Meditation is the experience of the consciousness. Meditation is diving deep
within oneself, and soaring upwards into the higher spheres, expanding wider
than the universe. It is in these experiences that one attains the bliss of
Mystic relaxation is really the same as meditation. Very often people are
puzzled about the word meditation because it is used by so many people who
sometimes have very different ideas about it. By calling it mystic relaxation
the meaning becomes simple and clear.
The first step on this path of meditation may be called concentration. This
means the ability to control our mind, which is sometimes active with our will
and sometimes without it.
Concentration is the beginning of meditation; meditation is the end of
concentration. Once concentration is fully acquired, it is easy for a person to
Much as action is needed in life, repose is just as necessary; and sometimes
repose is even more necessary than action. All such complaints as nervous
illnesses and disorders of the mind come from lack of repose. This realm of life
which is explored by meditation is the world of repose. And as one can say that
by a certain kind of work one has gathered this or that experience, or has had a
certain success, or has added a particular aspect to one’s knowledge, so one can
also say that by this method of repose one has acquired a certain strength,
illumination, and peace.
When we proceed still further we come to the aspect we call meditation, an
experience which is brought about by a perfect control of the mind and by rising
above the action of the mind, an experience by which the inner side of life
begins to reveal itself.
Man ought to turn every day of his life into a meditation. Whatever his work may
be, he must do it, but at the same time he should meditate. Then he will get to
know the secret meaning of his work, and in this way he will turn his life from
a worldly life into a spiritual one. This applies to everyone, whether he works
in a garden or in a factory, or elsewhere. As soon as he knows the appropriate
meditation for the work he is doing he will develop, and all his work will
become a meditation for him. And if he achieves this, the wages he earns will be
nothing compared with the reward he will gain.
There are many blessings in meditation, there are many blessings in preparing
for meditation, there are many blessings resulting from meditation, but
meditation itself is the greatest of blessings.
In a few years’ time what happens is that meditation becomes our second nature,
and without our knowing we continue to do our meditation, and that is the right
process. Then meditation goes on as a natural course; then the mechanism is
started from which to expect our life’s purpose to be accomplished.
For the man who has realized the inner life every act is his meditation; if he
is walking in the street it is his meditation; if he is working as a carpenter,
as a goldsmith or in any other trade or business, that is his meditation.
In the first place meditation is done mechanically, at an hour which one has
fixed upon as the hour for devotion or concentration. The next step is to think
of that idea of meditation at other times during the day. And the third stage is
continuing meditation throughout the day and night. Then one has attained to the
right meditation. If a person does meditation only for fifteen minutes in the
evening and then forgets altogether about it all day, he does the same thing as
going to church on Sunday and the other days of the week forgetting all about
Intellectual training no doubt has its use in the achievement of the inner life,
but the principal thing is meditation. That is the real training. The study of
one year and the meditation of one day are equal. By this meditation is meant
the right kind of meditation. If a person closes his eyes and sits doing
nothing, he may just as well go to sleep. Meditation is not only an exercise to
be practiced; in meditation the soul is charged with new light and life, with
inspiration and vigour; in meditation there is every kind of blessing.
Patience is required in meditation; a person gets tired because he is accustomed
to activity throughout the day. His nerves are all inclined to go on and on in
that activity which is not really for his benefit, and yet it is giving him the
inclination to go on; and when he sits with his eyes closed he feels
uncomfortable, for the mind which has been active all day becomes restive, just
like a horse after having had a long run.
Especially, early morning meditations are valuable for consulting with God and
receiving help. Gradually, this spiritual communion will become such a power,
such a reality, that it will continue day and night. The goal of all meditation
is balance, and in balance the goal itself is to be found.
What are we to attain by meditation? Is it power that we attain? Is it
inspiration that we wish to attain? No, it is the vision of our true being that
we desire the most, it is to see our innermost self face to face.
It is God who would reveal Himself to us, but so long as we keep our minds on
anything else but God, He may be speaking but we do not hear. When we hear His
Voice, all knowledge, all direction, all guidance will be ours; everything that
we need will be ours. With this understanding, one can breast the waves of life.
To turn back the tide and to surmount obstacles will become possible.
Through right meditation, one becomes attuned to God and so to all creation,
Meditation...is a training of the mind not in activity but in passivity, the
training of the mind to receive some inspiration, power or blessing from within.
Meditation does not mean closing the eyes and sitting; anyone can close his eyes
and sit, but he may sit for hours, or he may sit all his life, and still not
know what came and what went. It is looking out for what comes, and not only
looking out for it, but preparing oneself by making one’s senses keen, by making
one’s body and mind a receptacle for the vibrations, so that when the bird makes
a vibration one feels that it has come.
When once the senses are closed by the help of meditation, then the soul, which
has been accustomed to reach outward, begins to reach within; and in the same
way that one gets experience and power from the outer world, one gets experience
and power from the inner world. And so the soul can reach further and further
and further within until it has reached its original source, and that is the
Spirit of God.
Our minds need to be dusted and swept just as much as our houses, and this we do
by meditation and concentration, which wipe away all wrong impressions.
Of course many people in the Western world have said: ‘For us it is very
difficult to have a meditative life in the activity of this world. We have so
many responsibilities and occupations’. But my answer is that for this very
reason they need more meditation. Then a person may say: ‘I have things to do.
How can I go into a meditative life? I have weaknesses to overcome’. But the
answer is that the way of getting above weaknesses is to go through meditation.
When there are many responsibilities in life, one’s very reason tells one that
it is better to meditate and make the responsibility lighter. It is not getting
worried over one’s responsibilities that helps man. It is being responsible, but
at the same time being strong enough to lift one’s responsibilities.
All meditation and concentration is intended to still the activity of mind and
to purify the spirit from all that destroys its purity.
To raise an infant, to look after it, to educate it, and to give oneself to its
service, is as much and as good a work as the work of an adept; because an adept
forgets himself by meditation, a mother forgets herself by giving her life to
A person who continually goes on talking or doing things and does not meditate
for a while, who does not take a rest, cannot control his nervous system and
keep it in order.
The more tired and exhausted the mind, the more is meditation needed.
Repose is the secret of all contemplation and meditation, the secret of getting
in tune with that aspect of life which is the essence of all things. When one is
not accustomed to take repose, one does not know what is behind one’s being.
The purpose of concentration, contemplation, meditation, all that is the essence
of religion or mysticism or philosophy, is nothing but this one thing: to attain
to that depth which is the root of our life.
The murshid sets far greater stress on the life of his mureed than on the
punctuality of his meditation. He teaches that it is of far greater importance
to cultivate in one’s life attributes such as kindness, gentleness, and love.
Sufism does not only teach concentration and meditation, which help one to make
one-sided progress, but the love of God which is expansion; the opening of the
heart of all beings, which is the way of Christ and the sign of the cross.
The aim of all meditation, concentration, and contemplation is only to open our
heart, to focus our mind, and to see what purpose there is in our life. And as
soon as we see that our ultimate goal, our life’s object and happiness, our true
health and well-being, and our real wealth lie in the fulfillment of our
purpose, then the whole trend of our life will change.
By the study of philosophy and mysticism, by the practices of concentration and
meditation, to what do we attain? To a capability that enables us to serve our
The object of meditation is to raise the soul above the body and the mind. It is
like opening oneself; opening the vehicles, the senses, and the various unseen
faculties of the mind, the abstract faculties which are beyond the perceptive
faculties. These vehicles are open by way of meditation, and the soul now works
through all parts, seen and unseen, instead of only blindly through one part of
the being as hitherto.
Religion, prayer, or meditation, are all methods by which the joy which is
within man, which is man’s divine heritage, may be brought to the surface.
Very often a man is apt to think that it is study and meditation and prayer
which alone can bring him to the way leading to the goal; but it must be
understood that action also plays an important part.
When a person sits in a restful attitude and puts his mind in a condition of
repose, regulating the action of this mechanism by the process of meditation, it
is like the winding of a clock. And its effect continues to be felt because the
mechanism was put in order.
We must not leave our meditation and prayers just to those fixed times when we
do, because that is only the winding of the thing. But in our everyday life we
ought to bring the sense of it into our action, in everything we do at home or
outside. We must use that latent power and inspiration aroused by our
meditations; we should make use of it. By practicing to make use of it we shall
benefit ourselves and others by all we are doing.
Once a person realizes his self by the proper way of concentration, of
contemplation, of meditation, he has understood the essence of all religions.
Because all religions are only different ways that lead to one truth, and that
truth is self-realization.