By Sri Sri Shuddha Nandaa Brahmachari
Prayer implies the duality of mind. When you pray, you try to express your gratitude to the Supreme Being, in words. You try & seek that which only the Divine can grant. Prayer thus presupposes the acceptance of dualism: a separation between the one who is praying, & the other to whom prayer is directed. If one’s prayer deepens to complete absorption, the mind stops & the words are silenced. Then prayer flows into meditation, where all dualism melts into unity consciousness.
It is simple. When your prayer deepens, your act of offering yourself to the Divine intensifies, & then your ego melts. Your individuality melts into Universal existence. At that stage, meditation happens. You can pray, but meditation has to happen. Sleep can only happen; you cannot will it to happen. It is the same with meditation. You will meditate till meditation happens.
Prayer is basically thoughts & Meditation is the gap between the thoughts. All thoughts cease when one is truly in meditation. One has to come to a point where the gap between the thoughts is recognized. When you don’t condemn, criticize or judge your thoughts, when you grow in your awareness of your thoughts, an intense watching of inner world of thinking happens. You will find that the thoughts will gradually lose its randomness. You will be able to see your thoughts, appearing on your mental screen. You will be able to find the gap between the thoughts, that gap is the silence. That silence, that is there between the two thoughts is the deepest silence in the whole universe.
All spiritual practices, all meditation that is done is basically to first identify that gap that exists between the two thoughts. As you do the practice you will be able to extend that particular gap. It will, to start with, be one thought after another overlapping each other. But as you observe your thoughts, deeper & deeper, watching with more & more intense awareness of your emotion for it, as you open your heart & your whole being, you will find your thoughts will slowly subside.
Meditation will no longer be stressful, for you will, for the first time realize you are separate from your thoughts. This is an intense experience of human existence. Spirituality is being completely present & to know you are separate from your thoughts.