Today man has become so tense that only meditation can help. Through the meditation process, one can consciously experience bliss within. Just as we unconsciously experience a peaceful state when we pass into the deep sleep state of mind, so also we can consciously experience a blissful state beyond the mind when we glide into authentic 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. The three states of waking, dream and sleep come and go but the “I” existence persists in all the three states. The “I” existence, which is the true and natural state of the Self called turiya, is the changeless background screen on which all the three states come and go. However, without self realization, the said reality does not become evident. Once you realize the Self, you identify with the Self, not with your physical body and mind. 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 at yourself as a 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 in-breath and the out-breath is the inner space, whereas the gap between the out-breath and the in-breath 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 or Self is the goal of meditation. What is the Self? 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.”
Meditation happens easily in the company of a good meditator. The one who plunges into genuine meditation, not an illusion of meditation, constantly emits divine rays and vibrations that help others a lot.
What you eat and how you live your life influence your meditation a great deal. Eating nourishing food and living a pure life are very conducive to meditation. Sages emphasized celibacy for deep meditators because without celibacy one cannot get beyond a certain level of meditation. It might be easier said than done but with the right attitude of mind, you can certainly transform your life through meditation.
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.