5 Ways to Meditate in Everyday Life
Bhagat Trilochan once visited Bhagat Namdev, a tailor by profession. Bhagat Trilochan thought Bhagat Namdev like other devotees would be sitting idle and meditating on God. But much to his astonishment, he found him occupied with his work.
A very interesting conversation follows between them. Bhagat Kabir has recorded this in his couplets in the Guru Granth Sahib.
Trilochan says, "O Namdev! Maya has enticed you, my friend. Why are you printing designs on these sheets and not focusing your mind on God"?
Namdev replies, "O Trilochan! Recite God's Name with your mouth. Do all your work with your hands and feet, and keep your mind imbued with the Lord. - GGS: 1376
The conversation continues and Bhagat Namdev elaborates on it in one of his other hymns in the Guru Granth Sahib, providing some beautiful examples for meditation in daily life.
Like a Kite Flyer
Similarly, while doing our day to day work, we should keep our mind focused on the path shown to us by Gurbani. We can work diligently and still stay connected to the Divine within. It is not a choice of one lifestyle over the other but the harmonious amalgamation of both.
The boy cuts paper to make a kite and flies it in the sky. He talks with many of his friends but still keeps his attention on the kite string. - GGS: 972
Like a Goldsmith
Our life can also be considered intricate in the sense that each and every moment is very important. These moments define our life and we must focus on spending each moment in accordance with the teachings of the Guru. Be dedicated to your work and still remember the Divine.
As a goldsmith's mind is focused on goldwork so my mind is imbued with the Name of the Lord. - GGS: 972
Like the Water-Carrying Girls
This kind of focussed attention is what we need to give to divine teachings. But it is not enough to just keep them enshrined in our minds. We need to translate them into practice. The divine focus guides us in our actions as we conduct ourselves in our daily work, whether at home, in the office or any place of work and even when travelling. Each step of ours, immersed in divine remembrance and focused on divine teachings, leads us to inner bliss.
The young girls in the city take pitchers and fill them with water. They laugh and play, and talk with their friends, but keep their attention focused on their pitchers. - GGS: 972
Like a Cow
Similarly, we can also keep the Divine in mind while indulging in and carrying out our worldly affairs through our ten senses (ten gates); five sense organs of perception/knowledge: ears, eyes, skin, tongue and nose, and five organs of action: mouth, hands, legs, excretory and genitals.
The cow is let loose, out of the mansion of the ten gates, to graze in the field. The cowherd grazes it five miles away from the mansion, but it is always thinking of its calf. - GGS: 972
Like a Mother
Likewise, our focus on the Divine whilst going about our daily routine needs to mirror a mother's focused devotion and love for her offspring.
The child is laid down in the cradle. The mother works inside and outside of the house, but keeps her mind on the child. - GGS: 972
In conclusion, Gurbani has given us a simple insight into meditation. This requires no special time, place or ritual. Remembering the Divine at all times while performing one's worldly tasks is all that is needed.
Work diligently on every task you undertake and keep the Divine enshrined within your heart.
Living one's life through divine remembrance and putting into practice the wisdom we obtain from Gurbani - teachings in the Guru Granth Sahib is a form of meditation!
There is one art of which man should be master, the art of reflection. -Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
The article has been extracted from one of AWAT issues "How to meditate on God".
Those who wish to receive the gems of Gurbani from AWAT can register here: http://awordathought.com/
Compiled and edited by
Dr. Jaswant Singh