In one of my recent meditation sessions for a Sahaja Online audience, I decided to share a routine I try and follow a few times a week.
A surprising number of attendees from my session got back to me, stating how their experience was truly unique and how they experienced a rare, deep silence during their meditation using this approach.
In short, the approach is the antithesis of the fast-paced, busy, rushed world and lives we experience today. Every once in a while, I make a deliberate attempt to simulate the relaxed lives of people 50 or 100 years ago. These people had plenty of time, not a lot of pressure and most important of all, their lives were incredibly uncomplicated. There weren’t phones, the internet or television and they spent a lot of time with nature. Clearly, their attention was a lot less stressed and busy, unlike ours.
Longer, Deeper and slower meditation
The essence of this approach is to prepare for a much longer duration of meditation than the usual 15 or 20 minutes most people spend in a session at home by themselves. While the best approach is to keep the meditation duration open-ended, planning for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour of silent meditation is a good way to try and experience the benefits of this approach. This is also a test for whether our busy, unsteady attention can sustain the silence and witness state without feeling restless. Or the need to get back to our busy lives and worries about the past or the future. And for some, it can be tough to devote so much time sitting in silence when they’re fully awake and aware yet doing nothing.
The “slower” part of the meditation is about relaxing and slowing down our thoughts gradually down to a crawl and eventually letting them completely go away as our attention rises to a new level of consciousness. The key aspect is to be patient and wait until this happens, however long it takes. It is also about working on different parts of our subtle energy system, like a specific chakra or channel, carefully and with complete attention. Over time, many practitioners report that some complacency or just getting into a rut makes them go through the motions mechanically or even skim through a set routine or technique. Going slow means that we take the time to nurture each part of our subtle system carefully and till we can feel through our vibratory awareness and perception that it is in good health, no matter how long this takes.
The “deeper” part of the approach is having conversations with the spiritual powers within our chakras and energy channels. For instance, we know that the Kundalini energy is our spiritual mother, nurturing and taking care of us. She’s always concerned about our benevolence and well-being. Going deeper means surrendering to this energy, becoming humble and welcoming her grace to be conferred upon us. Think of it as meekly accepting the divine vibrations when our inner self is in complete union with the forces of the universe. Sometimes, going deeper can also mean placing our troubles in our lives under the care of these tremendous powers within us. So, the “deep” state of meditation is an act of letting go in humility and allowing the greater powers within us to solve our problems.
Once we put the longer, deeper and slower parts together in a single sitting of meditation, the results can be terrific. We can feel very refreshed, balanced and our attention can become very steady. Our problems can feel like they have disappeared and a deep sense of calm and joy can manifest.
The caveat – this method is hard.
Meditation is often sold today as a 5 minute or 10-minute miracle, but the truth is that in today’s world, our attention and the state of our chakras are so weak that most people need to work longer and harder. Especially if we want to realize the deeper benefits that go well beyond mere stress relief or an illusory feeling of being relaxed or refreshed. Nobody likes to buy a meditation class or offering that says you won’t get any benefits unless you spend 45 minutes meditating. But, in Sahaja, we don’t have anything to sell ever, so we can boldly speak the truth.
In reality, though, it isn’t about 30 or 45 minutes or an hour. And it doesn’t have to be that long always. More than that, it’s also possible to invest time into meditation to buy back a lot of extra time during the rest of your day. And with this approach of longer, deeper and slower meditation, you will hardly realize time passing by – it will feel like you have transcended the dimension of time. In fact, ancient spiritual scriptures have spoken about three distinctive phenomena occurring when one is in a profoundly spiritual state – we can go beyond time, beyond Dharma and beyond our qualities, the terms used to describe each being Kalateet, Dharmateet and Gunateet in the Sanskrit language.
To understand just the time aspect or Kalateet means that we reach a higher spiritual state of existence where we are no longer bothered by the shackles of time. For instance, while we’ll generally plan to keep to our time and schedules, we’ll find ourselves in situations where time is no longer a constraint. People we were supposed to meet at a specific time show up just as we arrive even if we’re late. Flights we were supposed to take will wait for us (due to some other delays that work in our favor). If we have deadlines at work and are worried about falling behind on those or about what our bosses might have to say about it, we’ll find those deadlines moving surprisingly and to our benefit. All in all, time becomes our friend and it feels like it is yielding and bending for us. All of this is due to the power of our higher spiritual state of existence.
And so, if you’re worried about finding time for the longer meditations, think about the superior benefit of having the constraints and pressures of time removed from your life.
The second reason that this approach may be challenging is that not many people can challenge themselves to hold their attention steady and in complete silence for long periods. Another reason is also that we may be physical, mental or emotionally tired or drained out.
Many people don’t realize how restless they can be. For some, it is hard not to be in the company of others, talking and engaging with them. For others, they have to be doing some activity, merely sitting still for more than a few minutes is impossible. The answer to these situations is to improve the gravity within us. As we meditate more, we improve this aspect over time.
Life gets in the way for all of us. It certainly will, almost uncannily, when we try to increase and improve our meditation. No self-improvement activity happens smoothly. We almost always have to overcome a lot of resistance in many forms to achieve something great. The remedy is to increase the strength of our desire to attain a higher spiritual state. Then time automatically bows and presents itself to us.
Sahaja is a flexible, dynamic practice.
While this approach of deeper, longer and slower meditation is definitely powerful, there are many methods, techniques, and approaches in Sahaja. It is entirely configurable by every practitioner. So just in case, you’re thinking that it’s going to be hard for you to practice Sahaja, you should know that there are many instances where people experience instantaneous connections of their Kundalini energy. They can get some great experiences within a few minutes. The “deeper” aspect can, in fact, be achieved very quickly in such cases. Every long-term Sahaja practitioner will have at least one memorable experience to share where their Kundalini energy shot up and they got into the most profound state they ever experienced. This represents their peak experience, of course, something to cherish and emulate as much as they can, but it doesn’t happen often.
The trick is to stay the course and be patient. And try out the longer, deeper, slower form of meditation as another tool in our spiritual ascent.