Meditation on Giving

Meditation on Giving
Swami Niranjananda Saraswati

This simple meditation practice can be done immediately after your morning mantra sadhana, and it will help you to begin the day filled with a sense of kindness and generosity.

Assume a meditation posture and place your hands in hridaya mudra, the gesture of the heart, by bringing the index finger to the root of the thumb and the middle and ring fingers to the tip of the thumb. Close the eyes and allow the breath to become calm, even and steady. Draw the awareness to the heart centre, and become aware of the good fortunes in your life, the comforts, the opportunities, the support, the love that is all around you. Know that your life is perfect and complete just as it is, that there is nothing more for you to wish or desire. Rest in the sense of gratitude and satisfaction you feel from this understanding, and simultaneously allow the energy of the gurus and ishta to fill your being.

Now bring to mind people who may be suffering or experiencing need in the world. It might be just one person you know, it might be a stranger, it might be several people or an entire community. It might even be someone you caused hurt to. Identify with their needs and struggles, feel their pain, their worries and distresses. Know that their sorrow is your sorrow, and your joy is their joy, too.

Now recall Sri Swami Satyananda’s sankalpa: to serve, to love, to give. Feel its force permeate each and every pore of your being and reach into the depth of your heart.

Staying with this experience, make an offering to the person or people. Give to them whatever they need to overcome their suffering. Remember that you live in abundance, so you can feel free to give generously. This can be done in the form of a prayer or a sankalpa, or you can visualize the actual act of giving. Give your love, your compassion, your understanding, your joy and contentment.

After a few minutes, discontinue this visualization and draw the awareness back to hridayakasha. Notice anything you might be experiencing there: feelings of lightness or expansion, different sensations or emotions. Rest in these feelings for a short while.

Now begin to visualize a flame at hridayakasha. It is luminous and bright, and it burns steadily, without the slightest hint of movement. Know that this light is your true Self.

You are pure light and luminosity. The more you give, the brighter you become.

Experience the body filling up with this golden light and radiating out into the world, a pure and divine radiance. If you can maintain continuous awareness of this light throughout the day, you will find yourself in a perpetual state of giving.

Remain in the experience for some time and then, slowly, begin to externalize. Become aware of your surroundings. Hear the sounds. Feel the steady, inflow and outflow of the breath. Feel the body. Chant Om three times and slowly open your eyes.