Guidelines for Meditation
by Swami Vivekanand – one of the great saints of India.
First, the practice of meditation has to proceed with someone object before the mind like a black point, flame of alight etc. Concentrate on that object. Ultimately during the days of beginning, you I could not see the object any more, nor notice that the object was before you at all — the mind used to be no more. You have to practice thousands and thousands time. And after a long time you would have an experience of super sensuous truth.
It is true that the mind very easily attains calmness when one practices meditation with anything on which one’s mind is most apt to settle down. This is the reason why we have in this country, India, so much worship of the images of gods and goddesses. And what wonderful art developed from such worship!
The fact however is that the objects of meditation can never be the same in the case of all men. People have proclaimed and preached to others only those external objects to which they held on to become perfected in meditation. Oblivious of the fact, later on, that these objects were aids to the attainment of perfect mental calmness, men have extolled them beyond everything else.
You must keep the mind fixed on one object, like an unbroken stream of oil. The ordinary man’s mind is scattered on different objects, and at the time of meditation, too, the mind is at first apt to wander. But let any desire whatever arise in the mind, you must sit calmly and watch what sort of ideas are coming. By continuing to watch in that way, the mind becomes calm, and there are no thought waves in it. These waves represent the thought-activity of the mind. Those things that you have thought too deeply, have transformed themselves into a subconscious current, and therefore these come up in the mind in meditation. The rise of these waves, or thoughts, during meditation is evidence that your mind is tending towards concentration. Sometimes the mind is concentrated on a set of ideas — this is called meditation with’ Vikalpa’ or oscillation. But when the mind becomes almost free from all activities, it melts in the inner Self, which is the essence of infinite Knowledge, One and Itself its own support.
Think and meditate that you are the omnipresent Atma. “I am neither the body, nor the mind, nor the Buddhi (determining faculty), neither the gross nor the subtle body,” — by this process of elimination, immerse your mind in the transcendent knowledge which is your real nature. Kill the mind by thus plunging it repeatedly in this. Then only you will realize the Essence of Intelligence, or be established in your real nature. Knower and known, meditator and object meditated upon, will then become one, and the cessation of all phenomenal superimpositions will follow….There is no relative or conditioned knowledge in this state. When the Atma is the only knower, by what means can you possibly know it? The Atma is knowledge, the Atma is Intelligence, the Atma is Sachchidananda.