Meditation is an ancient, immemorial practice with all who have ever striven to realise their inner possibilities and to solve the riddle of the universe. This ageless question is answered only from within, its solution lying in the depths of the little universe which is man. Meditation is primarily a mental process directed towards a spiritual end, but this means more than what appears on the surface.
As a matter of fact, we all practice meditation to some extent, particularly when our emotions are enlisted, when our hearts are in it. The mind outlines the plan of actions: the emotions accompanying it supplies the necessary life and vigour.Some may be having good minds and little desire to achieve whilst others may have high level of desire, but lack mental clarity and strength. Success comes to those who can develop and harmonize both.
Meditation is an attempt to develop and utilize these powers and to direct them towards the realization of spiritual aims. Meditation is not an unnatural, difficult act. It is the glorious expansion of the normal powers of the heart and mind.
One of the first requisite in Yoga is to gain an increasing realization
of the reality and power of the inner life and this is assisted by the withdrawal in thought
from too close an identification with the vehicles of consciousness.
All of us are having a notion that we are this body. We must realise that
we are not. It is only a marvelous, delicate, living mechanism evolved through an eons
of time for our use and experience, but not ourselves...We then realise that the "inner life"'
is the world of motives, ideals, feelings and aspirations. They are far more potent for
self-development, than anything we do in the physical world. The ancient wisdom teaches
us that man's life and consciousness work through many levels of subtle matter. These levels
constitute a world or sphere and provide every man with a vehicle or body for expressions and experiences at each plane. Thoughts and feelings are having tremendous creative powers.
This is the occult rationale that lies behind their systematic development by meditation.
Man's nature may be classified in many ways. The simplest, for our understanding, is the threefold classification of St. Paul, ---Body, Soul and Spirit.
The word 'body' is derived from the Anglo-Saxon "bodig'" and means the abode or dwelling
place of the soul.Mr.Ruskin told us that the study of the derivation of words brought much
illumination. It is best described in the words of Master K.H..as "the horse on which we ride". It is very useful in life to remind ourselves occasionally that we are not this body-- that it is a wonderful thing which we are temporarily using.
There are two little meditative practices which will help to free us from our bodies.
1)Invisibly from its surface, atoms and molecules radiate all the time , being
replaced by others from the surrounding atmosphere. Picture this state of flux that there is no
line of demarcation between our body and its surroundings.
2)Imagine you as an "aura" instead of a physical body. Walking along a country road place yourself in front of your walking body.
The word 'soul' derived from Greek gives us the word 'Psychic' and 'Psychologyâ??. Psychical research is an attempt to explore the domain of the soul from the standpoint of matter or form. Psychology penetrates into the world of its life as consciousness, We can think of it as that shining, subtle self, a glorified replica of the physical body, whose vivid powers are feeling and
thought, surviving death. From this evolve the thought of re-incarnation and re-birth.
Soul and Spirit are often confused. In Greek they are quite different words .
Spirit means life, breath. God breathed into man the breath of life, and he became a living soul.
This third factor is the immortal , undying one in each one of us.
As Lord Tennyson described it in a letter, 'He is the Christ in you, the hope of
glory; the little bit of God in the middle of every one of us."He is incapable of evil and always pure,
the angel in a man who has never left the bosom of the Father The greatest sinner, the most
ignorant savage, has that divine possibility within. There we are made in the image and likeness
of God; there we are ever His sons. Deep within resides ever "the hidden man of the heart in that
which is not corruptible."The last thing in us is not sin but divinity.
(Reference:--Works of Swami Avedananda, Swami Budhananda and Madam Clara Cod )