The more we expect meditation to be a break from hard work, the more meditation becomes hard work
Our daily life, with its many obligations, requires hard work. So, if we make time to meditate, we expect meditation to serve as a break, to de-stress us.
Mantra meditation does indeed offer that break, but not in the way we expect. Let’s understand.
Krishna is non-different from the mantras centered on his holy names. Mantra meditation thus offers us the opportunity to relish Krishna’s energizing presence. However, we can’t relish Krishna’s presence if we lethargically give in to the mind’s default restlessness, for it doesn’t let us connect with Krishna. Consequently, meditation leaves us feeling bored and burdened. It becomes another chore – a difficult, demanding chore.
The problem is our faulty expectation that meditation should be a break from hard work. But authentic meditation requires concentration of the mind and so is hard work. No wonder the Bhagavad-gita (09.14) urges serious practitioners to endeavor with determination.
Intriguingly, this endeavor is not like mundane hard work – it doesn’t strain and drain, but relaxes and rejuvenates.
By cleansing and animating the mind with the power of love.
We are parts of Krishna, just as the hand is a part of the body. Whatever we offer Krishna returns to us as devotional energy, just as the food the hand offers to the body through the stomach returns as physical energy. When we offer our love to Krishna through our attentiveness during meditation, he reciprocates by releasing his infinite love into our heart. This love pacifies and purifies the mind – and redirects it towards positive reality, ultimately towards Krishna. The resulting devotional energy recharges us far better than any break.
To benefit from this recharge, we need to approach meditation positively – not as a mere break, but as a rewarding challenge.
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