Mind that has no hesitation, no anticipation is meditation.
Mind that has come back home, to the source, is meditation. Mind that becomes ‘‘no mind’’ is meditation.
When can you rest? Rest is possible only when you have stopped all other activities. When you stop moving around, when you stop working, thinking, talking, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, when all these activities stop, then you get rest. When all voluntary activities are arrested, then you get rest or sleep. In sleep, you are left with only involuntary activities like breathing, heartbeat, food digestion, blood circulation etc. But this is not “total rest”. When the mind settles down, only then “total rest” or meditation happens.
Focus means what? Fulfiled in the moment, being centered, looking to the highest and remaining in that space of peace is focus. No peace means no focus. When you are at peace, focus is happening already. Similarly, if you focus, you attain peace. Look into your own life. You are bothered even if you have things that you wanted and you are bothered if you don’t have them! For example, if you have money, there is botheration. You are afraid or worried thinking what to do with this money, whether to invest or not and if you invest you are worried whether it is growing or reducing or you are anxious about the fluctuations in the share market. If you don’t have money, even then you are bothered. “Liberation” is that total freedom wherein you are not bothered when things are there and you are not bothered even if they are not there.
Real freedom is the freedom from the future and freedom from the past. When you are not happy in the present moment, then you desire for a bright future. Desire simply means that the present moment is not all right. This causes tension in the mind. Every desire causes feverishness. In this state, meditation is far away from happening. You may sit with eyes closed, but desires keep arising, thoughts keep arising; you fool yourself that you are meditating, but actually you are daydreaming!
As long as some desires linger in your mind, you cannot be at total rest. Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad-Gita, “You cannot get into Yoga (union with self) unless you drop the desires or hankerings in you”. As long as you hold onto some planning, your mind does not settle. Every desire or ambition is like a sand particle in the eyes! You cannot shut your eyes or keep it open with a sand particle inside, it is uncomfortable either way. Dispassion is removing this particle of dust or sand from the eye so that you can open freely and shut them freely! The other way is to extend your desire or make it so big, then also it won’t bother you. It is a tiny sand particle that irritates your eyes, a big stone or a rock can never get into your eyes!
See from your own experience. If you go to bed with some restlessness, agitation or desire, you will not get deep sleep. On the surface level it appears to be not there for a little while, but those plans or ambitions are still there in the mind. Very ambitious people cannot have deep sleep because the mind inside is not free. The more you are anxious about doing something, difficult it becomes to sleep. Before going to sleep, if you simply let go everything, only then you will be able to rest. Why not do the same thing moment by moment? When you want to sit for meditation, let go of everything. The best way to do this is to feel, “the world is disappearing or dissolving…I am dead!” Unless you are dead, you cannot meditate!!! For many, mind doesn’t settle even after death. Wise are those who cannot settle their minds while alive!
Desires come up, instead of holding on to them or daydreaming, you offer the desires; that is meditation. You have no control over the desires. Even if you say, “Oh, desire is the cause of misery. I shouldn’t have desires, when will I be free of desires?”, that is another desire! So, as they come up recognise them and let go. This process is called “Sanyas”. When you offer all that as they rise in you and be centered, then nothing can shake you or take you away. Otherwise, small things can shake you and you become sad or upset. Just few words from here or there can make you sad. Life teaches you the art of letting go in every event. The more you have learnt to let go happier, the freer you are. When you have learnt to let go, you will be joyful and as you start being joyful, more will be given to you. Taking a good look at the desires and realising that they are futile or nothing great is maturity or discrimination.
What is that you can hold on to? You cannot even hold on to this body forever! Whatever care you take, still, one day it is going to say goodbye to you! Without any prior notice, you will be forcefully evicted out of this world! Whatever you may plan, whatever you may do, your final destination is the grave! You live as a good man or bad man, you cry or laugh, whatever you do, everybody goes to the grave. Whether you are a sinner or a saint, you will go to grave. Whether you are rich or poor, intelligent or a dumb fool, you will go to the grave. Whether you are loved or hated, you will go to grave. Whether you love someone or hate anyone, you will go to grave. Patients die, doctors also die. Those who lost the wars went to grave and those who won also went to grave. This is the final say! Have your sight on the final say. Before the body leaves you, you learn to leave everything. That is freedom.
With dispassion, you can enjoy the world freely and you can relax and get relief from it freely. Dispassion can bring so much joy in your life. Don’t think that dispassion is a state of apathy. Dispassion is full of enthusiasm, brings all joy to your life and it allows you to rest so well. When you come out of a deep meditation, you become very dynamic and you will be able to act better. Deeper you are able to rest, dynamic you will be able to be in activity. Even though deep rest and dynamic activity are opposite values, they are complimentary.
What is that you are looking for? Are you looking for some great joy? You are joy!
I will give you an example. Have you seen dogs biting bones? You know why they bite bones? Biting and biting that hard bone makes wound inside their mouth. It’s own blood comes out and the dog feels that the bone is very tasty! After a while it’s whole mouth is soared. Poor dog has spent the whole time chewing the bone getting nothing out of it! Any joy you experience in life is from the depth of your self when you let go all that you hold on to and settle down being centered in that space. That is called meditation. Actually, meditation is not an act; it is the art of doing nothing! The rest in meditation is deeper than the deepest sleep that you can ever have because in meditation you transcend all desires. This brings such coolness to the brain and it is like servicing or overhauling the whole body-mind complex.
Meditation is letting go of anger from the past, the events of the past and all the planning for the future. Planning can hold you back from diving deep into yourself. Meditation is accepting this moment and living every moment totally with depth. Just this understanding and few days of continuous practice of meditation can change the quality of our life.
The best comparison of the three states of consciousness — waking, sleeping and dreaming — is with the nature. Nature sleeps, awakes and dreams! It happens in a magnificent scale in existence and it is happening in a different scale in this human body. Wakefulness and sleep are like sunrise and darkness. Dream is like the twilight in between.
And meditation is like the flight to the outer space where there is no sunset, no sunrise, nothing!
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From Talks by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
via Talks By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar http://talksbysrisriravishankar.blogspot.com/2013/05/demystifying-meditation.html