Meditation begins with concentration– trying to focus your mind on any one point. I say any one point because that point can vary to suit . the taste, temperament, habit and faith of the individual. It can be a sacred name, a sacred mystic mantram, the cosmic syllable OM, or AMEN, OM SHANTHI, HARI OM, etc., or it can be on a form. As there is no particular form of God, you can approach God through any form you wish. If you concentrate on a physical, concrete form, after a time you can create a mental picture of it — of Lord Jesus, Lord Buddha, Siva, or Krishna. Of, if you do not want a particular human form to meditate on, have the visual image of the sun, the moon, or the stars. Also, you can concentrate on the outgoing and incoming breath; just watching the flow, not controlling.
When you are trying to keep your mind on the point, whether idea, word or form, you will often see the mind run here and there, whenever you become aware of it, bring the mind gently back to the point. In another few minutes it might run to another idea; bring it back. This constant effort of bringing the mind back again and again to the point is what you call concentration. In Sanskrit it is called dharana. You have not fixed the mind yet; you are trying to fix it. When the fixing of the mind becomes a little longer, you are approaching meditation. But don’t think you are wasting your time if your mind is not fully controlled. No one has ever achieved meditation right away.
When you repeat a mantram, a sacred word, repeat it mentally. Try to feel the inner vibration by your mental repetition. To do that, you have to draw your mind completely inward and then you will be able to hear the sound within. The sound is not only produced after you say it audibly, there is an inaudible sound within you that you can hear, the inner voice. One should be very careful in going in to watch for that sound. Sometimes in your meditation you might see different coloured lights. Take that itself as your object for concentration. The Yoga scriptures say that you can even have a nice dream — if you have ever dreamt of something Divine, of sages and saints or a vision of God — as your object of meditation. So you see there is no one object for everyone.
Preparing the body for meditation is another important factor. In meditation you are trying to keep the mind steady and one-pointed without shaking too much. To do that, you must begin with the body — try to keep the body steady also. That is possible only when you make a firm decision, a sankalpa, that you are not going to move any part of the body until you finish the meditation. The moment your body hears this decision, it will obey you. But that decision has to be very strong.
The emphasis that you put on it will be heard by every cell in your body. They should know that you are a very strong taskmaster, then they won’t complain. Imagine your mind and body as little children. When you want them to behave well, you must be a little firm. Just relax the body, don’t make it stiff. After awhile, if you really find it difficult to continue sitting cross-legged, change a little, but don’t make too many changes.
Let the mental vision be indrawn. Do not do much with the physical eyeballs, but let the mental eye turn inward. You can fix your mental gaze on one of the nerve centres of the spinal column, which are called chakras. The most common are the heart and the eyebrow centres. Keep the body relaxed and the spine still. Have the chest well spread out. The breath must also be regulated. The breath is the binding factor. It binds the mind to the body. A calm, slow and steady breathing will keep the mind very calm.
1. When the mind is tormented with many thoughts and we cannot make
head or tails as to where we are at or where we’re going.
2. When we are so stressed out that we no longer enjoy our life.
3. When we cannot seem to sort out our lives.
4. When we see no purpose to life.
5. When we cannot cope with our emotions.
6. When we have lost sight of our spirituality and our purpose in life.
7. When we want to improve our health.
8. When we question our very existence.
9. When we want to fulfil the purpose of human incarnation.
10. When we want to get closer to God, in whichever form or state we see God.
11. To Know The Truth.