Is Meditation Difficult?

Time.

Meditation is difficult if we expect to control the mind overnight. Like many other things, which are worthwhile, to become proficient in meditation requires patience and sincere practise. If we feel we have to attain a particular state of meditation within a certain time frame, our meditation will be doomed to disappointment. We should view meditation as a life-long journey; when we meditate naturally and without the pressure of time, we will not be adding extra difficulties to our meditation.

Expectation and Frustration.

Meditation is difficult when we expect a certain outcome. To have the most fruitful meditation, we should let go of all expectations; when we can unlearn many of our mental preconceptions, meditation becomes easier and spontaneous. The difficulties of meditation arise when we inwardly demand certain experiences. Sri Chinmoy says:

‘A real aspirant, when he starts meditating, will not cry for the result: he will cry for self-offering during his highest meditation. If he cries for the result, mentally he is imagining something. Even if he imagines some spiritual entity, there is a subtle demand for a result, and his meditation will be lower than if he had meditated only in pure self-offering.’ (1)

However, meditation can never be fully understood and appreciated by the mind. We can feel that even dry spells are not insurmountable difficulties, but an experience essential to our progress.

Aspiration.

If we are satisfied with our outer life; or if we give priority to fulfilling our teeming desires, we will struggle to make any progress in meditation. The real secret of meditation is our burning inner desire for peace and joy. If we can cultivate a flame of aspiration, our meditation will become easy. When we are really hungry for something, we make sure we eat. It is the same with meditation, if we really give priority to our meditation, our progress will be quite noticeable.

Meditation with Others

For some seekers of the highest order, it may not be necessary to receive the inspiration and guidance of others. The flame of aspiration may be so strong they can meditate alone. However, for most beginners to meditation, it is very helpful to take the guidance of a spiritual teacher, and / or associate with others who meditate. When we spend time with others who meditate, either consciously or unconsciously, we will gain inspiration, which will help us in our own meditation. Also, if we have a genuine spiritual teacher, who is expert in meditation, we will gain an additional boon. A realised spiritual teacher is able to guide and inspire his students, through his own meditation. If we are receptive, meditating with a Master of meditation, can bring to the fore our own meditative capacity and expedite our spiritual progress.

By: Tejvan Pettinger

Oxford Sri Chinmoy Centre,

28th April 2007

References

[1] Excerpt from Meditation: God’s Blessing-Assurance by Sri Chinmoy. http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/meditation-god-blessing/6.html