Vedanta is a philosophy that was first described by seers
in ancient India, and it has been re-expressed in each
generation until the present day for aspirants seeking
the truth of our existence. Vedanta reveals the nature of the
eternal, unchanging Self, and how to attain liberation from
the limitations of the mind, and achieve Self-realisation or
enlightenment. The realisations of Vedanta lead to deep and
permanent feelings of universal oneness, bliss and
unconditional love, as well as the ability to apply them in daily
This book systematically explains how to perform various
meditative techniques effectively, which
techniques to use and when. It also
discusses how to overcome obstructions,
as well as the signs of progress and early
realisations that may be encountered
along the way.
Kojima Halliday is a disciple of Sri
Bhagavan, the founder of the
International Vedanta Society (IVS). Bhagavan achieved Self-
realisation in 1984, giving Kojima his first realisation
through samadhi in 2006 at the age of 26. Kojima, born in
Great Britain, had previously spent a varied life around the
world until the calling to spirituality arose in him. Since his
realisation, he has been working to help IVS spread Vedanta
in the IVS ashrams in India, in the UK, and on tours to
various countries around the world.
The idea of writing this book was suggested by my sister disciple of Sri
Bhagavan, Paula Esparza Bofill in 2009. In those days we were in the middle
of an intensified phase of work in training aspirants of Self-realisation. Out of
the highly charged spiritual environments in the International Vedanta Society
ashrams, where aspirants could commonly enter meditation without making
much effort, it was more of a challenge, especially as most of our work at that
time was done over the internet rather than face-to-face. More stress then
naturally came onto technique in the practice, aspirants having to work more
to penetrate deeper into themselves, and accurate comprehension of Vedantic
descriptions of the nature of the Self and non-Self.
We therefore felt that there was a requirement for a book that presented
meditation and its techniques in a systematic way, that explained what to
do when, and what to do if something did not seem to work, as well as
indicating how you would know if you are progressing or not both technically
and from the point of view of deepening realisation. We also felt that it
would be useful to have a book that explained Vedantic thought and
realisation in a systematic way at a beginner's level in the modern style with
reference to observations in meditation, rather than only to philosophical
thought. Part of the beauty of the Vedanta philosophy is that it begins to be
observed in processes in meditation, hence it can and should become
something live that is described in a simple way, rather than some convoluted
intellectual system. We hope that such a book may make a useful
The International Vedanta Society had also started expanding out of
India, and the dispersion of foreign disciples over the globe rendered
communication and therefore also hands-on training more complicated.
xiv Spiritual Practice and Self-realisation: Application of Vedanta
Again, we felt that superior meditation technique to support the practice
and become more self-reliant would yield results as they had already had a
lot of spiritual power infused by Bhagavan, and absorbed more by being in
the IVS ashrams for a considerable time.
It is also hoped that this book may inspire people new to Vedanta, and
encourage them to seek out realised souls for infusions of power, as no one
can achieve spirituality just by reading a book and becoming a technician.
Without having absorbed any power, many of the techniques described in
this book could not be used effectively anyway, in some cases because you
could not have penetrated deep enough for the new vistas in the mind
where certain techniques may be appropriate to have opened up.
The material concerning processes in meditation described in the book
was observed, researched and realised in meditation itself. The sources were
the observations from my own practice and realisations, backed up by those
of aspirants that | have supervised over the years.
A lot of material has been removed from the first draft of the book.
Firstly, extensive discussion on samadhi and very advanced stages of
meditation have been cut out, as we feel that such knowledge should be
worked for through sincerity in practice over time that has resulted in
realisations. We feel that this knowledge is the most precious that exists,
and should be valued. Moreover, there is no real benefit to the practice if
you read about technical details of a far nigher level.
A lot of extensive description of metaphysics has also been removed.
We feel that when it is presented in a book of this format, it becomes dry
and intellectual, whereas real spirituality is live and intuitive. Such discussion
may assist realisation if the words are carried on a flow of power when
spoken by a realised soul, but may be counter-productive here. Also, a certain
realisation is required to feel that a description of a higher realisation is true.
If the second realisation is out of sight, reading about it generally results in
becoming more enmeshed in the intellect, when what is required for Self-
realisation is to become more liberated from it.
More could have been put into the book, but has been left out to avoid
clutter that would have made the book too difficult to follow. Apart from a
few common terms, Sanskrit words have generally been avoided in spite of
the difficulty in accurately rendering meaning into a language in which
such concepts do not have ready-made translations, in order to keep the
book readable for a wide readership outside India.
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