In this chapter, we will discuss some important do’s and don’t in meditation. These are basic guidelines which an absolute beginner should follow if he/she wants to be proficient in the art of meditation. Here we go..
(1) The ideal environment for Meditation:
What I am going to tell you is the ideal environment for meditation. I have used the word ideal environment – an environment under which anybody can make tremendous progress in meditation. However, it is the ideal one -the best one and let me tell you that ‘best’ things are not easily accessible to everybody. Therefore, I think that not everybody has the privilege to meditate under these ideal conditions. However for all those who can afford to meditate in such environment, here is the description of an ‘ideal environment for meditation.
The ideal room : It is better to have a separate room for practice of meditation alone. Do not sleep in that room, it must be kept holy. You must not enter the room until you have bathed, and are perfectly clean in body and mind. Place flowers in that room. Put pleasing pictures in that room. Burn incense morning and evening in that room. Have no quarrelling , nor anger, nor unholy thoughts in that room. Only allow those persons to enter it who are of the same thought as you. Then gradually there will be an atmosphere of holiness in the room so that when you are miserable, sorrowful, doubtful or your mind is disturbed, the very fact of entering that room will make you calm.
Did I explain something impossible above ? If you are living in a small flat in a urban, highly congested city then the mention of a separate room of meditation must have bewildered you. When there is not enough place for living, how can we devote a separate room just for meditation ?
Well I agree that there is space problem in our homes. But as I have already clarified that what I described above is an ideal condition. It’s not a mandatory condition . Soon I’ll tell you how you can meditate even if you don’t have a separate room. Do you know where you can find such perfect rooms in your city ? You will find such rooms in the temples, churches and other religious places of your cities. In fact the whole idea behind temples and churches was to create ideal rooms for meditation.
Just notice how much emphasis is given to cleanliness in religious places, how much attention is given to having pious thoughts in such places. Even now a majority of all religious places (of all religions) contain a field of positive holy vibrations. That’s why when you enter into them, you feel inner peace and calm. If possible, try to meditate in the temple or church of your locality.
If you can’t find a separate room for meditation at home or if the religious places in your cities are heavily crowded, then you can meditate at any convenient place of your choice. It may be a corner in your room, your bed, a place in the park, your car, bus, the local library or any other place of your choice. No matter which place you choose for meditation, the important thing is that you should be able to meditate there regularly and nobody should disturb you during meditation in that place.
Now just like the ideal room for meditation, here is an ideal condition for meditation.
You should meditate daily at the same place, at the same time and nobody should disturb you during meditation. The best time for meditation are towards the morning and the evening. When night passes into day, and day into night, a state of relative calmness ensues.
The above is an ideal condition for meditation. If you can follow it, well and good, if you can’t don’t despair. We are living in an extremely busy and complicated era. Life in 21st century has become complex and demanding. It is natural for us to be hard pressed for time. Nevertheless, as the saying goes – something is better than nothing. Start meditation with whatever little time and place you have. Try be as regular as you can. You will start gaining benefits of meditation, if you keep trying despite all odds.
Even if you can’t find time for meditation and are unable to meditate regularly, it is strongly recommended that whenever you mediate, meditate at the same place. If you are an absolute beginner in meditation, you must follow this advise. The reason for my emphasis on ‘meditation at the same place’ is that every action (be it good or bad) creates its vibration. So when you meditate on a particular place everyday, that place gets filled with the positive vibrations of meditation.
So the next time you sit for meditation, these positive vibrations will help you attain the meditative state quickly and deeply. A beginner of meditation is just like a tiny sapling. It’s root are not very deep and strong. It can not stand the forces of rain, storms and thunders. However, when it grows, it become a tree with strong roots and branches that can withstand any difficulty.
Similarly as a beginner of meditation meditates regularly at the same place, his/her ability to meditate improves and he/she becomes apt in meditating deeply. When he/she attains such expertise in meditation then he/she can meditate anywhere, anytime. But in the beginning it is important that we meditate at the same place and if possible at the same time too.
(2) Make sure that nobody disturb you while meditating:
Now this is something which also very important in meditation. You simply can’t meditate if people keeps disturbing you. You should make sure that nobody disturb you while meditation. First of all without hesitation, tell everybody in your family and friend circle that during such and such time in the day you meditate and you don’t want to be disturbed by them at that time.
Make it very clear- politely and firmly – that you want to meditate and you DON’T WANT TO BE DISTURBED during meditation. (Of course tell them that they can disturb you when there is an emergency ) Further, when you meditate switch off your mobile phone. Remove the telephone plug if it is there in your meditation room. Advise your family to keep the volume of Radio & TV low when you meditate.
Further, if you have a separate room for meditation, close it during meditation and place a board of ‘DON’T DISTURB ! I AM MEDITATING’ on it.
In the highly complicated and busy life of today there are very few moments of silence and stillness. We are surrounded by all sorts of chaos in most part of the day. Therefore, it is very important that we meditate and attain inner calm and right perspective for life. For this it is essential that we at least get an undisturbed 30-minute session of meditation and that is possible only when nobody disturbs us during meditation.
(3) Posture in Meditation :
There is only rule for posture in meditation :
“Sit so comfortably that you forget your body. ”
Meditation is related with spiritual planes of body. You can’t touch those planes unless you are comfortable with your physical bodies It really doesn’t matter that in which posture you sit for meditation. Moreover, it doesn’t matter whether you sit on a floor, on a chair, on bed, in Car, bus, sofa or on table !
The only thing is that you should be comfortable while sitting. It is very important that you sit in a physically comfortable position before you meditate You can sit in lotus pose (cross legged ), you can sit on a chair, a sofa or on a bed. Just keep in mind that in whichever pose you sit, it should be comfortable for your body.
(4) For all extremely busy people:
Adopt the three yogic aids of Deep breathing, Deep Relaxation and Deep Contraction in your life .
Needless to say this again . I have already devoted an entire chapter on these three aids. They are very important especially if you are living a very busy life. Adopt these three aids in your life and you will be able to meditate with effortless ease.
(4) Have patience :
Meditation acts as a cleansing process. It will take its own time to produce its effect on you. Be patient and don’t meditate with an aim of getting a time-bound benefit. Meditate without expecting anything. Soon you will find that the joy of mediation is enough.
(5) Be Playful :
Meditation is not a serious religious process. Don’t try too hard in meditation. It is like a Homeopathy Medicine which works slowly but treat completely. Always be playful with the meditation techniques. To be cheerful and playful during meditation is the sure recipe for success. In fact the reality is that we all have been assigned a role by the cosmic choreographer.
We all are playing a role in our life. When you realize your true self in meditation, you will know about your true identity. After this realization you will be more playful towards life. We all are waves of the ocean. Waves come, arise. fall and again merge into the ocean. Be playful to this game.
(6) Always identify the witness within you
Remember this fact : In whichever meditation technique you are, you aim should be to identify your true self : the witness within you. In fact all meditation techniques helps you to identify that witness within you. This is the real key factor of all techniques. No matter what you do, where you do it or how you do it, there is always someone in you who watches the doer as well as the deed.
You can experience this in many ways. While watching a movie try to see if it is only you who is watching the movie or is there someone in you who is watching that you are watching the movie. ( I have already explained this in What is meditation )To know that knower is the real meditation. That knower, that particular watcher – the witness is your true self. This self is your eternal essence. If there is any part of you which was present before your birth and which will be there after your death, it is this self – your true identity. Always meditate with an aim to know this self.
Let us summarize all do’s and don’ts in meditation.
- Meditate at the same place and same time everyday.
- Make sure that nobody disturb you while meditating:
- Sit so comfortably that you forget your body
- Adopt Deep breathing, Deep Relaxation and Deep Contraction.
- Have patience
- Be Playful
- Identify the witness within you.
Don’ts in Meditation
- Do not meditate: where there there are wild animals, or danger like fire or flood water, where there is too much noise and where there are wicked persons.
- Do not meditate: when the body feels very lazy or ill or when the mind is very miserable and sorrowful.
- Do not meditate at a dirty place.
After having learned about these essential instructions regarding meditation, let us learn about the central point of all meditation techniques.