A Q&A with spiritual leader BK Jayanti
BK Jayanti Kirpalani has been a spiritual leader, teacher and emissary for peace for more than 45 years with the Brahma Kumaris, the world’s largest spiritual organisation led by women. Although based in the UK, her work has taken her to more than 90 countries, where she has inspired millions of people with her wisdom.
In early December 2013, BK Jayanti is visiting Australia on her Happiness … The Power Within tour. She’ll be delivering free talks on the power of a positive mind and how meditation can allow you to access your inner power of happiness. WellBeing asked her four reader questions about meditation, ahead of her visit. Here’s what she said.
Meditation is about quieting the mind but no matter how much I try I just can’t keep it silent. What do I do?
The meditation of Raja Yoga is really not so much about simply quieting the mind but using the energy of the mind in a pure, elevated direction. When I create thoughts related to the eternal self and the original qualities of the self — truth, Beauty, love, peace, joy — my mind begins to move in the right direction and gradually the speed of the mind slows down and it comes to a point where the mind is very quiet. There are still thoughts but there’s a lot of space between the thoughts, and in the space between the thoughts is the experience of the qualities of the eternal self. I can begin with just a few minutes each day and gradually increase that time and the mind will gently learn to become quiet.
I’d like to learn to switch off from other people’s negativity. Can meditation help me do that? If not, can you suggest other ways I can block out negative comments?
When I understand that I am the master of my own thoughts, feelings, attitude and vision, then I ensure that my thoughts, feelings, attitude and vision remain elevated and pure. This is something that is totally up to me. Whatever another is saying or doing, I don’t have to absorb that within myself but I can keep my mind on a higher level. This is something that one can train oneself for. If I don’t practise this, I will always be a puppet, being pulled in different directions by whatever other people are saying and doing.
Raja — the king — means to be the master of the self. Having come to the awareness of the self, I can also then connect with the Divine and this is actually why we use the word yoga — the link, the union with the Supreme, the Highest Being. Each day, having created that link and experienced that connection — and the benefits of that — I can ensure that I experience a canopy of protection from above. I visualise that canopy and I carry it with me, so that it can protect me from any negative influences. If I keep connecting with the Divine and allow the canopy of peace and love to surround and protect me, the negativity that exists out there doesn’t touch me.
How can meditation help me live in the way I wish to live — mindfully, gratefully and with hope?
Raja Yoga meditation is connected with the quality of thoughts and therefore the quality of words and actions. Creating the right thoughts at the start of the day ensures that through the day I am more mindful about the way in which I speak and behave. In the early hours of the morning, creating the awareness of gratitude and experiencing the upliftment of the self fills one with hope, and one is able to see a transformation within the self. This encouragement allows the practitioner to move forward. Pausing for a moment of silence regularly, maybe even once every hour on the hour, is a beautiful reminder to focus inwards, connect upwards and then come out with the gifts that the moment of silence has given.
I like the idea of meditation and I know it has a lot of benefits, but I never seem to find the time for it. How can I learn the self-discipline needed to meditate?
Creating time in the early morning hours is probably the easiest way to begin the practice. It’s the time when there are no other demands and, if I have begun to feel the benefits of meditation, I will very quickly realise that these early morning hours are absolutely the best time possible. If I can begin the day well, the rest of the day flows very smoothly. Seeing and experiencing the benefits is a very sweet incentive to continue this practice.
Each meditation is filled with fresh experiences: sometimes different aspects of the original qualities of the self, sometimes different relationships with the Divine and, at other times, the different qualities of the Divine. And, because each meditation offers a very beautiful, different experience, that again generates an interest within the soul to spend time in silence. So it’s something that one looks forward to, rather than the feeling of an imposition of a discipline.
For more details, visit bkjayanti.org.