What is Meditation?
WHAT IS MEDITATION? As Swami Vivekananda considered as Dhyan Guru or master of meditation beautifully explains in the compilations of his essays, COMPLETE WORKS OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA. What is meditation?
Meditation is the power that enables us to resist all this. Nature may call us, “Look, there is a beautiful thing!” I do not look. Now she says, “There is a beautiful smell; smell it!” I say to my nose, “Do not smell it”, and the nose doesn’t. “Eyes, do not see!” Nature does such an awful thing – kills one of my children, and says, “Now, rascal, sit down and weep! Go to the depths!” I say, “I don’t have to.” I jump up. I must be free. Try it sometimes… [In meditation], for a moment, you can change this nature. Now, if you had that power in yourself, would not that be heaven, freedom? That is the power of meditation.
Let it be calm. Do not let nature raise the wave. Keep quiet, and then after a little while she will give you up. Then we know what we are. God is there already, but the mind is so agitated, always running after the senses. You close the senses and [yet] you whirl and whirl about. Just this moment I think I am all right and I will meditate upon God, and then my mind goes to London in one minute. And if I pull it away from there, it goes to New York to think about the things I have done there in the past. These [waves] are to be stopped by the power of meditation. (CW4.248)
Meditation is the gate that opens that to us. Prayers, ceremonials, and all the other forms of worship are simply kindergartens of meditation. You pray, you offer something. A certain theory existed that everything raised one’s spiritual power. The use of certain words, flowers, images, temples, ceremonials like the waving of lights brings the mind to that attitude, but that attitude is always in the human soul, nowhere else. [People] are all doing it; but what they do without knowing it, do knowingly. That is the power of meditation.
Slowly and gradually we are to train ourselves. It is no joke – not a question of a day, or years, or maybe of births. Never mind! The pull must go on. Knowingly, voluntarily, the pull must go on. Inch by inch we will gain ground. We will begin to feel and get real possessions, which no one can take away from us – the wealth that no man can take, the wealth that nobody can destroy, the joy that no misery can hurt anymore. (CW 4.248-249)