Sai Baba on meditation
I first started meditating at the age of 38. I was instructed to get into any comfortable position, seated, either in a chair or on the ground.
I was taught that the purpose of meditation is to become one with God. However, I had no idea how to merge with the formless God I believed in-a faraway, faceless force that ruled my life. It was not until I became of devotee of Sai Baba in 1990 that I began to understand that a person needs an object to focus on in order to meditate. That can be a symbol of God, a deity, or even a flame.
According to Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, meditation is a process of Self discovery. He has said, "All accomplished spiritual aspirants, yogis, and renunciates have acquired knowledge of the Absolute through meditation. When higher knowledge is established, there is no sense of past or future; all is present-time."
And it is precisely in this meditation moment, that there is the experience of the living God and nothing else. It is in synchronicity with the beats of one's own heart. Such a moment leads to the discovery that the Absolute and you are one.
For me, meditation produces refreshment, like water when I'm thirsty, sleep when I'm tired. Puttaparthi Sai taught, "Through meditation, the weakness of the body can be overcome, the restless nature of the mind can be controlled, and progress towards the Seat of Grace made easy. One can then attain the experience of Primordial Powers."
And what might these powers be? For me, they are peace, sense control, love towards all, patience, spontaneity, and joy. Without worry, anger, fear, jealousy, and hatred I feel free! So, meditation brings liberation-at least for segments of time. With more practice, "nirvana" lasts longer.
But meditation is much more. Parthi Sai, in his own down-to-earth way of teaching said that meditation is a way of life. "One should have Daiva Preethi, Papa Bheethi and Sangha Neethi (Love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society). That is true Nirvana."
He prescribed, "Be away from sin. Understand that Daiva Sannidhi (proximity to the Divine) is true Pennidhi (wealth principle)… While you are walking on the road or driving a car, if your vision is not focused on the road, you may meet with an accident.
Concentration is necessary in all aspects of life. But concentration does not become meditation.
One should go beyond concentration which means the mind should become still. You should be free from thoughts. That is true meditation."
There is a step-by-step process for new and seasoned meditators.
According to Bhagawan, "When in meditation, concentrate on the form chosen by you, then pass into contemplation and then into meditation. Only by the three states will you get there…When there is complete attention on the form chosen that will lead to meditation. The attention of the mind is totally removed from the body and totally concentrated on the form chosen as the object of your meditation."