a sample meditation
Dec 11, 1993 08:51 AM
Meditation is a general term, one with many meanings. It has been used
to describe everything from a passive sitting for psychic development
to intense concentration. We could try to define it, but the definition
would have to be arbitrary, since there are so many things that it
could refer to.
Rather than trying to pin it down to describe a single practice, it
might be better to look at a few different forms of meditation and see
if there's anything that might be useful for the serious Theosophist.
Each of the various practices provide their own type of training. There
are specific goals for each technique. We have training in unmoveable
concentration, in contemplation, and in penetrating wisdom. What would
we recommend? It depends upon the person, but we can distinguish
between good and bad practices.
On the bad side are the practices that open up the psychic nature, that
have us practice a passivity of consciousness, a negative receptivity.
We can sit and be impressionable and give ourselves over to the
But this is not good. The self-conscious nature must be strengthened,
not weakened. The degree of control over our awareness must be
enhanced, not surrendered. We need to awaken the brilliant, shining,
penetrating mind, the diamond mind, where our nature is illuminated
from within. We do not descend into the fog and see what comes to us.
Meditation might be called a cultivation of mind, where some sense of
direction is applied. Certain thoughts are weeded out. Others are
nurtured. Like turning a field of weeds into a flower garden, we kill
out what should not be there, and plant and water what we want to see.
The initial--and never-ending--study of the core concepts of Theosophy
represent the sowing of the ground, the planting of the crop, the
planting of the flower bulbs that will make our future garden. Then
we tend to it, daily, and see that the weeds are uprooted and it gets
watered. We control our thoughts, we direct them, by dwelling on the
beautiful, the noble, the grand truths.
When an ugly, hateful, destructive thought enters our mind, we cannot
recall it. Once a thought has been born into the world, it has a life
of its own, and cannot be recalled. We are forever responsible for
having given it birth.
But we can counteract the harm that it may do, by creating thoughts of
an opposite nature, thoughts that will undo its harm. Having a thought
of hate, for instance, we can picture the opposite, and send out a
thought of love. And we can, even when not responsible for setting
loose evil thoughts in the world, practice thinking kindly, nobly,
charitably of others. We can practice keeping high thoughts of others
and intentionally, in our minds, wish them well.
Having a meditation at a fixed period every day can help, by the force
of habit, to assist one in the process. The natural rhythm of the
daily cycle can calm one, bring him into the proper frame of mind, and
make the meditation a natural thing. This is good for beginners,
because it guarantees that at least for a few minutes everyday that
the spiritual is considered, that the spiritual is not completely
forgotten in the mad rush of the daily events.
For people opening up to more, for those approaching the Path, they can
carry their meditation with them throughout the day. They too may set
aside some time, but it is less important that it be the same every
day. They treasure the higher life, and go back to it whenever a few
free moments offer themselves.
They are, in a sense, in love with the spiritual, and seek to behold
it when then can. And when busy with the responsibilities of the daily
life, when not able to directly think about their beloved, they still
carry it with them, in the background, as a pervasive feeling and
thought that colors things and imparts a richer quality to the
experience of life.
We can practice this, we can dwell in thought on things that are greater
than ourselves, and *live life in a wider perspective*. By not
considering things from the standpoint of the personality, by not
acting based upon personal advantage, by working for the universal good,
we can live, in a sense, on a higher plane, as we go through the
experience of life, even though we may, outwardly, be doing the very
same activites as before.
For the most advanced, for advanced chelas, having a specific time of
day for meditation again becomes important. This has to do with their
occult training, something that we would not be ready for without the
proper instruction and without reaching the proper state of readiness.
We really don't need to concern ourselves with this aspect of
Let us consider one meditative practice. This is somethat that most of
us could follow with little trouble. We may take about 30 to 45 minutes
a day, and do it in the morning, upon awakening, or just before bed
We would find a place where there was no external distractions, where
the people about us would not disrupt our practice, and pull us away
to do something else. We can still be surrounded by the the sounds of
others, we do not need solitude. And people can be going about their
activites about us, as long as they let us be, and do not interrupt
what we are doing.
We accept what is going on about us as part of the noise of our lives,
both externally in the outer world as well as internally, in the
mind, and simply allow it to be. We allow life to go on, and learn to
function in that part of us that remains undisturbed, that operates at
a different, a higher level, than the activites of the personal world,
a part that observes but is unaffected.
Divide the meditative period into three parts of about equal length.
The first part is to work on releasing the mental noise, on letting go
of the activity of Kama-Manas, of stepping away from the turbulent
swirl of the brain-mind activities of our everyday life.
Our minds are filled with the details of the day-to-day life. We think
of groceries to buy, of letters to write, of people to call. We are
concerned about things that we must do next week. We are filled with
thoughts of our the immediate activities of our personal lives. All
this is Kama-Manas, and must be let go of, but not in an irresponsible
We let go of these thoughts, but still insure that their needs are met.
For what we do is to sit still, at a desk, with pad of paper and pen,
and face these thoughts head on. As thoughts arise regarding things
that we must do, we write notes. If the thought is important, we write
something, if it is not, we give it up, and truly decide that it will
not be done, and write nothing.
We are passing judgement on this rush of thoughts, saving those to
paper that we must do, and letting go of them. Having writting a
reminder word, phrase, or few sentances, we know that we won't forget
to do that important thing! It will not be forgotten, so we can let go
of the thought, forget it, and it frees us a bit further, to pursue
We are doing, in a small sense, what happens in the second death, the
breaking free of Kama-Manas in the after-death process, and are
preparing to more forward.
These thoughts will keep rushing at us, and a few minutes is not
sufficient to take care of them all. We are only skimming off the
surface. We can handle a few of them, but try to move on to the next
of the three stages of this meditation after a few minutes, because
the time is so short!
Where we to spend an entire week at a zen retreat, a Dai Sesshin,
meditating from 3 a.m. to 9 p.m., with individual guidance by a Zen
Master, we'd still, perhaps, find layer after layer of these thoughts
arising, perhaps through the entire week.
These outer thoughts never go away, as long as we have personalities,
since they represent the mental functioning of the personality. In
our training, in our meditation, we are trying to rise above them, to
function in something higher, to awaken self-consciousness in a higher
part of ourselves, as the first step in the process of making that
higher center our seat of consciousness.
The personality still functions, it still has its thoughts, but we are
working on someday being Dhyani Chohans, on being Manasaputras, on
functioning at Buddhi-Manas rather than Kama-Manas, and so we seek in
our meditation to first quiet the mind, then to try to function
The second step in this meditation would be to sit still, putting down
pen and paper, and contemplate theosophical thoughts, like Manas, or
high virtues, like Truth, and try to see it all about one, everywhere
in life. Find the though prevading everything, look at it from every
angle, and try truly to understand it. Pick a single thought, and
stick to it. Gaze upon it and behold its true nature, and consider how
it manifests itself in the world. Then look upon yourself as having
become, as being the idea that you've been contemplating. Picture
yourself as *it*, expressing itself in the world.
The third step in the meditation would be to stop trying to look at
the idea, the virtue, the ideal, and just sit quietly. Accept life,
don't try to put any qualification upon it. Picture the void and dwell
in it. But when picturing the void, the inner, dark, deep, secret side
to life, do not contemplate it as the lack of something, as the
privation of things that exist. It is without qualification, even that
of negation, and cannot be pictured except in the sense of simply
*being*. It is here, but nowhere, and we just accept it, realize that
we are bathed in, and deeply rooted in it. We sit in reverence, in
full enjoyment, in perfect peace, and contemplate our root nature.
These three stages of this example meditation reflect the three
stages of the after-death stages, the three stages of letting go
from life. First is the freeing from the personality, second is the
release from the ideal world, from the formless, higher nature, and
finally the dwelling in the inner silence.
The final aspect of the meditation would corresponding to the return
to live, to seeking a new rebirth in the world. We come back to the
duty to see that our list of items are actually done, as we have
written that they will, in this very day, or that they are put on our
calander and really scheduled to be done.
More importantly, we have a responsiblity to carry the sense of
peace and perfection that we have felt, and the new understanding of
the noble truth or virtue that we have experienced. We have a
responsibility to carry it into our coming day, if we've just meditated
in the morning, or to go to sleep, then awaken to the next day with
being carried out the next day, if our meditation was late at night,
before going to bed.
Eldon Tucker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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