How St. Paul Used to “Die Daily” with Meditation

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The Energetic Process of Birth

Before talking about dying, it’s important to understand the process of birth from an energetic point of view.

Why energetic? Because all matter is energy (E=mc²) and knowledge of that energy is crucial to uncovering mysteries of life, as well as death.

It is common knowledge that our body is not only flesh and bones. It also has a life force that has different names like prana or chi. How does this life force enter the body? On this account, when the sperm and ovum unit to create the physical body, they do so at what becomes the medulla oblongata.

This is the base of the brain. From here, the life force moves into the brain, down the spine, into the nervous system, then into the muscles, and so on, to create the physical body.

The process of death then is the exact reverse. The life force withdraws from the body out through the medulla when you die. If you want to “die consciously,” i.e. to merge our consciousness with the infinite consciousness (enlightenment) you’ve to withdraw the life force deliberately out through the spiritual eye.

So why aren’t we all enlightened? Because it’s not so easy! The delusions of this world seem too real to be renounced. Ever since birth, the life force is conditioned to flow outward through the senses.

This is why we’re able to enjoy the world through our five senses. The five senses warp our reality to a mere play of neurochemical signals transmitted from the senses to the brain.

We never experience anything outside of ourselves. Rather, our experience and perception are merely what the senses report to us. From this point of reference, it is impossible to transcend the body into subtle-than-material reams.

As long as the life force is trapped in the body, we cannot know anything apart from the medium of the senses. That is why we’re not enlightened.

Meditation Is Dying

The only way to withdraw your energy from the five senses and direct it upward through the spine out through the spiritual eye is meditation. Yogananda said:

“The spine is the highway to the Infinite. Your own body is the temple of God.”

To that end, he taught a wonderful technique of meditation called Kriya Yoga that directly acts on the energy in the spine to raise it upwards.

Meditation is then a form of dying. We let go of everything that is holding us back. We let go of everything that traps our life force in the body.

First, we relax the body through breathing and other exercises. Then we let go of the monkey-mind and the ego (usually by focusing on the breath).

And now here’s the important part: the more you focus on the breath, the shallower it becomes. On continuing this exercise, you reach a point of breathlessness. The breath is gone! Isn’t that exactly like dying?

Yogananda again rightly said, “breathlessness is deathlessness.” Because you didn’t die in the traditional sense of unwillingness. You were able to consciously withdraw your life force.

When your breath returns and you end your (deep) meditation, you are reborn. In that sense, an advanced yogi is reborn after every meditation.

Why St. Paul Said, “I Die Daily?”

With what you read above, St. Paul’s statement is easier to understand.

There are many different meanings of what “I die daily” means. Here’s one (quite plausible) explanation — St. Paul was referring to the process of meditation itself.

The Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda wrote:

St. Paul knew Kriya Yoga, or a technique very similar to it, by which he could switch life currents to and from the senses. He was therefore able to say: “Verily, I protest by our rejoicing which I have in Christ, I die daily.”

One can’t know what exact technique St Paul used to die daily. But we can be sure that the process was pretty similar.

To back this point, Swami Kriyananda, a disciple of Yogananda was also told about a tradition in Spain which stated that at the time of his death on the cross, Jesus made certain movements with his head that are similar to those taught in higher initiations of Kriya Yoga. By doing that, he too consciously exited the body.

A popular explanation of Paul’s statement is that by dying daily he meant putting his body (flesh) to death by completely giving up all material desires of the flesh. Having then given up the body, he’s born again in the consciousness of Christ.

This explanation, yet again, is naught but a description of the process of meditation. Feeling a sense of separation from the body is not uncommon for most trained meditators. There comes a time in everyone’s practice when they stop feeling like a body, a man or woman but instead energy, consciousness, or Spirit, even if for a brief moment.

In other words, St. Paul died to the perception of being a man and was born to the perception of Spirit using a process very similar to meditation (or Kriya Yoga).

In India, Brahmins are therefore called Dviija: “twice-born.” It means that in the second birth, their consciousness is awakened in the spine.

Note: I’m not referring to Brahmins according to the gross caste system active now but I’m rather talking of men who have a serious spiritual realization and thus are Brahmins in the truest sense of the word.

Most people’s energy at the time of death withdraws through the medulla. But a trained yogi can raise that energy to the spiritual eye having practiced the same process in meditation every day. Thus he can merge his life force with the cosmic energy.

How can we do the same? Well, if it wasn’t already clear, meditation is essential. And how long does it take? It depends on your intensity of effort, the devotion of the heart, and the karma you carry. Meditation is not mechanical in the results it gives.

The more you try to aim for a specific goal in meditation, the longer it takes. So the only way to die consciously then is to meditate regularly, with ever-increasing intensity yet with utmost relaxation of body and mind. And then let the results take care of themselves.

Perhaps we all too can die daily and be re-born in the infinite Christ consciousness one day.

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Written on May 14, 2021