What is meditation?

Meditation is an ancient spiritual discipline that involves stilling the mind to access the infinite peace and joy that are already within us. There are many techniques of meditation, but they all involve seeking the stillness of mind that falicitates the meditative state. From the spiritual perspective, a person meditating is communing with his innermost soul, which contains infinite peace, joy, wisdom, and love, as well as enormous energy. These qualities then make their way into our outer character.The meditative state has been extensively studied by scientific means. In this regard we know from electro cardiograms that an individual meditating is in a deep form of relaxation; brain MRIs also indicate enormous relaxation.

Generally, even after a few weeks of regular meditation, people notice a profound reduction in their levels of stress. This is because the peace of the meditation does not just dissipate when the meditation is over. Rather the peace abides with the individual throughout the day, changing the way the person feels all day. Thus the saying that meditation brings a “change of life” because the person “feels more at peace” throughout his day. His life is more enriched.

During his life as a proponent and teacher of meditation, Sri Chinmoy found that different people have different affinities for the various meditation techniques. Thus we offer several techniques at our courses: concentration, mantra, visualization, breathing, music, and heart centre. Our courses generally involve one evening a week for six weeks, with considerable time devoted to actually meditating on these techniques. By the end of the course people generally have progressed to the point where they feel the difference meditation is having on their lives.

Sri Chinmoy taught that when one develops past the point of meditating in the mind to meditating in the heart, one can then meditate deeper and longer. He did not mean the physical heart, but rather the spiritual heart, which is the place in the centre of the chest where one feels love and joy. This “heart centre” meditation takes time and practice to develop, and is given considerable importance in our courses.

More Resources on Meditation