“Forget your dream-born mortal weakness. Wake up and know that you and God are one.”
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is the science of reuniting the soul with the Infinite Spirit or God. By meditating regularly and deeply, you will awaken your soul — the immortal, blissful divine consciousness at the innermost core of your being.
Yoga meditation is the time-proven way of unlocking our soul’s infinite potential. It is not a vague mental process of thinking or philosophical pondering. It is the direct means of freeing the attention from life’s distractions, stilling the turbulent and restless thoughts that keep us from knowing our real Self — the wondrous divine being that we really are. Through the discipline of meditation, we learn to concentrate within, discovering our center of unshakable peace and joy.
As you progress in meditation, gradually you experience an ever-increasing inner peace and joy that comes from the soul. In the most exalted states, your soul realizes its complete oneness with God. This is the goal of meditation — ecstatic, superconscious, blissful divine communion, which is called samadhi.
Paramahansa Yogananda taught a system of powerful meditation techniques as part of the science of Kriya Yoga. These techniques are available through the Self‑Realization Fellowship Lessons. Anyone wishing to learn and benefit from the highest techniques of meditation will find these lessons to be an invaluable resource and lifelong support.
If you have not yet enrolled for the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons, you will find on these pages some basic instructions on how to meditate, which you can use right away to begin experiencing the peace and divine consciousness that meditation brings.
Benefits of Meditation
The benefits of meditation are multiple. Through regular practice, subtle transformations take place in one’s body, mind, and inmost consciousness. Some of these benefits are experienced right away; others unfold progressively and may take more time to become apparent.
Inner peace is one of the first fruits of meditation. Along with that come greater clarity, understanding, and guidance from within.
Meditation brings objectivity and intuitive knowledge of how to address the problems that arise in the course of daily life. It improves one’s concentration and efficiency, and one’s attitude toward work.
It brings greater harmony and joy to relationships and family life, awakening the capacity to give — and receive — unconditional love.
It harmonizes the life forces in the body, removing harmful stress and promoting health and vitality.
Most importantly, it helps to attune one’s consciousness to the Divine, bestowing an unshakable inward happiness and security amidst all circumstances of life.
These results come with sincere effort and by mobilizing the will to continue striving until one finds the ultimate goal in life — ever new bliss and union with God through Self-realization.
From the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda:
“Even though you may be able to do everything else but meditate, you will never find joy to equal that which comes when the thoughts are silent and your mind is tuned to the peace of God.”
— Paramahansa Yogananda, Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons
“Meditation is the science of God‑realization. It is the most practical science in the world. Most people would want to meditate if they understood its value and experienced its beneficial effects. The ultimate object of meditation is to attain conscious awareness of God, and the soul’s eternal oneness with Him. What achievement could be more purposeful and useful than to harness limited human faculties to the omnipresence and omnipotence of the Creator? God‑realization bestows on the meditator the blessings of the Lord’s peace, love, joy, power, and wisdom.
“Meditation utilizes concentration in its highest form. Concentration consists in freeing the attention from distractions and in focusing it on any thought in which one may be interested. Meditation is that special form of concentration in which the attention has been liberated from restlessness and is focused on God. Meditation, therefore, is concentration used to know God....
“The first proof of God’s presence is an ineffable peace. This evolves into joy humanly inconceivable. Once you have touched the Source of truth and life, all nature will respond to you.
“Finding God within, you will find Him without, in all people and all conditions.”
— Paramahansa Yogananda, Metaphysical Meditations