(Part II of IV)
Meditation is good for everyone!
Learning the best way to meditate is essential to getting its benefits.
There’s no single way to meditate.
Selecting the right style and meditation modality can be essential to making it work.
In part I of this series, we discussed passive meditation style. We will now introduce active meditation style.
Neither is superior to the other. Practice the one you think fits you and your goals. And…
Switch it up! Try both and alternate them accordingly!
Active meditation is highly effective and more easily done by most people. It does not require the discipline and focus that passive meditation does and is more natural.
If you Google, “active meditation” Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s name will come up as this term is most commonly ascribed to him for a style he developed (or revealed) in the 1970s. His style is more formally known as dynamic meditation and uses physical motion as its primary feature.
This article is NOT about that particular style, but instead is an overview of the active meditation concept, involving active thought rather than passive.
I am in the process of producing meditation video instructions for beginner, intermediate and advanced in various styles. Stay tuned…
Active meditation has the exact same goal as passive meditation and most the others: to enhance clarity and stability with the mind’s thinking and feeling spectrum.
Let’s answer an obvious question:
- why do we need different forms of meditation?
- Why not just the best one for everybody and clear instructions how to do it and practice it?
I actually agree with this inquiry: WHY NOT have a single practice for everyone who wants to be more at peace and effective in their lives?
- Passive meditation is VERY difficult to do!
- Active meditation is simpler and more natural
The Sanskrit texts, such as the Yoga Darshan, Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads are the ancient source of meditation and pursuit of enlightenment, so we will defer to them. They all state, in their own way:
- Ashtang Yog and dhyan to achieve samadhi is nearly impossible to do in the age of Kali.
- Bhakti Yog is the ONLY path of meditation to achieve “spiritual realization” in the age of Kali (known as Kali Yug. And samadhi is a state of enlightenment by the way)
Well, guess what: we are in the beginning of the age of Kali now! And bhakti yog meditation is an active meditation, NOT a passive one!
WHAT IS ACTIVE MEDITATION?
First, let’s define what an active meditation is.
- To concentrate and focus on objects and desires that are spiritual and peaceful in nature
- To actively imagine and think of spiritual virtues and features of a Divine existence
Do you see the difference?
Passive meditation is about silencing the mind and removing or quieting all thoughts. Good luck!
Go ahead! Try NOT to think!
The harder you try, the more you’re thinking! It’s a paradox!
Think about NOT thinking!
I don’t think so!
I’ve practiced passive meditations for years and made substantial progress. But there was an absolute limit to how far I could go while still living in the world. Zen masters, Buddhist monks and Hindu Sadhus make some real progress too, far surpassing my own achievements.
But these sadhus and monks don’t live IN the world! They live in monasteries and caves and live in solitude, living off the land and barely eating or interacting with society!
Hell… I’d be pretty peaceful too if I never had to drive on the 405 freeway in LA to do something cool or take care of business! (Don’t even get me started on the DMV!)
Forget meditating! Put me in a cave or a remote temple and I might reach samadhi too!
With a few exceptions:
- I’d miss my loved ones
- I’d miss coffee!
- I’d miss helping people
- I’d miss A LOT!
And this would be VERY distracting! The only way passive meditation works in this age of Kali is if you renounce the world, like a monk.
SACRED SECRET MEDITATION
The Yog Darshan, by sage Patanjili, tells that it takes several, possibly hundreds of lifetimes of consistent practice to achieve Samadhi in passive meditation and that very few will ever be able to pull it off.
THEN… (get this!)
He says, “Or… you can just skip it and do bhakti and get better results, way quicker and WAY easier. Anyway, back to Ashtang Yog (eight limbed yoga)…”
WHAT DID HE JUST SAY!?
Did anybody catch that?
Did he just say he was gonna tell the eight-limbed yoga path to enlightenment and then say it would take many, many lifetimes to pull it off, almost no one will be able too pull it off and you could just skip it and do the simple, easy path of bhakti?!
Sage Patanjili is the author (revealer) of the Yog Darshan, the text that explains the eight limbed path of yoga, advises to skip his own text and just do bhakti—if you’re smart!
In the conclusion post of this series, I am going to describe and instruct two of the most powerful active meditations I know of: