Question: How to meditate? Whenever I try to meditate, I get stuck with thoughts, relevant and irrelevant.
Acharya Prashant: Meditation is a huge myth!
Given what you are, you will continue doing what you are, even when you are ‘meditating’. Your act of meditation will be as per what you are, because you are the one who decided to meditate. Meditation is your decision, so you are bigger than meditation. Even in the act of meditation, you will continue to be. You will continue to be, and the same patterns that exist otherwise, will exist, may be in changed forms, but will exist even during the process of meditation.
We often think that we have a choice. The ambitious man comes and asks, “Is it alright to be ambitious?” Now, even if I say, “No,” will he be able to drop his ambition? Because ambition is what he is; ambition is the very structure of his mind. And the mind will not commit suicide. The mind will not drop itself or kill itself on its own.
You do not really have a choice as long as you are the chooser. But you come and you ask a question assuming that you have a choice. You do not have a choice. Are you getting it?
Listener: Sir, do we really need to meditate?
AP: What is the final point that one wants to reach in meditation? What you want is peace, right? What you want is peace. Now peace cannot be the outcome of a ten minutes or forty minutes daily process, because the process is decided by you and adhered to by you. So you are bigger than the process. And peace is bigger than you.
Whatever you choose will never bring you to peace. Only peace can bring you to peace.
When you adopt a method of meditation, what you are saying is, “I will reach peace using my methods”. You are saying, “I am the smart enough to reach the Truth using my own road.” You are not willing to surrender. You are not saying, “Let the Truth decide, how I will reach the Truth. I will just surrender.”
Do you understand the arrogance contained in methods of meditation? You are saying, “I am choosing this method,” even if on the advice of somebody. “I am choosing this method. And this method will take me to peace and Truth”. You are saying, “I am choosing this particular method, and this method will take me to peace and Truth”.
Your methods cannot take you to peace and Truth. The Truth comes first; and the Truth is eternal. The Truth is twenty-four hours . . . the Truth will continuously guide you about the right action. This guidance is meditation; and the right action is meditation.
You think that just sitting still for ten minutes is meditation? No! One has to be still for twenty-four hours – that is meditation. And if you have to be still for twenty-four hours, then you have to be surrendered to the Truth, twenty-four hours.
This twenty-four hours’ surrender is meditation.
But this constant surrender, again, cannot be a method. You cannot say, “Now I am just surrendered twenty-four hours”. The very structure of the mind must change. The arrogant mind must be able to look at its arrogance, and drop it – that is meditation. And for that, you need not do anything, because your doing itself is arrogance. You have to stop putting your energies into the doing. And you have to pray to get the inspiration to stop putting your energies in that foolish direction.
Meditation is nothing but a cessation – cessation of what you have been doing and who you are. That is meditation.
Meditation is not about sitting in a particular posture and trying to do something for ten, twenty, thirty minutes per day. All that is just an escape from the daily routine; all that just guarantees that you go back to your daily routine. In fact, that is what you do, right? You say, “Let me meditate, and now let me get on with my routine.” So you are saying that let the routine continue along with the meditation. No, that is not meditation!
But because real meditation is so disruptive, hence, we do not want to look at it. Hence, there is an abundance of teachers who keep teaching all these shortcuts in the name of meditation.
Real meditation requires your complete surrender – complete and continuous. It is twenty-four hours’ surrender.
That is meditation!
~ Excerpts from a Shabd-Yog session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session at: Prashant Tripathi: The best way to meditate
Read more articles on this topic:
- The real meaning of Meditation
- The simple, continuous, ubiquitous call of Truth is easy to miss
- How to surrender?