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Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Teachings

  Meditation

See also:
Jyoti Meditation

Sai Baba's Views on Meditation

Compiled from the discourses of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

"Meditation is a function of the inner man. It involves deep subjective quietude, the emptying of the mind and the filling oneself with the light that emerges from the Divine spark within." 

- BABA 

Meditation is a spiritual discipline leading to self-realization.  Simply closing one's eyes and letting the mind wander about and play, as per its whims, is not meditation.  Meditation or silent sitting is a process or a stage transcending the senses.  "Only in the depth of silence can the voice of God be heard".  This is a true statement, because when we pray, we silently speak to God.  Meditation takes us to that silence.  It is a way of communicating with that Divine self who is God or the Atma. 

Life is a journey with a purpose and not unlike a voyage, it must be charted out.  We must first mentally prepare ourselves for this journey.  In the same way, before we sit to meditate, some preparation is necessary.  Each individual is unique; therefore one should not judge one's progress with another.  This would be misleading and most probably distort one's self-confidence.  It is the same with meditation; each experience will differ depending on the condition of the body and mind of the individual. 

Here are some tips for a beginner starting on the path of meditation.  Establish two regular periods for meditating, one in the morning and one in the evening.  The morning session prepares us for the daily tasks, whereas in the evening, we are thanking God and offering all that we have done at His lotus feet.  Baba tells us that between the hours of 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., meditation is very potent, as all is still and quiet and the body is refreshed after sleep.  As one develops the habit of meditating, one automatically adjusts the time to suit one's daily activities. 

It is best to meditate before meals.  If one is hungry, have something light to eat or else the body and mind will not get the benefit of rest during meditation.  One should not sit directly on the ground.  Sit on a special mat reserved only for prayer or meditation, or sit on a piece of cloth forming a seat, so as to have some insulation for the body currents which naturally move to earth. 

Why should one sit straight and quiet in meditation? Baba says this is a very essential part of our practice of meditation, " because when the body is straight and quiet, the mind is also straight and quiet.  If you cannot control your body, how can you control your mind? "  If one is ill, it is alright to meditate lying on the bed.

How long should one meditate? There is no set time for a beginner, but 20 minutes to half an hour would be appropriate.  It is best to practice in a quiet area, in a prayer room or wherever it is convenient for you.  Take measures to disallow disturbances (e.g. take the phone off the hook, put animals in another room, wait until the children are asleep, etc.).  Noise should not be a hindrance to a meditator because even in a noisy market one can think.  In the same way, do not let noise be a disturbance.  However, if during the practice, one is suddenly disturbed, (doorbell, etc.) do not be alarmed. Take a minute or two to come out of that state of relaxation, as any sudden jerk could be jarring to the nervous system.  When you are finished with meditation, loosen your limbs slowly, before you start your usual duties. 

Since meditation provides deep rest to the body and mind, it is likely that a beginner may become over-energetic, tired or sleepy during or after the practice.  Whatever the body needs, it usually calls for, so if one feels sleepy it is all right to rest for a few minutes.  Meditate with sincere devotion and love and Baba tells us that He will be our Guru and Guide. 

Baba says Give and Gain.  One can give in many ways.  Sometimes we wonder what can we give to God?  Baba says that all that He wants from us is Love.  In silent sitting, we are giving of ourselves; we are pouring our hearts to God.  For what is really ours to give, when all is His?  If we give a little of our time to communicate with Baba, He will answer our prayers and guide us. 

The ultimate goal of each individual is self-realization.  Baba says that we start with self-confidence, then we get self-satisfaction, followed by self-realization, the ultimate state being Sat-Chit-Ananda or Absolute- Bliss- Consciousness.  Peace and Bliss are within us, they are not external.  Eventually with perseverance and practice, the experience of only the object of your meditation should subsist, i.e. nothing else but the presence of divinity. 

Source: http://mypage.direct.ca/s/sairam/nov86.doc

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