Meditation Advice for Beginners – One of the most common difficulties that sadhaks face when they begin to meditate, is that they are unable to bring their mind into focus. Random thoughts keep arising and boredom quickly sets in. Students too face this difficulty when they sit down to do their lessons.
The reason this happens, as Swami Brahmananda has explained below, is because the mind has not been trained to fall into a concentrated and focused state. The mind is a creature of habit. With the advent of mobile technology, WhatsApp, Facebook and constant Breaking News Updates, our minds are getting more and more practice of remaining distracted and scattered, than becoming focused. Therefore if we want to meditate better, or if we wish to achieve better grades, or accomplish any other great work, then it is extremely important that we first discipline our mind, by setting up a strict daily routine, for it to follow. We must set aside all distractions and train the mind to concentrate on finishing the task at hand.
This advice of Swami Brahmananda, the God-realized direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, has been recorded in the book Spiritual Teachings of Swami Brahmananda (Free Download). It has been excerpted below from there.
Swami Brahmananda: You must have a routine for spiritual practices. Nishtha (steadfastness) is a very important factor; without it no great achievement is possible.
Your steadfastness must be of such a nature that, wherever and under whatever circumstances you may be, the rules that you have laid down for yourself must be observed at any cost. For your meditation, your study, your reflection, your sleep, you must have certain definite hours.
If you lead an irregular life, you cannot succeed in anything. Whether it is physical or mental development, the only way to attain it is through a strictly regular life. If a clock gets out of order, the watch-repairer sets it right; then it continues to keep correct time. So with the mind of man. It has become irregular owing to various reasons.
By keeping the company of good men, you will get your mind set properly. If you try to mould your life according to the instructions of holy men, you will easily avoid the pitfalls and temptations of life. Following in their footsteps you too will reach the goal attained by them and fulfill your life’s purpose.
So long as your mind is not controlled there is great need to observe certain definite rules. Without them you can never get mastery over your mind. The natural tendency of the mind is to shirk work; but when you have made a routine, you must tell your mind, “You are subject to this rule now; whether you like it or not, you must observe it.” In this way, you should try to bring the mind under control.
When you have succeeded in this, you need not observe any more rules. They will fall off of their own accord.
“You must make up a routine before you commence your spiritual practices. And you must not take upon yourself any work which may stand in the way of following the routine.”
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