Meditation: Joy in the Heart of Silence

Meditation: Joy in the Heart of Silence

What Is Meditation?

Swami Rama

The method of meditation is an inward process that leads one to the fountain of life and light. This is the center of consciousness, from where consciousness flows in various degrees and grades. A human being is a citizen of two worlds: the world within and the world without. To create a bridge between these two requires human effort, but it is possible for one to do so; it is possible to live in the world and yet remain above it.

A Method of Knowing Truth

This art of living and being has its source in the method of meditation. That which cannot be taught by modern education can be understood and realized by practicing meditation. No one teaches modern people how to be still, and they never find the time and opportunity to be still. To be still is a must for meditation, for only then can truth or the reality within reveal itself.

So meditation is a method of knowing truth—that which is within every human being. Meditation is a simple technique that can be learned in a few minutes, but it is a very practical subject, and the benefits of meditation are immense. There are many steps for attaining the highest state of meditation, and anyone who desires to practice can attain a state of meditation within a few months.

Meditation is a method of knowing truth—that which is within every human being.

The first benefit of meditation is freedom from stress and strain; the second benefit is clarity of mind; and the third benefit is knowledge of one’s own internal states. Then one becomes established in one’s essential nature, which is happiness, peace, and bliss. Meditation helps one to attain the highest level of equilibrium and tranquility. With persistence, it leads one to the state of turiya, the state beyond.

Benefits of Meditation
  1. Freedom from stress and strain
  2. Clarity of mind
  3. Knowledge of one’s internal states
  4. Equilibrium and tranquility
  5. Experiencing turiya—the state beyond
Practice Makes Perfect

But to attain these benefits, one must understand that knowledge is within and that one will have to practice. Practice will make one perfect. Without practice, one cannot have inner experience, and without this experience one cannot be guided. Experience should be one’s guide. Meditation shows one how to know within oneself. There is no mystery in this method. It is a practical and systematic technique that leads one to peace and knowledge. If one knows all the things of the world and does not realize one’s inner potential, how can one enjoy life and how can one attain the purpose of life?

The greatest of all enjoyments is the tranquil state that can be attained through meditation. Often students get excited and want to attain the highest state in a few days’ time, forgetting that this inward method of learning through meditation is not like other learning programs. It is an unlearning program, a journey without movement—one advances without any external movement. One remains still and yet attains one’s goal.

Meditation leads one to the silence within. Most people don’t know what silence is. They have never enjoyed it. They may go to a quiet room where there is no outer sound, but the mind remains noisy all the time. How can external silence lead one to internal silence? The mind will start becoming more active when one is silent externally. But when one learns to love the silence within, then the highest of all joys becomes that deep silence in which one goes beyond all the states of one’s mind. The mind then turns within and enjoys that peace beyond.

Source: The Theory and Practice of Meditation by Swami Rama

Further Reading

The Theory and Practice of Meditation

Swami Rama

This classic collection of essays shares valuable insights into the nature and dynamics of meditation. The contributors to this volume are some of the best-versed scholars and health professionals in their fields. Their penetrating reflections convey a well-rounded understanding of meditation as a systematic path to achieve mental and emotional well-being and self-realization.

About the Author

Swami Rama

One of the greatest adepts, teachers, writers, and humanitarians of the 20th century, Swami Rama (1925–1996) is the founder of the Himalayan Institute. Born in northern India, he was raised from early childhood by the Himalayan sage, Bengali Baba. Under the guidance of his master, he traveled from monastery to monastery and studied with a variety of Himalayan saints and sages, including his grandmaster, who was living in a remote region of Tibet. In addition to this intense spiritual training, Swami Rama received higher education in both India and Europe. From 1949 to 1952, he held the prestigious position of Shankaracharya of Karvirpitham in South India. Thereafter, he returned to his master to receive further training at his cave monastery, and finally, in 1969, came to the United States, where he founded the Himalayan Institute. His best-known work, Living with the Himalayan Masters, reveals the many facets of this singular adept and demonstrates his embodiment of the living tradition of the East.