We live in challenging times; all about us people are suffering. Many human beings live in a state of discord and sometimes outright war with their neighbours. Here at the beginning of the new millennium, the Age of Aquarius, instead of an age of peace and hope, we are faced with increasing violence and social breakdown. What can be done to stem the tide of human misery? How can we, in our own small way, make a difference to global consciousness?
For many, many centuries aspirants to a spiritual life have followed the same path of self-examination and self-purification which leads eventually towards Self-realisation. This Path has existed since time immemorial and leads, in the words of H.P. Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical movement in the western world, “from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, from death to immortality“.
As we stand poised upon the threshold of the new age of the heart – the Age of Aquarius or the Age of Maitreya, powerful tools are required in order to safely cross into these new times. We seek to move from the chaos of the late 20th century toward an increasing hope, peace and beauty of the 21st century and in doing so, we need to feel secure in our connection with Divinity. In such challenging times as these, nothing except spiritual fulfillment will provide the security humanity seeks.
Meditation is a tool which can help make the connection to Divinity, and it can be used safely and easily by everyone. Based upon the cosmic principles of Light and Sound, meditation serves as a vehicle for the purification of our personal selves. Through the use of guided visualization, invocation, mantra, music and affirmation, seekers are helped to gradually purify and uplift their vibrations.
Many different types of meditation exist today around the planet. Meditation is a tool, a gift of light from the soul to those who earnestly seek to better themselves. The process of meditation facilitates the building of the bridge of light – known in spiritual terms as the Antahkarana – from the lower reaches of one’s personal nature, toward the higher, more impersonal realms of soul and Spirit. This bridge of living light is constructed over the course of many incarnations, slowly and steadily, as a result of good deeds and kindnesses, based upon right motive. If we wish to facilitate the building of this rainbow bridge, we can begin to find ways to consciously make contact with our soul and Spirit. Meditation is one such way. We can also accelerate the process of spiritual growth through selfless service, with a focus upon uplifting and improving the conditions of life for others.
Meditation at its simplest is a state of mind that arises from cultivating stillness within; ultimately it is a process of at-one-ment which is forged between the Atman or Spiritual Self, the soul or higher self and the personality or lower self, more commonly known as the ego. In order to learn how to meditate, one must have a certain willingness to open to contact with one’s higher self and therefore the realms of soul and Spirit. Becoming attuned to one’s higher self takes many lifetimes, but the journey gets underway with the first step. Whether this is the first incarnation in which we have sought contact with our divine self, or whether we have followed a spiritual path for many incarnations will determine how rapidly we progress in this lifetime. Sometimes, quite rapid development can occur when least expected.
Guiding concepts for meditation
The following basic instructions with regard to meditation may help you get started or strengthen your meditation practice.
- Set a rhythm, through a regular time and place.
Meditation is best when done regularly. Aim to meditate daily, even if for only 10 – 15 minutes. It is amazing what even 10 minutes of concentrated effort to cleanse yourself and attune to your inner life will do for the rest of your day.
Establish a particular place where you meditate, if at all possible. By meditating regularly in the same place you gradually purify and uplift this area. The room used for meditation can then act as a focal point for spiritual energies, which will then radiate throughout the home. A meditation sanctuary may be created through the use of candles, incense, sacred objects, music and the like. Many people prefer to meditate outdoors; however, it is also beneficial to create a sacred space within the home environment. The use of a home altar, constructed out of timber and marble, greatly adds to the possibility of radiating cosmic energies from within the home.
- Set an intention for moving inwards to a place of peace and harmony.
- At the outset, leave behind you all thoughts and cares of the day. This may be a goal, rather than an attainment.
- Strive to centre within – breathe into the heart chakra in the centre of the chest.
- Invoke or call upon your Godself – your soul and Spirit.
- You may also call upon a teacher or a Master or being who inspires you.
- Learn to witness dispassionately any thoughts or feelings which arise.(Just let them go by without engaging them.)
- Consciously let go of physical concerns and tensions.
- Concentrate upon a virtue, a sacred Deity or an object.
- Allow the mind to contemplate, that is, to ponder upon any concerns that you may have.
- Gradually you will learn to merge or become one with the object of your meditation.
As for the remainder of what may occur during a meditative state, the sky is the limit. One’s experiences in the spiritual realms can be as vast as Cosmos – there are no limits to the depth, profoundness, peace and healing which are there for earnest seekers. On the other hand, do not expect great cosmic experiences or clairvoyant impressions, as this is not the goal of meditation. Through learning to meditate we create a channel for the reception of love, light, peace and balance from our soul. To feel at peace, more centred, clearer in mind and emotions – these are the true benefits of a committed approach to meditation.
People experience meditation techniques in many ways. Some people immediately work well with guided visualisation, and others find that it takes longer for them to become attuned to this method. Some people are very visual; others experience sensations in their physical body; still others are more open to impressions from the higher spheres through words or feelings
When meditating, relax and find the most suitable method for you. It takes time and patience for us to discover our individual rhythm and way of meditating. The important thing to remember is that a dedicated, regular approach will, in the end, bring wonderful results. Remember, too, that it is our own soul which strives towards the light. Other people can point out the way, and teachers can be a great help, but ultimately we must take the first step. Begin today!
“17 Steps to Perfection”