(...I ask for forgiveness from all starting with the beginners and ending with advanced spiritual leaders or Gurus, if my expression below hurts their feelings. I love you all and respect your understanding about meditation. By no means, am I trying to say that you are wrong. You all are right, and please continue doing the right things...)
Meditation does not bring you any inner peace or happiness if you are not concentrating on the right things in the right way. Meditation brings to you only that upon which you meditate. Meditation is not confined within the boundaries of financial success, joy, sound sleep, alleviation of physical ailments etc. Meditation may harm you if you are meditating on negative things. Your desires might be leading you to failure in the long-term, which you may not see at the present time. So don’t ask the Lord/ God for “fulfilling your desires” but “to lead you on the right path”, (i.e., Prachodayat from the Gayatri Mantra).
Meditation is an act of concentrating your mind on something particular, which may be anything. Tantra says meditation is constantly and continually thinking about one thing, on and on. It’s not necessary to close your eyes preparing for meditation. You may be gazing at a tree with open eyes, or focusing on a burning candle flame without blinking your eyes. You must have a strong desire not to blink your eyes and let tears flow down the cheeks. This is called tratak and it is also a part of meditation. You must have set a goal for doing this. Meditation without a goal is just wandering on an empty field with closed eyes; you cannot reach anywhere or it would not bring you any result.
Neither should you compulsorily sit with crossed legs, putting your hands on your knees with the index finger touching the thumb, or doing some other mudras. You can do meditation any time and place: walking, waiting for public transport, sitting on the work chair, lying in bed before falling asleep, sitting on the commode in the washroom, flying in an airplane, waiting for a friend, attending a meeting, etc. There is no boundary for meditation. Meditation is limitless and timeless, so it reaches beyond reality/infinity.
There is no need to maintain yama, niyama and pratyahara for meditation. However, those are always good things if you can follow them without creating any difficulties for your family members or society.
Everyone does meditation, in some way, but if you want to find the truth or solution to a problem you must spend significant time in thinking about that until you get an answer. To find an option for the resolution of an issue is also a result of meditation.
Meditation has different forms:
- Active meditation — when one is voluntarily concentrating on the subject matter.
- Passive meditation — when unwillingly your mind is shadowing the issue, regardless of your attempts to forget it or divert your thinking away from the issue, when your mind is remembering it constantly.
- Sleep meditation — this is also a kind of passive meditation, when your inner soul consciousness, as you are sleeping, dreams and concentrates on the issue or present and past events from the physical world.
- Healing meditation — when you accumulate cosmic energy and send that energy, in the form of a ball, to the particular organ that is sick (for example, massaging the Pancreas gland to stimulate its function to prevent/treat Type II Diabetes).
- Relaxing meditation — when one pushes him/herself into a pleasant atmosphere with imagination, abstract thinking, listening to music, smelling scents from various incense sticks, watching the sky or ocean, etc.
- Tantric meditation — a meditation technique based on Tantric process application. Tantric meditation does not, at all, deal with any intimate activities related to the reproductive system.
Every living being, in this universe, has been engaged in meditation. Meditation is not the private property of some religious group of people. There is no need to refrain from meat or other daily habits of eating for attaining success in meditation. Success in meditation depends on how much you can concentrate, how much time your mind needs to reach to the core of the issue, and how you elaborate/ describe your visions. Meditation can be done by anyone who wants to dig out the root causes of issues that are abundant in daily life.
Meditation does not give any solution or peace or happiness or joy, directly, but it enlightens you with reason and evidence so that you can choose the right path...Prachodayat.
Yogacharya Dr. Binod Baral; MD, PhD, CIC, CHE