Meditation is meant for integrating and bringing fulfillment in our day to day life activities. It is to clean the mental toxins. It has nothing to do with philosophy. Philosophy came later into the meditation for different purpose, mainly to attract mind oriented people. However, Bhagavad Gita meditation is much more real and much more practical. Bhagavad Gita meditation deepens our understanding for skillful actions and for wise choices in life. Bhagavad Gita taught us to be wiser, and to be happier, as a better person, a better spouse, family man, parent, child, sibling, colleague, neighbor and world citizen.
According to the Bhagavad Gita the knowledge of the field (body) and the knower of the field (the consciousness) is the true knowledge.
“This body, Kaunteya, is called the field;
this one who knows the nature of the field,
is known as the knower of the field.
And also this knower of this field is the knower of all fields,
knowledge of this field and the knower of the field, is the true knowledge. “
– Bhagavad Gita [13.1-3]
When you want to meditate, first, wash your feet. This is the first step of all Hindu meditations. In meditation your body must feel fresh, comfortable, relaxed and clean. Taking a shower or even washing your face, hands and feet will give you a fresher feeling. In the morning, your body must feel comfortable for meditation. You can empty the bladder and bowels first and then prepare for meditation. Bhagavad Gita [6.11] said “Having established a firm seat, let him firmly hold his body, head, and neck erect and still, gazing at the tip of the nose above the lips, without looking around, thinking of pure Love.”
“The supreme Spirit in this body is also known as the observer, allower, supporter, experiencer, the great Lord and the supreme soul.
Whoever thus knows Spirit and nature of the body together with the qualities,
even in any stage of existence, she is not born again.”
This is a good verse for your morning or evening prayers if you choose to include it as a part of your own personal tradition. According to Bhagavad Gita, you don’t need to change your traditions. Be sincere and pray to your chosen God from the depth of your heart. Gita said:
“As the one sun illumines this entire world,
so One Lord illumines all the fields.
Those who know by the eye of knowledge
the distinction between the field and the field knower evaporates,
and gets liberation from nature go to the supreme.”
Relax and stretch the muscles:
A few minutes of easy and gentle yoga exercises can create a vast improvement in the quality of your meditation. Relax your hands and feet, eyes, face and head as if these are part of the field of supreme Lord.
“The supreme God is said to be neither being nor non-being. Everywhere having hands and feet, everywhere eyes, heads, faces, everywhere in the world ears, this stands all pervading.”
Breathing practices (nadi shodhana):
Sit in your chosen meditation posture with your eyes gently closed and the head, neck and trunk straight. Complete three rounds of Alternate Nostril Breathing Exercise (Nadi Shodhana).
“Whoever perceives the same supreme Lord situated in all beings, not perishing in their perishing, this one perceives; for perceiving the same Lord established everywhere,
one does not hurt the soul with the soul. Then one goes to the supreme goal.” – Bhagavad Gita 6.29-30
Relaxation practice (body scanning):
Sitting in your meditation posture, with your eyes gently closed and your head, neck and trunk held straight, inhale and exhale through the nostrils slowly, smoothly and deeply. There should be no noise, jerks or pauses in the breath; let the inhalations and exhalations flow naturally without exertion in one continuous movement. Keep the body still. Mentally travel through the body systemically paying attention to major muscle groups, joints and organs. Move progressively down the body from the crown of the head to the toes and then back up again.
Humility is the Divine state of non-ego. It is the state of selflessness. It is the sate to realize that there is only one God.
Meditation beyond Concentration:
After completing preliminary breathing and relaxation exercises you are ready to meditate. Assume your chosen meditation posture either in a straight back chair or in a traditional seated posture on the floor. Be sure that the head, neck and trunk are straight. Next, apply the “Finger Lock” (the thumb and forefinger together, resting the hands and palms downward). Next apply the “Root Lock” (gently tightening the anal sphincter muscle). With your eyes gently closed, place your attention on the space between your two nostrils (where it meets the upper lip). As you inhale, mentally hear the sound SO and as you exhale, mentally hear the sound HUM. Inhale and exhale approximately for five times with your attention at the bridge between your nostrils using the So-Hum mantra. Notice that your breath has become smooth and calm. Next, inhale and exhale approximately for five times with your attention moving up and down between the your nostrils and the space between the two eyebrows. Continue to listen to the So-Hum mantra. Now, rest your attention on the space between the two eyebrows (approximately one inch deep toward the brain). This is the place at which you will meditate. Sit quietly without any movement and lovingly listen to the sound and vibration of your mantra. As thoughts, images or sounds come into your awareness, do not push them away or become angry with yourself for being a poor meditator. Simply witness any thought that competes with the mantra, willingly sacrifice it to your personal concept of the Divine Reality, and then gently redirect your attention back to your mantra. Continue to listen to the sound of your mantra. Instead of So-Hum mantra one can use “Om” mantra.
Both Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam specifically prescribe the OM mantra meditation in details. It is said “One should manifest in his mind the sound of the Pranava (Om) continuously as the ringing of a bell-as extending uninterruptedly, fine as a fiber of a lotus stalk.” Sri Amit Ray in the book “OM Chanting and Meditation” beautifully explained the subtle aspects of Om meditations in details for the modern readers.
Finishing the meditation:
When you are ready to end your meditation, first bring your mental awareness into the “cave of the heart” (mid-point between the two breasts). With your attention inside the heart center, acknowledge the Divine Reality within, and rest in that fullness. Next, make the transition to external awareness by bringing your cupped hands over your eyes. As you gently open your eyes into your cupped palms, keep your attention on the Divinity that resides within the “cave of the heart” as you silently repeat these words: “Lead me from the unreal to the real.” As you slowly separate the fingers to permit light to reach your awareness, silently say “Lead from the darkness to the light.” Finally, as you slowly place your hands gently on your thighs silently repeat “Lead me from mortality to immortality.”
According to Bhagavad Gita “Mind is the friend Of those who have control over it, mind acts like an enemy For those who do not have control on it;” and meditation is the process of washing the mind by the mind so you have your thoughts are under your control.