, and it was totally absurd for me when other course participants congratulated me afterwards. The thought that I was going to be enlightened was totally absurd for me. For me enlightenment was something that happened to special and chosen persons like Osho, Buddha, Jesus, Lao-Tzu and Krishnamurti. I did not feel either special or chosen. I did not feel worthy of being enlightened.
Enlightenment is a paradoxical phenomenon. You need to be commited to become enlightenment, and to do whatever is necessary to make it happen. But at the same time you can not force enlightenment to happen by sheer will. It is like the situation with happiness: you can not force happiness to happen, but you can create the right circumstances for happiness to happen. You need to be willing to die, to let go of your limited sense of “I”, to achieve enlightenment. I can feel a deepening thirst to die, to dissolve into the silence, in my heart and being.
It is astonishing to realize that growing up actually means to become one with Existence. It means to find the whole Existence within myself, it means to discover that Existence is alive in my own heart and being.
The song of a bird echoes my own inner voice, the beauty of a flower reflects my own inner beauty, a dog becomes an expression of my own unconditional love and friendship, the majestic mountains create an exstatic joy, and I discover all the shining stars of the sky within my own heart. It is to realize that the whole Existence is alive, and that the underlying thread of consciousness is God.
Life is really very simple. In each moment, we have the opportunity to choose between saying “yes” or “no”, to listen to our intuition, to listen to our true inner voice, the Existential voice within ourselves. When we say “yes”, we have contact with Existence and we receive nourishment, love, joy, support and inspiration. When we say “no”, we create a separation from life and begin to create dreams and expectations of how it should be. We begin to live in the memories of the past and in the fantasies of the future – as if any other time than here and now really could make us happy and satisfied.
I had a magical day during one Sunday when I walked out in nature, which taught me much about life. On the outside this day only consisted of taking a walk out in the beautiful sunny weather and cleaning my apartment, but on the inside everything suddenly changed. When I walked out in nature in the sunny weather, a silent explosion suddenly happened within me and my whole perception of reality changed. In a single moment, everything had changed, although nothing on the outside had really changed. Everything on the outside was exactly as before, but my way of seeing had changed. The difference was that before I did not see and now I could see. My eyes were open. Suddenly I was one with everything, one with the stones, one with the trees and one with the people that I meet on my walk.
My heart danced with joy together with a feeling of: ”I am God”. Not that I am the creator of everything, but that I am part of the Whole, part of the divine. It felt like coming home, that Existence is my home. I also saw that even if the people that I meet did not understand that they are a part of the Whole, they still are a part of the Whole. I felt the waves of Existence in my own heart and being and I felt like a small wave in a great ocean. It gave a taste of the eternal, a taste of the limitless and boundless source of creativity. In just a few moments, I learnt more than during 20 years in university.
Wisdom is basically the understanding that we all are part of the Whole. We are all small rivers moving towards the ocean. I laughed at the fact that enlightenment is really our innate birthright, and that small children already live in this mystical unity with the Whole.
An early meeting with death
You began to meditate when you were 15 years old. Can you say something about your own way to meditation?
Early in this life I lost two of the people, who I loved immensely. First when my mother died when I was 15 years old and then when my father died when I was 21 years old. This early meeting with death lead to an early spiritual awakening and awoke early the fundamental existential questions in me: “Who am I?” “What is the meaning of life?” and “Where am I going?” It made me ask myself early what is really important and meaningful in life.
This early meeting with death created a fundamental inner feeling of aloneness in me, a sense of not being loved and a feeling of meaninglessness in me. It was an insight for me, when I many years later in a relationship with a woman could express that I felt alone, and the other person did not leave me or stopped loving me. This meeting with death created also early an independence and a fundamental sense of aloneness in me.
In the beginning this aloneness was only painful and every time I went deeper into love and relationships, it was like death was staring back at me. This made me painfully aware of my own fundamental inner aloneness. It also made me aware that the deeper we go into love, the more we find our own inner aloneness.
This meeting with death also early made my intuition, my inner source of love, truth and wisdom, my inner teacher and guide in life. Instead of being directed from without, of being directed by other people and outer circumstances, it early made me directed from within, from my inner source of love, truth and silence.
Aloneness has been my constant companion in life. I lost early the people that I loved: first when my young and unmarried biological mother had to leave me because of outer circumstances. I was adopted by a very loving couple, who could not concieve a child. I have always felt naturally loved by them, and I have never really felt that I was adopted. Instead, I have always felt that I did a little detour to be able to be adopted by my real parents.
Then my mother died when I was 15 years old after a long sickness. On her funeral I took the decision to never depend on anybody again. Her death created such a deep pain in me that it was also the death of relationships for me. Then my father died when I was 21 years old – and I was completely alone in the world. This created a basic feeling of being alone and unloved in me, it created early a feeling of independence and self-suffiency in me. It also created a basic feeling of not trusting that I am alright as I am, and of not trusting that life takes care of me.
This created such a pain in me that I simply repressed the pain for many years in order to survive. These early meetings with death also created a thirst in me to discover a quality, an inner awareness, that death could not take away.
Now I can see that these early painful experiences are a blessing in disguise. It liberated me from relationships. I relate with people, but there is always an aloneness within me. I realize that a seeker of truth needs to accept that he is totally alone. It is not possible to lean on other people like crutches. When we totally accept our aloneness, it becomes a source of love, joy, truth, silence, meditation and wholeness.
I shared these experiences with a beloved friend and her thoughtful comment was: “I have my own aloneness.”
Aloneness is to be at home in ourselves, to be in contact with our inner source of love, while loneliness is to hanker for other people, to hanker for a source of love outside of ourselves. Aloneness is to come home.
I remember an insight that taught me much about life. One day I felt that I had everything that I really wanted in life. I had a creative and meaningful work as a therapist and course leader, I had a relationship with a beautiful woman, who I loved and who loved me, I had friend that I trusted and I had money to do what I wanted.
But in spite of all this, I still had a feeling that there was something missing in my life. I was not satisfied. The thirst and longing in my heart was still searching for something more. It made me realize that the deepest pain in my heart was that I was still separated from the Whole and that no outer things or relationships could ease this pain.
It was first after many years that I had short glimpses of another kind of aloneness. It was a meditative aloneness in which I could rest in myself and in my own inner aloneness as a source of love, joy and silence. It was glimpses of a pure aloneness in which I could be so happy and satisfied in myself that I did not need anybody or anything outside of myself. And I also noticed that this meditative aloneness could be an inner door to that which is larger than myself, that it could be a door to oneness with Existence.
Before I was 15 years old, I was also close to die two times through drowning. I can still remember with crystal-clear sharpness how this experience gave me an ice-cold insight that I will never die. It was an insight that there was something inside myself, which will never die and which is part of the deathless and eternal. This insight shock up my whole image about myself and about life. This early meeting with death created a kind of spiritual dissatisfaction in me. It created a thirst, a longing and a restlessness in me after something that I could only vaguely sense, but which I did not really know what it was. This spiritual dissatisfaction, this thirst and my own intuition became my beacons far out on an unknown, dark and open sea after something that I did not really know what it was. This led me to begin to meditate when I was 15 years old.
My first passion in life when I was 15 years old was to become an actor, which I also worked with until I was 23 years old. Working as an actor taught me a lot about empathetically understanding other people and about life. It was first after I had worked as an actor for a number of years, that I realized that this early passion for theater was really an unconscious search for a spiritual discipline. It was when I realized that I had been a disciple to the Russian enlightened Master George Gurdjieff in my former life, that I understood my early passion for theater. Gurdjieff used intensive theater techniques in his way of working with his disciples to take them from a state of mind to a state of no-mind, to meditation. When I realized this, I began to feel a thirst to be and work with people in a more direct way in awareness and meditation.
I have also always had a deep love for Jesus, but it is not the picture of Jesus that the Christian church presents. I was a disciple of Jesus in a former life, and was thrown to the lions in Colosseum in Rome as one of the early Christians. Jesus had many more disciples than the twelve disciples mentioned in The Bible.
Teaching awareness and meditation
What do you work with in seminars and courses?
I do not work with a specific technique anymore — or even a goal. I work with meditation. But not meditation as a specific technique or as a static sitting, but meditation as the capacity to be aware. To do whatever we do with awareness. That is meditation. Awareness is meditation. Awareness is acceptance. Awareness is the capacity to be aware of thoughts, feelings, sensations in the physical body and outer stimuli without evaluation or judgement.
There are basically two different ways of working with people. The first way is personality therapy and the other way is beingtherapy. Personality therapy includes what conventionally is described as therapy, which focus on analyzing and solving the individuals internal conflicts and psychological problems. The focus in being therapy is to awaken and develop the inner being, the inner essence and authentic self, of the individual. The term being therapy is really a paradoxical term, since the inner being is already perfect as it is and needs no therapy. But it is also paradoxical, that at the same time as the inner being is already perfect, it also develops. This is the focus in being therapy.
When I began to work with courses 18 years ago, the emphasis was on a personality level. The emphasis was on personality therapy and to solve the internal conflicts and psychological problems of the individual. But as I went deeper within myself, this level became more and more unsatisfying for me and the emphasis in the courses changed to awaken and develop the inner being, the inner essence and authentic self, the meditative quality within. The emphasis moved from solving the psychological problems of the individual to find that which is already perfect within a person. The courses did not focus anymore on fighting with psychological games, problems, darkness, drama and defenses on the personality plane, but the courses was about becoming aware, to turn on the inner light. The courses was about realizing the deeper inner potential of the individual to live his or her life with love, joy, trust, intelligence, truth, silence, freedom, wisdom and creativity. The courses was about finding more space and freedom in the movements of the individual. The courses was about living one´s own truth.
Working with people from awareness means to be available. It means to respond with the truth in the moment. It means to respond to the moment in a way that creates a fragrance of love.
Emptiness and the not-“I” is the quality that arises when the therapist consciously moves out of his own way without hindering the therapeutic process through his own ideas, attitudes, expectations and concepts. He is present, available and responds with the truth in the moment.
When our heart is closed, it creates a lonely and isolated feeling. It prevents us from seeing the love that surrounds us all the time. It is when we begin to open our heart that we discover a feeling of oneness in love with other people, with nature, with the trees, with the stones, with the ocean and with the blue sky.
Our heart is actually already open, but it is our judgments about others and ourselves that keep it closed. When we stop judging others and ourselves, our heart begins to open. The way to healing is to learn to love and accept ourselves unconditionally. It means to embrace both our positive and negative sides with love. It means to love everything that we find inside ourselves. Healing happens when we bring everything that we find inside ourselves out into the light.
The gift of healing comes when we see the other person with love and compassion. It is the quality of heart, which creates the love and the genuine caring for the other person. When our words are carried by the quality of heart, you can say almost anything to the other person and he will still be able to be open and receptive. But if our words lack the quality of heart, it also becomes difficult for the other person to continue to be open and receptive. Even if a therapist is very skilful, technically, or has a clear clairvoyant ability, and still lacks the natural roots in the soil of the heart, then his words will not touch the heart of the other person.
Silence is the source of healing. When we bring things from within ourselves out into the light of awareness, a healing process happens. In the silence, we can let go of all anger, sadness, fear, loneliness and frustration.
Within each one of us there is a healer. Healing has always been a way and a deep source of joy for me. Healing is basically our own energy, which overflows from our inner being, from the meditative quality within, from the inner silence and emptiness.
Healing is pure love in essence. Love is what creates healing. Love is the strongest force there is. The sheer presence of love is, in itself, healing. It is more the absence of love – than the presence of love –, which creates problems. Healing is a quality, which we can freely share without any ownership. Healing is not something that we can claim as our own; healing is to be a medium, a channel, for the whole.The human heart is a healer, which heals others and ourselves. It is the hearts quality of love, acceptance and compassion, plus communication through words, that creates healing. A word that comes from the heart creates healing. A silent listening with a quality of presence and an accepting attitude creates space for healing to happen.
Love is the strongest force there is. There is no stronger healing power than love. Love is pure magic. Love transforms people without really does anything. The mere presence of love transforms people. There is nothing more holy than love since love makes people whole.
In the hands of Existence
After teaching awareness and meditation for almost 16 years, I did a course for myself with a therapist. The theme for me in this course was my role and identification with being a therapist and courseleader. This therapist said to me: “You do not need positions to be loved”. This made me aware about my identification with being a therapist and how much this role was an investment in being special and being loved. This course created a process in me of letting go of my identification as a therapist and I noticed how this awoke feelings in me of not being special and of not being loved for who I am. This therapist also said to me: “When you let go of leading groups, Existence will invite you to lead groups”. This awoke all my fundamental doubts about that I am OK as I am and that life really takes care of me. It was really a period of letting go of my role as a therapist and about finding a deeper trust in life and Existence.
During 6 months, I simply let go totally of courses and the therapist role and left the whole question in the hands of Existence. It was like letting go of this whole question in the trust that if it is authentic and genuine, Existence will support and upheld it – and if it is not authentic, it will change. After these 6 months, strange things began to happen by themselves. Unexpectingly, it suddenly began to come invitations and support from different directions. At this time, I no longer knew how to do a course. These invitations also resulted in the book “Song of Meditation — About Meditation, Relationships & Spiritual Creativity” and in the website “Gitens World — Personal & Spiritual Growth, which has been visited by thousands of people. This made aware that I actually have a deep trust in my heart and being that Existence will use me as a facilitator. Not as an egogratification, but as an expansion of being, an expansion of love, joy, truth, silence, wisdom and creativity.
I still have a wish that people will understand the difference between saying “yes” and “no” to themselves. But in one of my recent courses, I felt that what I can do is to present two choices and possibilities and then it is up to each person to chose for themselves how they want to live. People are like plants on different stages in their psychological development process towards spiritual maturity and our spiritual growth basically depends on our thirst and commitment to our own growth. Some people will understand what they can of meditation and some people will understand something deeper. I no longer feel identified with if people understand this now, if they understand this in 10 years or if they understand this in the next life.
To be and work with people on a spiritual plane is also the deepest source of joy for me. To be and work with people, who have enough life experience to say “yes” to discover their own authentic inner being, means that I also continuously can go deeper within myself. This also made me aware that I had created a space and an invitation to allow things to happen by themselves through letting go of my identification and involvement with being a therapist and courseleader. This allowed me to discover a deeper trust to life and Existence. And to those moments when Existence lifts and turns you in an unexpected dance.
It is on the consciousness level of the heart that we begin to understand that we are not separated from life. We begin to understand that we are not small separate islands in a great ocean, but that life is one and that we all are small parts of the Whole. We begin to understand what is really important and meaningful in life. It is on the consciousness level of the heart that we begin to understand that life is about sharing, rather than hoarding. We begin to understand that life is about giving, rather than taking.