“Meditation is falling in tune with nature, with Existence. This is your natural state, your true state of bliss. This is connecting with the Ultimate Consciousness. Meditation is just being blissful in the moment. When you are at complete peace in the present moment, you are already in a state of meditation.” If I had to put down the answer in one line, I would say, anything that raises your consciousness is meditation. It can be even a simple breathing technique. It can be a simple repetition of a word, or it can be just simply sitting! In the Zen tradition, just sitting is meditation. You may think this is the easiest but in fact, it is the most difficult meditation. Anything can become meditation, if it raises your consciousness.
Extensive research done by different scientists in different countries has proven that meditation results in good physical health, mental health, and a host of other derived benefits. But according to me, even those results are not straight results of meditation, they are not the actual purpose of meditation. They are just the side benefits of meditation. Good physical health, mental health, etc. are all wonderful to have, but they are only side benefits of meditation. If somebody asks me, why meditate, straight answer would be, to raise your consciousness! The human body is designed to live in high consciousness. The human brain is wired for enlightenment.
Meditation is needed to create an increasing influence and awareness over both your thinking state and the unconscious state. Instead of the dream state penetrating the waking state and the deep sleep state; with meditation, the turiya or blissful state will start penetrating the waking and deep sleep states! The more and more we meditate, the more we raise our awareness and the more we raise our consciousness of the fourth state – turiya. Turiya itself means fourth. You cannot give an exact name to this state. You can call it by any of these names: samadhi, enlightenment, atmagnana, brahmagnana, nirvana… They are all different names but denoting the same state. When this state starts penetrating and overlapping the waking and deep sleep states, we will see good health happening in the body, mind and being. The purpose of meditation is to experience this fourth state and bring more and more influence of the fourth state into our waking and deep sleep states.
Meditation is just like reading an owner’s manual before you start driving the car. The person who does not read the owner’s manual before driving the car will naturally meet with accidents! In the same way, the person who has not started meditation before entering into life will inevitably enter into suffering and depression at one point or the other. I want you to deeply understand and analyze this question, ‘when meditation?’ Please understand, meditation is the basic thing needed for life. It is not an option. It is a very basic need. As I was telling you earlier, meditation is like an owner’s manual for your body and for your life. The moment you start living, you need to go through it; you need to enter into it. Don’t wait for accidents to happen to start reading the owner’s manual of your life. Be intelligent and start this very moment.
Meditate in the morning or in the evening?
A. There are three kinds of meditation. The first is bringing the Truth or awareness into your life. This is supposed to be done all
twenty four hours a day. Techniques like vipassana or bringing your awareness to the present moment all the time belong to this category of meditation. It is not a part of your routine. It should become the very quality of your routine. You may be doing anything like writing, reading, cooking, discussing… but this thread of meditation should be happening in parallel, like an undercurrent. There are other kinds of meditation techniques for which you need to spend a particular time, like one hour in the morning or one hour in the evening, or any other convenient time. The Mahamantra meditation technique, where you hum for a few minutes and then remain a witness for a few minutes, can be given as an example for this category of meditation.
Then there is the third kind of meditation techniques, which you neither need to the whole day, nor spend seperate time for. Just the very remembrance of the technique is enough! Examples of this are the statements of the great timeless Truths. When you are in a highly mature state, you don’t need any separate technique. You don’t need to practice the whole day or at any particular time. Just the very remembrance of these Truths will put you in the elevated state. You will be in that high state and experience the Truth. This is the third type of meditation. Examples of this are the beautiful Zen koans. They are profound Truths written in a concise way. Just the very remembrance of them will transport you to that zone!
People are afraid that their desires, their fears, and whatever else they think of as their life, will be taken away from them if they
start meditating. I can say that this is true! Once you start meditating, whatever you think of as your life will not be any more an important part of your life, because once you start meditating, the real truths will start revealing themselves to you. All the time, you are trying to protect yourself from the basic truths because you are afraid of them you don’t need to protect yourself from your fears because these fears do not have a base at all. The concept or the idea that you are a solid being, which is the root cause of all your fears, will simply be shaken by meditation. All that you thought you were, all your desires, all your fears, all your worries, will be shaken and will start going through a big change.
Q. There are so many meditation techniques, that we get confused. Each group tries to promote its own technique. How do we know which
technique is right for us?
A. I advise you to try out as many techniques as you come
across. Everyone should try out some techniques, at least 4-5 techniques. See,
everyone who preaches has a spark of truth inside – without that, it is
impossible to come out and be a master. But different masters preach the same
truth in different ways. Also, different people have different mental set-up,
so they may fall in tune more easily with one master, than with another. So try
out the techniques and see. Whichever gives you the deepest inner peace and the
greatest clarity, follow it and forget the rest.