A Practical Approach to Meditation
If we have been initiated and we haven’t been able to sit in meditation, or we started to sit but we stopped doing it, then we need a practical approach to renew our commitment to sit for meditation. The important thing is to begin with what time we can. Then gradually and persistently we can increase that time, not jumping full-blown into two and a half hours for one or two days then falling away to ten minutes or nothing at all. That is not the way. The way is slow and steady: to increase the time gradually.…
If you force your mind to meditate and say, “Even if I can’t give the proper time to meditation, let me give at least half the time, even if I’m busy,” then you’ll get regularity.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Die to Live
Meditation is a way of life
In the beginning, our meditation may seem divorced from our daily life. It is like two people who live in the same house and do not talk to each other. In time, daily life and meditation become integrated and support each other. From meditation we learn to be present, more concentrated, more generous, in whatever we do throughout the day. The attitudes of surrender, patience, contentment and awareness that are strengthened through the process of meditation are naturally applied to every aspect of daily life. Our lives then reflect the peace, joy and calmness that develop automatically through the practice of meditation.
Meditation helps us to see how there is oneness between everything and everybody in the creation – that, externally and internally, all is Shabd. We see how everything is interconnected. As we bring this realization to all aspects of our daily life, we demolish the walls we have built that separate our spiritual life from our daily life. The fracture that is experienced by so many people in the wholeness of their being is gradually healed.
If we analyze our tendency to see our meditation as separate from our daily life, we will understand that it is simply a symptom of this fracture, or fragmentation, that we typically experience in many aspects of our lives. What we say is different from what we do. Our spiritual desires are not reflected in our actions. We are in one place but wish we were in another. We are doing one thing but thinking of doing something else. Since we are never in the present and never being where we are, it’s no wonder that meditation seems so boring: we are never there. And yet meditation is the only remedy for this fragmentation, this cosmic fracture that has not only separated us from God and the Master, but has also torn apart our inner being.
Meditation is devotion
Devotion is a practical way to become receptive to the teachings of the Masters. If we see the Master as a teacher of logic and intellect, then we will get words and explanations. If we try to know the Master as he really is, without the hindrance of the intellect, then we will come to know him as the embodiment of Shabd. For those who are intellectual by nature, this is very difficult to do, but we need to start somewhere. However artificial and stone-hearted we may have become, raised as most of us have been on scientific materialism, we still yearn to experience feelings of love, awe and longing, like those recorded by the lovers of Shabd.
Love came and emptied me of self,
Every vein and every pore
Made into a container to be filled by the Beloved
Of me, only a name is left
The rest is You my Friend, my Beloved
Shaikh Abu-Saeed Abil-Kheir
A time will come when we will see our Master as something more than a mere human being. When, through meditation, we are able to relate to him as the embodiment of Shabd, we will be able to receive the full transforming and purifying power of his teachings. This receptivity we will only get from meditation. Without meditation, we will be able to perceive only a fraction of a fraction of his love and wisdom. That is why it is so important that we try to develop the highest type of devotion through meditation.
I can tell you one thing: just attend to your meditation. There’s no other way, there’s no other short cut. By attending to meditation you are automatically progressing towards your destination, and you will become another being and lose your identity. Meditation is the only remedy. There’s no other way to lose your identity. When there is so much rust on the knife, the only way to remove it is to rub the knife against the sandstone. Otherwise, the rust won’t go, the knife won’t shine. Mere talk won’t solve your problem; intellectual discussion won’t lead you anywhere. The main thing is practice.
The Lord gives us hunger; the more we attend to meditation, the more hungry we become. When we become hungry. He provides us with food. As Christ said, the harvest is ready. The harvest is always ready, but we have to lift our consciousness to that level where we can collect that harvest…. Just change your way of life according to the teachings and attend to meditation. That is all that is required. From meditation, love will come, submission will come, humility will come. Everything will come.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Die to Live