There is a limitless number of psychic symbols. You can choose almost anything, but eventually you should use only one. This has been summed up very beautifully as follows: “All the visible universe is the Buddha (consciousness); so are all sounds. Hold on to one principle (one symbol) and all others are identical.” (Huang Po)
Anything can be used as a point of concentration .. . a deity, a mantra, a yantra, chakra, saint, yogi, your guru, a flower . . . even your little finger. You can use absolutely anything that captures your whole attention. All these symbols lead to the same point. Ramakrishna, the great bhakta (devotee) even experimented with different symbols. He practised continuous awareness of Shakti, then Christ and so forth. He emphasized that they lead to the same experience and realization. Any symbol can be used, but there must be continuous awareness.
Certain psychic symbols, however, have been used for hundreds and thousands of years. They have been intimately associated with and utilized by religious and mystical groups. As such they have been invested with power. They have been firmly impressed on the collective unconscious mind, thus they have great inherent power to awaken changes in one’s level of awareness. Some of these symbols are as follows: shivalingam2, the mantra and symbol Aum3, a cross, yin and yang symbol4, a lotus, a rose and so on5. Though you can use anything as a psychic symbol a traditional symbol is highly recommended.
The biggest problem is choosing a symbol that suits your nature, a symbol that you can spontaneously identify with. If you already have a symbol, perhaps an ishta (personal deity), then there is no problem. If you do not have any specific symbol then you will obtain it in either of two ways:
- You will receive it from your guru either in formal diksha (initiation) or at a more subtle level.
- It will spontaneously manifest itself when your perception and sensitivity become heightened. That is, you will get your psychic symbol when you are sufficiently receptive and ready.
In the second case you have to practise yoga, aspire, purify your mind and wait for the symbol to manifest itself. One thing is certain: when your symbol arises from your psyche and shows itself to you, there will be an explosion in your being. There will be no doubt about the identity of the symbol. It will overwhelm you. It may be a symbol that is widely known and utilized or maybe not; an integral part of the traditions of the society in which
you live or something that seems completely alien … it does not matter. That symbol which explodes into your field of perception is your symbol. It will be the boat which will ferry you across the wide and normally impassable river of unconsciousness. It is the form that will convey your perception deeper into your being, into the deepest dimensions of your consciousness.