Welcome to Session 1 of the Meditation and Yoga Philosophy course.
Meditation means to look within yourself for infinite happiness; perfect peace and contentment. And yoga means “to unify.” It’s the holistic approach to all aspects of life: physical, mental and spiritual. There’s been a popular misconception that yoga only means the physical postures. In fact, it’s a whole lifestyle that includes yoga postures as one of its many components. Yoga is a comprehensive, scientific and practical system, and its main technique — meditation — leads to what we call self-realization: the full experience of infinite peace and happiness.
Ready to try it?
• Find a comfortable place on the floor and sit with your legs crossed. Place your hands one on top of the other in your lap. Keep your back straight. Eyes closed. Your breathing should be calm and relaxed, through the nose. Concentrate on your breath for a minute or so, feeling the air flowing through your nostrils.
• Now imagine that you’re sitting in the most peaceful place you can think of. Feel that you’re sitting there in complete peace. Now imagine that infinite happiness is surrounding you in every direction. Feel you’re completely surrounded by that infinite peace and happiness. Now start to repeat within your mind the following mantra:
Bábá Nám Kevalam
Bábá means “beloved”. It refers to your deepest self: the Supreme Self, the source of infinite peace and happiness. Nám means “name” or “to identify with”, and Kevalam means “only”. So the mantra means “Only my Beloved”. Think of the meaning as you’re repeating it, and feel the infinite peace and happiness all around you and within you. Continue for as long as you like, then open your eyes.
“You are never alone or helpless.
The force that guides the stars guides you too.”
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti
Don’t worry if you have trouble concentrating — that’s normal. It takes some time and practice to be able to focus on the one thought. The main thing is to keep practicing.
You can meditate any time, but the best times are in the morning before breakfast, and in the evening before dinner.
Try to find a quiet, out-of-the-way place where nobody will disturb you — a separate room, a corner of your bedroom, on your balcony, a peaceful spot outside.
Sit on a blanket or mat, and keep it only for your meditation. If you have trouble sitting cross-legged, put some more cushions under you so your backside is higher off the ground. That will take some of the pressure off your legs, and help keep your back straight. Avoid resting your back against the wall — you may get too relaxed to concentrate.
Try repeating the mantra throughout the rest of the day, singing it if you like. That will give you a continual feeling of lightness and happiness, and make it easier to meditate.
Now it’s really important that you get used to the meditation technique. Practice twice a day — in the morning and in the evening — and really try and tap into the flow of the ideation. It is difficult to concentrate at first, but this is the time when it’s crucial to stick with it and try and get a bit of concentration. As time goes on it will get a lot easier, but if you give up now you’ll never get to that stage.