Frequently Asked Questions
What is Meditation?
Meditation means to silence one's thoughts and then dive into oneself. In silence, inner values come to the fore. With time, an inner world opens up, which otherwise we will know only very superficially and indirectly, for example through dreams. Step by step one gets to know oneself and grows into a deeper, more mature and more satisfied person.
The goal of meditation is to know oneself. This goal is also called illumination, self- or God-realisation. The whole truth is hidden in ourselves, and everybody who makes the effort can in the end directly realise this truth..
There are forms of meditation in many different cultures. Our modern Western society however has become so extraverted that many inner values have been lost. Therefore, most meditation paths today come originally from the East and specially from India. Even in modern India, meditation has fixed place in its culture and society and is being practised by many people
What is Yoga?
Yoga means union - union between the body and the soul, the human and the divine, the finite and the infinite.
In the West Yoga is considered to be the same as Hatha-Yoga. Hatha Yoga is a beginner level of a Yoga path, where body and psyche can relax.
Meditation also is a part of Yoga. It is the technique to control the mind and to enter into the inner reality.
There are many different Yoga Paths and accordingly many different techniques of meditation. Here are some examples: Bhakti Yoga, the path of love, Karma Yoga, the path of selfless service, Jnana Yoga, the path of the mind. No path is the best one for everybody; each one has to select the path that fits his need best.
Who can Meditate?
Most meditation techniques are quite simple. Most people can therefore practise them and learn how to meditate.
But results do not come overnight. It takes weeks and months until results can be felt, and for deeper meditation experiences often years of practise is necessary. Whoever really wants to meditate needs patience.
Only those will have the necessary patience and endurance who feel an inner need, an inner cry for something higher or deeper in their life. One's own interest is therefore essential, nobody can be convinced from outside if he or she is not ready from within.
Meditation often brings changes into one's life style and is therefore easier for younger people. Older person can meditate as well if they remain inwardly young and flexible.
How does Meditation Affect our Daily Lives?
A first effect - very useful in our hectic daily life- is relaxation and peace. Many problems disappear simply by getting some distance to ourselves. For this alone, it would be worthwhile to meditate.
With time we will start feeling what we really want and really need in life. We grow inwardly and learn to create our life in a new way. Many will look for example for a new kind of work or a new environment that fits their needs better. Often the environment stays the same, but the inner motives change.
The inner harmony that is found in meditation will also have an influence on the outer character. People who meditate tend to become more balanced, more cheerful, more secure of themselves. Their life becomes happier and more satisfied.
How do I Learn to Meditate?
There are many books with meditation techniques and exercises. Often, a few exercises are enough to do the first steps if you practise regularly.
However, it is not easy to find the entrance to the inner life all alone. It is much easier to meditate with somebody who has already some meditation experience. If a group of seekers meditate together, they create an atmosphere that makes meditation easier for each one in the group.
The internet is not the best place to actually learn how to meditate. It is advisable to attend some meditation classes and later maybe become a member of a meditation group.
What is a Guru?
"Gu" means dark and "ru" means light. A guru is somebody who leads us from darkness to light. In practical life, it is much easier to learn meditation together with a Guru than to do it alone. A Guru does not only give outer instructions but can also lead and guide the student inwardly.
Most Gurus have themselves learned from a Guru. In the tradition there are whole lines of Gurus who pass on the knowledge over generations.
Not everybody who teaches meditation is automatically a Guru or a spiritual master. Most meditation teachers are just one step ahead of normal people. But real Gurus are expected to have reached the ultimate goal, the self-realisation, and with it the capacity to know the truth directly and to guide seekers to this truth. This kind of master is very rare.
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