How can one meditate?


Meditation is a step by step process and the sadhak (seeker) should start the process with Ashtanga Yoga, the first being Yama and then gradually move on to the next step.

If you think that closing the eyes and trying to stop the mind is meditation, then you can try it. But you will not be successful unless you have developed very strong willpower. Without the power of anashakti, vairagya or non-attachment, meditation is very difficult to practise. If you are not attached to the experiences of the senses, ego, buddhi (intellect), chitta (memory) and manas (rational mind), then you can experience spontaneous meditation. However, unless and until that happens you will have to work through the practices systematically, stage by stage.

Citing from Dharana Darshan: Yogic, Tantric and Upanishadic Practices of Concentration and Visualization by Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati:

Meditative Process

Recording to the theory and concept of yoga, meditation X x is a state of mind and consciousness in which there is alertness, dynamism, dissociation of mind and senses, and total concentration. It is definitely not a process to block out events or experiences which are, constantly affecting us. In the Raja Yoga Sutras the process of meditation has been divided into eight stages: (i) yama (self-restraint), niyama (fixed rules), (iii) asana (posture), (iv) pranayama (breath control), (v) pratyahara (sensory withdrawal), (vi) dharana (concentration), (vii) dhyana (meditation) and (viii) samadhi (transcendental consciousness).

Importance of Concentration in meditation:

Concentration is one-pointedness of mind, the ability to hold the awareness of the mind on one point, one place, without wavering. The perfection of concentration leads to meditation. In the state of concentration, the mind is not aware of the external environment or of other peripheral things that surround the object of concentration.

Ability to concentrate

Concentration is spoken of in the Katha Upanishad (2:3:11) where it is explained by Yama, the Lord of Death, to Nachiketas, a young seeker:

The firm control of the senses and the mind is the yoga of concentration. One must be ever watchful for this yoga is difficult to acquire and easy to lose.

Note: “The question: How can one meditate?” is licensed by Stack Exchange Inc (; user contributions licensed under CC BY-SA.