Ashok Kumar Malhotra- Faculty Columnist
Janaka was a famous king of India who had mastered the art of meditation in action. Having perfected a number of meditation skills, a monk boasted that he was as good as King Janaka. To test his special capabilities, the monk approached the king and said, “I have mastered the art of meditation in action and am as good as you. If you want proof of my mastery, put me through a test.” After listening to the monk intently, the king replied, “I am delighted that you have mastered the art of meditation in action. There is a simple way to check it out. Here is a task for you. Take this wine goblet filled to its brim. Walk through every nook and corner of the palace and come back to me without spilling a single drop.”
As the monk picked up the wine goblet, he told himself that he would fix his attention only on the goblet and would not let anything to distract him. With this determination, he walked through the entire palace, watching very carefully his every step so that not a single drop of wine spilled. Since he was successful in his concentration, he came back to the king and boasted that no one on this earth was equal to him in meditation.
After listening to the monk, the king said, “I am impressed with your power of concentration. You have proved your skills but there is another part to the test. Now take the goblet of wine and walk through the entire palace, make stops to talk to the guards, watch the dancers, look at the paintings and chandeliers, observe the cooks preparing a delicious meal, watch the royal children learning their lessons in the school, smell the flowers in the garden, talk to the ministers, and hold discussion with the justice of the peace. While you are enjoying the panorama of royal life within the boundaries of the palace, see to it that not a single drop of wine spills. If you can accomplish this simple feat then you have perfected the art of meditation in action.”
Exercise for this week: (Breathe in ‘HUM’ and breathe out ‘SO’)
Caution: This exercise is offered as a suggestion. If done correctly on a regular basis and for a long time, it might help.
Sit in the easy posture. Put your thumbs on the index fingers and place your hands on the knees. Close both of your eyes. Breathe in and out. Observe the flow of your breathing. It will feel good. As you breathe in, think about ‘HUM.’ When you breathe out, think about ‘SO.’ While you are breathing in ‘HUM’ and breathing out ‘SO’ you will become aware of the ideas in your mind or sounds around you. Notice these ideas or sounds but do not linger on them. Go back to breathing in ‘HUM’ and breathing out ‘SO’. Continue with breathing in ‘HUM’ and breathing out ‘SO’ for two minutes and then stop. Take a break for one minute. Then continue with breathing in ‘HUM’ and breathing out ‘SO’ for two more minutes. It will feel very good. Start your day by doing this exercise every morning and end your day by doing this exercise every evening for five to six minutes. Power up the engine of your life with this simple exercise each day!