Everybody and their dog has an opinion on meditation (including me). Most of these folks don’t meditate or have never been formally trained or even more so seriously committed to one meditation path. The latter truly is a telltale sign of how seriously one takes his or her meditation practice. When you hear these people speak, you hear a lot of confusing and contradicting perspectives on meditation. Let’s get a few things straight about meditation.
A structured lifestyle is essential for meditation
“Meditation is not an escape from the exterior world. We have to straighten ourselves out in the exterior world first before meditation and inner life can really be successful.” ~ Gurudeva
In Hinduism, the first two steps on the eight-step path to enlightenment are lifestyle design. Establishing clear guidelines and practices for our lives. This framework allows us to live a life that has a minimum of emotional entanglements and upheavals, allowing us to keep awareness in higher states of mind as we pursue a deeper inner life.
Meditation requires a systematic process
“If you sincerely want to make headway in meditation and continue to do so year after year after year, you have to approach it in a very positive, systematic way.” ~ Gurudeva
As your awareness goes back and forth to a particular area of the mind, it creates a path in your mind. The more awareness travels up and down this path, the more defined the path becomes. Eventually, a groove starts to form. The consistency and frequency of awareness traveling this path is what shapes the path. The deeper the groove, this mental rut, the easier it is for awareness to stay on track to get to the area of the mind that it frequents.
A structured and systematic meditation practice, you could say, is about creating a groove in your mind that takes awareness from the outer realms of the conscious mind to the innermost areas of the superconscious mind to experience the depths of you.
Meditation needs a goal
“It is not advisable to habitually sit for meditation with no particular goal or direction, for we often end up walking in mental or subconscious circles.” ~ Gurudeva
It’s all about the destination, for it is the destination that defines the journey. If we have no destination, in this case, a goal for our meditation, then we will, as my guru says, be walking in mental circles. That is not what meditation is about.
Meditation is a highly concentrated state
“Sitting in a state of real meditation, one must be more alive and alert than a tight-rope walker suspended without a net on a taut cable three hundred feet above the Earth.” ~ Gurudeva
That is the level of focus one needs. The level of attention and alertness needed in meditation. Meditation is not closing our eyes, telling ourselves to let go of all things, and endlessly watching our thoughts. I would recommend Netflix instead of watching your thoughts. Much more entertaining. We have to go into meditation determined to experience the depths of ourselves with our willpower harnessed and focused. To quote my guru, “Sit up so straight and strong and dynamic that you feel you are at that very moment the center of the universe.”
If you are interested in learning a time-tested meditation practice that incorporates some of the points above and more, then do take a look into my Introduction to Meditation course.Read More
I’m starting the year by writing a 3-part series on meditation with the goal of bringing some clarity around it and dispelling a few myths. First things, first. Let’s get clear on terminology. This is important because we want to train our subconscious to understand the specific meaning of a word...Read More
If I can accept myself for where I am in my evolution, then I can accept others for where they are in their evolution. As a Hindu and from personal experiences, I believe and subscribe to the concept of reincarnation. Simply said, reincarnation describes a belief that we are a soul living in a ph...Read More
Well, it has been a really long time since I’ve sent one of these emails out. Apologies for my hiatus. October and November were filled with events I spoke at in the US, across Europe and in India. My travels culminated with a retreat that I held in South India where I led a group…Read More
How do you overcome fear and worry? This is something we all experience in different degrees from time to time. It’s much easier to overcome once you understand how awareness and the mind works. Let’s look at a simple view of time. You have the past, you have the present (which is no...Read More
If you are subscribed to my emails, then you’re most likely a person who wants to work on themselves and find ways to live a better life. Nothing like a new year to drive many to adopt a few new practices that can edge them closer to what they want to achieve. So, what practice…Read More
Are you struggling with focus and concentration? Dandapani sits down with the team at MindPump to discuss the fundamental first step towards achieving a focused life. They delve into the importance of identifying your priorities, eliminating distractions, and developing a clear vision of what you...Read More