I have often spoken of meditation as a state of awareness and not a particular technique or form of practice. So I was delighted to come across this article from a renowned contemporary Indian Swami, which I’d like to share with you as well. The insights below are the simple Truth. Enjoy!
“I always say, ‘Meditation is the best medication for all agitations.
People frequently confuse concentration with meditation. They confuse dharana with dhyana. In concentration, there is a subject and an object. You, the subject, are concentrating on a candle, or an image of God, or the tip of your nose. These are the objects of your concentration. In meditation, the object disappears. The subject disappears. All becomes one. Rather than focusing on a mantra, you and the mantra become one.
In meditation, all borders, boundaries, and separation between ourselves and the universe begin to disappear. We begin to realize the inherent oneness of all beings and all of creation. There is a famous mantra that says ‘So hum.’ It means: ‘I am that. I am one with the universal energy. I am part and parcel of all that exists. I am one with God.’
Through meditation, we catch a glimpse of that realization. Meditation gets us back in touch with our true, divine nature and the deepest core of our being.
There is so much that has been written and taught on meditation and different meditation techniques. But, the important thing is that it is not so important which technique you use. Each of us is different. We all have different temperaments, different sensibilities. Therefore, different techniques will work for different people. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. What is important is that you are becoming more and more One with the Divine, that you are becoming more and more peaceful, more and more blissful, less and less affected by the waves in the ocean of life.
One thing is important to remember about meditation techniques: they are only techniques! A boat is very important to get you across the river to the other bank. But once you reach the other bank, you don’t need the boat any more.
There is a funny story told of three men who were seen walking in the city carrying a canoe on their heads. When they were asked why they carried a canoe through the city, they answered, ‘We used to live in a small, poor village across the river from the city. We yearned to come to the city so we built this boat which ultimately took us across the river to the city.’ ‘But why are you still carrying it?’ they were asked. They replied, ‘We are so grateful to it for bringing us to the city that we do not want to let it go!’
We are the same with our meditation techniques sometimes. The technique is to get us to the state of meditation, but it is not the meditation itself! Meditation is very much like wiring a house. In the beginning, while the house is being made you have to spend a lot of time and a lot of energy putting down all the electrical wires. But, once it has been properly wired, then if you want to turn on the light you only have to plug it in! You do not have to re-wire the house! The same is true for meditation. Meditation is learning to plug yourself into the Divine Powerhouse, The Divine Energy Source! In the beginning, we need the technique; we are not connected. But once we are connected to the Divine, then we just have to close our eyes and we are there. Or, even with our eyes open, we are there.
Do not hang on unnecessarily to one technique or another. They are all good. They are useful. They are necessary in the beginning. But realize the technique is just a technique to get you across the river. Once you’ve reached the other side, let go of the boat.”
– H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji