Start practising meditation now
Life has become very complex in the 21st century. Despite all the technological advances we are indeed struggling for existence. We are enslaved by our addiction to material things. Ultimately, we have no time to study philosophical and religious books, or to practise meditation. That’s the reason why we have still not understood the difference between material happiness and spiritual happiness. We have programmed our mind to believe that if only we had object X or Z amount of money, we would be more happy.
However, the truth is material things bring just temporary and short-term happiness. No matter how much money we make, we still want more. The person having a Toyota car wants a BMW. The teenager with a Nokia phone wants an iphone. The person earning $ 30,000 believes that if he will earn $ 50,000, he will be more happy. But another person earning $ 70,000 is still not happy.
So, if material things cannot give us happiness, then how can we find more meaning to our life.
The answer is through spiritual happiness.
How to practice meditation
Meditation is the science of reuniting the soul with the spirit. The soul, descending from God into flesh, manifests its consciousness and life force through the seven chakras (centres of light) in man’s cerebrospinal axis. Encased in the bodily prison, the soul consciousness and life force become identified with the physical vehicle and its mortal limitations. Scientific meditation awakens the soul consciousness in the seven cerebrospinal centers. In a state of divine recollectedness, the soul intuitively realizes its immortal nature and origin. The various progressive states of soul awakening are accompanied by an ever-increasing accession of inner peace and joy. In the most exalted states, soul and spirit become reunited in ecstatic, blissful communion, or samadhi.
By meditation, we try to connect the little joy of the soul with the vast joy of the spirit. Meditation should not be confused with ordinary concentration. Concentration consists in freeing the attention from distractions and in focusing it on any thought in which one may be interested. Meditation is that special form of concentration in which the attention has been liberated from restlessness and is focused on God. Thus, we can conclude that meditation is concentration used to know God.
One of the first requisites for meditation is correct posture. The spine should be erect. When the devotee is seeking to direct his mind and life force upward through the cerebrospinal axis to the centres of higher consciousness in the brain, he should avoid stricture or pinching of the spinal nerves caused by improper posture.
Those persons whose legs are supple may prefer to meditate sitting cross-legged on a cushion on the floor, or on a firm bed. However, if you are a complete beginner, you can adopt the following meditation pose:
- Sit on a straight armless chair with the feet resting flat on the floor.
- Hold spine erect, abdomen in, chest out, shoulders back, chin parallel to the ground.
- The hands, with palms upturned, should rest on the legs at the juncture of the thighs and the abdominal region to prevent the body from bending forward.
- The meditation chair should be of comfortable height, otherwise, there is a tendency to allow the torso to lean forward or backwards.
- If the correct posture has been assumed, the body will be stable yet relaxed, so that it is easily possible to remain completely still, without moving a muscle.
Each of the above-mentioned details is a contributing factor toward the chief aim of the meditation posture – an erect spine held stable without strain or tension for the duration of the meditation period. If, because of any bad habits of posture or congenital defects of posture, you experience difficulty or discomfort in maintaining the specified positions of feet, hands, shoulders, chest, and abdomen, make whatever commonsense adjustments are necessary to your individual need.
Inhaling and Exhaling
After establishing the proper meditation pose, inhale slowly and deeply (through the nostrils) to a count of 20. Hold the breath to a count of 20, before exhaling slowly (through the mouth ) to a count of 20. Practice this sequence 10 times. However, if you are having difficulty in retaining your breath up to a count of 20, then use a shorter count, provided it is the same number of counts in each of the three phases.
Now, inhale, tensing the whole body and clenching the fists. Relax all the body parts at once and, as you do so, expel the breath through the mouth in a double exhalation, “huh, huh”. Repeat this practice 6 times. Then forget the breath. Let it flow in and out naturally, of its own accord, as in ordinary breathing.
With the eyelids half closed (or completely closed, if this is more comfortable to you), look upward, focusing the gaze and the attention as though looking out through a point between the eyebrows. Do not cross the eyes or strain them. The upward gaze comes naturally when one is relaxed and calmly concentrated. The most important thing is to fix the whole attention at the point between the eyebrows known as the “ajna chakra” or the spiritual eye.
“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light”
Upon fulfilling your purpose of meditation, you will find your consciousness automatically concentrated at the spiritual eye, and you will experience, according to your inner spiritual capacity, a state of joyous divine union with Spirit.
If you make a steadfast effort, you may in time perceive light, or even see the spiritual eye of three colors – a reflection of the actual luminous eye in the medulla oblongata (located in the hindbrain, at the base of the skull where it joins the neck). This single eye of light reflected in the forehead is the astral eye of intuitive omnipresent perception. It takes deep concentration and calmness to behold the spiritual eye, a golden halo surrounding a circle of blue, in the centre of which palpitates a five-pointed white star. If you ever see the spiritual eye, you should strive to penetrate it by deeper concentration and by devoted prayer to God.
Whether you see the light of the spiritual eye or not, however, you should continue to concentrate at the point between the eyebrows, praying deeply to God. In the language of your heart invoke God’s presence and his blessings. A good practice is to take an affirmation or a prayer from any holy book and spiritualize it with your own devotional yearning. Silently chant and pray to God, keeping the attention at the point between the eyebrows, until you feel God’s response as calm, deep peace and inner joy.
Divine consciousness is omnipresent. In order to attune one’s consciousness to it, it is first necessary to expand the mind by meditating on some aspect of God’s infinite nature. Visualization is an effective aid in deepening one’s concentration, which is essential for the deep meditation that yields realization. Here is a simple visualization exercise that will expand your mind and prepare it to practise further deeper meditation techniques.
- Sit upright in an armless chair.
- Focus your gaze and your mind at the spiritual point, between the eyebrows.
- Fill your heart with joy. The sphere of darkness that you see with closed eyes is becoming a sphere of light and joy.
- This sphere is enlarging. Now it is bigger than your body. Go on expanding the sphere of joy and light. Your home and everyone in it is present in the sphere of light that you are beholding.
- Go on expanding it until you see your whole city in this sphere of light and joy. Ever increasing, the sphere of light and joy is encompassing the entire world.
- See the world bathed in the light of this peaceful sphere of joy. The earth appears as a little ball moving in the vast sphere of light and joy. The sphere is becoming even larger;
- Now you can see our planetary and stellar system, the Milky Way, and galaxies, like little bubbles, are floating in it.
- Expand the sphere of light and joy within you, in which all things are moving, glimmering like the lights of a city. Meditate on and try to be one with that joy. God is joy, and we must find Him through joy.
- Now open your eyes. Look at the body and see how little it is.
- Close your eyes again and realize that you are not the body. You are the eternal sphere of light and joy in which all things have their being.
- Go on meditating, mentally affirming: “I am the cosmic sphere of light, of joy, of love, in which worlds and universes are floating like bubbles. My Father is this cosmic sphere of light. My Father and I are One. I am not the body, I am the eternal sphere of light. Aum. Amen.
“We all possess more power and greater possibilities than we realize, and visualizing is one of the greatest of these powers.”
By practising the foregoing instructions daily, you will prepare yourself for the practice of deeper concentration and meditation techniques. These scientific techniques will enable you to dive ever more deeply in the great ocean of God’s presence. We all exist at this very moment in that ocean of Spirit but only by steadfast, devoted, scientific meditation may we consciously perceive that we are individualized soul waves on the vast ocean of God’s bliss.
You must meditate for at least thirty minutes in the morning and thirty minutes at night. The longer you sit, enjoying the state of meditative calm, the faster you will progress spiritually. Carry into your daily activities the calmness you feel in meditation. That calmness will help you to bring harmony and happiness into every department of your life. Unending joy awaits the sincere truth seeker who conscientiously meditates each day. Through the grace of God and through your own devotional effort, you can achieve the state of divine joy experienced by all saints that have become consciously aware of their soul unity with Spirit.
Key points to remember
Set aside a regular time and place for your daily meditational practices. Try to find a quiet place where you can be free from outside distractions. Thus, you’ll be able to concentrate with more intensity. If possible, never use that place for any other purpose than meditation. Thus you will impregnate the spot with spiritual vibrations that will help you to make each day’s meditation deeper than the meditation of the preceding day.
Early morning, upon arising, and the period just before retiring at night are excellent times for meditation. Do not try to meditate just after eating. Wait at least an hour if possible. The kind of food one eats also has a definite bearing on one’s health or ill health, not only of the body but of the mind. Be sure the diet includes an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits. Eat nuts, cheese, and vegetable proteins. Avoid meat at any cost. Fruits are the most spiritually beneficial of all foods.
Use a woollen blanket or silk cloth to cover your meditation seat. Drape the cloth over the back of the chair if a chair is used, and place one end of the cloth on the floor under your feet. The cloth helps to insulate the body from subtle earth currents. Their magnetic downward pull toward material perceptions is undesirable for the meditating devotee. Facing East (the direction from which subtle spiritual solar currents are always flowing) is helpful in meditation.
Bathing has a cleansing effect not only on the body but also on the mind and is therefore beneficial practice before meditation. It opens the pores allowing toxins to escape. It also helps to distribute life energy evenly throughout the body, quieting the nerves and inducing calmness. One should also take a “mental bath” before meditation by putting aside all worries and problems. Completely give to God the time you have set aside for meditation. Concentrate on one of his infinite aspects such as peace, joy, wisdom, love, light, beauty. Or on a personal aspect such as that of the ever-loving, all-forgiving Divine Mother. Many devotees find inspiration by meditating on divine incarnations of God. You can read devotional passages from spiritual books. You can even sing devotional songs in order to uplift the mind.
Meditation in itself is an unequalled spiritual bath. It cleanses and rejuvenates the body, mind, and soul.
Practicing some types of energization exercises and also certain body postures is beneficial in preparing the body for deep meditation. The life forces in the body are harmonized by these relaxing and calming methods. Also, one’s attention is freed from aches and pains and from the drowsiness or restlessness that keep the mind sense bound and body conscious.
Be regular in your meditations. Be persistent if you would attract God’s attention. Remember that meditation should be practised with devotion, with a real love for God.