A thought hit me this morning about meditation.  Meditation is considered one of the, if not the main pieces of everyone's spiritual toolkit. Everyone does it a bit differently, even within a given system.  It would be interesting to hear more from everyone here about how we do it.

What are your favorite methods of meditating?

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Dear Joe ,

    The meditation that I was doing was based on thought , this was because though I was given a preliminary initiation with mantra and an explanation as to the meaning of the mantra and how it would work and the possible experiences that it would bring in its wake -  I was informed that it was not an end in itself  and that results would be there if I was sincere enough , and no immediate  results would be there if the diksha was not used but kept for a later time in life when I would be more free to do it. Since practice was of the essence and the reason for what the diksha was taken . The initiation ceremony was itself simple - The day I went and met the person asking to be given Initiation , he asked me (it is customary in India) which particular god was my Tutelary Deity . So I told him the name and he asked me to return the next day . The next day I went back and he took me to his Puja room (it was the same room where he used to sleep ). and we both sat cross legged facing each other . He asked everyone else to leave the room , and then meditated maybe for a few minutes , and then asked me to repeat a "Dhyana Shloka" after him - this small poem is a description of the image of a particular god in about 4 lines of sanskrit and which holds the image of the God. I repeated it slowly with him all the while he stopped and explained each word outlining the image to me , and he also said that though the image was specific and I had to whilst sitting for Japa (or meditation ) Repeat this small poem and ''Hold '' the image in my mind . The repetition of the Japa mantra was to be done in the mind and not loudly whilst holding this image in the mind. After these preliminaries , he gave me the mantra proper that I was to do japa . He explained the meaning of the mantra , and its rishi , and then its ''Key'' (Kilakam) - this key he told me would open the mantra up for me after a prescribed time or numbers of times of repetition which would be according to the ''Samkalpa'' that he had given with the mantra . But in any case what he told me was that any mantra when given properly even without a sankalpa would open after the appointed number of times it was recited. (approx - number of letters in the mantra x 100,000 was the upper limit ). He also told me not to be overly concerned with the numbers that I put in and to hold the mental image of the god and repeat the mantra (this both mentally ) .  The result was that (at that time I had not taken to sannyasa )  within a time of 3 months of honest practice 

of Japa two times daily in the morning and evening for about an hour or so - there were some improvements etc . Later the image vanished and the mantra vanished and my breathing became turned in . What I mean to say is that I was unable to recite or conceive either the Mantra or the image and it was a kind of stultified silence , and where I was previously breathing out it had become breathing in and vice versa . I had become incapable of any thought . It was then that when I was wondering as to what to do next and totally clueless as to how things were to be taken ahead (as I was quite aware that neither had I realized god nor god realized me ! ), The gentleman who gave me my initiation unfortunately had gone into samadhi , and was no longer available for consultations , but the saving grace was that - what he had said the mantra would do , it did and It was then that I remembered our half hour of post initiation talk - at which time  he had asked me why I had taken initiation , and I had told him that it was not for any worldly gain but for ''Atma sakshatkar'' (self realization ) - it obviously made him happy and he had advised me that once the mantra died down , I had to do self study , and pursue a path of Jnana , and at the appropriate time I would get a higher initiation into Non dual Vedanta - he did not give any Vedantic initiation as such , but told me that I have to continue studies and the mantra would take to Jnana , and meditation would set in and that I did not possess the basic qualities of Yama ,Niyama,Asteya,Aparigraha etc and that I had to practice this in day to day life till I was capable of receiving knowledge - since it was a very subtle science .  It was subsequent to all this that I took up sannyasa . In later years it became meditation by thought since experience had taught me the lie inherent in silence . It fascinated me and still fascinates me how quickly people say that they are ''in silence'' . It took me full 20 years before I could shut off my internal dialogue at will . Now I am meditating .

Meditation is in my view, a state of being rather than doing, peaking thought free intuitive attention, then resting it and simply allowing...the divine energy to flow, within. In lived reality.

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