How to Master Meditation
During my teenage years I spent many summers at the Arsha Vaidya Gurukulam, run by Swami Dayananda Saraswati. It is an ashram devoted to the study of the Gita, Yoga, Ayurveda, etc., and is based on the principles of Advaita Vedanta or the school of non-dualism. The one thing I still remember from my time spent at the ashram, even so many many years later , is that I had an incessant, deep, burning desire to become a master meditator.
Over the years, in the pursuit of this passion, I have learned what it takes in order to be such an expert, and in this article, I would like to share with you my findings on that. Hopefully, this experience will help you on your own such journey. There may be some surprises in the list below, also, feel free to share your thoughts on this topic in the comments section if you like.
11 Requirements of Becoming a Master Meditator
There is little chance of mastering the art of meditation, if you are not passionate about spirituality and the mysteries of life. A subtle art like meditation, and the consequential changes it brings, needs you to be in for the long haul. It is unlikely that a quick excursion into this spiritual science will yield a champion meditator. So you need the necessary interest to run the marathon required for this endeavor.
You will notice conspicuously missing from this list will be willpower or discipline. This is because I feel that strong, abiding passion will forge the necessary practice you require for developing mastery in meditation. For a more entertaining and detailed treatment of this topic, you can head over to read the story and article: Stop the Madness of Self-Discipline.
Yes that is correct. For you to develop self knowledge, leading to self realization, you need free time to explore the inner walls of your mind. This may be the leading obstacle for spiritual growth today. We are all just way too busy, and the little free time we do have, we squander in mindless entertainment. The hard part here is that entertainment is also very important in order to live a balanced life, so to keep that, as well as have time for daily sadhana (spiritual work), you simply need to find ways to simplify your life, slow down and get more leisure out of your day.
Time and again, I see great spiritual growth and peace permeate people’s lives when they downshift and make time for meditation and daily sadhana. And if you want to be a champion meditator and enjoy the benefits of that, then you too must back off from endless self-aggrandizing pursuits and re-evaluate your time and ambitions. There is no end to ambition and if you are not careful, you will end up old with nothing to show for all your struggles except a big pile of junk.
For more on this topic, as well as how money can help, you can read the following article: Money, Money, Money and the Path to Enlightenment.
Unfortunately this is part of the equation as well. This can be especially hard for those who have many varied interests and realize that to master meditation, you simply have to give up some of these hobbies in order to make time. To make matters worse, if you are a perfectionist or one who insists on doing things well, hobbies can become even more time consuming, thus requiring you to sacrifice them at least for a while.
In addition to giving up hobbies, other sacrifices are also often required. You may have to do without certain material amenities in order to work less, may have to give up certain friends who are incompatible with a spiritual life style, change your eating habits to have better more refined energy, drop the excessive boozing and drugging so you can purify your system, etc, etc.
A certain freedom from material gains and certain aloofness to physical discomfort are also key elements of developing into a master meditator. The process of spiritual evolution is not always pleasant or easy on the body, so it demands being able to bear some of this pain of spiritual growth. In addition, not needing immediate gratification and rewards from one’s meditation practice, ensures you will be able to stay the course till the very end, patiently and persistently.
Here is a deeper look at this topic: 4 Word Sacred Mantra to Trigger Enlightenment.
5. Adequate Intelligence:
Ultimately, to master meditation you will have to learn to watch your thoughts very carefully and comprehend them via direct perception from moment to moment. Don’t be intimidated by how that sounds. In general, the human being has this inherent capacity, although it is only developed by a few of us. To get a taste for what I am referring to and learn this highest form of meditation, you can head over and study the following technique: Silent Mind Meditation Technique.
Meditation, can be defined in many ways and one way to look at it, is as a process of letting go. This letting go, also means being open to the unknown, which requires courage and heart. It is easy to stay within the safety of your seeking, but to drop seeking, means to be totally open and vulnerable to what life has to offer. This is the essence of courage. Here is an inspiring Osho quote to inspire you to live courageously: Osho Quote to Help You Life Courageously.
This is closely related to courage above and is also almost as important. Finally, the journey back to the Source is a road walked alone. Teachers, gurus, guardian angles, spirit guides, etc, etc, can only take you so far. Finally, you have to cross the bridge, into the now, all by your alonesome. In addition, each journey to awakening is unique, which means you will have to trust yourself in finding your own way. Believe in yourself, rely on your intelligence and inner voice, and you will be fine.
If you want to be a Rafael Nadal of meditation, you can’t be postponing starting or doing your daily spiritual work. Procrastinating your meditation practice, means you are putting on hold developing your real human potential. If you need inspiration check out the results of the following survey which asked the readers what their biggest mistake in life was: Important Life Lessons from the Biggest Mistakes in Life Survey. Also, read The Golden Rule to Stop Excuses and Start Meditation Now.
A certain degree of good health is needed to meditate well. You do not have to be Bruce Lee, but for effective meditation you do need energy for which a healthy system is important. Don’t be discouraged though if your health is not is tip-top shape, just embrace your spiritual practice as best as you can, as that itself will help your body heal and rejuvenate. If you need help getting your body fit and healthy, here is a link to the free online yoga and meditation classes to help you get started.
Yup, a good sense of humor will not only get you many dates , it will also get you through some tough phases you are sure to encoutner on your spiritual journey. Being able to laugh at these situations and your petty little mind will go a long way in helping you stay sane on this roller coaster like journey. I discuss this more in the following article: The Importance of Humor on the Road to Enlightenment.
11. Basic Needs:
This may not occur to many of us who live relatively wealthy lives, at least relative to the world poverty line, but let me tell you that it would be very difficult to devote yourself to mastering meditation, if you and/or your children were hungry and cold. So food, clothing and shelter, which is basically all you really need to survive, are also prerequisites to becoming a champion meditator. Here are some more of my thoughts on this topic: Greed vs. Peace.
The above requirements are not just for mastering meditation, in fact I guarantee that for mastering almost anything in life, you will need most of these characteristics. So even if meditation is not your passion, the list above most probably still applies to what you need in order to master that interest of yours. Of interest to you might also be the article, 4 Keys for Developing Mastery in Anything.
One final word, is that you will notice that many of these requirements are developed by meditation itself. So if you feel you are lacking, don’t worry, jump in and just ask life for help. She is more generous that you realize .