We looked at meditation and thoughts over the last couple of days. Much is written and said about supernatural experiences, lights, out of body experiences and other fantastical stuff. Here’s a gist of how my Guru looks at this subject.
His questions are: Can you be calm when your peer makes 5x your salary and drives a Ferrari? Can you stay placid when your boss throws a fit, and expects you to clean up? Can you be equanimous in the face of nonsense peddled by many many unavoidable people around you? What is the use of meditation and magical experiences, if these leave you completely untransformed? Still the same jealousy, anger, pride, hatred et al.
Hence, my Guru’s focus has always been not on meditation, but on living a meditative life. It is not about sitting and closing one’s eyes for 60 minutes, especially not if the remaining 23 hours are spent on ungodly pursuits. His goal is to infuse godliness into every waking moment. Transform from a material person living a spiritual life, to a spiritual person also happening to live a material life. And hence a spiritual person asking for a promotion and a raise is alright because his nobility will ensure he uses his wealth primarily to give back to society.
How can one spiritualize themselves? By doing the true tapas. By holding God steady in their minds. For the atheistic and agnostic, by not holding themselves only in their minds, but holding the service of others steady in their minds. Unflinchingly. The beauty is that this can be equally hard or easy for both a commoner and a king.
Swami Chinmayananda was once asked how many hours in a day one should practise meditation. His answer? 24 hours.