Two weeks ago, I started a regular meditation class every Thursday evening, something new I am sharing with the world in 2015 after having taught yoga classes for 13 years. I felt that the time has come for me to move into the more subtle dimension of spirituality i.e. a rediscovery of our true nature, Ananda (bliss). Ananda is not joy or pleasure, it is that tranquil silent state which we experience when we have gone beyond both pain and pleasure. In short, it is the state in which both pain and pleasure have ceased to affect us.
From my experience, there are a few important understandings which can smoothen one’s journey in experimenting with meditation.
The first thing we need to understand is – Man is from Universe, man is from Existence, he is born out of divine energy (Shakti). Here is the clue – we know that the universe is made out of the 5 major elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether or space. These same 5 elements can also be found in a human body – earth (flesh and bones), water (blood and fluid), fire (digestive fire which converts food to energy), air (breathing) and space (his inner space where thoughts and visualization happen). That is why man always tries to tune himself to these 5 elements because he comes from the same energy. This energy has been called by various names – Atman, Brahman, Self, God, Allah, Super consciousness and so on. They are all referring to the same divine energy.
Whenever man is at ease with these 5 elements, he is healthy and joyful. When he becomes unease with these 5 elements through unconscious living, he becomes diseased. Hence since time immemorial, he has developed different teachniques to tune himself to these 5 elements. For example, through worshipping the earth elements like idols of a divine representation made out of stones or metal, taking holy bath (snaan) in a large water body is connecting with water element, doing fire rituals like homa or arathi is connecting with the divine through fire, chanting of sacred mantras using different sound vibrations is using the air element and finally meditation (dhyana) is the way to connect with the divine through space/ether. The earth element is the grossest while the ether is the subtlest of all the elements. Hence, tuning to the divine through meditation is our very nature, it is the technique to help us connect to the energy of the Cosmos; there is nothing to be fearful about.
The second understanding is that meditation cannot be learned because we are already a meditator by our nature! Look at any new born baby you will understand that we arrive on planet earth in meditative state. Do you remember those moments when you experienced extreme beauty with Nature? In such moments, you become totally still, wordless or thoughtless but fully aware of the beauty. That moment is meditation! As such, this state can only be experienced not learned, meditation is not something we do, it is the state that flowers when we drop all doing, thinking, feeling and just being. In that being state, we experience the present moment without resistance. In the non-doing state, we relax into bliss (Ananda).
The third thing is that meditation requires a tremendous change inside you because meditation is a complete transformation of your entire way of life. As the seed is already within each one of us, you just need to have the willingness to be transformed and have the courage to face death of your old personality and be reborn as someone entirely new.
The fourth important understanding is that with meditation, you become the silent watcher, the witness of your own thoughts, emotions and actions. As you start witnessing all the happenings inside you, you will realise that there is someone inside you who does not change, who does not get angry or sad, worry about anything in the worldly plane like money, name and fame or security. In that experience, you experience the REAL YOU who can never be touched! You experience a tremendous sense of freedom i.e. freedom from yourself, from the bondage of personality that you have formed around yourself.
The next important understanding is about the right approach to meditation. When you start to meditate, approach each meditation with sincerity and openness to experiment, an optimism towards life, be playful and patient for a great adventure without worrying about the end results. Just enjoy the solitude of sitting with yourself. That way you will never have a dull moment in meditation.
In essence, all of us are searching and yearning for the state of bliss or Ananda. The unconscious ones search in the outer world in money, power, sense pleasures and relationships, only the wise ones turn inwards using meditation as a path to experience their innate nature. Bliss is our birth right, we just have to reclaim it by living it. Namaste! 😀