Chapter 8

The Simple Core

At its essence, there is no complexity to meditation, nor is it hard. It is easy.
Too many people find ways to make it hard, and sometimes this complexity is appropriate as a way to draw people in, to keep your ego's attention long enough to trick it into awareness.
But the higher you go with meditation, the simpler it becomes.
Unlike other things, where the more advanced your studies become the more complex the issue becomes, with meditation the more advanced your practice becomes the simpler the practice is.
This is because meditation is truth.

Meditation is also freedom.
It not restrictive because meditation, being truth, is natural.
And restriction is the opposite of being natural.
Don't think that meditation is creating rules for yourself, strictures.
Krishna used to joke about the people who did this, the ascetics.
Yes, sometimes a bit of discipline is necessary to get you into the knack of meditating. 
But over time this discipline should be less and less necessary.
In meditation, if your master gives you a discipline you follow it; but do not add extra disciplines on top of that, which he has said nothing about.
Some students do this, thinking that they are being even better than what their master wanted; but in fact it is based on a misunderstanding of why their master gave the discipline in the first place.
It was not because restriction is worthwhile in and of itself, it is because of very specific issues unique to that particular student.
And if a student follows by adding extra restrictions on his meditation he may then be adding extra and troublesome complications upon himself.
He is becoming less balanced, not more.

The ideal of meditation is that it should be very easy.
You should be able to do it easily, at any time.
If you can only do meditation when you are set apart, in a very quiet place, or at a certain time, then it is not as good.
It is ok if you're a beginner, but as you are becoming more advanced you should realize that this is also an un-needed discipline.
Real meditation can be done anywhere, at any time, and even while you are doing other things.
Because real meditation is simply mindfulness, being aware.

Krishna says that to practice yoga you must simply make sure that the body and mind are focused, and center your awareness at the top of your head.
This was a particular way of cultivating awareness that Krishna was advocating; because when you focus at this center it becomes very easy to connect to the vibration of the mantra OM.
When you wish to vibrate the mantra OM, this is the way to do it.
At other times it may be better to simply focus awareness on the point between the eyebrows, or on the heart.
Or on no place whatsoever.
The last is the best, simpler still, but it is therefore the hardest to accomplish.

What will this do?
When you practice this, you develop awareness.
Whatever you are doing stops being a distraction and becomes meditation.
This is important to understand: there is no such thing as a distracting activity; it is YOU who makes things distracting.
Anything done while being aware is meditation.
And anything done while unaware, even a meditation technique, is nothing but distraction.

If you can cultivate this attention, then you can be attentive at the time of death.
If you are meditative then, if you are aware, chanting OM, you can reach enlightenment.
Or, even if not, if you can remain aware as much as possible, paying close attention at the moment of death, you will be able to achieve enlightenment in your next lifetime.

Through this practice you obtain a soul, and are saved from dissolution.
There is a deeper mystery to this, but it cannot be revealed like this.