A man who prays can never understand what is meditation, because he is concerned with gain. Meditation is a process of understanding. Understanding is not a result and it is not something you gain. It is a process of self-discovery. That means meditation is an awareness of your whole process of living. Meditation is a process of understanding, the process of your whole being, not only a part of it, and that means that you have to be aware of everything that you are doing. it is not concentration. You take a picture and you focus your attention on that. That is comparatively easy. That is exclusive, you exclude all thoughts and you focus your attention on one point. Surely that is not meditation. Meditation is an awareness constantly becoming deeper and deeper as a result of clearly seeing through the many layers of consciousness. It is like a pool that is still when the process is over. When the problem ceases through awareness the solution becomes stillness. It cannot be made quiet. So prayer, concentration, meditation, are entirely different things and he who prays can never know what meditation is; neither he who concentrates can ever know what meditation is. For meditation is spontaneous and therefore it requires spontaneity and not a regimented mind. Spontaneity comes into being when there is awareness, awareness in which there is no condemnation, no judgment and no identification. If you go deeper and deeper and let it flow freely it becomes meditation, in which the thinker is the thought and there is no division between the thinker and the thought.
Public Talk 26th October, 1947