Once one has explored and experienced the various different types of meditative tools and techniques it comes time to put together one’s own unique spiritual practice and to begin our inward journey with more vigour. When one is genuine in their effort and persistent with their practice a guide may appear, this may be in the outer world or they may come to us from within. Geoffrey Hodson when talking about meditation practice says:
“The first objective in meditation is to discover one’s own Spiritual Selfhood as distinct from the personal vehicles, physical, emotional and mental, and the consciousness active within them. Devotees of certain temperament other might not be helped by this method begin, therefore, with an exercise in disassociation, seeking both to realise the distinction between the Immortal Ego and its mortal, personal vehicles and to know the Spiritual Self. To know the knower may appear impossible to the analytical mind. The seeming paradox is, however, resolved at the level of the synthesising and intuitive intelligence in man and women, in the prophetic mind, to which in meditation the centre of consciousness is deliberately raised.
The second objective is to realise that the Spiritual Self men and women are forever an integral part of the Spiritual Self of the universe, the All-Pervading Supreme Lord, the Solar Logos. Each individual is one with God and through That with all that lives. Man/Women-Spirit and God-Spirit are one Spirit, and to know this truth of truths transforms life.
The discovery of the Godhead within one and its unity with the Godhead in all, these two discoveries are experiences in consciousness and the positive use of the creative imagination in meditation can help one to gain those experiences.” – Geoffry Hodson (Yoga of Light)
A Personal or Group Meditation Practice
Here is a meditation practice from the Yoga of Light which can be used by an individual as a meditative practice or by a group of people together, in which case a group facilitator would read out the words while the others in the group mentally follow what is being said. This practice using a series of affirmations to help put one in the right space for the meditation practice.
Mind alert and charged with will.
Centre of awareness established in
the Higher Self,
the Spiritual Soul,
the Immortal Ego.
Dissociation – Mentally affirm and realise:
I am not the Physical Body.
I am the Spiritual Self.
I am not the Emotions.
I am the Spiritual Self.
I am not the Mind.
I am the Spiritual Self.
I am the Divine Self. (Think of the Monad)
Radiant with Spiritual Light.
I am that Self of Light, that Self am I.
The Self in me, the Atma,(1) is one
with the Self in All, the Paramatma(2)
I am that Self in All; that Self am I.
The Atma and the Paramatma are One.
I am That. That am I.
(Now sit quietly in your personal meditation space for a time)
Closing – Bring the centre of awareness:
Into the formal mind, illumined and responsive to the intuition.
Into the Emotions, irradiated by Spiritual Light.
Into the body, empowered by Spiritual Will,
inwardly vitalised, and Self-recollected throughout the
day, remembering the Divine Presence in the heart, the
inner Ruler Immortal, seated in the hearts of all beings.
Relax the mind and permit the uplifting effect of the meditation to extend into all the other activities of the day.
The same procedure should be followed in private, self-directed meditation.
- Atma, Sanskrit: The Spirit-Essence of man.
- Paramatma, Sanskrit: The Spirit-Essence of the universe, it's presiding
For more information on this practice visit the website at The Theosophical Society in Sydney
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Affirmations, as above do not work for anyone which is why there are many others tools we can use to still the mind, such as the repetition of sounds (mantra) or by fixing one's attention on an object.
We must remember that these tools (affirmations, mantras, etc.) are not the meditation in itself but rather aids that can be used to help get us into the right space to meditate. With practice, we do not need any of these as our mind always remains in a meditative space.
It is important to remember that initially, we are learning about our mind, how it works and training our higher nature not to be disturbed by the mind. We are developing our Will.? When we first practice meditation we come across the “monkey mind” as it is often called and find ourselves distracted with the activity of the mental chatter that is continuous. With practice, we are able to dissociate from this chatter as we become more of an observer of what is going on and eventually the mind quietens and we automatically begin to meditate. The tools we use are simply methods that are commonly used to help us to quiet the mind.
When setting up our practice it is important to make sure we put in place whatever works for us. This includes creating the right environments, which is pleasing to the senses and has a feeling of uplifting energy about it.
Theosophical Reference Material
In the Theosophical Society, there are several very good instructions books that have been written to help us on our first steps of meditation. These are:
Concentration by Ernest Wood (Online at scribd.com)
The Voice of the Silence by HP Blavatsky. This text is an introduction into personal preparation for meditation and the step experienced when one begins meditation on earnest. (There is an on-line PDF version here at Theosophy Trust).
The Yoga of Light by Geoffry Hodson (Online version at: The Theosophical Society in Sydney)
Light on the Path by Mable Collins is said to be taken from the inscription on the walls of the Initiatory temples in Egypt which the Initiate must have accomplished before they can undergo their Initiation into the greater mysteries. (Online at the Pasadena Theosophical Society)
Practical Occultism by HP Blavatsky is a small booklet for the earnest spiritual student on the first steps on the path of the spiritual journey. (Online at Blavatsky Net)