The practices of Ananda Marga encompass a wide range of techniques for physical, mental and spiritual development, the central practice being meditation. Meditation means to look within your mind to feel the bliss that is the essence of your existence. That bliss is within you, just as it is within everybody and everything.
Meditation is an essential tool for self-transformation and spiritual development. One of the goals of Ananda Marga is to make meditation available to all people free of charge throughout the world. Specially trained teachers give personal instruction in the process of mantra meditation, but you can try a simple technique for yourself now:
Find a comfortable place on the floor and sit with your legs crossed. Place your hands one on top of the other in your lap, keep your back straight, eyes closed and tongue on the roof of the mouth. Your breathing should be calm and relaxed, through the nose.
Now imagine that you are sitting in the most peaceful place that you can think of. Feel that you are sitting there in complete peace, and imagine infinite happiness is surrounding you in every direction. Feel that you are completely surrounded by that infinite peace and happiness, and start to repeat within your mind the following mantra:
Bábá Nám Kevalam
Bábá means “beloved”. It refers to your deepest self: the Supreme Self, the source of infinite peace and happiness. Nám means “name” or “to identify with”, and Kevalam means “only”. So Bábá Nám Kevalam means “Only my Beloved”. Think of the meaning as you’re repeating it, and feel the infinite peace and happiness all around you and within you. Continue for as long as you like, then open your eyes.
Guidelines for Meditation
Don’t worry if you have trouble concentrating – it’s normal. It takes some time and practice to be able to focus on the one thought. Every time you realize your mind has wandered away from the mantra, concentrate on it again – it will get easier the more you do it. The main thing is to keep practicing, and really try to tap into the flow of the ideation.
Don’t meditate sitting on a chair or on your bed – you are likely to get too relaxed to concentrate. Instead, sit cross-legged on the floor in a peaceful place where nobody will disturb you. Sit on a blanket or mat, and keep it only for your meditation. If you have trouble sitting cross-legged, put some cushions under you so your backside is higher off the ground. That will take some of the pressure off your legs, and help keep your back straight. Avoid resting your back against the wall.
Refresh yourself with cool water before you start.
Meditate twice a day – in the morning before breakfast, and in the evening before dinner. Each time is important, to get your mind and body used to it.
Singing the mantra aloud before you meditate calms the mind and prepares it for meditation. You can sing to any tune you like, with or without instruments.
Repeat the mantra throughout the rest of the day, singing it if you like. That will give you a continual feeling of lightness and happiness, and make it easier to meditate.