During every moment of the day, in whatever way, in whatever place, fix one’s attention between two breaths. The mind will be deprived of the means of support, and in a few days, one will be free.Verse 51
How to do this technique
- It is not usually sufficient only to practice a sitting meditation for reaching God. Progress will be slow.
- While practicing a sitting meditation, one is trying to maintain awareness of the present moment.
- It is important to maintain this awareness, this meditative attitude throughout the day. Practicing a sitting meditation for half an hour a day, and then letting the mind wander freely for the rest of the day will not be effective.
- When we practice a sitting meditation, the mind is stilled to an extent. If we then let the mind wander freely for the rest of the day, most of the benefit of the sitting meditation will be lost. The next day when we practice a sitting meditation, we will be starting almost from zero.
- That is why it is important not only to practice a sitting meditation, but also to try and ·remain aware throughout the day. To try and keep the mind quiet for the rest of the day. Progress will then be very rapid.
- Focussing one’s awareness in the gap between two breaths is a very powerful meditation practice. It has been given as a sitting meditation in Verses 24-26.
- In this meditation, one has to be aware of the gap between two breaths during every moment of the day. Simply be aware of the breath. Then you will be aware of the breath and the gap between two breaths. in whatever way. Do whatever it takes for you to be aware of the gap between two breaths.
- Be determined. Don’t give up. The more firm you are in your intent, the more determined you are, the easier it will be for you to maintain awareness. in whatever place. Wherever you are, whether you are having a bath, eating dinner, or talking to someone, remain aware of the gap between two breaths.
- This is what meditation is really about. To be in a meditative state means to be aware. And one should be aware throughout the day. Then you are truly practicing meditation through every moment of the day.
- You will find it easier to be aware (of the gap between two breaths, or anything else), when you are alone. Even if you are walking or driving a car. It becomes tougher to remain aware when you are talking to someone else. It becomes tougher still when you are watching television. In whatever situation you find yourself in during the day, you must try and remain aware of the gap between two breaths. That is what this verse is teaching us.
- The mind will be deprived of the means of support. When something is not used, it becomes weaker.
- This is easily noticed in the case of the muscles of our body. If we fracture our left arm, the arm will have to be in plaster for a few weeks.
- We will not be able to use the arm during this time. When the plaster is finally removed, one will notice that the left arm is a little thinner than the right arm.
- Since the muscles of the left arm were not used for a few weeks, they will be weaker than the muscles of the right arm. The mind works similarly. For the mind to exist the way it currently does, it has to continuously move from thought to thought. When the mind is not used, when the flow of thoughts is stopped, the mind becomes quiet on its own.
- By focussing the mind on the breath, we stop the mind from thinking. The mind needs thoughts to survive. When we stop the flow of thoughts, the support for the mind is gone. Then the mind on its own becomes quiet and in a few days, one will be free.
- Practices like this one, where we try and maintain awareness throughout the day, take us very rapidly to God. Sometimes even days are not required. In a few hours or even minutes, one is free.