How to Meditate?
Meditation can help us to calm our minds and improve our concentration. Just as we unconsciously experience a blissful state beyond the physical body when we pass into deep sleep, so also we can consciously experience a blissful state beyond the physical body when we glide into meditation. "Meditation can transform a person's character, conduct, and behavior. Through the practice of meditation, lost energy is replenished, memory is improved, intellect is sharpened, and intuition is developed. Meditation removes all worries and tensions of the mind."(from Building a Noble World)
A human being is nothing but the state at a given moment. Therefore, what you are depends on what state you are in. Modern psychology recognizes only three states: conscious, subconscious, and unconscious. The fourth state is “super conscious,” which is recognized only in yoga. In the words of Swami Vivekananda: “The Yogis say that man can go beyond his direct sense-perception and beyond his reason also. Man has in him the faculty, the power, of transcending his intellect even, a power which is in every being, every creature. By the practice of Yoga that power is aroused, and then man transcends the ordinary limits of reason, and directly perceives things which are beyond all reason.”
Remember, the meditation state is neither the waking state, nor the dream state, nor the deep sleep state. In other words, in the meditation state, you are neither awake, nor dreaming, nor fast asleep. It is an extraordinary fourth state a human being can experience in which one is fully aware, fully conscious, fully alert. If you were to lose awareness, who would experience the meditation state? The meditation state cannot be understood intellectually, but it can certainly be experienced if a divine power within you is awakened. In the meditation state, you experience your innermost divinity, your own intrinsic, true nature. Once experienced, you start looking upon yourself as being pure spirit that is ever blissful and divine.
Learn how to meditate. The best technique of meditation is natural, effortless, and automatic. Here is the Hamsa technique of meditation described in verse 24 of Vijnana Bhairava Tantra (you may refer to "The Technique of Meditation" in Building a Noble World, page 74)
Urdhve prano hy adho jivo visargatma parocharet
Utpattidvitayasthane bharanad bharita sthihi
“Radiant one, this experience may dawn between two breaths. After breath comes in (down) and just before turning up (out)—the beneficence.”
The breath can be used as a technique for reaching the meditation state. The gap between the inbreath and the outbreath is the inner space, whereas the gap between the outbreath and the inbreath is the outer space. Under the Hamsa technique, the deepest meditation can be experienced by focusing on either of these two spaces (called sandhi in Sanskrit), in which breathing ceases. In this gap between two breaths, you are a pure being. If you can settle with full awareness in this gap, you are in meditation on your true Self, the state of perfect stillness of the mind.
To experience your own innermost being is the goal of meditation. Swami Muktananda said: “Through meditation you can know your own inner Self. That one who understands the most secret things inside you is the Self. For example, when you are in sleep there is someone who watches everything, who witnesses everything, who understands everything even though you are asleep. And then when you wake up, that being tells you what you have seen in your dream. That being is the Self, so meditate on the Self.”
You can easily practice meditation while living in the world with your job, your spouse, your children, your house, your business, your study, and everything else.
Does God Listen to Prayers?
Questioner: Considering the vastness of the universe, with its countless number of galaxies, it is hard to believe that the Creator of such immensity would listen to our prayers.
Master: Your conception of Infinity is too finite! Although the Lord is infinitely vast, He is also, in His infinity, infinitesimal. Infinity means, “Without end.” The Infinity of God’s consciousness goes not only outward, but also inward—to the very heart of every atom. He is as conscious of every human thought as He is of the movements of the galaxies in space.
If Not Within, God is Nowhere Else
"God, who is present in all places, at all times, and in all things, must be present in this place, at this time, and in this thing. So it follows that God is surely present within each of us. Indeed, a human body is the abode of God. Accordingly, each one of us deserves the highest respect. If God is not within, He is nowhere else." - Building a Noble World, p. 97
Meaning of “I Am the Only God”
"The ultimate statement 'I am the only God' causes confusion to many. The question arises, for example, if Jesus is considered the only God then how can Buddha also be considered the only God? The answer lies in this analogy: When a river merges into the vast ocean, it loses its identiﬁcation as a river. Then, the river’s declaration “I am the ocean” becomes true. Similarly, when a prophet merges his sense of individuality with the all-pervasive Consciousness, his declaration “I am the only God” is entirely true." - Building a Noble World, p. 9
My country is the world and my religion is to do good. — Ralph W. Emerson (1803–1882)
He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened. —Lao-tzu (604 BC–531 BC)
The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know. —Albert Einstein (1879–1955)
Men are not inﬂuenced by things, but by their thoughts about things. —Rama Tirtha (1873–1906)
I do not want to make my stomach a graveyard of dead animals. — George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)
What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. —Ralph W. Emerson (1873–1906)
I love my family more than myself, country more than family, and world more than country. —Rama Tirtha (1873–1906)
Give a man a ﬁsh and he eats for a day. Teach him to ﬁsh and he eats for a lifetime. —Native American Proverb
My nationalism includes the well being of the whole world. —Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948)