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: Please note the following material is specimen only. There is much more of like nature in the Scriptures, particularly of the Eastern religions, and in authentic 'occult' books.
Read the passages (or part) to the group as meditation material for the whole session. Do not read too much; read slowly; repeat passages or phrases at longish intervals throughout the period.
i 'Secreted and hidden in the heart of the world and the heart of man is the light which can illumine all life, the future and the past.'
Seek that light within yourself.
'The principle which give life dwells in us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.' That principle is your very life - regard it now - realize it.
'This is the Premier Science, the Sovereign Secret, the purest and Best; intuitional, righteous and to him who practiseth it pleasant beyond measure ...'
'The whole world is pervaded by Me, yet My form is not seen. All living things have their being in Me, yet I am not limited by them.'
'... the Great Souls, filled with My Divine Spirit, they worship Me, they fix their minds on Me and on Me alone, for they know that I am the imperishable Source of all being.'
'... if a man will meditate on Me and Me alone, and will worship Me always and everywhere, I will take upon Myself the fulfilment of his aspiration ...'
'I am the same in all things. I favour none, I hate none. But those who worship Me devotedly, they live in me and I in them.'
'Do thou, therefore, born in this changing and miserable world, do thou too worship Me.'
'Fix thy mind on Me, devote thyself to Me, sacrifice for Me, surrender to Me, make Me the object of thy aspirations and thou shalt assuredly become one with Me, Who am thine own Self.'
(from Chap.IX Bhagavad Gita)
Leader: The significant verse in this selection is the last.
ii 'And now the self is lost in Self, thyself unto Thyself, merged in That Self, from which thou first did radiate.'
(The Voice of the Silence)
iii '... he feels no desire and no regret, he regards all beings equally, and enjoys the blessing of supreme devotion to Me.'
'By such devotion, he sees Me, who I am and what I am, and thus realizing the Truth, he enters My Kingdom.' (Bhagavad Gita)
iv I will speak to thee now of that great Truth which man ought to know, since by its means he will win immortal bliss; That which is without beginning, the Eternal Spirit which dwells in Me, neither with form, nor yet without it ... Beyond the senses, It yet shines through every sense-perception. Bound to nothing, It yet sustains everything.
It is within all beings, yet outside; motionless yet moving, too subtle to be perceived; far away yet always near.
In all beings undivided, yet living in division, It is the upholder of all,... It is the Light of lights, beyond the reach of darkness; the Wisdom, the only thing that is worth knowing or that wisdom can teach; the Prescience in the hearts of all.
(Extracts from Chap XIII, Bhagavad Gita)
v Material from the Viveka-Chudamani (Chatterji), slightly adapted:
'Realize that thou art THAT ... , which is far beyond caste, worldly wisdom, family and clan, devoid of name, form, qualities and defects, beyond time, space and objects of consciousness.' (255)
'Realize that thou art THAT ..., which is supreme, beyond the range of all speech, but which may be known through the eye of pure wisdom, It is pure, absolute consciousness, the eternal substance.' (256)
'Realize that thou art THAT ... , on which rests the world, created through ignorance; It is self-sustained; It is different from relative truth and from untruth, indivisible, beyond mental representation.' (258)
'Realize that thou art THAT ... , which is devoid of birth, growth, change, loss of substance, disease and death, indestructible, the cause of the evolution of the universe, its preservation and destruction.' (259)
'Realize that thou art THAT ... , which is the cessation of all differentiation, which never changes its nature and is unmoved as a waveless ocean, eternally unconditioned and undivided.' (260)
'Realize that thou art THAT ... , which is the only one reality, the cause of multiplicity, the cause that eliminates all other causes, different from the law of cause and effect.' (261)
'Realize that thou art THAT ... , that reality which manifests as many through the illusions of name, form, qualities, change, but is yet ever unchanged like gold (in the form of various gold ornaments).' (263)
'Realize that thou art THAT ... , which alone shines, which is beyond the Logos, all-pervading, uniform, truth, consciousness, bliss, having no end, indestructible.' (264)
'O Star by Perfect Sacrifice made Perfect.
The Kingdom of Perfection now is Thine.
As it is Mine, and Was, and Will Be Through Eternity.
Thy Throne Awaits Thee; Come, Beloved Brother.
Sit by Me in the Realms of Endless Light.
And with Bright Wisdom Guide that Lowly Shade
That in Dark West doth Work for Earth and All.'
(The Sayings of the Ancient One)
NOTE FOR LEADERS
All the material given in Groups II, III, IV, V and VI is, as said, only specimen. Every item is a sample. In Meditation we are touching on the Infinite, the Boundless. Meditation material must therefore be free, i.e. completely non-sectarian, in content. Much further suitable material is available in the many classical books.
In the classical literature of all religions, Christian, Sufi, Buddhist, Hindu and others, there is much elevating material but for a course like this it must be well chosen. A guide to choice is the 'impersonality' of deity as indicated above. This does not mean that deity may not be personalized as, for example, the Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. Our individual identification with deity is an important element of these 'devotions'. 'God', as the individual divine Self of our higher nature, is not outside or separate from any of us. The asking for personal favours, mercy, forgiveness and the like can only apply to our 'personalities', the lower elements of our being, which we, as divine beings in our own right, have to learn eventually to control and use. Any content of a supplicating nature in a meditation exercise renders it unsuitable for the truly aspiring soul learning to become independent. The need for help and comfort of that kind (i.e. outside of ourselves) should have been transcended. Any feeling of an accession of grace, divine power, love or blessing, is an experience, a registering in 'personal consciousness, of that aspect of the impersonal All Self of which we, in the high reaches of our being, are as flames within its all-embracing, quickening Fire.
In group meditation the special needs of each individual cannot be met. But we are only introducing students to the elements of the practice. Real meditation cannot be done in groups. Each person must eventually find his own way, and thereafter proceed independently.
Students who wish to pursue the matter of spiritual development further and to see the practice against the vast background of the Cosmic process, are recommended to study the theosophical literature, i.e. such works as The Key to Theosophy to start with. Then, as they progress, The Voice of the Silence and Light on the Path. The Secret Doctrine is the great standard work for all enquirers, but is not recommended for beginners. For guidance in self development such books as The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and P.G. Bowen's book The Sayings of the Ancient One are recommended.
As the meditator becomes more practised H.P.B's Diagram of Meditation is strongly recommended.