The Essence of Meditation

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In recent times, meditation has become a very popular activity in the West. However, meditation is not simply a trendy hobby. Practically speaking, it is the very basis of our existence. By developing meditation skills we can transform our lives, connect on deeper levels and experience higher pleasure.

When the term meditation is mentioned, people often envision monks practising esoteric techniques. Weighed down by such conceptions, we may wonder how meditation is relevant to us.

Interestingly, most dictionaries simply define meditation as: “Deep thought about something”

Similarly, meditation encyclopaedias explain that every living entity is constantly engaged in meditation. The fact of the matter is that as living beings, our minds are always active.

Expert psychologists explain that the mind has three basic psychic activities:

1) Thinking
2) Feeling
3) Willing

When we are presented with an idea or object, the mind immediately begins thinking, chewing over possibilities. As the considerations further develop, the mind then either accepts or rejects the subject matter, generating an emotional response. Based on these feelings, we then begin to desire certain outcomes, which we subsequently pursue through gross activity.

In one sense, the mind is like computer software, which can be reprogrammed to facilitate different results. Therefore, by understanding and directing the workings of the mind, we gain much greater control over our lives.

It is often said: “If you don’t control your own mind, someone else will!”

This purport to this statement is very serious. Because intelligent agents know how to manipulate the minds of others, so much exploitation ensues. Indeed, this is why companies spend millions of dollars on advertising. By planting mental seeds and evoking specific emotional responses, people are brainwashed into being consumerist robots. We become convinced that ultimate satisfaction can be achieved through material acquisition. But can it?

Real meditation means reclaiming our independence through learning to control the mind. An intelligent human being is then able to choose the subject of his meditation. Through such focus, we can then achieve our goals effectively and efficiently.

There are many different meditation techniques which can help us control the mind. However, the great masters of metaphysical knowledge recommend mantra (sacred sound) meditation as the most potent current means. Out of all mantras, the Maha (great) mantra, or Hare Krishna mantra is particularly recommended. By chanting Hare Krishna, the mind becomes cleansed off all distractions and we start to experience true satisfaction.

What could be better than that?

Author: Dr Chaitanya Vihar