The goal of meditation (dhyāna in Sanskrit) is to become aware of your innermost self, not to chase your mind. The terms Inner Self, Spirit, Being, Consciousness, Awareness, Guru, God, or Atma (in Sanskrit) are all just different words for the one and the same reality.
Commonly translated as meditation, the word “dhyāna” cannot be translated into English. The English word “meditation” is derived from the Latin verb meditari, meaning “to think, contemplate, devise, ponder, to exercise the mind.” Anything within the realm of the mind is not dhyana.
Peace lies within. Everyone’s sleep proves it. Just as in sleep one finds new freshness, vigor, and peace, so also one finds even greater peace called divine bliss in meditation. Actually, meditation is an elder brother of sleep. No effort is ever needed for either sleep or meditation. To sleep or meditate, though, one must turn the mind within.
Swami Muktananda (1908–1982) explains, “Through meditation, you can know your own inner Self. That one who understands the most secret things inside you is the Self. For example, when you are in sleep there is someone who watches everything, who witnesses everything, who understands everything even though you are asleep. And then when you wake up, that being tells you what you have seen in your dream. That being is the Self, so meditate on the Self.”
Meditation is very easy to understand. Right now, you are experiencing a waking state. What is the peculiarity of this waking state? You are aware but not thoughtless. Right? What happens during your deep sleep state? You are thoughtless but not aware. When you are both aware and thoughtless, you are truly in meditation.
The quality of thoughtless in the state of deep sleep — in the realm of the mind — is not the same as in the realm of Spirit — beyond the mind. Beyond the mind – the mind’s three states of waking, dreaming, and sleeping — is the last fourth state called turiya in Sanskrit. The fourth is not a state really – that is pure awareness of the Self, true Self, innermost being, Spirit, true nature, supreme consciousness, eternal Truth, or “no-mind.” The goal of meditation practice is to experience this turiya, the highest level of consciousness.
All of the mind’s three states – waking, dreaming, and deep sleep – become illusory when you enter the fourth – turiya. Turiya – the ultimate reality – is the permanent background that underlies and transcends the said three temporary states of the mind. Just like clouds come and go in the sky, the said three states of your mind come and go in the fourth.
Just as you drift into sleep, you can glide into the fourth, turiya – true meditation – naturally. In true 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. The bliss enjoyed unconsciously in deep sleep is enjoyed consciously in turiya.
Remember, meditation has nothing to do with the mind. Meditation is not a doing; it is a state of being — not swimming but floating. You just are in meditation. If you make an effort to meditate, you will end up creating tension in your mind.
During meditation, you don’t fall asleep; you become more alert; you go beyond your mind. When you experience that naturally calm — absolute bliss — state of “no-mind,” you’re experiencing true meditation.
The meditation state can’t be understood intellectually, but you can definitely experience it. Once you’ve experienced meditation, you’ll start seeing yourself as a pure Spirit that’s ever blissful and divine.
I would suggest a book that I wrote myself, called Building a Noble World. In the book, I give an insight into spirituality, meditation, yoga, and true Guru. In it, you will find my own experience of Kundalini awakening: transcending one’s physical body and mind and experiencing absolute reality. I also answer questions about body, mind, and Spirit as well as the fundamental truth we all share.
“Meditation can transform a person’s character, conduct, and behavior. Through the practice of meditation, lost energy is replenished, memory is improved, intellect is sharpened, and intuition is developed. Meditation removes all worries and tensions of the mind.” (Source: Building a Noble World)
When one meditates, love naturally wells up in one’s heart. This love arising independently during meditation is the way to overcome anger, lust, jealousy, hatred, and greed.
Meditation gives you the power to be happy even when you are unhappy!
May you delight in your own being!