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How to Meditate, with Jyotish Novak

Nayaswami Jyotish
August 27, 2011

Nayaswami Jyotish introduces his book called How to Meditate.  He wrote the book in 1989. He tells us of the timeless traditions shared in this simple book.


Introducing a Powerful Tool for Learning Meditation

Nayaswami Jyotish:

Hello, I want to talk to you about How to Meditate. This is a wonderful book, even if I do say so myself. I wrote it a number of years ago, in 1989, originally.

I was teaching a series of classes in San Francisco. And the students were being a little bit distracted by taking notes, so I decided, well, the thing to do would be to take the notes for them because I could do it more comprehensively and fill in things that I had missed in the class that I was giving.

So I took the notes on the entire class series. And then, gradually, over the years, I've expanded the book. And we're now in the third edition of the book. It's really been a classic in its field. It is a best-seller, having sold over 125,000 copies throughout the years, and is still as fresh today as the day that I wrote it.

Because of course, these teachings are timeless, the aspects of meditation, the spiritual path that we have at Ananda, and these ancient teachings from India, that Yogananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, brought to this country and clarified and purified. So he took these ancient teachings and gave us the essence of the essence of the essence of them. And that's what we teach in How to Meditate.

How to Go Beyond Common Meditation Techniques

In this book, I showed that meditation is more than what's commonly understood as it being just relaxation. Relaxation is extremely important. But it's only the first part of meditation. Beyond relaxation, we have to go into deep concentration. In fact, Yogananda defined meditation as "deep concentration on God or on one of His aspects." And so, that aspect of deep concentration is necessary.

So, at the beginning of the book, I give some of the fundamentals of meditation, the kind of where to do it, how to sit, how to set up a meditation room, and so on.

What Are the Different Types of Meditation

Then I get into some techniques for relaxation, and then some techniques for concentration, some involving the breath, some involving a very particular technique that Yogananda brought called Hong Sau, which is watching the breath. And I go into a whole chapter on that, because it's central to the practice of meditation.

But even, once you've relaxed, and once you've concentrated, you still haven't plumbed the depth of meditation. It takes something more than that. It takes getting deeply in contact with your own Highest Self within and with God, who is your Highest Self. And so I go into a section on the various aspects of God, and how to be able to relate to those aspects such as joy, love, peace, calmness, light, sound.

And so by concentrating on these deep aspects of God, and getting in tune with them, we're able to expand our consciousness and feel our unity with all of creation, with other people, and feel the essence of those particular aspects in our life, our job, our loved ones, our relationships, find the essence of them, where the commonality exists, where the God in them, and the God in us resonate. And so this book covers those topics too, as well as Yogananda's supreme system of Energization and some teachings on Patanjali.

I think that you will deeply benefit from and enjoy this book, and I hope you get it.

Thank you.

For more information on meditation, visit Crystal Clarity Publishers and

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