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Though the outcome and benefits of meditation seems to resemble like that of trance, a state of self-forgetfulness, meditation strikes an everlasting positive note on one's body, mind and soul. As one of the most important meditation tips, a practitioner should be able to differentiate between the natural state of peace and self-forgetfulness.
Meditation is discovering a vibrant, conscious and blissful state with awareness. It is a natural state. Whereas trance translates into a state of self forgetfulness with ignorance. It is just a temporary lulling of the mind. When one comes out of the state of trance, one cannot but will have to get caught in the constant din of thoughts.
However, it is inevitable in the early stages of meditation from entering into a sleep like state or a trance, where awareness is ruled out. It is often compared to sleep, which is an ignorant state, where awareness is absent. Meditation, with practice brings about a peaceful state like that of sleep, yet vibrant with awareness, even in the waking state.
Meditation is purely a subjective approach and though some of the meditation techniquesinvolve meditating on an object (a deity, flame of a candle etc), gradually the objects drop, with the result being the experience of meditation, the feeling of just being in peace.
Further more since, meditation is subjective, there is no dependence on external factors to trigger the peace experience. It simply springs from oneself when the mind is tuned to the meditative mode.
Trance also happens by external dependence, which triggers it, like drugs, alcohol etc.
It is even common with many spiritual followers, who lose themselves to the hold of drugs, for a self imposed intoxicated state, claiming it to be the ultimate state to be achieved. External dependence on any object is transitory and cannot claim a lasting and peaceful impact on the practitioner. It only makes one a prisoner, while meditation sets one free from the various clutches of the mind.
Spiritual masters however have pointed out pitfalls in meditation, to disciples. As one of the most important meditation tips, Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi, often urged his meditating disciples, who fell into a temporal lulling of the mind, to be awakened, to take a walk before he resumes his meditation later.
Thus a practitioner of meditation, should be aware, as one of the most important meditation tips, that a self forgetful state is not the actual peace that meditation renders.