Meditation is the cornerstone of the Self-Realization Fellowship [SRF] path. Meditation in SRF means to concentrate upon God. Of course, we can concentrate on anything but when we concentrate on God that particular type of concentration is called meditation…
When we say go deep in meditation, what does that mean? It means get out of the surface of the body; get out of the senses and get into the spine and brain. Then we’re deep in meditation. That’s when the real meditation begins. Until then we’re only practicing meditation.
Brother went on to explain the correct meditation posture. He said that it is very easy to sit in that posture without moving. However, suppose you’re trying to sit in meditation posture without moving for half an hour or an hour. In the beginning we cannot do it. In five minutes we want to scratch everywhere. What we have to do is to say: “I will not move; I refuse to move; I will not move!” Then if we’ve stayed without moving for eight minutes or whatever, the body gets used to not moving, then go to ten minutes….keep pushing the boundary. We succeed in anything by pushing the boundary, by demanding more of the body / mind because it can give more. It can do more. We don’t have to be satisfied with mediocrity.
When we meditate sit still. When we’re chanting, use the chant to push for inner attention. Take it away from whatever is going on around you. Forget about everything else. Just concentration on the meditation techniques or just talk to God whatever you are doing…
Daya Ma used to say: “Look, I’m busier than all of you. When I meditate and if I’m going to worry about all the things that are bothering me and all the problems, I’d spend all my time just doing that. How I get around that is by tricking the mind. The mind tricks us so why not trick it back. I tell the mind, I’m dead and since I’m dead I have no problems. I don’t have to worry about anything and can concentrate on the techniques and go deep in God.” Trick the mind!…
We should not be discouraged by failure. Everybody fails. The most successful person in the world fails and perhaps fails many times. So failure is not the problem. We all fail! The problem is allowing that failure to discourage us and get caught up in self-pity when we fail and sit there feeling sorry for ourselves and blame everything else, except ourselves, for the condition we are in. We should recognize that every time we fail, instead of wasting that energy and thought process in trying to excuse ourselves or feeling sorry for ourselves, realize that this is the time to apply a renewed effort. Instead we should be inspired and want to do something. So why not use it in a positive way and try to make ourselves the better for it. It is exactly the time to sow the seeds of effort…
Perseverance is the key to success and this is true of anything…spiritual, mental and physical. People who succeed are those that have one-pointed focus. They get onto something and it’s almost as though they have blinders on because they hardly see anything else. They have seen that goal and they’re after it. The average person is distracted by a thousand things and uses almost every one of them to completely forget the goal and going off pursuing something else….
Now there are some things that [Brother] talked about here: the cave of stillness and the cave of wisdom. Those of us who are meditating and particularly have received Kriya and have the technique for seeing the spiritual eye, sometimes when we look there we may see only part of the spiritual eye. When we see the dark circle in the center it is like a cave. In India they call that the cave of wisdom…guha, which literally means cave. In that cave, if we can go into that darkness and go through it, we’re going to find a whole new world opening up inside there. We can always go deeper…
Brother went on to say that when he first started these teachings he was a skeptical engineer. The one big thing that impressed him about the teachings was that he wasn’t told he had to believe in anything but was told to practice this and practice that so that he could see for himself what it would do for him. He liked that because it’s the scientific method. Perform the experiment. That seemed fair enough to him and that what he did. It worked and that’s why he was standing in front of the congregation giving the talk and if it hadn’t he wouldn’t be standing there. It was as simple as that.
Brother said he wasn’t going to tell anyone that it was easy even though he was given beautiful experiences by Guruji in the beginning. The moment he went into the ashram, they were all taken away. He said (he) got the message that the experiment worked but now it was up to him to get busy and earn it. He’d said fair enough to himself but didn’t realize what he was getting into. Also, that it didn’t happen overnight; that it took a long time.
We have to keep after the goal; we have to persevere and that’s the reason Brother said he finally chose as his motto — keep on keeping on — because he knew that was the way to get there. When we keep on, persevere, we are bound to attain the goal…
Lahiri Mahasaya said: “Banat Banat Ban Jai!” “Making, Making, One Day Made!” Brother said he wanted something simpler and chose keep on keeping on. It’s the same thing. He said that he’s encouraging each and every one not to give up…never give up! Never give up! You can do it! YOU CAN DO IT!
excerpts from True Religion: A Universal Need, Bro. Achalananda, devotee notes
Featured CD recording for this issue:
KEEP ON KEEPING ON, TAKING GOD WITH YOU
“We did not come on earth to just live and die; there is a purpose to our lives. And you all have been blessed because you have grasped that purpose, to a greater or lesser degree, and are trying to fulfill it.”
A talk given at the 2005 Self-Realization Fellowship World Convocation, Los Angeles
New DVD (and digital rental–view VIDEO of first 3 parts click below) – A Talk by Brother Achalananda
Brother Achalananda, a senior minister and member of the Board of Directors of Self-Realization Fellowship, draws on over fifty years of experience on the spiritual path, discussing how we can discover and express the divine potential of will power within ourselves.
The relationship between energy and will
Using will to overcome habits and achieve our goals
Exerting will versus surrender to God
Cultivating divine will
This talk was given at Self-Realization Fellowship’s 1997 World Convocation in Los Angeles, California.