Do I have to give up my worldly life to meditate?

Let me answer your question with a question: Do you need to give up your worldly life — home, the family, wife, children, or work — when you go to sleep?

Meditation is just an elder brother of deep sleep. Just as deep sleep lies beyond your waking state, so also meditation lies beyond your deep sleep state. In meditation, your mind becomes as silent as in a deep sleep, with only one difference – it is also fully alert/aware as in your waking state. Modern science cannot yet fully explain what really happens in deep sleep.

In meditation, you dive deeper and deeper inside to get to the pure I-awareness. You make your mind perceive your own divinity, your own innermost reality. For example, if you are a Christian, you are meditating on your own innermost Spirit, not on any religion.

It is to experience your own innermost Self that meditation is practiced in every religion, not as a belief system. The “I” existence is the true and natural state of the innermost Self (called turiya in Sanskrit). You might call it Self, Spirit, Being, Consciousness, Awareness, Guru, God, or Aatma (in Sanskrit). But when you get down to it, they’re all just different words for the one and the same reality.

Once you experience your true Self, you’ll start identifying yourself with that true Self – and not with your physical body and mind.

Remember, the meditation state is neither the waking state, nor the dream state, nor the deep sleep state — the three states of your mind. During meditation, you go beyond the three states of your mind to experience the fourth (turiya in Sanskrit). Just like clouds come and go in the sky, the said three states of your mind come and go in the fourth. The fourth is not a state really – that is pure awareness, true Self, innermost being, true nature, or “no-mind.” When you experience that fourth state, you’re experiencing true meditation. Meditation can’t be understood intellectually, but you can certainly experience it.

Meditation never interferes anybody’s worldly life (Sansar in Sanskrit). Let your worldly life remain as it is. Live in the world but do not let the world live in you to meditate on your innermost being. Regardless of nationality, race, religion, and gender, everyone can meditate. Meditation is everybody’s birthright.

Just as you don’t have to give up/renounce your worldly life to sleep, so also you don’t have to give up your worldly life to meditate.

May you experience the bliss of your innermost being!

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