MEDITATIONAL EXERCISES FOR GROUP WORK
Can be adapted for individual guidance.
Prepared by Geoffrey Farthing
|1||Meditation Guide Contents|
|2||Meditation Guide Introduction|
|3||Meditation Guide: Content of Sessions|
|4||Meditation Guide Course Leaders|
|H.P. Blavatsky Diagram of Meditation|
In addition to Geoffrey Farthing's material on meditation, attention is drawn to H.P. Blavatsky's Diagram of Meditation and a commentary published in The Theosophist May 2003
Leader: This material is intended to invoke the highest possible feelings, to affect the heart, to create a desire for union with the Highest (however that may be interpreted) and to arouse the desire to be of service. All these sentiments promote right action and the power to ensure its eventual success. The higher elements of our being are the well-springs of understanding and wisdom. These exercises arouse aspiration and endeavour.
Use this material as indicated on the specimen session timetable.
The longer meditations are 'teaching' ones for the early stages, sowing ideas. As the class progresses, use less and less material.
Ultimately one word only, e.g. LOVE or PEACE, suffices for the theme of a meditation.
Leader: This material could well be used to form a series of meditations.
1. 'The Master in the Sanctuary of our souls is 'the Higher Self' - the divine spirit whose consciousness is based upon and derived solely (at any rate during the mortal life of the man in whom it is captive) from the Mind which we have agreed to call the Human Soul (the 'Spiritual Soul' being the vehicle of the Spirit).'
'The human (or personal) soul is a compound, in its highest form, of spiritual aspirations, volitions and divine love; and in its lower aspect, of animal desires and terrestrial passions imparted to it by its associations with its vehicle (the physical body), the seat of all these.'
'The Mind thus stands as a link and a medium between the animal nature of man which its higher reason seeks to subdue, and his divine spiritual nature to which it gravitates, whenever it has the upper hand in its struggles with the inner animal.'
(Slightly adapted from H.P.B.'s 'Occultism v Occult Arts').
2. 'The Self of matter and the SELF of spirit can never meet. One of the twain must disappear; there is no place for both.'
(The Voice of the Silence)
'Ere thy Soul's mind can understand, the bud of personality must be crushed out, the worm of sense destroyed past resurrection.'
(The Voice of the Silence)
Leader: Explain as thought fit that the subjugation of personality is effected by withdrawing concern and attention from the lower aspects of ourselves and our personal living - first during appointed times like this and then extending the time more and more, until, after practice and prolonged orientation of attention to higher things, it becomes habitual.
3. 'Within you is the light, the only light that can be shed upon the Path. If you are unable to perceive it within you, it is useless to look elsewhere.' (The Voice of the Silence)
4. 'Thou canst not travel the Path before thou hast become that Path itself.' (The Voice of the Silence)
5. 'Live neither in the present nor in the future but in the Eternal.' (The Voice of the Silence)
6. 'Look to this day, for it is life, the very life of life.'
In its brief course lie all the varieties and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth, the glory of action, the splendour of beauty.
For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision.
But today, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness.
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day.' (With acknowledgement)
7. The spiritually skilled man is active, loving and thoughtful ... all three together.
The lack of one of these spoils the other two.
Do you lack any? Meditate on this.
8. There are two ways of doing anything, the right way and the wrong way. Only the skilled way is good.
9. Such a silence reigned before men disturbed the peace,
Before the beginning of the reign of unrest.
Such a silence will reign again, then will be a silence of calm, of peace,
When all unrest is brought to an end,
When all water is drawn from the well of disquiet,
After the exhaustion of all the unrest of man, the light will shine ... in tranquillity.
Cease your unrest now, and enter the original silence.'
(With acknowledgement. Slightly altered.)
Leader: Explain that there are tremendous implications affecting us individually, to be realized in the basic theosophical teachings of Unity, Law and Evolution. Select one, two or three of these only during a session. Do not do them all unless you are regarding the session as a teaching one. The list, of course, can be extended.
Members of the group should, as far as possible, identify with the subject of these affirmations:-
i 'In Unity all is One, One is all,
'I am one with all,
'I am one with the All.
'I am one with everything;
'I am one with everyone;
'I am one with The One.'
ii 'There is nothing but ME:
'I embrace the whole Universe
'I am all things and all beings.
'Everything has its being in ME.'
iii 'In Unity there is only one consciousness,
'Consciousness in everyone is the same;
'My consciousness is the same as everyone else's.
'My thoughts are different but that by which I know them is the same in everyone.'
iv 'In Unity there is one LOVE
'Love is the same in all beings.
'Love is the common bond throughout all creation,
'Everyone loves with the same love.'
v 'In Unity there is One Peace;
'In Unity there is One Happiness;
'In Unity there is One Silence;
'There is One Strength;
'There is One Power;
'There is One Life;
vi 'There is One Joy;
'There is One Serenity.'
'I am all these.'
'I am all Strength, all Power, all Life.
'I am all Joy, all Serenity.'
vii 'In Unity all processes are ONE.
'The total Process is the Law in action.'
'The Law and Evolution are One.
'I am One with the One.
'I am the activities of beings and Nature.
'I am the origin, the substance, the energy, the Law.
'I am ever-becoming.
'I unfold my faculties in the long reaches of time.
'I am PERFECTION only as an unattainable goal.
'I am eternal, without beginning and without end.
'I am MYSELF, THE SELF.
viii 'There is One Space, One Substance, One Energy.
'Space, Substance and Energy are One.
'I am all Space ... I am all Substance ... I am all Energy.'
ix Meditate on: Space - Substance - Energy - as the bases of all existence and consciousness including your own.
x Meditate on 'Space ... bare subjectivity, the one thing which no human mind can exclude from any conception, or conceive of by itself.' (S.D.)
xi 'What is that which was, is and will be, whether there is a Universe or not; whether there be gods or none?' asks the esoteric Sensar catechism. The answer made is 'SPACE'.
xii 'The 'Parent Space' is the eternal, ever present cause of all - the incomprehensible DEITY, whose invisible robes are the mystic root of all matter, and of the Universe.' (S.D.)
xiii Meditate on the One Law:
There is only One Law.
One Law is the self-regulating process of the Cosmos.
There is One Law embracing all Laws and one process embracing all processes. It is the harmonious Rhythm of the Universe sounding throughout Space and Time, in all creatures.
'My coming and my going, my breathing, my heart beats, my very being, all are in tune with the great Rhythm.'
The Universal Pulse sets all the rhythms, cycles, vibrations, the harmonies of nature. Everything resonates to the one stupendous beat.
xiv Meditate on Evolution:
Everything progresses through time.
Motion pervades existence.
Motion and movement mean change.
Everything is ever changing.
All change, sooner or later, begets perfection.
The attainment of perfection is gradual, step by step. This unfoldment of the potentialities of the spirit is evolution. It is progressive development in time, by stages, of all that gives Life expression.
xv Great thought:
'I am everything.
'I have nothing.
xvi There is no such thing as sacrifice; there is only opportunity to serve and this is an endless commitment.
'Man reaches perfection by dedicating his actions to God, Who is the source of all being, and fills everything.' (Bhagavad Gita)
xvii 'An obligatory action done by one who is disinterested, who neither likes it, and gives no thought to the consequences that follow, such an action is Pure.' (Bhagavad Gita)
xviii 'Having abandoned selfishness, power, arrogance, anger and desire, possessing nothing of his own, and having attained peace, he (who has reached perfection) is fit to join the Eternal Spirit.' (Bhagavad Gita)
xix 'Knowledge is superior to blind action, meditation to mere knowledge, renunciation of the fruit to meditation, and where there is renunciation peace will follow.' (Bhagavad Gita)
xx Life must live.
Experience comes from living.
From experience and effort faculty, knowledge and wisdom are born.
xxi 'Every man must accept the consequences of his acts, both as they affect him and as they affect others.
Actions within the law of harmony and adjustment, make for happiness, peace of mind and enhance the general welfare.
To know the Law means to act within it.
xxii The nature of the Law is harmony, accord, attraction, pure warm feeling - all stemming from LOVE, the cohesive principle in Nature.
All disruptive action, discord and separative selfishness is against the Law, and has its roots in hatred.
xxiii Right action is wisdom.
Wisdom is Understanding in action.
Understanding is right knowledge and sympathy.
All these are based on Love.
Right action involves love: love of the doing; love of what is being done.
xxiv 'Emotion tends to spoil action.' Think about this.
xxv 'Right action involves our whole attention, concentration, but non-attachment. Right action involves forgetfulness of self. Forgetfulness of self means no thought of self-interest or of pride; no thought of reward, no thought of consequence to oneself.'
Right action leads to liberation, liberation from the bonds of self-concern, and this is equanimity - joy.
xxvi 'Spirituality implies equanimity.' (Bhagavad Gita)
Equanimity is the real art of living.