Published: 10/01/2014 - Updated: 11/03/2014
Transcendental meditation is the art of training the mind. This definition could be very exact and clear, yet when one tries to meditate without a guide or teacher, achieving this art could be difficult, although not impossible.
The master’s purpose, as well as that of our guides, is to show us the inspiration and the path necessary to fulfill an understanding or development of an ability. When the master transmits this understanding to their disciple and motivates the disciple to grow and carry it to their practice, the master has then fulfilled his mission. The master must know very clearly that his/her mission is not to know, but to learn to make understanding more and more practical, clear, and comprehensible for others. Once they achieve it, the master or guide then turns into a being worthy of appreciation and admiration from his/her disciple.
However, the master is not always gifted with clear understanding, and this lack of understanding could interfere with the transmission of knowledge. A lot of times teachers grow, however, when they try to teach the little they know and, although their knowledge may be somewhat confusing, their desire to transmit this knowledge could awaken in them an internal knowledge that was carried inside. Therefore, let us remember the proverb: “learn to teach, and in teaching you will learn”. There is nothing like the experience of polishing knowledge. And that’s why it is well worth it sometimes to be our own teacher, because by teaching ourselves something we awaken knowledge that was once snuffed out inside us.
Transcendental Meditation and your interior master
Meditation has been misunderstood: some people think it is about sitting in forced postures, other believe it is to battle thoughts about things, others do whatever they can to silence the world and to find the perfect place, etc. That doesn’t mean this is necessarily bad, but all you need to do to know if you are meditating correctly or incorrectly, is to simply observe the results.
Meditation is meant to train the mind. This means that with a more trained mind one begins to have more will, more creativity, more focus on what they do, and more fulfillment in all aspects of their life. If this doesn’t happen, meditation is only producing a placebo effect to “mask” moments with something “positive” or, also, the meditation might be turning into a way of escaping from what you don’t want to see and understand.
Meditation consists of training, it is not meant for escaping, nor forcing, nor creating rituals. If you think that in spite of your meditation you still don’t have the goodwill or the life that you deeply want, then perhaps you still haven’t found an experienced guide, and you are forcing yourself, escaping or embellishing yourself with meditation. So: you don’t need to wait for a guide, a yogi, or an expert master to appear in order to begin meditating. You must know that you have an interior guide. There is something very deep inside you that is very wise and knows perfectly well how to meditate. You have had it from birth, and even as a baby you had a very close connection with it. Perhaps all you need are certain keys to be able to make contact with this knowledge, and to be able to carry out a meditation that deeply transcends your life. Yogis and all masters have learned how to connect with their internal wisdom.
What is mind training?
It is difficult to train a horse if you don’t know what a horse is. How are you going to train your mind if you don’t know what it is?
One very practical and simple way of understanding the mind is to say that the mind is equivalent to everything you think. Saying that you are going to train your mind means saying that you are going to train your thoughts.
If you observe, the majority of your thoughts throughout the day are uncontrolled. They pass through like shooting stars, at all sorts of speeds. You barely think one thing when another thing pops in “on top”. A trained mind knows how to focus itself in one thought and keep it there until it becomes reality, which means, until it materializes.
One very good exercise for beginning to train the mind is simply to observe what you think throughout the day. Osho says that meditation is being the witness. This is a very simple term for understanding how to effectively meditate: be the witness. As a child you were the witness to what went on around you. Your mind was not full of any information or data. It was clean, there was no relation between “good” or “bad” concepts, so you had the pleasure of screaming, crying, laughing, and doing whatever you wanted, when you wanted. No behavior was associated with anything good or bad.
To be the witness to your mind is to begin to witness what you feel and what you live throughout your day. To be a witness is not to judge. You cannot be judge and witness at the same time. So one way of starting to train your mind is to begin not by removing your judgement, but by simply seeing things without the filter of your point of view or your opinion. This is undoubtedly very difficult to do at first, because the mind always wants to defend itself and leave out other judgement. But if you begin to do this, you will see that little by little, you will begin to discover for yourself a very interesting path for meditating.