|Meditation Helpful Tips for Meditation|
Helpful Tips for Meditation
Q: Master, why is it important to meditate in the morning?
M: You can meditate at any time. It’s just that in the morning, most people have a night’s rest. And in the morning it’s still quiet. Like from three to six, most people are still sleeping: no traffic, no noise, no children and no telephone ringing. And your mind, after a night’s rest, is calm. And your body is also still not fully active. So you can sit better and you can attain samadhi, meaning Heaven, more and more quickly. If you do it at home, it’s even better. Because you’re calmer there; you feel more secure and quiet.
And the morning has the best hours. But that doesn’t mean you have to do it in the morning. I do it at any time: on the bus, in the car. Our people do it anywhere except when driving, please. (Laughter)
“Morning Is the Best Time for Meditation”
I think it is best to meditate in the morning; it is very easy, then, to have inner experiences and see the light, because at that time we have a relatively clear mind after having had enough sleep. After the right amount of sleep but still with a little bit of sleepiness left, this is the best time for meditation. Of course, it is most difficult to get up, just as when we have had some food but are not completely full, and still want a little bit more. This is the best time for meditation.
After a night of rest, many difficulties, obstacles and karmic hindrances are washed away. These impressions and negative influences from the previous day are all washed away and forgotten! All of our causes and effects are paid off in our dreams. So, we are very fresh when we wake up in the morning. Therefore, it is very easy to see the light when meditating, easy to communicate with the highest qualities within us.
Some people work at night and sleep during the day. Depending on your situation, you should meditate after waking up. If you can’t get up at seven o’clock, then get up at nine, but you should still meditate, at least for a little while. Otherwise, our minds will not be stable, and we will view good as bad and vice versa. We will easily be contaminated by other people’s karma and be pulled down. Our level will drop quickly, or it will be hard to progress, even if it doesn’t drop. We will not be able to have a cheerful mood, and anything we do will not go very smoothly. If someone offends us, we will not be able to forgive him, and we cannot think about anything clearly. So, meditation is very important.
“Importance Of Meditation”
Q: What can I do to maintain a daily meditation schedule, when there aren’t enough waking hours in the day?
M: You can’t wake up? Me, either. No one likes to wake up when we’re snug in bed, but we have to try. Suppose you have a job and you have to get up to go to work, then you must. For something like two thousand dollars per month, you wake up every morning at five o’clock. But for God, you don’t wake up! So what am I to do? You make your own priorities. We can wake up a little earlier than usual and then get used to it.
For example, say it’s too early to get up at three o’clock; then don’t wake up three o’clock. If you normally wake up for work at five o’clock, then wake up at twenty to five the first day, or ten to five, or even five to five, and the next day or next week, at ten to five. Get yourself used to the idea and reward yourself abundantly. Tell yourself, “If you wake up early today, I’m going to give you a double bagel or one more cup of cafe latte.” Whatever your mind loves to have, reward yourself with it.
You must also love yourself because let’s face it, we have only this one physical body, and we’re very tired sometimes. We work hard for eight or ten hours a day, just to keep this machine running. And then we sometimes have to attend to other work such as family: a wife, children, parents, friends, neighbors, relatives, and so on. We really make very hard demands on this physical body.
So of course, if you can’t wake up in the morning for meditation, forgive yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but train yourself slowly. Watch less TV, go to sleep a little early so you can get up better. Whatever activities you used to do too much before to pass the time when you were bored, use that time for knowing God. It’s a matter of organization. I’m also pretty busy. You don’t believe it; I sit here and look pretty, but I’m very busy, too. And it’s also hard for me to get up early sometimes. But you have to put on the alarm clock. Sometimes it’s like that.
In the old Indian tradition, there was a saint who could wake up all night, but he slept sitting instead of lying down, so it was just the same. (Laughter) Our people are the same. When they go to our retreats, they sit there and look very good, but they sit in any fashion. (Master humorously drops Her head to one side to show someone “nodding off.”) So never mind. Try your best; that’s what counts. The saint in India had long hair like me, and he tied his hair to the ceiling. I’m not kidding! And then he became a Master, because he tried so hard. He tied his hair to the ceiling, so whenever he nodded off: “Oh! OK! Ow!” (Laughter)
I’m not saying that you should grow your hair long or do that. But find your own way. Like you can wake up early; for example, in the beginning I had to put a flask of ice water next to me. And then when the alarm rang, I would reach for the ice and throw it on my face: Oh! The ice comes through your clothes and everything, and you just have to jump out of bed.
You don’t have to do that; you’ll have your own way. But when you want to do something, you can. Believe that you can because you’re God. There’s nothing impossible with God. Just remember that you have God inside you and no one else there. Don’t listen to the mind and the brain; it’s just a computer. The mind tells us, “Oh, sleep. Sleep is good for you.” But that’s not God’s voice. God’s is behind that.
“How to Form the Habit of Getting Up Early for Meditation”
You know, sometimes even when I meditate, I think of a problem, too. It was at hand, and sometimes pressing, sometimes very difficult to get rid of. So what I do is, I write down the problem, before I meditate — this I will have to solve. Have a notebook beside you, or in your pocket — a small one, so it’s not heavy, and a pen. This is more practical, concerning your job; because once you write it down, the mind feels better. “Okay. He is going to take care of it.” It has already lessened the intensity and the pressure. You tell your mind, it eases off. If you know the solution to your problem, write that down, too. That’s even better for the mind to calm down. But during meditation, sometimes you have better ideas about how to solve that problem, have some clearer idea about what to do. Then you write it down immediately, because that may be the Master answering you, giving you the solution. So write it down before you forget. Also once you write it down, you are peaceful. Then you can continue to meditate; and later when you finish your meditation, you can take care of it. So don’t hesitate.
The practice of meditation is not only to become a Master, as I’ve told you. It benefits you in many ways. It gives you peace of mind, gives you a clearer mind to solve your daily problems. It gives you physical purification so that you become fit and healthy. It is not only to become a Master or to be one with God. The by-products are plenty. Miracles happen, and health is restored. The sickness is removed, and the problem is resolved. So do more meditation. During meditation, if any ideas come up very clearly to you, write them down. Like this, you can continue to meditate, and the problem is gone.
“Have a Notepad Handy While Meditating”
When you meditate, you should have a pad next to you. Any clear ideas that occur, jot down quickly the main points — one, two words to recollect later. During meditation, you are in a different level of consciousness. When you come back to this physical one, you forget because the mind is limited. It’s like a computer. It’s not equipped for all the information in the universe. So sometimes it misses out on information. It’s defective — the mind, the computer.
“Have a Notepad Handy While Meditating”
When you meditate, don’t worry about the energy. You should not pay attention to any part of your body, because when you think like that, you stop the energy. Let it flow freely.
Sit with about one third of your buttocks on a cushion. Then you can sit straight like this. If you sit like this or like that, (Master slumps forward with Her shoulders, from right to left, then leans far back against the chair cushions) then sometimes the energy doesn’t flow correctly. If you sit long, and if you don’t sit correctly, the blood circulation cannot flow. Then it causes some blockage in the body, and then it causes pain. Also if it’s cold, you must keep yourself warm. Sometimes it is rheumatism. Next time, before you sit, maybe you should put something warm on your back first; keep warm from the shoulder on down. If that doesn’t help, you should put on sesame oil. That should help.
“The Wondrous Utility of Sesame Oil”
Q: Dear Master, I was wondering. Is it possible to pick up the karma from others, and feel it as physical pain?
M: It’s possible, yes. (Q: And the solution?) At that time, you should recite the Five Holy Names, pray to the inner Master to protect you, to help you, and do more meditation as soon as you can. If the pain persists, maybe you can go to see a doctor, or rub some sesame oil on it. Eat a little bit more calcium-rich, vitamin-rich food, or take a supplement of vitamins or calcium. Maybe it is a physical problem, too.
“Wonder Remedy for Pain”
I wanted to tell you that for people who have pain in any part of the body, please don’t ever wash with cold water, not even for one second. Even if you wash your hands or face, the cold water still remains somewhat in your skin. Then it sinks inside the bones and it makes the pain terribly worse, unbearable. When washing your hands, please try to use warm water. Even those who don’t have pain in their joints or muscles yet, try not to use cold water, just wash with warm water all the time. For those who have pain, even in warm climates, try to wash with warm or lukewarm water, not cold, and never ice-cold water. Like this, you aggravate your painful condition. If you have pain, and you don’t have any hot massage oil in your house, you can use sesame oil. The sesame oil that’s used for cooking in the kitchen is a very good remedy for you.
“Wonder Remedy for Pain”
What should we do if we want to meditate a lot and not feel tired? The secrets are: Talk less, don’t look around, don’t think of others’ goodness or badness and just recite the Holy Names 24 hours a day. If you feel unstable in doing the Sound meditation, then recite the Holy Names for several minutes before doing the Sound meditation again. Should you feel any part of your body ache or become numb, just take no heed of it! When you are in samadhi later, you don’t sense that the whole body exists. Therefore, don’t scratch around. When you get tired of doing Sound meditation, change your posture and do Light meditation. Your legs will then be very grateful to you for that. For they ache a lot and the head is taut from the previous posture. If you change your posture and do Light meditation at this moment, it will feel much better. So you should do the Light and Sound meditations alternately, and they will be helpful to each other and you can meditate longer without tiredness.
Some of our fellow practitioners can meditate for the whole night. It is because they do the Light and Sound meditations alternately. But don’t do that too frequently and change your posture in five minutes, for this is useless. For the longer time you remain in the same posture, the better. The Light and Sound meditations are helpful to each other. When having sat for too long in Light meditation, and sometimes you feel tired and achy, you can change your posture and do the Sound meditation in this way. You will then feel much better, for there is seemingly something to rely on. This secret in practicing meditation is quite unknown to many.
“Secrets for Lasting Meditation”
Try to meditate as much as you can and don't gossip too much. If you have to talk, talk about God, something beneficial, something that vibrates positively in the air and contributes to the harmony of the world as well as to your spiritual progress and that of your neighbors. Whenever we speak, we give off a vibration and accordingly what we say, good or bad, will affect us again.
“Develop a Positive Vibration and Benefit the World”
While walking, sleeping, talking, sitting and lying down, always try to concentrate on the wisdom center. In that way you progress rapidly and you’ll feel it. And the more you progress, the more encouraged you’ll feel and the more you’ll practice. It's a pity that we already have the Method and we don't use it.
“Constant Focus on the Wisdom Eye Hastens Spiritual Progress”
You may think that you’re already very clean and pure, but I tell you, be careful. Don't think that because we’re vegetarian, because we keep the precepts, we’re clean and pure. Not yet; it’s not so easy. Watch yourself next time. Watch every moment for just one day. Spend one day watching yourself and see how you react in different situations. Watch carefully and then you'll know what I mean.
There are many things that we ourselves don’t notice, very trivial matters, very deep rooted, subtle habits that we don't know we have. And many other things like love, compassion and sensitivity to the suffering of others we don't have either.
These are the very subtle habits and subtle hardness that we’ve accumulated over many lifetimes and we don't even realize it. So make sure that you check out any undesired, deep rooted habits that you don't want to carry around with you. If we’re truly honest with ourselves and want to improve and train our sensitivity to the suffering and happiness of others as well as to our own purity and well being, we must always be vigilant. Always, always pay attention. Otherwise, it’s easy to just pass the day, pass two days, pass three days, pass your whole life in self indulgence, bad habits, and not get into a higher level of consciousness, not be able to understand the deeper meaning of spiritual life. And then we blame others, blame God, blame the Method and blame the Master, blame everything but that doesn't help us at all. It doesn't help us to get better. The best approach is to be honest with ourselves and always be watchful of our deep rooted habits and the very undesirable affects that they have on us. Always be careful.
“Be Honest with Yourself and Uproot Persistent Habits”