by Swami Rama of The Himalayas
From: The essence of Spiritual Life
Meditation is a process of purifying the mind and making it one-pointed, inward, and tranquil. Through the method of meditation, the mind will help you to fathom the deeper levels of your being and lead you to the highest state of realization. As an aspirant, it is always wise to be vigilant and firm in practicing meditation. Do not expect too much right in the beginning. There is no instant method of meditation. Modern students expect immediate results from meditation and this expectation causes them to fantasize, imagine, and hallucinate many things that they think are spiritual experiences. These experiences are actually products of their subconscious minds. As a result, they become frustrated and imbalanced, and either they stop meditating, or they start following strange methods that are harmful to their progress.
Meditation is a technique that has only one way, and that is a scientific way that is very precise and clear. If you learn how to systematically practice meditation, it will not take much time for you to reach the summit, provided you know the whole technique.
First thing is to have a strong desire, a burning desire within. When you have a burning desire to do your meditation, that burning desire leads you. Sankalpa shakti is needed. “Today I will sit in meditation. No one has the power to disturb me! Thought is a product of the mind. I do not belong to thought.” If you learn to go beyond the jabbering of your mind, and can go to the deeper aspects of your consciousness, then body, breath, and mind will not come in your way. They come in your way because you have not trained them, because you have not decided to do meditation. Once and for all you should learn to decide, and fix up a time for meditation in the morning and before you go to bed.
You have been taught to see and examine things in the external world. Nobody has taught you to see and find within. There is no other way but the way of meditation. No object of the world has the power to give you what meditation can give you.
Don’t meditate if you are not inclined to meditate. If you want to meditate, you have to form a habit, because habit weaves your character and personality. If you really want to know who you are, you have to take off all the masks, one after the other. You have to be totally naked. You have to be in the fire. If you are prepared to do that, you can learn to tread the path of meditation.
In the external world there is no object that can make you happy, because all objects are subject to change, death, decay, and decomposition. That which is subject to change, and is not everlasting, can never give you happiness. It can give you only momentary joy.
That momentary joy is evidence enough that there is something that is called joy. You are searching in the wrong place. If you receive everlasting joy, and if you have attained everlasting joy, then you’ll be free. It is for that freedom and for that great joy that you live.
When you sit in meditation, I advise you not to worry about seeing lights. You have to learn to make your abode in complete darkness, so that you can see that gentle light. Do not worry if you don’t see any light or have any visions or experiences.
If you have patience and learn to sit still, the center of life and light will start revealing itself to you. Until then, imagining superficial lights is harmful. Learn to be in the darkness waiting for the light to be revealed.
Having no experience in meditation is the right experience. If you systematically follow the meditation method, there is no chance for you to worry and feel that you are not progressing.
Whenever you are meditating, or making effort to meditate, you are doing something. Don’t say and don’t think that you are not reaping the fruits of your actions. It is not possible. It is unscientific that you do something and you don’t get anything. Every action has its reaction.
If you systematically learn to meditate, you will find that the faculty of discrimination, the buddhi, will help you in all walks of life, both within and without.
You have to pay attention to four important points: building determination, learning to pray, learning to meditate according to instructions, and not allowing your mind to be stained by self-created guilt that destroys the inner spiritual potentials.
Learn to be spiritual in your daily life by doing selfless action. Learn to meditate every day, a few minutes. Don’t become a hypocrite, sitting for a long time and hallucinating. Meditate for a few minutes, and enjoy life. nLearn to meditate and learn to be here and now. Meditational therapy is the highest.
Meditation is self-effort, a probe into inner life, and will reveal all the secrets to you in time to come.
Meditation and Its Practice. A book by Swami Rama available from The Swami Rama Meditation Centre (Singapore)