Sir, what is meditation to you? Is it repeating a mantra or some positive affirmation? Is it focusing or concentrating on an object, a photo, a feeling, a sensation, on silence, etc? If your meditation falls within the ambit of these, then am afraid, you have not been meditating at all, to begin with. Instead of some random chatter of the mind, of which, for the most part, one is not even conscious of, you have merely been consciously directing your mental chatter by way of repeating like an automated machine, a particular mantra, on a particular thing, on silence, etc, that’s all. One has one too many thoughts running in one’s mind it’s difficult to keep track of, therefore, one says, alright, let me clear my mind a bit by focusing on any one thought at a time, for let’s say, 20 mins or so, and then, I shall have crystal clarity. But is that so? Does one actually have crystal clarity when one wakes up from meditation, or does one merely find oneself back in the rhythm of one’s chaotic life?
To understand whether the chaos in one’s life is due to meditation or the lack of it, must not one understand the very chaos itself instead of escaping it through meditation, through entertainment, through isolation etc? Without understanding something, merely avoiding it, through various escape plans, one is merely postponing one’s misery, that’s all, is it not? Why does one want to meditate at all? Has one asked oneself, why? Is it to make one’s life better, is to realize Truth or God, is it to make abundance or prosperity manifest in one’s life? What is it for? Is it possible to realize Truth or God, by hypnotizing oneself into thinking there is something at the other end of the meditation, that one can grasp? For me to grasp or gain something, I have to know what I am first, not, what I think I am, based on one too many things I have heard, or, read from others, be it my family, my culture, my conditioning, a book, a scripture etc. To understand something or someone else, such as Truth or God, I must first have self-understanding, is it not?
To be Enlightened, to know Truth, one must first know the Truth of oneself completely and totally. One must come face to face with what is, and that includes one’s life, with all its chaos, the miseries, the cravings, the desires, the anger, the anxiety, the fears, the insecurities, the endless dilemmas, the struggles, and the constant strife, all of it. Merely acknowledging one’s life to be chaotic, and, therefore, looking for a way out of one’s misery, through various escapes, can one find any Truth or God or Enlightenment, at the other end of one’s effort?, be it meditation on a mantra, on silence, on a picture or whatever? Can Truth ever be so limited that it is to be found in a particular word, in a particular picture, or in some form of concentration or the other? How can one ever be enlightened as to anything through avoidance and escape from one’s present reality?
To be truly enlightened about anything, is to know for oneself. For one to know, one must see the Truth in everything, including the Truth of the chaos that exists in one’s life, is it not? And to see the Truth of the chaos, one must first understand the chaos that exists in one’s life, the very structure of it, the very foundation of it, the very source of it from which chaos endlessly continues in one’s life. When one sees the Truth in every moment, in every activity in one’s life, in every suffering, one has much clarity and understanding of one’s self, is it not? And in understanding and knowing oneself, one is set free. To know the self, is freedom from the self. It is when one knows the self that one is self-realized, is it not?