In the mighty lamp of wisdom, overflowing with the oil of vairagya (detachment) and furnished with the wick of bhakti, one should kindle the light of knowledge and see. Then the darkness of disillusion being dispelled, (Siva) Himself becomes manifested. With a view to dispel the utter darkness, the devotee should produce fire, making vairagya the lower arani and knowledge the upper one; then Siva will exhibit to his view the hidden reality. (see below for an illustration of Arani)
Dwelling in the devotee as his own very Self with His inherent bliss, He revives viveka hitherto over-powered with delusion and oppressed by duality for want of proper enquiry into truth. Thus Siva, showing Himself in all his Bliss, restores to life the son of Mrikandu (Markandeya), hitherto oppressed with the fear of Yama, the latter dragging him with the bands of rope tied around his body.
Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi recommended the self-enquiry method for meditation:
First, there should arise the conviction: "I am not this body"
and then one should engage in the enquiry: "Then, Who am I?"
Meditation on this query will lead one to the conclusion: "I am HE".
Ramana Maharishi therefore, suggested
the following chanting in the mind as an aid to meditation:
I am not the body
Who am I?
I am He
The web-site: http://www.yogapoint.com/info/meditation.htm contains an excellent article on Meditation in great detail.
See also below Jiddu Krishnamurti's thoughts on Meditation.
You have to find out what meditation is. It is a most extraordinary thing to know what meditation is not how to meditate, not the system, not the practice, but the content of meditation. To be in the meditative mood and to go into that meditation requires a very generous mind, a mind that has no border, a mind that is not caught in the process of time. A mind that has not committed itself to anything, to any activity, to any thought, to any dogma, to any family, to a name it is only such a mind that can be generous; and it is only such a mind that can begin to understand the depth, the beauty and the extraordinary loveliness of meditation.
They sit in a corner, close their eyes and concentrate, like school boys trying to concentrate on a book. That is not meditation. Meditation is something extraordinary, if you know how to do it.
First of all, sit very quietly; do not force yourself to sit quietly, but sit or lie down quietly without force of any kind. Do you understand? Then watch your thinking. Watch what you are thinking about. You find you are thinking about your shoes, your saris, what you are going to say, the bird outside to which you listen; follow such thoughts and enquire why each thought arises. Do not try to change your thinking. See why certain thoughts arise in your mind so that you begin to understand the meaning of every thought and feeling without any enforcement. And when a thought arises, do not condemn it, do not say it is right, it is wrong, it is good, it is bad. Just watch it, so that you begin to have a perception, a consciousness which is active in seeing every kind of thought, every kind of feeling. You will know every hidden secret thought, every hidden motive, every feeling, without distortion, without saying it is right, wrong, good or bad. When you look, when you go into thought very very deeply, your mind becomes extraordinarily subtle, alive. No part of the mind is asleep. The mind is completely awake.
That is merely the foundation. Then your mind is very quiet. Your whole being becomes very still. Then go through that stillness, deeper, further that whole process is meditation. Meditation is not to sit in a corner repeating a lot of words; or to think of a picture and go into some wild, ecstatic imaginings.
To understand the whole process of your thinking and feeling is to be free from all thought, to be free from all feeling so that your mind, your whole being becomes very quite. And that is also part of life and with that quietness, you can look at the tree, you can look at people, you can look at the sky and the stars. That is the beauty of life
Extracts from: http://www.katinkahesselink.net/kr/meditate.htm
Picture below of Arani is from Business Line (Hindu
Group) d. Apr.19, 2002
Producing agni (fire) for yagna by churning with arani at a Vedic Village in Kerala.