Meditation

Why Meditate As Part Of Practical Philosophy?

Development of mental clarity and emotional well being is an important part of practical philosophy. To help in this development, traditional mantra meditation is offered in Part 4 of the Practical Philosophy Course.

The School received the meditation practice in the 1960's. In subsequent years instruction and guidance was given by the head of the Advaita Tradition in Northern India, Sri Santananda Saraswati, then the Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math. He continued to provide instruction and guidance until his death in 1997. Guidance continues to be received from the current Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math.

Traditional, Authentic and Simple

The School's responsibility from the beginning has been to make this meditation available, as a fundamental part of Practical Philosophy, for whoever was seeking fullness of life and a deeper understanding of themselves. Today, the School continues to offer the same simple practice it received over fifty years ago. It is a traditional, authentic and utterly simple practice, natural, easily learnt and can be practised within the demands of daily living.

Mantra Meditation

This is a system of traditional mantra meditation which has been in use for millennia. Practice consists of the gentle repetition of a short simple traditional mantra sound internally to oneself and bringing the attention back to this sound again and again as it goes slower and quieter.

Mental And Emotional Stillness

The practice starts with settling down until the physical body is balanced, still and upright. As the practice proceeds, the breathing naturally slows down, the senses settle and gradually the mind becomes quieter. Then the mantra is repeated and allowed to gradually and naturally slow down. As it slows down and becomes finer, it has a nourishing, cleansing and healing effect on the mental and emotional realms of being. Gradually, this leads to a level of mental and emotional stillness.

How Often Do I Meditate For?

The practice of meditation is initially for 15 minutes morning and evening. Over time the practice is extended to 30 minutes morning and evening.

Why Meditate As Part Of Practical Philosophy?

The essence of Practical Philosophy is to bring knowledge into experience. Thus it is necessary to combine intellectual appreciation with a practical method of applying this knowledge in our daily life.

Clarity, Energy and Efficiency

There are two significant features of the practice.  The first is clarity, energy and efficiency. From the beginning, the practice of sitting and meditating for 15 minutes morning and evening has the effect of bringing about an increasing degree of clarity and efficiency into our daily lives.

Emotional Stillness And Stability

The second is the development of deeper emotional stillness and stability. This develops gradually as the practice becomes part of our daily life.

Benefits Of Meditating

Scientific evidence about the physiological, mental and emotional benefits of meditation speaks for itself. Once limited to the clinical treatment of anxiety and stress, meditation is now applied to the fields of neuro-plasticity, emotional intelligence and elite sports. 

Self Awareness, Resilience, Social Intuition

The study of traditional meditation techniques has shown that sustained practice develops self-awareness, resilience, social intuition, sensitivity and attention-control. Meditation speeds up the brain's capacity for sensory processing, strengthens memory and improves the executive functions of the brain. Research data supports the findings of ancient philosophy.

Rest In Meditation

Meditation has been prescribed by teachers of wisdom for millennia. Practical wisdom requires energy, and energy is restored in deep rest. Just as resting in bed at night is essential for one's physical well-being, so the profound rest available in meditation is essential for the well-being of the mind and the heart. With the profound rest of deep meditation, the human spirit flourishes. Efficiency increases. Mindfulness and compassion grow. Creativity flows.

Training

The meditation is introduced in Part 4 of the Philosophy Course and is given in a short, traditional ceremony designed to bring the mind and heart to rest. The ceremony is traditional and non-religious. It is there to ensure the precise passage of the mantra from generation to generation and to support the significance of the event. 

Ceremony

The ceremony is carried out by a trained instructor, an experienced meditator who has undergone a period of careful preparation. It is also customary to bring a donation to support the tradition of meditation. The system of meditation has been given to us freely from the tradition and thus there is no charge for receiving the meditation. However, it behoves us to respond generously for the gift of meditation. All donations received are passed on to support the Advaita Tradition in Jyotir Math.

Lifelong Support

Once you've commenced meditating, the School will support you in the practice with one-on-one sessions, small group sessions and meditation retreats if you wish. This support will be available for as long as you wish. In providing you with the meditation, the School undertakes the obligation of support for life.