Meditation is described in many ways in the numerous books now available on occultism, with the result that the beginner usually starts with a number of preconceived ideas on the subject. But it is perhaps easier to define happiness or joy in technical terms to one who has never known these states than it is to describe meditation. Try writing a definition of joy as to one who has never experienced it, and you will realize the difficulties we face in this paper.
From the beginning, then, erase all your ideas on meditation from your minds. This will leave you free to experience meditation in due course, and to practice for that experience from now.
A dictionary definition of “meditate” reads, “To dwell on anything in thought; to cogitate; to turn or revolve any subject in the mind.” This is quite adequate for our purpose. It indicates definite and positive activity of the mind. Note those three words, DEFINITE, POSITIVE, ACTIVITY. At the risk of apparent absurdity, we should add one more word, EFFORTLESS.
Concentration is a prime essential to our dictionary definition, because we must limit the activity to one subject only. Any others that enter the mind detract from the original definition, and soon our ideas are like the clothes in a washing machine. But many people regard concentration as a major effort, a strain, and the result is a blockage of the mental process. We are, in fact, concentrating on concentration, instead of on the subject. In very small children, concentration is brief, but attention intense. Watch a toddler with his first butterfly or a new toy, and you will see how his mind is fully occupied, to the exclusion of all else for a brief time. Yet he has not made any conscious effort. One should tend to be absorbed in his meditation rather than strain after any result. The results or conclusions reached in the finest meditation will later be superseded by more advanced ideas, but the true value of the first effort is as important as the last.
This last sentence may sound odd, but meditation is a means to an end, a vital part of the process of Realization (Real-ization, making real).
What you realize for yourself is more valuable than what you are told. What you will, in time, REAL-ize, NO ONE CAN TELL YOU.
That is why the Order has no dogma. We present you with the keys; we train you to use them. The keys are the Rituals the training is the meditation. The Knowledge Lectures are a ready reconer, but there is no dogma. When, after years of patient work, you do begin to realize you will find that every Scripture contains the plainly written Truth, but that only those, whose eyes are opened, and who have already realized each truth, can see it. You will also know the value of silence, and even more, the futility of speech in these matters.
SUGGESTED FORM FOR MEDITATION
1. Sit facing East if possible, in a chair, which allows the spine to be erect and straight but gives support, so that complete relaxation is possible. Breathe in long, deep, regular breaths, and allow every muscle to relax. There must be no sense of strain in this breathing. You are now physically prepared. Say: –“To the myriad living cells of my body, I am as God.”
2. Visualize yourself as enveloped in an egg-shaped zone of pure white light, originating in the head and heart which are linked by a bright path. Allow all personal problems to recede before this light, leaving you emotionally calm. Imagine yourself giving the Grade Sign. Say: –“Peace, be still!”
3. The physical-etheric and emotional nature is now stilled, and you are ready to work on the mental plane. Direct the mind to the following words: –“I see the thoughts come and go, yet I am not this; I choose, reject, create whatever thoughts I will.”
4. Realize that you, the Soul, direct and rule in your earthly kingdom. You are as the Hegemon, directly under the control of the Spirit, Hierophant, your true Self. Say: –“The Lord is in His Holy Temple”
Let all the earth keep silence before Him!”
5. Take the subject for meditation into your mind, and consider it in all its aspects. Let it evoke response in your mind, and “choose, reject, create” in the mental world. Never be passive in this yourself, but at the same time do not strain after ideas. Let your vehicles be calm, and subject to YOU, the Soul. The symbol will evoke response from your own and the universal “subconscious mind” on the principle of “association of ideas,” but you must be ready to perceive and assess the ideas.
6. Drop the symbol, and turn your attention to the Divine Presence, which pervades all things. (The Four Elements of the personality are now laid upon the altar of sacrifice before the Divine…
“Glory be to Thee, Father of the Undying, for Thy Glory flows out rejoicing to the ends of the Earth!”
7. Assume again the Four Elements of your being. That is to say, return deliberately to your normal state of life, and breathe forth the blessing of the Divine, first on all that is above you, then on all that is below, then in turn to the East, West, South and North, and finally in the centre of your own Being, that thence it may radiate out to all whom you meet this day. Go forth in the strength of your divinity; greet the Christ in all men; if He be awake He will return your greeting, if asleep, let Him be, for He will awake in His own good time.
PEACE TO ALL BEINGS.