Meditation – Balvikas Gurus’ Reference
Prayer versus meditation
“There are two roads to fulfillment: prayer and meditation. Prayer makes you a supplicant at the feet of God. Meditation (dhyana) induces God to come down to you and inspires you to raise yourselves to Him; it tends to make you come together, not place one in a lower level and the other on a higher.” [Sathya Sai Speaks V, ‘Lamps Lit from the Same Flame’]
“Can anyone train another in meditation? Or claim to train? It may be possible to teach a person the posture, the pose, the position of the legs, feet, or hands, neck, head or back, the style of breathing, or its speed. But meditation is a function of the inner man; it involves deep subjective quiet, the emptying of the mind and filling oneself with the Light that emerges from the divine Spark within. This is a discipline that no text book can teach and no class can communicate” [Sathya Sai Speaks VII, ‘Questions Answered’]
“You need not rely on another for success in mediation and soft repetition of the name (dhyana and japa) and await contact with some sage in order to get from him a mantra for recitation. Pray to the God within, and you will receive guidance.” [Sathya Sai Speaks VII, “The Commentary on the Message”]
Schedule for meditation
Recommended time is before dawn (between 3 and 6 AM, ‘auspicious time is 4:30-5:15 AM’ [Sathya Sai Speaks VI, ‘Eyelids & The Pupil’]
But regularity is most important. Swami also recommends a few minutes of meditation in the evening after dusk.
SWAMI ON FORM MEDITATION:
Swami told the students that you have to look at any object –flame, idol, or picture for 12 seconds with total concentration and without blinking eyelids. This is concentration (dharana). Twelve dharana concentrations make one meditation (dhyana). This means that meditation should last for 12×12 = 144 seconds.
Thus, proper meditation need not last more than 2 minutes 24 secs.
Twelve meditations equal one samadhi, which amounts to 12×144 seconds = 28 minutes 48 seconds.
However, it is not something that one does by sitting for a couple of minutes or hours. Contemplation of the Lord should be always at all places.
Sri Ramana Maharshi was once asked, “How long should one practice meditation? 15 or 30 or 45 minutes or an hour?’ His reply was, ‘You should continue doing it till you forget that you are meditating. As long as you are conscious (physically aware) that you are meditating, it is no meditation at all.”
The consciousness of body and mind and the thought of yourself should become totally extinct. The experience of only the object of your meditation should subsist, i.e. nothing else but the presence of divinity. The state of meditation is experiencing but without the consciousness that you are experiencing.
Posture for meditation
Sit on a special mat/piece of cloth/cushion that you use for prayers. This acts as an insulation for not earthing the body currents. Sit straight because, “when the body is straight and quiet, the mind is also straight and quiet. If you cannot control your body, how can you control your mind” Relax the hands in two ways: (a) place hands in lap, with one palm on top of the other with thumbs touching at the tips or (b) rest your arms on your knees with the palms facing upward and the fingers in chin-mudra posture ……….. To regulate the breath for Soham session, keep “the tip of the tongue gently on the rear of the teeth.” [Sathya Sai Speaks XI, “Bhakti, Stage by Stage”]