thoughts about meditation

(Br. Martin)

The ultimate purpose of meditation is to go beyond the positive and the negative projections of our mind and to discover our true self. It is then we see God as ‘I am’, without any mental projections. The categories of the mind are like the clothes we put on, covering our true self. When we are free of the mental images, we have a much deeper relationship with God. God is within us. In silencing the mind, we go beyond the images and the non-images and we unite with God. We see reality.

According to the sages, our identification with ourselves is so strong, and our minds are so conditioned, that we cannot be free from self-identification without certain processes of purification, such as meditation. Inner silence takes place when we go beyond self-identification and projections and when our mind is free of all personal desires and ambitions. As long as we are preoccupied with our own projects, we are not open to listen to the projects of God. Only when I am empty of all my projects, will I be able to ask God ‘What can I do for you? ‘The will of God manifests according to God’s plan. We shouldn’t be violent within ourselves by asking this question of God before we feel ready. It is normal that at the beginning of our spiritual growth we have our own goals and projects. God allows that. But the day will come when I have realized all I want to realize and I don’t see any projects before me anymore, and then I can surrender myself completely to God.

The purpose of spiritual exercise, such as meditation, is nothing more than to purify this sense of separation and individuality, and to bring us to unity with God through discovering our true self. It can happen that when we find our true self, we find great fulfilment there. Saint Paul said ‘I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain’ (Phil. 1:24-25). When we find our true self, it is as though our journey has ended and there is nothing more to achieve, but then we discover that that is the point at which God’s work begins.

(EXTRACT FROM THE FOUR O’CLOCK TALKS Discussions with John Martin Sahajananda compiled by Carrie Lock P.202)