Meditation is a subject of universal interest. It is practised in different forms across all traditions and serve as a source of inspiration to the spiritual seekers all over the world. It is considered to be the best way to control mind and use its infinite powers to get not only the worldly objects but also to realize Supreme Divine within ourselves. This will be the first Post in the series of Meditation introducing its basic insights and then later we will try to unfold the topic as much as possible in the subsequent posts.
- Meditation at a very basic level :-is generally understood as deep concentration on any object. That way everyone meditates, as concentration is something that is indispensable for success in any domain of Life. Whatever in life we want to understand and learn or even accomplish is possible only through concentration. Concentration is the way to gain knowledge of any subject and to get deeper insights on it.
- Concentration:- At another level, we will find that Meditation is more than just concentration. It is a mental process by which the meditator becomes one with the object of meditation. Concentration is just one of the preliminary stages of Meditation. While concentrating on an object, a stage comes, when mind starts flowing towards its object to become one with it. If we meditate on our goals, Mind helps us realise it by becoming one with it. Spiritual Seekers therefore meditates on Supreme Divine to establish a direct connection with the Real Self.
- Quantify Meditation:– Meditation is nothing but one of the advanced stages of Deep Concentration. If we are able to keep the mind focussed on any object continuously for more than 12 seconds, we are said to achieve one unit of Concentration. 12 such successive units of Concentration makes 1 unit of Meditation, and 12 such units of Meditation leads to Samadhi. Sounds Simple:- Just try to achieve multiple units of Concentration with daily practice, and see the massive change in your LIFE.
- Contemplation:- If we analyse it in context with realising Supreme Divine, Meditation is also not just Contemplation. It is more than that, As Contemplation is just thinking about Supreme Divine, But Meditation is a process of establishing a direct connection with it. Meditation is spontaneous & effortless flow of Mind towards Supreme. In the age of IT with technological advancements let us understand it this way :- If you along with your IPad is in the vicinity of a WiFi Connections and your IPad is showing the signals of WiFi, then that may be compared with Contemplation, On the other hand if your IPad is able to establish a successful internet connection with the WiFi, then that can be compared with Meditation. State of Meditation is reached when you are already experiencing the blissful Divine even for a short duration. While Contemplation is only thinking about it with reflective reasoning or even faith & devotion.
- Prayer:– We sometimes also link Meditation with Prayer considering both a one. But there is a simple difference between the two. Prayer is done with a mindset that we are talking to someone separate from us, Someone who is an external entity to listen to our prayers and fulfill our wishes. Whereas Meditation is something, where we may start with some object or religious symbol to concentrate on, but ultimately it will end with the absorption of Mind with the Self. That Supreme Divine within us is realized with the help of meditation in the form of Kundalini ( more on that in subsequent Posts).
Swami Adiswarananda in his Book Meditation & Its Practices says that the Purpose of Meditation is to cultivate a good thought in our restless mind, which like a lake is agitated continuously by the winds of desires. Because of this agitation and tossing of mind with different types of thoughts we are unable to see our true self at the bottom of the Lake. This Phenomena is also termed as one of the defects of Mind called -‘Vikshep’. To counter all these agitations by different thoughts, a single divine thought is cultivated by repeated and uninterrupted practice of Meditation. The process develops a single and huge thought wave that swallows up all other diverse ripples and makes the mind transparent and calm.