This morning as I sat in meditation, I ignored some of the advice I am sharing here. Instead of focusing entirely on my meditation, I spent some time thinking about this blog. (Ah, how often we ignore good advice, even when it comes from ourselves!) Yet I hope some benefit will come from my well-intentioned restlessness. Anyway, here is what came to me.
Keep your temple clean. You would be shocked if someone threw trash into your meditation room while you were sitting there. So, train yourself not to do this. Our true meditation room is our consciousness, so the trash I’m referring to is those negative, downward-pulling thoughts such as anger, greed, lust, or worry. Durga Mata, one of Master’s closest disciples, said, “We are not responsible for the first thought that comes into our mind, but we are responsible for the train of thought that follows.” When an undesirable thought arises while you are trying to meditate, don’t invite him to stay as your guest, but immediately throw the rascal out. This is a habit that can be trained.
Sit still. Physical restlessness is easier to control than mental restlessness. Sitting still is not that hard to do: You just need to resolve not to move or fidget. Deeper meditations will follow.Do only one thing at a time. Deep meditation requires one-pointed focus, so concentrate on only one thing at a time. For instance, if you are looking into the light in the forehead, do only that, just focus on the light. The monkey mind will resist this, so it needs to be tamed. The key is to bring it back under control quickly. Imagine an example of looking into the light for 1,000 seconds—a little over 16 minutes. You will focus on the light many more of those 1,000 seconds if you catch your wandering mind as soon as you realize that it has run off. Every meditator struggles with this common block to deeper meditation, so go easy on yourself, and don’t feel guilty. Just catch your mind quickly, and then try to lengthen the periods of true focus.
Open your heart to the Guru. Never hide or shrink from your guru. He or she is an extension of Divine Mother’s love and has only your best interest in mind. If you feel the Guru is judging you, it is a projection of your own mind. Of course, he will correct you, but that is different from judgment. If the Guru is no longer in the body, how will he correct you? Paramhansa Yogananda answered that question in his beautiful poem, “When I Am Only a Dream,” one of his loveliest offerings. Here are a few lines:
I will smile in your mind when you are right,
And when you are wrong, I will weep through my eyes,
Dimly peering at you in the dark,
And weep through your eyes, perchance;
And I will whisper to you through your conscience,
And I will reason with you through your reason,
And I will love through your love.
When you are able no longer to talk with me,
Read my Whispers from Eternity.
Eternally through that I will talk to you.
Unknown, I will walk by your side
And guard you with invisible arms.