Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Meditation is a journey from sound to silence
January 01, 2012
So today we are talking about meditation, right!
What is meditation? Why do we want meditation? In order to go deep within ourselves, to understand ourselves or to learn anything about ourselves we need to be in a cordial and homely atmosphere. A formal atmosphere is not congenial.
Do you all feel at home? Why don’t you take just a moment to greet the person on either side of you and behind you.
Now tell me, how many of you think that meditation is concentration? No! You will be disappointed, meditation is not concentration. It is de-concentration.
To do any work, you need concentration but to relax and expand you don’t need concentration. Relaxation is the mother of concentration and so if you relax well, you are able to concentrate better. Isn’t that so?
Now how do we relax? That is what we will see this evening. As I am speaking, do you notice what is happening in your mind? Just notice, your mind says, ‘yes’, or ‘no’. Do you see a dialogue happening within you? It is very important to notice this dialogue.
So there are simple principles that we need to understand about meditation. Before we go into that, let’s see what the benefits of meditation are.
How many of you would like to know the benefits of meditation?
The first benefit of mediation is it improves the bio-energy in our body; in our system. Have you noticed, sometimes you meet someone and for no reason you don’t want to talk to them. Whereas with some other people whom you have not met so often, still you feel some sort of closeness with them and you feel comfortable. This is because of the positive energy. Meditation creates positive and harmonious energy around us.
The second benefit is it improves health. There are number of researches on how meditation helps in hypertension, diabetes, heart problems, skin problems, nervous system problems and a number of other problems.
Third, meditation can help one to keep a pleasant mood. It is a big help in preventing many of the mental illness and physical illness.
Apart from the health benefits, meditation improves concentration. It helps one to be in the present moment. The mind vacillates between the past and the future. We are either angry about the past or anxious about the future, all the time. So meditation helps keep the mind from swinging between the past and the future to be more in the present.
Meditation is a journey from sound to silence, from movement to stillness. I would say that meditation is food for the soul.
Music is food for emotions; knowledge is food for the intellect, entertainment is food for the mind and meditation is the food for our soul or spirit.
So let us do a short meditation. Let’s nurture our emotions with music first and then we will learn a little more.
(A short meditation followed)
There are a number of meditations in CDs that I have made. In the beginning you can put on a CD and meditate. Later on you can do it by yourself. And some breathing techniques, pranayama and Sudarshan Kriya will all help you go deep in meditation.
Do you have any questions? I will take some questions.
Q: There are a lot of questions about 2012, whether we will still exist?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Definitely! It is only in the movies that everything goes down the water. Everything will continue, don’t worry!
Q: Why do I feel so shy? How can I stop myself from feeling so shy?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I think if you are ready to act as a fool for just half a day it will take away your shyness. Have you been to any one of the carnival festivals? If you have not, then go to a carnival festival. Dress yourself up and you will find the difference.
Also Sudarshan Kriya will help you, so do the basic course and the Kriya.
Q: What is the fastest way to get rid of the ego?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why do you want to get rid of it? Keep it! Just be natural. Being like a child will help.
Q: Dear Guruji, how to help people or relatives that are very ill? How can we ease their pain?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Your meditations will help. After meditating, send your vibrations to them. That will help them.
Q: Are you focusing on all the countries on Earth or only on a few of them?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: As much as we can, we focus our attention where ever possible and we extend our hands.
Q: How do I find my inner destination? How do I find my destination in this world?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Relax! It will just naturally come up.
Q: How can I convince people who take drugs to let go of them?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Bring them to a Sudarshan Kriya class. When they do the breathing and when they find the inner joy coming into them, they will give up. Many people have given up; in thousands.
Q: What is the purpose of life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: One who knows will not tell you and someone who tells you does not know.
This very question is useful. The question itself uplifts your spirit and creates a journey for you. So keep the question, it is very precious. One day you will discover it.
Spend a few minutes in meditation and do some good work in society. Help those who are in need. Then everything will open up.
Q: What to do if I cannot let go of a very painful relationship? I just cannot let go.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Okay, what can you do? Hold on to it!
How much can you hold on? Sooner or later you have to let go and the faster you do it, the better it is. And what can help you to do it faster is wisdom. Wake up and see everything is changing. Meditation will definitely help. I usually say that we repair the broken hearts here. It gets back to the very same position it was in the beginning. No scars and no pain.
Q: Dearest Guruji, you said that anything that changes is not true, but the universe is changing every moment. Is this also not true?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you talk to a quantum physicist that is what he will say.
Professor D’Hoore from Germany is one of the greatest scientists of our time and he said something interesting. He said, ‘I studied matter for forty years only to know it doesn’t exist.’
I said, ‘this is what we say in the Vedantic philosophy, the same thing.’
Q: How can I find the true love in me?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you relax you find that you are love. You are made up of a substance called love. Love is not just an emotion; it is your very existence. It also gets expressed in emotion but in reality our consciousness, our mind and our spirit is made up of love.
Q: Is it possible as a normal human being to love unconditionally?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, as a child you were doing it. As a child you were expressing such a love.
It is possible.
Q: Is complete freedom possible?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes!
Q: Dear Guruji, please advise me how to cope with a loss of a very dear one? It has been very traumatic. Doing the Sudarshan Kriya and sadhana for the past sixty days has helped me a lot but still I am unable to get over the loss.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just be with it; don’t try to get over it. Time will take care.
Q: Guruji, is worrying about the future something totally wrong?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No, worry about the future of the whole planet and worry about the destiny of humanity. Worry about human values, worry about the increasing corruption, worry about all these big things. I also worry about the planet.
But worry should not take away your smile, your enthusiasm and your energy to do things now.
Q: How can we know that we are following and fulfilling our destiny?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Something in your gut feeling will tell you.
How do you know if you have eaten enough? How do you know you slept enough? In the same way when you are doing the right thing your heart will tell you, ‘yes, I am doing the right thing.’
Q: How to overcome sadness, depression and negative thoughts?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Sudarshan Kriya, meditation and knowledge will help.
Q: Why do you wear a beard?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I am too lazy to shave every day. I thought I can spend that time doing something else.
In India, people who are in the spiritual field, either they shave everything or keep everything. This is the uniform, so I prefer to keep everything.
But it is not a big deal, tomorrow I can take everything off, but I won’t change. I will be the same.
Don’t go by one’s external appearance and dress, this is secondary. What is primary is what is inside. How pure the heart is and how clear the head is; clarity and purity. And remember we are all born with such pure hearts. I have maintained it that is all the difference. Many have not maintained what they were born with, but I maintained it somehow. I refuse to grow up!
Q: Dear Guruji, could you please talk about abortion.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, I have no opinion about it.
Q: What is the difference between sleep and meditation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Sleep is dullness, meditation is awareness. Both give rest but a different quality of rest. After meditation when you come out, you feel very soft and very nice in your whole body and mind. After sleep you could feel a little heavy and a little dull. Could be, not necessary.
Q: What is personal Karma, do animals have it also?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Animals don’t have Karma. The strongest impressions in the mind create a situation that is Karma. These are of three types:
Karma is the impression in the mind. Karma is the action that is happening now and Karma is a future impression that the action might create.
Q: How can I get in touch with my soul?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Meditation. Be still and you are in touch with your spirit.
Q: Dearest Guruji, could you talk about healing?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Healing happens naturally. When your prana (energy) level is high that can be transmitted and healing does happen.
Q: Could you please speak about the burn out which is happening in the society including each individual, and the burn out of the planet which is showing in climatic problems, etc. What do you see as a solution for mankind?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: More values, ethics and morality in society.
When human values go up, when people start relating to each other as human beings and when we consider the whole world as one family having a sense of belongingness to everybody then the whole atmosphere can change. Isn’t it so?
I have been all over the world but I have never felt not at home anywhere. I have always felt at home with everybody and I feel that everyone can feel that way too. Care for the planet and care for the people. What do you all say?
You watch the news and you see so many people are being killed every day. See what is happening in Sudan. Just now, before coming on to the stage I saw the news; five thousand eight hundred people have been killed in Syria in the last seven to eight months. It is so inhuman to do such things.
I feel that they don’t know how to live, they don’t know the art of living; they only know the art of killing. We need to teach people how to live in harmony; how to love, rather than fight and destroy each other and destroy the planet. It is very painful, isn’t it?
Anyone with a little bit of heart, looking at all this violence will say, ’oh, my God, there is not enough time to express one’s love, where is the time to kill and fight with each other for nothing. Everybody is any way going to die.’
For what? For just a few more dollars kill each other. Unfortunate!
Q: Is it okay to lie to a child that Santa Claus brings him presents for Christmas?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, children when they grow up they will know. They will realize the truth.
Q: What do I do if I cannot afford the courses and they are expensive for me?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Definitely you can do it. Talk to the teacher or the volunteer and they will give you a scholarship. We never stop anybody because they cannot afford.
Talk to the teachers and they will do something.
Q: Guruji, what is happening with our monetary system and with the economy in the world? There is so much debt and there is a debt crisis. Also do we still need capitalism?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know there is enough wealth in the world. It is just the greed of few people, that they make the market fluctuate and economy crash. All this is happening.
If there are some basic reforms in the share market, the economy in the world would become so much better and stable, and prosperity for everyone will come.
Q: It relates to a poem of yours. There are a few lines which say, ‘The clouds become so beautiful; noise becomes a beautiful melody, and rain becomes a fluid sun shine.’ How to change the perceptions so that we can live like that?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When inside changes, outside becomes beautiful. All is wonderful.