Let us approach this Wesak festival of 2006 with a spirit of great Joy.
There is a particular quality about the inner, mental atmosphere of meditation work at this time that is different from the other full moon periods. The word that is most often used to describe this atmosphere is 'silence'. It is a silence on the inner planes that is all-embracing, that can be touched, felt, heard - a silence that helps us to understand that mysterious phrase: 'the silence that sounds'.
Wesak is the full moon of the Buddha, and it is said to be a time when the field of the collective mind and heart of humanity is bathed in the light of a blessing - a time when consciousness is irradiated by light; it is illuminated from above.
As we prepare for our meditation work together we might usefully reflect upon this potency of illumination and the role that it can play in transforming the substance of incarnated, human consciousness. The soul incarnates into a thick, foggy, illusory body of thinking and desiring and instinctual, habitual ways of being. This is the stuff of mind and emotions. It provides the environment, the soil and substance of the human psyche. Yet over time soil can be enriched. It can have compost added; be carefully tended and be made incredibly fertile and rich. And so it is that the stuff of mind and emotions is being transformed as a result of human creativity and of divine impulse.
We are called, in the full moon meditation work, to serve in this transformation. And right now, during the Wesak festival we are called to co-operate with the spirit of the Lord Buddha, and of the Christ in the radiation of light; the transformation of desire; the awakening sense of synthesis; and the dissipation of glamour.
So let us build our imaginative alignment with the world esoteric group (composed of all human beings consciously using their minds to develop their potential for wise, inclusive, loving, selfless service); with the Great Ones on the inner side of life, particularly the Christ and the Buddha; with the High Spirits of the fathers' house; and with the spirit of the Mother of the World. And let us hold this alignment for a time, before sounding together the ancient Eastern formula of the Gayatri.
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.
It is suggested that during the Wesak Festival a magical event takes place in a valley in the Himalayas. The Christ together with other Masters and various representatives of the human family gather in the valley. We are told that there is an atmosphere of intense expectancy, as if the world's aspiration is focused, concentrated and potentised into this archetypal event. Three words 'demand, readiness and expectancy' best describe the atmosphere in the valley. Just a few minutes before the time of the full moon the Buddha can be seen to descend in the sky until, bathed in light and colour, with His hand extended in blessing He hovers over the heads of the Christ and great Lords accompanying Him. The Christ intones an invocation: "It marks", Alice Bailey writes, "the supreme moment of intensive spiritual effort throughout the entire year"; there is a "spiritual vitalisation of humanity". The effects of this vitalization last, we are told, "throughout the succeeding months" of the year. The blessing is received in trust by the Christ, who stands before the Buddha as representative of humanity. The entire field of human consciousness is bathed in light.
We do not know from the teachings if this ceremony still occurs today - with the presence of the Buddha. But what we do know is that the Wesak full moon at Taurus continues to be a supreme moment of intensive spiritual effort for the Christ and the Great Ones on the inner side of life - and for the esoteric community here on earth. We also know that it is a time for the radiation of light into human consciousness.
In preparation for meditation I want to reflect a little on what this radiation of light might mean for our world now in these difficult years of transition between Pisces and Aquarius. Light reveals. It enables us to see differently. It is through a process of seeing from a broader, more inclusive and impersonal perspective that we are able to transform the stuff of mind and emotions. Today, in the West, the great quality of the Buddha's teachings as they are expounded by the various Buddhist orders are bringing the light of clear perception to bear on the nature of the human experience. With the sound ethical framework of the Noble Eightfold Path; the call to dispassion, detachment and equanimity; and the teachings on interdependence and dependent co-arising, Buddhism is having a profound impact on Western consciousness. It is truly bringing Light into the substance of the world of mind and emotions.
As a global meditating group (all who work with the rhythms of these full moon festivals) we are called to join in this work of bringing light into dark places. One aspect of this is in our group meditations - where we learn as individuals, through time, to identify with the world group and immerse ourselves in the work of receiving Light and radiating that Light out into the world. One of the most effective ways we do this is simply in using the Great Invocation together. Another is persistent, regular use of the meditation outline 'Letting in the Light'.
We should know that this work has the effect of dissipating world glamour - of seeing through the fogs and distortions of selfishness on the emotional plane. Selfishness, self-referencing, and experiencing life in terms of the personal self is a part of the great distortion of incarnation. Through the Technique of Light, when the clear thinking of the illumined mind takes control over the emotional body, the distortion of selfishness dissipates. "When light pours in, glamour fades out" (Glamour: A World Problem, p. 171). As the astral plane is freed from the fogs of selfishness, Impersonal Love can be experienced (without a measure of freedom from 'I' centredness, impersonal love can only be a theory - and can even seem to be a contradiction). A measure of freedom from selfishness also means that consciousness is able to reflect direct intuitive impressions concerning the wider work of building right relations in humanity.
Now, during this Wesak full moon, is the supreme moment of the year, the most auspicious time for us to work as a planetary group with the invocation of Light - the Light of the Buddha - and to radiate this light outwards knowing that it is the prime resource needed by servers in the world to help them see through the distortions of selfishness.
Beyond this Light is the great revealing principle that can enable the substance of the collective mind and heart to become sensitive to Synthesis - to the inclusive, universal experience of Life.
Another factor to have in mind is the image of the Buddha and the Christ standing face to face, eye to eye as the two great elders of the human race, the two great embodiments of the Divine. In saying this I am considering the Christ as the spirit manifesting as Krishna as well as Jesus, and as the great founding father of the major world religions. From Alice Bailey's book, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy:
Within the world of glamour-the world of the astral plane and of emotions-appeared a point of light. The Lord of Light, the Buddha, undertook to focus in Himself the illumination which would eventually make possible the dissipation of glamour. Within the world of illusion-the world of the mental plane-appeared the Christ, the Lord of Love Himself, Who embodied in Himself the power of the attractive will of God. He undertook to dispel illusion by drawing to Himself (by the potency of love) the hearts of all men, and stated this determination in the words, "And I, if I be lifted from the earth, will draw all men unto me." (John 12:32). From the point they then will have reached, the world of spiritual perception, of truth and of divine ideas will stand revealed. The result will be the disappearing of illusion.
The combined work of these two great Sons of God, concentrated through the world disciples and through Their initiates must and will inevitably shatter illusion and dispel glamour-the one by the intuitive recognition of reality by minds attuned to it, and the other by the pouring in of the light of reason. The Buddha made the first planetary effort to dissipate world glamour; the Christ made the first planetary effort towards the dispelling of illusion. Their work must now be intelligently carried forward by a humanity wise enough to recognise its dharma. Men are being rapidly disillusioned and will consequently see more clearly. The world glamour is being steadily removed from the ways of men. These two developments have been brought about by the incoming new ideas, focussed through the world intuitives and released to the general public by the world thinkers. It has been also largely aided by the well-nigh unconscious, but none the less real, recognition of the true meaning of these Four Noble Truths by the masses. Disillusioned and de-glamoured (if I may use such a term), humanity awaits the coming revelation. This revelation will be brought about by the combined efforts of the Buddha and the Christ. All that we can foresee or foretell anent that revelation is that some potent and far-reaching results will be achieved by the merging of light and love, and by the reaction of "lighted substance to the attractive power of love. (pp. 359 - 360)
Two more points: Firstly, it is true that working as a planetary group with meditations for world service during the full moon periods - and especially during the Wesak and June full moons - we can serve in the dissipation of glamour and dispelling of illusion in human consciousness. But, in a personal sense, to bring potency to our contribution it is important that we take ourselves and our lives as miniature laboratories in this work - taking responsibility for chipping away at the solid illusions and nebulous glamours of our own mental and astral vehicles. This work is to engage every part of our being to be truly effective. Selfishness has so many subtle faces - the light of reason needs to look into those many faces as they manifest in us. The glamour of self-satisfied aspiration, for example, or of comfortable easy service or aspiration; or the glamour of personal ambition and pride in its many subtle forms; or the sense of a destiny that makes us feel very important and special; the glamour of self-assurance when we are convinced that we are always right … and Oh so many conditions that we know so well from the nooks and crannies of our own little private world. There is no escape from doing the work on ourselves …
And one final point: It is important I believe to recognize that the work of radiating consciousness with the light released from the Buddha is directly linked to work for building cultures of peace. It is part of the work for the empowerment of women; part of the work for the re-enchantment of religion and of the arts. And it is part of the work of mobilizing human energies so that the eight Millennium Development Goals agreed to by the governments of the world are achieved by the target date of 2015:
- To eradicate extreme poverty and halve the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day.
- To provide universal primary education.
- To empower women and ensure women's equal rights and opportunities, especially in primary and secondary schools.
- To reduce infant mortality by two-thirds.
- To reduce maternal mortality by three quarters.
- To halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
- To ensure environmental sustainability and reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water
- To develop a global partnership for development, including targets for developed countries to remove barriers to the import of goods from poorer countries and for Official Development Assistance from developed countries to increase to .7% of GNI.
This, all of this, we can have in mind as we stand as a group, with humanity, before the Lord Buddha and the Christ on this Wesak Festival, 2006.