Shri Mataji meditationMeditation

Now you all have realized by this time that within us lies the peace, the beauty, the glory of our being. There is an ocean of all that. We cannot seek it outside. We have to go ‘within,’ what they call ‘in the meditative state’; you seek it, you enjoy it.

Like when you are thirsty, you go to a river, or you go to an ocean and try to quench your thirst. But even the ocean cannot give you sweet water. So how can anything that is spread outside give you what is deep within you? You are trying to find it outside, where it does not lie. It is within us, absolutely within us. It is so simple, because it is your own. It is within your reach, just there!

… Try to meditate. Meditate more, so that you reach that “inner being”. And this inner being is the vast ocean of bliss which exists in every one of us. It is that vast flood of light that floods everybody’s inner beauty. So to approach it, you have to go within yourself, by denying things which are against it, against your movement (inwards).

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (click to read the whole talk)

 
 
 

 

What is meditation?

What is meditation? If you are interested in meditation you have probably watched tons of videos, might have visited many websites or, if you belong to an older generation, you might have read lots of books, probably hundreds of pages altogether. But having read all those books and watched all those videos, can you answer this question – what is meditation? Almost certainly you cannot. And this is not because of you but because those who write those books or make those videos themselves do not know what meditation is. This is no wonder because the state of real meditation is not easy to achieve. Normally what people describe as meditation is in fact just relaxation, or might be some concentration technique. But meditation actually brings these two together – one is completely relaxed and at the same time one’s attention if fully concentrated. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, the founder of Sahaja Yoga, defines meditation in three simple words – meditation is the state of thoughtless awareness. That is when one is completely aware, not sleeping nor being in trance or hypnotized, but has no thoughts at all. Many will say that this is impossible and they will be right. Yes, this is practically impossible unless and until one’s inner spiritual energy called Kundalini is awakened. Once awakened, this energy starts rising from the Sacrum bone where it was staying in a dormant state, passes through the six energy centers called Chakras and opens the seventh center on the top of the head thus establishing the state of Yoga – union with the universal energy. When passing through the sixth Chakra called Agnya, which is located in the forehead, Kundalini relaxes it and thus makes it possible for the first time to stop the continuous flow of thoughts. That is when one reaches the real state of meditation. In Sanskrit this state is called as Turya – the fourth dimension in human awareness, the first three being awareness of the body, mind and emotions. Or alternatively, these could mean the state of wakeful awareness, sleep and deep sleep (without dreams). In the Turya state there are no thoughts to distract one’s attention, thus the attention becomes fully concentrated although completely relaxed. This is the state of real meditation. In that state there is no though which would carry your attention away from reality into the past or the future. When one is not thinking, one’s attention is in the present. And the present is the only reality because the past is finished and the future didn’t come yet. At the same time, meditation is not trance or sleep because in the state of meditation one is completely aware of whatever happens within or without. And in that state of complete awareness one starts feeling one’s own spirit, which is the source of absolute peace and joy within us.

What is NOT meditation (approaches that are frequently confused for meditation):

  • Meditation is not concentration. It is true that in the state of meditation one's attention is concentrated but that happens effortlessly, spontaneously. While the word concentration itself implies an effort and that effort blocks one from achieving the state of meditation.
  • Meditation is not relaxation. When one reaches the state of meditation one does bthus meditation being a state of thoughtless awareness cannot be achieved by visualization.
  • Meditation is not trance or hypnosis. In those states one loses awareness ecome.
  • Meditation is not visualization. Visualization is a kind of thought and while in meditation one is fully aware.
  • Loss of control Sounds, voices, colors and involuntary movements have nothing to do with meditation or spirituality. These are symptoms of loss of awareness and loss of control over some parts of ourselves.
  • Exercises Exercises, such as postures and breathing, do not constitute meditation. But they may help establish some balance if under the guidance of a true master and thus can be of some help for meditation.

How to meditate?

In fact, there is nothing like to do meditation. This is another common misconception. One can be in the state of meditation but one cannot do meditation. This state comes spontaneously after one’s Kundalini is awakened. In the state of meditation one’s attention is fixed at the seventh chakra, Sahasrara, at the top of the head. This is where yoga, i.e. the state in which one’s Kundalini unites with the all-pervading power of Cosmic Love, takes place. One can feel that connection as cool breeze above one’s head. When you start feeling relaxed and peaceful, just close your eyes and watch your thoughts. Do not try to control your thoughts or to stop them. When Kundalini rises and crosses through the sixth chakra located in the forehead, thoughts cease by themselves and you can easily enter into the state of thoughtless awareness, i.e. meditation. However, this is possible only when one’s Kundalini is awakened, i.e. after one gets one’s Self-Realization. You can get your self-realization right now in front of your computer. Or you can visit one of the Sahaja Yoga centers where you will easily learn all the techniques that will help you to get into the state of meditation.

The main thing that makes Sahaja Yoga meditation different from other styles of meditation is that when the Kundalini is awakened one can easily become thoughtless. That is, there is no need to make any effort to stop the thoughts. The second important factor is that in Sahaja Yoga it is easier to meditate collectively than individually, and one can then achieve a deeper experience. It happens so because in collective meditation the Kundalinis of all those present join together into one strong flow of energy. That is why one then experiences a deeper state than in an individual meditation or before one’s Kundalini was awakened.

Although, as we have just said, there is nothing like to do meditation there are still some techniques and approaches that help one to reach the state of meditation.

What can help one to reach the state of meditation?

  • It is better to meditate in a quiet silent environment.
  • Light a candle. The flame is said to clear negative energies in the environment so that there should be no disturbing influence that may distract you attention from meditation.
  • In the beginning you can look for a while at the candle flame. But look in a very relaxed way, without concentration. This will help relax the 6th chakra and thus reduce the flow of thoughts.
  • Meditating on the photo of a spiritual teacher can be helpful as even the facial expression of such a person helps one to feel the meditative state. Thus in Sahaja Yoga we meditate on the photo of Shri Mataji. You can see the effect of the photograph right now. Keep your attention on the top of your head, open your hands and watch the sensations on your palms and fingers. Watch Shri Mataji’s photo for some time, then close your eyes and just enjoy the state of meditation.
  • Normally keep your eyes closed so that there are no external influences that may distract your attention.
    When thoughts are coming (and they surely will) do not fight them, do not try to stop them. Just watch them from outside without identifying yourself with the thoughts.
  • If the flow of thoughts is too strong it can be helpful to open the eyes for a while and watch the candle flame again or watch the photo. When you feel that your thoughts are relaxed, you can close the eyes again.
  • Another way to relax the thoughts is to put the right hand on the forehead and say “I forgive”, without remembering anybody specifically, just in general.
  • Meditation music can be helpful. Best for meditation is the Indian classical music (ragas), not fusion. You can find ragas in our Indian classical music page or on the Online radio.

There are many techniques that help one reach the state of meditation. Although not difficult, they are better learnt face to face from an experienced meditator. That’s why we stop this introduction here and invite you to visit one of Sahaja Yoga centers.

Collective meditation

It is a specialty of Sahaja Yoga that collective meditation becomes specially deep and strong. The reason is that Sahaja Yoga starts with the awakening of Kundalini and, once awakened, our individual Kundalinis feel each other and during collective meditation join into one strong energy flow. That is why collective meditation becomes not only deeper, it actually opens up a new dimension which one cannot achieve while meditating alone. You yourself can experience the depth of collective meditation in one of Sahaja Yoga centers.

Meditation music

Music can be very helpful in meditation. It is not a coincidence that the number of musical notes and the number of energy centers (chakras) in the human body is the same (7). Each note, in fact, resonates with vibrations in a certain chakra. Thus using music in the right way helps one to achieve the state of meditation. Of course not every kind of music is meditative. Indian classical music, in which compositions are called Ragas, is specially composed for meditation. You can listen to this music and meditate to it in our Online meditation roomOnline Radio, Classical Indian Music page and Musical Exercises page. Musical exercises are especially helpful as doing vocal exercises yourself you directly activate your chakras which helps you to achieve the state of meditation.

Benefits of meditation

Before writing about the benefits of meditation, we should notice that the biggest benefit is actually the state of meditation itself. Because the joy and peace one feels in meditation are so deep that one does not look for any other benefit but practices meditation for its own sake. But at the same time, meditation has positive effects in every aspect of one’s life. The reason is that the subtle system of meditator (chakras and energy channels) gets cleared and balanced and thus one’s whole life comes into balance and becomes filled with joy and peace. You can click here to read more about the benefits of meditation.

Shri Mataji's words about meditation

"Meditation is the only way you can enrich yourself with the beauty of reality. There’s no other way, I cannot find any other way but meditation by which you rise."

 

You can read more about meditation on the Frequently Asked Questions on Meditation page.