Meditation - From darkness to light
by Bina Nangia
Z Meditation Centre: Verdant locale Deep in the heart of the Himalayas, under the shadow of the Dalai Lama’s abode, nestled among verdant greenery, stands a pretty pink and white building. Its walls have played host to the whole spectrum of human emotions, confusion, pain, anger, resistance as well as peace, joy, happiness and harmony. It is here that a householder couple, Ajay Kapoor and Suruchi Dayal, founders of Z Meditation Centre, take a select group of students through the deepest recesses of the mind and help them to experience the joy and freedom of the Self. Hundreds have felt reborn as their illusions and misery have given way to clarity and peace.
Not much is known about the Z Meditation Centre. Existing as it does in Dharamsala, a stone’s throw from Mcleod Ganj where the Dalai Lama lives, it attracts mainly foreigners. Plus the practice is formidable – silent retreat for 15 days and another eight more. You could call it Vipassana Plus Plus. But those who have experienced the skilful peeling away of the layers of the mind, swear unanimously that it has been one of the most powerful experiences of their lives.
Says Ilse, from the USA, “The last 15 days have been one revelation after another. Not only a course in meditation/yoga — but so much more. A course in happiness. A course in disarming negative thoughts. A course in understanding the mind.”
Helen, from England, has this to say, “The last two weeks have been perfect. I feel as though I have learnt so much about myself, as though I am being healed, as though I have been healing myself. I feel a lot more grounded in the technique, as the understanding is so much clearer.”
Janet Scott from the US says, “I arrived with unsolvable problems and pain, or so I thought. Here, I learnt how to see more clearly, to look deeply and see the difference between illusion and reality. I can see now that I have been looking for happiness outside of myself. I realise that I can never find true happiness, true completeness outside.”
A rare Indian student, Pavithra writes, “I feel so light in my head. I feel love, I can truly feel bliss. I’m finally at peace with myself and my life. These 15 days have given my sweetest gifts –my happiness and my freedom.” Similar testimonies clog the website intriguing you about the founders.
Both Ajay Kapoor and his wife and spiritual partner, Suruchi Dayal, a former corporate executive, appear to be low-key and genuine. When I met Ajay Kapoor at his residence in New Delhi, I was struck by his peaceful and humble appearance. A born teacher, in the course of the interview, he gave me some invaluable tips on meditation, with the result that my meditation is far stronger than before.
Ajay has been a longstanding meditator since the age of 17 in 1980, when he was initiated into meditation and spirituality as a member of the Ramkrishna Mission in New Delhi. His practise frog-leaped after a visit to the headquarters of the Mission in Calcutta. The historical zone filled with memorablia of Sri Ramakrishna filled him with joy. He also discovered ardent practitioners there who meditated for a couple of hours a day. Inspired, he stepped up his own practice until he ended up meditating close to 10 hours a day in two sittings.
The depth of his practice and experiences on the mat soared. Unable to work any longer in fields dissonant with his practice, he tried and dropped work at the Ministry of External Affairs as well as at business. Meanwhile, in 1995, he met and married his soul mate, Suruchi Dayal. Determining to live in a place more conducive to meditation practice, they uprooted themselves from Delhi and settled in the charming town of Dharamsala.
There remained the problem of how they would earn their living. When Suruchi suggested that he teach meditation, he pooh-poohed the idea at first, but eventually was won over. Handwritten notices pasted in McLeod Ganj, brought him a trickle of students which deepened into a full flow by the third workshop. “The whole town was abuzz with stories of Z Meditation students – how their lives had changed doing these retreats. We were also very happy that finally, we had gotten into our true vocation, our real dharma – the one thing we were truly made for,” writes Ajay in his website.
Even today, the couple is selective about its students who have to pass a simple online test to qualify for the course.
Cultivating awareness through meditation The effectiveness of the retreat is supplemented by its sublime location. Set in the background of towering mountains, one of which, sheathed in snow, glints like silver, and playfully veiled by passing clouds, the Z Meditation Centre is peace personified. A five-storied building with an open terrace on each floor, the first floor has a library and a dormitory that can accommodate six students. On the second floor are the meditation hall and two rooms for students. The third floor has the dining hall, kitchen and accommodation for the teachers. The fourth floor is for students.
The accomodation is comfortable, though basic; delicious vegetarian food is an additional incentive. It is on the Khanyara road, four kilometres from Dharamsala.
Excerpts from an interview with Ajay Kapoor:
Why is it called Z meditation?
Z being the last alphabet of English language, it also denotes the end of knowledge. Z stands for ‘zenith’ – zenith of spiritual knowledge.Z Meditation is deep contemplation work for reaching the highest goal of human life – realisation of the self.
We use two transformational tool. One is called Deep Deconditioning Inquiry: It is a set of six systematic questions, which help you unearth all unconscious stories from your mind.
|Only after emptying your mind, the next step is learning how to become more aware|
During the 15-day silent retreat, there are classes on spiritual topics like illusions of understanding, three qualities of mind, and laws of peace, acceptance, and the ladder of evolution. You come to understand that unless your daily life is lived in communion with your meditation principles, you can never have any depth in meditation. You also learn to do the deconditioning inquiry and detach from the source of pain. The process is simple, direct and even beginners are able to reach a state of unconditioned peace and love in 15 days.
Meditation maestros: Ajay Kapoor and Suruchi Dayal What are the basic principles of Z Meditation?
Z Meditation is based on five principles that make the backbone of this work:
• No proof, no belief
All belief should be scientifically substantiated. One should be able to experience one’s beliefs.
• No concepts, no peace
There is zero possibility of suppressing the turbulence of the mind by mechanical means. For lasting peace, the concepts must be understood clearly.
• No mother tongue, no understanding One thinks best in one’s own language. Without deep thinking, one cannot integrate the knowledge with one’s life.
• No tuning, no music Meditation does not mean torturing the body or the mind. It is an enjoyable and radiant way to clear the mind of turmoil and see things in the Truth-Light. The middle path is the best path. If you are into self-affliction, you cannot think clearly. Without clear thinking, you cannot detach from your age-old conditioning.
• No integration, no dance Meditation is a way of life and not just a routine.If the rest of the day is not lived in conformity with what one practises in one’s meditation, one cannot make progress just by doing some monotonous exercises mechanically.
What is the philosophy of Z Meditation?
The basic philosophy of Z Meditation can be summed up in two words: Unconditioned peace and love. ‘Unconditioned’ means learning to detach from all external factors to realise your highest possibility. If your happiness is dependent, you cannot be happy. If you are unhappy, you cannot meditate. If you do not meditate, you cannot realise the Self.
What is de-conditioning of the mind and how does it aid meditation?
There are many wrong notions in our mind. Our society inflicts these conditionings on us from day one. Some examples can be:
• Money gives fulfilment.
• If others praise you, you will become complete.
• There should not be any problems in life.
There are two kinds of perspectives, emotive and factual. Most people in the world are living in the former. They want their beliefs to come true. However, when you see the reality, the experience is very different. With deconditioning, you try to unearth all these stories by doing a profound rational inquiry on them. When you let go of these notions, you experience lightness and freedom. You have to experience this personally; such a sacred and pure experience is difficult to express in words.
Can you control negative feelings like anger and stress with Z Meditation?
What else is the purpose of any meditation? When you meditate, you will naturally become free of all negative emotions and there is unconditional love and peace for all.
Can anyone practise Z Meditation?
Yes and no. Anyone with sincerity and objectivity can practise Z Meditation. However, it is not for spiritual hoppers who look on spirituality as a status symbol or as a newfangled fad.
Students get assignments in order to get strong grounding in the concepts. There are other sessions like Creative Meditation, and My Life Meditation, which involve contemplation on the nature of the mind. The students eat all their meals in silence, while practising mindfulness. When there are no retreats, the Centre is available for meditation practice for sincere students.
Phones: 91-9313649756, 9318678903, 9418036956
Address: Z Meditation Centre, Village Kandi,
PO Khanyara, Dharamsala, India 176218.
See more articles on Meditation at http://www.lifepositive.com/Articles/meditation
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