Real meditation is Atma Chintan, concentration on the ãtmã...
Many people ask what they should think about during meditation and what they should concentrate on. Initially one concentrates on the breath, on the body or on the relaxed state of the muscles. Later one can visualise the full moon, sunrise or sunset. But real meditation is Atma Chintan, concentration on the ãtmã. At this stage our concentration moves beyond concern about the physical body and is no longer occupied with thoughts about the meditation posture. All imagination is surrendered, along with all earthly desires and thoughts.
In Atma Chintan there is no visualisation of light, of the moon or sun. There is no thought of the rising of the Kundalini, the opening of the Chakras or attainment of supernatural powers -these are beginner levels of meditation. Do not cling to such methods of imagination; meditate only with Atma Chintan. To help bring the mind to stillness and to strengthen the power of concentration, Mantra is used as an aid. The use of Mantra purifies and frees the mind so that the ãtmã can emerge.
At this stage of realisation, the meditator has only one thought: "Who am I?" This is the contemplation of the Yogi, not only during meditation but also in each moment and in every life situation. This is the call of the Self, the song of the heart.
As we progress in meditation the ability of spiritual perception develops. Mind and consciousness become the eyes of the Self as our spirit roams throughout the Universe. Just as the headlights of a car illuminate the street in front of us, so the spirit perceives all things and transmits this experience and knowledge to our consciousness. However, first we must recognise our Self in each living being, in every atom, and in all planets and stars. This means we must progress to such a degree that we can identify ourselves with all beings and all things. We should not identify with a philosophy, religion, nationality, gender or race, but discover the unity that transcends all external appearances.
Duality is prevalent in today’s world, but a wise person recognises the unity behind the different forms. When he sees two jugs in front of him he is conscious that the material from which both are made, namely clay, is the same. In this way the Self-Realised, the God-Realised, person does not see the external form but rather its inherent reality, the ãtmã, the Self.
The author of this article His Holiness Swamiji regularly visits Australia. You may also view his spiritual lectures and live webcasts on line for free at http://swamiji.tv/