In the field of yoga, meditation is a critical element. If there is to be union with what is beyond the normal existence then the mind must be dealt with. As it has been said, the mind can be a great servant or if left to it’s own devices the mind can be a churning delusion machine. What is wonderful is that we have access to unique processes of meditation that can liberate us from superficial existence.
Then the question is what really is meditation ?
There are many definitions of course for this. One definition might be that meditation is a conscious process of turning over the complete attention of the body/mind complex to flow into what is beyond itself. Then this question leads to many more discussions about the nature of reality itself. But in this article we cannot explore the complete nature of reality but to examine how meditation is important no matter what your ultimate description of reality is.
There are practicalities for meditation. It is best if there is a set apart room or space for meditation. It should be a quiet place where you will not be disturbed and also you may want to have the lights dimmed just to minimize any outside stimulation. Some people say the eyes should be closed and others say it is also fine to have the eyes open. One can be looking at some form that helps with meditation. Often that form is a “Yantra” or visual representation that stimulates the mind and body into a meditative state. Some say the highest form of meditation is meditation on the enlightened guru. If one feels that a guru is drawing them into a deeper state, then the picture and form of the guru can be a trigger for the mind and body to go into a deep state of meditation. This is where there is some disagreement about meditation techniques. Some say there is a technique to meditation where one repeats a mantra or otherwise keeps attention in a specific way. Others say that the most pure form of meditation is meditation on the guru because the guru is himself that state of enlightenment. Many people have confessed that meditation on the guru is the most effective means. It is that the relationship to the spiritual master is what is important, not a technique of approaching the master. This is what I have found to be the case. The deepest most profound meditation is not derived from a planned way to “get enlightened” but from falling into the deep grace of the spiritual master. Indeed it has been said that “trying” to meditate deeply is really a form of the ego seeking it’s own satisfaction.
So this subject of meditation is a very long and detailed subject and one could go on and on developing and understanding of all the various types of meditation methods but what is wonderful is just to know that there is so much that exists in the form of meditation and that it is available to everyone.