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India-Gods's Abode

On Meditation- By Pavitra

Select a quiet and secluded place where you will feel secure and undisturbed for at least three quarters of an hour to one hour.

Sit in a chair or an arm chair with the back resting or, if you prefer, cross-legged on a cushion or a carpet. A straight body is preferable but without strain. In fact posture is of little importance. What is important is to feel at ease so that the body can be rapidly forgotten. Recumbent position is not advisable, except in case of illness or incapacity as it induces sleep.

Always begin the meditation by an inner call or a prayer, an aspiration towards the Divine.

a) A first method consists in watching the thoughts as they swarm about in the mind. Your mind is like a public place across which thoughts move in and out. A few attract your attention and remain a longer time. Observe their play without identifying yourself with any of them. You will become aware that your consciousness-that is your mental self-stands apart like a "Silent Witness" Separate from the movements of the mental nature in you. On one side this "Witness Consciousness", on the other the mental nature in you.

Because you refuse to identify yourself with the thoughts, their motion and insistence gradually weaken. The waves of the mental nature subside and after a time you enter into a state called "quietude" or "quiet mind". Thoughts still occur but they are subdued and do not disturb inner perceptions.

b) Another method of mental control consists in creating a void in your mind. It is quicker and more radical than the first but also more difficult. You have to banish altogether all thoughts from the mind. As soon as one comes in, push it out or discard it right away, before it has time to settle down. Not only should all reasonings be excluded in this way but all memories and associations too. Your mind enters gradually into the peace of "quietude".

You should know that such an attempt to forcefully control the mind results at times in an apparent increase of the mental chaotic condition. Don't be disturbed but persevere.

It is possible to bring the mind to a state of complete "silence". But it is a very arduous task and after all it is not indispensable, at least in Sri Aurobindo's "Integral Yoga", which does not aim at leaving the body in trance, but at reaching the same experiences in a perfectly conscious and wakeful state.

c) Mental control can also be brought about by concentration, that is the fixing of the mind on a single object so strongly that the mind unites, so to say, with the object. From this identification knowledge about the object arises in the mind. The best object of concentration, the most worthy of knowledge, is surely the Divine, the Supreme. It matters little whether it is the Impersonal or the Personal God or, subjectively, the One Self. An idea that will help you is "God in all, all in God and all as God". When the mind wanders away, you have to bring it back to its object quietly bur persistently. Here also you dissociate yourself in away from your mind.

You may also use a word, a significant sentence, a prayer, the silent repetition of which will quieten the most mechanical part of your mind. Such a repetition (the name of the Beloved) is frequently resorted to by those who feel a devotion for the Divine. It is best to use these three methods concurrently according to the need and as it seems easier at the moment. In any case regular practice is necessary every day, preferably at the same hour.

One day you will become suddenly aware of an inrush of unutterable happiness, a sweetness to which nothing in the world-no human joy or pleasure-can be compared. It is an impersonal state, without an object, and still there is a Presence, invisible but penetrating into the depths of the soul, or perhaps descending from the highest ranges of the Spirit.

All doubts have disappeared, problems vanished. Instead there reign security, confidence, certitude.

The world, things and beings no longer require to be explained; their very existence is their own justification. They "are"-from all eternity-and they will never cease to be, now or ever. Death has become an absurd impossibility.

Of the wonderful experiences that one I reaches in this state a number of descriptions have been given which vary according to the depths that have been reached, the aspects that came forward, the individual conditions and spiritual needs of the time and the accompanying occurrences (such as light, opening to a universal consciousness above the head, etc.). What is spoken of here is not visions-visions are of a quite different nature -but "states of mind" or rather "states of consciousness".

Mystics of all countries who have lived these experiences have given them various names: the Great Peace, the Lord's Peace, the Divine Presence, Discovering the True Self, the Blossoming or Blooming of the Soul, Second Birth, the Repose in Brahman, Entering into the One Reality, Cosmic Consciousness, Illumination, Direct Knowledge, Nirvana. ...A New Life is truly beginning. The inner world becomes more real than the outer world.

See Also : on Discipline

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A new light shall break upon earth, a light of Truth and Harmony.
- The Mother

All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and the Photographs of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India.