It’s also not just something you do. Meditation (Dhyāna) is a process, and may best be described as a continuous, unbroken, conscious awareness of the mind’s activities when in its raw state. Meditation, as a process, involves overcoming the distractions and dissipation of energies which then allows blissful awareness to arise.
When observing the activities of the mind we’ll see that at any point in time we are consumed with endless thoughts and assorted emotional baggage at both the conscious and subconscious level. This is perhaps the largest obstacle when it comes to preventing us from experiencing true, uninhibited bliss. Bliss naturally results from an expanded awareness of any and all happenings, but only in the absence of any attachments and/or bondages.
Meditation practice as a process will equip us with the necessary tools we need to experience this inherent bliss, showing us the path whereby we may live our everyday life using these tools.
Those who regularly meditate realize that they experience a beautiful inner space and peace as they disengage from the external world and go deep within themselves. They no longer identify with their ego-self and its accompanying emotional bondage in order to experience this feeling of peace. Sadly, as soon as they come out of it, they generally return to their so-called normal personality traits. These traits are accompanied by learned patterns of behavior and thinking in regard to who they are, and what they can or can’t achieve.
We must strive to integrate these two states; the higher meditative state and the daily conscious state. At any given point of time, we should then be able to become aware of our higher meditative state. Meditation practice is really mind management and helps us do just that.
What Meditation can do for us:
Meditation can help us overcome our assorted desires and eliminate distractions. It doesn’t directly “curb” these desires (they will always be there), but it will render them inconsequential in the face of an unbroken and expanded awareness of existence. The more we can retain the actual experience of our meditation practice, the easier it is to draw ourselves back from our seemingly endless desires and various distractions.
Meditation teaches us to how to be a “witness.” When we are meditating, we find ourselves detached and “in” the moment. But after we finish, we lose that “being in the now” experience and return to our ordinary distracted state. So, we need to develop a meditative lifestyle, where the meditative state is always available as our reference point. Adapting this meditative lifestyle will help us observe and understand why we tend to oscillate between a calm, peaceful meditative state and our daily unsettled state of mind. We then observe which lifestyle patterns disturb our calm, peaceful and potentially blissful state.
Important requirement for successful Meditation:
In order for successful meditation to occur, we must be “grounded.” Grounding is that essential “anchor” that helps us to remain stable during the meditative process. This grounding can be accomplished by anchoring to your breath or your body movement (e.g., yoga asana) during meditation practice. It’s quite common that as you proceed in meditation you reach a stage of unknown or unfamiliar territory, where you would ordinarily have no confidence to proceed further. It’s exactly these times that grounding is of great help as it establishes a reference point of where you are and of your purpose. It provides a stability to rest upon as energies start to shift and change while proceeding deeper in meditation.
Using Meditation to our best advantage:
During meditation, it is best to develop the capacity to use our energy to control and train our mind and the subsequent feelings that result. We need to be able to understand what is happening at our deeper levels. When and only when, we fully understand these issues can we confront them and eliminate them as distractions to our calm sense of being, enabling a blissful state.
In Antar Mouna (the “Inner Silence” technique) there are six stages to do this. In the 1st stage we witness the sensory information. In the 2nd stage we witness the spontaneous thoughts. In the 3rd stage, we consciously create and dispose of thoughts. The last three stages (4-6) are considered advanced and won’t be dealt with in this article.
But as you can see, meditation practice is a time to work upon ourselves, to take on issues that prevent us from being in a perpetual meditative state; one free of distractions where fear, anxiety, insecurity and desire are absent. As we progress in developing this medita