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Group Meditation

Steve Nation
January 2012

Let us begin our Work together by sounding, silently or aloud, the ancient prayer, the Gayatri, followed by a minute of silence:

O Thou Who givest sustenance to the universe,
From Whom all things proceed
To Whom all things return,
Unveil to us the place of the true Spiritual Sun
Hidden by a disc of golden Light
That we may know the Truth
And do our whole duty
As we journey to Thy sacred feet.

In all cultures, throughout the ages, the full moon has been understood to be a time when it is most auspicious to undertake sacred work. So it is not surprising that Christians in the Western churches celebrate Easter on the Sunday closest to the first full moon after the Spring (March) Equinox — the Aries full moon. Buddhist and Hindu communities schedule important rituals around the full moon rhythm.

In Alice Bailey's writings the significant point about the full moon is that it is the time of the month when there is the maximum amount of sunlight shining onto the Earth. The light that gently illumines the night during any full moon is sunlight, reflected off the surface of the moon and onto the face of the earth.

In meditation we use the light that we see around us during the full moon as a symbol, visualizing the light of divine wisdom pouring into the mind and heart of humanity, revealing goodness, beauty and truth and shining a light on the Wholeness and Oneness at the core of our being.

Every full moon small groups meet in different localities around the world — some have kept this rhythm for decades. Where there are no outer group meetings individuals observe the rhythm in their own homes. The work is essentially esoteric — in other words it is inner work, hidden work — it is the depth of experience in this work, the quality, concentration and tension of mind and heart that matters — nothing else.

This is group meditation, each contributing whatever small skills in mind and heart that we are developing in our lives to a group field of consciousness. This is why we work with a structured meditation. The group field is built by all the participants — all the participants from all the different groups meeting around the world — all the individuals linking in — and most importantly all the subtle Beings that share in this Work — the great identities known in the different religious and spiritual traditions by different names. This is the environment of mind and heart that is our temple — our sacred work place. It is a temple that only exists on the inside. The work we do in the temple, as a group, is service — service to humanity — service to the Earth — service to the One Life. We serve in cooperation with the beings, powers and principalities of life itself. We ask nothing for ourselves.

The group nature of the meditation is fundamental — the outline we will be using begins with an act of group fusion. We imaginatively become part of a centre of mind and heart within the vast field of human consciousness. All those human beings in incarnation who find much of their life meaning and purpose in their will to love and to be of service are thought of as a new group of world servers: the group of all who love and serve. This is referred to as a 'new' group because in the entire history of human evolution it is a relatively new phenomena — a hundred years ago there was no such thing as a sense of global connectedness between servers from different cultural, religious and economic backgrounds. It just did not exist. Now there is a strong sense of a community of people of goodwill and concern.

Within this Group of World Servers we identify the meditators, those who can be thought of as being part of the World Esoteric Group. This isn't some group belonging to a particular faith. It refers to the group of everybody who practises meditation and prayer with a quality of loving mind — those who actually are developing this aspect of the heartful mind. This planetary meditating group can be thought of as the heart centre of the new group of world servers.

There is a vertical orientation as we build in thought a bridge in consciousness that looks upwards to the Great Ones from all traditions who are the source of love and light: the Planetary Healers and Inspirers, the Communion of Saints, the Masters of Wisdom. Symbolically acting on behalf of humanity the meditating group makes an approach to the overshadowing sources of all love — invoking, calling forth, a down pouring of lighted, loving energies. And this is the key to the work: invoking aspects of divine consciousness and helping to 'think them through' into the realms of the human mind and the human heart — of relationships, of society. This is done as a service, purely for its own value.

The energies that are evoked on behalf of humanity are then imaginatively distributed — radiated outwards. Individually in the silence of our thoughts, and as a planetary meditating group, we build images of a future world characterised by wisdom, love and sharing. We sense the light of a higher vision and a higher purpose shining into the veils of illusion and glamour, enabling seekers the world over to better recognise the obstacles in their nature that obstructs their expression of soul light. As we look out upon the collective realities of consciousness we hold in mind the transition that the human family is undergoing in this historical period, and the traumatic emergence of a civilisation that adequately reflects the vision of wholeness and interdependence. Looking out upon humanity, in the light of the divine energies released over the full moon, we sense our potential as a species to take the next step in expressing right relations — and our shared dharma to give incarnation to a civilisation of light and goodwill.

The Work is ritual in the sense that the same simple meditation is used month after month, year after year. There is beauty in this continuity — rather like a great inner breathing, inwards and outwards — a timeless tuning in to the mysterious processes of the evolution of consciousness. Yet there is also variety — every month sees the sun in a different zodiacal sign, bringing different qualities, a different energetic environment for the birthing of the new.

This month the sun is in the sign Capricorn, and the meditation outline asks us to penetrate the livingness of the opportunities Capricornian energies bring to the growth and development of discipleship qualities — the qualities of a mature spirituality. We are asked to think about those in the human family who are in process of developing deep skills of discrimination, detachment, harmlessness, wisdom, and of a loving will. Think about these qualities and those who are consciously, with integrity, growing in their ability to discriminate between the Real and the unreal, becoming gradually more detached, more fluid in their ability to be lovingly impersonal, finding it possible to grow in harmlessness — finding this to be real and not simply a goal or a dream, noticing that they are becoming wiser as the years proceed and finding that they are deepening in their application of the will. In some way, in some small measure, we ourselves will be in process of developing these skills — so we can meditate from a framework of what is real rather than fanciful ideas and ideals about what a more lighted consciousness might be like.

The discipleship themes for Capricorn are to do with light, illumination, initiation and transfiguration. Heady stuff! Our natural inclination might be to think of the element of fire or air, but we would be wrong for Capricorn is an earth sign. What does it mean for a sign with a discipleship keynote, lost am I in light supernal, yet on that light I turn my back, to be associated with earth, and with the earthy image of the mountain goat?

This question leads us into the mystery of transfiguration, the third initiation, and that momentous event in the life of Jesus when, on the mountaintop, soul and personality were fused. The light was no longer outside, above, or in the realm of soul, but was brought right into the substance of life. The substance of physical, emotional, mental matter became lighted - the very life of the atoms carried light. In other words light supernal was earthed, became earthy. And it was done as a service — as a way of redeeming and enlightening matter — not because matter is in some way evil but because when spirit and matter are consciously unified through humanity, the matter of mind and heart becomes translucent, electrically alive, radiatory — it carries the energies of solar fire. That is what Capricorn holds out for us — it is where we are headed.

The earth aspect means that this energy is all about the process of manifesting, concretizing, crystallizing, making material. So for the vast majority of human beings whose focus of development is about building the personality, Capricorn brings with it an enormous stimulation of ambition and personal desire. Through will power and concentration of purpose things can be achieved, and material goals can be pursued with persistence. But for those whose focus is shifting into the higher purposes of the soul Capricorn brings a quality of dogged persistence to bear on the quest for illumination. We think of a new cycle of effort and of testing leading to the mountaintop of initiation.

The image of the goat fits so well. It is such an earthy creature - rugged, tenacious, not to be messed around with. It can survive in the most difficult of climates, roaming through deserts and rocky terrain in search of what little food and water is available; and at the same time it is so sure-footed and willful that it can climb right up to the top of the mountain when other creatures would give up or perish.

In the poetry of the image the goat that takes the path up the mountain and keeps on keeping on up the most testing cliff-faces gradually changes shape as it approaches the summit. We suddenly see the rough and rugged creature with its two battered horns transform into the mythical unicorn. Now our whole impression is of a being of radiant beauty - the strength is still there but it is a pure inspiring and uplifting strength. And the two horns have become the golden, single horn of vision, insight and enlightened direction.

The unicorn stands on the mountaintop, gazing outwards towards the great beings of light, the stars and constellations of the Milky Way. The journey now appears to have come to a stop, for, while still keeping the feet firmly on the ground no further ascent is possible. So having stood for a time bathed in the light supernal the path now leads downwards again, taking the insight and understanding back to the valleys and plains in service.

And, so to meditation, using as our keynote: Lost am I in light supernal, yet on that light I turn my back.

This paper first appeared on this website at the time of the Capricorn full moon in 2011.

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