By Sejal Shah | Posted: March 29, 2019

If you are new to meditation, you may wonder whether it’s working or doing any good for you. But even some experienced meditators have these kinds of questions! Often, meditation can feel like you have taken time off to think about everything in the world, or that you’re just sitting there going over your to-do list and planning how and when you can check them off. Sometimes, even, you’re just thinking about the process of meditation itself, and if you are going any deeper into it.  

So how do deep meditation experiences actually feel? Is there any way you can tell that you are into deep meditation? When I started meditating, I certainly had these kinds of questions, and I’m sure that you do, too.

 3 things that happen when you go deep into meditation

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a globally revered meditation expert, says, “When you go deep into that empty space that you are feeling in meditation, three things happen:

  1. At the beginning of the meditation, you don’t see anything, you just see emptiness, but when you put attention there when you continue there
  2. then you start feeling the vibrations. This is called spandana, when you feel some vibrations, some sensations
  3. and then that vibration becomes light.

So the first step is really nothing but relaxation, and then from there feeling the energy, sensations, vibrations, and then it becomes light.”

How can you have a deep meditation experience

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar cautions and further guides, “But when you just sit, and say things like, “Oh, where is the vibration?”, or “I want the light now,” then it’s not going to happen, forget about it. Expectation itself keeps you in a very excited state of consciousness and keeps your mind on the surface level, so it doesn’t let you go in.”

This is so true, and one can easily experience this. I have noticed this time and again: if I sit there and keep expecting to go deeper, I always remain on the surface. On the contrary, in the moments when I have just dropped everything and let go, something mystic starts happening. It could be just momentary, but something beautiful start happening. If I want to hold on to it, it quickly disappears! But if I just be with it, it stays a little longer.

Here’s the trick

First of all, it’s very important for us to understand that meditation is the delicate and effortless art of doing nothing, wanting nothing, becoming nothing. Any effort you put in can be counter-effective. Meditation just happens. Moreover, going deeper can be a very subtle and gradual process, rather than an obvious off-and-on phenomenon. It’s like falling asleep: you won’t know you are deep into sleep until you are not even there anymore. But the moment you try to understand whether you are asleep, you wake up! Likewise, while you are meditating, it is best not to try to figure out if you are going deep in meditation or not.

Most meditation experts advise that it is best not to judge your experience at all. There is nothing like “good” meditation or “bad” meditation. Even if you don’t experience any of the signs that Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has hinted at, it does not mean your meditation was ineffective or not good. Usually, all meditators have experiences that may feel like more surface level time and again. But unlike the new meditator, the veteran meditator doesn’t label it as a bad or good, deep or superficial meditation. This helps them to continue their practice and enjoy deeper meditations without having many expectations about the outcome.

Meditation is about the experiencer, not about the experiences.

~ Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

All meditations are useful, irrespective of your judgment about their depth. Rather than considering what kind of experience you had during your meditation, try focusing on how you feel after you’re done. The most important thing is to maintain the regularity and consistency of your practice, irrespective of your experiences. As you continue doing your practice, whether it’s weeks or years, you will begin to dive deep. If you are still new to meditation, it is good to adopt the attitude of indifference towards the outcome of meditation from the very beginning of your journey.

Here are a few guided meditations by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar if you want to kickstart your journey!

If you are looking to build your own meditation practice with a very easy and personalized technique, I would recommend that you sign up for a Sahaj Samadhi Meditation workshop near you. It has worked wonderfully for me, and a million others globally.

Sejal Shah, E-YRT 500 Sri Sri Yoga Teacher, YACEP, Art of Living Teacher, NYU Post Graduate Medical School approved Yoga-CME retreat facilitator, Mind-Body Wellness Writer, Homeopath