Five Steps of Meditation

“Happy New Year to you all.

It’s a nice way to celebrate the New Year with meditation.

What is meditation? Meditation is a state from which everything has come and to which everything goes. It is that inner silence from where you feel joy, happiness, calmness, etc.

Do you know there are three types of knowledge?

One is the knowledge which we get through our senses. The five senses bring us knowledge. By looking, we get knowledge, by hearing, we get knowledge and by touching, by smelling and by tasting, we get knowledge.

So, through the sensory perceptions, we gain knowledge. This is one level of knowledge.

The second level of knowledge is through the intellect.

The knowledge that we gain through the intellect is superior to that of the senses. We see the sun rising and setting but through the intellect, we know that the sun is neither setting nor rising.

You place a pen in the water, the pen appears to be bent. But by intellectual knowledge, we know the pen is not bent; it is just an optical illusion.

So, intellectual knowledge is superior.

Then, there is the third level of knowledge which is even superior - that is intuitive knowledge. Something in the pit of your stomach tells you.

Something comes from a deep silence, a creativity comes or some discoveries come. This is all from that level of consciousness, which is the third level of knowledge.

Meditation is opening the door to the third level of knowledge. And meditation is also opening the door to the third level of joy.

There are three levels of joy.

When our senses engage in sense objects, i.e., when the eyes are busy looking, the ears are busy hearing, we get joy by looking, by hearing, by tasting or by touching. We get some joy from the senses but the capacity to enjoy through the senses is limited.

See, the first doughnut you eat tastes very good. The second one tastes okay. The third one feels like it is too much and the fourth one feels like torture.

Why is this? All of them are made in the same bakery but the ability to enjoy goes down. It is the same with all the sense organs. Sight, touch, smell, taste, hearing; the joy from all of these have their own limitations. Isn’t that so?

Then the second level of joy is when you do something creative, when you discover something nice, or when you write a poem, or when you make some new dishes. That which comes from creativity brings a certain joy with it.

When a baby is born to you, whether it is your first baby or third baby, it brings a certain excitement, a certain joy.

Now, there is a third level of joy. A joy that does not diminish and that comes not from the senses or through creativity but from something deep and mystical.

Similarly, peace, knowledge and joy, these three things come from another level. And from where they come, the source of it is meditation.

For meditation, you have three important rules.

The three rules are that for the next 10 minutes that I am going to sit for meditation: I want nothing, I have to do nothing and I am nothing.

If we follow these three important rules, then we would be able to go deep in meditation.

In the beginning, meditation is just relaxation.

In the second step, meditation is something that gives you energy; you feel more energetic.

In the third step, meditation brings creativity.

In the fourth step, meditation brings enthusiasm and joy.

The fifth step of meditation is indescribable, you simply can't describe it. It is that oneness - you with the whole universe. This is the fifth step of meditation and don’t stop before that.

I usually compare this with people who go to the beach in Spain or in Italy. Some people just go for a walk and they are happy with that. Some others go and take a good swim and feel refreshed and they are happy with that. There are some who go fishing and there are some who go scuba diving and see all the nice creatures and are happy with that. And then, there are some others who go and draw wealth out of the ocean; they go deeper.

So, the knowledge keeps before you all these options.

Don’t stop with just some relaxation, some joy, some enthusiasm or with the fulfillment of some desires.

Do you know your ability to enjoy also increases with meditation and your ability to fulfill your desires also increases with meditation. And when you don’t want anything for yourself, you are able to fulfill the desires of others as well.

It is simply very nice. So don’t stop before that, keep meditating!” – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar