The True Signs of Progress in Meditation

As the journey of one’s existence progresses, one finds by deeper insight into the soul that the quest of life is “Who am I; why am I here?” The animal has no power to analyze its condition and its environment; only man has that rational capacity.  As such, man is meant to use that power to improve himself and to get the most out of life.  Superior intelligence was not given to the human being merely to be used to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner; marry and beget children. It was given that man might understand the meaning of life and find freedom.  Beyond all the books that are written, it is God’s Book of Nature that remains the most difficult to understand.  But the whole of creation, including the chapter of human existence, can be read when God becomes your teacher.  The True Signs of Progress in MeditationIndia has shown the way to divine communion with Him through the right methods of meditation. God-contact becomes possible when by meditation one has attained mastery over the restlessness of the mind. One cannot meditate with uncontrolled thoughts running in every direction. A mind that does not belong to you, a mind that is wholly occupied by the senses, can neither be offered to God nor received by Him.  Wherever your heart is, there will your mind be also.  If you can control your feelings and sensations, then you can put your mind on God.   Having God, you shall have everything else.  That is why Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

As you commune with God through meditation, you will find yourself resurrected in His Being. His spirit alone can right all evils in the world and in oneself. But man must make the effort to realize that Divine Consciousness and to manifest the Lord’s infinite goodness within himself. The earnestly striving devotee knows that virtue is more charming than vice; and that acting under the influence of good habits is more pleasant than acting under the deceptively benign influence of bad habits. Good habits bring joy; bad habits bring sorrow.  Habits of yielding to passions result in suffering. Habits of yielding to the mechanical routine of worldly life beget monotony, indifference, vexation, worry, fear, disgust, disillusionment. Habits of attending church and sacred lectures produce fitful inspiration and momentary desire for God. But habits of devotional meditation and concentration produce realization.

Meditation may seem to be one of the most difficult habits to form, for the beginner is subject to many delusive thoughts about getting speedy results. The results of meditation come slow, but sure. Many novices desire some form of spiritual “entertainment.” Others expect their efforts to be rewarded right away with the manifestation of heavenly lights, saints, and deities; but this expectation is premature. Real visions come by prolonged and steady spiritual advancement. Premature experiences of phenomena are generally hallucinations. To avoid the intrusion of such false imagery from the subconscious mind, it is helpful during meditation to keep the eyes half-open and fixed firmly at the point between the eyebrows – the seat of concentration and superconscious perception. Above all, do not love or desire visions more than God.

The True Signs of Progress in Meditation 2The true signs of progress in meditation are the following:

  • An increasing peacefulness during meditation.
  • A conscious inner experience of calmness in meditation metamorphosing into increasing bliss.
  • A deepening of one’s understanding and finding answers to one’s questions through the calm intuitive state of inner perception.
  • An increasing mental and physical efficiency in one’s daily life.
  • Love for meditation and the desire to hold on to the peace and joy of the meditative state in preference to attraction to anything in the world.
  • An expanding consciousness of loving all with the unconditional love that one feels toward his own dearest loved ones.
  • Actual contact with God and worshipping Him as ever-new Bliss felt in meditation and in His omnipresent manifestations within and beyond all creation.

By Paramhansa Yogananda

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