Spiritual exercises

There are quite a few exercises that a beginner can practice. For a spiritual seeker, simplicity, sincerity, purity and surety are of utmost importance. It is simplicity that grants you peace of mind. It is sincerity that makes you feel that you are of God and that God is constantly for you. It is your pure heart that can make you feel at every moment that God is growing and glowing and fulfilling Himself inside you. It is surety that makes you feel that meditation is absolutely the right thing.

In silence kindly repeat the world "simplicity" inside your mind seven times and concentrate on the crown of your head. Then repeat the word "sincerity" seven times silently and soulfully inside your heart and concentrate on your heart. Then kindly repeat the word "purity" seven times inside or around your navel centre and concentrate on the navel centre. Please do it silently and most soulfully. Then focus your attention on the third eye, which is between and slightly above the eyebrows, and silently repeat "surety" seven times. Next, place your hand on top of your head and say three times, "I am simple, I am simple, I am simple." Then place your hand on your heart and say three times, "I am sincere, I am sincere." Then do it on the navel centre, saying, "I am pure," and on the third eye, repeating, "I am sure."

Now, if you prefer a particular aspect of God — love, for instance — please inwardly repeat the word love' most soulfully several times. While uttering the word 'love' most soulfully, try to feel that it is reverberating in the inmost recesses of your heart: "Love, love, love." If you care more for divine peace, then please inwardly chant or repeat to yourself the word 'peace'. While doing this, try to hear the cosmic sound that the word embodies. Feel that 'peace' is a seed-sound reverberating in the very depths of your heart. If you want light, then please repeat, "Light, light, light," most soulfully and feel that you have actually become light. From the soles of your feet to the crown of your head, try to feel that you have become the word that you are repeating. Feel that your physical body, subtle body and all your nerves are flooded with love or peace or light.

There is one other thing that you can try. Please breathe in and hold your breath for a couple of seconds, and feel that you are holding the breath, or life-energy, in the third eye. This is where your concentration will be. The second time you breathe in, hold the life-energy in the heart centre. And the third time you breathe in, hold the breath in the navel centre. This will also help you.

A child does not depend or rely on himself; he depends only on his mother's capacity. Again, he is eager to give her what little capacity he has. His little capacity is his faith. His faith in his mother is his faith in himself. If a child is lost in the street and he begins to cry, some kind-hearted person will show him where his home is. Feel that you are lost in the street and that there is a storm raging .outside. Doubt, fear, anxiety, worry, insecurity and other undivine forces are pouring down on you. But if you feel that you are helpless and cry sincerely, Somebody will come to rescue you and show you how to get to your home, which is your heart. And who is that Somebody? It is God, your Inner Pilot.

Each person's soul has its own way of meditating. My way of meditating will not suit you, and your way of meditating will not suit me. There are many seekers whose meditation is not fruitful because they are not doing the meditation that is right for them. If you don't have a spiritual Master who can guide you, then you have to go deep within and get your meditation from the inmost recesses of your heart. Go deep, deep within and see if you get a voice or thought or idea. Then, go deep into this voice or thought and see if it gives you a feeling of inner joy or peace, where there are no questions or problems or doubts. When you get this kind of feeling, then you can know that the voice that you have heard is the real inner voice which will help you in your spiritual life.

In the very beginning you should not even think about meditation. Just try to set aside a certain time of day when you will be calm and quiet, and feel that these five minutes belong to your inner being and nobody else. What you need is regular practice at a regular time. Every day you eat; that is how you live on earth. You cannot live on the food you ate yesterday. Similarly, every day you have to feed the soul.

If you eat every day, you become very strong because of your regular nourishment. So also when you meditate every day, your soul is being nourished.