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How Important Is Meditation In Your Faith?


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Question: How important is meditation as a spiritual path in your faith?

Rev. GEOFFREY KERSLAKE is a priest of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Ottawa.

Christian meditation is not something new or a fad. Rather, it is a valued prayer form that goes back 1700 or more years to the hermits in the deserts and is thus an important part of our Catholic Christian tradition. Christian meditation has existed since the early days of the Church as one of three ways of praying: vocal, meditative and contemplative. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us: “The Lord leads all persons by paths and in ways pleasing to him, and each believer responds according to his heart’s resolve and the personal expressions of his prayer. However, Christian Tradition has retained three major expressions of prayer: vocal, meditative, and contemplative. They have one basic trait in common: composure of heart. This vigilance in keeping the Word and dwelling in the presence of God makes these three expressions intense times in the life of prayer” (CCC n. 2699). Although Christian meditation looks superficially like Eastern meditation practices, there is one foundational difference: Christian meditation is always focused on God rather than on eliminating the consciousness of our ‘self’. This is because Christian meditation is a method of prayer and prayer involves entering into a personal, real, relationship with God. Genuine Christian meditation thus helps a Christian to focus on God and to develop a closer, more intimate relationship with Him. There are various ways of practicing Christian meditation and many parishes in Ottawa have a Christian meditation group that meets regularly to learn this prayer method and to pray together.

Rev. RAY INNEN PARCHELO is a novice Tendai priest and founder of the Red Maple Sangha, the first lay Buddhist community in Eastern Ontario.

Meditation practices are so integral to Buddhism, that people often think of the two together, and nothing more than that. This is largely untrue. If we recall the most basic teaching of the Budhha Shakyamuni, we are reminded that his teaching is The Eight Steps to Happiness. Two steps are Complete Attention ( sometimes called mindfulness, meditation as open awareness) and Complete Concentration (sometimes called one-pointed meditation). Thus, these two constitute only one quarter of the core teaching. We should recognize that the Buddha’s teaching provided Eight Steps combined as a Path, an integrated whole. A Buddhist is not free to pick and chose, to do certain steps and ignore the other. Unfortunately, the majority of secular versions of meditation in the West ignore this point and claim that a person can do “Buddhist” meditation with no consideration of the other six or seven steps, most of which have to do with moral behaviour. It would be as ridiculous as someone reducing Christianity to one or two Commandments, ignoring the rest and still claiming to be Christian. Sadly, this noble religious practice is being trivialized as merely a way to relax or as an adjunct to exercise.

Some traditions consider mindfulness as a the main meditative practice, some consider concentrative practices as superior. In my tradition the two are referred to as shi-kan, and considered as two sides of the same coin - each has its value. Again, there is a false impression that the only acceptable Buddhist meditation is sitting cross-legged, staring at a wall for extended periods, such as is associated with the Zen tradition The terms attention and concentration are rather broad, and so, there are many variations on each which are fully accepted forms of Buddhist practice. There are forms of meditation which look like prayer, plain-song chanting, linear walking, calligraphy, sword practice and more.

I would agree with a recent view that meditation, mindfulness and more are actually branches of a larger tree called “contemplative practices”. (For more, search that term on the Web ) This view allows us to see many spiritual practices as contemplative, and all as being inter-related in purpose.

Rev. RICK REED is senior pastor at the Metropolitan Bible Church in Ottawa.

Meditation can be a very important part of a Christian’s spiritual growth, as long as it’s the kind of meditation described in the Bible. Since different faiths have divergent views on meditation, let me give a brief summary of what meditation looks like for a Christian.

From a biblical perspective, meditation is sustained reflection. Meditating involves reviewing, rehearsing or replaying something in your mind. The mind does not become passive but stays very active. Rather than seeking to empty the mind, we seek to focus it.

On what should a Christian focus his or her mind? The Bible tells us to meditate on two things: God’s Word and

God’s works. First of all, we are to meditate on the Word of God, the Bible. Following King David’s example, we are to rehe{censored} God’s decrees, precepts and statutes (Psalm 119:23, 78, 99). Practically speaking, a good way to do this is to memorize one or more verses and then repeatedly review them in order to gain insight and direction.

We are also to meditate on God’s works. Psalm 77:12 highlights this emphasis when it says, “I will meditate on all Your works and consider all Your mighty deeds.” To put this into practice, we might look up at the night sky and meditate on God’s work of creation. We could look back at the cross of Christ and meditate on God’s work of salvation. Or we can look over the course of our own lives and meditate on God’s work of preservation.

In some ways, meditating is like marinating. When we marinate foods, we soak them in a sauce until they take on a mouth-watering flavour. When we meditate, we soak our minds in God’s Word and His works until we begin to take on a life-changing flavour.

ABDUL RASHID is a member of the Ottawa Muslim community, the Christian-Muslim Dialogue and the Capital Region Interfaith Council.

The faculty to meditate is a Divine blessing on human beings. The prophets of God spent considerable time in meditation and contemplation. Islamic emphasis on meditation can clearly been by even a cursory glance through the Holy Qur’n. It invites humanity, again and again, to use this faculty and ponder, contemplate on all that is in and around us (80:18-32, 86:5-7).

Meditation guides us towards those realities that we cannot experience through our ordinary senses. The foremost amongst these is the unity of our Creator, glory be to Him. The Qur’n describes the various facets of the working of the universe (2:164, 3:190, 7:54, 37:20-27). This opens and strengthens a connection between God and the human being.

There are many forms of meditation in Islam. The most common mode of meditation is to remember and praise God Almighty. “For without doubt, in the remembrance of God hearts find satisfaction” (13:28). However, all meditation practices among Muslims revolve around the fundamental obligation of the five daily prayers, which constitute a meditation of the highest order.

The Holy Prophet said that we should visualize the presence of God when we stand to offer the prayer. It is this attitude accompanied by deep contemplation of Divine words being recited during the prayer that send the believer into bowing and prostrating and ends with salutations of peace.

We are told that the “recitation (in the morning prayer) is ever witnessed” (17:78). A Muslim scholar says that “the ‘witness’ to which the Qur’an refers here is the spark of God-given illumination in man’s own soul – the beginning of the inner perception at the time when the darkness and stillness of night begins to give way to the life-giving light of day, so that prayer becomes a means of attaining to deeper insight into the realm of spiritual truths and, thus, of achieving communion with all that is holy.”

Rabbi REUVEN BULKA is head of Congregation Machzikei Hadas in Ottawa and host of Sunday night with Rabbi Bulka on 580 CFRA.

Meditation can be an end in itself, or a means toward an end.

Some people meditate for no other reason than to meditate. The meditation is relaxing. It has been found to be quite beneficial for our health in this highly stressed environment. One could label that type of meditation as an end in itself. That is not to disparage such meditation. It is peaceful, calming, and quite helpful. But it is usually meditation on nothing - just meditating.

There is another type of mediation which is less related to relaxing, and more related to contemplating our purpose in life. This is the meditation that we often refer to as thinking, as taking a time out from the frenetic world to figure out if we are on the right path, and how we can do better with our lives.

That type of meditation is essential to our faith. Judaism is loaded with obligations and opportunities. We are not expected to master everything. That is impossible. What we are asked is to contemplate what are our strengths, what are the abilities with which we have been endowed, and how to bring out the best in our selves as we contemplate why we are in the world.

In other words, we do not take existence for granted, and we do not cavalierly wander into life. Instead we ask questions about where we can best make the highest impact to better the world.

Meditation is a most helpful way of answering these questions. But not only meditation. It also helps to read, to consult with others, mentors who have asked themselves the right questions and have lived lives that nicely reflect the answers they themselves received.

Finally, let’s not forget that personal and communal prayer is a form of meditation. And prayer is a central feature of our faith, any faith. To the extent that the prayer is meditative, to that extent is the prayer likely to be meaningful.

JACK MCLEAN is a Bahá’í scholar, teacher, essayist and poet published in the fields of spirituality, Bahá’í theology and poetry.

Whenever I am asked to prioritize something of high spiritual value—today’s questions concerns meditation—I find myself asking “in relation to what?” If we were concerned only about our own personal spiritual development, we would have to say that meditation has the highest priority since it has great benefits. It clears the mind, brings peace to heart and soul, but most of all, meditation, if directed to problem-solving, can be a most valuable intellectual and spiritual tool. Like a concentrated beam, it focuses, sheds light and reveals secrets.

But as believers, we live in community, and our community exists in the larger world, the global village, that is becoming increasingly one village, at least in terms of media-assisted, instantaneous, international awareness. This international consciousness makes us painfully aware that humanity is in dire straits. How important, then, does meditation become in relation to social action and commitment to assisting in the development of those societies that suffer from hunger, disease, poverty, war, civic strife or catastrophic natural disasters?

And let’s not forget that some of these deplorable conditions exist right here at home. So it seems to me that if our “salvation” has become only a personal affair, a quest that is all about I, me and my, then we risk becoming egocentric, and fail to understanding something vitally important—the organic oneness of the human family—our interconnectedness with all others. Consequently, any time spent in study, meditation, and its companion, prayer, should be well balanced with social action, with a commitment to assist our community and the world, to improve the lot of the less fortunate.

But here some comments of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (1844-1921), the son of the Prophet-Founder, Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892) on today’s question: “Through the faculty of meditation man attains to eternal life; through it he receives the breath of the Holy Spirit. This faculty of meditation frees man from the animal nature, discerns the reality of things, puts man in touch with God. This faculty brings forth from the invisible plane the sciences and arts. Through the meditative faculty inventions are made possible, colossal undertakings are carried out….” ( Paris Talks, p. 174)

BALPREET SINGH is legal counsel and acting executive director for the World Sikh Organization of Canada.

If anyone has followed my answers through this column, they’ll know that meditation is the foundation of the Sikh faith. Meditation on naam, or the name of God, leads the soul to realize and become absorbed within God’s light, which is the ultimate purpose of human life.

Sikhs live by three key principles: to meditate on naam, to earn an honest living and to share what one has with others. Meditation forms the bedrock of a Sikh’s daily life.

When individuals are initiated into the Sikh faith through the Amrit Sinchaar ceremony, they are blessed with naam and taught that meditation and repetition of naam is the path to God. The Sikh code of conduct and articles of faith are in fact tools to make a Sikh’s lifestyle more conducive to reflection and meditation on naam. A Sikh’s distinct identity is in fact a constant reminder of the commitment to live a spiritual lifestyle and to remain focussed on naam.

Sikhs are to rise every day before dawn and to meditate on naam. This can be an individual meditation or collectively with other Sikhs as a congregation. By meditating and remembering God at all times, Sikhs believe the wall of ego is lifted and the individual takes on divine qualities like contentment and compassion. Eventually, with divine grace, God’s light is revealed within and all of creation can be seen to be infused with that same light.

Ideally, meditation is not limited to a particular time of the day, but every breath becomes focussed on naam. Every action is performed as a meditation to bring one closer to God.

A concept that is linked to meditation for Sikhs is seva or selfless service. Sikhs believe that service to humanity is essential and goes hand in hand with meditation. The result of meditation is not to become detached and abandon the world, but in fact to see God in all and to engage with others to make the world a better place.

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/R...h+your+faith/5455873/story.html#ixzz1Z7VaAeVr


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ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
Jul 14, 2007
I think meditation has been given a narrow meaning. In Sikhism meditation does not refer to just remembrance and repetition, but also to contemplation and implementation. Meditation traditionally conjures up a group of people doing simran or yoga or kirtan but I think meditation goes way beyond this :meditation:

How can Sikhs improve their practices in the direction of meditation?

Harry Haller

Panga Master
Jan 31, 2011
When talk turns to meditation, I think of someone cross legged, in a room, with eyes closed and maybe chanting, or concentrating on the name of the creator. It is possible that my perception of meditation is wrong, I do think of the creator quite a lot, quite deeply, but not in a meditative sort of way, more in a questioning way, I work through theories, try and decipher Bani, try and figure out the celestial merry go round, I do this most nights, sometimes for hours on end, I do not find it peaceful in any way, sometimes I get quite excited if I think I may have stumbled over something of interest, and wake my wife, and discuss it with her, it is like I am a drop of water looking for the Ocean, looking for home. always looking....

Sometimes I feel like the crew of Star Trek, space the final frontier, to boldly go where no one has gone before, I have given up finding home, finding the Ocean, I just apply what I have picked up to the next day, the next day becomes home, the Ocean, and then the realisation that there is no Ocean, no home, just today, tomorrow,

I would support SPNadmins question, if this to me is meditation, how can I improve it?,and should I try?
Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada

7 Benefits of Meditation

By Richard Pettinger

Meditation simplifies our outer life and energizes our inner life

1. Happiness. Meditation can help us to cultivate a real abiding happiness. Meditation allows us to be in tune with our inner self. When we live in the heart we can experience a sense of oneness with others, this brings a happiness that does not depend upon outer events.

2. Inner Peace. Most people would like to experience more inner peace in their lives; at times peace feels an elusive quality because our lives are so hectic. Meditation teaches us how to switch off from the noise of the mind, we no longer give importance to the teeming thoughts which fly through our mind. Through meditation we can gain a clear state of mind; this is the secret of feeling a real inner peace.

3. Health Benefits. There have been numerous studies showing a link between meditation and improved physical health. Meditation is a practical solution to relieve stress. When we relieve stress we help to reduce our blood pressure and heart related diseases.

4. Simplicity. Meditation helps to simplify our lives. When we live in the mind we can feel life is nothing but teeming problems and worries. Through learning to meditate we find we can get joy from appreciating the simplicity of life.

“Meditation simplifies our outer life and energizes our inner life. Meditation gives us a natural and spontaneous life, a life that becomes so natural and spontaneous that we cannot breathe without being conscious of our own divinity.”
- Sri Chinmoy

5. Living in the Present. When we analyse the thoughts that go through our mind we find that many of them are dealing with the past or present. We are either fearful of the future or ruminating on the past. However by dwelling on the past or future, it means we are unable to live in the present moment. When we meditate we are completely in the here and now. Meditation teaches us to appreciate life as it is; we learn to value our present circumstances.

6. Better Relations with Others. Often we can have minor conflicts with other people because we dwell on minor faults of the other person. Whether it is justified or not, it is a common source of unhappiness and division. Meditation teaches us to give no importance to minor thoughts. When we meditate powerfully we develop a sense of oneness with other people; we naturally look to their good qualities. Their minor faults seem unimportant.

7. To discover a real sense of who we are. Our intellectual mind can seek to discover the answer to many questions, but the one question of who am I? always remains unanswered. To discover our real self; to be aware of our own soul we have to go beyond the mind. It is in meditation that we can become aware of a living spiritual presence. When we find this we feel a new purpose in life.

source: http://www.spiritualnow.com/articles/73/1/7-Benefits-of-Meditation/Page1.html

Personal Note:

Must be a daily practice. The key is TOTAL FAITH, WILL POWER / DETERMINATION & LIMITLESS PATIENCE to unite the ATMA with PARMATA ( the SOURCE / WAHEGURU )
Every soul has to WALK / LIVE his/her own Spiritual life path, to discover the life purpose!

Recommended basic reading:
1. Bandgi Nama by Raghbir Singh Bir
2. Simran Mehima by Raghbir singh Bir
3. Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss, Ph.D.

Tejwant Singh

Jun 30, 2004
Henderson, NV.
Meditation in Sikhi is not parroting some Mantras day and night and getting up at 3 am as some claim.

Meditation in Sikhi is Awareness, Realisation, Understanding and Acceptance of the message of Gurbani so it can be practiced in real life to makes one's life and others' who come across better.

Meditation in Sikhi is living life through the kaleidoscope of pragmatism.

It is a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on, a handkerchief to wipe someone's tears, arms to embrace for solace, a smile to erase the frown, a laughter to sweep the weep.

The rest is nothing but dogmatic mumbo jumbo.

Tejwant Singh


May 9, 2006
Tejwant ji

I agree with your comments, but seek clarity on what you're describing as dogmatic mumbo jumbo?

Are your saying the practice of chanting, say, Mul Mantra, within Sikhi, by someone with an awareness that it can be a meditative technique (not a means to an end all by itself), who uses these kinds of meditative techniques to attain some of the benefits described by Soul Jyot ji, is engaging in dogmatic mumbo jumbo?

I support that this kind of "Waheguru Waheguru Waheguru Waheguru" naam japna on it's own is completely useless on the Sikh path other than as a meditative practice. You could say "green beans green beans green beans" and get exact same result.

I don't see why we need to abandon this kind of meditation entirely from Sikhi as long as the Sikh is aware it is not the heart and soul of Sikhi (as was my understanding for a very long time until I came here this time last year!!!).


ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
Jul 14, 2007
I support that this kind of "Waheguru Waheguru Waheguru Waheguru" naam japna on it's own is completely useless on the Sikh path other than as a meditative practice. You could say "green beans green beans green beans" and get exact same result.

I had often pondered about this kind of concepts during my earlier days. And with age comes various experiences which transform into deeper understanding. There came a time when I thought the concepts were wrongly applied as one has to deal with subtle mind and the other trying to materialize "green beans" or "water" on the physical. Yet, there came a time when none of these concepts actually mattered. Guru Granth Sahib does talk about many ways of in Asankh pauris and other pages.

This is my own experience and it is kind of personal in nature. Hard to express but I tried.
Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
One Who Calls Himself A Sikh of The Guru, The True Guru - Shabad by Guru Ram Das Ji

One Who Calls Himself A Sikh of The Guru, The True Guru - YouTube

ਮਃ ੪ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਜੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਅਖਾਏ ਸੁ ਭਲਕੇ ਉਠਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥ ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰੇ ਭਲਕੇ ਪਰਭਾਤੀ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਕਰੇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸਰਿ ਨਾਵੈ ॥ ਉਪਦੇਸਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਪੁ ਜਾਪੈ ਸਭਿ ਕਿਲਵਿਖ ਪਾਪ ਦੋਖ ਲਹਿ ਜਾਵੈ ॥ ਫਿਰਿ ਚੜੈ ਦਿਵਸੁ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਗਾਵੈ ਬਹਦਿਆ ਉਠਦਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥ ਜੋ ਸਾਸਿ ਗਿਰਾਸਿ ਧਿਆਏ ਮੇਰਾ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਸੋ ਗੁਰਸਿਖੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਵੈ ॥ {ਪੰਨਾ 305}

FOURTH MEHL: One who calls himself a Sikh of the Guru, the True Guru, shall rise in the early morning hours and meditate on the Lord's Name. Upon arising early in the morning, he is to bathe, and cleanse himself in the pool of nectar. Following the Instructions of the Guru, he is to chant the Name of the Lord, Har, Har. All sins, misdeeds and negativity shall be erased. Then, at the rising of the sun, he is to sing Gurbani; whether sitting down or standing up, he is to meditate on the Lord's Name. One who meditates on my Lord, Har, Har, with every breath and every morsel of food - that GurSikh becomes pleasing to the Guru's Mind. ( Guru Granth Sahib Ji- Panna 305 )

Vaheguru is Gurmantar:

( 1 ) Waheguru Gurmantar Hai - Giani Sant Singh Ji Maskeen 01/02
Waheguru Gurmantar Hai - Giani Sant Singh Ji Maskeen 01/02 - YouTube

( 2 ) http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-sikhi-sikhism/15034-vaheguru-is-gurmantar.html

Tejwant Singh

Jun 30, 2004
Henderson, NV.
Ishna ji,

Guru fateh.

Are your saying the practice of chanting, say, Mul Mantra, within Sikhi, by someone with an awareness that it can be a meditative technique (not a means to an end all by itself), who uses these kinds of meditative techniques to attain some of the benefits described by Soul Jyot ji, is engaging in dogmatic mumbo jumbo?
The beauty of Sikhi is that it has a growth factor for all of us as human beings.

By chanting if you mean listening to and singing along Shabad Keertan at the Gurdwara, at home or on your ipod while taking a stroll and understanding the message, then it is the blissful experience which makes us dance from the within.

It is a true spiritual trance, a kind of inner liberation like a butterfly jumping out of its cocoon with its wings fluttering hurrying to the nearest flower to soak itself in its nectar.

Music has a powerful effect on and in us, that is why our visionary Gurus wrote the Gurbani in Raags.

I support that this kind of "Waheguru Waheguru Waheguru Waheguru" naam japna on it's own is completely useless on the Sikh path other than as a meditative practice.
What good does a meditative practice bring us if the practice itself is considered useless?

You could say "green beans green beans green beans" and get exact same result.
I agree. This is the same as the Muslim with worry beads in their hands or malas that many Hindus and Sikhs use. Any repetitive mumbo jumbo can get some kind of focus result but what is the end goal of this practice?

One may get better results by working out, in power walking, jogging etc. etc. while listening to one's favourite Keertan, and eventually one will not only see the physical transformation but also the mental bliss due to the endorphins.

I don't see why we need to abandon this kind of meditation entirely from Sikhi as long as the Sikh is aware it is not the heart and soul of Sikhi (as was my understanding for a very long time until I came here this time last year!!!).
Ishna ji,

It is not the matter of abandoning meditation. It is the matter of embracing the right kind of meditation.

As we read in Jap:

Gavyiei Sunhiyei Munn Rakhiyei bhao.
Let's sing, listen and store the message in our mental hard drives so it can be practiced in our lives.

Mechanical rituals of chanting something can only result in dry throats and waterless wells within. The thirst of the former can be quenched with a sip or two of water but the latter can only be filled again with the Amrit shower.

Here is the Amrit Shower- The True Meditation:

Page 119- The interpretation is mine.

<table cellspacing="5"><tbody><tr><td>
</td></tr> <tr><td> ਮਾਝ ਮਹਲਾ
Mājẖ mėhlā 3.
Maajh, Third Mehl:

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਵਰਸੈ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਏ
Amriṯ varsai sahj subẖā▫e.
Amrit rains down, softly and gently.

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਕੋਈ ਜਨੁ ਪਾਏ
Gurmukẖ virlā ko▫ī jan pā▫e.
How rare are those Gurmukhs who find it! (All Sikhs are rare. In other words, we are rare because we are Sikhs)

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀ ਸਦਾ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਾਸੇ ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਬੁਝਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੧॥
Amriṯ pī saḏā ṯaripṯāse kar kirpā ṯarisnā bujẖāvaṇi▫ā. ||1||
The Amrit savourer discovers eternal bliss. With the grace of Ik Ong Kaar, the thirst is quenched. ||1||

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਹਉ ਵਾਰੀ ਜੀਉ ਵਾਰੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਆਵਣਿਆ
Ha▫o vārī jī▫o vārī gurmukẖ amriṯ pī▫āvṇi▫ā.
I feel the same bliss as my fellow Gurmukhs do, who savour the same Amrit.

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਰਸਨਾ ਰਸੁ ਚਾਖਿ ਸਦਾ ਰਹੈ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਾਤੀ ਸਹਜੇ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ
Rasnā ras cẖākẖ saḏā rahai rang rāṯī sėhje har guṇ gāvaṇi▫ā. ||1|| rahā▫o.
Thanks to the Amrit, the taste buds on my tongue have changed forever. Even the speech is full of sweetness and it sings Ik Ong Kaar praises. (Nothing bitter comes out of my mouth). ||1||Pause|| **

**Rahao-Pause is like the nectar of a flower and contains the central idea of the Shabad. The rest of the verses are like petals that compliment Rahao verse.
</td></tr> <tr><td> ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਸਹਜੁ ਕੋ ਪਾਏ
Gur parsādī sahj ko pā▫e.
Through the Guru's Grace one can find the Gurmat Fulcrum within;

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਮਾਰੇ ਇਕਸੁ ਸਿਉ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਏ
Ḏubiḏẖā māre ikas si▫o liv lā▫e.
The Grace gets rid of all doubts and lets one focus on The ONE.

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇ ਤਾ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵੈ ਨਦਰੀ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੨॥
Naḏar kare ṯā har guṇ gāvai naḏrī sacẖ samāvaṇi▫ā. ||2||
Because of Ik Ong Kaar's Grace, one sings the praises and is able to immerse in the Truth. ||2|| (Sach Samavanah means practicing Sikhi through truthful living)

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਸਭਨਾ ਉਪਰਿ ਨਦਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਤੇਰੀ
Sabẖnā upar naḏar parabẖ ṯerī.
Ik Ong Kaar, your Grace is on all, with no exception.</td></tr><tr><td>
ਕਿਸੈ ਥੋੜੀ ਕਿਸੈ ਹੈ ਘਣੇਰੀ

Kisai thoṛī kisai hai gẖaṇerī.
It is bestowed upon according to one's needs.

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਤੁਝ ਤੇ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਕਿਛੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੋਝੀ ਪਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੩॥
Ŧujẖ ṯe bāhar kicẖẖ na hovai gurmukẖ sojẖī pāvṇi▫ā. ||3||
Without You, nothing happens at all; the Gurmukhs understand this fact. ||3||

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਤਤੁ ਹੈ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ
Gurmukẖ ṯaṯ hai bīcẖārā.
The Gurmukhs understand this objective reality;

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਭਰੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਭੰਡਾਰਾ
Amriṯ bẖare ṯere bẖandārā.
The Amrit itself is like the over flowing nectar.

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵੇ ਕੋਈ ਪਾਵੈ ਗੁਰ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਤੇ ਪਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੪॥
Bin saṯgur seve ko▫ī na pāvai gur kirpā ṯe pāvṇi▫ā. ||4||
Without listening to the True Guru and practicing his message, no one can obtain this vast nectar ||4||

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੈ ਸੋ ਜਨੁ ਸੋਹੈ
Saṯgur sevai so jan sohai.
The beauty is shone in those who serve the True Guru.

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮਿ ਅੰਤਰੁ ਮਨੁ ਮੋਹੈ
Amriṯ nām anṯar man mohai.
The Amrit makes the blissful mind do cartwheels within.

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਰਤਾ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਣਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੫॥
Amriṯ man ṯan baṇī raṯā amriṯ sahj suṇāvṇi▫ā. ||5||
One's mind and body is so much drenched in Amrit that it turns listening, understanding and practicing Gurbani into one's second nature. ||5||

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਭੂਲਾ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਖੁਆਏ
Manmukẖ bẖūlā ḏūjai bẖā▫e kẖu▫ā▫e.
The Manmukhs are lost in Me-ism and because of this, they are not capable of becoming selfless.

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਨਾਮੁ ਲੇਵੈ ਮਰੈ ਬਿਖੁ ਖਾਏ
Nām na levai marai bikẖ kẖā▫e.
They ignore the Guru's message and with the result become dead men walking.

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਸਦਾ ਵਿਸਟਾ ਮਹਿ ਵਾਸਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਸੇਵਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੬॥
An▫ḏin saḏā vistā mėh vāsā bin sevā janam gavāvṇi▫ā. ||6||
Because of their dwelling in Me-ism, they have lost the opportunity of being selfless which turned them into a waste. ||6||

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਵੈ ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਆਪਿ ਪੀਆਏ
Amriṯ pīvai jis no āp pī▫ā▫e.
Only the selfless people- Gurmukhs- have the chance to savour The Amrit because they have been inspired by Ik Ong Kaar.
</td></tr> <tr><td>
ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਸਹਜਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਏ

Gur parsādī sahj liv lā▫e.
By Guru's Grace, they find the Gurmat Fulcrum within.

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਪੂਰਨ ਪੂਰਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਭ ਆਪੇ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਨਦਰੀ ਆਵਣਿਆ ॥੭॥
Pūran pūr rahi▫ā sabẖ āpe gurmaṯ naḏrī āvaṇi▫ā. ||7||
Ik Ong Kaar is omnipresent and the omnipresence can only be experienced through the Guru's Teachings. ||7||

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਆਪੇ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਸੋਈ
Āpe āp niranjan so▫ī.
Ik Ong Kaar is the Immaculate One.

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਜਿਨਿ ਸਿਰਜੀ ਤਿਨਿ ਆਪੇ ਗੋਈ
Jin sirjī ṯin āpe go▫ī.
Ik Ong Kaar, The Source of All is the only one who knows the life spans of all that there is.

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਮਾਲਿ ਸਦਾ ਤੂੰ ਸਹਜੇ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੮॥੧੬॥੧੭॥
Nānak nām samāl saḏā ṯūʼn sėhje sacẖ samāvaṇi▫ā. ||8||16||17||
Oh Guru Nanak! remember the Naam- the message- forever which will make you find your Gurmat Fulcrum within and by doing so, you shall merge with The One. ||8||16||17||</td></tr></tbody></table>
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Cleverness is not wisdom
May 2, 2010
How can Sikhs improve their practices in the direction of meditation?

Counter question. Why should we?


And I also agree with Findingmyway Ji's point

I believe there is more to it than just a parrot like repetition or sitting in a certain way.

As for improvement, whilst laudable in intent, I can't help thinking of the phrase "trying to run before you can walk"

I think attempting it in the first place would be a major step in the right direction. I know I haven't tried anywhere enough times!


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Actually I personally believe there are very good reasons to meditate: physical, psychological and spiritual. And I do so myself. Where I perceive a problem is in the arena where people argue that traditional forms of meditation and breath control lead to liberation/moksha or enlightenment/turyia. The task when reviewed again and again on meditate to liberation web pages is always coupled with the idea that one passes from one spiritual stage to the next, ending in turyia.

This argument depends on whether one actually believes that the spiritual steps are steps, on an incline. Our Gurus do not seem to have agreed with that view. Why cannot the steps be concurrent states of mind? Some may inhabit more than one spiritual state at one time, others inhabiting only one level of consciousness.

Why not have enlightenment, liberation, available to any person who embraces Naam, by whatever means, be it simran or seva, as long as there is consciousness of the divine in each and every one?

These technologies and regimens of the soul are exhausting and rare is the person who achieves the desired goal in the face of a better alternative, which is open to everyone who wants it: Guru Arjan Dev, Ang 1429/1430, Dr. Sant Singh translation (forgive me).

ਸੋਰਠਿ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ਘਰੁ ੨ ਅਸਟਪਦੀਆ
सोरठि महला ५ घरु २ असटपदीआ
Soraṯẖ mėhlā 5 gẖar 2 asatpaḏī▫ā
Sorat'h, Fifth Mehl, Second House, Ashtapadees:

ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
ੴ सतिगुर प्रसादि ॥
Ik▫oaʼnkār saṯgur parsāḏ.
One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:

ਪਾਠੁ ਪੜਿਓ ਅਰੁ ਬੇਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿਓ ਨਿਵਲਿ ਭੁਅੰਗਮ ਸਾਧੇ ॥
पाठु पड़िओ अरु बेदु बीचारिओ निवलि भुअंगम साधे ॥
Pāṯẖ paṛi▫o ar beḏ bīcẖāri▫o nival bẖu▫angam sāḏẖe.
They read scriptures, and contemplate the Vedas; they practice the inner cleansing techniques of Yoga, and control of the breath.

ਪੰਚ ਜਨਾ ਸਿਉ ਸੰਗੁ ਨ ਛੁਟਕਿਓ ਅਧਿਕ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਬਾਧੇ ॥੧॥
पंच जना सिउ संगु न छुटकिओ अधिक अह्मबुधि बाधे ॥१॥
Pancẖ janā si▫o sang na cẖẖutki▫o aḏẖik ahaʼn▫buḏẖ bāḏẖe. ||1||
But they cannot escape from the company of the five passions; they are increasingly bound to egotism. ||1||

ਪਿਆਰੇ ਇਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਮਿਲਣੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਮੈ ਕੀਏ ਕਰਮ ਅਨੇਕਾ ॥
पिआरे इन बिधि मिलणु न जाई मै कीए करम अनेका ॥
Pi▫āre in biḏẖ milaṇ na jā▫ī mai kī▫e karam anekā.
O Beloved, this is not the way to meet the Lord; I have performed these rituals so many times.

ਹਾਰਿ ਪਰਿਓ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਕੈ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਦੀਜੈ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਬੇਕਾ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
हारि परिओ सुआमी कै दुआरै दीजै बुधि बिबेका ॥ रहाउ ॥
Hār pari▫o su▫āmī kai ḏu▫ārai ḏījai buḏẖ bibekā. Rahā▫o.
I have collapsed, exhausted, at the Door of my Lord Master; I pray that He may grant me a discerning intellect. ||Pause||

ਮੋਨਿ ਭਇਓ ਕਰਪਾਤੀ ਰਹਿਓ ਨਗਨ ਫਿਰਿਓ ਬਨ ਮਾਹੀ ॥
मोनि भइओ करपाती रहिओ नगन फिरिओ बन माही ॥
Mon bẖa▫i▫o karpāṯī rahi▫o nagan firi▫o ban māhī.
One may remain silent and use his hands as begging bowls, and wander naked in the forest.

ਤਟ ਤੀਰਥ ਸਭ ਧਰਤੀ ਭ੍ਰਮਿਓ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਛੁਟਕੈ ਨਾਹੀ ॥੨॥
तट तीरथ सभ धरती भ्रमिओ दुबिधा छुटकै नाही ॥२॥
Ŧat ṯirath sabẖ ḏẖarṯī bẖarmi▫o ḏubiḏẖā cẖẖutkai nāhī. ||2||
He may make pilgrimages to river banks and sacred shrines all over the world, but his sense of duality will not leave him. ||2||

The Ashtapadees is very long, read more http://www.srigranth.org/servlet/gurbani.gurbani?Action=Page&Param=642&g=1&h=1&r=1&t=1&p=0&k=0

But I take the point to be that we find the light with our eyes wide open, and not shut, and gazing through the third eye.