Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
I think you have already led us to meditation.
Let us first clear the misconception that meditation is concentration. How many of you think that meditation is concentration? (Many in the audience raise their hands).
You will be disappointed; meditation is not concentration. To do any work, you need concentration. If you are driving and if you are not concentrating on the road, you will miss the exit. So, for doing anything you need concentration, but to do nothing, you do not need concentration. Meditation is just the opposite to concentration. Concentration is an outcome of meditation.
So first of all, we do not try to stop thoughts, we do not fight with good or bad thoughts, or grab onto good thoughts; all that we do is simply keep relaxing. Our body is like the wick of a candle, our mind is like the glow all around it.
Second misconception is, we think our mind is in the body. It is the body which is inside the mind; the mind is all around us, and inside of us of course.
Third thing is, you have to take on the three important golden rules for meditation:
The first rule is: (for the next 10 minutes or so that I sit for meditation) I want nothing.
Can we say that? I want nothing. Afterwards there is no limit for your want, but just for the time that you sit for meditation, you have to remove that clothes of want and put it aside.
The second rule is: (for the next 10 minutes or so that I sit for meditation) I have to do nothing. I am not going to do anything - I am not going to chant something, or remember something, or focus on something, or anything like that.
The third rule is: (for the next 10 minutes or so that I sit for meditation) I am nothing. If you think ‘I am very intelligent’, you are stuck, you will not be able to meditate at all. And if you think ‘I am stupid’, then also you are stuck. So, ‘I am neither rich nor poor, nor intelligent nor stupid.’
So when you sit for meditation, remove all the labels. ‘I am young , I am old, I am wise, I am not so wise', remove all the stickers that you put on ourselves, and see that you are nothing.’
‘I do nothing, I want nothing, I am nothing.’ These are the three golden rules of meditation.