While on the spiritual journey, our mind or brain (or whatever you may like to call it) keeps raising various questions or doubts. For those, who despite all these distractions and plays of mind continue to be on the path of Dhyana, most (if not all) of these doubts get cleared by themselves in due course. However, unfortunately, for many, these doubts, these confusions and misconceptions raised by mind end up being the reasons for deviating or to completely turning back from Meditation.
While I am not a Guru and certainly not an enlightened being, luckily, Nature or the Divine has helped me to continuously be on this auspicious path of seeking myself for quite sometime now. The very purpose of writing this post is to answer, based on my own experience, some of the basic questions/doubts which usually bother beginners, as I sincerely wish that whosoever starts his/her spiritual journey, finds no reason to quit this path.
# 1. So many people keep saying that Meditation is great for peace of mind, it does wonders, all should do it blah blah blah. But when one says start meditating, what exactly has to be done?
My View :
See, the biggest problem / roadblock for beginners in the path of Meditation is that they think of Meditation as a process, a method which will help them attain benefits – peace of mind, happiness etc. and hence they want to learn it quickly for quick results and that’s why they are bound to face failure. I too was in this category when I started off.
Don’t seek anything. Don’t look for results.
Please understand. Meditation is not a magic stick , even the most enlightened persons fall sick, they all have their share of pain but it’s just that, they don’t get even slightly perturbed by so-called sorrows.
So we need to first understand the fact that Meditation is not a method, it is not a process. Rather, the meditative state is our basic natural state. By default, we are supposed to be naturally meditating during eating, sleeping etc. all 24/7 but due to various reasons , we get deviated from our natural blissful state and hence certain practices ( physical & spiritual Yoga) are required to get back to where we were.
As for what exactly has to be done for Meditation, well the funny part is that you don’t have to do anything. Just sit and do nothing for few minutes, with your eyes closed or open whatever way it suits you (though initially I would recommend with closed eyes).
Stop trying to focus at centre of forehead or in between eyebrows or at the tip of nose etc. Initially, just sit quietly, let itching on forehead or the arm happen, let there be a number of sounds entering your ears, let thousands of thoughts jump & dance, don’t ever try to stop them or suppress them, for that will never happen. Just observe everything with full awareness for a few minutes. Eventually you will find everything settling down. Thoughts will never be zero but jugglery of mind gradually slows down. For the first few days or months, it will take a little longer for this settling to happen but as you progress on this path, thoughts start slowing down within few minutes.
So remember the thumb rule for meditation – daily just sit and do nothing for a few minutes – morning, afternoon, evening or even at night. Usually it is said that early morning or evenings are best time to meditate. Well maybe yes but I believe (especially for starters) all that matters is that one should do it – whenever and wherever possible.
# 2. I have been trying to do meditation but nothing is happening despite my sincere efforts.
My View :
Nothing will happen. No magic’s gonna happen. In fact the very purpose of Meditation is to converge towards this nothingness (Shunya / Zero). So don’t expect anything.
Always remember the basic rule of Meditation – Don’t seek anything, just be! Just keep on meditating, accepting it as a mandatory routine like brushing the teeth etc., without thinking of what will you get in return.
Besides stop ‘trying’ to meditate, daily just sit and do nothing for few minutes , Meditation will automatically start happening when over a period of time you yourself start realizing what all this is about!
# 3. I sit quietly in the lotus posture for long duration still I am not getting the peace of mind.
Well that’s because you are doing a kind of trade here by seeking the peace in return of doing meditation. It’s like you are making a conscious effort to achieve something while pretending to be seated & doing nothing. It doesn’t work like that. This sub conscious and desperate desire to be peaceful is exactly what is stopping you from to be the one.
Keep on sitting in Dhyana, as the self enlightenment gradually seeps in, the feeling of peace, joy and blissfulness will definitely prevail. But don’t make this peace or joyful state as your goal. As mentioned above, daily just sit and do nothing for a few minutes.
# 4. I meditate regularly yet I am unable to manage my anger.
It used to be my favourite question for I was ( or probably I still am) labelled as a short-tempered and impulsive guy.
I would say, first of all stop managing your anger as in any case, it’s just impossible to manage it from outside. You might suppress your anger for say 20 days by stating to yourself that ‘oh, since I am doing meditation, I don’t have the right to be angry anymore’, but it will eventually come out as volcano on day 21st for sure. I have personally experienced that on more than one occasion in the last few years before I finally realized that the only way out is in.
Also, you will be continuously judged by people around who will keep poking you saying ‘hey, you do meditation but you just lost your temper’, ‘you just over reacted’, ‘you seem to be under anxiety attack’ etc.etc. Don’t bother. These things will happen. I have faced this situation so many times but just ignore them. Don’t argue for you are the most honest and best judge of whether some changes are really happening at a fundamental level inside you or not. You don’t need a certificate from anybody.
So just keep on meditating. In due course of time, as your inner world starts making you realize the truth, all these strong emotions of hatred, anger, anxiety, extreme attachment etc. will automatically fade away. Till then, daily just sit and do nothing for few minutes.
# 5. Will meditation be of any help when practiced while living a married life?
Just because you cannot stand first in the class that does not mean that you should not join the school – This was the answer that I received when I asked the same question on a certain platform.
Honestly speaking, for opening Ajna or Sahasrara chakra i.e. for reaching supreme consciousness, probably yes, you need to lead a life of ‘Vairagya’ because ultimately you are breaking all the boundaries of this physical world and looking beyond that.
However, for people who want to do meditation but are already married (count myself in) or want to get married, there is absolutely no problem because being on this path itself will liberate you to some extent if not fully. This way, by the time you will reach the retirement age, you would already be half way there on your journey to liberation while many people will be struggling to start Meditating at that age of 60 something which is really difficult because physical body (which is just a medium but still mandatory) doesn’t support your spiritual adventures. So guys, married or unmarried, daily just sit and do nothing for few minutes.
# 6. Do we really need a Guru on the path of Meditation?
My View :
That’s an individual choice .Some find being under the shadow of Guru liberating as they say that Guru acts as catalyst in raising their spiritual energy. It might be true for them and I respect their devotion however I personally don’t have a particular Guru, though initially I was influenced or say inspired by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Osho and Ramana Maharshi.
Even now, on days when I don’t feel like meditating, I read a book or watch YouTube videos of these enlightened souls however none of them is or will be my Guru. That’s because as you progress on this path, you start realizing the power of Guru residing inside you since time immemorial. Those who are into meditation will immediately understand why I am saying what I am saying. After few months, you understand one fact clearly that listening to or reading about an enlightened person can at best inspire you to commence your spiritual journey. Their teachings (which might be wonderful) or even their physical presence (which might be mesmerizing) can in no way enlighten you. Each one has to have his own journey. No two opinions about it. Nevertheless, I would still maintain that Guru or No Guru, it’s largely an individual choice.
# 7. Some good books to read / persons to follow to get started?
My View :
‘To get started’ is the key thing here as once you start realizing things, you no longer need any book or person to inspire you.
Having said that, there is no denying the fact that a good spiritual book or a good video of an enlightened being can surely get you started or get you back on track if you go haywire on the way.
So here are a few persons whose books/ videos have assisted me so far in my spiritual journey: Osho, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Ramana Maharshi, Thich Nhat Hanh, BK Shivani, Sandeep Maheswari, Rumi
If I were to strongly recommend a single particular reference, then that would be Ashtavakra Gita and a beautiful book on the mystic Ashtavakra –Enlightenment- The Only Revolution !
Would love to hear your thoughts & feedback. Please do share the post if you found it helpful.
Namaste & good bye till my next write up!
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