By Sri Sri Shuddha Nandaa Brahmachari

Meditation is not a technique. It is your realization that you have not lost your happiness outside of you, so, no amount of searching in money, beauty, name and fame will help you be in peace. Meditation is just to retreat back into the shrine of your home. It is within you. It is in the silence of your restless mind. It is in the humility of your humbled emotion acknowledging the supremacy of Divine Wisdom. It is your connection of body and mind with your spirit within. It is your connection of individual self with the cosmic self. It is the journey of an individual to find the universal. It is a simple art of opening your heart and mind to the Higher Light that guides the destiny of trillions of galaxies. It is how you rejoice within you like a child in the lap of the mother.

Meditation helps you find that natural self within you. It helps you to get to that inner rhythm which is inseparable from the universal rhythm. It helps you feel your connection to the whole as you are ever interconnected, interrelated, and interdependent, with the rest of the cosmos.  Once your sense of assumed separation melts in the light of awareness that is created in meditation, you feel the expansion; you feel the essence of life.

Meditation is the inner journey to the self within

As I have said meditation as a practice is an effort to stop the mind from its natural tendency to weave thoughts. In the practice of meditation you try to relax yourself. You begin to focus your mind. You can focus your mind on a divine name, a sacred sound, or chant, or on your own physical body, your own breath or your own thoughts. The effort in meditation is always to be effortless.

Here, you are working to expand your subtle awareness, so you can feel the non-physical dimensions of your physical self and of this physical world. You begin to experience the stillness of your mind, the lightness of your body, and illumination of your intellect. You are flooded with cosmic energy in the process. As you persevere through the initial obstacles in meditation, you experience your natural connection to the universal field of energy. You feel the calm state of your mind.

Mundane emotions transmute into joyful experiences of giving and forgiving. You feel your body and mind in rhythm with the universal rhythm. You are not struggling to be happy any more.

Meditation is an inner journey toward the self within. It is a journey to discover the real “I”, the eternal transcendent “I”. The smaller “I” with whom you identify in your everyday consciousness is affected by all the ups and downs of the relative world. When meditation deepens, your eye of wisdom opens. All ignorance, ego, attachments, all aversions, all fear of death, gradually leave you. You become the conqueror of death and of limitation. That is what meditation gives us. It opens the window to our inner self. It brings us closer to who we are. Meditation is to move from matter to energy, the divine energy.

That is a beautiful state of harmony and peace. It is so natural and effortlessly spontaneous. This state is the deepest state of meditation called Samadhi, which is the dissolution of the dualism and merging into the unified field of consciousness.

In conclusion, when one prays, one is essentially thinking or doing a task, for one is either asking for something or being grateful for a prayer answered. And this state is usually manifested in words, or thoughts. Prayer implies a doer and a receiver, meditation implies that the doer and receiver are one and the same! The difference between prayer and meditation is really not so subtle, for it is the difference between mind and no- mind, where the mind of the individual ceases and the communion happens with the universal mind, which in essence is no mind, but the pure mind, pristine mind.

The greatest prayer that anyone can say, the prayer that will reach in divine energy in no time, the prayer that will open your soul to the pure bliss within, is the prayer of gratitude for the art of meditation. You have been given this beautiful body, you have been given this beautiful mind, and you have been given this beautiful spirit. You have been given the power to recognize the gap between the thoughts, the power to realize the true witness within, the true meditator, and the art of meditation in communion with the ONE!