A Note On Meditation
I’m sure most of us are
more or less familiar with this word – “meditation”. The word has
become very popular - both in the east and the west in the last 100 years
or so. Especially during the 60’s, among Hippies and Pop stars and
Hollywood celebrities, when drugs became popular, meditation also took to
popularity. Some used drugs, some used meditation and some used both.
India became a large exporter of meditation gurus and these gurus
established their meditation centres around the world.
There are different schools, methods and systems of meditation. These ask
you to sit in a certain posture, breathe in a particular way, visualize
some scene, concentrate on an image, etc.
Then there are methods
which give you a certain word or a phrase to repeat and promise some sort
of transcendental experience. (Transcendental - that silly word,
perhaps an invention of some romantic Orientalists, who have imagined
India to be some sort of mystical, mysterious, and spiritual country) And
so, there is laughing meditation, dancing meditation, sleeping meditation,
and also, as I recently came to know, hopping meditation.
Though I’m no expert on meditation, still it is perfectly evident to me
that all that passes on in the name of meditation is simply a form of
self-hypnosis and is nothing more than amusing oneself. Also, it is
utterly mechanical. The word "meditation", has become a much abused
word, like the word "love". Everybody uses it, practices it, without
having an understanding of what it is. The word is loaded with tradition,
theories, systems, concepts and beliefs of all kinds.
Meditation is not following any system. It is not constant repetition and
imitation. Meditation is not concentration. It is not control of thought.
Meditation is not to sit in a corner repeating a lot of word. It is not
thinking of a picture and going into some wild imaginings. Meditation
cannot be practiced. It is not an intellectual affair. It is not the
pursuit of pleasure and the search for happiness. It is not a means of
achievement. Meditation, on the contrary, is a state of mind in which
there is no idea or concept of any kind.
Any conscious effort to meditate is not meditation.
Should One Meditate At All?
What place does it have in
one’s life? Not in the so-called spiritual, mystical,
occultochemicalometaphysical life but the actual, everyday life?
When you learn about yourself, watch yourself, are aware of yourself, that
is meditation. When one looks at oneself as one is directly and discovers
how heavily the mind is conditioned, that is meditation. When one
discovers the movement of one’s thoughts and feelings, that is meditation.
It can take place when you are sitting in a train or walking on the road,
or looking at the trees or listening to the sound of birds. It is a state
when the mind is still and there is total attention.
It cannot be defined
in positive terms because then it becomes a process, a technique,
a method. And all methods are static, crystallized and binding.
When you understand the whole process of your thinking and feeling,
it brings about a freedom from thought and feeling in which the
mind and the whole being becomes very quiet. With that quietness,
you can look at nature, you can look at people, and you can look
at the sky and the stars. Then there is silence and that silence
is beauty. Much
of what I've written here has been said many times over by the eminent
teacher, J. Krishnamurti in many of his books and public talks.
Krishnamurti’s works can be read online at: http://jiddu-krishnamurti.net/index.php
Ashutosh Ghildiyal is a salaried
professional based in Mumbai, India. He was born in Lucknow in 1984, where
he completed his schooling. He completed his graduate studies in New Delhi
and his post-graduate education in Mumbai. He is the author of To
Think or Not to Think and Other stories (Book), various blogs and
short stories. Email: