SCIENCE OF MEDITATION
In meditation our Consciousness travels
Meditation is a journey of our consciousness towards the Self. In meditation, we consciously travel from body to mind, then from mind to intellect and then, from intellect to Self and beyond. That means our state of awareness is moving from the dense realm of physical body, to mind and intellect and to even higher realms towards the Self and beyond.
It is said that sleep is unconscious meditation because in the deep sleep state our consciousness travels beyond the body, mind and intellect however, we are fully unaware of that journey!
In meditation, when the body relaxes, consciousness travels to the next zone which is mind and intellect. Mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts. There are always numerous thoughts coming to the surface of the mind and whenever there are thoughts in the mind, we may start to question, analyze and think.
To transcend the mind and intellect, one has to observe the breath. Observation or witnessing is our true nature, the nature of the Self. We allow inhalation or exhalation to happen on its own while we simply observe it. During meditation, one should pay no attention to their thoughts and return to observing their natural breathing at all times. This is the fundamental principle.
With more earnest practice of meditation, the breath slowly becomes shorter and shorter. We will notice that the breath becomes concentrated in the upper part of the nose. Finally, the breath becomes so small and so short that it seems to be barely existing.
A remarkable thing happens. The mind becomes rather serene and restful. The intensity of the restless waves of the mind decreases significantly. A calm, peaceful and tranquil mind is established. As more and more time is spent in that calmness, in that tranquility … a most beautiful thing now happens. The mind becomes absolutely empty… sans any thoughts.
Now, we are in a state of deep inner silence.
We enter into such a deep inner silence that we may not even hear outer sounds; we go beyond them. In this stage of deep inner silence, a total inwarding of the outer senses happens. The outer senses in effect become … the inner senses. More and more practice of meditation means the greater the emptiness in the mind.
In meditation we receive Cosmic Energy
Once our mind is more or less empty, we have a great capacity to receive Cosmic Energy. Cosmic energy is also known as 'chi', 'prana' or life force energy. The more meditation one does, the more will be the cosmic energy one receives.
Cosmic energy is needed to maintain the cellular structure of our physical body and to expand our consciousness. We use this energy for all our day-to-day activities of the mind and body (e.g. speaking, listening, thinking, etc). This is the reason why we feel exhausted at the end of the day even though our physical bodies engaged in minimal physical activity during the day.
We do receive some cosmic energy during sleep to recharge ourselves however it is only in the state of meditation that we receive abundant cosmic energy.
The 3 Stages of Meditation:
There are three Stages of Meditation also referred to as ‘three happenings’.
When we stay with our normal, natural, simple, easy, soft, tender, shallow, tranquil, peaceful flow of breath then our mind becomes rather empty.
The second stage happens when a huge amount of cosmic energy enters the rather empty mind. Since Nature abhors a vacuum, it fills the empty mind with corresponding amounts of cosmic energy. All five senses become very sharp during this stage.
The third stage happens when sufficient amount of cosmic energy enters the physical body and activates the Third Eye or the inner senses. This stage results in Third Eye experiences.