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Acharya Ji, why don't you suggest meditation techniques?
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
6 min
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Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, why don’t you suggest meditation techniques?

Acharya Prashant (AP): When you were in the Ganga, were you querying about what water is? The fish asked the ocean, “So when am I going to be schooled about water?”

Since four days, what else have you done except meditation? But you have images of meditation, right? Somebody with his head buried in the sand and legs trying to shoot down the sky, that is meditation?

You are meditative right now. If the fish feels that she does not know water, then she suffers a punishment. The punishment is that she comes out of the water to search for water. If you will not know that this is meditation, then you will break out of this and go into non-meditation.

To look into your life, to be honest about your experiences, what else is meditation?

But this meditation is dangerous because it doesn’t spare any corner of your existence. You have to be continuously watchful, you have to look at everything and everybody. So, this meditation is a very inclusive meditation. This meditation is a very continuous meditation. You don’t even want to call it meditation because it will consume your entire life. It will burn down the ego to ashes. So, you don’t even want to call it meditation, right?

You’d rather call that meditation which is practiced in a corner of your being, in a corner, and for a limited time. You devote one corner of your house to meditation and one hour of your day to meditation, and that you safely and confidently call 'meditation'. And that is not meditation at all, that is a dirty escape from the 'innate meditativeness of life'.

Q: Acharya Ji, sitting in meditation and watching the breath isn’t good for relaxation?

AP: Why are you pushed to a point where you need to relax? Why are you living a life that tires you down so much that you need to relax? And by pursuing this method of relaxation, are you not protecting that needless life? Physical exhaustion is understandable. If you work physically hard throughout the day, the body is tired. But when you talk of these methods of meditation and the relaxation associated with them, you are talking of mental relaxation, right? Why is your life such that your mind is tired and bored and heavy? Why are you pursuing such a life and such a profession? Why is relaxation necessary at all?

It’s man’s natural state to be relaxed.

The body can get tired, why is the mind getting tired? Why are you living that kind of life? If your body is tired and you want somebody to massage you, that’s alright. But if you say now, "My mind is tired", then I will question the life that you are living, not ask you to meditate, not give you a method of relaxation. That method of relaxation is evil because it is perpetuating the evil life that you are leading.

Somebody asked me, “You keep speaking, don’t you get tired?” Something of that sort. And it’s the same thing that I said. My throat indeed does get tired. But the mind is… I won’t even call it fresh. It’s just what it always is. I sometimes speak for five, even ten hours a day. That has happened. Three meetings and then a couple of sessions. That too. The body aches terribly. The throat, the back of the neck, they pain. But the mind? Is the mind tired? Never! The mind is alert and watchful and seated as always.

Running a massage center is an infinitely honorable profession than running a meditation center. Massaging is real service, not meditation!

Q: So how can you erase the strain on the mind and the need for mediation whilst living a normal 9 to 5 job?

AP: Yeah, of course, the kind of jobs that most people are involved in will simply wear them down. Are they 9 to 5 anymore? I thought since 2008 they are 9 to 8.

Q: It’s just a phrase.

AP: It’s just a phrase, right? It occupies the entire 24-hour cycle. The phrase must be honest so that it doesn’t mislead you. The phrase is not divine. Man made it, and man can then refine it and modify it. At least in India, it’s not 9 to 5. Not even in the West, I suppose.

Don’t ask for cosmetic treatments. Hit at the root itself. You walk on thorns and then you apply some ointment, some dressing to your feet only to enable you to walk the next day again on thorns. Slowly, you will get gangrene. The leg itself would be amputated.

Pain serves a very important purpose, please, and that is why I am totally against wisdomless treatments of pain. In physical nature, why does pain exist? What purpose does pain serve, please tell me?

Pain tells you that you have gone wrong somewhere. Pain tells you, "Do not repeat what you are doing." When something pains you, you cannot use it, right? That’s how pain operates in the body. If the fingers are in gross pain, can you use them? Which means stop using the fingers the way you have been using them.

But what do you do? You come up with cosmetic treatments, the so-called methods of meditation. And now the finger is still internally unhealthy but you are—through cleverness, through trickery—making it work. What will happen to the fingers? They’ll slowly just keep dying. Pain does not come for no reason. Pain comes so that you know that you are not living, walking rightly.

Acknowledge pain, and be more loving and sensitive towards yourself. You don’t need to lead a life of suffering. You’re not obliged to keep inviting pain.

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