This is continued from the previous Secrets of Meditation post …
Meditation happens; you can’t do it. You can only create a congenial atmosphere for it to happen.
During the teenage years, the mind starts drifting. It does not drift before the hormones get active in our body. A child’s mind is always focused. But as the hormones in our body start functioning, the mind starts wavering.
In olden days, one was trained in yoga and meditation before he got into his teens. So during the teenage years when the mind starts wavering, the youth is trained in how to handle the mind. It is a very good age to start, at eight or nine years, just before the hormonal changes set in. This is the right time to initiate one into meditation, yoga and martial arts. The body and mind are ready and flexible.
This is the ideal age. However any age is good to start meditating. Today, even eight and nine year old kids have a wavering mind. So many things influence the child. Like food, environment, lifestyle. But these are minor influences.
Let us understand. Meditation is uplifting the mind, the energy and spreading it out. Sound can uplift or shrink your consciousness. Sound has this effect on meditation. For example, in times of pain, we say, ‘Ha’. This is the case all over the world, from Mongolia to Tierra Del Fuego. When there is astonishment, one says, ‘Ho’.
When you say, ‘Ha’, where is the prana? It is in the lower portion of the body. When you say, ‘Ho’, the prana is in the middle portion of the body, the thorax region. ‘Ho! I didn’t know.’
When you say, ‘Wah!’ there is greater astonishment. Then the prana is high in the throat and the upper region of the body. The life force is higher.
When you laugh, what is the sound? ‘He he he he.’ There is a ‘He’ sound in every genuine laughter. When you utter the sound, ‘He’, what happens? A sense of genuine expansion happens.
If there is a ‘Ha’ in one’s laughter, that is a villain’s laughter. ‘Ha ha ha ha! See I told you. You fell because you didn’t listen to me. Look what happened!’ Just by listening to the laugher you can say what type of laughter it is. Whether it is sarcastic, it is teasing or it is out of arrogance or anger. Angry people laugh too but it is a different kind of laughter. A genuine child-like laughter has a ‘He’ in it.
Whenever you have been happy, that happiness has been associated with a sense of expansion. And whenever you have felt miserable, that has been associated with a sense of contraction. There is something in you which expands when you are happy and contracts when you are unhappy. But we never pay attention to what is contracting and expanding. We tend to keep our attention outside.
We see the reason of what is happening outside, but that is really not the reason. We have not paid attention to the reason. There is something within that is expanding and contracting. One of the sages of the past Gaudapadacharya said, ‘There is something in you that is expanding that is worth knowing.’
Even a glimpse of this consciousness, this energy inside you, can make your smile so strong that nothing whatsoever can take it away from you. Nobody can make you miserable; nobody can take away the joy from your life. With just a glimpse of that which is expanding within us, life assumes a different dimension.
Based on a series of talks entitled ‘Secrets of meditation’ given by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on April 21, 2012, California, these talks have been made into knowledge sheets.