Thursday, 17 January 2013

MEDITATION

Meditation Tips for going deep in to meditation


The first and foremost thing for going deep in to meditation is to understand the mind games. Any thing that comes out of mind can never lead us towards meditation. Mind can never be the tool to get out of mind. But at the same time mind will give logical reasons to us saying that it is helping us in every possible way to go deep in meditation. E.g. Mind can take the responsibility of reading this article so that you can go deep in meditation. But in reality this is another trick of mind.

Secondly if we look deeper, then going deep in meditation is not an achievement. Meditation is itself a device which we are using to seek enlightenment or get rid of Mind. But Mind is asking this question “tips for going deep in to meditation”. So here Mind is making meditation another goal. Some people want to achieve in materialistic world and some in spiritual world but difference is not much. In both the areas mind is playing its game. So for going deep in to meditation one should be aware of mind games.

If one understand Mind and how it deceives us then journey becomes very easier. I don’t have any rivalry with the mind because in reality there is no such thing as mind and if I start fighting with mind then indirectly I will be giving power to mind. Mind is like a dream which does not have any existence but as long as I give importance to it, it has a life.

Meditation is a device which we use to remove the dirt or garbage from our consciousness. So our basic aim is to use meditation to realize our real self but not to become fanatic about meditation. I am not against meditation. I love meditation. I feel meditation should follow us like a shadow in all our actions. But many Meditators end up having a very big ego of “I am a great meditator” and this ego stops them from going deep in to meditation. One should always remember we are using meditation to seek truth and in the end we will have to leave meditation also. This clarity about meditation takes one much further in meditation.

It will be better if we look at the process how all meditation techniques have been developed till now. Once Osho had said that he had gone through all meditation techniques and he was surprised to find that essence of all meditation techniques is witnessing.

Secondly the Sages say our real nature is “Truth, Bliss and Consciousness. Time and space does not exist in that state. One is ever blissful, relaxed and one takes decision moment to moment”. So any thing which brings us closer to this state of the Sages could be helpful in going deep in meditation.

Just to go further I want to share one small story: Once five blind men came across an elephant. The first blind man touched the tail of elephant and the second one touched the legs and the third one touched the trunk and so on. When they were asked to describe the elephant they told about the part which they had touched. They were telling a lie but that was not the complete truth also. But if they had touched other parts of the elephant also; like from the trunk they touched the tail and then legs and so on. Then they would definitely had a better idea of the shape of elephant.

Similarly when we discuss tips for going deep in meditation then they should be practiced together to have more depth in meditation or one can start slowly. Initially one can become comfortable with one tip and then can add another tip and then another tip. But at the same time be aware of mind games and ego. These tips are helpful but NOT ESSENTIAL for going deep in to meditation. One should always be spontaneous and listen to one's inner voice or intuition.

1. Preparing the body: Through out the ages the Body has been condemned. It’s been called full of diseases, puss etc. That is perfectly right - the body will die one day. But this body is the temple for soul also. In this very body the divine can descend one day. So we should worship the body as we worship the divine yet at the same time having no attachment to the body.

a. Body has needs and mind has desire. Body needs are like food, sleep, comfort etc and mind needs are desires like fame, popularity, money etc. Body needs can be fulfilled and should be fulfilled. But Mind's needs can never be fulfilled and should never be tried to fulfill.

b. Our human body is basically meant to eat Vegetarian food. Sages have defined three types of Gunas (nature) which are Tamasic, Rajasic and Satwic. In this Satwic Guna is best for meditation and is developed with vegetarian food.

c. Right food is very essential as it nourishes our body. In vegetarian food, also one should eat right food, which our body needs and which can be easily digested also. E.g. proper chewing of food is very good. If we too eat too much then we will fall asleep or become lethargic. Because to digest the food which we have eaten, our body sends energy to our stomach and the more food we eat, the more energy is required by stomach. So sleep comes to us, to temporary shut down other works of the body to conserve energy.

d. Food has two parts gross and subtle. Subtle part is the vibrations associated with the food. Preferably one should prepare the food himself. Because one who prepares the food his energy is also added in the food. So while preparing the food our mental state should be very good. Doctors say during pregnancy if the mother is angry then the child also experience the anger of the mother. Same is the case with our food.

e. One another very good practice followed in rural India are that they offer prepared food to their chosen deity and then they eat it with devotion. And they believe that food is tasted by God and now this food has become Prasad (offering from God to the devotee).

So their eating become very meditative and secondly while preparing food they are so much devoted because they are going to offer this food to the deity - that preparing food becomes a prayer for them. A small activity changes their whole state. Meditation is not some thing which we do 30 minutes in a day. Meditation means the awareness with which we do things.

e.g. one is preparing food for his chosen deity from his heart then this simple activity is meditation. Any thing which brings us closer to a joyful yet relaxed state is meditation.

Any thing can become meditation.

f. Preparing food with good intention is very important but more important is the attitude with which we eat food. If we have bad food to eat but our attitude is very good. E.g. we are grateful for that food and then that intention can change bad food to good food.

And reverse is also true. Good food eaten with a bad attitude will spoil the food. That is the one of the reason people who practice chanting keeps on remembering the God's name while eating also. And in many religions one offers thanks giving to god for giving the food, if that prayer of thanks giving comes from heart, if one is really thankful then food acts as a catalyst in our growth.

g. No fruits should be eaten immediately after food. Fruits can be eaten 30 minutes before meal as it spoils the digestion.

h. Very often people drink water immediately after food. That is another bad example. When we eat food then to digest that food immediately some acid is released in the stomach and if we drink water then that acid gets diluted and it disturbs the digestion. Ideally water should be drink 30 minutes after the food or 1-2 sip of water can be taken during meal as required.

i. Proper exercise: Either we don’t do any exercise or we do exercise which is more than required. Exercise makes us active and makes the free flow of Prana (life force). Many times it happens we fall asleep during meditation. Yoga is very useful for giving us calmness of mind and agility to Body.

2. Preparing the Mind: the moment we get the idea that we should meditate. From that moment onwards we should start watching the mind. What trick mind is going to play? Mind does not love meditation but if mind is asking us to meditate then some trick must be there.

a. Some years ago I used to go to a meditation center to meditate after my office hours and I used to be very much excited to reach the meditation center. Usually I used to walk briskly and at some times I used to run to reach to the center. Slowly I realized that while coming to the meditation center I used to become very excited and during the first 10-15 minutes of meditation I was watching this excitement only. So the point is the moment we become aware of doing meditation then meditation should start from that moment itself and secondly we should always maintain mental calmness.

b. Many times during the day we become sad, disturbed or angry and we lose our composure. These are occasions when we should try to witness these emotions. Because if we are calm through out the day then with that calmness we will be entering inside meditation.

Secondly these moments when we get disturbed are a clue to our mind games also. We get disturbed because we don’t like some things. Life is not flowing as per the mind's expectation. One should need to be more aware on these occasions of disturbance and slowly meditation becomes a part of daily activity. Meditation is itself not a activity but any act done with awareness adds grace to that action.

c. Once I was reading someone's experience of the 40 day meditation camp conducted by Swami Chaitanya Bharti. In this camp newspapers and television are not allowed. When the person came back from meditation camp after 40 days and he read the newspaper - he found that world has not changed a bit. Newspaper were still filled with stories of rape, crime, scandals, accidents etc. Same is the case with movies and televisions. Today's media is a good excuse for the mind to work. Newspapers, television, movies are food for Mind.

Sincere meditators should avoid them. Advanced meditators can watch the Movies if he/she can remain detached from the characters of the movie. Normally when we watch a movie we get identified with the character. On a fighting scene we also become angry. Meditators, if meditating on movie is not required to identify/associated with the movie. Any thing can become meditation, once we have the knack to meditate.

3. Body and mind are not separate but they are one: During meditation when our thoughts slow down then automatically our breathing becomes very rhythmic and slow. Body and mind are not only related but one. So what ever we eat, what ever we think, desire, dream affects us. What ever we eat affects our gross body and subtle part of it affects our mind. Any thing that creates excitement affects the mind. Food is not the only intake for us. We take food through vision, smell and sound also. These all things affect our mental state and go a long way in helping the mediator.

a. Vegetarian food is so much emphasized for the meditator. Because with non-vegetarian food one becomes more angry, cruel or Tamasic. But at the same time if non-vegetarian person wants to meditate then that person is not stopped from meditation. Over the period of time when meditation matures and then automatically the person would like to eat vegetarian food. Nothing should be forced in the path of meditation. Any thing which is non-essential will drop on its own.

b. The company of sages or good people is advised. I firmly believe when some one talks with me then in a subtle way that person is interacting with all those people who have shaped my life in a major way.

c. Thinking good thoughts is considered noble. But I feel good thoughts are also thoughts. Good or bad are just our criteria to judge. So I don’t recommend any type of thoughts. But witnessing of thoughts.

d. Alcohol is another factor which makes us excited. Any sort of drug which makes us excited takes us away from meditation. Tantra makes use of alcohol for meditation but they have special methods and hidden schools where they know how to make right use of alcohol.

Meditation Tips for going deep in meditation. Continued.....


4. Creating an atmosphere: The meditation room should not be cluttered with things. Preferably meditation room should be empty. Because outside emptiness invites inner emptiness all the time. On a deeper level if our room is not arranged properly then it signals that our life is not arranged properly, there is confusion in our life. I have sensed many times when I arrange things in my room in a proper way then the whole energy of the room changes.
a. One should light a fragrance to create a good atmosphere. I prefer Dhoop, Agarbati or Lobhan. Each fragrance is associated with a particular chakra also. E.g. we can use sandalwood and lavender for third eye. Fragrance is food for entities also. By lighting good fragrance we invite good entities which in turn help us in our growth. On the contrary energy released during unethical sex feeds negative entities.
b. If possible then meditation room should not be used for any other purpose. In India each house has one room which is used only for religious purpose meditation, praying etc. If we can not find a particular room then a small corner in the house could be used. But then also that corner should not be used for some other purpose. Otherwise energy becomes confused. This seems to look strange but this is a fact. So I repeat again “energy becomes confused”.
5. Timing of meditation: Preferably one should meditate at the same time, same place and wearing same clothes only. I mean that clothes should not be used for any other purpose but only for meditation. Meditating at same time every day has some benefits.
a. Over the period of time our body and mind becomes calmer on its own as we get close to meditation time.
b. For every sincere Meditator there are always some good entities or angel which helps and guides the meditator. When we are irregular with time then it irritates them.
c. When we try to meditate at fix time every day then it helps in improving our will power. Will power is very crucial for a meditator. Many times we are on the cross road and are tempted to make a wrong decision then will power comes handy. More over will power is related with navel chakra. So it helps in development of the navel chakra also. More will power we have, more we become at ease with life.
d. Early morning time is very good for meditation and then evening time when sun is setting is again good for meditation. For some people it’s very difficult to wake up early in the morning. So there is no need to force oneself to wake up early in the morning and meditate unless one is following the path of yoga or will power. But at the same time one should always follow ones Guru's Words as many times the guru pays importance to do early morning meditation.
e. Not all people can wake up early in the morning. As every one's body clock is different. But modern life style has disturbed our body clock so it’s difficult for us to decide what our natural waking time in morning is. Best way is to start listening to body clues and realign the body clock. Listening to body clues mean that when body is hungry then only we should take our meal, when body wants to sleep then we should go to bed. Just a simple friendship with body and it’s worth it. Body is one servant who obeys us for so long and we never care about it.
f. One should avoid reading, television before going to sleep. As this makes chances of falling asleep more difficult. More the mind is at rest, more easily we can sleep. Before sleeping we should meditate for half an hour. Gautam Buddha and Osho both have given much importance to meditation before sleeping. When we enter sleep with meditation then whole quality of sleep changes. Some where meditation stays with us through out the night, comforts us like a caring mother and we wake up more fresh and calm.
g. Similarly one should meditate the moment one wakes up. The whole quality of day changes with early morning meditation. Even 5 minutes laughter just after waking up is a good way to start the day.
6. Music: Music affects our state in a great way. With right music we can change our state. Instrumental, soft, devotional or chanting is very good.
7. Body Posture: Best posture for meditation is cross-legged position.
a. For many people especially western people and elder people it’s not easy to sit cross legged for a long time. So they can avoid this cross legged position and sit in a chair. Because if one is not comfortable while meditation then all attention goes at the pain. But again it depends upon person to person. If some one is following the path of will or yoga then that person can force its body to sit cross legged. Slowly with time body obeys. Yes body obeys but it can cause injury also. There are two schools of theories in regard to this:
i. When we decide strongly that we are going to sit cross legged for one hour and no matter what come I will not change my stand. Then body and mind obeys. But it can cause injury also.
ii. The second school of theory says we should be relaxed and spontaneous in meditation. Slowly as mind calms down and with practice we will learn to sit cross legged for longer periods of time.
iii. Both schools of thoughts are right. We are not able to sit cross legged for longer period because our body/mind is not pure right now. Slowly as impurity is cleaned then purity resurfaces. We are already pure but this purity is hidden by impure mind. So as purity comes longer period of time sitting happens spontaneously. This purity can come with time or by forcing one to sit cross legged also. As cross legged position conserves energy which is used in going deep in meditation. Once our body starts obeying us then cross legged position helps in meditation. I have personally followed both. Injured my left knee and now practice spontaneity in all actions of my life.
b. Mudras: By aligning the fingers in particular order give rise to mudras. Mudras are great help for meditation. Different mudras have different affect on us.
c. Eyes closed: We lose 80% of our energy through our eyes. So in meditation our eyes should be closed. In reality even with closed eyes some amount of energy is lost. Best position is eyes half closed and half open. In half closed eyes no energy is lost. But one should not force it. Otherwise it will become a hindrance to meditation. Half close eyes are natural state in deep meditation when eyes go upwards. At the most one can put a cloth in one eye.
d. One can cover ones head with a cloth and best is Joker's or Sufi's long cap. It helps in conserving the energy.
8. Right breathing: Many people breathe in a wrong way. The best way to see right breathing is to see a small child breath. When we breath in then our stomach goes out (chest goes inside) and when we breath out then our stomach goes in and chest goes out. With little practice one can breathe naturally which in turn will eradicate many of our disease and will give more vitality to us.
a. Pranayam: Special breathing exercises are discovered long back in India are called Pranayam. Pranayam practices helps in great way in cleaning our system, Nadis and are a great boost for meditation. But one should learn Pranayam from a good teacher. Otherwise it can also affect negatively; like a headache.
9. Group meditation: Group meditation uses the energy of many people to attain a peak in meditation. People can hold hands together and do group meditation.
a. One should hold another person right hand in its left hand and give his right hand to other person. “Take from left and give from right” is the rule.
b. Meditation can also be done with opposite sex person. In fact then meditation becomes very easy as opposite energy mingles and then one can go deep in meditation easily.
10. Cultivate Happiness: This is one of the most important Qualities a meditator should have. No matter what happens one should remain cheerful. But this does not mean that we suppress any emotions. In fact it is always better to go through a negtive experience till depth than avoiding it. Happiness is a general mind set to life - the perspective which we see things. many people have negative mind set which is not Good. In Short if you are hurt then go to root and find out why you are hurt?
11. Perseverance and patience: Meditation is a knack which we can learn in one day or one month. So one should have patience and should not expect for any results.
12. Special Days: There are some special days which are very conductive for meditation. E.g. Full Moon day, No Moon day, Lunar and Solar eclipse, religious festivals and days in Hindu calendars like Ekadashi etc.
13. Fasting: fasting is a good device to give body a chance to clean it’s internal system and which makes the mind calm. But the way we break the fast is also very important. Only certain food we should take for next day after the fast.
14. Visual Aids: many times in a day we forget to be aware of thoughts. Small picture of Guru in a room or in our desktop can remind us of our forgetfulness. Any thing which helps in removing our forgetfulness is essential. Similarly every 30 minutes we can close our eyes for a while and go back to our center.


No comments:

Post a comment