Monday is AUM-day; in search of meditation.
We have been exploring the writings of Gurudev, through his book 'Meditation & Life'. All the instructive chapters have been rendered and now there follows twelve 'chapters' which are designed for contemplation both before and after each meditation session. Please note that the actual writings of Gurudev are quite lengthy, so only the gist and key points are going to be given here. You are again encouraged to seek out a copy of the book to keep to hand as it is an inspiration and with each reading something more will drop into place.
Ch. 38; The Dawn of Wisdom.
Here we are at the final chapter of this particular book. The reading of it does not at all indicate that we are at the 'last chapter' of our saadhana! In this chapter, Gurudev repeats in various different ways the essence of meditative practice. Here follows the kernel of it.
Recognising what is mind and how it plays with us is a large part of overcoming Maya. We are kept in spiritual ignorance by the non-apprehension of Reality and then the mis-apprehension of what Reality is. We do not see Brahman, we see only the effects sitting upon It, just as the man walking in darkness fails to see a post, but sees instead an altered reality in the form of a ghost. The mind is our inner ghost sitting upon the Post of Reality. We must correct our perception.
To do this we are given many different ways to understand how our senses work and then how to overcome them. Further, once a measure of control is attained, we do the same for the antaH-karana, the inner equipment of mind-intellect. The processes include gaining Knowledge and clarifying our doubts, gaining faith and building trust in order to move along the path towards Realisation. Following the guidance provided by the many who have travelled before us, provided we do not take 'scenic routes', we cannot fail to attain the same destination. Inattention, however, permits all sorts of problems and hurdles to arise. Vaasanas will emerge, some familiar, some completely fresh to us, but all requiring that we let them pass and burn away from us - or they will pull us down.
Embarking upon the path of meditation, quickly those who have the stamina for it are found and others fall readily by the wayside. It is not just a simple thing of sitting still. The body can quite readily do that for most folk. No. It is the keeping of inner stillness which demands strength of character, determination, Love and faith. Little by little, we chip away at our inner mountains, reducing them to dust.
Regularity. Sincerity. Involvement. Cheerfulness. Inspiration gained from study and satsanga. Releasing regret over the past, worrying not for future and surrendering to the present … all these are asked of the spiritual seeker.
It can actually be a painful process; the more attached we are, the deeper the scabs of life, the more difficult it can be to let go. Never abandon your spiritual efforts, for then you are truly lost. Every spiritual attempt, although subtle, does bring its rewards. Never give up. Never despair. In those times when meditation is beyond your capabilities, at least turn to japa or bhajan singing. Keep focused on the Higher at all times. In the Mundaka Upanishad, the Guru, on ending his teaching, says, 'Godspeed! May you go pleasantly beyond the kingdom of darkness.' Move into the Light of Lights, by which Light alone all other lights are ever lit up.
Never hurry. Have faith in Lord and teacher. Hasten slowly. Hari Om. Hari Om… 'hurry home'!