Meditation Tips

According to Amma, the purpose of meditation is “to become love, to experience that Oneness.” The steps to realize this include the goal of making the mind one-pointed, the essence of all spiritual disciplines. Here are a few meditation tips from Amma, from the book “108 Quotes on Meditation":

  • “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 the spine is erect. Then close your eyes and focus on your breath.”
  • “You can start to meditate by focusing on the form of your Beloved Deity or the formless, for example, the light of a candle. If the mind wanders, bring it back. If you are unable to do that, then it is enough to watch where the mind is going. The mind should be kept under observation. Then it will stop running around and come under your control.”
  • “Even when you meditate on the name or form of a God, Goddess or Amma, you are, in fact, meditating on your own Self—not on some external object.”
  • “Sit and gaze at the form of your Beloved Deity for two minutes. Then, close your eyes and visualize the Deity’s form in your heart. Meditate by focusing the mind either on the spot between the eyebrows or in the heart. Whenever the form fades away, gaze again at the picture. Even though the picture is made of paper and ink, imagine that it is filled with consciousness. We can attain the Real only through the unreal. Because we are immersed in the unreal, we forget the Real. Through a picture we can be reminded of the Real.”
  • “If you can see with a subtle eye, you will find that there’s a gap between thoughts. This gap is thinner than a hair’s breadth, but it’s there. If you can keep the thoughts from flowing without control, as they do now, this gap will increase. This is possible only in a meditative mind that concentrates on a single thought. In meditation, the mind must dwell on the one single thought, not on many thoughts.”
  • “Don’t try to still your mind by force when you sit for meditation. If you do that, the thoughts will rise with ten times their original power. Try to find out from where the thoughts arise and control them with that knowledge.”
  • “Negative thoughts may arise during meditation. If this happens, you should think, “O mind, is there any benefit in cherishing such thoughts? Do they have any value?” You should think in this way and thereby reject unnecessary thoughts.”
  • “When thoughts pass through your mind during meditation, watch them but do not relate to them. Don’t cling to them. As the thoughts pass through your mind, try to develop the ability to stand back as a witness. This will make your mind strong.”
  • “Always remember in your heart that God is Love. By meditating on the embodiment of Love, you yourselves will become this Love.”
  • “Any spiritual practice you do benefits the entire world. The vibrations from your japa (repeating a mantra), chanting, and meditation, purify the atmosphere as well as your own mind. Without even being aware of it, you spread peace and quietude to those who come in contact with you.”

In addition, Amma brings an even broader definition to meditation: “Meditating doesn’t just mean sitting in a lotus pose with your eyes closed. Meditation also means to selflessly serve people who are suffering, to console those who are in distress, and to smile at someone and say a few loving words.”

To conclude, all forms of meditation may benefit from something outside of the practice itself—and that is how we live our lives before and after meditation. This includes our mindset as we move through our day, and our attitude toward life and others. Amma says, “By changing the common misconception—that our problems are in the outer situations of life—we can remove our problems once and for all. Understand that the difficulties are within your own mind. Once you become aware of this, you can begin the process of removing your inner weaknesses. Meditation is the method that is used to achieve this. Only the inner silence, stillness, and relaxation that we gain through meditation will help.”

The book “108 Quotes on Meditation” can be purchased from the Amma Shop. To learn Amma's Integrated Amrita Meditation (IAM®), please CLICK HERE to see the current online courses available. Also, Amma offers the White Flower Meditation for World Peace—the digital download of the CD is available online through the Amma Shop in many languages.