The Flavour of Meditation
When we want to make a good stew, we must first peel all the vegetables and meticulously cut them into bite size pieces. We then sauté the ingredients over high heat stirring constantly so that they do not overcook. We then add the stock, the spices and herbs and keep it over very low flame to slowly simmer, allowing the flavours to come together infusing every bite with its zest and aroma.
Meditation is somewhat similar – we first prepare ourselves for the practice by making sure that we are fresh and alert. We then carefully and attentively stir in rounds of simran, one by one, ensuring that we do not lose our focus.
But this is where we forget that in order to attain the desired results, we must exercise patience and allow time to pass so that the mind can simmer in the flavour of meditation. Through this process, karmic debt is reduced, the ego is dissolved, and the spices of love, contentment, gratitude, obedience and surrender penetrate and soften our entire being.
Progress is something that we need to keep on the back burner and forget about. Our job is to put in our best effort and have faith that the fire of his grace and love will, in time, bring about the transformation.
The Masters have always told us that meditation is a gradual process, but let us not think that this means that we can take our own sweet time to put in the effort! The effort has to be put in now, though we must patiently wait for the results.
Being patient is not easy. It can be as suffocating as holding our breath under water, but it is this virtue that helps expand our capacity to experience peace, bliss and love. Patience is what prepares us for the joy that we look forward to.
Although the bitterness of patience is suffocating, it will become in the end a wonder of joy.
Rumi, as quoted in Teachings of Rumi
It is hard to be patient when the winds of karma blow hard against us and when the uncertainty of life casts its shadow, and we long to be by our Master’s side.
We are often tempted to give our Master a nudge; a visit to the Dera, a question, a letter, a request or anything that might get us a visible reaction from him. But we are just showing our lack of faith. Just because we cannot see the changes that are subtly taking place within us does not mean our efforts are in vain or that our Master has forgotten us.
There are many instances where we judge ourselves and ask: “How can I meditate and yet behave in such a manner?” Have we ever stopped to think how it would be if there was no meditation to begin with? How much worse could we have been?
If we could only see how the flavour of meditation is slowly and steadily infusing every pore of our being, we would never feel exasper-ated. But not seeing does not mean we cannot have faith and patiently wait for the Master to complete his final masterpiece.