Meditation, in a Broad Sense
It is that practice which brings you to a place of stillness where you may commune with your inner reality, your highest self. Meditation is coming to a point of stillness where all thoughts of past, present, and future are suspended in the one eternal now. This gives you the opportunity to experience a deep sense of peace, joy, or any other aspect of your true nature.
It’s not enough just to meditate for a short period of time and expect to make much progress.
“The wave must realize that its reality, as a mere wave, is temporary. It may appear again and again as other waves, but in the end it has to realize that its reality lies not in its separateness as a wave, but in the ocean of which the wave is a manifestation. Realization of its true identity demands merging into the ocean and becoming one with it.”—Paramhansa Yogananda, The Essence of Self Realization, pg. 118.
With “longer, deeper, guru given meditation” there is a shift in consciousness that takes place. It may seem subtle at first, but it is real and all who meditate regularly, will tell you the same. We are asked to meditate routinely for at least one and half hours a day before taking Kriya Initiation (our highest meditation technique). This is not just another hurdle to overcome before receiving the award of Kriya. It is basic training that all must go through, in order to have a chance at finding your true self.
Meditation as a Life Experience
It doesn’t end with meditation twice a day. That is just the beginning. As pointed out earlier, we meditate to experience what it is like to be free from all attachment, all desire, all reactivity, and to bask in everlasting peace. But if we don’t carry that experience with us throughout the day, we will only suffer, and perhaps cause others to suffer, too. The second purpose of meditation is to give you something to reflect upon, an anchor of truth. You really are one with the Infinite, as long as you remember! How can you remember, if after meditation you drop that consciousness, and go back into separateness?
When you finish your meditation, be aware of your state of mind. Use your breath to help keep you in that state. Be fully aware and conscious of your actions. Live from the inside out. Just as meditation helps us to withdraw the senses, let the breath keep you in your center. Keep your consciousness at the point between the eyebrows and enjoy! Be grateful for all the glories of the day.
See the challenges and victories as a movie, and you are playing your role. Say Yes to life! What comes will come, but it is much more enjoyable if we can go with the flow, rather than trying to beat it back, or hide from what is coming. The only way through the day, is to go through the day. Have a sense of adventure, be courageous and enthusiastic in your role. At the end of the day, as you lay on your pillow, reflect, “well, that was an interesting movie!”
At Ananda House, we encourage both our residents and our staff to make a minute by minute choice, to see every day as a unique opportunity for living fully in the moment. We don’t want to wait until it is too late to create the skill and habit of living and enjoying life. It is with constant meditation and skillful living, that one finds true happiness.