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Article LVI: Life as a Series of Experiences

Swami Chinmayananda, a great Vedantin, often described life as a series of experiences. Each experience can be seen as the fundamental unit of life. It may be overwhelming to try to perfect life as a whole, but by perfecting each experience, one can, therefore, perfect life itself. Each experience has three components: an experiencer, an object of experience, and the experience itself. The experiencer is you. The object of the experience can be any stimulus or environmental influence, e.g. a sight, a sound, a material object, a circumstance, a situation, a person, etc. The experience is the interaction between the experiencer and the object. An experience takes place only with all three components. The Vedantic approach to perfect each experience, thereby perfecting life, is threefold: sravanam (receiving Truth), mananam (contemplating Truth), and nidhidhyasanam (absorbing Truth). Sravanam can be through exposure to scriptures or other numinous literature, philosophy, or interactions. Mananam can be individual or through discussion with other spiritual aspirants. Nidhidhyasanam can be approached through meditation, and only by absorbing Truth, can one truly progress. It is not necessary to approach sravanam, mananam, and nidhidhyasanam in a stepwise fashion, but one can incorporate different levels of each throughout one's spiritual ascent. We can constantly aspire to incorporate all three in our lives.

East-West Counseling & Meditation -- Modern Psychiatry Integration -- Himalayan Philosophy -- Penn & Stanford Medicine
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