The type of meditation that we advocate is based on a very ancient system called Raja Yoga. And yoga in this sense literally means yoke; to join together. So that’s essentially what we’re doing in Raja Yoga, this kingly science of the mind, using the mind as a bridging technique to the soul, and that also brings in the scientific aspect of it. 

Robert: Hello and welcome to Inner Sight. The subject of today’s show is meditation. We hope to introduce many of you to the idea of meditation, with the expectation that perhaps you can use meditation to attain a better state of mind, a better quality of life, and to think also of the soul as being the best within. Is meditation different from prayer or are they the same? 

Sarah: No, there’s a difference. Many people practice both at various times. Prayer essentially is based on the idea or the belief that God is transcendent, that God or the Creator exists above and beyond the world of human affairs and must be beseeched through prayer. So, prayer has the element of desire and appeal in it. Probably all of us have prayed at one time or another, and many of us may pray daily. It isn’t only that we ask for something for our own selves; we might pray for others as well. But the conditioning motive is that God exists beyond the world and must be beseeched, whereas meditation is founded on the recognition that not only is God transcendent, but God is also immanent. In other words, existent within the human being, within all of His creation in fact. He’s present in every atom of substance that exists, because God is the creator of the world and all that is within it. Meditation taps into that centre of energy within each of us. 

Dale: Meditation is also a way of contacting the soul. It acts as a bridge, a bridging mechanism between the personality, the outer personal self, and the soul. And so, at least in the way that we use the meditation technique in the beginning, it’s a way of bridging and it brings that soul consciousness very much into the forefront of one’s consciousness. 

Robert: What’s the purpose of meditation? Is it to find peace or to relieve stress? 

Sarah: Well, that’s one reason for meditation, and perhaps we should say early on in our discussion that there are many different types of meditation. There’s not just one practice that is meditation. There are many different approaches and there are many different motivations, reasons, purposes, or objectives for meditation. And there are some very strange ideas about meditation, as I found out years ago. I can remember telling a neighbor of mine that I was learning to meditate and he looked at me and he got the slightest little grin on his face and he said, “Meditation–does that have anything to do with sex?” So, there are astonishing misperceptions about meditation, and the answer to our listeners is no, it doesn’t. As Dale said, it has to do with soul contact, at least the kind of meditation that we practice. 

Dale: I have also heard that meditation is self-hypnosis, and of course, that’s terribly erroneous. It certainly is not self-hypnosis, so I have no fear about that. 

Sarah: You are in complete control of your mind when you meditate properly. 

Dale: Yes, there’s no going into a trance or out of your body or anything like that. You’re totally conscious, aware and in control of what’s going on all the time. 

Sarah: Things don’t happen to you in meditation. In other words, other entities don’t take possession of you, and you don’t start hearing voices and seeing visions when you meditate. If you’re doing it properly, you’re in control. 

Dale: Meditation really, at least in the way that is described in the Alice Bailey writings, is a way of life. It can be applied to your daily life, and the basic objective in meditation is to enable you to become outwardly what you are in inner reality, to bring that inner reality forward in consciousness and let it be expressed in the world. Meditation helps you do that. 

Sarah: I think it’s because meditation puts you in touch with the soul, which is the real inner you, the undying one, the perfect, higher, better self that exists within every person and meditation puts you in touch with that aspect of yourself. In a way, it’s a connection of all parts of the self—not only the outer personality, which is the part most of us are familiar with, but the inner aspect too. Meditation unifies all these aspects and makes them a functioning unit. So, there’s great power that’s mobilized in the practice of meditation, and one can be surprised at what can come up or come forward through a practice of meditation. 

Robert: Why does Alice Bailey call meditation a science? 

Sarah: Well, one reason that occurs to me is that meditation, like all sciences, is based on principles; certain truths or facts, and it requires the following of those principles or rules in order to be done correctly. It isn’t just a kind of meandering around on some abstract level. Meditation usually involves a great deal of discipline and the following of procedures and techniques that are very specifics.  As in the case of science, results happen according to law. In other words, if you follow the practices correctly, the results will be good. You can’t just wing it if you really want to meditate correctly; you need to find a teacher or a system, a method that has been proven and tested, and then follow it with all the care and dedication that you can muster. 

Dale: Yes, the type of meditation that we advocate is based on a very ancient system called Raja Yoga. And yoga in this sense literally means yoke; to join together. So that’s essentially what we’re doing in Raja Yoga, this kingly science of the mind, using the mind as a bridging technique to the soul, and that also brings in the scientific aspect of it. 

Sarah: Another aspect of meditation that makes it a science is that it creates an alignment of one’s equipment, you might say, of one’s brain, heart, mind, and soul. All of these aspects are brought into alignment through meditation. A channel, in a sense, is created from the highest aspect, the soul, using the mind, and working out in the brain and the heart, and thereby through action, it enables one to become a real vehicle for the soul. If you think about it, the personality, the physical being, is intended to be a vehicle and an expression of the soul, which is pure spiritual energy. Meditation is the practice which creates that vehicle. So, to me, that’s another expression of the scientific aspect of meditation. 

Robert: Is it possible to practice meditation regularly in the midst of the busy lives most of us lead or is it something that has to be left until we have more free time and quiet? 

Sarah: I think it’s not only possible, but I think it’s absolutely necessary! I can’t imagine life without a regular spiritual practice of meditation. It’s something that nobody can be forced into, but rather It has to be self-chosen. You get to the point where you realize that you need to learn to meditate if you’re going to live your life in a way that is satisfactory, giving you peace and happiness. Frankly, I think that’s the reason most people start to learn to meditate, and that’s a perfectly legitimate motive. So many people make excuses for not meditating because they are so busy, they have work, they have family, they have commitments, but when you think about it, we all find time for what we really want to do. We find the time to go on the Internet, talk with friends, talk on the phone, go to movies, shop. So, it’s a matter of commitment and discipline. The time is there, and in fact I would say that the busy, hectic quality of modern life really makes meditation even more of an essential. 

Dale: Yes, I think if one is really interested in following the path of meditation or a technique of meditation, then you better find the time. You find the time, as Sarah said, for everything else, so if this is important to you, then certainly you can find a time. Maybe in the morning before you go to work? That’s an excellent time. Set aside 15 or 20 minutes a day just to sit quietly and reflect and let your mind be at ease. That will help prepare you for the rest of the day. We know from experience it certainly does work, it sets the pace for the day, it sets the atmosphere. 

Sarah: There’s a peculiar phenomenon that happens when you begin to develop a habit of meditation. It seems to organize the rest of the life. It brings more organization, more discipline, more fluidity into the way the other aspects of life are handled, so that there is time for this regular daily spiritual practice and you don’t neglect feeding the dog or going to the basketball game that your son is playing in.  All of the other aspects of life can be handled, perhaps even more efficiently, when you have a regular practice of meditation, and I think it’s because it develops the mind, it develops the capacity of the mind to work in a fluid, quick way without a lot of the mental sludge that most of us have to plow through to accomplish so many tasks. So, there’s a kind of a speeding up in the life, I think, when one meditates. 

Robert: Do people ever meditate without realizing it? 

Sarah: Yes, I would say so. My understanding of meditation is that, say, a businessperson who’s involved in some project that he is developing or an artist who has a vision of a painting that she might want to paint or a choreographer who’s creating a dance–those are examples of meditation because they orient the mind and use the visualization and the imagination to create a particular objective. 

Dale: And meditation really, at least the way that we promote it in our work, is sustained, concentrated thought, and that’s simply all it is. It’s concentrated thought on a particular idea or subject. The businessperson that you mentioned, if he is concentrating on a particular project that he’s working on, then that’s a form of meditation that’s sustained, concentrated thought on an idea. And scientists are very good at meditation, even though they might not call it that. They get lost in deep thought on some big mathematical problem, and that is pure meditation. So, it’s very common, although many people just wouldn’t call it that. 

Sarah: A scientist who’s working on a problem that’s going to bring great benefit to humanity, for example, the many scientists now working on the major diseases, finding a cure for cancer, for multiple sclerosis, for AIDS, or the scientists who are developing nuclear fusion–they are working on projects that are going to better the world. That, to me, is just as spiritual an objective as it is to simply sit and dwell on the concept of God. God is present in the created world, and when we turn our minds toward an understanding of how to improve and co-operate with nature and improve the world, we are working in a very spiritual way. So yes, those scientists are meditating. 

Robert: What are some meditation practices that you’re involved in? 

Sarah: Well, we have many different types of meditation that people can participate in. One that I think is especially interesting is a meditation that involves three people. It’s called Triangles. It’s a very brief meditation that can be done in only a few minutes each day, but it should be done with consistency and regularity. It involves oneself and finding two other people that agree to work with you. That’s the triangle, the three of you, linking up each day in meditation, acknowledging them, creating that line of light that links the three souls. Then, envisioning your triangle as part of a whole planetary network of triangles that consists of all these units of three people throughout the world, and there are probably thousands and hundreds of thousands of triangles that are presently working, and they are all endeavouring to envision light and goodwill pouring into the world and uplifting human consciousness. So, it’s very subtle, subjective work. They envision this pattern of triangles bringing light and goodwill into human consciousness, and they say the Great Invocation, which is the invocation that’s heard at the end of this program. That’s one type of meditation. 

Dale: Yes, and another type is group meditation, which we also advocate. We have a group meditation once a month and that is another very effective form of service. That’s another aspect that I would like to emphasize, that meditation can be a form of service. It’s a very useful subjective type of service because it works with the mind, on the plane of mind, and it effects human consciousness. So, that’s one of the other techniques that we use. 

Sarah: I think that’s one of the most interesting things about group meditation; that we do have a union with people on the plane of the mind. That shouldn’t be so rare a concept to think about because we know that we share thoughts with others. We find ourselves thinking the same thought as someone else, picking up on the same idea. Well, if you think of that energy tapped in group meditation, you realize what a wonderful service it can be. 

Robert: Sarah, we promised the audience a description of a typical meditation that you use. Perhaps you can be so kind as to give that to us. 

Sarah: Well, it’s type of meditation that follows the basic outline of many of our meditations. Dale mentioned Raja Yoga and that is the science of the mind, in meditation. One begins first of all, by finding a time and a place to work in meditation without being interrupted or distracted. And as he said, early morning is very much the best time because the mind is not yet preoccupied with the daily concerns and problems, and the airwaves are clear, so to speak. Daily regularity is also important. If you can’t find a long time to meditate, say 15 or 20 minutes, give it 5 minutes. Regularly those 5 minutes are more significant than only occasional, longer periods of meditation. You sit in a chair with a straight back so that your spine will be erect and yet try to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible. You fold your hands in your lap and cross your ankles. It’s helpful to take a few deep breaths, while you try to empty out of your consciousness any personal concerns or problems that would distract your attention. Then you use your creative imagination to lift the focus of your consciousness to a point that’s slightly above the top of your head and you see this point as what is called in the writings of Alice Bailey, the lower mind. That’s the analytical critical mind. You see that mind stilled and quiet as a pool of light, and using the imagination, you project a line of light from your mind to the soul center. In other words, you see the soul as a radiant sun and a line of light leading to that sun, and using your visualization you see this line extending still further to the higher abstract mind, which connects you with your divine self. All of this should happen quite rapidly, not with a great deal of time. Then you pause for a moment to be simply aware of the light and the energy of the soul and then, trying to hold your mind as steady as possible, you consider, develop, and ponder on a particular seed thought from some spiritual book that you might be reading. An example would be the thought, Let the soul control the outer form and life and all events. Let love prevail. Let everyone love. You take that idea, or another one that appeals to you, and you use your reason and your experience and your powers of analysis to develop its meaning and its application to life on Earth. How would it lift the quality of life? How would it help mankind? And then when you’ve completed that, you see the flow of spiritual energy pouring throughout the planet, affecting all kingdoms–human, vegetable, animal, mineral, bringing love and light of God into the world. Finally, to release the energy that you have taken in, in meditation and turn it into service to humanity, you sound the Great Invocation which is said at the end of this program, which pours light and love and power into human consciousness. 

Robert: Thank you, Sarah. In closing, we invite you to ponder on this thought. Goodwill is the touchstone that will transform the world. Goodwill is love in action. It’s the energy that draws us together in right relationship. There is a world prayer called the Great Invocation. It’s a call for light, love, and goodwill to flow into the world and into our hearts. Let’s listen for a moment to these wonderful, powerful words. 

Sarah: Closes the program with the adapted version of the Great Invocation

(This is an edited transcript of a recorded radio program called “Inner Sight”. This conversation was recorded between the host, Robert Anderson, and the then President and Vice-President of Lucis Trust, Sarah and Dale McKechnie.)

(Transcribed and edited by Carla McLeod)




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