Three outstanding pamong give the basic technique and orientation of the Sumarah meditation method.

Darno Ong

   I will now try to explain the meditation that we practice here; and when the time comes to discuss special meditation, I ask that you join with me while you are listening to my explanation and we will try to put it into practice.
    We call the meditation that we do here "relaxed meditation".
    Thus, it is done with a method based on relaxation. There are two aspects to this practice. The first is called "daily meditation" and the second is called "special meditation". Now I would like to explain what is meant by daily meditation.
    Daily meditation refers to the way we use our five senses, our thoughts and our desires in daily life. We will now begin with the way to use our five senses. For example, when we use our ears, the basic character of it is reception; just to receive. The terms for this are to "hear" but not to "listen". When you hear my voice, you should receive it in your own place wherever you are. But if you listen and concentrate, it is as if you try to come to where I am in order to receive this explanation. So when you "hear", it is relaxed, but when you "listen", it is tense.
    A second example is the sense of vision. When you "see" something, this is relaxed, but when you "look at" something, this is tense. Actually, our eyes are like the lens of a camera so that when we open our eyes, the scene in front of us just comes in. Later when you are watching a soccer game or a badminton match on the TV and you just watch and "see" it, then you are the viewer and the sports event is what is being viewed. That is relaxed. But, on the other hand, if you concentrate on "looking at" that event, you are no longer a viewer but have become like a participant. So if you have become like a player, when you watch the badminton, you move too, and when you watch the soccer game you also kick the ball. When you do this though, after the match you will be tired along with the other players. When you do that, you have let go of your meditation and are no longer a viewer but have become a participant. Another example is the sense of smell. When you just "smell" something, that is right and relaxed, but when you "sniff", this is tense.
    Now concerning the sense of touch, when you just receive the sensation that is there, this is relaxed, but when you try to feel something, this is tense.
    So the way to use the senses is to just receive what comes in.
    But now about thought and the desires.
    Thought is a tool for thinking and planning. So the way to use it is so that when you think or plan, you do it here. When you think or when you plan for later or for the future, that's all right. But when you go or reach out into the future while you are making plans for it, this is what is not right. Since your body is here, your thoughts should be here too. You should prepare, plan and think here and now, even when it is for the future. Don't reach out and think about things that are far away as if you were far away, or about tomorrow morning as if it were already the present. Later you can practice this. For example, when you are walking, when your thoughts are far away then if something happens right in front of you, you won't even know it.
    What is meant by "reaching out" is going from here to whatever you're thinking about in your thoughts. So that reaching out happens when your thoughts are far away.
    The desires are like that too. For example, you want to go to the movies at Sriwedari [an amusement center]. The movie starts at seven o'clock and you leave your home at exactly seven o'clock in a becak [a three-wheeled bicycle rickshaw]. Without even knowing it you will be pushing the becak with your feeling to try to make it go faster. When you do that, you will become tense in your feeling.
    If you already understand this, I will now try to explain about daily meditation in a little more depth.
    Actually thought and desire already know what is good and what is not good. For example, if I am told not to smoke by a doctor because I have a cough, my thoughts understand and my desires understand that smoking has been forbidden. But then it so happens that there comes a time when I very much want to smoke, although at that moment I am still aware that it is not good and that I am not allowed to smoke. However, my willpower fails me and finally I smoke.
    A second possibility is that suddenly it occurs to me that I am not allowed to smoke after I have finished a cigarette.
    A third possibility is that I want to smoke but I am aware that I am not allowed to smoke so I don't.
    It's that way, too, with thought when you plan something that is not good and at the same time are aware of it. So sometimes you just go ahead and do it and are aware of it at the same time. But sometimes you become aware and understand only after you have done something. But sometimes you plan something but before you do it you become aware of it and stop.
    Therefore, outside of thought and desire there is yet another capacity that can be aware of the activity of thought and desire.
    But what about when you have a desire that gets expressed without your being aware of it at all, when your awareness comes only afterwards? This is caused by the power of very strong desires that overwhelms the "knower" and pulls it into the action. But afterwards when the desire is satisfied and you have relaxed, the knower and what the knower is aware of become a bit separated and then you can realize it.
    A second possibility is when the knower and what it is aware of are too close together and not relaxed -- not far enough apart -- so that when a desire gets acted out, the knower is unable to maintain its separate awareness and gets overwhelmed and drawn into the action.
    A third possible condition is when you are relaxed and the knower and that which it is aware of are rather far apart. Then even when a desire is acted out the knower is still aware of it.
    So the key to all this is the problem of relaxation. When we are relaxed we are able to be aware of the activity of our thoughts, the activity of out desires and of out behavior. Therefore, when we are truly in a state of relaxation, the way we use our senses, thoughts and desires is good and orderly and this is what we call "daily meditation".
    Daily meditation plays an important role. The success of the daily meditation influences the success of the special meditation. That's because when you're relaxed throughout the day, it facilitates relaxation when you do special meditation. Daily meditation and special meditation are closely tied together, and the one cannot be separated from the other. So we must pay more attention to our daily meditation if we wish to achieve a good special meditation. When your daily meditation is harmonious and stable, then when you do special meditation your thoughts and your desires will not trouble you.
    If this explanation of daily meditation is clear, I will continue with a description of what is done in special meditation. While I am explaining this, I would ask that you do it along with my explanation.
.     Let us now get ready to do the special meditation. First of all we relax the whole body. You should try to receive these instructions wherever you are. When you don't hear clearly, don't try to reach out and listen as if you were here.
    The way you relax all of your attributes is to let go of all feelings of attachment, holding on and grasping. Those of you who are already familiar with this know that it is enough if you can be aware of areas where there is tension and that in time it will relax itself. It is best just to use your feelings; don't use your thought, and don't examine what you're doing.
    Pay attention to your shoulders and the back of your neck.
    Some have still not relaxed the backs of their necks.
    Second, give attention to the tension in your chest because the tension in the back of the neck, the shoulders and the chest area will slow down the release of tension in other parts of the body. So now relax the tension in your chest. Don't push the energy to the from but rather it is better if the energy is in the back, with the idea of eventually settling it down in the area at the center of the back. When the attention is in the back, the energy will follow it by itself. Don't try to push the energy to the back.
    After the feeling has settled down to the back, let go of it slowly so that the energy can settle down until it rests quietly. The term here is to "rest quietly".
    Now feel the soles of your feet so that the remainder of energy settles downward.
    Now we will start to relax the body area by area. We start by relaxing the area from the soles of the feet to the knees.
    Now relax the thighs. Let go of all feeling of attachment, holding on and grasping.
    Now relax the abdomen.
    Now relax the chest. The chest requires a fairly long time because this is the area of emotion and usually it is hard to keep this area quiet during daily meditation.
    When the chest area is truly relaxed, the breathing is smooth and the chest feels loose.
    Now relax the arms, hands and fingers.
    Now relax the shoulders, back of the neck and back of the head. This area also requires quite a long time.
    Now relax the mouth and jaws.
    Now relax the area round the eyes and the eyeballs. This area also requires a fairly long time.
    Now begin to relax your thoughts and desires. To relax your thoughts, just don't think about or examine anything. To relax your desires, don't try to be right or good and don't be afraid of making mistakes. It is enough to experience and just to be aware. When you get this far, right and wrong are no longer your concerns. Pleasant and unpleasant are no longer relevant. It is enough just to surrender. Just surrender. The meaning of surrender is that you no longer need anything; you just experience and are aware.
    With this the practice of special meditation ends and we return to daily meditation. (Ronggowarsito, ca. 1978)



    The fundamental procedure for meditation is to examine or know where among your tools (e.g., thought, emotion, ego and the body) there is still conflict. When everything is correct -- when there's no conflict -- it's easier. Because when there is unity the tools help one another and progress together and this is quicker. But when there is conflict, they influence each other too; they disturb each other. When it's like that they don't form on purpose or perspective and they are all fragmented. Your attention can't be clear when it's all split up like that. (Grogol 6/1/79: 205-206)

    All right, let's try to apply this. Let's try to put what we just talked about into practice -- how about it? When it is done right, meditation is based on the various capabilities present and it goes as far as they are able to go. How about it though; before we had quite a lot of theory; now let's try to do some practice and meditate as best we can. Just now you were told about some of the obstacles in meditation like when the ego tries to manipulate the other tools in a way that is not harmonious; this can obstruct your meditation. Try it and you will see that if your tools are in harmony it will help your meditation.
    The basis is belief, belief in Tuhan or belief in reality, the laws of reality. This is the first thing. Therefore, in meditation the tools are united in surrender. This means that the ego can't stand on its own; it can't do anything without the of the other tools. To take a simple example, if I want to drink tea, if I wish to drink tea; if the ego has a desire all by itself, without the help of the hand, the mouth and so on, it can't drink. The ego's desire to drink cannot be accomplished and even the tasting of the tea, whether it be sweet or whatever, cannot be realized without the other tools. So I can taste if it is satisfying, bitter, refreshing or sweet if I am united together with the taste buds; only with the help of the taste buds can you taste the sweetness or bitterness or whatever.
    So the ego can't stand or act by itself if it isn't supported and together with the other tools. That's why the ego must try to work in harmony and strive for one goal: surrender. Furthermore, in our belief in the existence of Tuhan, Tuhan is actually the totally fundamental strength that embraces and is the whole of nature; we cannot free ourselves from that strength because we are a part of it and are totally contained by nature. So if you look at the ego and compare it with the whole of nature, it is nothing. There is an aphorism that says that if the universe is compared with a desert, our world is but a grain of sand and we are on that grain of sand. What are we when compared with this vast desert? And if the world itself is just a grain of sand, what does that make us?
    Allah. . .Allah. . .Allah. . .(silence)
    Let us together yield in surrender to Tuhan while confessing that we ourselves can do nothing at all without the life which was granted us. The universe which surrounds us is all one; try to fit in with it, to be in accord with it in your thoughts and your deeds.
    Allah. . .
    So reality is clean and there is no conflict because your attention and your intention have only one goal -- to unite with Tuhan Yang Maha Esa. This meditation is an art for living so that life can be faced.
    Don't keep thinking about things. Don't try to control. You should just follow, follow the process of the meditation, follow the process of rasa, follow the process of your own being. When we enter into this our conditions and our capacities are varied. When you can be truly clean, things will become clearer. According to another perspective, when that happens we have a clear light that shines within us because there is no struggle or conflict, and from it there arises a freedom but the freedom entails responsibilities.
    Allah. . .Allah. . .Allah. . .
    So beyond its use in finding neutrality, peace and calm within, this meditation also helps us to carry out our daily lives in an open, accepting fashion. Another use comes when we are able to be neutral and can examine and correct ourselves, because then we can confront the life we lead. When our special meditation attains neutrality, this influences our daily life; and then in facing our everyday life we can observe our condition carefully and monitor the activities of our tools so that they don't transgress against our true nature. When you are able to apply this to your behavior, it will benefit your spirit.
    Allah. . .Allah. . .Allah. . .
    Try to pay attention to your present condition so that you can learn from it and feel it more fully. Most of you have attained your limit, though there are some who have not gotten that far because you are still influenced by your own condition. (Kerten 6/11/79)


    That's right. Don't delay it. What you need to do is to put yourself in order. Why do you practice Sumarah if you are not willing to put yourself in order? In surrendering to Tuhan Yang Maha Esa the main thing is that your physical and spiritual aspects must strive towards receiving reality.
    So you must do this. It's hard, but you must do it.
    To attain true faith, what you need is to stand on your own two feet. That means without a guide. When you can do that, then you can correct yourself. And you correct yourself like this, "How is my daily meditation? How can I improve it? What is the aim? What should I do so that my being will become united and so that I will be neutral and calm?" That's what's lacking. This right here.
    It's not enough just to collect your confusion and bring it to a guide. This is not good because you will go quicker if you do it yourself. Therefore, with this, I give you this task: put yourself in order, unite your physical and spiritual aspects and strive to receive being and reality. This is the main thing.
    It's not that all of you are going to be able to settle into the fourth level today, the level of surrender, but you will be able to make a stride forward. For example, from the level of resolve to the level of faith, or from the level of young faith to the level of true faith. Or if you have already attained true faith, you should be able to reach the fourth level: surrender.
    So in time you will attain surrender.
    The most important tool for making these advances is daily meditation. If you just try to do the meditation here, without applying it in daily life, it's of no use. Actually Sumarah's true practice is daily meditation and self-criticism. You must. Daily meditation without self-criticism is not possible; you must correct yourself. So every second you must devote yourself towards receiving reality, that is, with awareness. Be aware of what resists this within you until you attain complete awareness of rasa murni. Awareness has different levels, and not everyone is the same, but you must be able to correct your condition on your own.
    The key to correction is rasa. Your rasa must examine within, observe within and correct within. That is the way. Isn't that calm, calm and neutral?