Dhyana does not warrant trying to forcefully stop our thoughts immediately when the process is taken up. Remember, mind is invariably loaded with a bundle full of thoughts, difficult to be stifled to one’s asking. The inlaid thoughts will continue to knock us from within. So, one is bound to be confronted with distraction, and all the more during meditation. Following withdrawal of senses from the outer world, the indwelling thought impressions come into active play. So, as you begin, you are bound to be flooded with thoughts, and therefore, needs to be accepted as a necessary part of the process. All that is needed is to train our minds to remain disengaged from those thoughts. It is important to note here that only when you pay attention to something that it could affect you. But following the process in right earnest does eventually drive away all inconsequential thought impressions out of our reckoning, as would be otherwise repeatedly chasing us from within.
Religious belief not mandatory
The process does not call for having any religious or spiritual belief either. Even atheist or agnostics can pursue the process and draw benefit, as the process is all about securing orderly functioning of mind. Religious or spiritual belief does, however, help invoke one’s emotions, and thereby calls for a sense of love towards our cherished destination. That helps pursue the process with ease and comfort and greater intensity.
Avoid guilt consciousness
It also needs to be remembered that we are all born imperfect, and therefore, we are all fallible. Our impressionable minds often get caught up in the tempting influences of the glare and glitter of the seeming world, often illusionary. Following which, we feel like making it our dream destination. In the process, unmindfully, we often make undesirable choices, and evidently to one’s detriment. The impressions there of, remain in our minds, often bringing in a sense of guilt. For, at the base level remains the ideal on which life stands, which reminds us of our own fault line. It would be, however, desirable not to carry any sense of guilt for some wrong done earlier. Better try to ensure that the mistakes do not recur through repeated auto suggestion. Otherwise, you may fall into a guilt trap, which may otherwise add to your negative imprints, already overloaded from before. Consequently, it may retard your efforts.
Be ready for change
Bear in mind, the transitory world we live in, is subject to continued societal churning, leading to change. Therefore, change is inevitable, and accordingly, we need to be prepared to wilfully adjust to its callings. Also, never forget that hurdles have to come in the way. Without getting unnerved, one would need to continue the efforts. We are very much empowered to intelligently take on the oddities and hazards coming our way, with ease and comfort. We just need to be alert enough to consciously invoke our indwelling empowerment tool – the faculty of discriminate intelligence – well in time and put them to use. This may help intelligently negotiate with challenges coming our way.
Loving the process
Before we begin, first, one needs to firm up the mind and resolve to pursue dhyāna process in right earnest. Second, have faith in one’s own self, and induce a sense of love towards what you are pursuing. It will not simply motivate you to carry forward the task in right earnest, but also make you put in your whole. Remember, unless you love doing what you intend to, you may fail to put in qualitative effort, nor would you enjoy it.
Yama and Niyama
Now coming back to the eight-fold path, first in line, comes Yama. This calls for consciously restraining all unseemly conduct – negative and immoral in nature. The second step, Niyama, calls for submitting oneself to a set of moral discipline, as guided by our Guru and the scriptures. In this context, it is pertinent to note that unless the intent is pure, and the means adopted are right, one would lack the spirit necessary to carry forward the process in right earnest.
Towards the third step, one needs to acquire a posture suited to effortlessly follow the process, is what the word āsana means. This, however, would be possible, only when one is physically fit and bodily agile. Remember, but for due support from gross-body platform, mind and the element of consciousness, would not manifest. In fact, the gross body is perceived as temple of God, as the soul (the consciousness element) dwells within.
Issue continues ……..