Meditation Practice Basic Issues
When experts say that meditation is one of the most powerful tools of spiritual practice then one should know the nuances associated with it, in reference to the practice of mental concentration (dhaarna) and super-consciousness (samaadhi). Some example may help us understand this subtle issue.
If we desire to view a coin lying on the bottom of a water pond, then three things are basically required. Water should be stagnant (not flowing or shaking), it should be crystal clear (not muddy or polluted) and subject should be conscious and focussed to see the coin. Lack of any one of these components is detrimental to the goal of seeing the coin, on the bottom of a water pond. Similarly, clarity and purity of thoughts (not confusion and pollution of thoughts), consistency of thoughts and continuity of thought process (stability), sincere efforts to attain mental peace and intense desire to attach the mind with chitta (objectivity) are basic to attain the state and purpose of meditation. This seemingly simple elaboration indicates the need of a series of meaningful efforts, required to master the art of meditation.
Another important issue is prioritisation of our perceived value system. Since our birth, we are conditioned with our learning that for a successful and purposeful life one should have best possible resources and amenities of the world. We try to achieve them by any means. It has never been learned, since the beginning of our life, that knowing “Self” is of supreme importance and is the key to lasting happiness (bliss). Therefore, one important aspect of yoga practice is to de-condition ourselves, from the mismatched learning, which we have adopted as the normal course of our life. There is a possibility that on this account, even after associating ourselves with any type of spiritual path (yoga system), we may remain confused/uncertain about its role, in making our life purposeful and worldly great. Hence, re-engineering of thoughts and reorganisation of value system play an important role in preparing a yoga student, for the meditation.
One more basic requirement for learning the meditation is the guidance of an accomplished guru. We know from our knowledge of management schools that living by examples is the most effective way of “role modelling”. It is equally relevant on the path of yoga. Spiritual success of Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Banda-Bairagi, Maharshi Aurobindo and Chhatrapati Shivaji was rooted in their priority search for an accomplished (siddha) guru. Such souls exist in all times. Therefore, a true spiritual seeker should be restless and desirous for an accomplished guru, whose association (satsang) will transform the course of life. It will make the spiritual journey more goal-oriented and comfortable.
It may therefore be stated that practice of meditation is not an isolated phenomenon. It demands readjustment of life patterns, priorities and value systems, through a matching paradigm shift. It also needs the guidance of an accomplished teacher (guru). This brief account on “basic requirements for meditation” may help the prospective students of yoga plan their lessons of meditation, more objectively.
By Dr Dipak Shukla