Spontaneous meditation.

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In the Shiva Swarodaya, an ancient Tantric text on the breath, prana and its flow,  it is noted that the meditative state occurs naturally at the time of sunrise and sunset. Perhaps this is not surprising when you think of how we relate to those times of the day, when we marvel at life's unfolding, feeling very much part of its occurrence. As we all have seen such sights, this is something that can be easily observed and understood and can give much insight into what the state of meditation is. In that absorption all is profound, all is sacred, precious.  Ideas of duality dissolve, there is no feeling of what is superior, inferior, right, wrong, natural, unnatural, there is only this moment happening. In that full allowing of the moment we become completely relaxed, deeply connected to all of life.

 However quite often people imagine meditation to be some extraordinary state, the thinking mind doing amazing feats or mental gymnastics. the preserve of aesthetics or those in monastic life.
But this example of the sunrise and  sunset indicates that we can all experience the state of meditation frequently.   So although there are other occasions in life when we become equally absorbed, generally these are unexpected, unplanned, if we seek to enter into the meditative state it is not something we can usually do at will.
Due to the image we have of the serene person sitting down, meditating, effortlessly, if you try to do this, if you've had a busy day, are stressed, over stimulated by caffeine etc, it will probably be impossible as your energy and subsequently your mind will be jumping about all over the place.
Therefore if we examine the texts and traditions  of Yoga and Tantra we see that there are innumerable steps towards this, everything from where we choose to live, to diet, lifestyle right through to what are often called meditation practices, but which strictly speaking are techniques to lead to the state of meditation.
I am often astonished when I see yoga teachers offering yoga and meditation, as if they are somehow separate. It is an integral part of a yoga practice, the step immediate to the state of Yoga.
Krishnamacharya like many others, stated that Asana and pranayama are essential steps to moving into the subtle practices of yoga of which meditation, dhyana is one. So we can see that Asana,  the part of Yoga practice which is so heavily focused on in the modern world, does begin to plant the seeds.
In your own practice it is important to incorporate time for the subtle practices, so as to give meditation the chance to arise naturally. As well as trying to take as relaxed an approach to life as possible, entering into each moment with an open mind and heart, recognising that this also allows the state of meditation to occur spontaneously.

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