So its morning, an average workday, and you’re up and wide awake and contemplating breakfast. But today let’s step out of the normal routine a little and try something different. You’ve probably had moments in your life when you’ve felt inwardly happy for no apparent reason, or suddenly peaceful and unburdened by the usual preoccupations and stresses – now you’re going to try to relive those moments consciously.
Sit in a chair, your back reasonably straight, and focus your eyes on a nearby candle, a flower or something attractive. If you prefer, close your eyes. Bring your awareness to your breath at the very tip of the nose – only the breath exists. The mind is a river flowing – daydreams, thoughts, desires – but now you are only an observer, undisturbed by the ceaseless energies of the mind, the flowing river. Feel that you already have a place, a space inside you where stillness and silence and peacefulness are natural, like the bottom of the ocean or a tranquil inner garden. Someone once described meditation as ‘swallowing the sky’ and this is also a useful image, drawing in with each inflowing breath its vastness and calm.
Now breathe in the feeling or quality of peace for a few minutes, drawing its calm into every part of the being like a pure white light. Then the quality of stillness – breath, mind, body as still as possible. See how deeply into that inner stillness you can go. And finally breathe in the feeling or quality of happiness. At first we use our imagination – but imagination slowly becomes reality, you can consciously feel these qualities growing inside you.
Incense helps to create a meditative space in your home – and simple meditative music also helps. Since meditation simply reconnects us with the forgotten spiritual part of our nature, the quietness within once the mind is switched off, the learning is more about emptying the mind than filling the mind with theory and ideas. Your own soul will become your best teacher – the knowledge of it is already inside you!
There are many methods and techniques in meditation, but they all lead us to the same destination, like paths up a mountain that converge at the same summit. Your sincerity in practicing regularly is the one secret that will help you to find your way. The various Sri Chinmoy Centres in Auckland and around New Zealand offer excellent free introductory meditation courses year round, and share their love of meditation with seekers from beginners to advanced levels.
These exercises are taken from Sri Chinmoy’s beloved meditation book, which has helped hundreds of thousands of spiritual seekers since it was published over 40 years ago.
1. Becoming the soul
2. Breathe in Peace, Power and Joy
3. Breathe in Cosmic Energy
4. Concentration Exercise on a flower
5. Simplicity, sincerity, purity and surety