QUESTIONS: “As a tip for a beginner, how do you approach meditation? What is your goal? What do you gain from it?”
I approach meditation without a desire to get anything out of it.
I find that it is best to think of one’s self as a channel, a receiver of gifts that are then to be passed along.
Meditation can be different things depending on the approach used. It can be about thought, about love, but fundamentally it leads beyond the mind.
Objectively, the tools are images/visualizations, words (affirmations), and forgetfulness of the physical body. A few deep breaths and total relaxation are good, but–in general—strenuous breathing exercise are to be avoided.
The fundamental power of affirmation is in the expression as “I am X” where X is God, spirit, life, humanity, beauty, love, spiritual power, order, harmony, etc. This corresponds to the fact and realization of unity. Meditation is movement toward consciousness unity.
The gains or effects of mediation vary depending on the type and depth of it, but they include:
* direct realization of spiritual reality
* knowledge of one’s purpose in life and of the meaning of life (nonverbally apprehended)
* detachment and disidentification from the things that formerly bound us
* realization that there are “More things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of…”
* sensing of deeper energies on some level, including energize in the body itself
* relationships with the sources–individual and/or groups–from which great spiritual teachings come
* consciousness of immortality
* greater mental clarity and self control
* the realization of the profound significance of the life of service to humanity
- a. an emotional tendency to lean on nothing, believing it to be something.
- b. verification by the heart
- c. wishful thinking used to cover a multitude of sins
- d. knowledge that is half in shadow and half in light
- e. the passion of fools and persecutors
- f. the bird that sings while the dawn is still dark
- g. all of the above
- h. none of the above
- i. all of the above and none of the above
Loss of face is
- a. social dishonor
- b. a misnomer for loss of mask
- c. gain of heart
When I speak of love, I’m usually referring to:
- a. Dependency
- b Idolization
- c. Sentimentality
- d. Friendship
- e. Wisdom of the soul
- f. Physical attraction
- g. The worship of the divine through human
- h The desire to love
- i. The desire to be loved
- j. Finding the right object of love
- k. A relationship to a specific person
- l. Selfless giving
- m. Over protectiveness
- n Consciousness of God
- o Economics
- p. Other
Most spiritual guidance is
- a. from one’s own mind
- b. personal delusions from one’s own mind
- c. subconscious wish-life
- d. aspirations from previous lives
- e. communication from ordinary discarnate people
- f. unconscious telepathic eavesdropping
- g. misappropriation of thoughts floating in space
- h. from one’s own soul
- i. from a great spiritual teacher
- j. tricky combinations of a few the above
Forgiveness is a sign of imperfect tolerance. True/false
Most meditation is selfish and is so not meditation at all. True/false
All people who have only two eyes and two years are blind and deaf. True/false
All true/false and multiple-choice questions are misleading oversimplifications. True/False
One late afternoon many years ago, I was in a cab in some small city in Japan, returning to the ship. I do not recall what was in my mind at the moment as it was not especially memorable. But suddenly, I found myself up high in a very serene place. From this “height” I looked down on my thoughts as if they were a landscape viewed from high altitude aircraft. I found, that from this place of quiet, I had absolutely perfect control over every thought.
“Far below me I saw Earth as a little cold room that had opened its doors and let me free.”
– Winged Pharaoh, Joan Grant
Each word or word combination, beyond its formal meaning, has also a sound value. We might think of this as its qualitative or musical value. In music we recognize how sound communicates directly. The finest music and the finest speech resonate to the soul of things and give direct access to a world of meaning. Though we may not always be aware of it, the sound value of words speaks to us on a nonverbal level, and this meaning suffuses the formal meaning we apprehend by memory and association.
We might think of the sound or musical value of words as cymatic, where the geometry and forms of sound that we see in Cymatics have also their psychological correspondences. Under the impress of sounds, patterns arise in consciousnesses that are revelatory. And it is not simply objective sounds, as when we read or speak aloud—it is also the subtle sounds of inner life, the quiet patterns that form in the depths of thought and feelings as we listen, read, or think.
We sense patterns in consciousness, derive meaning, and these take shape in words, pictures, and sound. Our speech gives a body to consciousness, and gives others access to our inner life. We can also say that the sound/consciousness relation works in both directions where sound arises from consciousness and consciousness arises from sound.
In the Eastern concept of “mantra” the usual idea is that there are special words or formulas that, when repeated, give a desired result. As is often the case, a subtler meaning is contained in the root of a word. The word “mantra” is from the Sanskrit word “man” meaning “to think” with the suffix “tra” referring to a tool or instrument. In essence, mantra means “instrument of thought.” We may say that—among other things–mantra evokes thought or consciousness and that right thought or consciousness produces spiritually meaningfully expression or “mantra.”
There is a special power that comes from learning new words and from learning new meanings for familiar words. The eminent psychologist, Dr. Roberto Assagioli, wrote, “Words possess the power of stimulating and arousing activity associated with them. They evoke and make operative the meanings and idea-forces that they signify.” But I would add, they only do so when we tap into one of the deeper levels of meaning behind them.
Everything has a multitude of levels or dimensions, and our vocabulary is no exception; it evolves as we do. So we find new words for new experiences that come to us, and we find new dimensions that give deeper meaning to the words we now use. Words like “self” and “love” have many meanings, and the meanings we give them depend on our developing experience.
We can take any word our intuition underscores as important, and use it meditatively. It’s good exercise to proceed as if we don’t really know the meanings of important words we use. On some level this is always true. For instance, we might take the new word “spirit” into our vocabulary and see it in a completely new way, as if for the first time. Likewise, the new word “love” will have for us a spectrum of meanings not yet divined. We can always seek behind our words, going one dimension deeper into meaning. And when we have done that, then stay open for the next layer of meaning, and the next….
“But customs make one customary. Therefore, I urge you to look at the sky as if for the first time.”
Leaves of M’s Garden II, 191
All the phenomena of life are meditation forms. Meditation arises spontaneously from the hidden side of things; no waking person can escape the glory of it. There are great shocks of communion in children’s faces and in the pages of books. And here it presses itself upon us in the voices of friends and in the sun behind clouds. And when we dutifully set meditation aside as a packaged ritual of image and word, we may find this works also, but for some of us, not as well as life. For me, the artificiality of forms suffocates, and I try to avoid death by improvising. On a good day perhaps directing our gaze is form enough. From that alone we may slip quietly into the great blue sky of the real.