"What is meditation? Perfect concentration upon a perfect thing is called meditation. Just remember that."
- Guru Maharaj Ji
Meditation on the Knowledge which Guru Maharaj Ji reveals is the most fundamental activity of our lives; we strive to make it the center of our concentration twenty-four hours a day. Because we can do all our actions while in meditation, it doesn't detract from our duties. Rather, by keeping us conscious of that perfect life inside of us, all of our actions become geared toward the expression of that perfection.
Because meditation is a continuous thing, it takes much effort to remember to meditate. It may be initially difficult, because we have accumulated habits of mental laziness whereby our mind rambles and remains uncentered. We may dwell for a moment on one thing, and the next moment on something else. But the aim in meditation is to bring our mental energies to one point, to that perfect point which has been revealed to us.
As we practice meditation in our day to day lives, we see that it helps us to find clarity in our thoughts, and to direct them usefully. So, meditation becomes the most practical tool we can have, and the constant application of meditation is the most important thing to do.
Constant meditation is an internal experience, and can be done wherever you are. But there are also times during the day when seated meditation is necessary. When you have a time in which your only activity is the activity of meditation, it helps to strengthen your meditation for the rest of the day.
Approaching these times with a positive attitude will make things a lot easier. Approaching seated meditation without expectation, and accepting whatever experience you may have with love and good humor, allows us to make the long term effort which is needed to
sustain the experience of Knowledge.
A Meditation Posture
Generally, you should always try to sit as straight as possible when meditating. The head should be unsupported because if you rest your head, you are more likely to fall asleep when you are supposed to be meditating. Another point to remember is that by staying as immobile as possible, it is easier to concentrate inside.
Because we are aware of our body mostly due to our movements, if we can hold the body immobile long enough, our consciousness of it disappears, and our concentration remains in Light, Word, Music or Nectar rather than our limbs.
A balanced alignment of our body really promotes an even flow of energy in meditation. Do the best position your age and muscle tone will support, but don't worry at your lack of achieving a "full lotus" position. Remember, it is not body contortions which bring us peace.
A Meditation Time
Meditating regularly and getting into the flow of the meditation means working a new habit into your daily schedule. The regularity of your sitting down to meditate is as important as the amount of time you spend in meditation. (Two hours every day is worth more than twelve hours every two weeks.)
It is a good idea to have some satsang about your new schedule (including meditation) with your family members or others around you who may not understand, so that time for meditation, satsang and service will be respected and understood.
When setting your meditation schedule, set simple, possible standards for yourself. Don't try to get up at four, take a cold shower, fall asleep at work, and then think meditation is impossible. The ashram schedule (found on page 20 of this booklet) is designed to facilitate a life of satsang, service and meditation. You may want to adapt it to your needs.
The best times for meditation are actually the "quiet" hours, i.e. sunrise, sunset, late night; but you may have other times which would be better, according to your own biological clock.
Sit as long as possible, but don't worry about how long you sit. Effort is the key. Don't feel that you are fighting a losing battle with your mind. But put as much effort and time into meditation as you possibly can. If your mind becomes agitated and constantly pulls you out of meditation, "ride" it out as long as possible; take a break, and start
LIFE WITH KNOWLEDGE
again if you have time.
Exercise, good foods, fresh clothing, and a good shower before meditating are ways to make you feel better and brighten your outlook. This positive feeling can help in inspiring you to really "get into" meditation. Try not to eat too heavily before meditation as it takes energy which would be focused in meditation and uses it for digestion instead.
Also, there are certain items which can be used to help your meditation, by providing a good environment. The seat for meditation should be one of the most comfortable seats in the house, in a place which is quiet. Good cushions, or a straight backed chair, can make you more comfortable.
Use of a baragon while doing Light and Music techniques, gives you the support you need, so that you can give time and attention to the practice of these techniques. Earplugs for screening out unnecessary sounds; use of a soft, light comfortable covering or shawl; having a picture of Guru Maharaj Ji, are all things which can help you to center on meditation. At least when these physical considerations are taken care of, you can't find an excuse on the physical level as to why you can't concentrate.