Body - Mind - Heart - Spirit
By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Meditation is the journey from movement to stillness, from sound to silence. The need is present in you to meditate because it is your natural tendency to look for undiminished joy and love that doesn’t distort or turn negative.
Is meditation alien to us? That’s not true because you have been in meditation even before your birth. In the womb you were doing nothing. You didn’t even have to chew food; you were fed directly and you were happily floating in fluid, turning and kicking. That is meditation or absolute comfort. You did nothing, everything was done for you. Isn’t it natural for us to crave for that state of absolute comfort? And getting back to that state which you have had a taste of, just before entering the hustle and bustle of the world is very natural because everything in the universe is cyclic, and wants to go back to its source.
The natural tendency is to recycle all that we’ve collected in life as impressions, getting rid of them and getting back to the original state we were at birth is what meditation is all about. Becoming fresh again, alive, is what it is. Getting back to that serenity, your original nature, is meditation. It is absolute joy and happiness; pleasure minus excitement. A thrill without anxiety is meditation. It is love without hatred or any of its opposite values.
Meditation is food for the soul. When you are hungry, spontaneously you eat something. If you are thirsty you drink water. Similarly, the soul yearns for meditation and this tendency is in everyone. Hence, there is not a single individual who is not a seeker. It’s just that they don’t recognise it. The problem is that we try to look for that food where it is not available. It is like going to a grocery shop when you want to fill fuel in your car. You keep going around the grocery store saying, ‘I want fuel for my car.’ It won’t work because you need to go to the petrol station. So, find the right direction. Meditation happens in transition. Actually meditation happens, you can’t do it. You can only create a congenial atmosphere for it to happen.
Meditation is uplifting energy and mind and spreading it out. When you’re happy, you associate it with a sense of expansion. And whenever you have felt miserable, you associate it with a sense of shrinking or contraction. There is something in you which expands when you’re happy and contracts when you’re unhappy. But we never pay attention to what is contracting and expanding. We only keep our attention outside; we have not paid attention to the reason.
Sage Gaudapadacharya said, “There is something in you that is expanding that is worth knowing.” Even a glimpse of this consciousness, this energy inside you, can make the smile on your face so strong that nothing whatsoever can take it away from you. Nobody can make you miserable or take away the joy from your life. Life assumes another dimension suddenly once you glimpse something inside that is expanding. You don’t have to leave things here and go. Just being amidst all the noise and still recognising that beauty is so wonderful, so fascinating, right here and now and that is meditation, which is supreme prayer. All powers are hidden within the Self and everything will manifest when you connect to your consciousness.