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Why Meditate?: [02.02] Emotional Health & Preksha Meditation (2)

Published: 13.02.2008
Updated: 13.08.2008

The development of pure emotions is the first step towards our destination. We cannot carry out this task on the levels of mind, body and speech. This transformation has to take place from within. We have to dive deep within, enter the world of emotions and refine them. Once this purification occurs, the stream of emotions will automatically change. The flow of impure feelings like violence, envy and thieving get transformed into non-violence, forgiveness, mercy and compassion. Until a practitioner of meditation, spirituality and religion strikes at the root cause, his meditation, practice and worship will not be right. It is very important to know exactly where to strike.

There was once a person driving a car. On the way, his car broke down. He was not even accompanied by a driver. He was passing through a remote area with no neighbouring towns or villages. Only forests surrounded the spot. He alighted from the car and wondered what to do. He walked about half a kilometre and reached a hut. He saw a man sitting there and asked him, 'Would you please do me a favour? My car has broken down. Could you repair it?'
The man agreed. He gathered all the necessary tools and walked along with that person. He examined the car and said, 'I will set it right.'
'What will you charge for it?'
'A hundred rupees.'
'Fine. I don't have any alternative to get out of this jungle. Here you are.�
The man took out a hammer and struck the engine with it. The car started. The car owner shouted angrily, 'You cheated me. All you did was to hammer it once and you charged me a hundred rupees for that!'
The mechanic replied, 'Sir! You don't understand. The strike costs just one rupee; the remaining ninety-nine rupees are for knowing exactly where to strike.'

It is thus very important to know exactly where to strike. If we hammer the mind it will become even more rebellious. Similarly, if we hit at the speech or the body, they will become even more undisciplined. If you really seek transformation, strike at the emotions. Practice refining your emotions and reach within. Do not stop at the body, speech or mind. Dive deep within to the world of emotions and solve your problems. If you stop at the mind your problems will remain unsolved. When the mind is itself unstable, how can it solve your problem? So dive into the world of emotions, watch your emotions and transform them. Attacking emotions will bring about a solution.

Our aim is to enter the inner world. The world of emotions is the world of spirituality and religion. It is the centre of transformation. That is why in the system of Preksha meditation, the mind is not given the most emphasis. Instead, maximum emphasis is laid on 'emotional well-being' or 'transformation of emotions'. A general practice carried out in Preksha meditation is meditation on the three psychic centres: centre of peace [frontal lobe area], centre of enlightenment [agyaa cakra, middle of forehead] and centre of knowledge [sahasraar cakra, top of head]. These are the centres of transformation and emotions are transmuted here. Meditating on the centre of enlightenment balances our anger. The frontal lobe area of our brain is the emotional area. This is the centre where our emotions are purified. Meditation of white colour on this centre pacifies our emotions. This is the important centre for emotional transformation. Meditating on the centre of peace pacifies excitability. The centre of intuition [between the eyebrows] is the medium for awakening our intuitive power but the emotions are not transformed here. If we want to transform our negative emotions into positive ones, we must meditate on the centre of peace, centre of enlightenment and centre of knowledge.

By transforming the emotions, the mind becomes pure and the momentum of the mind and speech also change. A person whose emotions have been refined will not get any negative thoughts, nor will he speak ill of, criticize, or backbite others. Even the activities of his body will change. The reactions of the body are born of emotions. Emotions are the commanders of actions. In Jain terminology actions are called 'yog'. One definition of yog is spiritual practice. Another is performing actions. Here, the activity of mind, body and speech is yog. All our instability is linked with these three. If these are stable, we will not move on our journey of life. All our day-to-day transactions spring from this instability. So we cannot give up instability completely. By practicing meditation and relaxation for an hour or two, it is not possible to keep the body stable for the entire day. If we keep the body stable for the entire day, our life's journey will stop, as the body will not support it. A beginner in meditation will find that the body does not cooperate with him. The body does not accept meditation. Even our speech has to struggle. The mind has, of course, always been in struggle. On trying to concentrate our mind on an object, the result will be more instability. A person may find that his mind is not so restless when he is simply sitting around, but should he sit down to meditate, he will find the instability shoots up!

Many people say that it becomes very problematic when they chant their malas (rosaries).
I asked a man, 'Do you chant with your mala?'
He replied, 'I used to do it but not any more.'
I enquired, 'Why did you stop?'
He responded, 'When I'm in my workplace, there isn't so much restlessness. The moment I sit down to practice chanting, all the thoughts of the world come to my mind. I decided this to be a worthless practice and hence gave up.'

This happens. It is because when we start meditating or chanting, the mind will resist being focused or concentrated. Imagine a calf leaping and playing around with its mother in the courtyard. Once you tie it up, it will struggle hard to break through, because its nature is to move around. We must accept that doing meditation is to push the mind in a direction opposite to its nature. Instability is inherent in the very nature of body mind and speech. We are working against this. This is why those who are ignorant of this phenomenon will give up the practice half way.

I asked that man, 'Have you ever come across a small village? Have you seen the garbage piled up on the outskirts of the village? When you pass through that place it won't stink but should you try to clean up the place, a nasty smell would emerge. My good man, as soon as you start chanting, your instability will surely grow at first. But there is no need to be put off by that. Those who get frightened also get overpowered. Only the brave and steady will later find that the mind relents and accepts his wish. Consequently, the body will also accept stability.'

A Preksha meditation camp was once held in the campus of Jain Vishva Bharati. Many people from Mumbai had come to that camp. A lady was sitting in the first row on a Dunlop cushion. She must have changed her position about 60 times within one hour of meditation. That noise of the cushion could be heard over and over again. After the session, I remonstrated that if this should continue, we could not expect other people to be able to concentrate. The amazing thing was that after 2-3 sessions of meditation, she did not change her position even once the next day.

Copyright by Acharya Mahaprajna ©2005
Compiled by Muni Dhananjay Kumar
Published by Jain Vishva Barati Institute, Ladnun, India
Translated by Samani Charitra Pragya, Neeraja Raghavan & Sudhamahi Regunathan

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anger
  2. Body
  3. Brain
  4. Cakra
  5. Centre of Enlightenment
  6. Centre of Intuition
  7. Centre of Knowledge
  8. Centre of Peace
  9. Jain Vishva Bharati
  10. Mala
  11. Meditation
  12. Mumbai
  13. Non-violence
  14. Preksha
  15. Preksha Meditation
  16. Preksha Meditation Camp
  17. Psychic Centres
  18. Violence
  19. Yog
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