When I was a little girl I used to wait at the corner bus stop for the bus that would take me to school.

There were buses that took students to grade school, junior high school, and high school. Sometimes the older kids would be talking about their classes, a test, math problems. I used to wonder, with a little trepidation, how I was ever going to learn all they were talking about. It seemed so complicated, so grown up. While I did very well in school, this thought would sometimes cause me to worry.

Many years later, when I was listening to Swami Kriyananda giving a talk, he spoke of how we learn largely by osmosis. His meaning was that we don’t have to learn point by point through the intellect. We can learn through our intuition, absorbing higher consciousness by being in proximity to it, both in consciousness and in environment.

His explanation made me recall my childhood experience and the fear I felt at that time, and I was greatly relieved by what he said. I knew it was true. Knowledge is not gained by shoving information into our brains; it is learned by inward assimilation of truth and consciousness. In this way, meditation is the vehicle of the highest kind of learning.

When we learn to meditate we are given a technique. The technique is meant to help and guide us—it is invaluable in getting off to a good start with habits that will support us and see us through. But Yogananda added to this the importance of practicing the “art of meditation.”

Meditation is a science and also an art. Successful meditation requires an understanding of both.

An artist is fluid, his senses keenly aware. He is listening, using his eyes, sensitive, and seeking to be inspired as well as to channel inspiration. When we meditate, we need to be an artist, keenly aware of our subject, and then inwardly, from our center, seek to express that awareness in the best possible way.

Meditation is the expression of who we are on a soul level. Some of us will need to be more diligent in practicing the elements of the technique, perhaps being more regular in our practice. Others may need to cultivate a deeper devotion or meditate longer. As we try to understand the art of meditating, we will feel, like the artist, which pigment we need to color the canvas of our unique practice. The more we can fully establish ourselves within our soul-self in meditation, the more deeply we can commune with the Divine and receive an understanding of the very mysteries of the universe itself.

In his book, Secrets of Meditation, Swami Kriyananada says, “Meditation is the necessary complement of prayer. Prayer is talking to God. Meditation is listening for His answer. Without both of these ingredients, divine conversation is impossible.”

When you sit to meditate, make a strong connection with God in whatever form you honor Him. Greet Him with the fullness of your heart. After all, this is a special time that you share together, you and your dearest friend.

Ask Him to be with you, to reveal Himself, to speak to you, to love you, to help you grow and understand. Offer Him your deepest love. Then, practice your preparatory exercises and techniques of meditation. Try to inwardly attune yourself to what you are doing. Afterwards, practice being in the silence, your full concentration at the spiritual eye.

Listen, feel, and be alert with an open heart! This is the art of meditation. Experience who you really are. Let God guide your life and consciousness moment by moment and discover your true Self.

40 Comments

  1. I loved your comments! Keep them coming!

    Love,

    Vinnie & Evelyn Cruz

  2. i could relate to most of the experiences of me being a new joiner or middle level in school and feel everyone reading will feel relate to this article.

    beautifully return.

  3. Thank you very much! I really needed this one now…
    God bless you!

  4. Dear Maria, your words have opened my heart, so beautiful and true. Thank you for your deep message!

  5. Beautifully written! Thank you very much for sharing.

  6. Dear Blessed,
    Your message is a beautiful expression of Soul and Self.
    Thank you,
    Bernard

  7. Thank you Maria. What a sweet treat to see your face at the end of your commentary. My love to you and Ananta. Jeri

    1. Wonderful to hear from you Jeri as you’ve been in my thoughts lately. Hoping all is well and spiritually fulfilling and wondrous. Bless you, Maria

  8. This is one of the most beautiful sharing of what meditation is. I love it. We so often talk about the work of meditation and miss the bliss of our practice.

  9. Truly wonderful. I have been getting answers of so many questions which were really bothering me time &
    again. Pl. keep sending me your inspirational quotes &guidance . Thanks a lot!

  10. Dear Nayaswami Maria,
    Words of love touched my heart.
    God, manifestation of love as you told a great friend for us.

  11. Very nicely written. I loved this message by heart. I will definitely try to do these things, and to feel Gods presence with me while doing meditation.
    Thanks for this valuable message..with loads of love

  12. Very touching message and valuable guidance for enhancing experience through spiritual practice. Thank you !

  13. tried to follow the suggestion. very effective. please share more. regards.

  14. Thank you for beautiful article . But what’s the right way to do meditation ? Like swimming can’t learn by reading or watching . You need higher conscious level to learn something than what you know .
    I truly believe that meditation has lot of answer but if u learn and do proper way . So how we learn that ?

    Rick

    1. Thank you Rick for your question. Learning a technique is very helpful. It will help you develop a practice. Try to tune in to what technique/path inspires you and start with that. Try to go deep into your practice and bring to your practice an open heart. At the beginning and end of your meditations, ask for guidance. Ananda offers a wonderful course in learning how to meditate. Good luck! Joy to you, Maria

  15. I am inspired by noble thought that meditation is art as well science.

  16. Thank you Maria. You teach me not only with your words, but also with your wisdom, and with the love and compassion it carries within.
    With much love
    João

  17. Thank you so much!
    In the winter I can’t meditate sitting on a chair because of cold weather,so I try to do it in bed is it alright.

    1. Hello Grace. Well, bundle up! The down side to meditating in bed is that it is very easy to fall asleep. Going into the subconscious state is not something we want to associate with meditation. Do the best you can. Joy to you, Maria

  18. Dear Nayaswami Maria, Thank you for one of the most wondrous articles I have had the joy to read. You couldn’t have expressed it with more crystal clear clarity, full of wisdom and inspirational guidance, everything resonated (except I didn’t feel I did that well at school although I did my best) I ‘clearly feel and sense’ the sincerity, love blessings which emanates from you to us all in having that blissful connection with God. Thank you SO very much and much joy to you too.

  19. Thank you for such a uplifting message that has spoke to my heart.

    Maria

  20. thank you for your support,
    and keep sending me your
    inspirational guidance.
    Thanks Maria

    1. Maria we live under our God so we have great way to make his god bless you always

  21. Is it natural to have releasing the negative energy or suppressed thoughts during practices of meditations?Of&on , I am facing these challenges. How to deal with it?

  22. Hello Shashi. Yes, quite natural. When you have this experience, pause for a moment from the technique, offer these mentally to Divine Mother, asking her to receive these and take them from you, and then continue with your practice. The key is to not let them draw you in. In this way you remain free and able to receive any clear guidance that you may need regarding these. Many blessings, Maria

  23. Thank you for sharing these beautiful , valuable words. It is always fantastic to be reminded of MEDITATION etc

  24. Dear Nayaswami Maria, I too have the same fear of How am I going to do this or learn this and get intimated. Could you please share the talk of Swamiji on this subject . Thanks

    1. Thank you Premkumar. Unfortunately, this was a talk from decades ago and I have no idea which one or if it was even recorded. The essence was that we learn by osmosis and through intuition and attunement, not by shoving information into our brains. Bless you, Maria

  25. I disagree with technique for meditation, it implies working towards something in the future. Remain in the now, in the moment and listen to the silence. Silence is the language of God, all words are a poor translation. Meditation can be done walking in a forest or by a lake, concentrate on your breath to ban the flow of thoughts and you will have silence, the presence, within.

  26. Thank you David. You are certainly right. This is the “art.” The moment by moment experience of the divine within. JOY!

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