Hello and welcome to episode 113 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today I want to talk about failure and why people fail in spirituality. We’ll talk about the core reason and what Krishna has to say about it.
Today’s question comes from Kevin says “I have been mediating for more than an hour every day for 3 months. Nothing is happening and I feel like I’m making no progress at all. Does meditation actually work? I am curious seeing as I am spending so much time at it.”
Thanks for the question Kevin. Vivekananda once said that just because you sit in the lotus pose or read books on meditation or breathe through one nostril and release from the other doesn’t mean that angels will suddenly appear by your side! People have spent twenty, thirty, forty or even fifty years mediating and they do not have these visions that people think they should have.
This expectation of visions and singing angles is usually the main reason why people fail when meditating. Most people on earth today are mediating to try and know. The think that if they sit and meditate that something will happen, that something will come to them and they will gain some level of superior knowledge. You must realise that this is all nonsense.
The real men and women of God, they meditate because they know. That is the big difference. They already know what it’s all about so meditating is an act of acknowledging this gift that God has given them. It is a conscious acknowledgment of the gift. They just sit and allow their body, mind and intellect to fall back on their consciousness. They are completely aware of that fact whereas most others are not.
There should be no trying or effort required when meditating. If you are actively trying then you are coming from a place of body, mind and intellect and you will fail every time, 365 days a year. Those who do this and think that there is something happening, well that’s all subjective. It is really just an illusion of the mind. These subjective experiences would be of no real use to you.
With the great ones it is simply an acknowledgment. It’s like working and then getting your pay check at the end of the week. That is what meditation is, a gift. Take this example. If I pick up a compass no matter what was I turn it, it will always point north. It will point north automatically. You don’t have to do anything to make that happen. The same happens when the great ones meditate. They will sit and they will automatically let the body, mind and intellect fall back on their consciousness.
So people fail because their expectations of spirituality are totally base-less. Their minds are misleading them and they are expecting things to happen that will never happen. This can never go well as you are setting yourself up to fail. All you have to do is let your body, mind and intellect fall back on the consciousness. That’s it and it should be automatic. You just need to allow it to happen to you.
Preparation is also needed and that is why teachers are very important. If you don’t have a teacher then two things can happen. You can do things wrong by using the wrong methods or you can lose perseverance because you will have no support. People get so far thinking they know it all and then stop but this is useless. If you leave it the mind will get stale. This will happen when you start thinking worldly things again. When you touch the world your mind will gravitate downwards and it gets stale. Meditation stops this from happening which is why you must keep doing it. This is why even the great ones mediate and keep mediating, always.
It’s important that you understand why you are failing and once you know that you’ll realise that it’s a continuous process.
Another example I want to give you is of Gary Vaynerchuk. He speaks about business but I would highly recommend that you follow him. Like me he makes videos that answer question. In one question someone said that they had made a blog and worked on it for three months and nothing was happening. He smiled and said 3 months! This was something the person had put so much effort into and he wanted to give up after 3 months. He said come back after the person had put in 2 years of solid work. He told him to hustle and keep going.
People tend to give up way too easily. If something doesn’t work straight away they just give up and this is foolish. A few weeks or months is nothing in the grand scheme of things. Instead of giving up refine your method or get a new teacher if you feel the one you have is not working for you. People always want a short cut but there isn’t one in mediation. It’s like an energy and you just have to flow with it but it is still the fastest way to the consciousness. Krishna says “its apprehension is immediate.” It’s easy to attain once you use the right medium, meditation.
Just because you see someone meditating flawlessly does not mean you can just sit and do it. What you are not seeing is the ten or fifteen years of work behind them.
When I studied higher management in finance we had books that were bigger than we could carry. I used to spend 14 hours a day reading while others would only spend one or two. I really wanted to succeed. He passed too but just because he did it two hours does not mean I could. You must know your own abilities. He may have had a great teacher behind him helping him or he could have had a great environment. It may also have been the right time for him. There are so many factors to consider.
So please don’t compare yourself with others. Meditate because you know, not to know. Fall back on the consciousness and no matter what happens do not give up. It will work for you.
I hope I answered your question. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.