“You should have full-time devotion in order to attain full-time grace.”
Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Meditation or HPT – Your Highly Precious Time:
There are many forms of meditation as recommended by the many religions and gurus around the world. We will concern ourselves with what I call Guided Meditation, Simple Meditation and True Meditation.
(The Taoist Master Nee said there are 106 forms!!)
The word meditation comes from the Greek root medi meaning middle or within. Therefore you can see it is logical that true meditation must come from within you and be of yourself and not of someone else.
A Guided Meditation, which is what you may be familiar with, is one where someone else tells a story or takes you on an imaginary journey. It relaxes you, and as you are concentrating on the story, or you should be, it takes you away from the cares of the world. It brings you peace, but it is not True meditation.
It can however lead you along the path towards meditation and if done well may bring visions and elevations of consciousness showing you the way.
There is what I call Simple Meditation where like the guided meditation you go on a journey but it is your journey and not put there by someone else. Again it brings you peace and there are certain guidelines to follow, (see later.)
Or you may sit quietly and send out loving, healing thoughts and this too will bring an inner calm, relaxation and a great sense of peace, but it is not meditation – it is more akin to distant healing. These states of consciousness are close to one another and it is important that you focus and concentrate, so that you are aware and know where you are!
So, how do you go about Simple Meditation?
All that is required is for you to sit in peace and quiet, preferably in the early morning, or at a time convenient to you but best at the same time every day when you will not be disturbed. To say a simple payer then take yourself on a journey to a place you love. That is simple meditation and as long as you keep your thoughts on a positive loving vibration then you won’t go far wrong.
We say to sit in the peace and quiet, but in truth simple meditation may occur anywhere and at any time. One of my favourite times, apart from the first of the day in the early morning, is on a solitary walk in the countryside or an ancient forest surrounded by the sounds of nature.
Now the purist would say that is a load of cobblers and not meditation at all. True it is not True Meditation but I believe in being practical and trying to accommodate what most people experience and then give you something more, something better to aim for. You could progress along the same simple line and go to a Jyoti type meditation, recommended by Sai Baba, which to me is more like self healing. It involves bringing light to the various parts of the body, and that too can be of great personal benefit.
Within the main heading of simple meditation comes a second version that is practised by some Buddhist Cultures.
It is termed Serene Reflection Meditation. I just love that title! You simply sit and allow the various thoughts to come into your mind. As you reflect on these thoughts you can deal with them, or better still let them pass with no special attention and when you return to normal consciousness you will find that problems may be easier to cope with and indeed solutions may present themselves to you. As you sit in this mindset of reflection the various thoughts recede as their significance diminishes until such time as you become one with the higher self or divine nature within, often termed mergence.
Of course this does not happen overnight and it will take many hours, perhaps even years, of patient reflection until that point of serenity, or mergence within is reached. It is however viewed by some as a simpler choice but in fact in the long run is just as difficult as True Meditation.
However, as with miracles ‘there is no order of difficulty’ and the difficulty is the same with meditation whichever route you travel – for the goal is the same in all. But before you rush headlong in to it there are a few things that need to be mentioned and a few frequently asked questions answered.
For a start if you have just had a row with your partner or the kids or just seen a violent movie on the telly or even watched the news for that matter, don’t even think about meditation. This is why first thing in the morning, before anyone else is about and before your brain gets going on the mundane things of life, is a good time.
If you have just drunk alcohol forget it, there is little likelihood that you have had your first G & T at 6.00 am! So again morning is a good time. In short you must be in the right frame of mind or you may never achieve mergence and invite negative energies in the process. Some of my students have said to me : “But if I am stressed then meditation calms me down”. Now what they are doing is practising relaxation and not meditation. It can be a forerunner to meditation but it is far better to be relaxed before you start otherwise the trauma may easily re-enter the mind.
As in most things that I attempt it is all about preparation, I usually have to think about things a lot before I do them, do a lot of research and sort of psych myself up for it, and I estimate that it is 95% think and 5% do! Certainly for something like decorating the preparation is the most important part, if you want a good end result, and for meditation it is no different.
Prayer before Meditation
As already mentioned I use the Christ Way Prayer and others, but any simple prayer from the heart, which you are happy with, I believe is good.
Remembering that the Prayer is talking, a bit like setting up your stall in the same way each day, with maybe only slight variations as the moment takes you, and Meditation is listening.
Watch and meditate on this space.
With love from Hanukah