Concentration, Meditation and Self Realization

What Meditation is not?

A person who received a certificate from a meditation program doesn’t even know what true meditation is or what it should feel like because they themselves have never experienced it.  They can only teach what they have been trained to teach. They will tell you that focusing on your breath is meditation. Focusing mentally on your breath is not meditation.  It is concentration.  We might say it is one of the simplest forms of meditation or a meditation for beginners, but in the true sense it is concentration. In Hindi it is called dharana and it is the sixth limb of Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga ( eight limb yoga) that begins with yam (basic moral values), niyam (discipline), pranayama (breathing techniques), asan (yoga poses), pratyahar (withdrawing of senses), dharana (concentration), Dhyan (meditation) , and finally samadhi ( the merging of one’s consciousness with Super consciousness/self realiztion/Brahman).
Uninterrupted concentration is a precursor to meditation and for ones who can train themselves to focus effectively, it forms a robust substratum for meditation. One can benefit tremendously from a regular 30 minute session of focusing on ones inhalation and exhalation. There are three ways to do this:

  1. Just observe your natural inhalation and exhalation without trying to manipulate it.
  2. Inhale and as you do, mentally count slowly to 10 and as you exhale do so mentally to a count of 10. Pause for a moment and inhale again.
  3. Inhale slowly as you mentally chant SOoooooo and as you exhale slowly mentally chant Hummmm.

If done with sincerity you can experience the benefits immediately. You might feel more grounded, centered, calm, positive and have more clarity, better deeper sleep, compassion, kindness and forgiveness. It can help build a higher  threshold  for handling stress for negativity around oneself. Try to extend this ability to focus to everything you do. If you’re at home with your family don’t think about work and when you’re at work don’t think about home. Train yourself to give your 100% focus to whatever it is you are doing. The problem we all face today is that whatever task we are performing  in a given moment, it doesn’t have our full attention because  our attention has drifted to the next task instead of the one we are currently involved with. Trataka is another example of external concentration. In Trataka one focuses without blinking on the flame of a ghee lamp. Mantra chanting with rosary beads is yet another example of concentration. In a nutshell- trying to get the mind to focus is concentration.


Self Realization
This pictorial representation comes closest to attempting to explain self realization

Now what is meditation? 

In very simple terms- uninterrupted focus leads to the state of mediation.

Just as a certified meditation expert cannot really teach meditation but only provide some guidance, even so – a person who has experienced the highest Brahman state /self realization cannot teach another being how to meditate or attain self realization or what self realization feels like.

Why is it difficult to explain?

Because self realization is experienced through one’s consciousness not through the senses.  There are many words to describe every feeling one experiences through the senses, but there are no words to describe the state of Brahman. They can only attempt to describe what it should feel like and still fail for lack of words.

As I write this I realize I am struggling to best explain this experience of Brahman. It is happiness without cause but a very grounded happiness.  But then again it is a state of neither happiness nor sorrow, neither ambition nor inertness, neither action nor inaction, neither compassion nor apathy, devoid of anger, devoid of indifference, devoid of desire, devoid of restlessness. The state of Brahmi is one of silent contentment, peace, ecstasy, equanimity and pure love all at the same time that spontaneously emanates from within in the absence of an external source or cause.  That is my very feeble and inadequate attempt to even begin to explain the experience of Brahman or self realization. The realization that the world is false and the only truth is our pure, divine nature bursting with unconditional grounding love. That is the state of being self realized.

In my next article I will touch upon some guidance tips for higher meditation.

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. .
    Oct 01, 2017 @ 16:01:23

    Thanks for sharing such an invaluable knowledge.


  2. suresh babu
    Oct 01, 2017 @ 18:38:36

    Well explained.It shows your dedication to the subject and your attempt to bring others into it and experience it.Ithink the 2nd method may work well and if it is with Gyan Mudra it will give better result.


    • yachna
      Oct 01, 2017 @ 19:28:58

      Thank you Suresh babu. When an individual is ready he will seek out the path himself. And then he or she will be a sincere receptacle for knowledge.


  3. Dr. Kusum P
    Oct 02, 2017 @ 09:53:51

    Do you have this self realization experience 🙏🏼

    Sent from my iPhone


    • yachna
      Oct 03, 2017 @ 05:32:09

      Yes I did experience it for three days straight but didn’t know what it was that I had experienced. When I started reading scriptures 5-7 years later that is when I found that the description of Brahman experience in the scripture is exactly what I had experienced. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagvad Gita that material wealth gets exhausted and in every lietime we have to work to build it again, but spiritual wealth never dies. If you are on the journey to self realization , but could not achieve it in a lifetime then in a next birth you pick up where you left of. You don’t have to start all over again. This explains why some people may be on this path for 50 years and not experience self realization and some may spontaneously experience it based on the work in previous life.


  4. Surendranath Karwanyun
    Oct 03, 2017 @ 03:39:35

    I am in receipt of an article from Yachna Yoga after almost an year. Please continue in the same stream as you have promised in the artice as the subject is very close to my heart.



    • yachna
      Oct 03, 2017 @ 05:43:22

      Thank you for your encouragement. There are a miniscule amount of people in this world who are truly desirous of knowledge on going back to the cause that has no cause-Brahman/God. I am surprised at the number of responses I have received for this article since my stats show that most readers are looking for info on increasing material wealth not spiritual wealth 🙂


  5. cbouajila
    Oct 08, 2017 @ 14:55:37

    I enjoyed reading about your experiences. You communicate well. I do not think it is a “feeble or inadequate” articulation, especially of something so beyond words! Keep sharing.


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