In the beginning you have to practice meditation in life. You have to consciously introduce meditation into your lifestyle. Choose a technique, practice for half an hour or one hour a day. See how you feel. If you enjoy a technique, stick to it for at least ten days without expecting results. If a technique has touched you, there is no way it cannot transform you in some way. Sometimes the transformation will be subtle, and sometimes others may see it better than you do.
The understanding that is able to give you a completely restful feeling, through which you are able to solve all your problems, through which you are able to find your own life solutions, is called psychological revolution
Just one glimpse of the joy of meditation is enough to make you fall in love with meditation. Then you will no longer ask how many hours you must practice. When you wake up, your very first thought will be of meditation. When you take a shower, when you dress, when you eat, you will do everything with such complete awareness that every act, every moment will become alive with meditation. You will then begin to live life in meditation.
The next question is when to meditate.
This is always a controversial question! All the youngsters think, ‘I can do this in my old age after I have lived my life fully and I don’t have anything else to do.’ All the elderly people think, ‘I should have done this in my young age when I was fresh and energetic.’ So the question is not just how long to meditate everyday, but also when to make the decision to include a meditation practice in your routine.
Meditation is just like reading an owner’s manual before you start driving the car. The person who does not read the owner’s manual before driving the car will naturally meet with accidents. In the same way, meditation is like the owner’s manual for your body and for your life. The person who has not started meditation before entering into life will end up with suffering and depression at one point or the other.
Please understand, meditation is the basic need for every life. It is not an option. It is a very basic need. After the age of seven, you need meditation, because until then, as a child you are by nature in a meditative state. It is only after seven that you start getting conditioned by society and drop out of your true nature.
To really understand and enter into meditation, one important thing needs to happen in you – psychological revolution.
What do I mean by psychological revolution?
It means a clear understanding about the self, world and god.
As of now, the understanding that you are carrying about life is not complete. That is why you are not able to experience a peaceful, relaxed feeling in your system. When I say the words ‘psychological revolution’, I mean having a clear understanding about the self, world and god. It is having a clear understanding about the source of the self, the source of the world and the source of god.
The understanding that is able to give you a completely restful feeling, through which you are able to solve all your problems, through which you are able to find your own life solutions, is called psychological revolution. Only the one who has gone through this psychological revolution can meditate. Until then, any technique that you try will seem to fail at some point in time.
People come and tell me, ‘The moment I close my eyes, I get more thoughts than when I did not meditate. If I am in action, doing something, I have fewer thoughts. The moment I close my eyes and try to meditate, I have more thoughts.’ This means that the psychological revolution has not happened. The dream state constantly penetrating the waking state and deep sleep state is what leads to more and more misunderstanding, more and more dullness, more and more lethargy. This is what we call traveling towards suffering. It is the vicious cycle of lack of clarity leading to lack of meditation and vice versa. If the turiya or blissful state penetrates the waking and deep sleep states, then we are moving towards fulfillment. This is the virtuous circle where clarity leads to meditation and meditation leads to clarity.
If you straightaway close your eyes and start meditating, you may have an increased number of thoughts. So in the initial level, I always give a technique which is not directly a meditation, but is more a contemplation. When you work with this technique, it won’t lead you directly to a thoughtless state. It will lead you towards more and more clarity. It will lead to the psychological revolution. The psychological revolution will develop an intense inner space where you can analyze your understanding, consider your decisions and rethink again and again your desires, fears, worries and all that you consider as the basis of your life.
Actually, many times we do not even know what our desires are. Many times, what you think is life or what you brag about as a great life, may not be adding to your life in any way. So in the initial level, taking up a technique that can awaken you, that can help the psychological revolution in you, is the best way to start.
Start meditating here and now. Neither age nor time can be the reason to postpone meditation. The next question people ask is whether they should meditate in the morning or in the evening. My answer is that the goal is not to make meditation a quantity of life, but rather a quality of life.
There are three kinds of meditation.
The first is bringing the truth or awareness into your life. This mediation is supposed to be done all twenty-four hours a day. Breath-related techniques like vipassana or techniques where you bring your awareness to the present moment all the time belong to this category of meditation. It is not a part of your routine. It should become the very quality of your routine. You may be doing anything like writing, reading, cooking, discussing, but this thread of meditation should be happening simultaneously, like an undercurrent.
With the second kind of meditation techniques, you need to spend a particular time, like one hour in the morning or one hour in the evening, or any other convenient time.
The Mahamantra meditation technique, where you hum for a few minutes and then remain a witness for a few minutes, can be given as an example for this category of meditation. Nithya Dhyaan – Life Bliss Meditation is another example of this type of meditation, since it is practiced for a specified time each day.
Then there is the third kind of meditation techniques, where just the very remembrance of the technique is enough. Examples of this are the statements of the great timeless truths. When you are in a highly mature state, you don’t need any separate technique. You don’t need to practice the whole day or at any particular time. Just the very remembrance of these truths will put you in the elevated state. This is the third type of meditation. Examples of this are the beautiful Zen koans. They are profound truths written in a concise are profound truths written in a concise way. Just the very remembrance of them will transport you to the zone of Truth!
There is a very beautiful story in the Upanishad where a disciple comes to the master and asks for a technique or a method for enlightenment. The master just says, ‘Tat tvam asi, Tat tvam asi, Tat tvam asi’ – ‘Thou art that, Thou art that, Thou art that’, ‘You are the Truth,’ and the story says, the disciple became enlightened!
It seems like a very strange story. The master just repeats a few words and the disciple is suddenly enlightened. How is it possible? It seems unbelievable! Actually it is not so. If we have done the first two types of techniques, the technique that needs to be done the whole day and the technique that needs to be done at a particular time, then the very maturity that happens out of that practice will cause you to experience the Truth the moment you hear it from the master!
source: Living Enlightenment