Meditation: Its Process, Practice, and Culmination

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By Swami Satprakashananda. Meditation is regarded as the final spiritual course, being an uninterrupted flow of the mind toward the Supreme Being. Vedanta’s time-honored methods for preparing the mind for meditation are systematically explained. Part I includes hymns and directed meditations.

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Description

By Swami Satprakashananda

Hardback, 264 pages.

Meditation is regarded as the final spiritual course, being an uninterrupted flow of the mind toward the Supreme Being. Vedanta’s time-honored methods for preparing the mind for meditation are systematically explained. Part I includes hymns and directed meditations.

Reviews

Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul, says Marcus Aurelius. Swami Satprakashananda’s valuable book of spiritual inspiration and illumination teaches us in a simple and straightforward manner how we can reach that retreat within our soul . . .
The seven Hymns and Prayers (ably translated by the author from the Vedas, Tantras, etc.) and eighteen Conducted Meditations have a holy grandeur about them and can be a real source of inspiration and guidance. They are couched in a graceful language which abounds in spiritual fervour. Even a cursory reading is uplifting.

RMIC Bulletin

It is really commendable how he [the author] has, in such a short compass, dealt with the whole gamut of meditation in its different aspects–both theoretical and practical . . . the book will be of great practical use to aspirants of all religions who seek guidance in spiritual practice. It will help them along their own lines, within the framework of their own religion, for here mostly the universal ideas and principles are dealt with, which they can adapt.

Prabuddha Bharata (Awakened India)

Contents

Preface

Part One – Preliminaries

Hymns and Prayers

A Vedic Prayer
Hymn to Brahman
Eight Stanzas on Shukadeva
Hymn to the Divine Mother
Hymn to the Divine Mother Durga
Evening Hymn to Sri Ramakrishna
transliteration
Vedic Peace Chants

Conducted Meditations

The Light of Lights
Him We Worship
Peace that Passeth Understanding
The Source of All Delight
Right Understanding
Not by Thy Law but by Thy Grace
He is the Goal, He is the Way
He Makes All Things Dear
Thou Art My Sole Guide
Thou Art Seated on the Lotus of My Heart
By Losing Yourself You Find Yourself
The Body is Like a Garment
Blessings of the Saints
He Dwells in the Depth of the Heart
The One Source of All
The Divine Child (A Christmas Meditation)
To be Spiritually Minded is Life (Good Friday)
Think Of Yourself As An Effulgent Being

Part Two – Methods of Meditation

Introductory: Four States of Human Experience – Waking, Dream, Dreamless Sleep, and Samadhi
Work and Meditation
Search for God
Worshiping God Through Symbols as Preparatory to Meditation
Prayer and Meditation
Karma-Yoga as Preparatory to the Practice of Meditation
Preparation for Meditation in Bhakti-Yoga
God-Realization Through Bhakti-Yoga
The Process of Meditation According to Patanjali’s Raja-Yoga; Distinctiveness of the Vedantic Method
Preparation for Meditation in Jnana-Yoga
Realization of Nondual Brahman, the Culmination of Jnana-Yoga

Part Three – Appendices

Appendix I From Mortality to Immortality
Appendix II The Location of the Soul in the Body
Appendix III The Sum and Substance of Advaita Vedanta

Excerpts

Part One- Conducted Meditations

The One Source of All

Let us meditate in the depth of the heart on the Supreme Being, who is the one source of all blessedness, who is the one Goal of all knowledge; whom the highest deities seek, who is the unmoved mover of the universe. From Him the universe arises, by Him the universe is sustained, into Him the universe is reabsorbed. He removes all fears and grants eternal light and absolute peace. The yogins realize Him in the depth of their hearts through intense meditation. It is by realizing Him that they go beyond all sufferings, all limitations and attain absolute peace and blessedness.

Let us relax the body and the mind, gather our thoughts, and meditate on the Divine Being in the depth of the heart. Think of the Supreme Being as the one source of all life, of all strength, of all wisdom, of all love, of all joy. He is the Adorable One. He seems to be far away from us, but in fact He is the nearest of the near. He is the innermost self of each and every human being. He is the Soul of our souls. In order to reach Him we have not to go anywhere. We can find Him in the depth of our heart through deep meditation.

Part Two – Methods of Meditation

Chapter III – Search for God

But the seekers of God vary in their nature. All do not seek God in the same spirit. There is one class of seekers who have been in quest of God for intellectual understanding. This universe has been a riddle to the human mind from the very beginning. Howsoever engrossed a person may be in worldly affairs, some time or other he is likely to face the fundamental questions – How does this universe exist? Where does it come from? What is the goal? What is the meaning of this life? Such queries have been the mainspring of philosophical investigations.

The philosophers have tried to find God for intellectual satisfaction. Their chief instrument in this respect has been reason based on the process of inference; and it is the consensus of many philosophers that the Ultimate Reality cannot be comprehended through reason. Cosmological argument, or technological argument, or ontological argument does not reveal Reality to the inquirer. One cannot have the immediate experience of the Supreme Being by dialectic process or through speculation.