The different stages of meditation
10 May 2014 retreat
Could you talk about the different stages of meditation as you get closer to becoming aware of your Self?
You see, different stages will have to be imagined. We simply, straight away went into that Samadhi so that is why it could be very difficult, however I will try to put some points about what happens. Like the mind's imagination and the mind's projection and the mind's manifestation, depending on the concentrated potency of the mind these three things happen.
In the first stage, the imagination. Thus when you close the eyes all the imaginations occur as thought processes and visual effects. When you are able to cross this, the second stage, mental projection, happens. Then more forgetfulness happens. You see in the first stage, when your mind is into imaginations, you forget that you are imagining and thus you forget about your real Self also, long forgotten. But it is all the clearing stages. When you clear that stage, next is when more, deeper habits are still sitting, after the first stage of thoughts and visions they all get cleared. That is when the projection stage comes. Then those things are brought out, deep in the subconscious state because from time immemorial imaginations have happened so they get projected. When these things are happening it appears very real. The imagination appears so real in your mind, you tend to accept it as a reality as I keep telling in my talks. The second stage is more dangerous, it will make you more forgetful. So that is why a firm conviction of the impermanence of the universe and yourself as the Immortal Existence and faith in the teachings of the Master are always recommended, which can sustain you to remain detached to any manifestations or any projections, any thoughts that come.
The first stage itself we keep teaching 'Do not bother about any thoughts or visions appearing, whether it is good or bad.' This is the important message that the Guru teaches, a Realized Soul can teach.
Next stage, when mental projections are happening, you shall not get involved into such projections. That is the second stage. You just watch.
The first stage, if you have picked up the Guru's teachings, the technique, then the second stage becomes a little more difficult, when you pass on to the higher classes and examinations the power of examinations also increases, the test of your ability gets increased. So mental projection is more likely to suck you as a victim into its own appearances of thoughts or visions. When you cross this, then there are manifestations.
Manifestation means the power of this universe which is in front of you and your own body's manifestation. It appears so solid and you cannot remove them from the scene by means of any physical actions. Though one shape might be destroyed, it assumes another shape. In the same way if you destroy one body you assume another body. You cannot simply get rid of it by destroying one body. That is the power of manifestation. That is the third stage and final stage. When you are able to overcome this stage, by then you would have reached the Tapas stage, your ability to just remain quiet. Not getting involved with any manifestation. Then it can see you through towards Samadhi.
These three are the main stages technically, that I would like to tell.