Philosophy of Meditations –
How this ancient practice can enrich our lives
Handout to a Lecture held at the Farmers & Merchants Bank
Seal Beach, CA. USA on the 20th of June 2014
© 2014 Online Teosofiska Kompaniet Malmö
“Concentration, or Yoga, is the hindering of the modifications of the thinking principle”
Patanjali´s Yoga Aphorisms
The “monkey mind” is a term used in The Philosophy of Meditation to try and describe the so called lower mind, which is that stream of consciousness that keeps flitting from one thing to another, like a monkey jumping from branch to branch. Meditation on the other hand is perfect stillness, a silence of the lower mind, of the body and of speech. Meditation is therefore our deepest natural state, our pure consciousness, which we only can experience once our lower mind stops being busy. Meditation has also been defined as that state which ensues from the centering of our consciousness in the Soul rather than in the mind or the emotions.
Through the practice of meditation we can take a first step toward a calmer and less stressful life, become more focused and reach a greater clarity of mind and heart.
The true purpose of meditation however is the SELF – remembering and SELF – realization, that is, the remembrance of who we truly are and the realization of it through making it a living power in our lives.
It seems important to have both a long term and a short-term goal for meditation. A long term goal may be how to improve oneself to be the better able to serve and benefit all other sentient beings and a short term goal could be how to reduce the level of stress so that one can free up the sense of creativity and calmness in one´s own daily life.
The Position of the Perceiver
To “reconnect” with our true Identity, we must first “disconnect” or ourselves from our identification with our personality. The “personality” has 3 different aspects, the physical, the astral or emotional and the mental, meshed into one body during our waking life. The combined “input” from all 3 of these aspects (the sights, sounds, feelings and thoughts) creates the “virtual reality” of earth life. We are like actors taking on a new character roll in each new life and acting it out so well that we tend to forget who we truly are. But if we stop for a moment and think about it and look in the rear mirror, we can observe a change that has taken place in our body, our way of thinking and our emotions over the past years. Still there is that “something” in ourselves that hasn´t changed, the aspect in us, which can observe all the changes. This is who we truly are, the Perceiver, which never changes. It is our true identity sometimes called the Individuality. The purpose of meditation is thus to establish that Witness position of the Individuality so that we increase our capacity to live in the present moment. When we gradually succeed in doing this it will also increase our ability to live our life with greater awareness so that our relationships with our self and other beings as well as with Nature and Life itself, becomes more meaningful and peaceful. Since we are co-creators with Nature, our increased ability to live with awareness will also be of benefit to all sentient beings, which is our true purpose for being here on earth.
“Mind is like a mirror; it gathers dust while it reflects. It needs the gentle breezes of Soul-wisdom to brush away the dust of our illusions. Seek, O Beginner, to blend thy Mind and Soul.” The Voice of the Silence by H.P. Blavatsky
The Unsettling process of trying to Meditate
The very first step toward meditation is concentration, and until considerable power of concentration is acquired true meditation is impossible. Here we often encounter our first and most difficult challenge. Anyone that has ever tried to sit down and concentrate in preparation for meditation knows how unsettling that process can be. To try and hold the position of the Perceiver and just be an observer of all thoughts, feelings and bodily discomfort that comes up is no easy task. You may say “How can I stop thinking?” You don´t have to stop thinking, you simply have to detach from it and it will slow down and stop of its own accord. If you think about your thoughts as icons moving across your computer screen, you see one come from right to left. You know it is a thought about some affairs of daily life, like planning for the weekend or some regrets about things that has not gone your way, in other words, the icon has a title. Be aware of it but DO NOT double-click on it. It will slide right off the screen, no click, no identification. But once you click, you open the “icon” and it fills your whole screen. The work of preparing for meditation is to keep the “screen” of your mind clear.
How to start
To establish a habit of meditation is like establishing any other habit. It is useful to take advantage of the Cyclic Law inherent in Nature. So if you can, meditate regularly, at the same time each day, if possible in a private spot, preferably the same one. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine erect. Deliberately, withdraw your attention from all outer stimuli and let your mind stay focused observing when thoughts and feelings start to pop up. Begin with 5-10 minutes and gradually increase your time of practice. Take a moment for contemplation of the process to round off your practice before you continue with your everyday activities. Slowly as you continue your practice you will notice an increased capacity to stay focused in your daily life. Remember, Meditation is probably the hardest thing there is to learn on earth. Be patient. It may take many lifetimes to master, but no step along the way is ever lost. What you gain in this life, you keep forever, and can build upon in the next. It seems that all human beings must learn this part of the human “curriculum” some day. By learning it yourself now, you put yourself in a position to help others, when they also become ready to learn.
The Continuation of the Meditation Process
During a 24 hours cycle each one of us passes through 3 major states of consciousness, the waking state, the dream state and the dreamless state. Beyond these there are other higher states that we will not go into at this point. As we practice the process of meditation and our power of concentration increases, it will eventually be possible for us to keep our witness position even in our dreams. It often starts with becoming aware of the fact that one is dreaming and gradually the witness position gets established even in this state of consciousness. Naturally this is a gradual process that needs lifetimes to accomplish. Highly initiated beings can move through these different states of consciousness without loosing the witness position. It is also this capacity of remaining in the witness position that extended will lead to the uninterrupted continuity of the reincarnating soul´s capacity to consciously remember past lives. So to sum it up “to Meditate is to remove hindrances to continuity of consciousness caused by the modifications of the mind”.
The Life Time Meditation
All practices of meditation have the purpose of cultivating the ability to live a life here on earth in a more conscious and compassionate way. The “sitting for meditation” is only a training process or a tool if you so like, for the ultimate practice; a life lived in harmony with awareness and compassion. The aim is to become a conscious Karmic agent and a co-worker with Nature to the benefit of all sentient beings. So the periods of “sitting for meditation” become like a tuning fork that can help us to strike the right keynote for the rest of the day and in its prolongation for the rest of this life and lives to come.
“Compassion is no attribute. It is the LAW of LAWS – eternal Harmony, Alaya´s SELF; a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things, the law of Love eternal.
The more thou dost become at one with it, thy being melted in its BEING, the more thy Soul unites with that which Is, the more thou wilt become COMPASSION ABSOLUTE”
The Voice of the Silence by H.P. Blavatsky
“The Culture of Concentration” part I, W.Q.Judge (available online)
“Destructive Emotions, How can we overcome them?” H.H. Dalai Lama, D. Goleman
“Meditation” The Aquarian Theosophist, Vol II, Supplement #8 August 2002 p 13 (available online)
“Meditation” H.B. Mitchell (available online)
“Meditation, Concentration, Will” W.Q. Judge (available online)
“Patanjali ´s Yoga Aphorisms” W.Q. Judge (available online)
“The Power of Now” E. Tolle
“The Science of Yoga” Taimni
“The Voice of The Silence” H.P. Blavatsky (available on line)
www.teosofiskakompaniet.net website for online texts
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