Part 2 -What is Meditation
Meditation has a different meaning for different people. Some use it to relax some to help them succeed at sport or in business. Some people meditate to help them deal with emotional upsets, others are looking for mental clarity and to develop concentration.
Meditation can, in time, do all this. It brings our potential to the fore, it calms the mind, helps us get our problems in perspective. It teaches us to focus positively on the task at hand.
And still meditation is more than all this. It is a tool to develop and expand our consciousness. In meditation proper we dive deep within to find our inner treasures – peace, love, delight and more.
“When we can make the mind calm and quiet, we will feel that a new creation is dawning inside us. When the mind is vacant and tranquil and our whole existence becomes an empty vessel, our inner being can invoke infinite peace, light and bliss to enter into the vessel and fill it. This is meditation.” - Sri Chinmoy
Reading the writings of a very advanced teacher and practitioner of meditation is of immense benefit. Only an experienced teacher who has negotiated the route is in a position to guide others. Such a teacher can inspire seekers with his insights and high experiences. Sri Chinmoy is able to imbue his writings with a unique and profound consciousness, which will elevate the seeker.
For a greater understanding of meditation and Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy the following references are most relevant.
Why we meditate:
We are all seekers, and our goal is…Read p13-p15
Meditation is like…. Read p30
When you meditate at home…. Read p31-p32
Meditating on the Heart
It is better to meditate on…Read p35-p36
Is Meditation Practical ?
We say somebody is practical when… Read p38-p40
( All page numbers refer to The Wings of Joy )
Before we begin meditation proper there are a few preliminaries we need to master.
· First, relaxing the body whilst keeping the back straight (not a rigid back).
· Second, slowing the breathing down so it becomes deep, calm and rhythmic. Proper breathing is… Read p32-p33
· Third, developing one-pointed concentration. This is a gentle focusing on the object of concentration so we can keep our thoughts at bay, allowing us to experience some quietness, ‘enter’ the object of concentration and, with practice, pass beyond the ‘noisy’ mind.
Before each meditation exercise it is worth spending a few minutes relaxing the body. One way is to imagine/feel the tension moving out of your muscles and down your body so that all the tension finally runs through your feet and into the ground.
Sit with a straight back, but do not overdo it so that the back becomes tense. Concentrate on focusing your awareness/attention on specific muscles of your body. Starting with your head, feel the tension drain downward out of your face. Move your awareness down the neck – imagine that you can push the tension downward and that the muscles relax and soften. Continue down the body, especially work on the shoulders and stomach muscles. Keep moving the tension downward until you reach your feet. At this point imagine all the accumulated tension is forced out of your feet and into the floor. Now bring your awareness to the centre of your chest. Imagine that there is a vast sea of peace in the centre of your chest. Spend a few minutes enjoying the tranquillity within yourself.
Key points of exercise
Get rid of the tension within the body.
Be aware of the tension - and the tranquillity - within yourself.
Purpose of exercise
Relaxing helps us to ‘centre’ and to feel that we are in the present moment
Part 3 - Sound and Silence