It is like you go to a grocery shop when you want to fill gas in your car. It won’t work. You keep going round and round the grocery store saying, ‘I want gas for my car.’ It won’t work because you need to go to the petrol station.
So that right direction needs to be found and that is what we are going to explore. What are the ways and how can we meditate? How can we experience that absolute comfort within our self?
So there are five ways:
The first way is through physical means: through yoga and physical exercise. When our body does certain postures, with a certain rhythm, it brings some tiredness and then the mind slips into meditation.
It is very interesting to see. If you are very active, you can’t meditate. At the same time, if you are too well rested, you can’t go into meditation. But in a state where the body has the right amount of tiredness, yet is still not that tired - in that very delicate balance, the mind slips into meditation, or your whole system slips into meditation. So first is through the physical.
The second is through prana or breath. Through breathing, you can get into mediation. This we all know. The Sudarshan Kriya is one of the best examples. After pranayama and Sudarshan Kriya, you slip into meditation effortlessly.
So a breathing technique is one way to get into meditation.
The third is through any sensory pleasure – through sight, sound, taste, smell or touch. The five sensory organs, related to the five elements.
The world is of five elements: earth, water, air, fire and ether. A different combination of these five elements is what this universe is made of and these five elements are connected to the five senses that we have. Fire is connected with the eyes, smell with the earth element, taste with the water element, sound with the ether element and touch is connected with the air element.
You know, if you are in water or a swimming pool, you don’t feel touch so much. Have you noticed that? Not so much but a little bit. This is because the five elements are present in each one of them. There is air element even in water, but to a small degree. So these five elements in the universe are connected to the five senses. And you can go through any one of the senses to transcend them and become one in a very deep, meditative state.
Then the fifth is through the intellect. You just sit and know that this body is made up of billions of cells. Ah! Something happens to you, something gets stimulated.
If you go into a space museum, something gets stimulated inside you. Doesn’t it make you feel somewhat different when you get into a space museum and then get out of it? How many of you have felt like that? Someone gets into a space museum or watches a movie about the universe, something happens deep inside; something triggers. You can’t just immediately come out of such an experience and yell at somebody. It becomes almost impossible because the context of life immediately changes when you become aware of the magnanimity of the universe.
Based on a series of talks entitled ‘Secrets of meditation’ given by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on April 20, 2012, California. These talks have been made into knowledge sheets.