"Meditation is a function of the
inner man. It involves deep subjective quietude, the emptying of
the mind and the filling oneself with the light that emerges from
the Divine spark within."
Meditation is a spiritual
discipline leading to self-realization. Simply closing one's eyes
and letting the mind wander about and play, as per its whims, is
not meditation. Meditation or silent sitting is a process or a
stage transcending the senses. "Only in the depth of silence can
the voice of God be heard". This is a true statement, because
when we pray, we silently speak to God. Meditation takes us to
that silence. It is a way of communicating with that Divine self
who is God or the Atma.
Life is a journey with a purpose
and not unlike a voyage, it must be charted out. We must first
mentally prepare ourselves for this journey. In the same way,
before we sit to meditate, some preparation is necessary. Each
individual is unique; therefore one should not judge one's
progress with another. This would be misleading and most probably
distort one's self-confidence. It is the same with meditation;
each experience will differ depending on the condition of the body
and mind of the individual.
Here are some tips for a beginner
starting on the path of meditation. Establish two regular periods
for meditating, one in the morning and one in the evening. The
morning session prepares us for the daily tasks, whereas in the
evening, we are thanking God and offering all that we have done at
His lotus feet. Baba tells us that between the hours of 3 a.m.
and 6 a.m., meditation is very potent, as all is still and quiet
and the body is refreshed after sleep. As one develops the habit
of meditating, one automatically adjusts the time to suit one's
It is best to meditate before
meals. If one is hungry, have something light to eat or else the
body and mind will not get the benefit of rest during meditation.
One should not sit directly on the ground. Sit on a special mat
reserved only for prayer or meditation, or sit on a piece of cloth
forming a seat, so as to have some insulation for the body
currents which naturally move to earth.
Why should one sit straight and
quiet in meditation? Baba says this is a very essential part of
our practice of meditation, " because when the body is straight
and quiet, the mind is also straight and quiet. If you cannot
control your body, how can you control your mind? " If one is ill,
it is alright to meditate lying on the bed.
How long should one meditate?
There is no set time for a beginner, but 20 minutes to half an
hour would be appropriate. It is best to practice in a quiet
area, in a prayer room or wherever it is convenient for you. Take
measures to disallow disturbances (e.g. take the phone off the
hook, put animals in another room, wait until the children are
asleep, etc.). Noise should not be a hindrance to a meditator
because even in a noisy market one can think. In the same way, do
not let noise be a disturbance. However, if during the practice,
one is suddenly disturbed, (doorbell, etc.) do not be alarmed.
Take a minute or two to come out of that state of relaxation, as
any sudden jerk could be jarring to the nervous system. When you
are finished with meditation, loosen your limbs slowly, before you
start your usual duties.
Since meditation provides deep
rest to the body and mind, it is likely that a beginner may become
over-energetic, tired or sleepy during or after the practice.
Whatever the body needs, it usually calls for, so if one feels
sleepy it is all right to rest for a few minutes. Meditate with
sincere devotion and love and Baba tells us that He will be our
Guru and Guide.
Baba says Give and Gain. One can
give in many ways. Sometimes we wonder what can we give to God?
Baba says that all that He wants from us is Love. In silent
sitting, we are giving of ourselves; we are pouring our hearts to
God. For what is really ours to give, when all is His? If we
give a little of our time to communicate with Baba, He will answer
our prayers and guide us.
The ultimate goal of each
individual is self-realization. Baba says that we start with
self-confidence, then we get self-satisfaction, followed by
self-realization, the ultimate state being Sat-Chit-Ananda or
Absolute- Bliss- Consciousness. Peace and Bliss are within us,
they are not external. Eventually with perseverance and practice,
the experience of only the object of your meditation should
subsist, i.e. nothing else but the presence of divinity.