3 States of Meditation
We often find that it is difficult to maintain a regular practice of meditation. There are three stages we go through when we start meditation.
To meditate, one has to prepare his ‘seat’ of meditation and meditate regularly for 30 minutes at a fixed time and place; and this seat gets ready only after one is able to sit without moving or fidgeting. ‘Yoga asanas’ are helpful in preparing the person for these settings, because if we practise yoga asanas regularly, then we will be able to get control over our body; then, we can sit for 30 minutes without fidgeting.
This is the first state of meditation – in this state, it is mostly the body itself that objects to this, feeling itchy, coughing, sneezing, passing of gas, the body creates such different kinds of obstacles and objections to the meditation. However much your body objects in this manner, you should make a ‘resolution’ that I will sit for 30 minutes then you will observe that this opposition will end after some days.
The second stage of meditation comes after obtaining control over this (physical) opposition, next, your ‘mind’ will start opposing you. You will start getting lots of thoughts, you will remember so many incidents of the past – even those which you may have already forgotten. Actually, because our Chitta (Conscious attention) is getting cleansed, all the rubbish of the thoughts of the past which has accumulated starts coming out. At this time, usually a person unsuccessfully tries to stop these thoughts; but on doing this, he starts getting even more thoughts – at such a time if you try stopping your thoughts, then that too will only happen physically. Meditating means not doing anything –not doing anything either physically or mentally. If during this time you have the feeling of being a witness and observe your thoughts from a distance, then as soon as your Chitta goes to the thoughts, you will find that your thoughts have reduced.
The third state of meditation after this is that the intellect starts opposing it; it explains to you that you have never meditated, and you will never be able to meditate – saints and ascetics meditate – you are just a ‘householder’. Even after this, if you do not get up from meditation, then it will remind you of some important work and try to make you get up from meditation. You should listen to your mind, but do not pay attention to it for some days. Accept that it is in opposition and hence is opposing you. On doing this regularly for 45 days, you will find that you will start going into a meditative state.