The word meditation has become quite common in our everyday language and meditation itself dominates the scene amongst business professionals as well as some health centres. It came to the West by way of yoga in the early fifties and then took off in the sixties when the Beatles popularized it. I still remember people commenting and asking me questions when I was barely sixteen and did not have a clue myself. Some said sitting for meditation was trying to blank your mind or sit and stare into an empty state. Then there was the version that meditation is trying to become one with the object of meditation, in the East it is called Samadhi. Being young, a teenager, I had no clue until I went away to study, at the age of twenty-three I started meditating.
So, what is meditation? I stumbled across a highest form of meditation and learnt that there is a very old statement which defines meditation, and it states that, “meditation starts when thought stops.” This is a very profound statement and sums up exactly what meditation is.
Now, I would like to go back to the question, “why meditate?” This is a serious question and there are many forms of meditation. You can walk into a music shop and buy a CD and learn to relax, it is called guided meditation, where you are lead through a series of suggestions, commands given by the therapist or a teacher. Then, there are some music CDs which can take you into a relaxing mode too. Apart from these systems, we have yoga and yogic meditation, could be breathing or using a set of key words, sounds called mantras. Recently, keeping up with fashion, major religions have also come up with their systems, branding with their religion name.
When I am talking about meditation, it has nothing to do with any of the above systems. I am not talking about a meditation system associated with any religion or religious denomination, it has nothing to do with any of that at all. The meditation that I am talking about is to do with the exapansion of our awareness, leading gradually to the expansion of our awareness to infinity. Along the way to this final expansion which reveals to the individual the Ultimate Reality, happiness and bliss increases to greater and greater levels until it becomes a permanent part of ones life. That is the reason why one should meditate, to get to that Ultimate state of awareness.
There are numerous reasons why I meditate. It keeps me in a state of calm and beyond the chaos of everyday life. The mind gets so cluttered with unwanted thoughts that the ability to think clearly diminishes. Can you imagine a pile of junk all over the football pitch and organizing a game on it?
Yes, you guessed it, there will be a mess. Similarily, the disorganized mind is like that. It is believed that the mind thinks about sixty to seventy thousand thoughts a day, and ninety percent of them are repeated. That is just recycling old energy, which leaves no room for creativity, though meditation, stale energy is eliminated and creativity takes place.
What I have stated is that meditation is essential to stay centred in our everyday life, moreover, the real reason to meditate is to get to spiritual Enlightenment. I must point out here that meditation alone will not get you to that Ultimate state, it just creates enough stillness for the Enlightened Teacher to take you beyond all levels of consciousness until you discover the Cause of the Universe through his grace.