Amma's Instructions for meditation


Amma’s Guidance

“Children, when you sit for meditation, do not think that you can still your mind immediately. At first, you should relax all parts of your body. Loosen your clothes if they are too tight. Make sure that the spine is erect. Then close your eyes and concentrate your mind on your breath.

You should be aware of your inhalation and exhalation. Normally we breathe in and out without being aware of it, but it should not be like that; we should become aware of the process. Then the mind will be wakeful.”

“Children, don’t try to still your mind by force when you sit for meditation. The thoughts will rise up with ten times their original force if you do that. It is like pressing down a spring. Try to find out where the thoughts arise from, and control them with that knowledge.

Don’t place the mind in any kind of tension. If any part of your body is tense or feels any pain, the mind will linger on that. Relax every part of the body, and watch your thoughts with absolute awareness. Then the mind will subside by itself.”

“As you sit like that for a while, your mind will become calm. You can continue the meditation by focusing attention on your breath. Or you can start meditating on the form of your beloved deity.

If the mind wanders, you should bring it back. If you are unable to do that, then it is enough to watch where it is going. The mind should be kept under observation. Then it will stop running around and will be under your control.”

"Just as food and sleep are necessary for the body, spiritual understanding is needed for a healthy mind." - Amma

At present our mind is flowing out towards hundreds of sense objects

A river which flows through many branches will not have a powerful current. If the branches are redirected and the river is redirected to flow only through the main stream, the force of the current will increase greatly. It may even be possible to generate electricity from such a strong current.

Similarly, at present our mind is flowing out towards hundreds of sense objects. If the mind is controlled and focused on one point, tremendous power will be generated which can be used to do wonderful things.

Only by giving love can we experience love

First he read aloud from his retreat identification wristband, a quote from Amma: “Fill your heart with love and then express it in everything you do….”

“Amma,” he said, “I really want to fill my heart with love. But I don’t know how.” Applause, and rueful laughter; again, so many people in the gathering knew exactly what he meant. And so many, like him, sincerely wanted to know Amma’s answer….

“Looking directly into his eyes and smiling, she said just this: “You are love…. Only by giving love can we experience love.”

Amma-NatureThe parents are the two Gurus

The family house should not be a place where a group of individuals live together in conflict, always fighting and arguing ….That makes family life hell; it will cut your personality to pieces. Family life such as this is equal to death…

They grow up seeing the conflicts, arguments, disputes, hatred, fighting and finally the separation of their parents. They never experience what love is, which is what they are supposed to learn from the mutual love between their father and mother. The parents are the two Gurus which the children see from birth until they come in contact with the world. If the seed of love is not sown at home, it cannot sprout or blossom. – Amma

My children, you are Mother’s wealth and health

My children, you are Mother’s wealth and health. Mother does not want anything from you except your spiritual growth. When she finds that you are not growing internally as she expects you to, Mother feels very sad. Life is a play for those who have attained the state of perfection.

For them it is not so serious any more, but for you that is not true. You should take things seriously; this is a discipline for you now. Seeing and taking things too lightly is not good for a sadhak. Children, a sadhak (one who engages in spiritual practices) is one who is striving hard to reach the goal. How can one take things lightly while striving hard to attain eternal freedom?

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Only after liberation will there be spontaneity in one’s responses. At present, nothing comes spontaneously to you except your old vasanas (latent tendencies from the past). You are trying to eliminate them and replace them with the higher values of life.

Therefore, everything is a test, a hard test for you. Take these tests seriously. When Mother says ‘seriously,’ don’t misunderstand and think that she is asking you to put a serious look on your face. No. The attitude you have should be serious; this seriousness should be something internal. Sharp discrimination is what is needed. Take the example of someone getting angry at you for no reason.

For a normal person it is difficult to remain calm and undisturbed in such a situation. But you should use your discrimination in order to keep your mind well under control. For this to happen, introspection is needed. To accept the anger as a blessing sent by the Lord in order to test your patience, or to ignore it and remain unaffected, one needs sharp discrimination. In both cases a sadhak must make a conscious and continuous effort in order to proceed towards the ultimate goal. This is not a light matter. Do not consider it as child’s play. This is the way of life that you have chosen.

Your life is dedicated entirely to this purpose. When you have attained the goal, you will be able to perceive the whole world and all the happenings around you as child’s play. Then you can be spontaneous. At that time all fears automatically drop away. Then you can play and laugh and be happy like a child. But until then you must take life as a serious affair. Obstacles and difficulties are challenges to confront and to conquer. A challenge cannot be taken as a light matter unless you are an adept. You are not an adept; therefore, take it seriously…

Children, for a person who is established in God, all that happens around him is a play. The whole world is a play. All abuses, criticisms, insults, hatred, and anger showered on him return unaccepted to those from whom they came. Whatever is not accepted is returned to the giver. Or another way of putting it is that a Realized Soul accepts everything. He accepts things, but they cannot remain with him. He is like a doorway; things just pass through him. Nothing can remain with him. Or you can say that he is like fire. What is thrown in the fire gets consumed by the flames and disappears.

One who is established in the Supreme is always spontaneous. For him acceptance comes readily, but for you, it is not spontaneous. It is a real struggle, and a struggle cannot be taken lightly. What you are really dealing with is fighting your own negative nature. Fighting is a challenge which should be considered seriously.

Children, eventually this struggle will become totally ‘struggle-less.’ This fighting will be completely ‘non- fighting.’ When this happens, then your actions and your acceptance of things will be spontaneous.

There is a gap between thoughts

If you can see with a subtle eye, you find that there is a gap between thoughts. This gap is thin – thinner than a hair’s breadth – but it is there. If you can keep the thoughts from flowing without control, as they do now, this gap will increase.

But this is possible only in a mind which is concentrated on a single thought. It must dwell, not on many thoughts, but on one single thought.

Both heaven and hell are created by the mind !

Both heaven and hell are created by the mind! Even the highest heaven turns into hell if the mind is agitated; whereas the lowest hell is a blissful abode for someone endowed with a peaceful and relaxed mind.

Amma-blessingMeditation is as precious as gold

Amma always says that meditation is as precious as gold. Meditation leads to material progress, abiding peace, and ultimate liberation.

Not a moment devoted to meditation ever goes waste; rather it brings tenfold gain. And if along with our meditation we also develop compassion, it is like gold with a fragrance, something priceless and utterly unique. A smiling face, a kind word, a compassionate look – all these are different forms of meditation – Amma

Drop-and-GoOnce you learn this art . . .

“Learn to be relaxed in all circumstances. Whatever you do and wherever you are, relax and you will see how powerful it is. The art of relaxation brings out the power that exists within you; through relaxation you can experience your infinite capacities. It is the art of making your mind still, and focusing all your energy on the work you are doing. Thus you will be able to bring out all your potential. Once you learn this art, everything happens spontaneously and effortlessly.”

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