The Deeper You Go
We all lead busy lives. There are hundreds of books published on how to enhance productivity. Due to increased exposure to technology, our attention span has deteriorated and the inner chatter of our mind together with our shortened attention span and other distractions hinder our focus.
How often, in the middle of a task, do we feel the urge to pick up our phone to see the latest text message or news update? Little do we realize that the information we are consuming is adding to the background noise in our mind. To be successful, it is essential to be laser-focused on what we are doing.
In a world full of distractions, deep focus, or being engrossed in a certain task, can help us achieve success. We’re able to perform daily activities with full concentration thereby enhancing our productivity. With deep focus and attention, not only do we become more skilled, we start enjoying even mundane tasks. By practising deep focus, we enhance our ability to learn new skills and improve those skills.
This principle also applies to our meditation. Initially, there is a lot of noise and inner chatter in our mind, which prevents us from focusing during simran. When we sit for meditation, our mind starts to rebel. Or when we try to achieve deep concentration the mind gets distracted. This is natural because the mind’s tendency is to run outwards.
The Masters explain the reason why we struggle with the mind. Our soul was originally pure but because of our desires and association with the mind, it has become impure and unclean. The mind in turn is ruled by the senses, and its attachments and consequent desires pull us down and keep us away from our true home. Hazur Maharaj Ji explains:
You see, there is water in the clouds in the sky, but when it rains the water comes onto the ground. It merges into the dirt. It stagnates; it gives off a foul smell. It has forgotten its identity. It is thinking itself part and parcel of the dirt. But when a hot wind touches that water, it evaporates. Then it realizes: The dirt is something different from me; unnecessarily I was thinking of myself as part and parcel of this dirt. It realizes its own origin – it is a cloud in the sky. It goes back and merges into the sky, the clouds. That is the condition of everybody’s soul.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I
We are like that water in the dirt, which has forgotten its identity and origin. The soul has forgotten its true home but we can take it back to its true source by deep meditation. So how do we do this deep meditation? It can’t just happen in a split second; we need to adopt a different strategy. We need to dig deeper and with practice make focus our default mode.
O heart, didn’t the beloved tell you in all that was happening,
“As much as you are emptying yourself, I am filling you with myself?”
Jalal al-Din Rumi
With our practice of simran and bhajan, little by little, our meditation deepens and we gain some control of the mind, as we go through our karmas and become more detached from the world, with the help of the Master’s grace and our obedience to his instructions. Eventually, he will reveal himself to us and make us realize that we are already one with him.
Do not for a moment feel that you are once again back to where you were fifteen or twenty years ago. Meditation once done can never be lost, even though for some reason or other further progress is temporarily obstructed. Your efforts and achievements are there in reserve with the Master to be given to you manifoldly when the proper time arrives. Do your simran while sitting, walking, eating, resting and at any other time when you have no special work that needs concentration. Keep your simran during the day as just mentioned and also before going to and rising from bed. This way of simran would mean absolutely no strain, and then watch the effect.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Quest for Light