In the previous chapters we have already mentioned some very valuable “objects of concentration” for our meditation. Here we will mention a few more as well as some techniques or visualizations which you can use in order to move into a meditative state more easily and then begin to focus on your regular object. These introductory techniques are not designed to be meditations in themselves (although in some cases they can be) but rather as a way to develop inner concentration and a spiritual orientation in the mind so that we can then begin to focus on our chosen object of concentration. We will refer to these methods then as “Objects” or as “Methods of moving into meditation” accordingly. You can use them as they suit you best.
ALIGNING THE BODY
The first step in preparing for any type of meditation is to establish the proper conditions in the body. Assume your favorite position. Make sure the body is comfortable and the spine straight. Then check the key points. The legs, abdomen, are they relaxed? The upper back, shoulders and arms, are they relaxed? Straighten the neck, relax the cheeks, temples, eyes, forehead. Let the spine become even straighter and relax any parts of the body which are still tense. Move on into your meditation. This is common to all meditations.
FOLLOWING THE BREATH
The breath can be used both as a means of moving into meditation and as an object of meditation. We have already mentioned in a previous chapter how to use slow, rhythmic, deep breathing (especially the Alternate breath with breathing ratio) as a means of increasing and harmonizing the bioenergy for a more harmonious meditation. Here we will focus on the breath as an “Object”. We simply watch the breath, as it comes in and flows out. We experience its movement through the nostrils, perhaps down into the lungs and then back up again and out of the nostrils. Or we simply remain focused on its movement in and out of the nostril. We do not control the breath. We do not breath deeply or in some specific rhythm, unless this occurs naturally without intervention. We are simply the witness of our breath. If it stops, we simply notice that it has stopped. If it is rapid, we notice that it is rapid. If it is deep or shallow, we just observe this. We make no judgments that “this is good breathing” or “bad breathing”. We simply witness without evaluation or judgment or control. This meditation creates a deep peace and can be done even while we are in activity, while working or waiting or walking, we can watch our breath without trying to control it.
Visualizing positive realities and wishing well for ourselves and others is an excellent way to create a positive mental state conducive for meditation. One can take a few deep breaths or use any method for relaxing his mind and begin to create positive mental images concerning himself, his loved ones, humanity and the world as a whole. One common method of moving to deeper levels of concentration is that used by the system called “Mind Control”. We sit with the spine straight and breathe slowly and deeply. After a few minutes we take in a deep inhalation and upon exhaling we imagine the number three to flash on and off in our forehead three times. Then we take another deep breath and with the exhalation we imagine the number two flash on and off three times in our forehead as if there is a screen there. Then we take a third inhalation and on the exhalation we imagine the number one flash on and off three times in the same way. Then we count mentally backwards from 10 to 1 relaxing our body and mind more deeply with each descending number. We can then imagine that we are transported to a place in nature (real or imaginary) which creates a feeling of peace and security within us. We are now in a more relaxed and concentrated state of mind and can effectively visualize, or imagine, the positive realities which are important to us. Before giving a few examples, I would like to point out that it is not necessary to actually be able to see what we are visualizing as you now see this book and your present surroundings (although some people do see with the same clarity when they visualize). It is sufficient to have the idea, the concept or the feeling of what you are visualizing. If you can see it clearly, however, this is fine also. Thus, before focusing on our object of meditation we can send light and love to all of our loved ones, or to people who are ill or have problems, or to peoples around the world who are suffering for some reason. We can imagine yourself changed, transformed in the way we would like to be, with self-confidence, self-acceptance, love for others, inner peace. These positive thoughtforms will gradually transform the mind as they sink into the subconscious on a daily basis in this way. They will simultaneously establish a mental atmosphere conducive to meditation. This is an answer to those who ask if they can mix mind control or positive though projection with meditation. The answer is obviously yes, but we must make a distinction between the two. We must know when the projections have stopped and the meditation begins. During the meditation itself, we will not want to make any projections or introduce positive thoughts. We are simply following our object and allowing ourselves to change with it. During the meditation we have no earthly goals, nothing to correct or change or improve. We have trust in whatever changes are occurring as a result of our surrendering to the object and uniting with it. This is the difference between positive projection and meditation. In projecting, we have attachment to certain positive realities which we want to create for ourselves and others. In meditation we surrender to the Divine Will and just flow with the object. In projection, or in prayer, we are asking that creative power of the universe to act on our behalf, to do something for us on the material, emotional or mental level. In meditation we are simply seeking to merge with that power and let it transform us independently of our preconceptions as to how we and the world should be. In meditation we transcend the mind and its preferences and let God’s will decide what will happen. In projection, and most often in prayer, we ask for what we believe is best. Both prayer and positive mental projection, however are excellent methods of attunement and evolution, and are also valuable as methods of moving into meditation. We will discuss prayer in more detail later.
This can be a method of moving into meditation, or a meditation in itself. It is a visualization technique which can become a meditation on the quality and vibration of love.
1. Once we have established our body and mind in the correct states, we bring to mind a person whom we have loved deeply in the past or love now in the present. We want to find a point of reference which is for us a symbol of the greatest opening of love that we have felt. That could be for a person, for a pet, or even for God. We first bring the point of reference to our mind and, while focusing on it, remember the feelings of expansion, happiness, tenderness, gratitude, caring and closeness which we experienced through the love which we felt. As much as possible we seek to experience those feelings emotionally and physically, especially in our heart center in the chest.
2. Once we have established these feelings of openness and love, we allow the image of this particular person to disappear and we bring someone else into our mind, and seek to feel the same openness and unconditional acceptance towards him. Once we feel that opening we bring still another person to mind and open ourselves to him with the same intensity and closeness as the first.
3. Once we have worked on feeling love and unity with the important people in our lives at this time, we then bring our own selves, our body and personality into focus and develop the same feelings of love and unconditional acceptance for ourselves, exactly as we are at this stage of our evolution development.
4. Then we bring into mind a person with whom we have difficulty in opening up or communicating, or towards which we harbor negative feelings, or who harbors negative feelings towards us. We seek to transcend our fear, resistance and negativity and feel the same opening and closeness with him that we have felt for the first person (our love reference) and the others.
5. Having mentally developed a feeling of unity with all of these persons in our life, we can then turn our awareness to God (however each person imagines this universal being) and feel an opening of love and gratitude towards God. Then we can feel the flow in the opposite direction, the flow of God’s love and blessing for us. We can feel this flowing into our heart center, or into our forehead or into the top of our head.
6. We can remain in this feeling of love and union with God and with whomever or whatever comes into our awareness. Surround every thought, every situation, every pain, every feeling, every phenomenon, which appears in the mind, with Love.
THE TRIANGLE PROJECTION
The system called “Triangles” is a worldwide unified field of positive mental projection in conjunction with the GREAT INVOCATION participated in by millions of people. There are main offices in the UN building of New York and other offices in various capitals of the world where one can register his participation. One can participate, however, without registering officially. Once we establish the body and mind in the proper state, we bring our two friends, with whom we are working this triangle, into our minds. These two persons will need to be persons who understand and desire to work similarly for the same purpose. They will do what you are about to do every day. It is not necessary for you all to do it at the same time or in the same place. It is sufficient that each does this every day (this includes you of course). Bring the other two “corners” of your triangle into your mental awareness. You could mentally see them as you are seeing this book at this time. Or you could imagine them as presences or energies sitting or standing in relationship to you so that the three of you create a triangle. Repeat their names in your mind as you feel their presence and energy connect with you. Now imagine a connection of energy, light or feeling – connect your heart center with their heart centers, so that their is a triangle of energy at the level of your heart centers. Then do the same between your forehead centers and imagine a triangle of light connect the three of you at this level. Imagine then that you unite and that the three of you become one united energy. This united energy then takes its position in a network of millions of such lights (each of which is comprised of three cooperating persons) which surround the earth. As you imagine this network of lights surrounding the earth like beneficial protective aura, you repeat the Great Invocation which was written through Alice Bailey during a session of inspired automatic writing.
“From the point of light
Within the mind of god,
Let light flow into the minds of men.
Let light descend to earth.
From the point of love
Within the heart of god,
Let love flow into the hearts of men.
May christ return to earth.
From the center where
The will of god is known,
Let purpose guide
The little wills of men.
The purpose which the
Masters know and serve.
From the center which is
Called the race of man,
May the plan of
Love and light work out.
And may they seal the
Door where evil dwells.
Let light and love and power
Restore the plan on earth.”
As you repeat each phrase let your mind create images which represent that which you are invoking. Imagine that what you are saying is happening. You can repeat it verbally or mentally, whichever you prefer. Focus on the basic energy of each paragraph of this prayer.
1. The first focuses on the awakening of all humanity through the light of knowledge of spiritual truth.
2. The second calls for this awakening to occur through the love which does exist in every heart which needs only a little encouragement.
3. The third stanza calls for the surrendering of the personal will to the divine will which knows what is best for the whole.
4. The fourth stanza awakens us to the reality that no changes will take place without our united effort. Great spiritual leaders can show us the direction, but only through our unified effort will harmony be created on Earth.
This is an excellent method of moving into meditation. It brings one into a space of inner alignment with these higher truths. Meditation is much deeper once connected in this way. But this technique has many important qualities of its own, even if it is not used as an introduction into meditation. We gradually become connected, through subtle spiritual lines of energy, with all those other beings who are working together on a spiritual level for a better world. We become connected to the Divine through our goodwill and desire for the good and our desire to be useful and cooperate with others for that purpose. We begin to experience “universalization” as we feel that we are a small, but important, part of the body of humanity. This helps us to overcome the excessive importance we give to our ego and leads to feelings of brotherhood towards all. Our ego is reduced and our unity increased. By repeating these words everyday we become more attuned to our inherent urge for goodness, love and unity. Our values become clearer and we are more guided by spiritual values in our daily interactions. Our daily visualization implants all the more deeply into the collective unconscious of all of mankind and of creation the values and reality of love, peace and harmony. Our every thought affects the whole. Our minds are connected to the cosmic mind, and, through the cosmic mind, our thoughts affect all other beings to some extent. (For a more in depth explanation of this read “THE MIRACLES OF LOVE AND WISDOM” and “UNIVERSAL PHILOSOPHY”. )
There are a wide variety of meditations on light with and without form. We have already mentioned some. There is one which is particularly effective and beneficial for beginner meditators. Establish the correct state of body and mind with the methods we have already explained.
1. Now imagine light in your forehead. It could be the flame of a candle, the sun or simply a formless light. Let this light expand and fill the entire brain cavity, immersing your brain in the light essence. When we say imagine light, you do not necessarily have to see a light. You may feel the presence of light, or have the idea, the concept of light or the vibration, the feeling of light. You may work with any of these.
2. Now allow any of these manifestations of light move down into your neck area and permeate that area. Then allow it to flow into your shoulders and then into your arms and hands. Each step in this process should take place slowly and naturally without rushing. Let that awareness of the light be established in each area before moving on to the next. You do not have to stick with this series of body parts, you can move in any order which suits you. Some people choose to imagine that the light purifies each part of the body and renders that body incapable of participating in actions which degrade one’s consciousness. Move in this way into the chest cavity and into the heart center. Then down into the abdomen, allowing the light to permeate and relax all the muscles there and especially the solar plexus and navel. Then allow the presence of light to move down into the legs creating relaxation and harmony there.
3. Once all of your body has been permeated in light, you can check if there is any area which still feels tense or isolated from this unifying presence. Allow the light to move into those remaining areas. Then imagine the light expanding, so that you visualize, or feel, an aura of light around the body. Now the light that was within you is also around you. Feel yourself immersed in this light and the light immersed in you. Feel that your physical form is disappearing, dissolving and that you have become a field of light – energy.
4. Then imagine God as a much larger or infinite energy field and imagine the unification of these two fields – our self as light, energy or consciousness with God as light, energy or consciousness. Remain in this blissful union for as long as you can and return to it over and over again when your mind has been distracted.
This can be used either as a method for entering into meditation or as a meditation in itself, in which the object is your energy union with God or the awareness of yourself as light or energy. At the end of this meditation you can visualize this light energy going out to all those who have need. Imagine that it permeates their physical, mental and spiritual bodies bringing forth the inherent harmony which exists within each of them.
THE CANDLE MEDITATION
The candle meditation can be used by those who have difficulty in concentrating at first. The advantage is that we have our eyes open and the “object” is more concrete and entertaining.
1. We sit in any straight-backed position, and place a candle about 20 to 30 centimeters in front of us at about the level of our nose. We focus gently on the flame, letting its image fill our mind. When we discover that our mind has been pulled elsewhere, we gently, with patience, bring our awareness to the flame and its attributes. We seek to be totally present, without thoughts about past or future. The flame becomes our only reality. We keep returning to that. Be careful not to strain while watching. Remember that this is a gentle watching as we would watch a river flowing without tension. We watch the flow of light from the wick. We are not trying to prove something or achieve something, we are simply seeking to be present, to be at peace, to be with the flame and nothing else.
2. After about five minutes of this let the eyes close and visualize the flame in your mind and watch it mentally in the same way. When you loose your inner concentration open your eyes again and continue in the same way with the external flame which is before you.
3. Move in this way between the external and the internal flame staying in the present moment focusing on the light. Eventually the inner light can lead you to the previously described light meditation. This is an excellent meditation for those who have difficulty in concentration and also a good method for students of all levels for increasing their ability to concentrate.
We can meditate on any object in the same way that we have described for the flame meditation. Especially beneficial, pleasant and uplifting are meditations on the beings and scenes in nature.
1. We can choose to sit before a flower, a tree, the sea, a mountain, a rock, or even an insect, if it will sit still. We can allow our awareness to be totally absorbed in the form we are observing. By letting go of the past and the future we can tune in to the inner essence of that being and experience a totally different dimension of its existence. We can realize its inherent divinity and role in the universe and our subtle spiritual and material interconnectedness with this being. We can experience the beauty and perfection of creation, which will lead us to a realization of our own beauty, perfection and inherent divinity. We might even loose our feelings of separateness and experience the ecstasy of union with all that surround us. This may happen with the eyes open or with the eyes closed, whatever happens naturally.
2. During such a meditation we may be moved at times to close our eyes and experience inner realities which have been stimulated by our concentration on nature. We can allow ourselves to be free to move in and out. At some point this may not exactly be a meditation, but rather a contemplation on the nature of things, as thoughts and realizations come into our minds. At other moments we may flow into meditation again as we transcend our minds and experience rather than think or realize mentally. Both processes are beneficial.
A word about external objects of concentration. They are very beneficial for developing concentration and for attuning ourselves to the material world. But one would do best not to create a dependency on an object outside his mind for his ability to come into contact with himself. Such meditations, or contemplations, or reflections are very important for our rejuvenation and attunement with the rhythms of nature, which should also be our rhythms, but it is best that our object for daily meditation be an inner one, which does not require a special environment or a special time or external apparatus. We are freer in this way.
CONTEMPLATION ON CHRIST’S LIFE AND TEACHINGS
We have already mentioned some types of meditations on Christ’s name and form, and also the prayer “LORD JESUS CHRIST HAVE MERCY ON US”. These visualizations, which you are about to read, can be used as methods of entering into any of the Christ meditations which suit you most. One visualization is similar to the contemplation techniques used by some Christian monks. We bring a scene, event or teaching from Christ’s life into focus. We concentrate on it dwelling on the message or lesson which can be received through His words or His actions or some event. After some contemplation, we create a phrase in the mind which for us our message or lesson at this moment. At some other moment the same words or event may offer us a totally different message. This is especially true of the parables because they can be understood at so many different levels. Once we have established a clear phrase in our mind, which represents the message we have tuned into to, we move deeper into the message and find one word (which may or may not be a part of the message) which represents this message. This will usually be a spiritual value such as love, peace, forgiveness, faith, service, sacrifice, humility, strength, fearlessness, devotion etc. Once we have established this word, which sums up in a way the message we found in the original teaching, then we begin to focus more intensely on this word. Focusing on this word, this value, we gradually become attuned to its inner quality or energy. We begin to feel the vibration of this value such as love or peace etc. permeating our body and mind. As our concentration increases, this vibration or quality permeates our whole being, we are immersed in it and become transformed by it. We remain in this bliss returning over and over again to the energy of this quality which is vibrating in our being, or focusing on the Christ in the way which suits us.
SURRENDERING TO CHRIST
Another way of moving into a Christ meditation is to imagine Jesus standing in front as you sit with your eyes closed in your meditation position. Feel His presence, His energy, His vibration, His love, His peace as He is standing before you. Let these energies come forth and pass into you. Now mentally imagine that you bow forward and place your forehead on His bare feet. Feel His energy pour into your forehead and purify your mind. Mentally create the feeling that you are surrendering your will, your desires, your needs, the results of all your actions, you body and your life itself to the Divine. Once you feel that this part has come to a completion, mentally come again into the meditative position and imagine the Christ in front of you radiating his energy towards you. At this point we have some options:
1. Imagine that Christ’s rays of energy permeate your heart center and then your forehead center and saturate them with this divine energy. Remain in the sensation of this energized state.
2. Imagine that Christ’s form becomes very small and moves toward you and establishes itself in your heart. Imagine that Christ is in your heart. You decide if He is sitting or standing there. Imagine that He is emanating His love, peace and power from within you. Remain focused on this, or move into your preferred meditation.
3. Imagine that Christ moves behind you and stands behind your back with you sitting in your meditation position in front of Him. Now imagine that He places His two hands on the top of your head and passes His blessings and energy into the top of your head. Let this energy fill your brain and then move down into the rest of your body. Let this energy continue expanding until every aspect of your being, including your mind, are immersed in this vibration which is flowing in through the top of your head.
These Christ meditations can be used as a method of entering into meditation independently of what object of meditation you are accustomed to using. If you belong to some other religion, you may use these methods of focusing with the form you are accustomed to worshiping
GOD IS IN EVERYTHING
This is another excellent method of moving into meditation, or it can also be used as a meditation in itself.
1. Once you have established your position and the correct state of mind, bring a plant (one you know or an imaginary one) into your mind. Remember that this plant is a projection of the one Divine Universal Consciousness. Say mentally to yourself, “God is in that Plant”. Bring another plant to mind, the intelligent force in all beings in expressing itself through that plant. Do this again with another species and remember that this is one of God’s many forms.
2. Now do the same with various kinds of animals. See each one as an unique material manifestation of the one Divine Consciousness. Remember to choose each time at least one type of animal which you fear or dislike. Then do the same with some types of insects.
3. Now bring some persons you know and remind yourself of the same truth, and try to feel it. See each person as divine and feel the same respect and love towards him that you would feel toward God, if you were able to meet Him. Christ told us many times in various ways, that God is the consciousness in every being, in the prisoners, the poor, and even in our enemies.
4. Be sure then to bring into your mind people with whom you have difficulty in communicating, or towards whom you have negative feelings, and remember that they too are unique manifestations of the One God.
5. Bring your family, parents, children, siblings and spouse to mind and see them too as divine beings.
6. Then bring your own self, your body and personality and realize that these too (you cannot be the only exception on the earth) are manifestations of divine consciousness, and feel the love and respect towards yourself that you deserve. At this point you can move on to your regular object of meditation, or continue on in this way, remembering that whatever comes into your mind is a manifestation of the divine. Persons, events, places, thoughts, feelings, pain, problems, situations are all manifestations of the only cause for whatever exists, God. (If these concepts are foreign to you I would suggest that you read “THE MIRACLES OF LOVE AND WISDOM” and “UNIVERSAL PHILOSOPHY”).
MEDITATION ON THE ENERGY CENTERS
This meditation will be described in detail in another chapter. We will give just a small description here, because it can often be used in combination with the other forms of meditation. The energy centers are certain points in the body where the bioenergy is more intensely focused. These points are along the spinal column. They are not physical and cannot ordinarily be seen by the human eye. These energy centers are stations, through which the higher spiritual energies are transformed into certain types of more gross energy necessary for action, thought and existence in the physical body. Each center colors this pure cosmic energy with the quality of that particular center, just as a colored film colors the otherwise white light which is passing through it. Each center has to do with another quality of human energy, with other motivations, other needs and desires. Each center is a “sub station” for the soul, through which energy is distributed to the various organs, limbs and all the cells of the body. When this energy leaves the body, the body dies and begins to decompose. Our thoughts and feelings are very much affected by the energy center which is most activated at a certain moment. These centers are stimulated by various external factors, such as what we eat, what we see and hear, what company we keep and the places we frequent. They are also stimulated and fed by our conscious and subconscious thoughts, needs, desires and feelings. The process of evolution is accompanied by the rising of this energy towards the higher centers, which are colored by more spiritual tendencies, needs, feelings and thoughts. By focusing on these centers, we can energize them and create more harmonious connection between them. Focusing on them also helps to activate a purification process in which they throw out whatever is held in them which is preventing our evolution. It is for this reason that one needs to be careful not to over do such meditations on the centers. Too much concentration can start a purification – unstressing process (like that which we mentioned in chapter 5) which might bring about unpleasant reactions which we may not be ready to handle given the present circumstances in our life such as responsibilities towards family and work. If one lived in a monastery, he could take more risks with such techniques. For this reason, I would suggest the following guidelines:
1. Practice concentration on the energy centers only under the guidance of an experienced teacher and after the necessary inner cleansing (physically and emotionally).
2. Do not overdo it. More is not better.
3. You can use it more safely when using with other objects of meditation. For example focusing on love, light, or the Christ in the heart center or the forehead center. In this way we imbue these centers with the spiritual vibration of the object of concentration.
4. During the first years do not focus on the three lower centers.
Work first on awakening the heart center and then the forehead center. When you are well established in love (the result of the awakening of the heart center) and Spiritual discrimination – wisdom (the result or work on the forehead center) then begin to work on opening the other centers. The concept here is that these centers are like flower buds which are still closed and thus manifesting only a small portion of their potential. As they become energized, they flower and much more of their previously hidden potential is available to us. This subject is a large one and we have given you little information because we believe that whoever wants to flow path must necessarily have a teacher who will guide him step by step.
This is a very ancient meditation which can be used as a method of moving into meditation, or as a means of smoothing out tense energies, while one is in meditation (especially when one is making too much effort,) or even at the end of any meditation, so as to smooth out the energy and create balance. Independently of these possible uses, in combination with other “objects”, it is a powerful meditation in itself. After establishing your position and state of mind, begin to observe the various parts of the body. One method is to allow your consciousness simply to become aware of the parts of the body which make themselves more evident through feelings, sensations or even pain. Just become aware of this part and accept it as it is. Do not try to relax it or change it. Notice its condition and accept it. The same can be done concerning feelings or thoughts which come into the mind. They can be recognized and accepted. It is like watching the contents of a river flowing between its banks. You are on the banks. When you see the movements of water or some leaves, you do not reject them or become attached to them. You notice them and let them flow. You do not say this is good and that is bad. Sit in the same way on the banks of your consciousness and just watch the various phenomena such as physical feelings, discomforts, pleasures, temperature, tiredness, desire, an insect on your cheek, wind on your face, thoughts which come about the past and the future. None of these concern you. You do not reject them. You do not resist them. You acknowledge their existence and allow them to continue their flow. You are not concerned or affected. The same meditation can be performed in a more methodic way called “sweeping”. We allow our awareness to sweep through the body in a systematic way feeling, acknowledging and accepting the state of each part of the body before we move on. There are many methods of “sweeping”. I will presently mention only one here. Bring all of your awareness to the center of the top of your head. Feel and accept the sensations or state of that part of your body. Now feel the area which would be a ring around the center of the top of your head. This would be a band about two centimeters in width. Feel, acknowledge, accept and then move. You now move onto a similar band about the same size or a little larger which is further out from the center. After stopping, feeling and accepting, your band moves down over the forehead and encompasses the forehead, temples and back of the head at the level of the temples. The band continues to move down the face as you feel simultaneously the front, sides and back part of the face and head according to the level of the downward moving band of awareness. It moves down into the throat region, where you are simultaneously aware of the front, sides and back portions of the neck. The band then grows larger and moves down to encompass the shoulders, upper chest and upper back. It continues to move downward in sections touching all parts of the chest and abdomen. It then moves into the legs, moving down one leg at a time, or both legs simultaneously. Once arriving at the toes one can begin moving back up again toward the top of the head, passing through each area in the same way with the band of awareness covering the front, sides and back of the body at each stage of its upward movement. This can continue for the complete duration of the meditation as your awareness moves up and down continuously feeling and accepting and moving on. There are many variations of this sweeping technique. Some prefer to move only from top to bottom. That is once they arrive at the toes their awareness jumps up to the top of the head again and they start moving down again. Others prefer to move only upwards. Most need to work separately with each arm and leg before being able to work with them simultaneously. Most parts of the body need to be worked on, “opened up”, if you like, to our awareness with more slow and concentrated work on those parts of the body before one can have the intimate awareness necessary to sweep in this way. It is often beneficial to be guided by someone at first. This meditation has special healing powers and is an excellent technique to be employed when one is ill or has some damage such as broken bones or pain. This opening of the body to the mind’s attention and acceptance brings healing power into all parts of the body. As already mentioned it is an excellent way to enter into any meditation. It is also very helpful after any meditation to make a few passes through the body so as to relax and bring harmony to the energy flow. This is especially important for those who tend to try too hard when they are meditating. It is also a way to balance the energies or work with pain while in the process of any other type of meditation. After a few passes we can return to our original “object”.
NOT THIS, NOT THIS
This is perhaps the king of all meditations. It has no object of concentration. It rejects all mental objects and phenomena as illusion and as not being that for which I am searching. What am I searching for? MYSELF, my real identity. It is very simple, I ask the question “Who am I?” or “What am I?”. The truth is, however, that anything that I can observe cannot be my real self, because I have to be something other than what I am perceiving in order to perceive it. I cannot be the perceived since my consciousness must be positioned outside of the perceived in order to perceive it. When my eyes see a car they cannot be that car. My eyes cannot see themselves. They can see only a reflection of themselves. Can we trust this reflection? We want to see the real thing. Being aware of the changes which take place in the eyes, I cannot be my eyes.
1. We establish our proper position physically and mentally. We begin to search for our real identity. We can start with our legs. “I am not my legs”. I exist without my legs”. We feel our abdomen and realize that to be able to feel it we must be something other than that to feel it. We move on to the chest. This is not my real self, for I perceive it and thus I must be something other than that in order to perceive it. I am not my arms. I exist without my arms. I am not my face or head for I am aware of them and thus must be something else which is aware of them.
2. Then we move on to more subtle aspects of our reality. I am not the sounds I hear, the sensations or pain which I feel. I am that which is hearing or sensing those. Yet I am aware of sensing them and, thus, I must be something even more subtle which is aware of that part of myself that is perceiving those sensations.
3. I am not my thoughts because I am aware of them. I am also aware of a consciousness which is aware of that part which is aware of the thoughts. This all might seem very confusing. But it is not when you practice it. Neither do you have all these thoughts. After the first few times it all becomes totally automatic. Your mind simply disperses every object of consciousness as not “me”, not what I am looking for, not the truth, just a temporary wave on the ocean with no permanent reality.
In this meditation, whenever the mind falls on any mental or physical phenomenon, it allows it to dissolve, to disappear. It is as if your awareness itself is like those “ray guns”, so predominant in science fiction movies, which make their target disappear instantly. We are eventually left with awareness itself as our object of consciousness. Each will experience this awareness of witness differently. Some may experience void, others some type of bliss or states without time or space, in which their existence has no size. I would suggest that this is an advanced meditation technique which is not useful for most beginners. I would suggest that you leave this for a few years, and pick it up later if it feels right to you. Most require a more concrete object of concentration in the beginning.
JUST BEING – NOT TRYING
The supreme meditation, however, is not to meditate at all. Inherent in any verb (and thus also in the verb “to meditate”) is a sense of effort or trying, of seeking to achieve something. This feeling of seeking is, however, the antithesis of what meditation is all about. The process of meditation is a natural elevation of consciousness, until it transcends the world of dualism, and the world of time and space. When this transcendence takes place there is no separation. All is one being. All is God, All is divine. We are back in the garden of Eden, as we were before we “ate from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil”. Thus, real meditation is just being. It is a total acceptance of the perfection of all things. It culminates in the union with all that surrounds one. But, since the mind would never experience this on its own without some help, so we are forced to fight fire with fire, or remove a thorn with another thorn. Since the mind is the problem, the fire, the thorn, then we are forced to turn it upon itself in order to overcome its reign and end its illusion. Thus we turn the mind upon the mind telling not to allow its “other part” to get out of line, or get lost in its endless thoughts about the past and future. We train it to avoid senseless negative thinking. We educate it into tricking its own self out of existence. From this is born the feeling of effort or success or failure in meditation. All of this, however, is a part of the illusion; but a necessary part of the illusion. The mind cannot be overcome otherwise, and there is no liberation or real freedom for a person who has not transcended his mind.
Thus the final goal is this one act; is the cessation of action, the unification of doer, object and doing. Effort itself is an obstacle to this, but at the same time it is the only way to arrive there. Thus one must meditate to arrive, but needs to understand when and how to give up all effort as he approaches. It is like climbing up to the top of hill so that we can see everything. There we no longer need to climb, unless we are so used to climbing and trying that we cannot stop. Meditation then is a delicate balance between control and gentle effort combined with a letting go, a surrender of every effort. This same balance of effort, without attachment to the result of our actions and the surrendering to the Universal Will is also the key to life itself and every other effort we make. In choosing an object of concentration you may want to return to and read again chapter 7, before going on.