The most important question faced, in relation to meditation, is whether one is ready for it. Before gaining a Guru or the one-pointed attention, it is important to know if one is serious about embarking on the path of meditation. It is as single-minded, if not more, as serious a pursuit as when one is trying to build up a bank balance. Only that the goal here is non-material when compared to money.
Another question that wells up quite often: Sir, I have tried meditation. But when I am alone, I only seem to dwell on my problems and cannot focus on what I want to.
I have an answer to this conundrum.
A very simple answer, in fact. It is that one hasn’t tried the right kind of meditation. The meditation that is indeed suitable for the one who is asking the question. I suggest that one should sit down with one’s spiritual teacher, ask the question one has, discuss the problem being faced and, in the process, reveal one’s psychological makeup for the teacher’s evaluation.
It is as good as relaxing on a psychiatrist’s couch and talking about what one feels. The teacher will explore one’s psyche and then advise the right kind of meditation. If this process is followed, one succeeds in meditating when alone.
This gives rise to another question that is often asked by practitioners of meditation: Sir, I have started meditation or SÄdhanÄ. How do I know I am making progress?
This is a very important question. Often the question extends to: “I have been meditating for many years and I am still the same. I have been meditating for so many years yet my heart is as it was. I have been meditating for so many years yet I have no peace of mind.’
First, one should be able to sit down quietly, even if for a brief interlude. One’s mind should be settled peacefully, without distraction. The attention should be fixed on one’s inner self
If these are the questions one faces or encounters, I can say one is definitely not making progress.
So how does one gauge one’s progress in meditation?
First, one should be able to sit down quietly, even if for a brief interlude. One’s mind should be settled peacefully, without distraction. The attention should be fixed on one’s inner self.
The moment one sits down to meditate, one should be able to cut off all distractions of the world and go deep within–quietly and calmly. One should be able to now deal with the serious problems of life with equanimity, without getting upset or confused, without fearing for what the solution is, and without the fear of whether one will be able to succeed in handling the problem.
One should now be in tune with the whole of nature–with the rain, the wind, the clouds, and the earth. One can no longer hate. One’s mind is peaceful. In short, one is a better person now, when compared to the time one started with meditation.
If this is happening, one is indeed making progress. And, proceeding deeper and deeper into one’s practice, one begins to be in tune and open up to dimensions usually unknown to the ordinary mind.