MEDITATION - HOW TO DO IT
As I meditate daily on the Avatar of Bliss, Baghwan Nityananda, and getting good results, I think with pity upon those who are not meditating, and those who are trying but having trouble doing so.
The first thing I'd like to assert is that persistence in a thing will make it right. At first, you may fail in getting the results you want, but don't give up. Like anything else, practice makes perfect. Let me give you an example.
Right now, instead of dancing to oldies for my aerobics time, I decided to do ballet. What? Yes, ballet. I am not a ballerina, but someone sent me a copy of the Kirov's "Sleeping Beauty." It inspired me so much, and I loved the music so much, I thought that it would be great to try and imitate the dancing as best I can. Naturally, my movements are a slight fraction of what is going on at the Kirov, (I am dancing every part!) but nevertheless, I am learning and improving. After a few hours of this, I project myself into the future, like a year from now, still imitating ballet. Already I have learned many new postures for body and especially arms and hands, and how to move them. If I persist, I believe I'll be more graceful, improve my posture, move my body in better ways whenever the occasion arises. (I think, is this not better than a treadmill? Am I not learning a skill as well as just moving?) Shall I despair because I cannot do leaps and all the intricate moves? If I do I will not move on, but persistence brings improvement. A year from now I may put on a good outfit and have someone videotape me practicing. If I look better after five hours, I should look pretty good after fifty.
This is how meditation works. Whatever your level of efficiency is, no matter how bad, it will improve. If you do it not there will be no improvement.
What is the enemy of meditation? What is the thing that makes it most difficult? The first thing - that never gets you up to bat - is the excuses of why you can't do it. The second problem, that keeps you from getting to first base, is the thoughts. Thoughts of distraction are the enemy of meditation. You will have to resist these thoughts, and that is the skill of meditation. Meditation is the combating of all that stands between you and God; the distractions, the memories, the desires, the pressures of what you think you must do, and even the duties of what you MUST do but should for the time being, forget. (Meditation is the first step to contemplation. Contemplation comes after you are proficient, and it comes by the grace of God once you have put yourself out of the way.)
You must be in love with God as your Greatest Lover. I know how easy it is to make time for the person or thing you love. Think of whoever or whatever you love the most, which gives you delight. Is it easy to make time for that? Somehow you manage. You could be in the midst of crazy activity, but when the person you love, or think is important, e-mails you or calls you, you are available. That is because that image of delight is top priority. God has to be like that.
Your enemies stop you from meditating and they try to mess it up. Those enemies are a constant and they are all that will keep you from Heaven and take you to Hell: The world, the flesh and the devil. Distractions, desires, pressures, ego-based needs, vanity and pride activities are all the broad highway to Hell. Satan does not have to get you to kill anyone, just keep you in ego, pride and distraction, and he's got your soul hooked.
Even great souls have to resist and fight back these enemies. Satan, in fact, spends most of his time tempting Holy Souls, not the wicked. He owns the wicked and knows it's just a matter of time. (Although there is always hope.) The Holy are his enemies and the ones that will steal souls from him; it is they he must try and conquer.
You must understand that if you have a good disposition leaning toward God, Satan will try ever harder to distract you. Don't let him.
Dwell upon your relationship with God as the most Sacred, Holy, and Joyful time of your life. Never mind that you don't always feel that way or meditation isn't yet bringing results. IT WILL. GIVE IT TIME.
I have personally been meditating a lot since the late sixties. Before, I did prayer, on and off, since the age of six. But in the late sixties, I began study of yoga and therefore, meditated. I learned by doing, by practice. You don't get it out of a book, not one that I know of. There is no formula that will make a quick return. It's all between you and God, how much time you put into the relationship.
Does this long time in practice guarantee that I will always be able to meditate and get results? No. It is a seasonal thing. It's like the tide or the moon. Results, for me, come in phases. I always do my duty, which is prayer and Holy Communions. I try and meditate, but sometimes, it simply does not work in the sense of a return. But sometimes, it does work. Why not work? Why work?
If I could give you an absolute answer, I would. But I can only guess. Sometimes, it is the season for darkness and you cannot see God or be in the state of "illumination." I've been through that for years. After the Divine Stigmata, I was in darkness for most of eighteen years...no joke, that was. When the Light came back, Life came back. I'd been spiritually dead (to the senses) all that time, with only Faith and Hope to keep me alive. Love? Where was it? I was a normal soul with desires, but did not feel God's love at all. God's love had been obliterated when the Heart Chakra burned up in the Martyrdom of Interior Stigmata. The Stigmata is a whole "nother ball game, which few of you will attain. (As you get closer to God, you will suffer more extremes...but perhaps, in the end, all extremes will be banished and you might get what I call one or more of the "final" states of Bliss. These states of sublime and supreme union are described by Saint Mary of Agreda in "Mystical City of God, - the Coronation." It talks about abstractive, intuitive vision, given to Holy Mary as consolation for living many years on earth without Her beloved Son.) You cannot withstand such extremes in the beginning; that is why God will not give them to you. But darkness follows Light just as surely as night follows day, until you reach a place of "final Nirvana." Your meditation will "prosper" sometimes, and at other times, will seem not to.
Both the "prospering" times and times of dark are growth. In fact, during the dark is when most of the "growth," (which is merit) occurs. Consider the tree which even when it's forty degrees outside, is growing roots.
They say that meditation brings peace and serenity - but that is only in the times of Illumination. In the dark times, you will feel disappointment, starvation and sorrow, even anxiety. It is the rocky road of love.
Back to square one. Right now, my meditation is "working". Why was it not working at other times? The season wasn't right. But the season came, and the Spring brought Nityananda. My soul waited for Spring, and there it was. The "Song of Songs" uses agriculture and earthly love to explain spiritual states, up to the highest states of Divine Union. St. Thomas, the Angelic Doctor of the Church, had the Song of Songs read him on his deathbed, hearing these words of ecstasy at his dying breath. It isn't tantra, the mixing of physical and spiritual love, it is the highest union of the soul with God. It is beyond the peace of Bliss, it is Ecstasy and a taste of Glory.
I have had experiences of ecstasy and Glory, but don't expect these every day. In a lifetime many could be twenty.
I know people don't believe I've tasted Glory, but I have. There are a lot of charlatans and misfits out there who are deluded and confused about where they're at. Recently a man spoke to me, and said many outrageous things about his attainment. I knew the level he was at by listening, and he was totally confused. He thought he was on the highest level there is - but how would he know? He was beginning to feel intimations of God and was personally channeling the God within him, which is a state I was at in 1971. But this man thought he was in Glory, and that when I saw God, I saw him - this man who was speaking to me. He described his physical body to me and asked me was that what God looked like? I felt great pity for him. After listening to many such outrageous statements, I could understand how the general public thinks all mystics are whacky. It's the bad ones that give the authentic ones a bad reputation.
Please see the yoga section on the Nityananda Sadhana to see how I am doing spiritually right now. You will learn much! For souls who are on the highest path, there is scant little original new information. This is esoteric indeed, as most souls are either on their way to Hell, or beginners in the spiritual life. If you want to advance, you need this knowledge. The world is still being nourished by the Medieval Saints - St. Gertrude the Great, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Clare, Saint Bonaventure, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. This shows that spiritual attainment has actually dropped rather than increased, since there is so little new achievement in this area. (I believe the allurements of the world have taken people away from Mystical attainment.) That is why what I am giving to the world is so valuable and rare. So few souls reach these states. I am happy to share what I know with you at no charge. Save yourself and the world!