What is Meditation?
"You must learn to give a wider connotation to the word meditation than you have hitherto given. Concentrated thought is part of the planetary meditation; planning with care for the helping of the needy and pursuing all avenues of thinking to make that plan useful and effective, is meditation; laying oneself open to spiritual impression, and thus to co-operation with the Hierarchy, is meditation; in this enumeration of meditative possibilities I have not touched upon the major creative meditation which is responsible for the evolutionary process and the controlled moving forward of all the world of forms into greater glory and light. . . .
The work hitherto done in (some) occult groups . . . has been nothing but the learning of a needed concentration. . . . The mystical type of meditation is of ancient formulation, and its use indicates the next step for the masses of men; the practice of mystical meditation is not that which should be followed by aspirants and disciples who seek to work in an Ashram in co-operation with the Plan and under the guidance of a Master.
Meditation only becomes effective creatively and on all the three planes in the three worlds, when the antahkarana is in the process of construction. The worlds of the personality are the worlds of the third divine aspect and the creation of thought-forms therein (as usually carried forward by the concrete mind) is related to form, to the acquisition of that which is desired, and dedicated largely to the material values. But when a man is beginning to function as a soul-infused personality and is occupied with the task of rendering himself sensitive to the higher spiritual impression, then the creative work of the Spiritual Triad can be developed and a higher form of creative meditation can be employed. It is a form which each person has to find and discover for himself, because it must be the expression of his own spiritual understanding, initiated by a conscious construction or creation of the antahkarana and subject to impression from the Ashram with which he may be affiliated." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II, p. 235/6)
Meditation: Occidental and Oriental
"The occidental has in view the withdrawal of his consciousness to the heart at first, for already he works so much with the head centres. He works more by the use of collective forms and not individual mantrams; he does not work so much in isolation as his oriental brother, but has to find his center of consciousness even in the noise and whirl of business life and in the throngs of great cities. He employs collective forms for the attainment of his ends, and the awakening of the heart center shows itself in service. Hence the emphasis laid in the occident on the heart meditation and the subsequent life of service." (Letters on Occult Meditation, p. 113)
Dangers of Meditation
"In the Aryan root-race, the attempt is being made to bridge the gap between the higher and the lower and, by centering the consciousness in the lower mind and later in the causal, to tap the higher until the downflow from that higher will be continuous. With most of the advanced students at present all that is felt is occasional flashes of illumination, but later will be felt a steady irradiation. Both methods carry their own dangers. In Atlantean days, meditation tended to over-stimulation of the emotions and although men touched great heights, yet they also touched great depths. Sex magic was unbelievably rampant. The solar plexus was apt to be over vivified, the triangles were not correctly followed, and the lower centers were caught in the reaction of the the fire with dire results.
The dangers now are different. The developement of mind carries with it the dangers of selfishness, of pride, of blind forgetfulness of the higher that it is the aim of the present method to offset. If the adepts of the dark path attained great powers in Atlantean days, they are still more dangerous now. Their control is much more widespread. Hence the emphasis laid on service, and on the steadying of the mind as an essential in the man who seeks to progress and to become a member of the Brotherhood of Light." (Letters on Occult Meditation, p. 111/2)
"Meditation is dangerous and unprofitable to the man who enters upon it without the basis of a good character and of clean living. Meditation then becomes only a medium for the bringing in of energies which but serve to stimulate the undesirable aspects of his life, just as the fertilising of a garden full of weeds will produce a stupendous crop of them, and so crush out the weak and tiny flowers. Meditation is dangerous where there is wrong motive, such as the desire for personal growth and for spiritual powers, for it produces, under these conditions only a strengthening of the shadows in the vale of illusion, and brings to full growth the serpent of pride, lurking in the valley of selfish desire. Meditation is dangerous when the desire to serve is lacking. Service is another word for the utilisation of soul force for the good of the group. Where this impulse is lacking, energy may pour into the bodies, but -- lacking use and finding no outlet -- will tend to over-stimulate the centers, and produce conditions disastrous to the neophyte. Assimilation and elimination are laws of the soul life as well as of the physical life, and when this simple law is disregarded, serious consequences will follow as inevitably as in the physical body.
. . . All work done by students must be done entirely in the head and from the head. There is the seat of the Will, or Spirit aspect, working through the soul." (A Treatise on White Magic, p. 204/5)
"Meditation involves the living of a one-pointed life always and every day. This perforce puts an undue strain on the brain cells, for it brings quiescent cells into activity and awakens the brain consciousness to the light of the soul. This process of ordered meditation, when carried forward over a period of years and supplemented by meditative living and one-pointed service, will successfully arouse the entire system, and bring the lower man under the influence and control of the spiritual man; it will awaken also the centers of force in the etheric body, and stimulate into activity that mysterious stream of energy which sleeps at the base of the spinal column. When this process is carried forward with care and due safeguards, and under direction, and when the process is spread over a long period of time, there is little risk of danger, and the awakening will take place normally and under the law of being itself.
. . . I cannot impress too strongly upon aspirants in all occult schools, that the yoga for this transition period is the yoga of one-pointed intent, of directed purpose, of a constant practice of the Presence of God, and of ordered regular meditation carried forward systematically and steadily over years of effort.
When this is done with detachment and is paralleled by a life of loving service, the awakening of the centers and the raising of the sleeping fire of kundalini will go forward with safety and sanity, and the whole system will be brought to the requisite stage of "aliveness". I cannot too strongly advise students against the following of intensive meditation processes for hours at a time, or against practices which have for their objective the arousing of the fires of the body, awakening of a particular center, and the moving of the serpent fire. The general world stimulation is so great at this time, and the average aspirant is so sensitive and finely organized, that excessive meditation, a fanatical diet, the curtailing of hours of sleep, or undue interest in and emphasis upon psychic experience, will upset the mental balance and often do irrertrievable harm." (The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p. 18/9
"The secret of all true meditation work in its earlier stages, is the power to visualise. This is the first stage to be mastered. Disciples should lay the emphasis upon this process; in it lies eventually the ability to use the creative powers of the imagination, plus mental energy, as a measure to further the ends of the Hierarchy and to carry out the Divine Plan. All the new processes in meditation techniques (for which the New Age may be responsible) must and will embody visualisation as a primary step for the following reasons:
i. Visualisation is the initial step in the demonstration of the occult law, that "energy follows thought". . . .
ii. The power to visualise is the form-building aspect of the creative imagination. . . . This process of energy direction can become a spiritual habit, if disciples would begin to do it slowly and gradually. . . .
iii. The power to visualise correctly is one definite mode of ascertaining truth or falsity. . . .
This visualising process and this use of the imagination, form the first two steps in the activity of thought-form building. It is with these self-created forms -- embodying spiritual ideas and divine purpose -- that the Masters work and hierarchical purpose takes shape. Therefore, my disciples, it is essential that you begin with deliberation and slowly to work in this manner, and to use the above information constructively and creatively. The need of the times is increasingly great and the utmost of work and of purpose is desired." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 89/91
"See before you a wheel of fire with seven spokes. See it immediately before your eyes. Then, by an act of the creative imagination, see yourself as if you were that hub. From that central position, send out the seven streams of living love, radiating upon the world. When you do this, you serve and are, at the same time, completely protected. This exercise can become instantaneous and effective. It generates a protective force, and at the same time makes you a living centre of light and love." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 156)
Realisations Resulting from Meditation
"If the student but provides the right conditions, if he conforms to the necessary rules, if he aims always at regularity, at calmness, at that inner concentration that holds the mystery of the High Places, he will on certain occasions and with ever-increasing frequency awake to some definite realisations. These realisations will be the outer recognition of inner results, and will be the guarantee to him that he is on the right path. But I would here point out again that these results are only achieved after long practice, strenuous struggle, diligent disciplining of the threefold lower man, and consecrated service to the world." (Letters on Occult Meditation, p. 281/2)
"Always the calling forth of the response must be the work of the pupil, and the hour of that response depends upon the earnestness of his work, the consecration of his service, and his karmic liabilities. When he merits certain response it will be demonstrated in his stars, and naught can hinder or delay. Equally, naught can really hasten, so the pupil need not waste time in doleful ponderings upon the lack of response. His is the part to obey the rules, to conform to the forms laid down, to ponder and wisely adhere to the prescribed instructions, and to definitely work and to ardently serve his fellow men. When he has done all this, when he has built the necessary vibrating material into his three lower bodies, when he has aligned them with the body egoic (even if only for a brief minute) suddenly he may see, suddenly he may hear, suddenly he may sense a vibration, and then forever he may say that faith is merged in sight, and aspiration has become recognition." (Letters on Occult Meditation, p. 295)
"Meditation is so oft regarded as the means for establishing soul contact. People oft forget, however, that this contact is brought about very frequently by an inner reflective attitude of mind, by a life given to service and selflessness, and by a determination to discipline the lower nature, so that it may become a true channel for the soul. When these three methods of development are fully expressed and become a life tendency or permanent habit, then meditation can be shifted into another category of usefulness and serve as a technique for the development of the intuition and for the solution of group problems." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 349)
"The disciple and the initiate are learning the technique (through meditation) whereby the Mind of God, the Univarsal Mind, or the thinking process of the planetary Logos, can be recorded and registered. For the majority, at present, the knowledge of the divine thought (as registered by disciples, as it works out in the emerging Plan, and as it gives livingness to life purpose) is reached through the Ashram. The Master imparts the nature of the Plan or the Purpose -- according to the status of the
initiate -- and that is accepted by him under the Law of Free Occult Obedience. But the disciple or the initiate must not remain forever dependent upon the transmission of the divine thought to him by Those more advanced than he. He must learn to make his own contacts and to tap the "raincloud" for himself. He must -- unaided -- penetrate into the thinking processes (by permitted spiritual telepathy or impressibility) of Sanat Kumara." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II, p. 154)
"Your meditation should now be regarded by you as a process of penetration, carried forward as an act of service, with the intent to bring enlightenment to others." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 313)
"The future holds for each and all who duly strive, who unselfishly serve and occultly meditate, the promise of knowing Those Who already have full knowledge of the struggler. Therein lies the hope for the student of meditation; as he struggles, as he fails, as he perseveres, and as he laboriously reiterates from day to day the arduous task of concentration and of mind control, there stand on the inner side Those Who know him, and Who watch with eager sympathy the progress that he makes." (Letters on Occult Meditation, p. 258)
Meditation and Service
"Man has to consider the particular band of servers to which he may be affiliated. Any man who is ready for occult meditation, must have demonstrated first for many lives his intelligent willingness to serve and to work among the sons of men. Unselfish service is the bedrock of the life of the occultist, and danger lurks when it exists not, and occult meditation carries a menace. Hence, the man must be an active worker in some part of the field of the world, and on the inner planes he must likewise be playing his part. Certain things will then have to be considered by the Teacher:
i. The group work a man is doing and how best he may be qualified to serve better in that group.
ii. The type of a man's work, and his relationship in that work to his associates -- a very important occult factor -- will be carefully weighed before a meditation is assigned, and certain types of meditation (perhaps desired by the man himself) may be withheld on account of their being unsuited to the work in hand, and because of their tendency to develop certain qualities which might handicap the server in his work. Those meditations which will increase ability to serve will ever be the aim. The greater aim includes, after all, the lesser." (Letters on Occult Meditation, p. 48/9)
- "The Science of Meditation." At present meditation is associated in the minds of men with religious matters. But that relates only to theme. The science can be applied to every possible life process. In reality, this science is a subsidiary branch, preparatory to the Science of the Antahkarana. It is really the true science of occult bridge building or bridging in consciousness. By its means, particularly in the early stages, the building process is facilitated. It is one of the major ways of spiritual functioning; it is one of the many ways to God; it relates the individual mind eventually to the higher mind, and later to the Universal Mind. It is one of the major building techniques and will eventually dominate the new educational methods in schools and colleges. It is intended primarily to:
- 1). Produce sensitivity to the higher impressions.
- 2). Build the first half of the antahkarana, that between the personality and the soul.
- 3). Produce an eventual continuity of consciousness. Meditation is essentially the science of light, because it works in the substance of light."(Education in the New Age, p. 96)
"The main function of meditation is to bring the lower instrument into such a condition of receptivity and vibratory response, that the Ego, or Solar Angel, can use it, and produce specific results." (A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 998)
"Meditation is a technique of the mind which eventually produces correct, unimpeded relationship; this is another name for alignment. It is therefore the establishment of a direct channel, not only between the one source, the monad, and its expression, the purified and controlled personality, but also between the seven centers in the human etheric vehicle." (Esoteric Healing, p. 620)
"The technique of meditation is the outstanding creative agent on our planet. When you, as an individual, are endeavoring to build the new man in Christ, which will be an expression of your true spiritual self, meditation is, as you well know, your best agent; but the meditation process must be accomplished by creative work, or else it is purely mystical, and though not futile, is nevertheless negative in creative results." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II, p. 202)
"One of the objectives of the daily meditation, is to enable the brain and mind to vibrate in unison with the soul as it seeks in meditation deep to communicate with its reflection." (A Treatise on White Magic, p. 74)
What is Meditation?
(from "The Science of Meditation", Lucis Trust, p. 3-4)
Websters dictionary defines the term to meditate as to engage in contemplation or reflection. This is an accurate description of one effective form modern meditation can take. It goes beyond the mystical method of seeking the ecstasy of union with the divine, or with God, for its own sake. It transcends the goal of many modern types of meditation which emphasize peace of mind by detaching the mind from all its normal functions, often inducing a sense of mental paralysis rather than peace. The mind is thus incapable of registration, interpretation and application.
These three words probably supply the most accurate definition of creative meditation -- registration, interpretation, application. They imply mental activity, involving cause and effect, contact with a source of inspiration, and the consequent ability to use and apply the fruits of meditation.
There is a way, which can be learned and practiced, by which the consciousness can be focused, aligned and turned towards the first source of spiritual inspiration -- the soul. This starts with mental activity; not only that of the lower mind, the analyzing, directing faculty, but also the ability to bring the lower mind, through conscious direction, into alignment with the higher mind and soul. A thought or seed idea contemplated in the light of the soul produces new thoughts, mental illumination, which the lower mind interprets and applies.
Because meditation is concerned with mental receptivity, it is essentially a means of channeling energy. Scientists today tend to agree that all is energy -- a basic occult aphorism. The life force that holds all manifestation in being, is energy; conscious in response to the energy infusing human hearts and minds. Clearly directed thought in meditation, with the mind held steady in the light of the soul, is a scientific means of contacting those major aspects of the life force we call light and love and power, giving them right interpretation, and directing them, in the form of ideas and planning, into specific activity.
Meditation is a scientific technique which can be relied upon to produce results if followed through with care and precision. While the techniques of meditation can be learned, the way the techniques are applied varies for each one. Each must find that way for himself, for it is in experimentation that we gain experience in the right use of the mind, bring the consciousness into alignment with soul energy, and learn how to give right expression in meditation to the abundant spiritual resources available in service.
The Distinction Between Prayer and Meditation
Prayer and meditation are two distinct methods of approach to reality. Both are equally legitimate and useful. Prayer is based on the concept of God Transcendent, above and beyond the world of human affairs; meditation, however, appeals to those who recognize God Immanent, or within His creation. When we pray we speak to God; when we meditate we listen to God, or let God speak to us.
The basic distinctions between prayer and meditation are motivation and means. Prayer is based on personal desire and depends upon emotional fervor and intensity for results; whereas meditation is, or should be, motivated by service to the Plan and the greater good for all humanity. Meditation uses the disciplined mind to contact the soul and know the will of God.
Both prayer and meditation are invocative in nature. They both call upon spiritual forces for the release of energies in answer to a voiced demand, and both methods work. Both methods are needed because much of humanity is still focused at the emotional level.
Meditation is practiced by those who recognize that divinity -- the Kingdom of God -- is within, and that God-realization is a natural process. The disciplined use of the mind, combined with service to others, is the means for attaining that realization. Christ in you, the hope of glory, is a reality to the meditator.
The Value of Alignment
Meditation is, or should be, a deeply spiritual experience. It leads to right relationship with God and to right human relationships in everyday life. It is essentially the means par excellence of establishing alignment between the various aspects of planetary life which, from the angle of consciousness and of form, appear to be separate.
Creative meditation begins with an alignment exercise and results in a deeper, more extensive and more sustained alignment between the meditator and his whole environment. Alignment brings the various levels or states of consciousness into line with one another, or into correct relative adjustment.
In meditation alignment concerns the mental body -- the mind; the emotional/feeling nature -- the heart; the etheric or energy body and the physical self. When these are integrated into a unity, they can be aligned with the soul itself, the spiritual Self. A channel of communication is thereby created linking the brain, the heart, the mind and the soul; the life energy of the soul, with its power to illumine and inspire, can then sweep through into activity, affecting every aspect of daily life.
In this process, the mind is the active principle. The mind visions, visualizes, concentrates the needed energy, and focuses the required attitude. Without necessarily being conscious of the results, the mind can triumphantly act as if the necessary alignment has been created. Constant repetition and focused attention provide the building blocks.
Once created in the consciousness, the essential alignment is ever present, needing only a moment of directed thought to bring it to life as an active ingredient in the relationship between the inner and outer life."(excerpts from "The Science of Meditation" Lucis Trust)