In my exposition on the Yoga of Self Transformation, we covered a number of practices under Mental Transformation. Briefly, the practices are around silence, solitude, abandon, resolve, listening, concentration and gazing.Many people email me about the correct way of meditating and that they are unable to control their mind and meditate. We have reached a point where I will now start elaborating on the practice of meditation. If you make an attempt to carry out the aforesaid practices, you will gain a quantum leap in your ability to meditate. In this post, I would like to share with you a story, an anecdote if you will.
An unhappy but rich woman, used to the superstitious ways of living, approached a sadhu once. The sadhu, however, was an average thinker in the garb of a sage. He could talk material matters with worldly people, so they felt a certain relief after talking to him. Sadhu thought since people offered him money and stuff, there was no harm in listening to them. That was his bread and butter, in fact. And people thought they will gain respite from sharing their problems with the sadhu. So, this woman goes to the sadhu with a long list of problems and complaints.
Her problems seemed to have sprung out of nothing and her issues, petty. You can cure a disease or treat a patient, but how do you cure someone who is actually healthy? The woman was unhappy in spite of everything she had. She had good health, decent family, savings, a home, almost everything. The Sadhu thought there truly was nothing he could give the lady, certainly there was no panacea. But he did not want to return the lady empty handed either.
After a long pause, he said to the lady, “I will give you a very powerful ancient talisman. This will solve all your problems. This must be kept a secret.”
The woman concurs.
He gives her a copper coin with a hole in it. He further asks her to bury it near the roots of the peepul tree on the full moon night.
“But, for the talisman to work, there is a condition that must be fulfilled,” he says.
“When you are burying the coin, you must not think of any white elephant with three legs, a lame monkey or a talking frog,” he adds, “if you think of any of these even for a moment, the remedy will fail.”
The woman offered sweets, gold and clothes to the sadhu and left happily. The full moon night was ten days away and she reminded herself everyday to not to think about the three legged elephant, lame monkey or the talking frog. On the night she was to use the talisman, the only thoughts that hit her mind were of the three prohibited things.
The talisman did not work and she had no one to blame. Had the sadhu not mentioned what not to think, it probably would have never even occurred to her to think of a white elephant with three legs or a talking frog. When you focus too much on what you do not want in your life or think about things that give you grief, you automatically attract those things in your life.
This story tells you everything you need to know about meditation. When you lay emphasis on what you ought not to think or do while practicing meditation, you will feel uneasy, restless and distracted. To discover your mind’s natural and unmodulated state, another expression for samadhi, you need to learn to practice meditation with ease. Just gently focusing on the object of concentration and abandoning all intellectual examination will help you slip into that state of bliss.
In the next post I will cover the two types of meditation and thereafter the four primary hurdles and the process of overcoming them.
If you commit to meditating, who can stop you? If you choose to not listen to your mind, who else is talking?