Monday is AUM-day; in search of meditation.
The affairs of the world will go on forever. Do not delay the practice of meditation.
It is true, isn't it? Not just in meditation but very often for many of the more meaningful and pertinent moments in life we find ways to procrastinate, then seek justification for our hesitance from the external circumstances. Also, there are those who seek the accoutrements of the act of meditational practice… the correct aasana (in this case the word is used for the item with which to dress the seat, be it cushion, cloth or stool), the 'just-so' outfit (one must wear cotton and have freedom of movement…?!), the perfect incense or candle…. The list goes on.
All that is required is YOU!
Stop, sit and still yourself. True meditative skill can be applied wherever and whenever the practitioner wills it.
Yes, in the early to middling stages, little external things can be adjusted and employed to aid our focus. Such as the OM chanting given here last week. The important thing to remember is that such things are merely tools and aids until we can climb on our own. There will come a point where they are as distractive as all other externals and therefore equally as destructive to meditational progress.
All the 'advanced' meditators at gurukula were concerned that the guru kept 'holding them back'; insisting on basic techniques, the mechanics of meditation. "Swami-ji, please don't hold us, we have seen the way…" they would plead.
"Why, then, are you still here?" the swami would ask in return.
As long as you think 'I am meditating' you are not. As long as you think 'ah, I have known nothing for some time', then you have slept only. As long as questions arise, or doubts, as long as anything elicits an internal response… you have stayed here and here alone. When the swami refers to 'you', she/he is referring only to The Self, the singular You. The shishya who pleaded was the ego-self.
Reaching into the heights of meditation, that ego-self submerges. Majority egos quiver at this time; they turn back into the safety of the plural existence.
Does this make meditation a futile exercise? It does not. Every sincere effort will yield benefits even within the life which is currently lived.
Re-read the AUM pages thus far. Check on the elements as you apply them and become your own best observer. As you progress through these preparations, with daily application and dedication, there will come some moments of true and powerful peace. Treasure them, but do not hoard them. Do not chase for them. Allow the process to take over. Draw inward.