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Meditation: Signs of Progress & How to identify a Real Vision from a False One

Hope that you have read my introductory post on Raja Yoga as being one of the four paths to Divinity  prescribed in Hinduism. In this post, I want to delve briefly into some basic aspects of meditation. [Note: I am not a follower or a devotee of Sri Paramahansa Yogananda but I find his teachings deeply inspiring on the spiritual path and I try to make a sincere attempt to study his teachings.]

Meditation: The Importance of Being Receptive

This is beautiful saying from Sri Paramahansa Yogananda: "The man who has the power of receptivity quickly grasps everything. People with no receptivity maybe exposed to the same experiences or information, yet not really see nor fully comprehend what is there. Your experiences bring wisdom according to the cup of your receptivity."

                                                                                [Image:Unsplash]

Guru Mayi Chidvilasananda, renowned among the Siddha Yoga practitioners, says: "There is no honeymoon phase in Sadhana. You don't receive the Guru's attention one day and lose it the next. Grace is abundant. It all depends on how much you expose your heart to grace, how much you hide your heart from grace. As long as your heart is completely open to the Guru and to all those who carry the flame of God in their hearts, as long as you are saturated with the longing to experience the Truth, you have absolutely nothing to fear."

Meditation: How to identify a real vision from a false one?

According to Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, you may see real visions and premature manifestations of imagery when you first undertake meditation. So, how can you know what is real and what is false when you are new to the practice of meditation?

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda indicates that it takes considerable effort, practice and sadhana to get real visions. So, if you start experiencing visions almost from day one of meditation, it is likely to be a false manifestation. Again, this is an experience that you have to analyze and judge, that is not for me to do. The reason that I am sharing this tip with you is so that you are aware of it while undertaking meditation.

To ensure that you are not prone to false imagery, there are two important tips to keep in mind while meditating as per Sri Paramahansa Yogananda's teachings:

1. Keep the eyes half-open and fixed firmly at the point between the eyebrows - that is the seat of concentration and super conscious perception.

2. During meditation, do not love or desire visions more than God. This simply means that do not push in your material or personal requests while you are undertaking meditation.

Meditation: Seven Signs of Progress

For those practising meditation, how will they know they are on the right track? 

The following are the seven signs of progress in meditation based on Sri Paramahansa Yogananda's writings:

1.  An increasing peacefulness during meditation.

2. A conscious inner experience of calmness in meditation metamphorsing into increasing bliss.

3. A deepening of one's understanding and finding answers to one's questions through the calm intuitive state of inner perception.

4. An increasing mental and physical efficiency in one's daily life.

5. Love for meditation and the desire to hold on to the peace and joy of the meditative state in preference to attraction to anything in the world.

6. An expanding consciousness of loving all with unconditional love that one feels towards one's dearest loved ones.

7. Actual contact with God, and worshipping God as ever new Bliss felt in meditation and in His omnipresent manifestation within and beyond all creation.

I have also read Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (known and revered as AMMA) saying that when you progress in sadhana, particularly in meditation, you will sense a power of being able to manifest a thought into an immediate reality. What she conveys is that suppose you have been meditating regularly. After a point, when a thought crosses your mind, it will manifest itself almost immediately as reality. That, she indicates, is a test for sincerity. If you are steadfast and sincere, you will be very careful about your thoughts and you will learn to control the flow of thoughts towards God alone. 

Hope you found this post on meditation useful. If you are practicing meditation, have you had any visions, interesting experiences that you would like to share with like minded people here? I would also love to know any meditation tips that  you recommend based on your experience.

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