Our mind is a tool. The purpose of meditation is to learn using this tool and develop a feel for understanding God beyond what the mind shows in mundane life.
Our realities are different
Meditation is the most enjoyable experience in life. Depending on prevailing ‘Sanskars’, and external demands of life, I have seen many variations in my own form of meditation.
In these busy days, I am naturally converging to this form of meditation that I describe below. I am not sure if it appears in exactly this form in any other text of past. But then realities of my life are different from others. Demands of being extrovert are significantly higher. The forms of extrovertism have also changed significantly for people like me and youth of today. So much of exposure to mobile, laptop, internet, emails. For professionals, there is pressure and deadlines and quantity of work that is way higher than even in last decade. It is difficult to find out a completely quiet time for self. Hence, the way of meditation is also adapting to these changed realities. Most importantly, I am getting good results.
Shutting down distractions is the first challenge
Meditation is typically performed with closed eyes. That shuts down a major part of distractions. Being in a silent place shuts down another major component. And when these happen, typically the mind starts behaving like a monkey, frantically searching for a sense-organ to vent out its naughtiness. Or it starts getting into shutdown mode. In fact, I find many people confusing a nap with meditation. Nap itself is a good thing, especially if your are tired and did not have a good sleep. But the power of meditation is revealed when you are not sleep deprived.
Controlling the sleepiness is the second challenge
The goal of meditation is to control both sleepiness as well as monkey-ness of the mind. Thus, I find it beneficial to do a light warmup before meditation. Some light stretching and a deep breath are good enough. If you can time it with your workout time, nothing like it. If you can have some good workout, you would be wide alert and more focused. Then after meditation, you can resume your workout depending upon the kind of workout and meditation. This workout-meditation-workout cycle practically takes care of sleepiness to a large extent.
Calming the mind is the third challenge
Now the next challenge is to calm the mind. To tame the monkey, surrender to God is the best recipe I have discovered. I simply start thinking about life, the goal of life, how Supreme Lord is helping me, and gradually I start getting immersed in His enjoyment. What is important for this approach is that we understand what life is, what God is, what the purpose is, at least on a logical level, so that the emotional connect can be generated. That is why Patanjali enlists Swadhyaya or study as an essential component of Yoga. That is why the regular study of Vedic texts and introspection on them is so powerful. Eventually immersing in Veda mantras is the best thing.
Enjoying the company of God is the fourth challenge
As one enjoys the company of God, understanding Him, understanding self, with eyes closed, emotions start flowing out. At times, if you have been too distracted with worldly things, you may have to start the initial flow of emotions forcibly. You can start randomly with whatever enjoyable experience you have had in past and shift yourself into that. And then focus on your feelings at that time or situation, irrespective to things and people around you. Now start thanking Supreme Lord for giving the capacity to feel such enjoyments. Now gradually realize that source of enjoyment is within and hence even when no external stimulus is there, you can still generate this enjoyment from within. Thank Supreme Lord for that. Now gradually flow with emotions thanking Him again and again.
You need not thank Him in poetic language. It is just a feeling with or without words. Ideally without words, but don’t force yourself. Simply flow as it comes.
Repeat with other enjoyment occasions if required. But soon you would be filled with exhilaration. I never required to think of more than one enjoyment occasion. Everything starts triggering naturally, and I just enjoy.
Being a good team-worker with God is the fifth challenge
Now start feeling what does God demand from you to provide you such enjoyments. What should be your responsibility to be a good team-worker with God? Now you gradually start feeling the Theory of Karma. You get what you do. And you do what you think. If you surrender all thoughts to Him – who alone is a source of enjoyment – you will have continuous enjoyment. Feel yourself beyond time with Him always. He is always with you, and as you do, so he gifts.
Thus, move towards cleansing your mind of negativity that is against the spirit of this teamwork with God. Clear out each negativity as it comes. Take strong resolve to be the best now. Resolve to never give up and put your best in the same manner as God is putting his best. If it is required, be specific else simply flow with emotions. The Yam and Niyam of Yoga Darshan are good memory tags to help the process. Think of each of them, resolve, thank Him, feel the happiness and enjoy!
Reciting Ved Mantra during mediation
By this time, not one but multiple kinds of emotions will fill you. Don’t try to separate them. Holistically feel them all with silence. If an external noise or distraction comes, associate that also with enjoyment with Supreme Lord. To assist, at this point you can start reciting Om with each breath. I find it very powerful.
Now with each Om, emotional fun with Lord will keep increasing. Be there. Feel Him beyond senses, beyond mind, beyond everything. Simply He and You.
After sometime, monkey mind will start jumping again as it is not habituated to keeping silent for so long. Open the eyes at this time and break the pattern. Then again, close and start Om journey. Do it several times. Monkey will get subdued.
Meditation during worldly actions
Now open your eyes and start resolving or repeating the resolves. Thank again. Look at the world around you and see if that connect with Lord still remains. Since you have to live in this outside world for rest of the day, make sure you have Lord with you here as well. It is easy to practice meditation in silence with closed eyes. But the power of meditation must reach in this world that you will live in for 16 hours of your day.
If you feel the connection is vanishing, close eyes again, reconnect, open eyes and check again. With practice, you would be able to maintain the connection in the external world as well. Chant a few Oms loudly if possible.
Now start indulging in some activity. Again check the connection. You would find that a basic connection gets established that is always there at the back of mind. You are done!
Now make a habit of stopping every couple of hours or so, closing the eyes, discovering the connection, and reestablish it externally. This technique acts like a constant power booster. If possible, repeat the longer version in the evening as well, for say, 15 minutes at least. And once more before you sleep.
Meditation in bed time
To sleep, close the eyes, repeat the same thing but allow sleepiness to overpower if it does. Simply surrender chanting Om with each breath. If thoughts start monkeying, ignore and continue the Om. Soon you will master them.
This method is a basic meditation method that I, personally, found very powerful and is bringing wonders, effectiveness, intuitiveness, and success in life. One can combine it with various other methods and customize for special requirements.
Once addicted to this, no other addiction is worth even thinking about.
May Supreme Lord provide this Soma Ras always!
Om Shantih Shantih Shantih