Monday is AUM-day; in search of meditation
Meditation has become something of a 'buzzword' these days, particularly in the West. It has been 'discovered' as a means to stress reduction, a mental balancer and well-being enhancer. Which is, of course, true. However, for it to actually be true, it is necessary to understand it. Whilst going along to the local sports hall or library for an hour in peaceful surroundings, with or without music, almost certainly with a 'facilitator', is definitely a good start… that is not meditation as such! It is merely a setting of example, a preparation. What needs to happen is that one then practices this thing every day in order to ensure the peacefulness felt in that source room is carried with us.
What also is required is the learning of what it is exactly. Meditation is not the destressing; that is but a side benefit. Meditation is an at one-ness with Spirit. Not our ego-spirit, but the Universal Consciousness, the energy which drives all creation. To gain that at one-ness, we have to work really hard on our personalities, our habits... our egos.
Sitting in peaceful contemplation, with the mind at rest - but not sleeping! - is a great benefit to many people and is not to be disparaged for that much. However, if the 'facilitator' is worth their spiritual salt, they will seek to educate and raise the individuals in their group beyond mere peacefulness. There is something to be had which is so far beyond peacefulness, words fail in its description. This is the true goal of contemplation; to rise to full meditation. When following jnaana-marg (path of knowledge) we must also take on the teachings of the masters. If we, the students, are worth our spiritual salt, we will question, bring forth our doubts, debate and relate with our Guru so that can clear away the chaff of life and ego and leave space to work on the truly great teachings. These are found in the form of mahaa-vaakyas (great sayings) of which there are quite a number, but there are four key vaakyas.
When we set out on any journey, we are likely to have made preparations for the trip, but also have a good idea of where we are headed. Without that destination in mind, we can go so easily side to side and lose all sense of worth or value in life. We also will be looking out for way-markers; a lookout point, a place of refreshment and so on.
This 'trip to meditation' has the Great Four Statements.
- Consciousness Alone Is
- That (Consciousness) You Are
- Consciousness and mySelf Are One and the Same
- I Am Brahma
There is a lot of preparation a student must do before truly taking on the contemplation of these statements; that does not preclude us from viewing them and beginning to churn within as to the possibilities contained within them. We shall take a longer look at them from next week.