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
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