The state of meditation is difficult to describe because we enter a level of our own Being that transcends the mind. We cannot learn it, but we can learn techniques that help to take us there - to a state of Awareness which has nothing to do with words, doing or thinking.
Meditation encourages the rediscovery of the totality of our Being. First of all, we become aware of the constant chatter in our minds. Meditative practices allow this mental fuzz to fade more into the background or even to dissolve. Then we are no longer totally identified with the mind. We start to identify with an indefinable quality that underlies the mind and are able to just be in the moment. We can accept what IS. Then we develop the capacity to love what IS. It is full expression of love: love not for a single person, but for the totality of existence.
Through meditation, we realise that the mind is an instrument; freeing us from being its slave. We realise that what we are is more than the mind. We start to commune with Consciousness. This communion is the state of meditation. It is an expression of existence; it is not an expression of the mind.
There are many different practices which lead to meditation:
- passive (e.g. antar mouna - inner silence) where we become aware of the inner workings and noises of the mind. We learn to witness thoughts and emotions in a way that allows us to accept them. Thus the mind is calmed and quietened, bringing the experience of inner silence.
- active (e.g. Chankramanam - meditative walking) or kriya yoga
- energising (e.g. ajapa japa - mantra repetition) where through constant repetition of a mantra (e.g. om) synchronised with the breath, the mind is relieved of all tensions, which in turn removes the root cause of most physical and mental ailments
- relaxation (e.g. yoga nidra)
- using sound (e.g. chanting mantra)
- concentration of the mind (e.g. trataka)
- visualisation (using symbols).
At the ashram we meditate daily.
We strongly advise you to learn meditation from a competent yoga teacher.