by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
The experienced meditator seeks out the unwholesome areas within
himself, endeavoring to expose and rid himself of each knot of karma.
The beginning meditator may be shocked and shrink from even continuing
the practice of meditation, as his inner mind plays back unhappy
thoughts that impose themselves upon his shanti. Many stop meditating
altogether at this point and turn instead to the distractions of
modern life for solace. But true meditation happens because of soul
evolution. We evolve into meditative practices from bhakti, the yoga
of devotion. The transition is earned through past good karmas, not
chosen as an intellectual or recreational pastime. As the transition
of external worship to internal worship is made, the devotee has to
face all bad karmas cheerfully and honestly in order to resolve them
and move forward.
Sitting in a state of real meditation, one must be more alive and
alert than a tight-rope walker suspended without a net on a taut cable
three hundred feet above the Earth. Do you suppose that this man is
sleepy, that he allows his mind to wander? No, every muscle and sinew
of his body, every thought, every feeling within him, is absolutely
under his control. It is the only way he can maintain the balance
which keeps him from plunging to the earth beneath. He must be the
master of himself, all the while seeking to identify with his pure
soul being, not allowing attention to be pulled here and there -- to
the physical body, to outside sounds, to thoughts of the past or to
concerns about the future.
In meditation, you will feel the same intensity of purpose as the
tight-rope walker. Every atom in your being must be alive, every
emotion under control, every thought seeking to impose itself upon
your mind set aside until your purpose is accomplished. If the man
three hundred feet up in the air feels a gust of wind coming against
him, he must exercise perhaps a hundred times more will and
concentration to remain poised in his precarious condition. Likewise,
in meditation your mind may be intensely concentrated upon a
particular object or thought, and yet you find an opposing thought
seeking to divert your attention. The opposing thought may simply be a
wind from your subconscious. You must then put more effort into the
object of your concentration so that the opposing thoughts will be set
aside and not have power to topple your balance.
Upon entering a state of meditation, one may find awareness enmeshed
in a struggle between the subconscious of the past and the conscious,
external waking state concerned with the present and future. The
experienced meditator learns that he is the watcher, pure awareness.
When concentration is sustained long enough, he dives into the
superconscious, intuitive state of mind. It enables him, in time, to
unravel the mystery. An integrated, one-pointed state of being is the
goal -- a state of inner perception without vacillation, with the
ability to move awareness through the mind's various states at will.
To become the ruler of the mind is the goal. To then go beyond the
mind into the Self is the destiny of all living on this planet, for
most in a life to come.