You cannot meditate without discipline. Period. Meditation is a discipline in the beginning, and then, as it improves, it becomes a state of mind.
There was a priest who once bought a second-hand lawn mower from his neighbor for $50. It was one of the old style lawn mowers. One had to pull the string to get it started. But this lawn mower would not start. The priest thought that he got a faulty one, so he went back to his neighbor and said, “Look, I am unable to start the lawn mower.” Their young child said, “Oh you have to use some swear words, you have to curse at the lawn mower, and then it starts.” The priest said, “Listen kid, I have been a priest for 20 years and I don’t even know what cursing is like. I have forgotten all about cursing.” The child said, “Keep pulling at the lawn mower, it will come back to you.”
Discipline is not bothering with the interruptions and staying focused with what it is that you have to do. Life will give you a million chances to curse, to cuss, to swear, to procrastinate, to break your discipline. At that time, you have a choice; do you want to stay the course or do you want to deviate?
Regardless of which goal you may have, there are only two paths to it; One leads you towards it, and the second takes you away from it.
If you keep walking the one that takes you closer to your goal, one day you will reach it. If you keep taking detours and go in the direction, which is not your goal, then you will not get to it. You will dream about your goal and become frustrated thinking that I am doing everything, but I am not getting there. Maybe you are doing everything, but everything is wrong. The truth is, you are not doing everything you should be doing. So, if you keep doing the right thing, you will keep making the right progress. As simple as that.
Somebody asked me this morning, “I have negativity and all these feelings in me. How do I get rid of them?” Everybody has these feelings. We all have some negativity in us. If you think of a glass of water which is salty, and you want to purify that water to make it fit for drinking, what would you do? Think of your mind as that glass, full of those feelings and thoughts. You cannot really empty your mind just like that. Some thoughts or feelings always remain. So, you cannot just empty the glass, that is not the solution. So what do you do ? How do you make that water pure ?
It is quite simple. You keep pouring fresh water in it, and as you keep pouring fresh water, the glass will start to overflow, and you let it overflow. It will finally have only fresh water worth drinking. Therefore, if you keep taking the right steps towards your own self-purification, you will, one day, be as fresh as a daisy; full of fragrance, full of light, full of freshness and transparency. It cannot happen unless you work towards it.
To work towards anything requires a certain discipline. You cannot say, I will meditate everyday for the rest of my life, no matter what! That will fizzle out in a few days, if not a few hours. It is much better to say that for the next 20 days, or 2 weeks, or next one week, or 3 days, nothing on earth can stop me from meditating for 30 minutes in a day.
You stick to your principle, you stick to your word and then your mind realizes that “I am in the body of somebody who means what s/he says.” Eventually, it becomes much easier to stick to your word, to stick to your resolution, to stick to a discipline.
I cite this example often: when you take 2 pieces of wood and create friction in them, it creates fire, and that fire consumes the very wood that created it. Similarly, in the beginning, you need a certain discipline and routine because when you have that, they will work together to eventually take you out of that discipline, to make you rise above it and set you free. That freedom comes from following a certain discipline initially. It is the wood that you require in the beginning.
There are enough theories in the world that you do not have to meditate, that you do not have to do anything, just be happy. If you can, good. If you cannot, then you need to have a method in place in the beginning so you may rise above that method as you go forward. That is why discipline is important on this path.
~ Om Swami
This content has been transcribed from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYnX13EYNpo
Himalayan mystic and best-selling author Om Swami has transformed thousands of lives sharing his insights, his experiments and experiences with anyone who is on the path of personal fulfilment, happiness and discovery. Today he spearheads a movement in the form of Black Lotus, a mobile app designed to raise the Kindfulness Quotient in the world through Kindness and Mindfulness.