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Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Meditation
by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati 

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The phrases Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced are being used here solely because we are all familiar with this language. There is no intent here to categorize, classify, or label people by the use of these terms. Rather, it should allow you to easily see the universal process of meditation more clearly. You might also find it useful in observing your progress. The six subcategories below are very broad, applying to virtually any system of meditation. This outline attempts to capture the entire process of meditation, from beginning to the height of direct experience. By understanding this general process, it is much easier to learn and do the practices themselves. (See also the related download PDF article entitled The Path.)

Beginning Intermediate Advanced

In the Beginning stages of practice, you think that you are meditating, while you are actually still learning methods. This is a pleasant time of learning, as benefits start to come from practicing. (more info)

In the Intermediate stages, you have a pretty good grasp of the process of meditation. The practices already learned are being improved upon, and new practices are being integrated with them. (more info)

In the Advanced stages, you have a solid foundation in understanding the process of meditation, as well as practicing meditation. You now explore and transcend the subtler aspects of your inner world. (more info)

1. Foundation, Lifestyle,
Meditation in Action
3. Stabilizing and Refining
your Practices
5. Exploring and Purifying
the Unconscious Mind

Successfully practicing meditation requires having a well balanced lifestyle and a basic degree of self awareness, as can be cultivated in daily life. In this foundation stage, you cultivate practices and attitudes such as non-harming, lovingness, compassion, and acceptance. Primitive urges for food, sleep, sex, and self-preservation are seen and wisely regulated. Balanced lifestyle and meditation in action brings stability of mind. (more info)

During this important phase, determination is developed to stay with the practices, gently learning and growing. It is a time for gaining proficiency in the methods already learned. New methods or alterations of existing methods are learned and integrated into the practices. You are beginning to get a feel for the nature of the whole process of meditation, and how to integrate other practices such as contemplation, prayer, and mantra. (more info)

Now you are ready to explore the normally unexamined inner world. The deep unconscious that might have previously been avoided is now invited to come forward for introspection. Principles such as the four functions of mind (manas, chitta, ahamkara, and buddhi) are seen quite clearly. The inner process speeds up as more and more of the deep impressions driving karma are seen, examined, and weakened in the depths of meditation. (more info)

2. Establishing the
Practice of Meditation
4. Training and Calming
the Conscious Mind
6. Going Through and
Beyond the Mind

Building upon that solid foundation, you can more easily learn the actual practices of meditation, while these first two stages are somewhat done together. You establish a regular time and place for meditation each day, develop your sitting posture, and learn to work with and train the senses, body, breath, and mind. Individual techniques are learned and repeated over and over, coordinating them systematically. (more info)

Here, you can easily calm the conscious mind. The days of the "noisy" mind are behind you. You can easily regulate your breath, balance the energies, and find peace of mind. The process of meditation is clear, as you spend your time practicing rather than learning methods. Many people stop here, as if this calmness is the goal of meditation. Actually, it is the prerequisite for true meditation leading to subtler direct experience. (more info)

After accepting the unconscious material, you leave behind memories, pictures, and words. You examine and explore the inner instruments themselves, such as the subtle energies and elements, which are the very building blocks of ourselves as individuals. Gradually, you move past even these, traveling into and through even the subtlest channel of light and sound, to the absolute reality of who you really are as pure being or consciousness. (more info)









This site is devoted to presenting the ancient Self-Realization path of the Tradition of the Himalayan masters in simple, understandable and beneficial ways, while not compromising quality or depth. The goal of our sadhana or practices is the highest Joy that comes from the Realization in direct experience of the center of consciousness, the Self, the Atman or Purusha, which is one and the same with the Absolute Reality. This Self-Realization comes through Yoga meditation of the Yoga Sutras, the contemplative insight of Advaita Vedanta, and the intense devotion of Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra, the three of which complement one another like fingers on a hand. We employ the classical approaches of Raja, Jnana, Karma, and Bhakti Yoga, as well as Hatha, Kriya, Kundalini, Laya, Mantra, Nada, Siddha, and Tantra Yoga. Meditation, contemplation, mantra and prayer finally converge into a unified force directed towards the final stage, piercing the pearl of wisdom called bindu, leading to the Absolute.