“Mind should be emptied for the birth of a greater mind, the inner mind, the true mind. You must focus while meditating on this greater mind and you will progressively become this greater mind.”
– Yogi Simant
For true Knowledge to descend, mind must be silent, emptied of all thoughts, intellectual passivity to be firmly established. This is difficult, particularly for the Western mind. For the Western people consider the intellectual mind, the thinking mind as the summit of human, its highest capacity. But silencing mind fosters a greater capacity.
From Noisy Mind to Pure Void
Stop Thinking, Says Gita
Bhagavad Gita says that an aspirant for Divine Consciousness must stop thinking to concentrate and focus completely. Initially, it is difficult, but slowly, the process of silencing mind becomes easy. When the mind is silent, the mind becomes pure. And in the pure void of mind, Knowledge, hitherto unperceived by mind, would pour down, mind surpassed for Consciousness, life transformed from the impure into the pure.
Wrestling with negative emotions or thoughts is not the solution. It may lead you nowhere. You should instead see to it that your mind is positive, remains positive amidst the negativities. This positive content of your mind that remains unshakable under all circumstances will progressively negate the negativities. Gita stresses on surrendering to the Divine for progress. This is the crux of knowledge, wisdom- leaving things to the Divine, remaining unconcerned for progress and progress will happen spontaneously with the Divine Grace acting in you.
Sleep & Subconscient Negativity
Two Obstacles: Serious but Can Be Conquered
The beginners of meditation practice tend to go into sleep while meditating. This is an obstacle. Meditation relaxes the body and so sleep comes. But meditation is not sleep. In the true meditative state, the separative ego dissolves in Consciousness- the one Consciousness that dwells in all- the Cosmic Consciousness.
Another problem you may face when you sit and draw your mind inside. The negative thoughts, hidden in your subconscious, might begin to emerge on the mental surface, shattering the silence. This is indeed a great obstacle to meditation.
Through obstinate practice of meditation, one can overcome this resistance. All your beings- physical, vita, mental, emotional- must be tuned to the Being now settled in the yogic poise. After a time, the negative thoughts, coming from the hidden layers of the subconscious, would stop disturbing you.
Common Obstacles to Meditation
Obstacles Are Myriad but Surmountable
Unstable Body: If there is any disease in any part of the body, you wouldn’t be able to sit immobile for a long time. A delicate body is a hindrance to the practice of meditation. Similarly, the overweight people find it difficult to sit in any asana. So, the body must be attuned to the need of meditation and yoga.
Lack of Stamina: Some complain of pain in back, neck and thigh as soon as they sit for meditation. Things range from headache to tremor in some parts of the body. If, frustrated, they leave midway it means they lack the Will, the obstinate Will to start and then carry on, all obstacles notwithstanding.
Improper Diet: The practitioner’s diet plays an important role in meditation practice. If your diet is improper and unhygienic, it will always create hurdles in your inward journey. Some tend to overload their stomach before meditation session while others skip breakfast or dinner to remain fit. Both are wrong. Moderate meal is the best for meditation-seekers.
Lack of Confidence: Lack of confidence in the efficacy of meditation stops some aspirants from moving on. They come beaming with enthusiasm, but leave midway as their faith keeps waning. Having confidence that you are doing the right thing, the most desirable thing of life, is more important than the masters’ guidance.
Lack of Commitment: Yoga/ meditation is not excitement, it involves perseverance. If you come to meditate out of excitement of experiencing something new, you are likely to go back, frustrated.
Improper Techniques: Jumping into meditation without learning the rudiments of meditation techniques may yield no result. If you are the beginners, you should begin under the guidance of spiritual masters or gurus. The gurus will impart the basic techniques of meditation and you should follow them sincerely.
Mental Distraction: This is a serious obstacle, for mind is habituated to going outwards, disrupting meditation obstinately. This outward-going mind must be drawn in through stubborn practice of meditation. It is good to bear it in mind that unless the mind is controlled and emptied of its ordinary contents, all efforts to concentrate must fail.
Religious Narrowness: One thing must be understood clearly. Yoga is not religion; it has nothing to do with religions. Many religions speak of reaching heaven straightaway. But yoga does not say so. It is concerned with transformation of Consciousness: ordinary consciousness becoming the Divine Consciousness through meditation, purification, expansion of the normal mental awareness.