No Light Switch
After initiation we learn from experience that there is no light switch in our brains that we can throw on when we sit for meditation that will immediately turn off the downward and outward currents of the mind and turn on the flow of concentrated love and devotion. We can’t by force of will stop our train of worldly thoughts and switch over to focused simran and bhajan. We need a lot of perseverance in meditation. Even further, if we are intent on concentrated meditation, our whole lives must conform to our number one priority; self- and God- realization. Yet we continue to get in our own way by allowing the mind to scatter our attention for most of our waking hours, making our efforts to focus during meditation difficult and frustrating.
The Master encourages us to remember the Lord twenty-four hours a day. In Philosophy of the Masters, Vol. I, Great Master says: “Simran should be done with every breath – one should so remember him with one-pointed attention that he becomes inseparable from him and does not stray away.”
In Living Meditation we read:
We generate thousands of thoughts every day. From the spiritual perspective this means that thousands of times a day our mind bypasses the eye centre as we run from one thought to the next without rest or pause.… We miss the benefit that is available to us – the well-being that comes from repeating the words the Master gave us at the time of initiation, through which we create that much-needed focus at the eye centre.
Almost every one of us begins with the experience that the mind does not want to concentrate in meditation. If we are serious about focusing our attention, we need to be as ready as we can be when we sit down. In Living Meditation the author writes that “If we begin in an unfocused way, our meditation continues to be unfocused throughout.” We need to support our meditation powerfully by doing simran during the day, so that when we sit, our minds are on simran. In The Science of the Soul, Sardar Bahadur Ji writes:
With bhajan only for three hours, the scale will always weigh heavily on the worldly side. You ought to become wholly and solely God-minded.
Throughout the day, no matter in what occupation you are engaged, the soul and the mind must constantly look up to him at the eye centre.
As we persevere in our practice and maintain a Sant Mat way of life, slowly and slowly the stains on the mind fade away. As the Master explains, we clear the contents in a computer’s memory by calling them up on a screen and deleting them. In the same way, we do not overcome weaknesses and temptations by force of our own will, we simply lose interest in them. As we mature on the spiritual path and see more clearly the world for what it is, we no longer dread death but rather begin to look forward to reunification with the Shabd. The Master pulls us closer and closer to him and we rise in love.
In Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II, Hazur is asked whether the only meditation that counts is that which is done with concentration at the eye centre. He replies:
Meditation is living the life of Sant Mat. The whole of life is a meditation; making the mind pure – that is meditation.… So whatever makes your mind pure is your meditation – good living, right type of living, living by the teachings, having good relations with everybody, having a sympathetic nature – and also giving your time to meditation. That is all meditation, you see.… We have to live in meditation day and night. That is real meditation.
By remaining faithful to our practice, we realize the necessity of harmonizing our external activities with our life goal. We find that doing simran during the day works magic; we just need patience and perseverance. In Living Meditation we read, “If we are able to keep the mind in simran throughout the day, we will experience its benefits within ourselves; meditation then becomes the crowning glory of a prize already in hand.”
Of course, there are times when we have to focus our attention on external matters. We should be conscientious and efficient in fulfilling our responsibilities, giving good value to our employers and sincere affection to our families. At the same time, if we are alert, we can find many opportunities to do simran when the mind is free. We then live in a spiritually uplifted atmosphere throughout the day. In Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II, Hazur says:
For the lover, love is a twenty-four-hour sickness. He doesn’t have a specific time to love or to think about the beloved. He is in love twenty-four hours, no matter what he’s doing, where he is. He is mentally with his Beloved twenty-four hours.
Any amount of simran we can repeat contributes to an atmosphere of love and devotion. This positive habit will grow naturally, and as a bonus, our worldly activities will be marked with increased efficiency and compassion.
By persevering in meditation we become pure and clear-minded. Silencing the mind is to return to innocence. A still mind has no guile or agenda; it becomes our friend. Although there is no light switch that we can effortlessly turn on, through the process of meditation, simran throughout the day, and living our principles, the mind becomes clean and receptive. Then our only strategy is surrender and our only intention is merging into the Shabd.