Gaining steadiness in meditation
Breath Regulation helps Meditation

Gaining Steadiness in Meditation

D.: When an endeavour is made to lead the right life and to concentrate thought on the Self, there is often a downfall and break. What is to be done?
M.: It will come all right in the end. There is the steady impulse of your determination that sets you on your feet again after every downfall and breakdown. Gradually the obstacles are all overcome and your current becomes stronger. Everything comes right in the end. Steady determination is what is required.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 29.
~~~~~~~~

D.: My mind is very unsteady. What should I do? 
M.: Fix your attention on any single thing and try to hold on to it. All will be right.

D.: I find concentration difficult.
M.: Go on practising. Your concentration will be as easy as breathing. That will be the crown of your achievements.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 31.
~~~~~~~~

D.: How to do japa (repetition of mantras)?
M.: It is of two kinds – gross and subtle. The latter is meditation on it, and it gives strength to the mind.

D.: But the mind does not get steady for meditation.
M.: It is due to lack of strength.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 241.
~~~~~~~~

D.: Mind is not steady while meditating.
M.: It will be all right by practice.

D.: How is the mind to be steadied?
M.: By strengthening it.

D.: How to strengthen it?
M.: It grows strong by satsanga (the company of the wise).

D.: Shall we add prayers, etc.?
M.: Yes.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 377.
~~~~~~~~

D.: When I sit down to think of God, thoughts wander away to other objects. I want to control those thoughts.
M.: In the Bhagavad Gita it is said that it is the nature of the mind to wander. One must bring one’s thoughts to bear on God. By long practice the mind is controlled and made steady.

The wavering of the mind is a weakness arising from the dissipation of its energy in the shape of thoughts. When one makes the mind stick to one thought the energy is conserved, and the mind becomes stronger.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 91.
~~~~~~~~

A group of people came on a visit to Sri Bhagavan.

One of them asked: “How can I keep my mind aright?”
M.: A refractory bull is lured to the stall by means of grass. Similarly the mind must be lured by good thoughts.

D.: But it does not remain steady.
M.: The bull accustomed to stray takes delight in going astray. However he must be lured with luscious grass to the stall. Even so he will continue to trespass into the neighbour’s elds. He must gradually be made to realise that the same kind of good grass can be had in his own place. After a time he will remain in the stall without straying. Later a time will come when, even if driven out of the stall, he will return to the stall without going into the neighbouring elds. So also the mind must be trained to take to right ways. It will gradually grow accustomed to good ways and will not return to wrong ways.

D.: What are the good ways to be shown to the mind?
M.: Thought of God.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 563.
~~~~~~~~

D.: The mind is not steady in meditation.
M.: Whenever it wanders, turn it inward again and again.

D.: When duhka (misery) overpowers me, enquiry is impossible.
M.: Because the mind is too weak. Make it strong.

D.: By what means?
M.: Sat-sanga, Isvara Aradhana, Pranayama – (association with the wise, worship of God, breath control).

D.: What happens?
M.: Misery is removed; our aim is removal of misery. You do not acquire happiness. Your very nature is happiness. Bliss is not newly earned. All that is done is to remove unhappiness. These methods do it.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 290.
~~~~~~~~

The questioner earnestly explained that his faith in Saiva Siddhanta, Vedanta, etc., was shaken after reading Bahaic literature. “Please save me,” he said.

M.: Know the Self which is here and now; you will be steady and not waver.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 133.
~~~~~~~~

A Maharashtrian lady, a casual visitor then taking leave, was almost on the point of bursting into tears.
She asked: I know that mukti is impossible in one life. Still may I not have peace of mind in this life?

The Master looked at her very kindly and said smiling softly: Life and all else are in Brahman alone. Brahman is here and now. Investigate.

D.: I am practising meditation for a number of years. Yet my mind is not steady and cannot be brought to bear on meditation.
M.: Again looked steadily at her and said: “Do it now and all will be right.”

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 367.
~~~~~~~~

D.: My mind cannot be made steady by any amount of effort. I have been trying it for a long time.

The Master quoted from “Upadesa Sara”: “Merging the mind into the Heart certainly comprises meritorious duty (karma), devotion (bhakti), yoga and supreme wisdom (jnana).” That is the whole truth in a nutshell.

D.: That does not satisfy my search for happiness. I am unable to keep my mind steady.

The Master quoted again from the same book: “Continuous search for what the mind is results in its disappearance. That is the straight path.”

D.: How to search for the mind then?

M.: The mind is only a bundle of thoughts. The thoughts have their root in the ‘I-thought’. He quoted; “Whoever investigates the origin of the ‘I-thought’, for him the ego perishes. This is the true investigation.” The true “I” is then found shining by itself.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 222.
~~~~~~~~

Mrs. and Mr. Kelly, an elderly couple from America, and others of their company desired to know what they should do to gain concentration in face of discomforts of sitting and the sting of mosquitoes, etc.

M.: The discomforts will not worry you if your concentration is right. Do not mind the discomforts. Keep your mind steady in meditation. If you have not the strength and endurance to bear mosquito stings how do you hope to gain realization of the Self? Realization must be amidst all the turmoils of life. If you make yourself comfortable and go to bed you fall asleep. Face the troubles but keep yourself steady in meditation.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 149.
~~~~~~~~

M.: The enquiry into the Self is inclusive of all, faith, devotion, jnana, yoga and all.

D.: A man sometimes finds that the physical body does not permit steady meditation. Should he practise yoga for training the body for the purpose?

M.: It is according to one’s samskaras (predispositions). One man will practise hatha yoga for curing his bodily ills; another man will trust to God to cure them; a third man will use his will-power for it and a fourth man may be totally indifferent to them. But all of them will persist in meditation. The quest for the Self is the essential factor and all the rest are mere accessories.

D.: What is most suitable for gaining facilities for steady dhyana?

M.: It depends on one’s samskara. One may find hatha yoga suitable and another man nama japa, and so on. The essential point is the atma-vichara – enquiry into the Self.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 596.
~~~~~~~~

D.: Can fasting help realization?
M.: But it is temporary. Mental fast is the real aid. Fasting is not an end in itself. There must be spiritual development side by side. Absolute fasting makes the mind weak too. You cannot derive suf cient strength for the spiritual quest. Therefore take moderate food and go on practising. 

D.: They say that after breaking a month’s fast, ten days afterwards the mind becomes pure and steady and remains so forever.
M.: Yes, if the spiritual quest has been kept up right through the fast also.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 170.
~~~~~~~~

A gentleman from Mysore asked: How is the mind to be kept in the right way?

M.: By practice. Give it good thoughts. The mind must be trained in good ways.

D.: But it is not steady.

M.: The Bhagavad Gita says: Sanaissanairuparamet (The mind must gradually be brought to a standstill); Atma samstham manah krtva (making the mind inhere in the Self); Abhyasa-vairagyabhyam (by practice and dispassion).

Practice is necessary. Progress will be slow.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 565.
~~~~~~~~

M.: What is your nature?

D.: Suddha Chaitanya (Pure Conscious Light).
M.: Then why do you worry about sankalpa and the rest.

D.: The mind is admitted to be changing and unsteady (chanchala and asthira).
M.: It is also said in the same place that the mind is to be introverted and made to merge into the Self; that the practice must be long because it is slow; and must be continued until it is totally merged in the Self.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 382.
~~~~~~~~

Mr. Dhar, I. C. S., a high Officer and his wife, both young, highly cultured and intelligent, are on a visit here. But they fell ill since they arrived here. The lady desired to know how meditation could become steady.

M.: What is meditation? It consists in expulsion of thoughts. All the present troubles are due to thoughts and are themselves thoughts. Give up thoughts. That is happiness and also meditation.

D.: How are thoughts given up?
M.: The thoughts are for the thinker. Remain as the Self of the thinker and there is an end of thoughts.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 452.
~~~~~~~~

It is necessary to be aware while controlling thoughts. Otherwise it will lead to sleep.

Pranayama makes the mind steady and suppresses thoughts. Then why develop further? Because awareness then is the one necessary factor. Such states can be imitated by taking morphia, chloroform, etc. They do not lead to Moksha because they lack awareness.

Such states can be imitated by taking morphia, chloroform, etc. But they do not lead to Moksha (Liberation) because they lack awareness.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 191.
~~~~~~~~

D.: What are the obstacles to remaining steady in unbroken Bliss? How can they be overcome?

M.: The obstacles are:
(1) Ignorance which is forgetfulness of one’s pure being.

(2) Doubt which consists in wondering if even the experience was of the Real or of the unreal.

(3) Error which consists in the “I-am-the-body” idea, and thinking that the world is real. These are overcome by hearing the truth, reflection on it and concentration.

Talks with Ramana Maharshi
Talk 95.
~~~~~~~~

Breath Regulation helps Meditation

Gaining Steadiness in Meditation
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