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→ Advanced Contemplation
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21 Nov 2018
Meditation often leads to fatigue but contemplation never. The one takes strength from him, the other gives it to him.
4 Apr 2014
There is a single basic principle which runs like a thread through all these higher contemplation exercises. It is this: if we can desert the thoughts of particular things, the images of particular objects raised by the senses in the field of consciousness, and if we can do this with complete and intelligent understanding of what we are doing and why we are doing it, then such desertion will be followed by the appearance of its own accord of the element of pure undifferentiated Thought itself; the latter will be identified as our innermost self.
6 Nov 2011
Now an extraordinary and helpful fact is that by making Mind the object of our attention, not only does the serenity which is its nature begin to well up of its own accord but its steady unchanging character itself helps spontaneously to repel all disturbing thoughts.
16 Jun 2017
… The mind is drawn so deeply into itself and becomes so engrossed in itself that the outer world vanishes utterly. The sensation of being enclosed all round by a greater presence, at once protective and benevolent, is strong. There is a feeling of being completely at rest in this soothing presence…
3 Feb 2019
In the third stage, contemplation, the mind ceases to think and simply, without words, worships loves and adores the Divine.
13 Feb 2012
In the profoundest state of contemplation, the thinking faculty may be entirely suspended. But awareness will not be suspended. Instead of being aware of the unending procession of varied images and emotions, there will be a single joyous serene and exalted consciousness of the true thought-transcending self.
15 Oct 2019
To sit in the stainless silence, watchful yet passive, is the proper art of contemplation.
16 Jul 2020
During such meditations the place around may seem to be filled to overflowing with a sense of the divine presence.
2 Jan 2018
In this condition, with mind shifted away from sensory experience into a fixed self-absorption and stilled to the utmost degree, the meditator may be said to have mastered contemplation.
5 Sep 2013
When the requisite preparatory instruction has been passed through, and when the mind lets thoughts go, lets objects go, lets the ego go, it comes to know itself, to perceive itself, to discover itself as Overself.
29 Jun 2018
… The meditator whose mind is centered on his own working of the meditation technique is like the karate pupil who want to cut through a brick with a single blow of the outside edge of the hand and who fixes his mind on the brick. This is a mistake. But the meditator who fixes his mind on the Overself is like the pupil who concentrates his thought on the ground below the brick itself, and this is what leads to success. Obviously, such advice is not suited to the early or elementary stages of meditation where concentration is required. On the contrary, it belongs to the more advanced stage where success comes not from trying but from letting go, relaxing.
3 Mar 2015
When his thoughts are brought into a stilled condition and his awareness fully introverted, a state resembling sleep will supervene but, unlike sleep, it will be illumined by consciousness.
25 Apr 2014
It is not just ceasing to think, although it prerequires that, but something more: it is also a positive alertness to the Divine Presence.
14 Feb 2014
This last stage, contemplation, is neither deep reflective thinking nor self-hypnotic trance. It is intense awareness, without the intrusion of the little ego or the large world.
23 Feb 2013
There are definite stages which mark his progress. First he forgets the larger world, then his immediate surroundings, then his body, and finally his ego.
15 Apr 2020
This withdrawal of attention from the immediate environment which occurs when deeply immersed in thought, looking at the distant part of a landscape, or raptly listening to inspired music, is the ”I” coming closer to its innermost nature. At the deepest level of this experience, the ego-thought vanishes and ”I-myself” becomes merged in the impersonal Consciousness.
25 Apr 2017
The third stage —- contemplation — is successfully reached when he forgets the world outside, when he neither sees nor touches it, neither hears nor smells it with his body, when memory and personality dissolve in a vacuum as the attention is wholly and utterly absorbed in the thought of, and identity with, the Overself.
8 May 2020
The deeper he looks into his own nature--a procedure which cannot be done without practising meditation--the nearer he will come to the truth about it. In the first stage of penetration, his external surroundings, and the whole world with them, vanish. In the second and deeper stage, the feeling I am rooted in God alone remains. In the third stage the I thought also goes. In the final stage even the ideaGod disappears. There remains then no idea of any kind--only peace beyond telling, consciousness in its pure ever-still state.
4 Nov 2015
The lines of the face become somewhat rigid, the eyes mostly or wholly closed, as he retires into himself and into abstraction from this world. That which draws him magnetically through noisy thoughts to the state of silent thoughtlessness is none other than the soul itself.
13 Jun 2014
The world is more and more shut off as his concentrated attention moves inward until it vanishes altogether. It is then that he may become aware of his unknown soul and its peace.
18 Jun 2018
The deepest meditation takes the meditator to a completely different level of consciousness. It causes him to drop all thoughts about the world and especially about himself.
29 Nov 2015
If the consciousness has not previously been prepared, by competent instruction or intuitive understanding, to receive this experience, then the passage out of the body will begin with a delightful sense of dawning liberation but end with a frightful sense of dangerous catastrophe. Both knowledge and courage are needed here, otherwise there will be resistance to the process followed by an abrupt breaking away from it altogether.
11 Aug 2018
There are stories of Socrates in the Grecian wars and of a nameless yogi in the Indian mutiny, absorbed in such deep contemplation that neither the noise and tumult nor the violence and strife of battle were enough to break it. Each remained bodily still and mentally serene for hours.
15 May 2019
In this deep level of meditation, he will scarcely be aware of the body. What awareness there is will objectify it as something he uses or wears, certainly not as himself. He will feel that to be a purely mental being.
7 Mar 2014
The body seems far away, but I seem closer than ever. For I feel that now I am in my mind and no longer the body's captive. There is a sense of release. I am as free as Space itself.
19 Sep 2017
The stage of contemplation has its own definite signs. Prominent among them are its thought-free emptiness, its utter tranquillity, its absence of personal selfishness.
25 Jun 2017
He enters the third stage, contemplation, when the thought or thing on which he fixed his mind alone remains there whereas the consciousness that he is meditating vanishes. He finishes this stage when this residue is none other than the Overself, thus transcending his personal self and losing it in the Overself.
13 Mar 2014
We enter into paradise when, in contemplation, we enter into awareness of the Overself.
28 Jan 2014
When consciousness is stripped of its contents and stands in naked simplicity so that it can be seen as it really is, a tremendous quietude falls upon us. All strivings cease of their own accord.
24 Jun 2020
In this state the thought-making activity comes to an end, the intellect itself is absorbed in the still centre of being, and a luminous peace enfolds the man.
7 Nov 2017
In this state the world is not presented to consciousness. Consequently none of the problems associated with it is present. No ego is active with personal emotions and particular thoughts. No inner conflicts disturb the still centre of being.
27 Jul 2017
With the feeling of the ego's displacement, all feelings of devotional worship or mystical communion also come to an end. For they presuppose duality, a relation which vanishes where there is only the consciousness of a single entity--the Overself.
15 Dec 2012
When the student attains to this stage of meditation, all sensations of an external world sink away but the idea of his own abstract existence still remains. His next effort must therefore be to suppress this idea and if he succeeds then this is followed by a sense of infinity.
20 Dec 2018
How can one forget the first day when one sat in deep contemplation, feeling a mesmeric influence coming over him and drawing him deeper and deeper within, while the sensation of light surrounded him? Deeper and deeper one went until one forgot almost who one was and where one was. How reluctant was the slow return after having played truant to this world and to the ego!
12 Aug 2015
If we search into the innermost part of our self, we come in the end to an utter void where nothing from the outside world can reflect itself, to a divine stillness where no image and no form can be active. This is the essence of our being. This is the true Spirit.
28 Jun 2020
The mind is called pure not only when passions and desires have ceased surging through it, but also when thoughts and pictures have ceased to arise, especially the personal self-thought.
20 Feb 2011
If he wishes to enter the stage of contemplation, he must let go of every thought as it rises, however high or holy it seems, for it is sure to bring associated thoughts in its train. However interesting or attractive these bypaths may be at other times, they are now just that--bypaths. He must rigidly seek the Void.
31 Jan 2011
Every state other than this perfect stillness is a manifestation of the ego, even if it be an inner mystical ”experience.” To be in the Overself one must be out of the ego, and consequently out of the ego's experience, thoughts, fancies, or images. All these may have their fit place and use at other times but not when the consciousness is to be raised completely to the Overself.
22 Dec 2010
”The best form of meditation is to avoid thinking of anything. In the mind so kept clear, God will manifest Himself.”--Shankara of Kanchi.
31 Mar 2017
… Here is the first secret of meditation--Be still! The second secret is--Know the I am, God! The stillness will have a relaxing and somewhat healing effect, but no more, unless he has faith, unless he deliberately seeks communion with God.
5 Dec 2019
The thread of contemplation once broken, it is nearly impossible to pick it up again quickly enough that same time. This is why it is important to let nothing else, not even a change in bodily posture, come to interrupt the contemplation.
17 Jan 2011
When the ego is silent, the Overself can speak.
21 Apr 2012
”Be still, and know that I am God,” sings the Biblical Psalmist. This simply means that the movement of thoughts and emotions is to be brought to an end by entering the deepest degree of contemplation…
30 Jul 2016
There is no other way to discover the Pure Consciousness than the renunciation of thinking, then the willingness to go beyond it altogether.
26 Feb 2014
It is the disentanglement of consciousness from its own projections, its thoughts of every kind, which is the final and first work of a would-be philosopher. Consciousness is then in its pure unconditioned being.
20 Feb 2012
To the extent that a man is willing to empty himself of himself, to that extent he is providing a condition for the influx into his normal consciousness of a sense of the Overself's reality. It is like emptying a cup in order that it may be filled.
7 Aug 2016
It is a fact that when the mind becomes perfectly controlled and thoughts are brought to a point and stilled, there arises a clear intuitive feeling which tells him about the mind itself.
26 Mar 2016
When self-absorption is somewhat advanced and concentration fairly steady, we are ready for the third stage, contemplation. Here, personal effort should cease. An intuition will gently make itself manifest and the moment it does we must let it affect us by being as inwardly submissive as possible. If we can follow it up, it will increase in strength and clearness... As it develops, some ethereal presence seems to come over us, a diviner happier nobler self than your common one. An ethereal feeling will echo throughout your inner being. It seems to come from some far-off world yet it will be like some mysterious half-remembered music in its paradoxical mixture of strangeness and familiarity. We are then on the threshold of that in us which links us with God.
16 Aug 2011
As he sinks deeper after many relapses towards the undivided mind, as he calls on all the powers of his will and concentration to keep within focus the inner work of this spiritual exercise, he may get a sense of leading, of being directed by something within.
17 Jan 2017
When a certain depth is reached and the concentration remains unflagging, the ego begins to sink back into its source, to dissolve into and unite with that holy source. It is then indeed as near to God's presence as it can get.
3 Apr 2016
In this third stage - contemplation - all thinking is thrust aside. He simply looks directly at the Overself, remaining inwardly quite still until he feels himself being drawn into the Overself.
16 Oct 2013
Trace consciousness back to itself, unmixed with bodily sense-reports, emotional moods, or mental thoughts. This can be done successfully only by withdrawing it inwards as you analyse. The process becomes a meditation. In the final term you are aware of nothing else, that is, of nothing but being aware. But at this point you cannot know it as a second thing, an object, but only by being it.
15 Jan 2017
Take attention away from the everyday egoistic self and you may open a gate to the Overself. This is one method--and the harder one. Let attention be held by a glimpse so that the everyday self drifts out of focus. This is another method--and the easier…
5 Nov 2012
Follow this invisible thread of tender holy feeling, keep attention close to it, do not let other things distract or bring you away from it. For at its end is entry into Awareness.
22 Jan 2013
Contemplation is attained when your thinking about a spiritual truth or about the spiritual goal suddenly ceases of itself. The mind then enters into a perfectly still and rapt condition.
23 Jun 2011
The faculty of attention is interiorized and turned back upon itself.
9 Oct 2015
Follow the ”I” back to its holy source.
25 Jun 2014
He must pursue this faint feeling as it bears him into the inmost recesses of his being. The farther he travels with it in that direction, the stronger will it become.
9 Jun 2011
Letting go all thoughts--the ego-thought, the world-thought, even the God-thought--until absolutely none is present in mind: it is as simple as that!
14 Sep 2018
If he is sufficiently advanced he need make no verbal formulation or pictured image to prepare a point of concentration, but can begin straightaway in an abstract wordless pressure towards the heart.
18 Mar 2011
This is one of the subtlest acts which anyone can perform, this becoming conscious of consciousness, this attending to attention.
9 Jul 2020
… there is no attempt at self-improvement, self-purification, or mind-training here; nor any aspiration, or longing. It is a calm movement into the Silent Universal Mind, without personal aims.
16 Dec 2014
Thinking is an activity which has its place in certain kinds of meditation--the kind which seeks self-betterment, moral improvement, or metaphysical clarification. It is an activity which occupies the generality of its practitioners in the earlier stages. In the more advanced stages and certainly on the Short Path, the attitude towards it must change. The practitioner must seek to transcend thinking so that he can enter the stillness where every movement of thought comes to an end but where consciousness remains.
31 Oct 2011
He will understand the real spirit of meditation when he understands that he has to do nothing at all, just to sit still physically, mentally, and emotionally. For the moment he attempts to do anything, he intrudes his ego. By sitting inwardly and outwardly still, he surrenders egoistic action and thereby implies that he is willing to surrender his little self to his Overself. He shows that he is willing to step aside and let himself be worked upon, acted through, and guided by a higher power.
24 Feb 2017
At this critical point consciousness shifts from forced willed attention, that is, concentration, to passive receptive attention, or contemplation. This happens by itself, by grace.
20 Nov 2012
The period of active effort is at an end; the period of passive waiting now follows it. Without any act on his own part and without any mental movement of his own, the Grace draws him up to the next higher stage and miraculously puts him there where he has so long and so much desired to be. Mark well the absence of self-effort at this stage, how the whole task is taken out of his hands.
8 Jan 2019
At this stage his business is to wait patiently, looking as deeply inward as he can while waiting. Any attempt to grasp at the Overself would now defeat itself, for the ego's willed effort could only get the ego itself back. But the willingness to sit still with hands metaphorically outstretched like a beggar's, and for a sufficient stretch of time, may lead one day to a moment when the Overself takes him by surprise as it suddenly takes hold of his mind. The much sought and memorable Glimpse will then be his. He has applied for discipleship and this is his sign of acceptance.
23 Jul 2017
Thinking must be reduced more and more until it goes. But by no deliberate act of will can he bring on contemplation. All he can do is to be passive and wait in patience and keep the correct attitude--aspiring, loving, watching, but devoid of any kind of tension.
7 Apr 2017
Look for the moment when grace intervenes. Do not, in ignorance, fail to intercept it, letting it pass by unheeded and therefore lost. There is a feeling of mystery in this moment which, if lingered with, turns to sacredness. This is the signal; seek to be alone, let go of everything else, cease other activities, begin not meditation but contemplation, the thought-free state.
30 Jan 2016
His own efforts at this stage will consist in removing from the field of concentration every mental association and emotional influence which distracts him from attaining the stillness. When he has succeeded in removing them, he is then to do nothing at all, only to relax.
6 Dec 2014
Although it is the duty of the beginner who seeks to master concentration to resist this distraction of thoughts, this tendency to move endlessly in a circle from subject to subject, there is quite a different duty for the proficient who seeks to master contemplation. He ought not take this flow of thoughts too seriously or anxiously, but may let it go on with the attitude that he surrenders this too to the Overself. He lets the result of his efforts be in God's hands.
30 Jan 2013
Withdrawn from the world's clamour to this still centre of his innermost being, waiting in utter patience for the Presence which may or may not appear, he performs a daily duty which has become of high importance and priority.
10 Jul 2014
The more inert the ego can be during this exercise, and the more passively it rests before the Overself, the fuller will be the latter's entry. Obviously this condition cannot be achieved during the first stage, that of conscious effort and struggle with distractions.
31 Jan 2017
His own power will bring him to a certain point but it will not be able to bring him farther along. When this is reached, he has no alternative than to surrender patiently, acquiescently, and wait. By such submission he shows his humility and takes one step in becoming worthy of grace.
10 Mar 2017
It is almost impossible to throw all thoughts and all images out of the mind. But what we cannot do for ourselves can be done for us by a higher power.
20 Mar 2016
It comes to this, that we have to learn the art of doing nothing! It would seem that everyone could practise this without the slightest preparation or training, but the fact is that hardly anyone can do so. For the expression doing nothing must be interpreted in an absolute sense. We must learn to be totally without action, without thought--without any tension or manifestation of the ego. The Biblical expression Be still! says exactly the same thing but says it positively where the other says it negatively. If we really succeed in learning this art, and sit absolutely still for long periods of time, we shall be given the best of all rewards, the one promised by the Bible: we shall ”know that I am God.”
14 Nov 2012
What happens next comes from no effort on his part and depends on nothing that he does. He is simply to remain still, perfectly still in body and mind. Then from above, from the Overself, grace descends and he begins to experience the joy of feeling the divine presence.
5 Mar 2018
Now that he has entered the blank silence he must be prepared to wait patiently for what is about to unfold itself. This next development cannot be forced or hurried; indeed, that attempt would effectively prevent its manifestation.
2 Feb 2019
The significant moment in meditation begins when the man stops making efforts himself and when the mind begins to take him, to withdraw him into itself quite of its own accord. This is an amazing experience for he does not know how he came to stop doing what he was already doing, trying, using effort. He is somehow led into letting it all go, into yielding to the mood of passivity which gently, imperceptibly steals over him.
23 May 2016
More than any other author, Lao Tzu has put in the tersest and simplest way the importance, the meaning, and the result of the sitting-still practice, the patient waiting for inner being to reveal itself, the submissive allowing of intuition to be felt and accepted.
25 Sep 2018
There is nothing to do, no technique to practise when you already are in the Light.
2 Sep 2018
If after you reach the deepest contemplation, you then direct attention towards a particular problem on which you are seeking knowledge, knowledge which neither the senses nor the intellect has so far been able to supply, you may be able to perceive as in a flash what is the proper solution of this problem.
12 Jan 2016
Observe how still our whole being spontaneously becomes when we want to be fully receptive just before some important announcement. If it is of the highest possible importance, we almost hold our breath; such is the intense stillness needed to take it in to the utmost degree and to miss nothing. How much more should we be still throughout every part of mind and body when waiting to hear the silent pronouncements of the Overself!
5 Aug 2019
In the mind's stillness it is possible to find either nothing at all or clear understanding. It depends on the man's preparation for it, on his knowledge, character, and experience.
6 Aug 2017
There, in the deepest state of contemplation, the awareness of a second thing--whether this be the world of objects outside or the world of thoughts inside--vanishes. But unconsciousness does not follow. What is left over is a continuous static impersonal and unchanging consciousness. This is the inmost being of man…
28 Nov 2010
In the early stages of enlightenment, the aspirant is overwhelmed by his discovery that God is within himself. It stirs his intensest feelings and excites his deepest thoughts. But, though he does not know it, those very feelings and thoughts still form part of his ego, albeit the highest part. So he still separates his being into two--self and Overself. Only in the later stages does he find that God not only is within himself but is himself.
30 Jun 2011
The attention must be concentrated at this stage solely on the hidden soul. No other aim and even no symbol of It may now be held. When he has become so profoundly absorbed in this contemplation that his whole being, his whole psyche of thought, feeling, will, and intuition are mingled and blent in it, there may come suddenly and unexpectedly a displacement of awareness. He actually passes out of what he has hitherto known as himself into a new dimension and becomes a different being...
30 May 2017
The deeper he plunges in meditation, the less does worldly life appeal to him when he emerges from it; the old incentives which drive him begin to weaken.
8 May 2015
If it is to be a continuous light that stays with him and not a fitful flash, he will need first, to cast all negative tendencies, thoughts, and feelings entirely out of his character; second, to make good the insufficiencies in his development; third, to achieve a state of balance among his faculties.