Good morning.. ommmmmmmm
Are there any questions or comments about meditation?
We have been talking about mantra japa the past few times.
Perhaps we can talk about the meditation experiences some today.
There really is not any particular type of experience, or experiences, that you should either anticipate or be looking for. But there are some that may be fairly normal (strange idea... normal), or that are often experienced and may be useful to talk about.
One word of caution... which I have mentioned before... One of the common hindrances to our meditation practice is that whenever we have a moving meditation experience, it feels so "right" that we then begin to try to duplicate that experience, which keeps us from it. We did not come to the experience the first time by looking for it, but by simply doing our practice.
What kinds of experiences do people have? (would love to hear from you).
Certainly one of the most common reports that you hear from those just beginning is that they cannot meditate, and they are sure of that because when they try they find that their minds just won't still. I love hearing this because it shows that they really are trying, and the fact that they have noticed that their minds are running here and there is real evidence that they are meditating. Their minds were always running around, but now they have become aware of it. Ahhh... meditation is working. Just keep at it and there will be lots of experiences as you start to still the mind.
Some people hear sounds. Some see lights or patterns. Some have other sensual insights, such as smells or sensations. All of this is fine. It can sometimes be quite wonderful, sometimes unpleasant or even frightening.
You may experience becoming as tiny as a gnat, or even smaller, or become as huge as an elephant or a mountain. You can feel very dense and heavy, and the entire planet being impacted by your weight and presence. Or you may begin to hover, float or be able to fly.
You may hear someone else's thoughts (this could be simple imagination; or what someone might think, or actually tuning into and really aware of someone's thoughts).
You could tune into the consciousness of great sages or saints, or your guru. In fact, this one is actually something to choose as the focus of your meditation. Sit and seek out the consciousness of such a being. Though you coulsuch a being, it is better to actually have someone specific selected whose consciousness you feel would be worth tuning into. In the Bible there is wonderful scripture in the Gospels, Matthew Chapter 7. A S K... Ask and it shall be given you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened unto you. This is really true. So if you do ask, seek and knock to tune into such a consciousness it will come to you.
There is also stillness. Sometimes when you meditate you get to settle into a lovely stillness. Consciousness, when there is stillness, expands beyond what you can imagine. In stillness it is likely that the breath will become quiet, too. It may simply stop. If that does happen, welcome it rather than being surprised or starting to breath out of habit. Enjoy that perfect awareness. Interestingly, in the stillness you may find that you are inclined to explore or play, though that is certainly not needed at all. But know you are free to explore or play if that is your inclination. As long as you are in that peaceful place of stillness, everything is perfect.
Another experience which might happen is that issues you have been wrestling with will come to mind with some insights or clarity that is fresh and helpful. Though this "thinking" about things actually is not meditation, it is a beautiful, useful by-product. If you have made a pledge to be still then just let that insight be with you without trying to remember it (which could engage the mind and pull you out of your meditative state). Trust that such an insight can return to your mind after your meditation time. Then continue with the focus of your meditation. However, you can have a pad and pen handy if you have noticed that this happens often. Then simply write it down. Let go of it and continue on with your focus for your meditation. Be careful not to shift your meditation time to seeking these insights and solutions. It is fine to sit and do that, but be true to your mediation focus and practice. You must let those times be clear and one-pointed.
Sometimes our experiences are frightening. There is a common, very good experience of floating which at first can be disconcerting because because we lose our "grounding" and feel uncertain about what is happening. And even more so is that experience of leaving the body.
Sometimes you may experience ugly thoughts or images... a murder or demon, or someone you know (or don't know) very angry with you. These things may come to you during meditation as a distraction for you to move through. Usually, just facing them will have them simply disappear. Sometimes they may remain, but if you face them, the fear will leave. They might then be something noteworthy. Ask to understand why that is there for you now. You may get some clarity, or you may simply find that you were just to note it. It will serve you somehow in the future. But the fear will be gone.
So begin your meditations with some bravery, some delightful opening and wonder for whatever might come your way.
Once again we have used up our time together today. Feel free to send any comments and questions that you have. Some may be answered during the week, or will shape next week's chat.
As Master Sivananda encouraged us all... serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realize!