Posted on 17. Jan, 2010 by in Featured, KolkataAshram

Amma Meditating

By concentrating on a form, sound or light, we learn to constantly be in that state of inner aloneness and to be joyful in any situation. - Amma

Amma’s Instructions for Meditation

Children, when you sit for meditation, do not think that you can still your mind immediately. At first, you should relax all parts of your body. Loosen your clothes if they are too tight. Make sure that the spine is erect. Then close your eyes and concentrate your mind on your breath. You should be aware of your inhalation and exhalation. Normally we breathe in and out without being aware of it, but it should not be like that; we should become aware of the process. Then the mind will be wakeful.

Children, don’t try to still your mind by force when you sit for meditation. The thoughts will rise up with ten times their original force if you do that. It is like pressing down a spring. Try to find out where the thoughts arise from, and control them with that knowledge. Don’t place the mind in any kind of tension. If any part of your body is tense or feels any pain, the mind will linger on that. Relax every part of the body, and watch your thoughts with absolute awareness. Then the mind will subside by itself.

As you sit like that for a while, your mind will become calm. You can continue the meditation by focusing attention on your breath. Or you can start meditating on the form of your beloved deity. If the mind wanders, you should bring it back. If you are unable to do that, then it is enough to watch where it is going. The mind should be kept under observation. Then it will stop running around and will be under your control.

Meditation is remembrance of God, constant and loving remembrance. Consider Him as your beloved or just consider yourself as His child. Or consider Him as your father or mother. Simply try to think of Him just as we think of our father or mother or beloved. How does a lover remember his beloved? Certainly not by sitting in lotus posture. The remembrance simply happens in him while he is lying down, walking or sitting on the banks of a river, or it may happen while he is at work. It does not matter where he is or what he is doing. Likewise, remember your beloved deity whenever you can no matter where you are or what you are doing.

That stillness, or center, is what a true seeker yearns for, and this is why he doesn’t bother about the past or the future. His focus is on the here and now. That is what is known as remembrance of God. Remembrance of God can only take place when you let go of the past and stop dreaming about the future. Then the pendulum of the mind stops swinging back and forth; it reaches a point of stillness, and you dwell in the stillness of the present moment.

Meditation on the Form of your Beloved Deity

Name and form are ladders to reach the formless. We who are limited cannot conceive of the unlimited. A form is needed to reach the formless. Another thorn is needed to remove the thorn that has pierced our foot. Once the thorn is removed, both can be discarded. Likewise, after reaching the ultimate goal, you can abandon all names and forms if you want. Even when you meditate on the formless Self, you need a pure conception, which is nothing but a thought. That is also a concept, is it not? Even when you meditate on the form of a god or goddess, you are not meditating on an external object but only on your own Self.

A minimum of three years is required to learn to fix one’s attention firmly on the form of meditation within. Initially one must strive for concentration by looking at a photo. If one meditates with closed eyes for ten minutes, then for ten minutes one should look at the form of meditation. Eventually the form will become clear within.

Imagine holding the Divine Mother’s hand and bathing Her by pouring water over Her. Picture the water falling on all parts of Her body and running down. All the while, call out to Her, ‘Mother, Mother!’ and visualise Her form. Imagine doing abhisheka (ceremonial bath) with milk, honey, ghee, sandal paste and rose water, one after the other. When these substances flow down Her body, visualise each part of Her form, from head to foot. Talk to Her, and pray to Her. After bathing Her thus, dry Her body with a cloth. Drape a silk sari around Her. Adorn Her with ornaments. Put a vermilion mark on Her forehead. Put anklets on Her. Put a garland on Her neck and enjoy Her beauty. Now do archana (worship) with flowers. Take the flower, which represents your mind, and imagine offering its petals, one by one, at Her feet. Or imagine offering your vasanas (negative tendencies) in a fire burning in front of Her. After the archana, offer Her the payasam (sweet rice pudding) of your love. Picture that you are doing arati (waving of burning camphor) for Her, and see each part of Her body shining brilliantly in the light of the flame. In the end, imagine that you are circumambulating Mother. All the while keep praying to Her. Try to do all this with pure love. Then your mind will not wander anywhere.

Children, if you just sit down thinking, ‘I am going to start meditating now’, the form won’t appear in your mind. You’ll only sit there with your eyes closed, and after a while you’ll remember, ‘Oh! I’m supposed to be meditating!’. So when you sit for meditation, begin by crying out to God, ‘Oh God, won’t You come into my heart? I cannot see You without Your help. You are my only refuge!’. Picture your beloved deity standing in front of you. Then, after a while, His or Her form will shine clearly in your mind.

Look at the sky and try to visualize the form of your beloved deity there. Try to imagine that He or She is moving with you. Try to see your beloved deity’s face in the moon or imagine that the moon is the face of the Divine Mother or of Krishna or Rama. As the wind blows, try to feel that it is the gentle caress of your beloved deity. Look into the water and visualize the smiling face of your beloved deity there. You can imagine that your beloved deity is calling you near, hugging you, kissing you, caressing you, blessing you, and then hiding in the clouds and coming out again a little later. By this kind of imagination you go deeper and deeper into your own consciousness. You enshrine His or Her form within your heart. You open up more and more, and you get closer and closer to your own Self.

Crying to God is the Best Meditation

Children, crying has the power to make the mind completely one-pointed. Why do we meditate? To get concentration, isn’t that why? Yes. So, the best way to get concentration is by crying to the Lord. That is a very powerful way of remembering God, and that, in fact, is meditation.

That is what great devotees like the gopis and Mirabai did. See how selflessly Mirabai prayed, ‘O Mira’s Giridhari (Krishna), it does not matter if You don’t love me. But, O Lord, please do not take away my right to love You.’ They prayed and cried until their whole being was transformed into a state of constant prayer. They kept on worshiping the Lord until they were totally consumed by the flames of divine love. They themselves became the offering. Once you become the offering, once your whole being is in a state of constant prayer, then what is left is not you but Him. What is left is love. Prayer can perform this miracle. Crying can accomplish this feat. What is the purpose of meditation? It is to become love. It is to attain oneness. Thus there is no better meditation technique than praying and crying to the Lord.

Let the heart melt in prayer. Unfortunate indeed are those who think that crying to God is a weakness. As the wax melts, the flame of a candle only burns brighter. Through crying to God, one gains strength. These tears wash away the impurities of the mind. If one cries for God for five minutes, it is equal to one hour of meditation. Such crying makes the mind easily absorbed in the remembrance of God.

Those who meditate only according to a timetable, as if it were a duty, will never see God. You have to cry for God, day and night, with no thought of food or sleep. You have to develop that kind of detachment. If someone smeared chili paste all over your body, think of how you would struggle to escape the burning! You should pine to see God with the same intensity. You should cry for that vision, without wasting even an instant. Only then, will all other thoughts disappear, as in deep sleep, and you will reach the plane of divine experience.

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One Response to “Meditation”

  1. piyali banerjie

    20. Dec, 2015

    I love this message and information on this website

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