How Do We Meditate?
Those of us who get up early to meditate probably all have our little rituals before getting started. Our routine might go something like this: We get out of bed and wash our face; maybe we brush our teeth and comb our hair. We may even have a cup of tea. And when we sit down we try to adhere to the general instructions: spine straight; position comfortable but not so comfortable that we fall asleep. And then we start our simran – or we continue our simran, if we were doing it while preparing! We also try for that concentration that is so difficult to attain.
But there could be more to it than all this. In Die to Live, Maharaj Charan Singh tells us, over and over again, that we should attend to our meditation with love and devotion. To remember that the one whom we love is sitting at the eye centre waiting for us makes us eager to meet him there. It helps to focus our attention.
If love is going to have an impact on our meditation, it should be reflected in every area of our lives. How can we expect spiritual progress, how can we meditate, if we harbour resentment or jealousy against somebody, or if we feel bitterness or anger about our destiny in life? To have real love in our heart means tolerance and acceptance. To have love for and faith in the Master means we will be happy with whatever circumstances he places us in. It means wanting to please him through our actions, especially by making faithful and regular meditation our number one priority in life.
Why is devotion important? To be devoted to somebody or something means that the object of our devotion is of primary importance to us – as our meditation should be. Devotion turns an act of service into an act of love. It means continuously thinking about the object of one’s devotion, being always ready, willing and keen to spend time and effort on it. If we can feel real and deep devotion when we meditate, it will become so important to us that we will allow nothing, no circumstance, to keep us from doing it. We will organize our life around our need to meditate and everything else will take second place to it.
But, of course, now comes the all–important question: How do we get to feel that kind of love and devotion? Those emotions will not materialize out of thin air. Maharaj Charan Singh answers that question in Die to Live: “Attending to meditation will automatically generate love and devotion in you, and when you attend to your meditation with that love and devotion, naturally you will get results.”
So if we think that we are lacking in love and devotion, let us meditate with real longing for it in our hearts. By doing that, these will come to us – automatically. Maharaj Ji tells us that meditation itself will bring the love and devotion we need to improve the quality of our meditation. Then we will sit and meditate the way our Master wants us to meditate.
If you love your Master with your whole heart
You have achieved everything.
Otherwise his company won’t help you.
Water and stone live together
Yet the pebble remains dry within.
Tukaram: The Ceaseless Song of Devotion