Meditation and World Service
Meditation at the full moon is a worldwide and planetary ritual, a new and simple way in which all intelligent people of goodwill can join together subjectively for an hour a month to serve humanity. Meditation for world service joins all those who meditate with all of those who serve the world. This is the group from which group consciousness is made. For an hour a month all personal problems, issues and desires are put aside in service of the whole human family and the world we all live in. The motivation is to ease the suffering humanity faces, by achieving a state of higher consciousness and creating a higher field of energy from which the problems can be solved. It marks time with the constellations of the zodiac and phases of the moon, so that we 'keep looking up.' From the universe of limitless space to the small blue marble, we identify with the whole, giving each its due. No beliefs are necessary. Come as you are. The motivation to serve the world is the quickest path to a new enlightenment, and meditation is the best tool for the job, whether yours is a secular or a spiritual philosophy.
The silent meditation is usually preceded with talks for those who meet publicly, or with reading commentaries, letters and books highlighting the principle ideas of the path and of the plan of love and light, to create a group consciousness inclusive of all world servers and people of goodwill, regardless of whether their interpretation of these is different from yours. After alignment, in the meditation proper an appropriate seed thought is used to move from concentration to meditation, such as "I leave the Father's home, and turning back, I save," the keynote for Pisces used in the Bailey books. Often forgotten, even by experienced meditators for world service is that, to be most useful and effective, meditation turns to contemplation or samadhi meditation, energy without form or reference. All stories end.
Toward the end of the meditation we turn back to the present world and management of its change, engulfing it in the energy of the timeless, infinite life of possibility. In closing we anchor universal energies into the minds, hearts and wills all humans have universally. The Great Invocation is used in many different versions today accommodating many views. God, to some, is the Universal Mind, and Christ the World Bodhisattva. A new and larger perspective yields insight and understanding to the problems of humanity.
The Story and its End
Pisces is the 12th zodiacal month, so endings of a cycle and reviews are a natural theme to consider, whether the year in review, the time or age in review, or the cycle of involution and evolution, the longest and widest view of all. Where did we begin and where are we now? What changed and what was accomplished? A mythic and metaphoric story of evolution is told in the Prodigal Son, the story of the human journey from descent into matter for redemptive purposes, to the low point of being lost in submersion in matter, to the conversion upon waking up and heading back toward the home within. The return journey is one of rediscovering the essential spiritual or holistic nature within, a psychological return to home, concluding the redemption of the journey itself, into matter and back again.
The apocalyptic end of days is a popular theme, now including the Mayan prophecy of 2012, when the greater cycles or circles made by the earth around the sun every 25,824 years, one Cosmic Year, comes to an end, along with the 2152 year cycle it takes the sun to move through one segment of 30 degrees. This same calendar was used by the Egyptians, the Tibetans, the Sumerians, and the indigenous peoples of both north and south Americas. What an extraordinary sense of time, and powers of observation this ancient 'primitive' people had! Because we of the West have such a dense denial of death, pondering on the end offers an opportunity to consider the various theories around which beliefs cling, secular and religious. In the Mayan view, the cycles begin again; the journey of the heavenly bodies continues, even when the human body reaches its natural end. The end of a cycle and the end of the planet are two different things; this is the fifth solar system, according to the some ancient scriptures, where planets tend to reappear in the same position they were before, only conditions have changed.
Everything has a story, every book and stone, every town and wall. The end of the story of thought, brought consciously to a close, leads to the gateway of the intuition, which is post-cognitive, not pre-cognitive. When story telling ceases the mind rests in contemplative silence. There is no narrative. It is the pause between breaths.
The biased story is one we are all familiar with. It is the Alfie story we try to convince Judge SuperConscious with, and the one we might prepare for death with instead of the disclosure, confession, reconciliation, and redemption so necessary for a good ending to the story. This is the UN Year of Reconciliation, so the steps needed to achieve this end are being highlighted. In international news, the biased story is also a narrative familiar to all of us. Avaaz, the voice for a balanced perspective in the news, gives us a process description, "a massive PR infrastructure established by a few powerful organizations puts tens of millions of dollars a year into conveying a pro-war perspective to the US media", which dominates international news. A few powerful organizations pay for the propaganda we hear on this issue and lesser ones, yet the majority of people on both sides want peace. Biased stories create distorted thoughtforms made to reinforce a negative view of others internationally and locally. As anthropologist Margaret Meade taught this generation, social control is maintained through gossip and slander. How much do we unwittingly propagate biased views on many issues based upon information we assume is correct? And this control can use the massive internet infrastructure to manage our information and shape our views. The time to join together and take a stand is now. When the dark is getting darker and the light lighter, the choices are made clearer and the will to overcome obstacles is made stronger. .As Viktor Frankl said, "It's not what we expect from life, but what life expects from us."
In meditative contemplation we cease telling any story. All stories are sequences of selected tales in time, told from different perspectives, including the labors of Hercules. In the common media of the day, stories are usually told from a cultural perspective used to justify the past and dominate the future, or to shed light on past injustice and change the future. In meditation all story telling fades away in the light of the timeless and limitless space beyond culture and its place in history, or our own lifetime and its perspective. On this plane of consciousness a different sense of being emerges.
From Yama to Samadhi
Of the eight yogic disciplines: yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana (meditation), and samadhi; yama is the foundation and samadhi the goal. Along the way we can forget that if the foundation of yama (ethics/morals) is eroded, the structure will be weakened. Upon it all else is predicated. Yama means self-restraint in five areas variously translated as: non-violence, non-lying, non-envy, non-adultery, and non-greed. Samadhi is often translated as contemplation, the deeper state arising from meditation (dhyana), or sustained meditation. The Tibetan/Alice Bailey's definition (Discipleship in the New Age II, p 453) could be paraphrased as, the interlude of interior silence or withdrawal into the Ashram of the Soul on its own plane, where the creative tension of pure Consciousness and Beingness is recognized and rested in. In Buddhism it has been defined as a "sustained and penetrating contemplation of certain pathways of thought and insight." (Thurman 13) Studying the descriptions of samadhi in the different Hindu and Buddhist traditions is a meditation in itself.
In the Buddhist teachings of the Six Bardos, samadhi meditation is the last of the three states or stages of life (after ordinary waking state, and sleep and dream state). If samadhi meditation is not achieved, then the first two bardos of death are likely to be passed though unaware, and the discarnate person will go right to the bardo of becoming, having missed fully half of the six states of life and death! Most of all samadhi meditation is the necessary preparation for experiencing the ground luminosity of the dharmata, rigpa, or naked awareness, which is the mind's state of purity from beginningless time. The Vajrayana teachings point to this experience with a great variety of terms and symbols, including 'the great bliss wisdom,' 'vajra heart,' 'vajra mind,' 'vajra nature' and 'OM AH HUM.' No matter what you call it….it is a beautiful and blissful experience." (Ponlop 168) In The Tibetan Book of the Dead it corresponds to the Chonyid bardo, the colorful visions of the archetypal Buddhas and their qualities, emanating from the five directions of mind/heart/brain (four quarters plus the center), the mandala of great bliss.
The image of Christians might be the archetypal Christ and the four disciples as archetypal figures, portrayed in artwork at the medieval cathedral of Chartres as the water-carrier (Matthew, Aquarius), the lion (Mark, Leo), the bull (Luke, Taurus), and the eagle ( John, Scorpio), or the four disciples as the fixed cross of the zodiac. It also brings to mind the 12th labor of Hercules, where the 'sacred city' is really "two towns connected by a beautiful wall and a gateway called the Gateway of the Lion" (Bailey Labours of Hercules, 197), which could be interpreted as a metaphor for the brain's right and left hemispheres connected by the corpus callosum often referred to as the Lion's gate. The "red cattle" could be the thought-desire driven up from the emotional limbic brain toward the back of the skull up to the area of most evolved consciousness, making a cross of right and left, back and front. The two great polarities of human nature, vertically and horizontally, find their reconciliation and apotheosis in the Christ of the West or Buddha of the East, both as transcendent in history and immanent in gnosis. The macrocosm and the microcosm are reconciled and sweet redemption is tasted.
Sending you wishes for a meditation redemptive for the world and for yourself.
Ponlop, Dzogchen. Mind Beyond Death. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion, 2006.
Bailey, Alice A. The Labours of Hercules. NY: Lucis, 1992.
----Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II. NY: Lucis, 1979.
Thurman, Robert. The Central Philosophy of Tibet. Princeton, NJ: Princeton U. Press,