In meditation you find the mind going very deep into itself, but something brings you out. Deep impressions, thoughts, come out and the depth is lost. Over time you repeat the process again and again, and you find your whole nature is changed. Meditation is such a process.
Meditation happens when thoughts subside. Thoughts arise in so many ways and take you for a spin. Do you recognize them in this list: Desires, ambitions, expectations, doubts, unpleasant memories, feverishness, worries, botherations?
Thoughts: Worries and Botherations
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.
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.
Look back at times, when you have worried. Just imagine, how you were five years ago on a particular day:
- 'Will I get the job?'
- 'Will I get well?'
- 'Will I be humiliated in class for not doing the assignment?'
It was a big deal at that time, but now you really don't remember your past worries. Every time you worry, you think it is fresh and new. When you look back at all those worries that are now stale or no more, you will find that this worry is also stale. What makes a worry stay with you is - your illusion that you are going to live forever.
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 your 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.
You cannot get into Yoga (union with self) unless you drop the desires or hankerings in you. - Bhagavad Gita
Every desire or ambition is like a sand particle in the eyes. You can neither shut your eyes nor 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 freely open and shut your eyes! Another way is to extend your desire or make it so big, and then also it won’t bother you. Only a tiny sand particle irritates your eyes, a big stone or a rock can never get into your eyes!
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, recognize them and let go. This process is called Sanyas.
When you offer all desires as they rise in you and be centered, then nothing can shake you or take you away from your center.
As long as you hold onto some planning, your mind does not settle.
Have you noticed that when you go to bed with some restlessness, agitation, or desire, you will not get deep sleep? Very ambitious people cannot have deep sleep because the mind inside is not free. Though plans or ambitions do not appear to be there for a while in the mind as you go to sleep, they are actually still there.
Before going to sleep, you will be able to rest, if you simply let go everything. Similarly, when you want to sit for meditation, let go of everything.
Have you noticed doubts are always about something positive?
- When you are happy, you doubt: “Am I really happy?”
- If someone tells you they love you, you say: 'Really? Are you sure?'
We never doubt anything negative in life:
- You never doubt someone else's anger or your anger
- You never doubt your depression
- If someone tells you they hate you, you don't doubt it
If you can doubt the negativity of people, you come close to the reality.
With this awareness, when you increase the energy level of your body:
- You will see that the doubts disappear
- There is more clarity in the mind
- Confusion goes away from the mind
Meditation is the only way you can transcend the negative thoughts; and then positive thoughts will come spontaneously and automatically.
Thoughts: Unpleasant memories
Memory can make you either sad or enlightened.
Your mind is churning so often with unpleasant memories:
- "He said this and that"
- "She was so arrogant"
- "They did this to me"
Meditation can bring that shift in your memory - to let go of the trivial, and to recognize your infinite nature.
Let go of thoughts and desires
Streams of thoughts are always passing through your mind. But you may catch hold of the thoughts and not allow them to go easily, like a record needle getting stuck in one groove. Let the thoughts go. Feel that they are not yours. Sorrow comes from getting stuck in one thought or desire. Meditation happens when thoughts subside.
You meditate and calm your mind, then go on with other activities. It's not easy to keep yourself undisturbed, but it'll happen as you keep doing the practices regularly. Then it'll become easy. Let go of all effort - to stop thoughts, or to concentrate, or to contemplate.
Transcend your thoughts - with meditation
Meditation is letting go of anger from the past, the events of the past and all the planning for the future. 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 your life.
The rest in meditation is deeper than the deepest sleep that you can ever have - because in meditation you transcend all thoughts/desires. This brings such coolness to the brain and it is like servicing or overhauling the whole body-mind complex.