“True meditation begins only after the mind has been interiorized.”
In this month’s Daily Meditator, we offer excerpts from Swami Kriyananda’s book, Awaken to Superconsciousness, where he describes the deeper states of meditation.
His description of them is a valuable reminder of where, ultimately, we’re trying to go in meditation.
Last week I was studying Paramhansa Yogananda’s higher meditation techniques when I was again impressed by his emphasis on practicing them with strong mental focus. Without deep concentration, one’s effort to meditate will be neutralized, because it is by complete attentiveness that we cooperate and align ourselves with the goal of the technique.
The Highest States of Meditation
“The mind, in meditation must be so perfectly still that not a ripple of thought enters it. God, the Subtlest Reality, cannot be perceived except in utter silence. Once the mind is interiorized, it receives the first clear intimations of the ecstasies that await it in superconsciousness.
“Inner sounds and lights, tear-inducing love and joy, healing peace – all of these and more are enjoyed by many meditators from the very beginning. To perceive them clearly and steadily, however, instead of in fleeting glimpses, is another matter.
“The moon, reflected in a lake’s surface, rarely appears as it does in the sky. What is seen are reflections, leaping, glimmering, darting here and there in a thousand ripples, its light ever lacking in definition. Only when the surface of the lake is completely calm are the reflections in it perfectly clear.
“Dharana, (the sixth stage of Patanjali’s Eightfold Path), means ‘concentration.’ This concentration implies not only a focused mind: It implies the rippleless first stages of superconsciousness, when the ego perceives clearly at last levels of reality of which it has received only flickering glimpses before.
“The seventh stage on the path is called dhyana, or ‘meditation.’ Dhyana signifies that stage when the mind, calm and fully receptive, loses itself in the light (or in some other divine attribute) and finds its ego-consciousness dissolving in that light. If one is communing with AUM, the sound vibration is experienced in the entire body. The soul marvels in the realization: ‘This is what I am! Not a physical body, but a blissful manifestation of AUM.’
“The light that one beholds in deep meditation, or the sound that one hears, or the love or the joy, redefine one’s self-awareness. One recognizes oneself as a manifestation of Infinite Truth, and longs to become absorbed in it.
“Spiritual awakening is an ‘unlearning,’ finally, in the sense of being a process of divine remembering. ‘Ah, yes!’ the soul murmurs. ‘I recall everything now. This is what I am!’
“Dhyana, the seventh stage, is the true state of meditation. At this point the ego, contemplating the supernal reality, forgets its separate identity and becomes the soul.”
May your love and deep concentration bring you ever closer to divine awareness.
In Divine Joy,