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How To Meditate Well - Part 1


 
 
1. BASIC CONCEPTS AND METHODS
http://www.johnvanauken.com/meditate.htm
By John Van Auken

  
1.1 The Mount of God

Our bodies are the temples of the Living God.

The way to spiritual breakthrough is found in God's teachings
from the Mount to Moses and the people.

One of the first teachings was to build a new temple,
a portable one, with an outer court, inner court,
holy place and a holy of holies.

In this temple God promised to meet them, face to face.

This temple represented what would eventually be understood
as the human body and mind.

The outer court (the physical body),
the inner court (the spiritual man)
is approached through
the mental body (the holy place)
and on to the holy of holies,
where the Father/Mother may speak
as though face to face.

Another major mount experience comes
when Jesus ascends the Mount
with his three disciples and is transfigured.

In this vision in the Mount,
the law and prophets were represented in
the physical, the mental, the spiritual:
in Moses (physical),
Elijah (mental), and
the Christ (spiritual).

If you recall, during the transfiguration the desciples
saw Moses and Elijah with the transfigured Jesus.

Each represented an aspect of the path or way
to spiritual breakthrough.

Moses led the way out from the lower self's control
(symbolized by Pharaoh and the captivity in Egypt).

Moses then struggled through the desert to the Mount of God
where he learned from God directly, face to face.

However, Moses ultimately could not enter the Promised Land,
as the physical self does not inherit the Kingdom.

Therefore, the mental self (symbolized by Elijah) seeks God
throughout the earth but does not find Him in the earth;
not in the lightning, earthquake, fire or wind.

It is not until he backs up to the mouth of the cave
(enters within his deeper consciousness) and hears
"a still, small voice" within his own head that God
comes fully into his consciousness.

Finally, the spiritual seeker through the Immanuel experience
(God with us) realizes the flesh and the mind as filled
with the Holy Spirit.

Human and Divine are one,
consciously one, face to face.

"For the body is indeed the temple of the living God,
and He has promised to meet thee there,
in the holy of holies, in the Mount within."
says reading 1152-2.

And in 882-1,
"'There I shall meet thee, in the Mount of thyself.'
For thy body indeed is the temple of the living God;
there He may meet thee as ye turn within.
There ye may find the greater understanding;
for He hath not left His children empty-handed;
for He has prepared the way."

Meditation, deep meditation, is one of the primary means
by which we make contact and begin the transfiguration process.

In reading 707-6 we have,
"Rememberest thou all that has been given as to the manner in which
the individual finds self?
Did Moses receive direction other than by the period in the Mount?
Did Samuel receive other than by meditating within his own closet?
Did David not find more in meditating within the valley and the cave?
Did not the Master in the Mount and in the garden receive
the answers of those directing forces?"

"Why, ye may ask, did the Master love to be in Galilee
when the house of the Lord His God was in Jerusalem?
Why did He love to be alone in the Mount?"
3357-2

Going to the Mount of God, which is ultimately within us,
is the manner by which we find God-consciousness.

It is not simply silent meditation,
but is an ascending meditation,
as going up on the Mount implies.

Spiritual Breakthrough requires that we raise ourselves
into the Universal Consciousness and the Great Spirit.

Here is a facinating vision into that original experience
on the Holy Mount, Cayce describes it in his reading 440-16:

"They had seen the Lord Jehovah descend into the Mount,
they had seen the Mount so electrified by the presence of
the od of the people and ohm of the Omnipotent
to such an extent that no living thing could remain in the Mount
or on same, save those two [Moses & Joshua] who had been
cleansed by their pouring out of themselves to God,
in the cleansing of their bodies, in the cleansing of their minds."

Cayce's reference to the "od of the people"
refers to a term coined by Reichenbach (1788-1869)
to explain an unseen force in nature that manifested itself
in magnetism, hypnotism and light, called the "odic force."

"Od" most likely derived from the Greek word hodos
which means path or way, and is used in such modern
electrical words as anode and cathode.

Cayce use of the word "Ohm" is most probably referring to
the term coined by one of Reichenbach's contemporaries,
Georg Simon Ohm (1789-1854).

This term is a measurement of electrical resistance.
However, the way Cayce uses the term in the readings
is not like this at all.
He is clearly equating the ohm force directly with electricity.

Therefore, we could translate this Mount experience as,
"the magnetism of the people's hearts and minds seeking God
so long and so hard had attracted the Omnipotent
to descend upon the Mount, and It brought with It
the powers of the Omnipotent, powers which destroy
as well as enlighten (the Ohm of electricity)."

In meditation,
the Mount is equated with the sixth spiritual center of the body,
and the Holy of Holies with the seventh.

1.2 Meditation: A Way to God Consciousness

We must be clear that meditation is an altered state of consciousness.

It is not a method for getting our normal consciousness to feel better.

"You don't have the meditation because ... you want to feel better,
but to attune self to the infinite!"

We must set our normal, everyday selves aside and allow our deeper,
spiritual selves to attune to the Infinite.

This is perhaps the most fundamental and yet the most difficult
requirement of meditation. But it can be done.

The body, mind and soul are interconnected in such a way
that certain actions will automatically lead to
"the magic silence" and the awakening of our better selves.

1.3 Actions that Lead Inward

We have two nervous systems.
One (the Central Nervous System) we use mostly
for our outer life for acting consciously in the physical.

The other (the Autonomic) governs those functions such as
breathing and digestion that are taken care of without
our conscious participation.

What do these two nervous systems have to do
with successful meditation?

When we quiet the outer system and do something
to stimulate the inner system,
we are setting aside our outer selves and actually activating our souls.

For example, let's sit down and stop using our
musculo-skeletal systems.
Let's reduce our sense-perception by closing down our five senses;
close our eyes, stop touching, listening, smelling and tasting.

This quiets the outer system and the outer self.
Now, let's take hold of some part of the inner system
that the soul has charge of and let's alter it.

The most popular one is the breath.
The autonomic system, under the control of
the subconscious mind and soul,
is in charge of and directly connected to the breath.

If we start changing the breath,
we cause the soul and subconscious mind
to become alert to the changes.

This is an action that leads from our outer selves
to our inner selves, and ultimately to an altered
state of consciousness.

1.4 Physical Changes

Now we know from the research done in the '70s
with TM [Transcendental Meditation] meditators and others,
that the body goes through many changes during meditation.

As researchers Wallace and Benson discovered,
meditation causes measurable physical changes.

"There is a reduction in oxygen consumption,
carbon dioxide elimination and the rate and volume of respiration;
a slight increase in the acidity of the arterial blood;
a marked decrease in the blood-lactate level;
a slowing of the heartbeat;
a considerable increase in skin resistance;
and an electroencephalogram pattern of intensification
of slow alpha waves with occasional theta-wave activity"
(Wallace & Benson, 1973, p. 266).

Reading 5752-3 expands on the wonderful changes:
"Meditate ... in the inner secrets of the consciousness,
and the cells in the body become aware of the awakening
of the life...."

The cells of the body become aware?
According to the readings, every cell in the body has consciousness,
and that consciousness may be raised or lowered.

The reading goes on,
"In the mind, the cells of the mind become aware of the life in the spirit."

The cells of the mind, life in the spirit?
Interesting concepts, aren't they?
"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must do so in spirit...."

Then, if raising the consciousness leads to awareness of
"life in the spirit," it leads to life with God -- the Great Spirit.

The wonderful thing about this whole process is that we activate it
by entering into the magic silence.

1.5 The Magic Silence

For those of you who are just beginning with meditation
or who have always had trouble meditating,
let me spend a moment to describe this very simple
yet effective way to meditate.

Then, as you progress with it, you can move on to Kundalini Meditation.
The Magic Silence method is a simple yet powerful way for anyone
to get into meditation ---especially beginners
and those who have difficulty meditating.

Using a combination of an affirmation and a mantra,
coordinated with our breathing,
we can enter into the magic silence.

Let's use a modification of a line from Psalm 46,
"Be still and know God."

In order to fully succeed with this affirmation/mantra,
not only do we need the power of the words,
we must also take hold of the breath and create
a breathing pattern that arouses the soul.

It works like this: "Be Still"
[inhale slowly while feeling the word "still" and then exhale slowly]
"and "Know God"
[inhale slowly while feeling the word "God" and then exhale slowly].

Once you begin to "feel" the reality of these word "Still" and "God",
let the breath go on automatic and abide in the feeling.

If anything distracts you or feel you want to go deeper
into the words, then repeat the deep inhalation and exhalation
while saying the phrases.

Keep the breath relaxed yet under your control.

If you are in the "stillness" or the "Godness" between the phrases,
remain in it as long as your consciousness holds there,
breathing gently and evenly.

If your consciousness wanders, then bring it back by saying
(in your mind) one of the phrases and re-engaging the deep
inhalation and exhalation cycle.

The silent periods while feeling the power of essence of these words
and their meaning are the more important parts of this practice.

The phrases gather and direct the consciousness,
and the spaces of silence are golden, or as the readings say, "magical."

So, as long as you are silent and still, stay there;
don't feel a need to move on to the next phrase
or to continue repeating the phrases.

Abide in the powerful stillnes and godliness.

This method of combining an affirmation/mantra with breathing
will bring even the weakest meditator into a deep stillness
and a heightened sense of Godness.

To move deeper, add three "OM's" on the end of the last phrase:
"Be STILL [feel and breathe],
and know GOD [feel and breathe],
OOOMMMM [feel and breathe]
OOOMMMM [feel and breathe]
OOOMMMM [feel and breathe].

This can be out loud in the beginning and then silently in your mind
as you go deeper.

When chanting the OM incantation aloud, remember that true chanting
is an inner sounding, not an outer singing.
(You can hear what this inner resonating sounds like on my audiotape
"Tips on Meditation.")

Keep the sound resonating within the cavities of your body.
Beginning with the abdominal cavity, rising to the pulmonary cavity
and then on into the cranial cavity, let the sound carry you deeper.

I've taught this method to people who have never meditated before,
had them in a deep silence for twenty minutes, and watched them
coming out of it with that wonderful glaze in their eyes that results
from an altered state.

Their outer self is moved, yet uncertain as to exactly what has happened.
But they know they have just meditated well.
I've also had people who had tried meditation for years with little success
come out of one of these sessions with the biggest smiles on their faces
--victory at last!

1.6 Keys to This Method

There are three keys to this method.

First, the power of the words "still" and "God," and their effect on us.

Second, the connection between the breath and the soul ---allowing us
to arouse our souls by taking hold of the breathing pattern.

Third, the spaces of silence between the words while breathing.
These spaces grow longer and longer as one practices.

Eventually, an hour's meditation is easy
(and recommended in the readings).
According to the readings, and many other sources,
the silence is in itself transforming.
One need not "do" or "hear" anything when in meditation.
Abide in the silence and it works its magic.

Now I would like us to look at another area of the total meditation picture.
I would not recommend going on to this next practice (kundalini meditation)
until you have practiced the Magic Silence method with much success,
and feel you are ready to go deeper.

As with medicine so it is with meditation:
one person's poison may be another's cure,
and activities that may be harmful at one stage in life
may be quite helpful at another.

You have to judge what is best for you now, and continue
to evaluate your readiness as you progress.

It may appear contradictory to say that silence is in itself
transforming and then to describe another form of meditation
in which inner activities are used to effect
greater transformation, but such is the case with
the Cayce readings, and other sources.

The explanation for this is that the manifold nature of full
enlightenment and transformation is such that contradiction
and paradox are elements of any method.

After all, we are dealing with
celestial beings in terrestrial forms,
spirits in flesh, gods who are also human,
eternal beings in temporary manifestations.

Paradox and contradiction are bound to be a part of any process
that attempts to resolve or integrate these.

Furthermore, as we progress with our development,
we naturally become more able to handle complexity and intricacy.
We become more aware of and participate in the many
aspects of the Godhead, the Universal Consciousness,
with all its diversity.

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Updated: 30 August 2013