Sivananda Saraswati was a Hindu spiritual teacher and a proponent of Yoga and Vedanta. Sivananda was born Kuppuswami in Pattamadai, in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. He studied medicine and served in British Malaya as a physician for several years before taking up monasticism. This is book Meditation know how talks all about to get started and excel in meditation.
1. Focusing on consciousness: Let’s talk on what is consciousness ? It’s a word with lot of meaning but i want to say is that, everything around is conscious, everything is consciousness. The mind is not in the body but the body is in the mind. What we feel through our senses is just a projection of our own consciousness. So to begin focusing on consciousness means to focus on the awareness, take a deep breath try to focus on your breath going in and out while your awareness is focused on the head or specifically between the eye brows.
One thing at a time, if thoughts arise accept it and let go bring the awareness back to your breath and keep attention in third eye region.
Observe all your external & internal, voluntary and involuntary attentions.
Your interest develops attention, have enthusiasm every time you get started with meditation. Yoga posture’s are best way to get started before meditation as it prepares you for deeper meditation when the body is relaxed.
All genius possess infinite degree of attention.
2. Concentration: Fixing the mind on one point (om, breathing, god, image or object).
Have patience in all your actions, never do a thing in haste.
3. Trataka or stead gazing: Intended for developing concentration and mental focusing.
Visualization on chanting and breathing.
You can use candle light , Image like black dot on white paper or sun gazing early in the morning or evening when the sun is not too strong it should be done only for few seconds without hurting your eyes also while applying common sense. Apply ghee or honey in night before sleeping for lubrication of your eyes.
Gaze tip of nose, between eye brows , tip of tongue is also a good way for steady gazing or trataka
4. Where to concentrate: Concentrate of internal chakras, there are 7 main chakras in the body starting from root to crown of your head so this 7 regions could be your focus point to to steady your awareness.
Contraction on sushumna nadi in hatha yoga, so sushumna nadi is central energy channel in the body where all spiritual development takes place, the other two channels are left lunar channel and right solar channel. Contraction on central channel means to internally see the your breathing is balanced in both the nostrils and your focus is in your spine region from bottom to top and top to bottom vise versa.
5. How to develop concentration:
- Celibacy ,
- Pranayama (Deep-breathing),
- Discard feeding unwanted information ,
- Mouna (Silence),
- Seclusion ,
- Dis-passion having no or little desires (non-attachment),
- Reduction in activities.
Note: -Hatha yogi practices deep-breathing (pranayama) , raja yogi practices concentration(dhyana) controls life force energy (prana).
Enemies of concentration:
-too much physical exertion
-mixing with ladies
-much eating and walking
-distraction of mind , reduce thoughts.
Question your thoughts the source,then evade them. Saguna and nirguna meditation
Special intelligence is developed when a man mediated on the infinite with pure heart. 4-7 am good time to mediate
For meditation one requires to have calm , clear , pure, subtle, sharp, steady and one pointed intellect (buddhi). Have purity of thoughts and feelings (Sattva) for 5-6 years and seclusion.
Never or don’t mix with worldly minded people talk less
Observe silence (mauna) very important (highly efficient for spiritual growth)
Yoga vasistha , 12 classical Upanishad and viveka chudamani , bhagavad gita books for more reference.
No chilies , No Onions , No Condiments, No Garlic , No Pungent articles, No mustard oil, No Spiced dishes , No Eggs and meat, No Sour articles , No Black gram.
-Milk ,Ghee, Barley, Almonds, Fruits , Green gram , Bengal Gram, Wheat , Potatoes
- Meditation on objects: good virtues
- Avoid anger its highly poisonous , muddles the mind.
This one of really good , simple and clear book i have read on meditation. Swami Sivanada’s writing always gets to me, it is clear he’s not trying to sell you anything but give real knowledge only for higher purpose of helping others. He’s one of India’s great gems who worked selflessly for others never wanting anything for himself. I bow down to my first and final spiritual teacher who has given me so much wisdom and knowledge for no price which is priceless. I am forever in debt and only way to repay is his wish was to “do good and be good” that has also become my main motive in life. There is no greater joy then selfless service to others.