Practical Techniques for Meditation
LESSON 1: THE MEANING AND PURPOSE OF MEDITATION
Very often people ask me, “What does meditation mean?” Rather than be dogmatic and give you a pat answer, we’ll spend the next 11 weeks working on various techniques of meditation. As always we’ll have a set of “homework” exercises for each week which may or may not seem to have anything to do with the immediate subject matter. But if you’ll work with It regularly you’ll soon find that you have built something special of your own.
The dictionary defines meditation as: To plan in the mind: intend. To fix the mind upon; think about continuously: contemplate. Or to engage in continuous and contemplative thought; study; any subject or idea; cogitate. Enough of that. At least we get the idea that thinking is in there somewhere don’t we?
One of the first things I want to say is, you do think, and therefore you can’t say, “I don’t know how to meditate”. Your every though is itself a form of meditation. What we seek in this course is to organize the process. First there’s a basic formal meditation where you say, “I am meditating now”. Then there’s informal meditation all the rest of the day. We don’t want to lose sight of the fact that if you spend 15 minutes in positive meditation but go around all clogged up with resentment and anxiety the rest of the day, you’re not going to do much good. The basics of positive thinking apply here as well as everywhere else. It’s only when you’re keeping yourself in a comfortable, relaxed, happy state anyway, that you can turn to formal meditation and expect to accomplish something with it. So I’d like to rearrange things a little bit and give a definition of our own.
OUR WORKING DEFINITION OF MEDITATION
My working definition would be something like: disciplined application of mind, emotion and body to accomplish a specific spiritual, psychic or material purpose.
The first question usually asked is: “Why should I bother? What good is It?” One of the first purposes of meditation should be to learn more about you. What really makes you tick? It’s amazing how little we know about ourselves. Science has spent centuries trying to understand just what the human organism is — and they have a long, long way to go. In another sense as far as you personally are concerned, at least you have the raw material closer at hand. You have your own set of reactions and thoughts and the ability to see their outcome. There are all sorts of possibilities of learning about you. Certainly the next step is to develop a better control of the energies that are you. I think of the human organism as more of a set of energy fields than anything else, so if we learn to control our energy fields, we’ll be more effective in anything we try to do.
Another one of the key reasons for any form of meditation is to recognize the parts of your being that would fall above “mind” on the spiritual evolutionary scale. If we try to work just as a mind controlling a set of emotions (or an astral body) and thus wind up with just a material manifestation, we’ve left out the computer programmer. The mind by itself is an excellent computer but it is no better than your “programmer” (which should be your own high self, but by default is usually your opinions and beliefs) makes it. Then finally the idea is to work for cooperation between your high self and its tools of mental, astral and physical bodies. Thus you become a comfortable, effective being able to function at any of the levels — or I should: say at all of the levels simultaneously.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS AND HOW TO CONTROL IT
If you study the Huna you’ll find a concept of the “low self which comes very close to translating as the astral body, the emotional part of you. It can he harnessed and used when you understand it. The Huna says that in order to get to the high self you have to go through the low self. The “going through” is perhaps a misconception however. When you learn to get the low self so completely relaxed and under happy control that it gets out of the way, then communication with the high self can come through and we manifestation that you don’t like, you’ll know what button to Push as the high self to run through the system and change it. When you don’t get good results you know that you’ve been trying to solve the problem on a material level. So you back up couple of levels and have it all roped and hog-tied.
Let’s talk about the actual creative process. What do you do in order to get a manifestation? I’m In basic metaphysics here. Let’s understand the creative process as: first you have an idea that is approved by your high self. Then it is contemplated lovingly by your mind which generates a hook up to the emotional or astral level arid also sets up any Spirit help that you need. When this is done your desire rapidly pops into physical manifestation.
SELECTION OF YOUR TARGET DESIRE
Next comes: What are we going to work for? And we’re normal so we’re working for all the normal things that people want, aren’t we? For healing, love, prosperity fulfillment. But also for that extra something that makes it all worth while. So often you find people getting into meta physics for the first time, and they go through this thing call the honeymoon period — you can do no wrong, things really start falling into place. Then all of a Sudden your mind has had a chance to reconsider and decides: “Oh, it couldn’t be that easy.” All manner of doubt creeps in. And as you’re picking yourself up off the floor, you try to get a better working handle on it. The better handle comes as you seek some form of spiritual growth with it. The soundest, most powerful approach works on the basic theory that striving for balanced Spiritual growth will produce a fall-out of all the goodies that you want on the material level. And this gives you a way to enjoy what you get. This is the way we get around the occult truism “the fruits of success turn to ashes In your mouth”, Consider the first million dollars: now you have it. But if that’s ail you were working for, you’re just as miserable inside as you ever were. On the other hand if the million piled up as part of something else that you’re doing, “It’s nice, but this time it doesn’t own you” then you have the comfort to enjoy It. This needs to be emphasized in all of the work we’re doing: getting comfortable with people and things because you’re growing the Spiritual balance that understands.
How do you overcome fear?, Traditionally you ask: What’s the worst that can happen? Okay. That’s fine. I’m still alive, and if I’m not alive then that might be all the nicer. Now that I understand the worst that can happen, we’ve eliminated the anxiety, so we can work for something better. Of course our, acceptance is only suppositional, designed to get rid of the anxiety. Then we can dive back in, play it cool, and win! With this technique and the power of the meditation work we are presenting you should find it easy lo eliminate the aches and pains that the body generates and also the more serious diseases. When you build a really deep inner Serenity, you can watch all of these negative things start falling away. I haven’t worked it out yet, but a new technique was presented to me the other night in meditation, It looked for all the world like a coffin, and the idea Is to put your patient into a situation of absolute peace. If you can gel yourself into that perfect peace and then bring in the healing energy — the wildest physical things can be eliminated. The main thing here is to learn to relax and let — the peace and healing energy will do the rest,
YOUR FIRST HOMEWORK EXERCISE
Let’s talk about our first week’s homework. This is just as easy or hard an exercise as you make it. We ask for ten or fifteen minutes a day spent in studying you. The first exercise us to think back to the last lime your emotions exploded out of control. Now I’m not necessarily saying that you lost your temper, but where things got so wild that you were up-tight and your adrenaline flow got you all charged up. You’re can’t control my temper.”
Fred: “So many people have temper tantrums and don’t know how to stop”. We’re not asking you to stop right now, we’re just asking you to understand the mechanism. I’ll admit that there have been times in the past when I picked up an ashtray and flung it out a window. Just take this week to really understanding the process.
There are other times when a person doesn’t dare lose control. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to stifle you and turn you off but you want to really understand that process as a first step to control. While writing my first book, I got stuck very close to one of the wildest tempers you’ll ever see. (It was a wonderful experience all the way through that book. Two weeks before I’d start a new chapter I’d meet right in my own down to earth life, what Spirit intended to be put in that chapter, and get a real good practical review of, “Do you really believe what you think you do”). This was a gal who loved to throw things at you. Now, with somebody like that either you start using paper plates or keep out of their way. This was the way it was with her — half the time you had to duck the flying dishes, but the rest WAS beautiful! Study the process — you’ll notice so many people will say, “I lost my temper. I really had nothing to do with it. it happened so fast that I Just blew.” But even then there is that moment of decision. What happens there is that the psychological pressure builds up: “This is unfair. It’s annoying. It’s blah, blah… and I should be mad. So I’m mad!” Whether it’s a quick process or one that went on over a period of time, all of a sudden there is that point of decision. When you get there you still have a chance to harness the energy and work it out In some other way. What ! did with this Gal is kind of a classic. I told her: Instead of throwing things, put your hands on your hips, lean back and give out the loudest “cock-a-doodle-doo” that you can with real feeling. And she did — and she’d even do it out loud in the business world. It was a riot, but it worked beautifully because first, it got rid of the negative emotion. She had the outburst and in the process made herself feel Just a little bit silly, and so her perspective changed. Now she can cope with the stupid problem.
Right now we’re trying to understand the process and learn alternative positive outlets for the powerful emotional energies. When you’ve built up that pressure of emotion something has to happen, doesn’t it? But for each of us there’s some special way to use it constructively. These ways may be quite different for each person. But we want to get that extra degree of understanding — have you really paid that much attention to yourself lately?
Student: “You can apply a familiar label like UFO. Everybody thinks of UFO AS flying saucer but in this case you could call UFO Unfair Oppression, or flying dishes and we know that flying saucers are far out, and therefore couldn’t we think of the flying dishes as being far out, too?”
THE EMOTIONAL IMBALANCE OF BEING CIVILIZED
Emotional outbursts happen because we’re still using the animal part of our natures that was designed to live in the Jungles or under other very hostile conditions. We brought our set of Jungle fight or flight mechanisms with us but civilization changed our sense of values. So now when somebody calls up and breaks a date it has the some effect on the body as seeing a ferocious lion ready to attack you. It’s translated as a complete threat to your very survival! As we learn to understand the processes, we can begin the restructuring of our value system’s inputs to the emotional triggers and so make you more comfortable. And this is still the key: what makes you comfortable? If it helps to throw an ashtray — throw it! But we hope to learn more positive outlets as we go — and also to “lengthen your fuse a little bit.
As we go farther in this course we will cover the key points of most of the classic Yoga, but In terms of the here and now, and how they fit our “modem” problems. We will be careful that we don’t get faked Into useless or unnatural practices in the guise of becoming holy or something. As we really learn to understand ourselves and what makes us tick, you’ll recognize that all parts of you need expression.
If something really gets you too up-tight, then that’s not a good way to go. Still, if you understand yourself, in any short run situation it’s not so much “what are all these beautiful principles back there?” it’s, “What can | do in the here and now to get my perspective back and float on way above the upset.
THE RUBBER BALL TECHNIQUE
The rubber ball technique is one of my pets for handling the big blows. Say something really gets your goat — and you feel like the world’s coming to an end (Like your lover and your business manager ran off together with all your money, or something like that). What do you do? You’re already knocked for a loop, so it’s too late to reach for perspective — Just make yourself Into a little psychic rubber ball. If you get good at this the upset will last only a few minutes, you can hit absolutely dead bottom — but it’s solid down there and ail the energy of the fall ts there to bounce you right back up. Then as you’re on the upward bounce, It’s easy to reach out and grab something comfortable to hold on to while you climb back up out bounce, It’s easy to reach out and grab something comfortable to hold on to while you climb back up out of the mess. Too often we accept a set of limiting ideas — particularly as you experiment with metaphysics or some of the occult mechanisms that state rigidly, “You must not ever do this..” That’s terrible because there are special situations where a normal “no no” may be the best thing In the world for you.
Again it’s the comfortable, open minded approach to understanding YOU that we seek. And anything that gives you a better insight of how you tick will help to solve more problems. Yes, we all seek the touch of the Infinite, some form of the mystic experience. Without that, life is fla no matter how many material goodies you have. But even the mystic experience Is not an end in itself. Your own continued growth and upliftment will always be your best gift to the world. The more you understand YOU, the more you see the weaknesses. So we accept them as a temporary fact and pledge: Now I’m going to try to outgrow them.
Student: “Isn’t it easier to understand another’s weaknesses and accept them?”
It’s always easier to accept weakness in, or ask help for, somebody else because you don’t run into the hang-up of unworthiness. You just assume that the other person is worthy. Let’s learn to give ourselves the same consideration. Then your progress is assured.
PROFESSOR REINHARDT’S COMMENTS
One may say this beginning seems elementary and basic, but It is the foundation and groundwork for
all of the super structure that will come later. Don’t be one who makes the mistake of slopping over the beginning and thus later wonder why all the beautiful things that are talked about and done by others do not seem to happen to you. As you work with the basics you will find the spontaneous results that our instrument would characterize as the little carrots hanging before the rabbit to encourage more work and effort. If you think that the homework for this week is too elementary we would challenge you to spend one night on it anyway to be sure that you do understand that particular concept. And then to spend the other nights contemplating other facets of your emotional beingness. We must understand our emotional nature before we can progress to the mind. We so often feel that we are thinking and controlling, but indeed we are being programmed by our emotions instead of by our high self. If we can reach this understanding, we will have the tool to build of life whatever it is that you choose.