By Swami Prajñananda
Deep and easy. This is the specialty of Svaroopa® Vidya Meditation. Even first-time meditators often experience deep meditative absorption in their very first meditation. We call this “dropping in.” You sit and repeat the mantra (your tool for meditation). After only a few repetitions, you settle into a deeper dimension within yourself.
The first few times you “drop in,” you may think you fell asleep. But this is not the same as sleep. Instead of going into unconsciousness, you are delving into Consciousness-Itself. When you open your eyes after your meditation, you feel more energized, expanded and settled within. This is something different than sleep. This is the beginning of your awakening.
Awakening is a good description because you progressively become more aware as you continue meditating. Awake means “to become conscious or aware of something.” That is what happens when you meditate — you become aware of something. You become aware of your own Divine essence, which is pure, whole and complete. Yoga calls this your Self. Svaroopa® Vidya Meditation gives you easy access to your own essence, your own Self.
This experience changes how you feel within yourself, even when you’re not meditating. You feel better, more alive and more you. Yet you may not know how you got to that deeper level or how to stay there. You plunge in and then, like a cork in water, you bob out. Inside and outside seem disconnected. How do you bridge that gap?
When I first started meditating, I was a school teacher. I squeezed all my yoga practices into the morning before my 8 am start time. It was a tight schedule. Everything was planned down to the minute, so when I finished meditating, I would jump up! And then I was off to the next thing on my list. There was no time for me to linger after my meditations. So, I felt a disconnect between my meditation seat and my day-to-day life.
You can extend your meditations beyond your mediation seat. Simply linger after your timer goes off. When you open your eyes, contemplate your meditation experience for a few minutes. Notice how you feel. Linger in the afterglow. This is one of the reasons why we recommend journaling after every meditation. It helps you to linger longer in your meditation.
Lingering is described by K.semaraaja in the Pratyabhij~nah.rdayam:
Samaadhi-sa.mskaaravati vyutthaane bhuuyo bhuuya”s-cid-aikyaamar”saan-nityodita-samaadhi-laabha.h.
— Pratyabhij~nah.rdayam 19
The permanent state of absorption is cultivated by dwelling on one’s own identity with consciousness (Chiti) over & over again.
— Translated by Swami Nirmalananda
The sage K.semaraaja explains that not only is it possible to linger in your meditation, you can cultivate a “permanent state of absorption.” He is describing a pathway to Self-Realization. You can realize and live in this knowingness of who you are at the deepest level of your being.
You can practice Self-Knowingness. It starts with meditation. You repeat mantra and dive deep within to experience your own Divine essence. When you finish your meditation period, instead of jumping up and out, linger and deepen down and in. Instead of leaving meditation for the world, extend your awareness to include the world without losing who you are. This is the state the great Masters have described through the ages. But it is not exclusive to those who lived in the past. This is possible for you too. To make this a reality, in the here and now, meditate. Meditate and linger in your own essence. Take that knowing and being of who you are with you into the world and into your life. Cultivate Self-Knowingness.