It’s late, I’m tired, so I’ll keep this short! The understanding that came through for me today was how quickly the mind can go down once a spiritual aspirant stops doing meditation every day. In our tantra yoga system, new practitioners are instructed to meditate twice a day, everyday. For someone who has not had to develop this sort of discipline over the course of their lifetime, this can be a tremendous challenge. My advice is to meditate early morning and again in the evening, in both cases before taking food. Even when the pressures of work, family or study pressure heavily, still, I advise, find the time to meditate – on super-busy occasions, your practice may be short, even 10 or 15 minutes – but still do it. It is this regularity that leads to the body and mind cooperating. If you have done very short meditation due to unavoidable circumstances, make up for that by doing longer in the next meditation session.
Many students that I have taught over the years often find themselves missing meditation and being erratic as to when they meditate. This will impact immediately on the “regularity-factor” of the body and mind. Here’s an example of what I mean by “regularity factor”. Most of us grow up from a young age brushing our teeth before sleeping. It has been done so regularly as to become automatic. The mind is onside, the body is onside – there is no resistance – the legs practically carry the body to the bathroom independently themselves! This is like meditation – regularity leads to minimal resistance from body and mind – in fact, active support is quite possible to achieve. When it’s meditation time the mind becomes restless to stop any other activity and to do meditation. If one is engrossed in work, a sort of inbuilt alarm often sounds reminding that it is meditation. time.
The other consequence of missing meditation on any given day is that the mind goes down – only little, so the person will not usually notice it. The next day they meditate, but the day after they miss. Again the mind goes down a little, and so on and so forth. After a week or two in this style, the mind can have significantly “deteriorated”. Deteriorated here means, the subtle portion of mind that the practitioner regularly experienced is experienced less. That means, the intellect and sentimental parts of the mind dominate the person. This will be noticeable to fellow meditators Their friend will seem different – as if they are less in their spiritual heart, and more in their emotions and intellect. This is part of the bondage identified by the ancient yogiis – we become imprisioned in the lower portions of the mind.
What then is the solution? Strategy. Yes, personal strategy as to how that situation (of being irregular in meditation) can be reversed. Where one’s meditation teacher is available an encounter will usually produce a positive result. Making the effort to join “sat-saunga” – spiritual company of other meditators – this produces inspiration which helps bring us back on track. Keeping a record of when you meditated and for how long can also help. Diet, exercise, making effort in one’s relationships, doing social service, taking care of one’s schedule and time planning also help.
In conclusion, regularity in meditation is one of the keys to success. All the best! Let me know how things go… dd