Q: Thank you for the meditation instructions. It doesn't seem be working for me though. I repeat the mantra and nothing much happens. I just wander off into everyday thoughts and come back to the mantra when I remember to, like you said, over and over again for the twenty minutes. It is pretty boring. Am I just not suited for this?
A: Our nervous systems are wired for the experience of blissful silence. Indeed, we are created for this. No human being is an exception. However, every nervous system contains obstructions which are to be released and flushed out – lifetimes of accumulated impurities that block our natural state from manifesting in the world, blocking us from inward seeing. The practices of yoga are concerned with the removal of these obstructions. Yoga is a cleaning process. It is the cleaning that brings union between our inner and outer nature. During meditation, we know the process is working when we lose the mantra and later find ourselves in some other thoughts. During the meditation procedure, these other thoughts are a symptom that something has been released. Recognizing that, we go back to the mantra and continue the process. It is important to be easy with the mantra, not hanging on to a clear mental pronunciation, not hanging on to an unclear mental pronunciation, no hanging on at all, just easily being with it. If we develop this habit of easiness, the mind will settle into its silence naturally. It is a natural process of our mind we are facilitating.
Until now, all of our conscious thoughts have been for going outward into manifestation in the mind, and into the world. The mantra, I AM, is for going inward into de-manifestation, taking us to the source of our thoughts, the source of us, pure consciousness, unbounded awareness. But it isn't always experienced in such glorious terms. Often it is just losing the mantra, having some pleasant unaccounted for time of no mantra and no thoughts, then becoming aware of thoughts again, and then going back to the mantra. The cleansing process goes on. This is perfect meditation. This is the habit we want to cultivate in meditation every day, for it will lead us to the infinite. The experiences will be there as the cleansing process continues. But the experiences, or lack of them, are not the measure of the correctness of the meditation procedure. The procedure is very specific, and we may or may not feel inner expansion on any given day. You see?
In a way, it is like digging for treasure. Good digging is moving earth in a very particular way that efficiently takes us down to where the box full of gold sits waiting for us. The digging itself may not seem to resemble a box full of gold. Nevertheless, it is the digging that leads to the gold. The good news with meditation is that we will glimpse the gold often during the digging process, and also while we are not digging during our regular daily activities. Our experience of the gold accumulates gradually over time as we practice meditation daily. Then, one day, we realize that we are the gold. We kept at it for a long time and everything has changed. From day one we begin to see the world differently, for through the inner cleansing process we are becoming that which underlies the world. From the very beginning we have been that. With yoga we clean the window of our nervous system and develop a clear perception that this is the truth. This is who we are. The mystery of life is being uncovered. We are that which underlies everything. We are eternal bliss!
So stick with it. Continuously fan the fire of your desire to know the truth within you. This will keep you going. Along the way, you will get positive feedback from within yourself. Keep following the procedure of meditation twice daily for twenty minutes. As your experiences go deeper you will not want to stop facilitating this natural ability you have to go within, because it is your own self you are uncovering. You will be self-propelled.
In time, we will add advanced yoga practices that will greatly increase the power of meditation. If a sturdy garden hose is not getting all the dirt, we have the option to hook the hose up to a pressure washer.
The guru is in you.
Note: For detailed instructions on deep meditation, see the AYP Deep Meditation book.