In the last post, I invited you to take up meditation in a scientific way to experience God for yourself. When you sit in meditation, what happens? Is your mind always peaceful and able to focus on the Source of Divinity within your own heart, or do other thoughts and emotions appear and leave like trains at Central Station? It is a common frustration for many of us to find that the mind is often restless and very occupied with thoughts when we try to meditate.
In fact, this is quite normal, as the mind is designed to think! The art of mastering meditation and experiencing God is not in suppressing other thoughts, but in learning to turn the attention to a deeper part of your inner being, to the heart. It is much like diving to the still depths of a body of water where there is no longer surface turbulence. So the first step in meditation is to train the mind to go from wandering everywhere to focusing on one thing. How to do this?
In one of the most practical and profound yogic texts of the 20th century, Reality at Dawn1, Babuji writes:
"Generally people complain of numerous ideas creeping into their mind at the time of meditation. They think that they have failed in their practice unless they bring their mind to a standstill. But it is not so. We are not practising concentration, but only meditation. We must go on with meditation unmindful of the foreign ideas that happen to come to our mind at the time. The flow of ideas is due to the activities of our conscious mind, which is never at rest. We are still busy in meditation with our subconscious mind, while our conscious mind is roaming about and forming numerous ideas. Thus we are not the loser in any way. In due course, after sufficient practice, the conscious mind too gets moulded and begins to act in harmony with the subconscious mind. The result thus achieved is deep-rooted and lasting, and finally calmness, the characteristic of the soul, becomes predominant."
"... Constant growth of lightness of mind and spirit is the surest test of spiritual progress. Thus, the real spiritual training is that which makes our mind disciplined and regulated, restores moderation in senses and faculties, and creates lightness of spirit. Then alone internal peace and calmness is ensured and a higher approach is possible."
This inner stillness can be achieved by a simple daily practice that takes just half an hour to an hour in the morning and the same in the evening. It is the most practical investment in your well-being that you will ever make, as it brings clarity of consciousness, lightness and stillness to the mind. You can then tune in to the guidance emanating from your heart. Imagine the benefits to both your worldly life and your inner sense of happiness!
Purifying the heart is actually the first step in any effective meditative practice, as without it there is no real discernment. In Heartfulness, this process of purifying the heart is done every evening through a simple practice of unwinding known as Yogic Cleaning. It complements the morning's meditation by removing the layers of accumulated impressions that obscure the purity of the heart.
I invite you to try this daily unwinding as a complement to the morning's Heartfulness meditation with Yogic Transmission, and you will find that very soon you are able to go deeper and deeper in meditation. Here is the way it is done at the end of your day:
Sit in a comfortable position with the intention to remove all the impressions accumulated during the day.
Close your eyes and feel relaxed.
Imagine all the complexities and impurities, are leaving your entire system.
They are going out the back, from the top of your head to your tailbone.
Feel they are leaving your system as smoke.
Remain alert during the entire process, like a witness to the clouds passing in the sky.
Gently accelerate this process with confidence and determination, applying your will as needed.
If your attention drifts and events of the day begin to come to mind, gently bring your focus back to the cleaning.
As the impressions are leaving from your back you will start to feel light in your heart.
Continue this process for up to twenty to twenty-five minutes.
Experiencing inner lightness means you are connected with the Source. Feel a current of purity coming from the Source and entering your system from the front.
This current is flowing throughout your system, carrying away any remaining complexities and impurities.
You have now returned to a simpler, purer and more balanced state. Every cell of your body is emanating simplicity, lightness and purity.
Heartfulness practices work together in a complementary way, so unwinding is only effective if practiced in conjunction with relaxation, meditation and connecting with the Source through prayer. For example, after being introduced to Heartfulness, the Yogic Transmission that flows within you will considerably reduce the storms of rising thoughts; connecting with your own Source through prayer also deepens your capacity to dive into the heart and ignore surface thoughts.
Please visit our website at www.heartfulness.org or contact one of our trainers via the website to learn more about these four practices. You can also listen to the audio of this daily unwinding practice at this link.
All the best,
1 Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur, 2015. Reality at Dawn, Shri Ram Chandra Mission, India.