THE BRAIN WORKS TOO MUCH!
The problem is that the brain works 24 hours a day without any rest! Yes, we think even while sleeping. Meditation can help us to calm the mind to think with more clarity.
This hyperactive mind that we have needs a rest from time to time. There are many things to be worry about nowadays: Crime, drugs, economy, natural disasters, wars (Specially the tension between USA and North Korea), etc. Some people now are getting afraid of prophecies and the famous End of the World, but I actually think that will never happen as people think and not so soon. Remember to live the present, so do not worry about the future; it is not here. Enjoy life and if it ever comes then do something when it comes.
The brain is always trying to figure out what the future will bring, but it only can guess, it does not know for sure how the future will be. This is a bad mental habit that we all have. When the brain comes telling you something scary about the future tell it: "It is only your opinion, but you do not know it for sure." Think of the brain as someone who comes with his opinion. It is only his opinion, no more than that.
Worries are part of our life, but they can shorten it. Be aware of that and do something about: Do not pretend you know the future. It is uncertain!
Studying the mind and/or the brain is not new. It is new for modern science, but our ancestors knew about the functioning of the brain, specially the mind. The great Masters around the planet understood very well how the mind works and they studied trough meditation. Meditation is the best way to study oneself, our own mind.
Through meditation we become the objective, the aim. Study oneself is possible once we learn to meditate properly. We have to pay the price for that because it is not for beginners. You certainly need a proper training, patience and perseverance. It does not take a few practice, but many to achieve self-control or control of the mind.
Having a proper teacher to guide us is very important...
THE NEED FOR A PROPER TEACHER.
Well, the point is the need of a person who really knows the path into self-knowledge. Both, disciple and teacher, most be patient. The usual problem is that the beginner wants a fast development. That is a real problem because self-understanding yourself and getting into self-knowledge requires many practices and time.
A proper teacher will lead you with patience and tolerance. He will comprehend your needs and he will be there for you. But you most follow his directions. In ancient times, for example, to have a Master to guide you was not that easy. Sometimes Master did not accepted a disciple, so the latter most convince the Master about his determination to follow him. So the aspiring sat down in a place, without eating, for some days until the Masters agreed to accept him. The Master was testing how far the aspiring was able to go. The Master made the aspiring to promise or to swear obedience.
Nowadays things are different. People have not patience and have many wrong ideas that are holding them back. As I said, it is not possible to have a real Master to teach. So if anyone really wants to develop spiritually, specially if getting self-knowledge is the goal, then a proper teacher is a most, a real need.
PRIVATE TEACHER OR A TEACHER FOR A GROUP?
A private teacher can provide a better guide because eventually an trust bond is developed. That helps a lot for communication and guidance. A good relationship based on understanding and trust helps a lot for the inner development.
WHAT IS NEEDED FOR SELF-KNOWLEDGE?
Developing meditation is not a theoretical thing, but a practical activity that involves a discipline. It requires a special development of inner NEW capacities such as CONCENTRATION, IMAGINATION, CONTROL OF THE MIND OR INNER SILENCE, etc.
GNANA YOGA (YOGA OF SELF-KNOWLEDGE)
We are not the body, we are not the mind, we are the soul and our spirit is the root of the soul. Self-knowledge is the identification with Atman. Understanding oneself makes us to get closer to our true nature, to our own root. Atman is an ocean of wisdom and we need to get into it not just to drink his wisdom, but to become part of it.
Mosha, liberation is attain through Gnana Yoga, self-study. Many people feel in their heart the reality of Atman, the reality of a superior way of life but they do not know how to get on the path. Nobody can walk by himself/herself this magnificent path of self-understanding. A proper teacher will be needed. The path is walked alone, but with a guidance of a person who knows the path.
Nothing can be compared with the blessing of going, even for a short time, into inner silence experiencing inner calm and inner peace. This is gain through many practices and through devotion, Bhakti Yoga (Please check: TYPES OF YOGA, link below)
The base of self-knowledge (Gnana Yoga) is meditation and the proper use of the inner energies. The mind needs to be controlled and this is possible through a special energy we have within. these inner energies are vital for the spiritual development and the main one is called : KUNDALINI. (Please check: TYPES OF YOGA, link below)
The importance of Gnana Yoga is that it contains the wisdom of each yoga and the capacity to use them properly in order to get into the inner world. Gnana yoga takes us to enlightenment and understanding of our own nature. There is a mystery within us, that mystery is who we really are. Deep down we are Atman, but our soul needs to discover this mystery not with the intellect, but through experience.