Meditation is the highest method of mystical practice.
It is meditation as a method that allows one to cognize Living
God and — at the very end — to come to Mergence with Him.
Meditation is the work of consciousness, not the work of mind. In meditation, the mind has to be silent, and there are special techniques which help one to learn stopping the work of the mind for the time needed for meditation. This is called mastering the mental pause.
With the help of meditation, a consciousness can be developed from tiny sizes — to the cosmic ones. The process of such a development of consciousness is called crystallization. It is meditation and crystallization that Jesus talked about when He said “God is Spirit, and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). That is, we must perceive ourselves not as bodies but as spiritual substance — consciousnesses — and as developed consciousnesses to aspire to the Consciousness of God.
One can master the initial stages of spiritual development within
raja yoga or within any other analogous system of self-perfection. The further advancement is realized on the stage called by Krishna
buddhi yoga — the yoga of consciousness.
In the classic scheme of advancement through the stages of spiritual development outlined by
Patanjali, meditation (dhyana) is on the seventh place. It is preceded by learning the ethical principles, the rules of hygiene, making the body healthy with the help of special complexes of physical exercises, cleansing and development of the
chakras and bioenergy channels, learning to control the mind and many other things. In the Patanjali’s scheme, meditation leads to
Samadhi, where a significant amount of work within buddhi yoga has to be done.
Sathya Sai Baba says about the highest stage of mastering meditation the following: “The correct meditation is merging of all thoughts and senses with God,… when all actions originate from the God’s Consciousness and not from the mind of man”.