Thus Spake Babaji: Meditation practice, happiness and peace
Question: Obviously meditation is required, but do you believe that Tapas is required in order to achieve a sustainable state of Samadhi?
Babaji: Yes definitely. Actually, Tapas is the highest pitch of meditation. Like my Guru always said, “In the beginning you are trying to meditate and when you are able to keep the mind quiet and focused totally at least for one hour then you are really meditating, the meditation starts.” If you are able to keep it like that for eight to ten hours in a stretch, totally quiet and focused, then the Tapas starts. The Tapas word is used so that all the imagined habits of the consciousness which are the mind are burned once for all, purified. That burning process is what is known as Tapas so that is why it is required and recommended.
Same Questioner: And for how long depends on the person?
Babaji: It depends on a person’s acquired habits of the mind, but generally maybe five years or twelve years something like that is required.
Question: You have obviously been meditating for many, many years. Is there an end to this? Is there a purpose for this for our birth and rebirth?
Babaji : Just now you can think this purpose is so that you can regain the awareness of your real existence as the Immortal Soul. To achieve that Supreme Peace and be able to consider about each other, that should be the purpose.
Question: The meditation is new to me so I feel like I was in and out of all kinds of things. I’m trying not to think, but does that happen?
Babaji: Yes, it happens because the mind is habitual to constantly keep imagining and thinking. That is why in the beginning it could be awful until it becomes silent. If you follow the technique, just watching, keep looking at those thoughts and then in due course of time the mind recedes, becomes quieter and quieter, then the peace also descends.
Question: Baba, do you have suggestions for when critical judgements come up about people in daily life when we are not meditating. How to stop ourselves or how to use that to grow?
Babaji: When you practice meditation you will see what the benefit is. Whenever absolutely it is needed to act in this world then you will be able to judge properly – what is right, what is wrong, who it is, what it is and make a judgement you can act upon, but you can keep your mind unaffected by that judgement, you will not absorb it as a habit. You should not become habitual to any judgements that you made. That is what is important, that is the achievement you can gain. You can remain at peace and pure in your mind so these things will always happen and you will gain that capability to make a better judgement.
Question: Babaji, when I meditate I can't help wanting to see visions because then that helps me focus more. Then when I see them I have a difficult time not thinking about them and then when they go away another vision comes and then I think about that vision. So I have always had a real difficult time.
Babaji: It happens, it is quite natural because of long time habits of the consciousness called the mind. So this can happen to anybody, probably to almost everyone. In the beginning it happens. Slowly you try to exercise some willpower by sticking to one thought, ‘I must meditate. Even if one vision comes let this vision be there, let me keep watching this vision’ so that you try to make it one vision eventually. If you think like that and assure yourself positively, then you will be able to watch that and not analyze.
There is a thin edge of difference between a vision appearing and the mind making an analyzation, “This is good, this is bad, why is this, why not something else?” Instead of thinking like that whatever comes “OK, no problem, let me keep watching. As long as this is going to be there I will watch.” When you start watching it then it will start to disappear slowly. That habit will disappear. To overcome that habit is but the practice of meditation. That is only when the mind can go for the real Truth of Existence. You have to practice, think positively again and again. Remember the Master, remember any form of God, whatever appeals to you, so that one form remains there, instead of different visions coming again and again. You will be able to stick to one vision at least so that the mind becomes single pointed eventually.
Question: So if we are meditating say half an hour or an hour a day and those imprints are burning off while we are meditating, but then we go on our day for twenty-three hours and we’re just creating new habits and new imprints are coming in, it’s almost like we never get ahead of the game? So what would You recommend so that when we are just going through the day we’re not creating new habits?
Babaji: One thing is that as you practice one hour of meditation, that habit of ‘just keep watching’ picks up more and more. All visions, all thoughts all disappear then this one hour of meditation becomes stronger and stronger. It can become helpful in the next twenty-three hours not to absorb any imprints, even when you make a judgement or when you would think about it and then you go. You will just think, work, think, work and then you forget about it. That won't be playing in the mind as a habit all the time. That's what you will be able to achieve.
However during the daytime also you can try to think about it. Instead of allowing the mind to think whatever it wants, try to have positive thinking, “I need to be a bit aware, I should not become habitual to this particular thought. I should not become a casualty of my own thinking and imagination.” Like that also you can think and remember the Master, remember the Divine, some form you can always remember. So that all of your working mind is purifying, you are working and you appear fine and it is not absorbing. If you follow it will be helpful.
Question: Please comment upon sleep and meditation?
Babaji: Sleep is a state of the brain. During meditation you must avoid going to sleep because if sleep happens to the brain then the mind gets kicked off the reflections of the brain temporarily. It has nothing to catch, nothing to watch, the brain is stopped. There is a minimum brain activity when the dreams get created but the mind cannot become purified of its habits. That's why you should have taken sufficient rest when you practice meditation. That means you must maintain the alertness of the mind. If the brain is alert and doesn't go to sleep then the mind’s consciousness of existence is always maintained. It is a return journey, slowly, slowly. Eventually when you practice more meditation and achieve the Samadhi at all times you maintain your existence is there. You do not disappear and you don't become unconscious of anything. So that is the difference between meditation and sleep. Sleep makes you unconscious temporarily.
Question: I feel like there is a connection between peace and happiness. When we are experiencing the peace we experience it as happiness. There is also the spectrum of happiness, sometimes I feel neutral or slightly happy, at times I feel extreme happiness, enough to make me want to weep.
Babaji: The spectrum of peace that you are talking of mostly happens when the mind gets connected to these worldly objects, when you achieve a certain thing in the world. When you gain an object of your happiness then you are likely to become overwhelmed. All these experiences of becoming excited and smiling happen, but in meditation you can achieve this once and for all.
When the mind becomes composed and settles in contentment there is always peace. In that peace you can smile and even if you don’t smile you have peace and that peace is beyond any spectrum that you are talking about. So that is how you can achieve a permanent Supreme Peace that is not fluctuating at any time whereas in this world things can always fluctuate. Sometimes it can make you excited but more overwhelming, sometimes it can remain a bit dull and not so overwhelming. Meditation brings you a peace once and for all at all times and that is also enjoyable. It is the real happiness.