This section is a very special part of the book. What this part of the lesson consists of is simple, safe and practical information on what meditation is and on how to meditate. Although you are encouraged ; to meditate on a daily basis as a necessary part of your own spiritual development, you are free to practice the technique given here as you will. It is not part of your suggested daily ritual practice. I do strongly suggest, however, that you either make time to practice it daily for at i least several months, or do include it as part of your daily ritual.
In recent years there has been quite a furor concerning how to meditate and the benefits you can obtain from the practice of meditation. There have been many books which have seen print over the last ; fifteen years or so with titles such as "How to Meditate" or "One-j hundred-and-One Ways to Meditate" or something similar. Most of these books have good points and bad points, beginning with trying to define exactly what meditation is. Without a definition of what meditation is, you can hardly be taught how to do it!
One group of authors tries to equate meditation with contemplation or concentration. This is probably because (a) their teacher (s) didn't know any better, (b) they don't know any better, or (c) they simply looked up the meaning of the word "meditation" in a dictionary.
Most English dictionaries will define meditation as some form of contemplation. The two words are seemingly almost synonyms. Thus, those teachers who equate meditation with contemplation would have you simply look at an object, listen to a sound or contemplate a thought and call it meditation. It is not.
Meditation as it really exists is derived from an Eastern idea based not on contemplation, but silence; the silence of the mind. In the book Meditation and the Bible, Aryeh Kaplan clearly shows that similar techniques were used by the ancient Hebrew mystics and proph ets. Unfortunately, most of the ancient Hebrew techniques have been lost along with the writings of the Merkabah Mystics. But here is the basic theory behind meditation:
Try for a second to rid your mind of all thought, to make it perfectly quiet. Unless you know what real meditation is and have practiced it, it is inevitable that you will fail at this seemingly simple request. A voice will run through your head saying such things as "There, I'm quiet now," or "Am I doing this right?" or "How long do I have to keep this up?" In true meditation the goal is to silence the inner voice.
In another lesson we will learn that our unconscious (or subconscious) is our direct link to Divinity, to God. Since, by definition, God must be all knowledgeable (otherwise something else could be greater than God. If there is something greater than God, then that greater Thing must be the true God and what we have been calling God is only a false God or subordinate deity), our subconscious must have a link to all knowledge, to the secret wisdom of the universe, to enlightenment.
But that little voice which constantly is speaking in our head usually shuts out the even smaller voice of our subconscious. One of the things which can occur in our dreams is that our subconscious speaks to us through symbols which are sometimes difficult to understand. In true meditation our subconscious can speak to our conscious directly, sharing its wisdom.
What follows is a method for true meditation. There are other well-publicized schools of meditation which charge over a hundred dollars to teach you a technique for meditation. Some of these schools brag about how their techniques result in lowered blood pressure and increased IQs. This bragging is absurd. Any form of relaxation (such as the Relaxation Ritual) will result in lowered blood pressure. Also, the same social scientists who used to say a person's IQ did not change over a lifetime are now teaching classes in how to raise your IQ through study and concentration.
Although true meditation will have the effect of increasing one's IQ and lowering blood pressure, these are merely additional side benefits. The true benefit of real meditation is the experience of oneness with Divinity; that form of White Magick known as enlightenment or cosmic consciousness.
True meditation has three steps:
1. Relaxation. The purpose of this step is to get rid of any physical tension or pain so that the physical body will not get in the way of the next steps.
2. Contemplation. The purpose of this step is to completely unite your consciousness with a sound, object, idea, drawing, etc. Notice that relaxation and contemplation are both parts of true meditation, but do not constitute the whole.
3. Negation. In this step (the step which is usually left out of lessons on how to meditate), you eliminate from your mind all consciousness of what you have been contemplating. Since your consciousness has become united with what you have been contemplating, it (your consciousness) also leaves when you get rid of the object of your contemplation. The result is a state wherein your consciousness is not blocking the already existent link between you and the Divine. This is White Magick, the state of true bliss, and is the ultimate and only goal of true meditation. Unless you try it and achieve the true meditative state, no words can fully explain it. It is beyond conscious communication of thought.
In the following form of meditation, you will be focusing on a familiar object. Some traditional books would have you meditate on the Tatva symbols, specially colored geometric figures including triangles, squares and ovoid shapes which represent the elements. While this is fine for cultures where visual stimulation is not as complex as in Western film and television loving cultures, I have found through research done during my classes that Westerners often need something different, something more visually complex.
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