Listener: Is meditation required?
Acharya Prashant: What is meditation?
L: It’s like concentrating on the breathing.
AP: Have we not already talked of concentration?
To concentrate is to force the mind to a particular object, and the mind doesn’t like being forced. So, if mediation about concentration then the mind will never agree with meditation. Or, is meditation something else?
What is meditation?
The very action of a peaceful mind is called meditation.
Whatever you do in peace is meditation.
This is meditation. That is meditation. All is meditation.
Meditation does not bring peace, meditation begins in peace.
Peace is not the end of meditation; peace is the beginning of meditation.
You cannot meditate in order to be peaceful.
When you are peaceful, all is meditation.
And what prevents you from being peaceful?
The idea that you need to do something to get peace. So, the very effort to meditate is a barrier to meditativeness.
Wherever there is a formal structure of meditation – an effort, a method, a technique – it is guaranteed that there can be no meditation there, not even by chance. Because now you have institutionalized, formalized, decreed that you are aiming towards peace. One lives in peace, one doesn’t aim towards peace.
Your efforts don’t further peace; peace furthers itself.
Whatever you do in peace reinforces the peace.
Whatever you do, believing in absence of peace only extends the apparent absence of peace.
Your friend is in your home, you believe he is not there. Since you believe he is not there, so you switch off all the lights, lock the house and go out looking for him. Now, what will happen? Will you ever find him? When you go out looking for that which is already in your home, you have guaranteed that you will continue searching.
So, never begin with a flawed assumption. Never.
That’s what all the meditators are doing—Locking up peace in the house, switching off all the lights, bolting from the outside, instructing the guard to shoot anyone who tries to go in or get out. And then they have gone all over the place looking for the friend. “Where is He? Where is He? God! God! We can’t get you, God! God the unreachable, God the unknowable, God the unthinkable, God the unnamable.”
He is sitting in your home. Go, open the door!
Jesus said, “Truth knocks,” here God is knocking from the inside. Jesus was joking when he said that “Knock and the door shall be opened.” You don’t have to knock; the Truth is knocking and that too from the inside. Open the bloody door! But you are busy meditating. You have come to Rishikesh, your friend is there in your home thousands of miles away, and you are searching for him here. How will you get him here?
That’s the essence of all spirituality: ‘Your Friend lives in your home. The friend is always home, don’t look elsewhere.’
Not only so, chances are, you will go back, open the doors find him in and beat him up. Who are you? Thief, intruder, burglar, how did you get in? Because, I am sure nobody was in when I went away; I am confident of my ‘search’. And you can’t be my friend because my friend is lost somewhere outside. So, the one who is inside, surely has to be an enemy. Let me give him a good thrashing; maybe call up the priest to exercise the ghost.
Anybody who convinces you that Truth, Peace, or God is far away cannot be your well-wisher. Is that not obvious? Anybody who convinces you that you require a how-to, a method, some trick to reach your beloved cannot be a lover, isn’t that obvious?
If I love you, would I convince you that you are ugly? Why doesn’t this strike you that any of these institutions—corporations, society, media, religions— never tells you that you are alright? Why do they always tell you to progress? Why do they always encourage you to become better? And if somebody is encouraging you to become better, is he really your well-wisher? Even the family, if your family members are insisting that you must rise in life and progress, do they really know love?
Have you ever wondered what is this thing called progress and betterment?
There in the cities they want to rise to the higher levels of salary, here, you want to rise to the higher levels of consciousness. What is this whole thing called progress, upliftment, and rising? What is this? Somebody wants to excel in the corporate, somebody wants to excel in consciousness. Higher salary, higher spirituality. Don’t you see ultimately you want to become better, you want to rise higher? Who convinced you first of all that you must rise? Don’t you see they are all one? They are all running a race; a race that is unworthy of being run.
A few years back I had joked and said that ‘The race was won by the one who did not run.’
This race, you can win only by not running.
If you move even an inch, you have lost the race.
This race only takes you away from yourself—don’t run it, don’t participate.
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant on Jesus: Do not meditate for peace, meditate in peace
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