I don’t know about you, but I have always felt that learning how to meditate should not be difficult. Am I right?
However, many people have believed that it is not easy for the ordinary person to experience simpler states of thought and so have described meditation in terms of difficulty, concentration and effort.
This is because there has been 2 general misunderstanding of what the nature of the attention is; and what the ordinary processes of thinking involve.
Vedic Meditation depends entirely on what the nature of the simpler states of thought are; and on what the nature of the attention is to do. It depends entirely on natural, spontaneous processes. So any attempt to control or direct these processes is mistaken and a hindrance. The technique is “Take it easy and take it all as it comes”.
The Natural Tendency Of The Mind Is To Flow Freely
The natural tendency of human attention is to be moving, all the time. The attention flows freely and spontaneously toward any experience which offers greater interest or pleasure. The attention needs to be controlled if it is to be HELD on any experience or object.
The state of both body and mind when it is restfully alert is found by experience to be very pleasant. Because the technique of Vedic Meditation is to turn the attention toward simpler states of thought and thus in the direction of restful alertness, the attention finds the way increasingly attractive as it drifts in that direction.
The practice of Vedic Meditation is therefore pleasant for anyone. Whatever the state of the person whether they are intellectually advanced or not, whether they are emotionally developed or not, everyone finds that their attention will drift through the simpler stages of thought. The process is not merely easy, it is completely spontaneous. Just as water flows down a slope, the attention flows along to experience the simpler and simpler stages of thought all by itself.
You may ask then, “What does a teacher of Vedic Meditation teach?” The teacher of this technique just shows you a technique to start the process The rest goes by itself. All that is taught is the technique to start. Once you have started, the rest of the process is spontaneous.
What Do We Mean By The Simpler States Of Thought
Vedic Meditation allows the mind to experience simpler states of thought. This enables the body to become more restful, while at the same time mental alertness is maintained.
I should explain what I mean by “simpler states of thought“.
Ordinary human activities can range from very busy – ‘running and shouting” – to very easy- “sitting quietly with eyes dosed daydreaming” – and beyond.
The busy states are very complex, a great deal is going on in both body and mind; but as we move toward the more restful states there is less and less going on. They are simpler, less complex.
It has been found that when anyone engages in more physical or mental activity they burn up more energy (in the form of oxygen). When they do less, then energy or oxygen consumption is less. During Vedic Meditation oxygen consumption is less than when sitting quietly daydreaming. So whatever you will be doing when you practise Vedic Meditation it will be less than usual. Clearly, it cannot involve anything so complex as concentration or control of the mind, for this would show up as increased oxygen consumption.
Normally we are familiar with three levels of human behaviour – waking activity, dreaming and sleeping. The common experience is that as soon as someone begins to do anything more restful than sitting quietly daydreaming then they will doze off and go to sleep.
However, even though in our common experience, restfulness and alertness seem to be contrary, it has been found, by experience, that it is possible to engage at levels of mental activity simpler and more restful even than daydreaming and yet remain alert. It is such restful mental activity that we use the term “simpler states of thought.” This will become easier to understand after you begin the practice itself.
Related article: A Few Practical Points About Vedic Meditation