Meditation is the simple practice of withdrawing from activity, sitting still, pulling ones sense organs internally- eyes closed, ears blocked to outside noise – mind being oblivious to the external disturbances of TV, radio, print media, conversations, and other noises. When that happens the energy that is focused there off, needing something to focus on, is automatically turned inward to ones own thoughts, emotions, desire, aspirations, wants, neediness and so on. Observation of these thought patterns, here the operating word is observation and not control, is of immense use in understanding self, obtaining clarity of why one behaves the way he behaves, and knowing the way ahead.
To quote from upanishad the conversation between saje Yagnavalkiya and king Janaka, where Janaka wants to know the cause of light or knowledge, he raises a question and the conversation goes like this.
What serves man for light – The Sun
When the sun has set forth what gives light -The Moon
When there is no moon – The Fire offers light
When the fire is extinguished – The voice
And when there is no voice –
Then he himself, the Atman, the soul, his own inner light guides him. That which is the spirit behind the sense organs, one that is in ones heart, soul, mind, in and out and the essential knowledge acts as light to oneself. That is in knowing oneself one becomes light unto himself.
Thus the man who spends his energy in gathering knowledge from his environment, seldom spends time to understand himself, his true desires, needs, wants, aspirations, his weakness and strengths, that which would lead him to ultimate happiness. Unknown and invisible these ideas, creative instincts, thought forms that are not expressed create a gnawing discontent in him despite all the progress he might have made.
The meditation is an appointment with oneself to understand the question – ” Who am I?”. It is a method of self help, counseling, brain storming such that alignment of the soul, spirit,Mind and actions can be enabled.
It is a practice to understand ourselves, our existence, truth of our being, our mind, gain knowledge and ultimately obtain bliss.
There are multiple names, forms and techniques of meditation. Ultimately it is a natural process available to everyone freely. So let us meditate.