Today let’s discuss and clarify the practice of meditation in a manner that will enable all of us seeking lasting happiness to attain the goal. First, a quick history lesson. The master text on meditation is the Yoga Sutra, written by the sage Patanjali, twenty-two hundred years ago. In his 196 concise sentences, divided into four chapters, this master of yoga science wrote the guidebook that still today outshines all others. He gives us the most precise definition of ‘practice.’
In my childhood, I used to practice the piano, the clarinet and basketball. It was a lot of doing — doing drills, developing skill sets, learning to memorize moves and music. It was exhausting and at times, thrilling. At age 17, I switched to practicing meditation. It was a long time before I realized that practicing meditation is a completely different skill set than anything I had ever known.
Teachers of meditation are honor bound to provide unending support to sincere students seeking lasting happiness. To cultivate a new life of courage and joy requires us to create a new mind that can bring the light of compassion to the dark corners of our mind.
Teachers can instruct, guide and encourage you, however, the success is all yours. You can create courageous and compassionate mind. Only you can help you. It will be a consistent and gentle practice of meditation that will help you. Such a practice requires an enthusiastic commitment on your part, as well as learning not to be attached to the daily ups and downs of your meditation and your daily life.
Non-attachment is the way to rid yourself of old unwanted habits by consciously losing interest in the memory and consequences of them. It takes great dedication and inspired fellowship for your mind to gradually lose interest in unhelpful memories and in the stories your mind tells you about you over and over again in a manner that is never good for you, or us.
The mind can be a fire-filled dragon from unmanaged and unexamined desires/ambitions, memories or urges for revenge. Going to a class or group meditation offers a special benefit, known today as the ‘group effect.’ Research shows that there is a very powerful and positive force in meditation classes to help you maintain your humor and your commitment to train your dragons and release your demons.
Proper instruction in conscious breathing must be taught in order for the mind and breath to flow together and to engage the pool of prana (life energy) at the eyebrow center. When you guide and train your breath to flow through specific delicate passageways within, the mind acquires the direct experience of happiness. Such true happiness is not dependent upon worldly achievement, or sensory stimulation. This happiness is the fruit of your practice of meditation.