Demystifying meditation

We all want deep and refreshing rest so that we can be productive when we wake up. But when can you rest? Only when you have stopped all other activities. When you stop moving around, working, thinking, talking, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting - when all voluntary activities are arrested - then you get rest or sleep. In sleep, you are left with only involuntary activities such as breathing, heartbeat, food digestion and blood circulation. Yet this is not total rest. Total rest happens in meditation. And meditation happens only when the mind settles down.

How to settle down this mind? By understanding the aim of life and having a clear focus. What is focus? Being fulfilled in the moment, being centered, looking to the highest and remaining in that space of peace, is focus. If there is no peace, there is no focus. Similarly, if you focus, you attain peace.

You are bothered if you have the things you want and you are bothered if you do not have them! For example, if you have money, you are worried about what to do with it, whether to invest or not and if you invest, you are anxious about the fluctuations in the share market, etc. If you do not have money, even then you are bothered.

Real freedom is freedom from the future and freedom from the past. When you are not happy in the present moment, then you desire for a bright future. Desire simply means that the present moment is not all right. This causes tension in the mind; every desire causes feverishness. In this state, meditation cannot happen. You may sit with your eyes closed, but the desires keep arising, thoughts keep arising; you fool yourself into thinking that you are meditating, but actually you are daydreaming!

Observe from your own experiences - if you go to bed with some restlessness, agitation or desire, you will not get deep sleep. On the surface, it may appear that the desire is not there - but those plans or ambitions are still there in the mind. Very ambitious people cannot have deep sleep because the mind inside is not free. The more you are anxious about doing something, the more difficult it is to sleep. Only if you let go of everything before going to sleep, then will you be able to rest. So why not do the same thing, moment to moment? When you want to sit for meditation, let go of everything; feel the world is disappearing or dissolving. When you come out of deep meditation, you become very dynamic and act better. The deeper you are able to rest, the more dynamic you will be in your activity.

Meditation is letting go of all anger from the past and events of the past, and letting go of all planning for the future. Planning can hold you back from diving deep into yourself. Meditation is accepting this moment and living every moment totally with depth. Just this understanding, and a few days of continuous practice of meditation, can change the quality of your life.

The best analogy of the three states of consciousness - waking, sleeping and dreaming - is nature.

Nature sleeps, wakes and dreams! It happens at a magnificent scale in existence and is happening at a different scale in this human body. Wakefulness and sleep are like sunrise and darkness.

Dream is like the twilight in between. And meditation is like the flight into outer space, where there is no sunset, no sunrise, nothing!

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