महासार Mahāsāra = strong, valuable, precious
Welcome to the Mahāsāra School of Meditation (Mahāsāra Meditation). The school’s mission is to enable new and experienced meditators to deepen their contact with the blissful expanse of pure awareness that is the ground of all being.
Almost everyone is familiar with the concept of meditation, but with so many meditation paths to choose from, it’s difficult to know which direction to take. Should we limit ourselves to passively witnessing our thoughts or breath or should we actively repeat a mantra? If we rely on a mantra, how exactly do we engage with it? Does meditation require phenomenal feats of concentration or is it something that should feel effortless? Is it best to stick to one method or should we try different things as we go along? What is the ultimate purpose of the practice?
Mahāsāra Meditation answers these questions by teaching a simple yet highly effective approach to meditation that is as powerful as it is direct. While the practices are not drawn exclusively from any school of yoga, they draw generously from the great Indian, non-dual traditions of Kashmir Shaivism and Advaita Vedanta.
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People are drawn to the practice of meditation for different reasons. Some individuals meditate to promote general health and well-being. Others meditate in response to a deep yearning for spiritual knowledge. Whatever our motives, Mahāsāra Meditation offers something for everyone. Here we receive the full practice from the outset. There are no levels or layers of instruction.
The practices taught in Mahāsāra Meditation are universal in their appeal since they focus on the innate awareness at the heart of our being, i.e., our I-feeling that lives with us from moment to moment. This awareness is both the seat of meditative power as well as its goal. In Tantric philosophy, the entire universe is seen as a reflection of consciousness contained within an endless expanse of pure awareness. This awareness, which is our true identity, is experienced as perfect peace and bliss. Through the practices taught in Mahāsāra Meditation, we will learn how to recognize and experience our own vibrant and blissful awareness—the great Self at the heart of our being.
Challenges & Solutions
If we are new to meditation, the issues below are of no concern. Experienced meditators commonly report the following issues:
- No matter how much time I dedicate, my meditation practice is not yielding any significant results
- I’ve been told to see everything as consciousness (Kashmir Shaivism), but I haven’t experienced any lasting inner change
- I’ve been taught in mindfulness meditation to watch my thoughts or breath but I cannot move past the surface of my mind
- I’ve been told to shun my questioning mind and to shun all spiritual experiences because the person having them is to be viewed as unreal (Advaita Vedanta), which leaves me with nowhere to turn
- I’ve been told that the best meditation practice is to simply let go and “do nothing,” but I’m not sure I’m even meditating
Mahāsāra Meditation resolves these obstacles by weaving together the intricate philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism with the simple yet powerful method taught by the great twentieth-century sage Sri Ramana Maharshi. While a proper understanding of the underlying philosophical traditions is important, the school is practice-driven, prioritizing tangible results over the accumulation of intellectual knowledge.
“Some people believe their minds are too restless to meditate. They don’t appreciate the fact that the mind is as naturally inclined toward stillness as it is toward restlessness. When we teach the mind how to turn inward, it transforms the energy of restlessness into the energy of concentration, which yields deep bliss and contentment.”
Andres Pelenur has been meditating and studying yogic scriptures for over twenty years. He is the founder of the Mahāsāra School of Meditation and a disciple of the great saint Bhagawan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri (1897–1961), having been initiated directly by Bhagawan in what is termed sankalpa dīkshā (initiation through the will of a Guru). Andres received mantra dīkshā (initiation into mantra) from Gurumayi Chidvilasananda and received training in multiple yogic disciplines at her ashram in South Fallsburg, New York. He has traveled extensively throughout India, meditating in numerous ashrams including Bhagawan’s ashram in Kanhangad, Kerala, and in Ganeshpuri, Maharashtra. Andres holds a BA in English from McGill University and a JD from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law.
Now available: Andres Pelenur is the author of The Essence of Meditation: Advanced Practices for New and Experienced Meditators. Andres guides the reader through a careful examination of the subtleties of yoga that reaches far beyond the basics. He shares a simple and highly effective approach to meditation that draws generously from both Tantric and Vedantic traditions, unifying their strengths to enable both new and experienced meditators to develop an authentic and lasting awareness of the inner Self.