There is no limit to the number of possible meditational practices. Any theme can be used as the focal point of your attention. The most essential stipulation is that you must choose something that will easily hold your attention. If this is not the case then you will gain little or nothing from the practice.
So far in the book we have given methods which are based on traditional techniques given in the yogic and tantric texts. In this topic we will introduce you to another possible theme for meditative purposes.
The following are poems written by famous mystical poets. You may already be familiar with them. Poems, especially ones of a spiritual nature, can be used as an object of meditation. They are trying to express something that the poet has realized. He is trying to convey the inexpressible through the inadequate medium of words.
Ifyou read a poem a thousand times and try to analyze it logically or from the viewpoint of everyday experience, then you will gain nothing - only a headache. First try to understand the surface meaning of the words and then reflect on their deeper significance. Ifyou only come up with an intellectual understanding that you can easily discuss with another person, then discard it. Reject it, for the poem means far more. Let the content ofthe poem gravitate to deeper levels of your being. Develop an intense need to know what the poet is really trying to express. If you find the answer you will definitely know; it will hit you like a thunderbolt. It will shatter all your previous conclusions, convictions and understanding.
You can think about the real meaning of the poem at any time of the day. In fact if you really have a strong need to find the meaning, then the reflection, the enquiry will continue all the time below the level of everyday consciousness. It will continue without your awareness. However, the best time to consciously reflect on the meaning is when you are relaxed and receptive. We suggest you practise immediately after your yoga practice program or perhaps before sleep.
Choose any of the following poems (or any other). Reflect on its deeper significance but try not to be blocked by mere intellectual understanding. If you think you understand its meaning, and feel that the meaning is obvious, then you have not really understood.
REFLECTION ON A POEM
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