Meditation Roots: In ancient India, Patanjali describes the practice of meditation with scientific precision. The complete way with all details. Nothing is more helpful.
The Book of Patanjali on Meditation
Patanjali: Yoga Sutras. The foundation of all yoga systems
That’s the best instruction in book form. Unless you have a living master, there is nothing better. A book about the science of meditation and much more than what we call yoga. It describes a complete path with all details.
The original verses are very concise and not easy to understand. “Now Yoga.” That is his introduction. It is really one of the most remarkable books in the field of spirituality – and one of the first.
I found a text of Patanjali for the first time in a small town in India. The word “yoga” is misleading. He has not written about what we call “yoga”, but about meditation, two and a half thousand years ago, in an archaic timeless language. Patanjali works like a scientist. I am impressed by this precision.
About what we know as yoga, about the postures, he only says: It is helpful to take a stable posture. That’s it.
There are a lot of issues and comments. I recommend the comments of Osho. Whatever you think about him, he was a philosophy professor and knew spirituality and he could explain brilliantly.
Patanjali on meditation – a small selection out of 195 verses:
Only those who are ready will come to rest.
To rest is to let your thoughts and feelings come to rest.
When thoughts and feelings have come to rest completely, man abides in the Absolute.
In every other state, man identifies with his thoughts and feelings.
The coming to rest of thoughts and feelings is done by practice and non-attachment.
Practice means continued repetition.
Practice becomes stable when it is has been cultivated for a long time without interruption and with devotion.
Non-attachement is self-mastery and not to desire what is perceived.
Non-attachement reaches its highest level when every desire is ceased and the absolute nature is recognized.
The body stays in a stable and pleasant position.
In this attitude man is in complete relaxation in the Absolute.
Fixation is focusing thinking and feeling on a single object of experience.
Meditation is focusing thinking and feeling on an object of experience and remaining with it without interruption.
Absorption is the name of meditation, in which the object of experience appears in its true nature, unaffected by thinking and feeling.
That’s it. Read and study the Sutras of Patanjali and commentaries. You will find all about meditation there. And you have to put these instructions into practice, when you want to know, what meditation really is.
Meditation roots. Little is known about the person Patanjali. He lived in India between the 2nd century BC and the 4th century AD.