Sometimes I am naturally able to meditate deeply and for long time without any problem but sometimes I feel restless during meditation and feel an urge to stop. How do I make my meditations long and deep for most times?
—Roshan Mathew, India
I did a little fishing as a child and I remember learning that to bring a fish in successfully you must sensitively reel him in but also give him some extra line to run if he resists too strongly. If there is too strong a resistance, the line breaks. Likewise in meditation, we must reel in the mind sensitively. If we do not put out effort to draw our mental focus inward and upward the mind will just continue to swim around, wandering restlessly. But if we tug so hard that mental resistance becomes very strong the line may break and we may decide to quit meditation practice, concluding we are no good at it.
You are experiencing some very deep and long meditations which is wonderful. My guess is that your restless meditations may be a bit of mental or ego rebellion. Become the wise fisherman. Keep your daily meditation habit strong but get creative to re-inspire your meditation when you feel restless. First, always remember deeper meditation is more important than longer. On a restless day maybe you need to shorten your meditation a bit. Remember why you started to meditate. What inspires you to make progress spiritually? This remembrance can often bring back focus. Reading a bit from a spiritual text can be deeply inspiring and renewing. I suggest exploring Yogananda’s book Whispers from Eternity. This book of prayer-poems contains some of the most inspiring mystical poetry ever written. Here is one beautiful short ‘whisper.’
Rock me in the Cradle of all Space
Rocked in the cradle of the blue-colored past, bright-colored present, and grey-colored, dim future, I, Thy child of eternity, am restless. I strained the feet of my power ineffectually, but at last I managed to jump from the cradle of duality’s delusion. Thou didst catch me in Thine infinite arms and rock me in all space. I am Thy babe of eternity, safe in the cradle of Thine omnipresent bosom.
You can order this book in India at Ananda Publications Whispers from Eternity.
Another wonderful tool is chanting. Singing to God quiets the mind by turning the heart’s energies upward. Mental restlessness often has its origins in the heart center, the center of longing either for the world or for higher consciousness. We must fan our longing for God as the pull of worldly enticement is strong. You can get beautiful CDs of chants from Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda (Ananda’s founder and a direct disciple of Yogananda) at Ananda Publications Chant CDs. If you prefer Mp3’s I am sure you can find them by exploring Ananda Publications website.
You might also like to explore our offerings on meditation tools and techniques at the Ananda Publications website.
Many blessings on your spiritual efforts,