Yoga: Purpose Of Meditation
Just as colors cannot be explained to a blind person, meditation cannot directly be explained in words. Attributes of meditation can be expressed so one who wishes to know the splendor of the experience can be assured when progress is made into a state of meditation and just as important when one is out of a meditation state.
Focus and concentration techniques precede meditation experience. Even obsession is a form of bhakti or devotion that may precede meditation. Obsession is a form of concentration, albeit an external preoccupation. There are many entrances to concentration.
For example, interest in airplanes can grow into concentration through the process of reading about how they are built, run & flown. Training to fly different aircraft deepens concentration. Meditation occurs while flying as a pilot. Devotion and experience are unified, a new self emerges. A pilot is not always flying, just as an aspirant is not always meditating. The ability to reflect and assimilate the experience of flying an aircraft afterward brings greater consciousness in technical improvement, enjoyment and knowledge of self. Meditation is not an end to itself; it is simply a path to other states of consciousness.
The purpose of meditation is to attain reality. To not be possessed by it. Enlightenment is lasting supreme bliss. Cosmic consciousness and self-awareness are one. From this bliss the seeds of inspiration are planted. Blessed are those who move to action and manifest reality so the compounding benefits of its healing may be experienced by the highest self.
In preparation for meditation, precede the practice by setting aside time to withdraw from the world, to go inward and away from external stimuli. This process can reveal how duality in life continues to play a role. It provides the distance for clearer seeing.
Wakeful meditation occurs when vrittis (distractions in the mind) cease and there is no longer a sense of I the doer. The experience moves beyond the reach of thought, observance is present; the aspirant is alert and fully conscious, free of urges to perform activity, still fully responsive and able. There suffering ends, there is little pressure, and great things can be done.
Have you ever been peacefully engaged in an activity and suddenly felt as if time is suspended, that the only thing that exists is this moment “now”? That feeling would give a glimpse into a state of meditation. You and the activity were one, just before the awareness of it showed you its reflection. It is a revelation that such meditations rejuvenate the body and spirit.
How long to meditate is determined by constitution and directed by how well the aspirant is prepared. If one can maintain a timeless state for 2-2 ½ minutes with self-direction it is, according to one of my Gurus, a good beginning.
Time in practice playing games that work on focus and concentration train the brain functions to unify and come together for a specific purpose. Yoga poses are designed to provide with focus; yet not every person can or needs to practice poses. It is recommended to eat a clean diet. Eat with gratitude. Practice gratitude. A car cannot run on dirty oil very well, and neither can a human body run well on rancid oil, dead foodstuffs and animal hormones. Clean the body regularly.