Meditation in a Nutshell (Part1)

Meditation in a Nutshell (Part1)

There are two paths of meditation: the ordinary and the extraordinary

A master instructed his disciple to meditate for six hours every day and do so

for 10 years.

“What if I meditate for 12 hours every day?” the disciple asked.

“How long will it take to reach the goal then?”

“Twenty years.”

“Really? And what if I meditate for 18 hours in a day?”

“Thirty years.”

“How can that be?” 

“With one eye on the goal, you have only one left to focus on the task,” the master replied. 

A sprinter must run with all his might and focus. He cannot afford to look at the finish line while running. If he remains on track and does not stop running, he will cross the finish line.

It is not very different on the path of meditation either. Your goal is not to reach some state, that will happen on its own if you persist diligently. Your only goal is to ensure that you

practice correctly. When it comes to meditation, intensity in effort equals immensity in

rewards. To that effect, you have two paths of meditation: the ordinary and the extraordinary. 

The ordinary path

By ordinary, I am simply referring to the traditional path. Once again, it entirely depends on the quality of your practice. Not everyone can leave everything behind and go into a Himalayan solitude to walk the path of self realisation. Not everyone can be a Buddha or a Mahavira in terms of their life choices. In any case, you will not know till you walk the path.

The day the spark of realisation ignites in your heart, your life will change forever. For those who have responsibilities and other commitments, there is the traditional path.

First, there is an average meditator, who holds three sessions of meditation in a span of 24 hours. Each session lasts about one hour.  If he has been following this regime for a minimum of six months, he can be safely classified as an average meditator.

 The second is a mild meditator, who holds one or two sessions of meditation in a span of 24 hours, generally at dawn and dusk.

 The length of an average session of meditation for a mild practitioner is between 30 minutes to an hour. When it comes to meditation, most people have unrealistic expectations. You cannot start earning within six months. Like any other field of study or practice, this too

has a specific path that requires years of effort. The only good news is that if you practice routinely as a matter of discipline, you will start to see subtle changes in you within a span of six months.


The Extraordinary Path

The extraordinary path is for those who have found their calling in meditation,

or for those who cannot wait any longer to discover their own truth.

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, who was a householder, walked the extraordinary path because

with each passing moment all he did was to immerse himself in the glories of the Goddess.

A keen meditator is the one who meditates an average of four times in a span of 24 hours, each session lasting a minimum of one hour. A meditator who meditates unfailingly with this discipline for at least one year can be called a keen meditator and not just someone who does it for a few weeks. This has been my own experience too, that, ultimately, if you are serious about experiencing the supreme bliss through meditation, sooner or later, you will have to intensify your practice. Clear results come through according to the quality, duration and intensity of your practice.


From Ordinary to Extraordinary

In the practice of a mindful day, you could realise the benefits of intense and keen meditators without actually leaving for the Himalayas. You can elevate your consciousness to a degree beyond imagination for the average mind, all the while holding your job and comforts. This is the only practice I know on the path of meditation that transforms an ordinary life into an extraordinary one. It is walking the ordinary path in an extraordinary way.


How to Do It Right

It is simple, but it is only with practice that you can perfect it.

You do not have to sit in any yogic posture. Instead, carry on with your normal routine. It will be like any other day but with one great difference – you will do everything, every little act, with utmost mindfulness. When you get up in the morning and brush your teeth, do it mindfully. Feel every single stroke, realize how peppermint bursts against your taste buds and how you feel this freshness in your mouth. When you step into the shower, experience the living energy in every single drop of water. Bathe mindfully. Think that you are bathing a divine body, as if you are offering ablutions in a sacred ritual. When you sit down to have your breakfast, eat as if you are doing a yajna, as if you are making fire offerings to the divinity in you. When you work, drive, walk, talk, listen do so with mindfulness, by being present in the moment. Ask yourself the one most important question to bring yourself back into the present moment,

“What am I doing right now?”

This is the easiest way of walking the extraordinary path while still living and enjoying the pleasures of this world. Over time, as you progress, your priorities will become clearer to you. You will know what is truly worth treasuring, and what all you should focus on.

As they say, your heart is where your treasure is. As you find your treasure, you will have discovered your truth.


Om Swami 

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