Meditation is a highly systematic process which doesn’t need prior knowledge of any kind. This is a subjective technology which we just need to learn as to how it can be used and it will start working for us. For e.g If we take a cell phone, we really don’t know how the electrons are moving within the electronic circuitry of a mobile, Still, it works for us because we have learned to use it. Another example could be an Automobile. We don’t know how the fuel is being transmitted to different parts of the car engine and how it is converting a static tyre into a rotational motion. However if we just learn to put the gears, operate the steering and the accelerator and learn to apply the breaks, the car starts working for us.
Similar is the case with Meditation. There are certain steps which are purely scientific and if you follow those steps, meditation will start impacting your life in a big way that means it will work for your inner wellbeing just like cellphone and car work for your external comfort and convenience. The fundamental principle or approach in any kind of meditation is that we go deeper within ourselves and explore our interiority. What I mean by that is we become highly aware of our mental thought process and slowly and steadily we tap into the source of our thought. This starts by becoming aware of what is happening within. So the first requirement is that you should be sitting in a comfortable cross-legged posture keeping your body still and spine should be erect.
You should close your eyes so that your mind is not distracted by the external activities happening around you. Usually, the place of the meditation should be quiet without any external noise. The moment you sit still keeping your eyes closed, you will see that you naturally become aware. As a first step, you can bring your attention to your breath and experience the inhalation and exhalation in full awareness. We all know that we are breathing right from the day we were born, but how many moments have we really spent being conscious of that. I am sure most of us never paid attention towards it. Paying attention to your breath is very important because your life energies are intact with your body only because of your breath. Just try not to breathe, you will find that the life within you would start longing for a breath. This is how important your breath is.
That’s why the very first step in any kind of meditation is that you simply become aware of your inhalation and exhalation process. Once you do it, you will notice that naturally, your mind becomes calm and peaceful. That’s why so much emphasis has been given to ‘Pranayam’ (The science of various breathing techniques in YOGA). Once your mind becomes naturally peaceful, suddenly you realize that there is an ocean of thoughts which is flowing through your head all the time. So the next task for you is you start witnessing your thoughts consciously in full awareness. Now when I say the witness, you don’t need to judge or label your thoughts as good or bad. Simply witness your thoughts without trying to stop them. For e.g consider that you were lying on an open ground head facing upwards. Then you saw few clouds in the sky and they were moving. Just after 2 or 3 minutes, you observed that the clouds which were present earlier are now gone and new clouds have arrived. The shape and the size of the new clouds is totally different from the earlier ones. And this process is repeating itself in regular intervals.
Now apply the same analogy to your mental scape. You are the witness or the observer simply looking at your thought process. If you do it without any judgment, you will find that your thoughts are as dynamic as the clouds are in the sky and these thoughts keep on changing every moment. Which means as soon as a single thought arises, it subsides at the same time and there is no such thing called a ‘The permanent Thought’. Once you experientially realize that no thought is permanent, suddenly you will stop identifying with that thought because you know this is just a blink and is already gone. if you continue witnessing your thoughts without holding on to them, you will find that slowly the thoughts will start vanishing from your mind. If you are successful in doing that, then what will be left? The answer is Nothing. So in your experience, you will enter an experiential dimension which is beyond thought process.
Having said that, your experience of your self as a life will still remain intact. Which means you will be equally aware of that stage the way you were aware when there were thoughts wandering within your mind. This is technically referred to as Self Realization. Which means you now have found that space where there is nothing apart from the pure presence. This pure presence or witnessing awareness is what is referred to as the source of your thought and in fact source of everything in your life because whatever you do in your life that inherently start with just a thought. You must be thinking what is the usefulness of this self-realization. The benefit of self-realization is that you no longer identify yourself with silly little thoughts which tend to bother you every moment every time because you have experientially realized that you are not the thought. Similarly, during your meditation, you will have this experience in full awareness that you are not even your body. You are the gap between the body and the mind. And that gap or that space is awareness.
Once there is little space between you and your body, you and your mind, that’s the end of suffering and that is the start of a completely new world where everything will be harmonious in your experience. Let’s take an example to understand this. Let’s say you have to take a flight from London to New York City. Assuming that you are right now sitting in a car going towards the airport. But unfortunately there is a huge traffic and your car is completely stuck on the highway because of the jam. In this situation naturally, you will become stressful and there is a fear that you might miss your flight. Now assuming that you were somehow able to reach the airport on time and you boarded your flight. As soon as the plane is airborne and you just peep out of the window, the same traffic where you were stuck a couple of hours ago, looks like a great amusement. The complete scenery from the airplane window just looks fantastic, Isn’t it?
Let’s apply this analogy to your self. When you are stuck in your thought process and you believe you are your thoughts, then there is always a turmoil going on within you. Once you experientially realize that you are not your thoughts, suddenly you dis-identify yourself from your thought process. Which means there is an experiential separation between you and your thoughts. Once there is a separation, you start to enjoy the same thought process instead of getting crushed by it. To put it in a metaphoric way, before meditation you were like that person who is sitting just on the front row of a cinema hall where the view is very narrow and you are not able to enjoy the whole drama. But after meditation you suddenly get transported to the gallery seat where you have a broad view of the screen, you have a more comfortable sofa to sit upon and above all you are getting every possible snack to munch. Isn’t that amazing? It is indeed 🙂
So the choice is yours, Do you want to just live life somehow in misery or do you want to experience the life in its totality. If you are aiming for the latter, its time you start looking inwards through the scientific tools of Meditation. Once you start working on your interiority, there is no way anyone can deny happiness and blissfulness to you……!
Peace & Love!