|Finding the Time to Meditate|
QUESTION: What advice can you give to one of our meditators who took up meditation to try to get his life in order but can't get his life in order long enough to sit down and meditate?
GURURAJ: Well, that is where discipline comes in. Although meditation itself is effortless, sitting down to meditate requires some little effort like anything else. Everything is effort: you had to make an effort to come here; if you want to go from here to the bathroom you've got to make effort to go there. Everything is effort, but it becomes effortless. For example, if you have to breathe it's an effort, but you're unconscious of it. It's spontaneous and natural to you. For your heart to beat, it's an effort. So everything has to pulsate with energy and energy is effort itself. And directing one's energy to sit down to meditate is effort, but once you get into it you consciously look forward to meditating because it has such a harmonizing, calming effect upon you.
I've been staying at various meditators' homes and when it comes to time to meditate, they look forward to it, but you've got to get into it. So in the beginning, some little effort is required and perhaps some discipline. And then after once you're in it, you just want to meditate because of the mind being taken to deeper and deeper levels of bliss, quietude, and silence. (US 82-65)
Comments on Depression
You will find the following segment to apply to many other things other than depression.
Questioner: Guruji, I think it's fair to say that most, if not all of us, go through periods of depression or despair for one reason or another. At times like these, our whole being seems so full of pain, that we feel unable to cope. We know all about growing through these experiences, we know that the next time it will be easier, but at the time this does not help our gut reaction to whatever has happened. What can one do in really practical terms to cope with that kind of depression, when help seems so inaccessible, and happiness and contentment so very far away?
Gururaj: That is the tragedy of life and that is why teachers come to talk about suffering because depression is suffering. That is what is meant by showing the way, how to get out of this maze, or how to find freedom. If you are standing on a high hill and you see the maze below, then you could see how to get out. You can see both the entrance and the exit. But if you are in the maze, how do you get out? That has always been the eternal question of man. That has always been the eternal quest of man. But that does notmean it is answerless. There is a solution.
First, we know and admit to ourselves that I am the maker of this maze, and I am the person that has put myself into this maze. Through various kinds of repressions, I am suffering these depressions. I am responsible for it, and no one else. But, having done that, what should I do? That is the question. We admit and know that all these our circumstances, be they good, bad, or otherwise, were created by us. What we have sown, we are reaping. We know that. But in the process of reaping, how can we make it easier for ourselves?
Now, of course we will say, meditate but that's not enough. We meditate to give us strength to run around in the maze, to find the way out. But then, also ask yourself, why do I want to be out of the maze? What's wrong with the maze? What's wrong with depression? Let me become more depressed. Now, this sounds odd. Like saying, 'Oh, I've got a pain, so let me have more pain', instead of saying, 'Look, let me do something to alleviate the pain'.
But there's a different meaning to this. The meaning is this: I am depressed because of my own doings, and I know that this very depression is going to be the cure of my depression. Do you see the subtle difference? Do you see how, through that attitude of mind, you are not escaping from yourself?
You may think that it's easy; if you feel depressed just go to the pub and get drunk. But the next morning, you'll be more depressed. That's no way out.
The only way, which any theology or philosophy would teach, is to accept depression for its value, with the knowledge that I am responsible for it and go through the pain. For you know that after the rain, the sun is going to shine. Be assured of that. That is why all theologies, and the major religions of the world speak of hope. It does not speak of escape. If we want to get rid of our depressions with the wave of a wand, we are looking for miracles. Miracles do occur, but do I deserve that miracle? I am only getting what I deserve. And I must only demand that which I deserve and nothing more.
If an understanding is applied to the depression, it lifts away amazingly. And the best way to make that depression disappear is by invoking a higher force or he that represents this higher force, on this planet earth today. So simple; it is just a direction of one's attention. You infuse this power within you and this depression lifts off. You've heard how rain can be made where things are shot up into the sky and clouds gather, and they come down as rain, cool showers of blessings. That can be done. It is so easy.
There are other things associated with the process. First admitting to oneself that I am depressed, and I have brought this upon myself. Second, I am going to do something about it. And you work out a plan of what you are going to do about it. For example, at the end of the month, the rent has to be paid. Today's the fifteenth and I've got to pay the rent for where I live. Now, if you sit at home feeling depressed and thinking, rent, rent, rent, rent, rent, probably it's not going to get paid. Get up and start doing something. Find a job, so that you know at the end of the month, the rent money will be there. That's doing something about it.
To recap the three steps - Analyze the cause of the depression, why am I depressed? Second, infuse action into the analysis. And third, channel the mind, recognizing that I am not strong enough. I am weak in this respect, at this moment, although great strength lies within me. Let me, through this channel, invoke within myself, those energies that act as a balm, soothing, and uplifting. It lifts your depression away. That is uplifting. Otherwise, you don't need to be lifted up, be where you are, on the ground. Uplifting means the removing these depressions and repressions that we have.
If you can't analyze yourself, go to a good friend, who really loves you as a friend, and say, 'Look, I'm feeling terrible, and this, this, this' or go to one of the meditation teachers who are qualified. Analysis of the problem, the will to act on the problem and third, channelling to oneself that force, that energy that can do nothing but uplift. That is the antidote for depression. That takes depression away. Never ever ask for a miracle. Because you know what happens then? That depression becomes more intense and you become more depressed because you are expecting something for nothing, and nothing comes for nothing. And when you do not get that which you expect, you become more depressed. So that is never the way. When all is lost and nothing seems to help, just sit back and become quiet in your meditation, and say, 'Oh well, what to do? It is your will that I need this experience for my own evolution.
I met a man - I might have mentioned this story to you - a man that was in jail for seven years, and he came out of jail a very highly evolved being. The world spat on him, he lost all his friends, he lost his wife. He didn't know who his children were, and yet he came out as a highly evolved person, whom I could embrace and say, 'Come home, brother, you are home'. So many times, we need these experiences and by recognizing the value and accepting the fact that we need these experiences, is half the way to lifting away the depression. So simple. (UK 78-60)