The word ‘meditation’ refers to both the meditation state and meditation techniques. Meditation techniques are tools that help us to experience the meditation state.
The meditation state is a state of deep relaxation and freedom from suffering, which is the ultimate goal of the spiritual path. There are many effective meditation techniques, such as breath meditation, mantra meditation, chanting, walking meditation, sound meditation, mindfulness meditation and Sri Avinash’s Holistic Meditation Technique.
Sri Avinash teaches that ‘emotions follow thoughts like a shadow’. From this, we can learn that disturbing emotions are triggered firstly by thoughts. The thoughts may be, ‘I am not loved’ or ‘You should not do that to me’ or ‘I have to achieve success.’ Whatever the thoughts may be, if a person is experiencing negative emotions, the origin can be traced back to thoughts.
When this is understood, the benefit of meditation techniques becomes quite apparent—if we practice to control or switch off our thoughts, then the corresponding negative emotions can be overcome. This means the power to end our suffering is within our own hands, to the degree that we are able to master our thoughts.
So meditation techniques are tools to practice mastering our thoughts by bringing us, again and again, back to our point of meditative focus, whether it be the breath, the sound of the mantra we are chanting, or the object of our prayer, etc.
Sri Avinash teaches that as we bring our focus to this point of concentration or present moment, thoughts cannot enter at the same time. From this, we can see that the more we build our muscles of concentration, the more we will be able to master our thoughts, and the more we will be able to have control over our own happiness.