We often receive questions about yoga and meditation by email from our students, friends, and community. One common question from the spiritual set is “How long does it take before Realization becomes available to me? If I meditate every day, will I find enlightenment in a year? A week? What is the fastest way to become enlightened?”
Below is the answer to such questions about the ‘speed’ of realization while practicing meditation.
Meditation and Realization are like trying to get a flying bird to eat from your hand. If you are trying to grab the bird out of the air, you will never catch it even if you burn all your energy doing so.
Sit quietly, open your hand, and place the seed there. Wait patiently, and the bird will come and land on your palm. It may leave, and come back, or not. It may come and go as it pleases a thousand times in your life. Part of the practice is patience and non-grasping. Stillness. Acceptance.
Know that meditation and realization can be available at any moment, and that it is not a matter of ‘time’, but rather an experience that comes in moments during our lives when we achieve balance – whether you think of this as a balance of polar energies in the body that stimulates kundalini, or whether you see it as a moment of mental stillness that allows us to see beyond Maya (illusion of the mind), or both, or neither. Practice Asana to cultivate focus and prepare the body for stillness so it holds energy like a vessel, then be open to the flow of that energy and the experiences it may bring.
It is a balanced paradox – we practice a physical discipline in order to experience mental clarity and connection with the subtle. We practice non-grasping and acceptance of what is, knowing that anything is possible and that we are the change we seek. One moment of true equanimity can bring a universe of awareness.