Is meditation just about closing our eyes and trying to achieve a blissful state?
The full question:
Is meditation just about closing our eyes and trying to achieve a blissful state of samadhi where we become oblivious to the world around us and go to a state of passivity? Or does meditation aim at realising that which is called our real nature and enhance our sensitivity and ability to respond to situations in our world?
Could it also be the case that this state attunes our sense of intuition to perceive and understand what is really going on around us? Yes, everything is “Maya”, but we still want to breathe fresh air, eat healthy organic food and move freely in the world. (Question from Tara)
When mediation was discovered many, many years ago in the East, it was with the purpose of waking up to realise our true nature. But meditation can also be used just to make us feel better, and this possibility has mostly been emphasised here in the West. The Western culture is extremely extrovert, which leads to many psychological problems. Meditation can help people feel better by creating a much more healthy balance between the extrovert and introvert way of life.
You are also asking about samadhi. There are two-forms of samadhi – nirvikalpa samadhi and sahaja samadhi.
In nirvikalpa samadhi there are glimpses of the truth of who we really are. There are moments of awakening, but both we and the world are still here. The “world” becomes transparent and seems unreal, because in nirvikalpa samadhi we are touching the ultimate reality – that which is our true nature. When we fall into sahaja samadhi we become oblivious of the world – no sense of time and space. Sahaja means “natural”. It is the fourth dimension and therefore our little “monkey mind” cannot understand it.
When we live a life so totally extrovert as we do now in the West, the outcome is violence and wars. The ancient Indian culture, which was dominated by meditation and spirituality, created “Ahimsa”, the principle of non-violence. This belief and realisation is so deep that an act to hurt others is seen as hurting yourself. When we enter meditation and it becomes part of our life we really become a human being, and not just a human thinking. The more we are in touch with our “being”, the more we are responding responsibly and we become more altruistic, peaceful and loving.