Meditation means to concentrate on particular subjective idea to further understand or experience the truth behind the idea. People do it all the time. Like a painter wants to meditate on the theme of his painting.
In spiritual discipline one learns to concentrate on oneself rather than on the energies of the mind (visualize or thought process). What I mean on oneself is the consciousness or the person who wills or the invisible entity who chooses which thoughts or decisions to make. There is some entity within us which makes the decisions and we want to know who it is and want to know the real properties of that entity.
Who can meditate?
All those who have a desire to find peace of mind and enjoy the self ( purusha) properties and one who has a desire to become independent and find permanent happiness within oneself. Only some have a sincere desire to meditate and find permanent happiness, most do not find the need to do so. They rather try to find happiness in the external world by using mind and body energies.
What is the aim and reason to meditate?
There are many reasons why one wants to meditate. One can
1. Calm the mind from confusion in the mind. Give rest to the mind.
2. One wants to know the real person( purusha) behind the mind.
3. To experience the properties of Sat-chit-ananda of the purusha
What is the mind?
Mind like the body is a product of Nature. The energies of the mind like visualization and thoughts are made by nature in the evolution. They are the powers of Nature that man can use.
Why cannot man meditate naturally?
Man is the switching point in the evolution, a transitional being, where nature has developed reason and analytical skill in the mind to understand himself. Now man has to switch the attention locus from the mind and body to the purusha or consciousness and that is hard because we identify with the mind and body very strongly. The purusha identifies with the body and mind and forgot his own nature.
What is identity?
When we say, I am this. That is called Identity. Right now most of us say, I am this body or the mind. But if some one asks us who is making the decisions inside the mind, we say, we don't know. So meditation is an inquiry to find answers to this question which will radically change our identity.
Why is identity important?
All our actions are based on identity on who we think we are. If we think we are the body, then we do all things to satisfy our body. Like eat good food, exercise, etc which is not bad in itself. If we think we are the mind we read good books to develop intellectual skills. And if we think we are the purusha or consciousness then we learn to enjoy our own self instead of running for happiness or desires. For example, try to please people for our personal happiness.
What are the impediments to meditation on the self or purusha?
The thoughts in the mind are the impediments. Since our identity is very strong with the mind we identify ourselves with the thoughts which are in reality energies of nature. We identify with the energies of nature (body and mind).
What are the tools used in mediation to get around this problem?
Sacred words or sounds are used by some to change our attention on the usual thought process about our usual self or identity( mind and body) , to calm the repetitive thoughts and calm the mind.
Also some meditation methods ask use to concentrate on the breath. Even that is for the same purpose to change our attention from thoughts to the regular breathing and bring some silence to the agitated mind. There could be other tools used too to bring some silence to the mind. Without this initial process of bringing silence to the mind, we cannot turn our attention to the even more silent purusha within us.
Why is regular practice important?
Because to change one's identity from the mind to a silent, happy self needs time and effort. Setting regular times in the morning or evening is a good habit. The more one can sit silently the more one benefits and feels the calm and happiness of the purusha.
What are the advantages of meditation?
The experience of the purusha whose properties are consciousness, truth and bliss and when our identity with it increases one becomes it. It takes time. One has more control on the energies of nature like the mind and body. One does not run after desires of the body or mind for happiness. New powers in nature also come into experience as the purusha power increases or as one's identity becomes one with the purusha.
Where is the purusha?
The purusha is always there. Just like the sun is always there. The more we meditate on our true self
the more this properties come into our experience. Just like it takes time for the observer on earth who starts in the morning to observe the properties of the sun, to experience the afternoon intense sun, it takes time in meditation to experience the intense bliss, light and truth of the purusha. The more on can meditate, the more the purusha reveals himself.
What is the role of grace in meditation?
As one feels the happiness of purusha, ones nature becomes more compassionate and one feels more love toward others and towards the creator. One starts to love the purusha for giving this happy experience. That purusha we call God because it bring happiness to us.
The more we surrender to the purusha the more the purusha reveals himself to us. One does not have to push to hard in meditation. The purusha is the Lord, he wants us to be happy. We just have to be silent and receive his grace and be silent observers of the self.
The more one loves this inner truth the more one loves the creator the creatures. One's nature mellows. Sorrow is replaced by happiness. Confusion in the mind is replaced by clarity. One learns to use the powers and energies of nature in a proper way. One can see all creation as the work of nature even our own mind and body. New powers of nature can also manifest in us.
Is it a difficult exercise?
Yes, it is difficult but it is worth it. It takes time and determination to find the truth of oneself. One becomes independent. One loves creatures and the creator. One becomes more efficient in using nature (mind and body). At advanced levels one gets more powers of nature. One becomes compassionate.
One does not run after anything because happiness is within oneself. One meditates and feels happy. One uses all his energies for the good of mankind and for the will of the creator who keeps us happy.