Meditation made easy

by Swami Prasad Sharma

Meditation made easy

When I was 18 years old I used to go to the bank of the river Yamuna just 500 meters away. There I used to study for my exams. One day, just like that, I thought that I should sit quietly to give my mind a little rest through meditation. I failed totally in controlling my mind even for a few seconds. Defeated in my purpose I got up.

Then in 1980 I used to go for a walk along a railway track in the evening. That was in a city where I used to go on an official tour for a week, every two months, for 3 years. It was a 45-minute walk during which I would be repeating the five names of the Lord while breathing in, and again while breathing out. One day I returned to my hotel room and laying down continued the repetition. Suddenly I felt that I had no sense of my body but the repetition was continuing automatically. I could only see the light bulb. I got frightened but I remembered that Vivekananda, a disciple of Ramakrishana, once asked his fellow disciples to poke a thorn in his leg which was numb on account of his practice of meditation. Being assured I continued the repetition for another 15 minutes feeling light as the feather of a bird. Gradually, sensation returned to my body parts and I went for dinner in a nearby hotel.

I was so happy!

Recently I met my retired boss and asked him about his routine. Oh! I feel very sleepy and soon after breakfast I go to sleep. In the morning I worship and then meditate. The whole day I think of past events, otherwise what to do? I asked him whether in meditation he was able to get rid of thoughts and concentrate on his deity. He replied: No, I am hardly able to arrest my mind, it flies away on many other things. Then I told him a story of Lord Krishna’s childhood which made us both laugh. Further I told him that you can meditate on this story as if you are a witness to the happenings of this story as if it were real.

In our mind thoughts are flowing continuously even when we are tired. Sometimes we desire to give some rest to our mind to feel refreshed from hurries, worries, stress and the strain of daily life, but remain unsuccessful. In Ashtanga Yoga it is the seventh step to achieve Samadhi or meditation i.e. total absorption of the mind into God, with form or without (Please see my article: The spiritual plan for a healthy and satisfying life. You have three options, which are step by step:

1. The easiest way to meditate is visualizing God in child form, as if He is playing in front of you and you are watching keenly.
2. Remembering the Lord’s stories as if you are a witness e.g. you become the Tax collector, who climbed into a tree to have a look at Jesus Christ and later invited Him to his house. Then you serve Him through your mind.
3. You can also concentrate on a saint to whom you have listened most and consider him a living God.

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