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Religious and Spiritual Practices




Page: 6/32

Hindu Books > Books By David Frawley > Hinduism : The Eternal Tradition, Sanatana Dharma > Religious And Spiritual Practices

Page6

Does Meditation Have Prerequisites?

Meditation is not something that anyone can do at any time. Like any profound practice it requires a certain foundation and particular way of life. Meditation, which is directing the mind towards mergence in God or Ultimate Reality, cannot be done unless one's life is oriented properly.

To properly practice meditation requires first of all a foundation of ethical living. One should hold to the universal ethics of non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, control of sexual energy and non-attachment. One should practice a daily life of cleanliness, contentment, austerity, self-study and surrender to God. These are the preliminary practices of Yoga (Yamas and Niyamas) as defined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras, the classic text on Yoga. Naturally one cannot follow all these perfectly in the beginning but they should be the guiding principles of our behavior.

These prerequisites mean that we should live a clean, simple and quiet life, that we should not be pursuing name, fame or pleasure, that we should have emotional peace of mind, that we should have right relationship and be doing a vocation which is helpful to others.

Sitting in a comfortable posture (Asana), calm control of the breath (Pranayama), withdrawing the mind from sensory distractions (Pratyahara) and concentrated attention (Dharana) are the yogic practices on which meditation is built and these should also be done appropriately so as to facilitate meditation.




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