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Meditation Know-How

In the modern world, the pace is fast and most people are running after one thing or another. The work world has a competitive intensity that pushes people to strive to improve their performance, until the stress can become almost unbearable. Advertisements are ever sending out images of success stories, of film stars, athletes and celebrities with more fame, beauty and buying power than the rest of us. The latest cars, houses, and other flashy goods are kept constantly before our eyes. So the consumer society incites us to have more and more, rather than just to be. Too often the symptoms of a distressed body are ignored, when in fact a calmer lifestyle would be a great benefit to one's health.

Essentially all want to be happy, and free from sorrow. Even when one is perfectly satisfied materially, there is nevertheless often something lacking in one's life. To find what is missing and quench the thirst of the spirit for peace and serenity, a discerning person may start a search for inner peace and happiness that may ultimately lead to the practice of meditation.

Most religions teach some form of meditation or prayer. In India, many realised souls have taught the benefits of yogic meditation, and its techniques have traveled across the world and are now practiced in many different countries. People are eagerly taking to the practice of meditation to better understand themselves and their world. Many yoga centres and ashrams are welcoming seekers of all ages and backgrounds to their meditation classes.

People long for meditation not in the same way they might for the latest merchandise of the consumer society, but because they recognise its intrinsic value and benefit. It brings peace of mind and soothes the heart. In the beginning stages of meditation one observes the intense play of the mind, and one wonders if it will ever become still. But with regular practice the mind becomes peaceful, and one reaches a state of inner silence and serenity. That silence points the way to yoga that is the eventual cessation of the thought process, as well as the movement towards communion with the spirit divine.

It is advised to practice meditation in the early hours of the morning, mid-day and at dusk. Regular practice will ensure that the body and mind are recharged with divine energy, and tension of body and mind are gradually reduced. The regular practice of meditation can help modern man to transform his whole being. The inner absorption helps one to touch at times the source of one's being. Once established in the practice, there is a continual process of letting go and inner surrender to the Self.

In the following pages we have gathered teachings of Revered Swami Sivananda Maharaj, Revered Swami Chidananda Maharaj, and Revered Swami Krishnananda that will light the way to a greater understanding of the process of meditation. The revered Mahatmas have practiced meditation and realised the truth of the Upanishads concerning the nature of the Self. They are sharing here the nectar of these teachings on meditation.

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