17 Jun Sarita: Meditation Unveiled
During my travels around the world teaching Tantra I am often asked questions about meditation. Many people still carry an outdated idea that sexuality and spirituality are separate from each other and are surprised that Tantra is based on meditation practices. In Tantra, meditation may include any and all aspects of our human life experience. In this blog, I answer the questions I hear most often regarding meditation.
Meditation is a state of being in which we become the witness of any given life experience. For example, you can become a witness of your breath coming in and going out. You can become a witness of each and every emotional state. You can become a witness of your mind. As we continue with this practice, we evolve a non-judgmental state of being which is aligned with source. This state of being gives rise to inner peace, tranquility, love and compassion.
Do I have to sit in the classic lotus posture in order to meditate?
There are many different meditation techniques, some active and some passive. The classic technique taught by Gautama Buddha is one where the adept sits in a lotus posture with straight spine and witnesses the breath coming in and going out of the nostrils. The position of straight spine and folded legs helps us to be alert and supports a fluid circulation of energy through the body with no leakage of energy from anywhere.
In the Zen tradition, meditators sit on a stool with legs underneath the stool (called the Za Zen position) and others may sit with their bum raised on a zaphoo, (a cushion designed especially for meditation.)
In the West, it is often very difficult for people who have been raised sitting on chairs to sit on a cushion on the floor and fold their legs. If this is the case for you, then you can sit with straight back in a chair.
There are some techniques of meditation, which also use a laying down position or a standing position. When you are learning a particular technique, the instructor will guide you on the position for that particular meditation. Some meditations are even done while walking or while engaged in daily activities.
Why should I meditate?
To understand why you would want to meditate, you can simply think of your computer needing to be recharged. When we meditate, we are allowing our bio computer of mind and body to be plugged into source. By consciously allowing ourselves to be recharged and recalibrated with source, we will then function at our optimum.
You know the alarm you feel if your computer tells you that only 20% of the battery is remaining? You know that it is now urgent to plug into a wall socket! Well, a lot of people go through life with only a small amount of battery charge in their system because they don’t take the time to recharge. Yes, we do get recharged during sleep, but the quality of recharge is optimized tremendously when it is done in the light of full awareness, as happens during silent sitting meditation.
Is Meditation the same as concentration?
Meditation and concentration are two different states of being. With concentration, we narrow ourselves to single point, which takes effort and will. In meditation, we relax, we do nothing and have no goal but are simply in a state of choice-less awareness.
After having meditated, it will be possible to concentrate on something more effectively. For example, nowadays the term mindfulness is becoming important in the corporate world. (Mindfulness is a term, which helps the pill of meditation to be easily swallowed by the corporate mind.) The reason why mindfulness is being used for managers is because after entering into a state of deep meditation, a person becomes more creative and more of their potential manifests spontaneously. They are also better able to focus on goals and tend to develop a happier outlook in life.
What are the benefits of Meditation?
When you meditate, you are moving into a process of unwinding all that you are not, and discovering who you really are. It is a big relief to let go of unnecessary baggage. As layers of useless conditioning drops away, simultaneously, your innate genius will be revealed. You will find yourself growing smarter, happier, more peaceful and more creative.
Can I really integrate meditation into a busy lifestyle?
It is all a matter of priorities. If your priority is to eat junk food, you will find the time and energy to get some and eat it. A true story: A man was in a big hurry to get his favorite food, Chicken Mc Nuggets. He was racing his car to the drive-in when he had an accident and died. His kidney was transplanted into a woman who needed it. When she came out from under the anesthesia, her first statement was, “I want some Chicken Mc Nuggets!” The people around her were very shocked because previously she never would have gone for such food.
In the same way that the kidney passed on the information regarding his craving, we get passed all kinds of conditioning from our ancestors through the genetic line and through habits we pick up from our parents. These conditioned responses become ingrained to such an extent that we believe they are ours.
Our conditioned responses give rise to certain priorities, things we think we can’t live without. Some people cannot imagine life without spending an hour a day reading the newspaper, while others will spend hours on porn sites. If you say to these persons to put aside 40 minutes a day for meditation, they may say, “I don’t have any time for meditation!”
If someone was raised without the experience of meditation, then it will be necessary to create your own discipline to learn to love meditation. In a sense, you are parenting yourself to become imprinted with a desire to seek communion with source on a regular basis.
It helps to create a special meditation space and a certain time, which you devote to meditation each day. One day, sooner or later, you will learn to love it so much that you will not be able to imagine life without this sublime communion with source.
When meditation becomes a priority in your life, then many things in your life will shift. Things that used to look important will fall by the wayside as the quality of meditation infuses your life with more spaciousness and calm. You will find that even drinking a cup of tea or simply walking is a heavenly experience. You will become more sensitive, sensual and alive to each moment.
When meditation matures, we recognize meditation as the very loom upon which the cloth of life is woven.
Does Meditation help for health related issues?
According to modern medical findings, stress is one of the most prevalent causes of disease. Stress creates an inner milieu of the fight or flight response, which is an instinctual ability programmed into our body / mind. An enormous amount of adrenalin is released into the body in order for the fight or flight response to function. Normally such a response happens only in cases of grave danger, to help us escape from the situation. However, modern human beings have a tendency to be in this stressful physical condition a great deal of the time because of our hyped up lifestyle.
If we remain in stress as a lifestyle choice, it gradually becomes addictive, just like any drug. We seek more and more adrenalin producing activities such as video games, violent films, and fast paced competitive working environments. The body tolerates this as long as it can but eventually gives up and collapses.
Meditation dissolves the addiction to stress and simultaneously nurtures a milue of inner peace and bliss. We connect with a space of timelessness within, which offers the body a chance to regenerate.
Another reason why health suffers is because of addictions to unhealthy food. As we deepen our meditation, we develop awareness and sensitivity towards our body. We learn to listen to our body and sense when we are doing something harmful towards it. We become compassionate towards our body /mind and simultaneously towards others. We discover that we can heal and be healed, physically, mentally and spiritually.
True wholeness is when body, mind, soul and spirit are integrated and in alignment. This offers ultimate healing. Meditation is the path to this state of being.
Can meditation help me in my work?
When our work is aligned with our soul calling we will be happy and in the flow with our destined life path. Meditation is the way to discover our soul calling. When we meditate we place a great deal of importance on the still small voice of the heart, who is always urging us to follow our bliss. In meditation, we let go of the belief that mind is the emperor and realize that in actual fact, the heart carries a superior intelligence and the mind is simply a bio computer which has been designed to follow the intelligence of the heart.
The heart takes it’s cues directly from the soul. And the soul is the messenger of spirit.
When your work is an expression of your heart and soul, you will become a genius at whatever you do.
Some people may wonder how it is possible to follow what I am indicating and still be able to pay the bills. It takes a lot of courage to follow your bliss, as it appears risky. However, if you really go for it, your life and your work will open up in magical ways you may never have dreamed were possible.
Can Meditation help me to experience harmony in relationship?
To find harmony in yourself, you can practice meditation alone and you will find inner peace. However, this inner peace may not necessarily help you to find harmony in your intimate relationships.
A relationship is a synthesis of two persons. If you want to find harmony in that synthesis, it is essential to meditate together as a couple, particularly during sexual union.
One of the most radical spiritual paths ever manifested on this planet is Tantra, which includes meditation methods to be practiced during sex. The science of Tantra has the potential to transform the whole human planetary experience by transforming our sexual relationships to their ultimate potential for bliss and oneness.
Can meditation help me to have a more fulfilling sexual life?
As we meditate we discover an awareness of energy pathways in the body, which are conduits for immense pleasure, bliss and ecstasy. Just sitting in meditation, we may experience orgasmic states of being. In Tantra, the experience of Enlightenment is described as Mahamudra, which means the great gesture arising out of the Ultimate Orgasm with the Universe.
Naturally, as you develop a capacity for bliss and ecstasy through your meditative practice, this will affect your sex life for the better.
And it you combine your solo practice with meditating with your partner during sex, your sexual experience will reach heights of ecstasy and oneness you may never have even dreamed were possible.
Is it really possible for sex to become meditation? If so, how?
How sex can become meditation, is the subject of my Tantra Soul Mate Training for Couples, comprised of 7 levels. It takes 4 years to complete all 7 levels. You can imagine a large diamond with many facets. As a couple progresses in the training slowly but surely they will be polishing each and every facet of sexuality, love and intimacy, nurturing the diamond of their love to shine brighter and brighter. The soul of sex will gradually be revealed in all it’s splendor. It is a process, which takes dedication, courage, awareness and love. In a nutshell, when we bring meditation to the act of sex, we are discovering how to balance yin and yang energies and to discover the alchemy of union. When yin and yang truly meet, the God / Goddess within is realized.
Is Meditation a religious cult?
Meditation is a science, an art and a celebration of life potential. Meditation supports us to experience the divine directly without any intermediary. When meditation matures, we do not need a priest between the whole and ourselves. Meditation has nothing to do with belief given by others and has everything to do with direct experience.
We unwind the brainwashing given by others and discover our own sensitive and intelligent being. Meditation is the path to freedom.
It could be likened to being like a musical tuning fork. With meditation, we are tuning the instrument of our body mind to the whole of existence and allowing the music of life to play us. Osho used to call this state; ‘being a flute on the lips of God.’
I have a monkey mind. How long will it take me to find inner peace through Meditation?
The mind has so much power because we are raised to be very afraid of inner silence and the space of void within, which appear to us to be like death. We run deeper and deeper into identification with the monkey mind in order to escape death. The intellectual mind tends to live only in past and future, which are illusory and do not exist. This mind is afraid of the present moment, which does exist. When we are in the present, we are in an eternal oneness with all that is.
As we meditate, slowly we learn to trust the space of void and to allow ourselves to surrender to it. And the miracle is that once we really let go and surrender, what appeared like death is revealed as the space of deathlessness. And it is in that let go that we can at last find inner peace.
How long this process of deepening into peace will take depends entirely on how total you can be with your surrender. When we surrender into meditation we discover that inner peace is not something to be attained. It was there within us always. It is more a process of remembering our original nature.
I have heard Meditation is the path to Enlightenment and many people in the world dedicate their life to this path. Why would I want to get enlightened? What are the benefits of Enlightenment?
Asking what are the benefits of enlightenment is like the fish in the sea asking, “what are the benefits of being in the sea?” Enlightenment is simply our very nature. Just because we have forgotten our nature doesn’t mean it is not there. Meditation is a process of remembering who we are, of remembering our inner nature and letting go into that.
We have forgotten our inner nature through a process of social conditioning designed to make individuals more manageable. If a person is trained to be like a sheep, it will be easier to get such a person to follow any ideology proposed by the status quo. Frederic Nietze describes the process of awakening to be likened to the states of camel, lion and child.
In the state of spiritual sleep, the person is like a camel, who carries the burdens given by others. I have travelled by camel on Mount Sinai in Egypt. I was amazed to witness the owners of the camels feeding their beasts of burden cardboard boxes to chew on! The camels blithely accepted these offerings with great equanimity.
The second phase of awakening is described by Nietzsche as being the lion, when the rebel within rises up against persecution and injustice. This phase is ‘freedom from.’ In this phase we seek to become an individual and to rebel against all kinds of slavery imposed by others.
The third phase is the child, a quality of ‘freedom for.’ We rediscover a state of innocence, but this time in the full light of awareness. Osho describes this state of being as that of the sage, who is wise and innocent at the same time. We choose to be playful, innocent and one with the mystery of life from a place of deep wisdom.
This planet is a school, where we learn how to open to the mystery and to dance with the mystery. In fact, it is impossible to avoid the movement into enlightenment because evolution is taking us towards this state of being with every breath. Life becomes a fight when we try our best to struggle against the flow, which is carrying us towards our destiny of enlightenment.
I remember when someone asked Osho if he could put his whole teaching into just two words, what would those words be? And he replied, “Let go.”