[You will notice that I am taking an almighty amount of time in coming to the ‘Method’ of doing Dhyaan. But believe me, All these preliminaries are Absolutely Necessary before We can go onto that.
Dhyaan, literally, means Paying Attention. But will paying undivided attention, even to a Sacred Verse, bring out its Deepest and Richest meanings, the Mysteries of the Universe? By Our Own Effort? Using Our Brain? Our Limited, Finite Brain? Aha!
Considering that Dhyaan is ‘Silencing’ the Mind, Just How is it that We Strive to Pay Attention to, say, a Flame, Our Breathing, the Sensations, or a Verse? Is that not putting the Mind to Work? The Opposite of Silencing the Brain? …Thus All these preliminaries!]
GAD is Being with God, Walking with God, being In Contact with God, Knowing what He wants, and Allowing Him to Do it In and Through Us!
The Great Patanjali had said in his Yoga-Sutra:
[Yogash – Yoga Is, Citta – Broadly, the Mind., Vritti – Revolving, Nirodhah – Stopping. Thus, Yoga is the Stopping of the Revolving of the Mind.]
We All have Our Pet Projects, Problems and Banes. And they are not actually Too many. What happens is that the Mind keep on going round and round the Same points, points that it had thought of earlier, – Without making any meaningful progress in them, again and again, Ad Infinitum.
Here is an interesting picture of the Active Mind(!)
Graphic from: debifeinman.com
Patanjali says: “If We can Succeed in Stilling this tendency of the Mind – that is, going round and roung the same points, then We would have Achieved Union with God, namely Yoga.” Yoga after all means Union.
That Union with God is the Aim and Objective of GAD.
Let us see it from another perspective, a Very Christian point of view.
It will be remembered that in the Christian definition of Prayer, it is said to be Talking to God, And Listening to Him.
And if We recall, We will see that We have said to God: “I Adore You, I Praise You, I Thank You, I want this and that from You,” and what not, Ad Nauseam. For How many Seconds have We Succeeded in Trying to Listen to Him?
It will be accepted that God would want to Talk to Us, too. If We had succeeded in Listening to Him, We would have learnt the Meaning of Love, Peace and Happiness.
To Listen to Anybody, one has to Ignore Any and Every Other Input. If I am to listen to You fully, I have to switch off my phones, may be Instruct my secretary not to allow me to be Interrupted, the same on the Home front, etc, etc. That was why our ancients took to the Forests (and Hills), became ‘Vaan-prast,’ for the Isolation and the Silence.
This works fairly easily and well when We have somebody in front of Us, Speaking. In the Absence of Active Inputs, as in the case of Trying to Listen to God, where one does not have any ‘point’ to concentrate on, this becomes very difficult.
But, Difficult or not, Listening to God, and Knowing His Mind, His Love for me, His Plans for me, etc, and getting and having the Strength to Live according to them, – from Him, is the Aim and Objective of GAD.
Thus, Silencing the Mind and ‘Listening’ to God is the Aim and Target of Dhyaan, particularly GAD.
Various Techniques and Methods become Important to ‘Silence’ the Mind, not just in GAD, but in All Classical methods of Yoga, Zen and Vipassna! We shall examine these Methods in the next post.