Without the help of meditation, you cannot attain Knowledge of the Self. Without its aid, you cannot grow into the divine state. Without it, you cannot liberate yourself from the trammels of the mind and attain immortality.
Meditation is the only royal road to the attainment of freedom.
It is a mysterious ladder which reaches from earth to heaven,
from error to truth,
from darkness to light,
from pain to bliss,
from restlessness to abiding peace,
from ignorance to knowledge.
From mortality to immortality.
MECHANICS OF THE MIND
Meditation unleashes the immense potential of every person. We gain mastery of the mind by bringing a halt to its incessant chatter and teaching it to focus in a concentrated manner. Awareness of thought patterns helps to give the power to project thoughts to others. Yet, one must be very careful always to send only vibrant, positive, loving and healing energy. For a complete understanding of why this is so, consider the subjects of Karma and reincarnation. There is a law in physics that states, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Expressed popularly, it is said that “What goes ’round, comes ’round”. Jesus taught, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” These are all expressions of the law of Karma, of cause and effect. It works something like a boomerang. Whatever thought or deed comes from a person will be returned to him. It may not come in the same form, but sooner or later each will confront the results of his own actions. A joyous and giving person immediately draws a response of warmth and love. If a person is hateful, he will be disliked — until he removes this negative quality. This is the law. Karmic reactions are not always experienced immediately. Sometimes lessons are not easily learned, and negative patterns may be continued for many years. A single lifetime is not sufficient for anyone to attain Perfection.
So each person reincarnates again and again. This is the reason for the apparent inequality between people. One is poor and another rich, one is healthy and another crippled, one is cheerful and another depressed. It is neither cruel fate nor a distant and unconcerned God that set the stage for these situations, but one’s own Karma. Here it can be seen why one must not be fooled by those who would sell magic mantras and instant insight. These quickrealization gurus will bring nothing but disappointment, for ultimately we must reckon with the effects of our own deeds. Each man’s life is his own responsibility. To blame difficulties on unfortunate circumstances or parents who weren’t well enough versed in psychology is to beg the question. Only when we realize that we are caught in our own web and begin to spiritualize our lives, do we break out of the wheel of births and deaths, and find peace and union in the Self. Reincarnation is not an exclusively Eastern precept. It is a fact of life, and is contained in some form in almost every major religion and mystical philosophy. Research indicates that it was an accepted doctrine, at least in some quarters, at the time of Christ, and is still an integral part of some sects of the Jewish tradition. The Bible contains no condemnation of the principle of reincarnation, and in fact, when Christ was asked when Elijah would return, he answered that Elijah had returned, referring to John the Baptist. Origen, of the early Christian Greek Church, wrote extensively regarding the pre-existence of the soul, and this concept was basically accepted in the Church until the fourth century B.C. More recently, Pope Pius XII named Origen a Doctor of the Universal Church, indicating a tolerance if not an actual embracing of his teachings. But reincarnation is not merely an abstract principle. All have experienced recollections from past lives at some time or another. It is called deja vu. It is not unusual to meet someone for the first time, yet experience an uncanny sense of familiarity. This is because that person was known in previous lives. Occasionally there may be a place or scene that stirs memories deep inside.
It will seem as if one has been there before, and in fact, that is the case. At times one will awake from a dream that is strangely familiar, even though it bears no relationship to the present life and environment; it is a segment of an earlier lifetime that has surfaced in order to help work out present Karma.
WHAT DOES YOGA HAVE TO DO WITH IT?
The methods are many for eliminating these karmic debts. Through one form or another of meditation one learns to understand how the mind operates and thus is able to begin the growth process. Exactly what techniques are used depends on the nature of the individual. In Yoga, which means “union”, there are four main paths. Raja Yoga is a psychological approach focussing on concentration and meditation. Karma Yoga is the path of eliminating the ego and attachments through selfless service. Jnana Yoga is the method by which the intellect is used to negate bondage to the material world. Bhakti Yoga is the way of union through conversion of the emotions to devotion. There are, as well, a number of other forms of Yoga. They include Hatha Yoga, which is actually the aspect of Raja Yoga that works with the energies of the astral body through exercises, or postures, and kundalini meditation. Here the meditator concentrates on a specific Sanskrit phrase for the purpose of stilling the mind and evoking positive energy.
It is said that the paths are many but the Truth is One. Each person must travel his own road to union with the Source. It should be borne in mind, however, that by placing all of one’s energies into only one form of Yoga, there is a danger of imbalance, even fanaticism. For stable and consistent progress, the meditator should choose a preferred path, but always draw from the techniques and wisdom of the other methods. Only through a synthesis of Yogas is an equilibrium maintained. In meditating regularly, the mind becomes clearer and clearer, and motives become more and more pure. The subconscious releases hidden knowledge that allows understanding of the ways in which each binds himself in daily habits. The ego is slowly eradicated by concentration on a broader awareness of the universe and one’s relation to it. Ultimately the superconscious, or intuitive
forces, are released, leading to a life of wisdom and peace.