(GAWP 262) That breathing exercises may eventually find a place in the training of the disciple is true and possible, but they will be self-initiated as a result of rhythmic living and a constant right use of the Sacred Word, the
OM. When, for instance, a disciple in meditation sounds the OM seven times, it is the equivalent of a breathing exercise; when he can send the energy thus generated on the wings of conscious planned thought to one or other of the centres, he is bringing about changes and readjustments within the mechanism which handlesforce, and when this can be carried out with ease and with the mind held at a point of "thought-full tension," then the disciple is well on the way to shifting his entire focus of attention away from the world of illusion, glamour and maya and into the realm of the soul, in the world of the "clear cold light" and into the kingdom of God.
When he also adds to this an understanding and the practice of the Technique of Indifference, he stands free and liberated and is essentially at all times the Observer and User of the apparatus of manifestation.
Out-breathing corresponds to involution, in-breathing is evolution
OM 57) But the work ofoutbreathing is already accomplished. It is involution. The work of in-breathing or reabsorption into the source progresses…….
It is the law of attraction demonstrating through sound. Like to like and kind to kind, driven thereto by unity of sound, of colour and of rhythm.
Out-breathing attracts matter and builds forms, in-breathing leads to the withdrawing from forms and the eventual shattering thereof, hence after the magical work of the interlude the form is sent forth on the out-breath
This leads to the second factor we are considering, the destructive factor. In emancipation comes the breaking of the chains, in liberation comes the abolition of the old forms, in the domination of matter is seen the liberation of spirit. So, in the sounding of the Sacred Word in its sevenfold sense, comes the escaping from the shattered [Page 58] forms; first in the out-breathing, the attraction of matter, then in the in-breathing, the gradual shattering of the material forms and the leaving of them behind.
OM 62) Then let himthree times intone the sacred Word, breathing it forth gently the first time and thereby affecting the mental vehicle; more loudly the second time, thereby stabilising the emotional vehicle; and in a still louder tone the final time, acting then upon the physical vehicle. The effect upon each body will be threefold. If correctly chanted with the centre of consciousness steadily held within whichever centre has been chosen, the effect will be as follows……
(LOS 223) Through certain developments and knowledge which come to the aspirant when he is ready (having attended to the previous means of yoga) and which give him the ability to tap certain types of forces, energies, or shaktis, to utilize them correctly through the medium of his own centres and to produce effects which come under the descriptive terms, illuminative, purificatory, magnetic, dynamic, psychic, and magic.
The motionless control of the life currents is the effect of the proper development of the other [Page 224] two, external and internal control and must be present before the fifth means of yoga, withdrawal or abstraction becomes possible. It simply indicates perfectly balanced synchronization and the complete unification of the two parts of the physical body so that there is no impediment to the outgoing or incoming forces. When motionless control is reached, the yogi can withdraw from his physical body at will or can pull in that body and manipulate at will any of the seven great planetary forces.
The power of the interlude in preparation for Samadhi
(DINAI 193) In the production of alignment during meditation, I will ask you to do the following exercises, in breathing and in focussing. You know well, do you not, my friend and brother, that the more disciples are aligned and coordinated, the greater will be their power in service.
Therefore, attempt the following breathing exercise, paying particular attention to the interlude, and to the line of thought which you carry forward during these interludes. This is, for you, a somewhat difficult task, yet the interlude should be the easiest and most effective part of the meditation work. An interlude, properly held and utilised, is one of the preparatory steps towards that occult phenomenon, called by the oriental teachers, samadhi....
(GAWP 254 ) b. The use of the Science of the Breath.
There has been a great deal of nonsense talked and taught about the science of the breath. Many groups give a great deal of dangerous instruction anent breathing—dangerous because it is based on book knowledge and its exponents have never practised it extensively themselves, and dangerous because many groups simply exploit the unready, [Page 254] usually for commercial gain. Fortunately for the mass of aspirants, the information and the instruction given are both feeble, inaccurate and frequently innocuous, though there are many cases of significantly bad reaction; fortunately, also, the purpose of the average aspirant is so weak that he is incapable of persistent, daily, unchanging compliance with the requirements and fails to render that application which would be the guarantee of a dubious success; hence, in these cases, no danger exists. Many occult groups exploit the subject in order to build up mystery and to hold out inducements to the unwary, or give their adherents something to do and thus gain kudos for themselves as learned and well trained occultists. Anyone can teach breathing exercises. It is largely a matter of periodic in-breathing and exhalation, timed and spaced according to the wish of the teacher. Where there is persistence in effort, results will be achieved and these will usually be undesirable because the average teacher emphasises the technique of the breath and not the ideas which—upon the energy which that breath engenders—should take form in the life of the disciple.
Only Indian Gurus (so called) who have taken the 4th or 5th initiations understand and can safely instruct Western students
The entire science of the breath is built around the use of the Sacred Word, the
OM. The use of the Word is intended to be confined to those aspirants who are earnestly pledged to tread the Way, but ithas been passed on and its use enjoined by many unscrupulous teachers, particularly those swamis who come from India, pose as Holy Men and get the silly women of the occident into their clutches. The Word is then used with no spiritual intent but simply as a sound which, carried on the breath, produces psychic results which indicate to the gullible their deep spirituality. The trouble is that breathing is inevitably related to the OM, but theeffects are dependent upon motive and inner fixed intention. The oriental, unless he has attained the fourth or fifth initiation, has no true understanding of the [Page 255] occidental or of his mechanism and equipment which, as the result of a civilisation and a mode of living, differs widely from that of the oriental. In the East, the problem of the teacher or Guru is to take negatively polarised people and make them positive. In the West, the races are as a whole positive in attitude and need no such training as is rightly given to the oriental. What exactly do I mean when I make this statement? I mean that in the East, the will factor (the quality of the first aspect) is absent. The oriental, particularly the inhabitant of India
, lacks will, dynamic incentive and the ability to exert that inner pressure upon himself which will produce definite results. That is why that particular civilisation is so unadaptable to modern civilisation, and that is why the people of
make so little progress along the lines of regulated municipal and national life, and why they are so behind the times as far as modern civilised living is concerned. Generalising, the occidental is positive and needs the directive force of the soul and can produce it with very little teaching. In the Aryan race, a fusion is today taking place between the will aspect, the mind and the brain. This is not so in the Orient. It will be so later.
The only factor which makes the breath effective is the thought, the intent and the purpose which lie behind it. In this statement, you have the clue to dynamic useful breathing exercises. Unless there is a clear appreciation of purpose, unless the disciple knows just what he is doing as he practises esoteric breathing, and unless the significance of the words "energy follows thought" is understood, breathing exercises are sheer waste of time and can be dangerous. From this it can be gathered that only when there is an alliance between breathing and thinking will results be possible.
On third degree initiates can use the breath properly in conjunction with the mind and will
Behind this lies a third and even more important factor—the WILL. Therefore, the only person who can safely [Page 256] and usefully practise breathing exercises is the man whose will is active—his spiritual will and, therefore, the will of the Spiritual Triad. Any disciple who is in process of building the antahkarana can begin to use, with care, directed breathing exercises. But, in the last analysis, it is only the initiates of the third degree and who are coming under monadic influence who can properly and successfully employ this form of life direction and reach effective results. This is fundamentally true. However, a beginning has to be made and to this effort all true disciples are invited.
If all the implications in the above paragraph are considered, it will be apparent that the disciple has to establish—as a preliminary step—a direct relation between his brain, his mind and the will aspect of the Spiritual Triad; in other words, the negative receptor of thought (the brain), the agent of the will (the mind), and the Triad itself, have to be brought into contact with each other, via the antahkarana. When such a relation exists or is beginning to be established, then breathing exercises can safely and profitably be attempted. You see, my brother, only the directed will, using the organised rhythmic breath as its agent, can control the centres and produce an ordered purpose in life. Therefore, it is the dominating idea or line of mental activity with which the disciple must be concerned as he performs a breathing exercise. This idea must embody some purpose, some planned activity and some recognised goal before the breath which will engineer or implement it is generated, assembled, sent forth and thus becomes the carrier of power. This has to be done upon the wings of conscious intention, if I may here speak symbolically. I would urge you to read these last sentences with frequency because they concern the Science of the Breath and hold the clue to needed work. This science is primarily and fundamentally concerned with ideas as formulated into clear thoughtforms [Page 257] and thus condition the life of the disciple upon etheric levels. From there, they eventually condition his physical plane life.
I have no intention here of giving any breathing exercises which disciples or aspirants could use—or, more probably, misuse. Their first responsibility is to become aware of the impulses within themselves which could galvanise the centres into activity and so produce conditions and events upon the physical plane. When these are clear and firmly established in the mind consciousness of the disciple, nothing can then stop their emergence in due time into the light of day. But they must follow an ordered process of gestation and of timed appearance.
When there is true idealism, right thought, plus an understanding of the vehicle of expression and the world of forces into which the idea has to be launched, then the student can safely follow certain scheduled breathing exercises and the second phase or the result of sound rhythmic breathing will appear. This is Inspiration.
Breathing exercises, my brother, have a purely physiological effect when not impelled or motivated by directed thought and when they are not the result of the aspirant attaining and adhering to a point of tension. Steadily, whilst the process of inhalation and exhalation is being carried forward, a clear line of active thinking must be preserved so that the breath (as it is sent out) is qualified and conditioned by some idea. It is here that the average aspirant fails so often. He is usually so intensely preoccupied with the process of directing breathing and so expectant of some phenomenal results, that the living
purpose of the breath is forgotten; this is to energise and add quality to the life of the centres through the medium of some projected and presented thought, expressing some sensed and determined idea. Where this background of idealistic thought is lacking, then the results of the breath will be practically nil or—[Page 258] where there are results of any kind under these circumstances—they will be in no way concerned with thought but will be psychic in nature. They can then produce lasting psychic trouble, for the emanating source of the activity is astral and the projected energy goes to centres below the diaphragm, thus feeding the lower nature, enriching and strengthening its astral content and thereby enhancing and deepening glamour. The results can also be physiological, producing the stimulation of the etheric body leading to the strengthening of the physical nature; this often leads to serious results, for the breath is carried to centres which should be in "process of elevation" as it is esoterically called; this increases their physical potency, feeds the physical appetites and makes the task of the aspirant much harder as he seeks to sublimate the lower nature and anchor or focus the life of the centres above the diaphragm or in the head.
Glamour and maya are then increased and for the life in which these exercises are misapplied, the aspirant remains in a static and unprofitable condition. As he breathes in or inhales, he draws the breath from within his own aura, his auric ring-pass-not; he feeds the lower nature and sets up a vicious circle within himself which strengthens day by day until he is completely enmeshed by the glamour and maya which he is constantly establishing and re-establishing. The lower centres are steadily vitalised and become extremely active and the point of tension from which the aspirant then works is found in the personality and is not focussed in relation to the soul; the consciousness of the uniqueness of special breathing and the expectancy of phenomenal results bar out all thought, except lower reactions of a kama-manasic nature; emotion is fostered and the power of the astral body is tremendously increased; very frequently also the physiological results are potent and [Page 259] noticeable, such as a great chest development and the muscular strengthening of the diaphragm. Something of this can be seen in the case of operatic singers. Singing, as now taught, is an expression of some of the lower aspects of the breath, and the breathing in the case of the above vocalists produces much breast development, intensifying emotionalism, producing instability in the life expression (which is often referred to as temperament) and keeps the singing aspect entirely astral in nature.
(WM 150) THE SCIENCE OF THE BREATH
Now we come to the significant words in Rule IV. "The man breathes deeply." This is a phrase covering many aspects of rhythmic living. It is the magical formula for the science of pranayama. It covers the art of the creative life. It sweeps a man into tune with the pulsating life of God Himself, and this through detachment and re-orientation.
It is notably interesting as a demonstration of the succinctness and inclusiveness of occult phrases as in Rule IV. The art of breathing is dealt with in three phases, and these I commend to each of you for the most careful consideration.
There is first the aspect of Inhalation. "The man breathes deeply." From the very depths of his being he draws the breath. In the process of phenomenal living, he draws the very breath of life from the soul. This is the first stage. In the process of detaching himself from phenomenal living, he draws from the depths of his being and experiences the life, that it may be rendered again back to the source from whence it came. In the occult life of the disciple, as he develops a new and subtler use of his response apparatus, he practices the science of the breath, and discovers that through deep [Page 150] breathing (including the three stages of the deep, middle, and top breath) he can bring into activity, in the world of esoteric experiences, his vital body with its force centres. Thus the three aspects of "deep breathing" cover the entire soul experience, and the relationship to the three types of breath, touched upon above, can be worked out by the interested aspirant.
Next we read "he concentrates his forces." Here we have the stage indicated which can be called retention of the breath. It is a holding of all the forces of the life steadily in the place of silence, and when this can be done with ease and with forgetfulness of process through familiarity and experience, then the man can see and hear and know in a realm other than the phenomenal world. In the higher sense this is the stage of contemplation, that "lull between two activities" as it has been so aptly called. The soul, the breath, the life has withdrawn out of the three worlds, and in the "secret place of the most high" is at rest and at peace, contemplating the beatific vision. In the life of the active disciple it produces those interludes which every disciple knows, when (through detachment and the capacity to withdraw) he is held by nothing in the world of form. As he is but wrestling toward perfection and has not yet attained, these interludes of silence, withdrawingness, and of detachment are frequently difficult and dark. All is silence and he stands appalled by the unknown, and by the apparently empty stillness in which he finds himself. This is called, in advanced cases, "the dark night of the soul"—the moment before the dawn, the hour before the light streams forth.
In the science of Pranayama it is the moment following upon inhalation wherein all the forces of the body have (through the medium of the breath) been carried upward to the head and concentrated there, prior to the stage of breathing forth. This moment of retention, when [Page 151] properly carried forward, produces an interlude of intense concentration and it is in this moment that the aspirant must seize opportunity. Herein lies a hint.
Then comes the process of exhalation. (this corresponds to the stage of involution and the gathering of matter for the building of forms) We read in Rule IV "he drives the thought-form from him." This is ever the result of the final stage of the science of the breath. The form, vitalized by the one who breathes in correct rhythm, is sent forth to do its work and fulfil its mission. Study this idea with care, for it holds the secret of creative work.
In the experience of the soul, the form for manifestation in the three worlds is created through intense meditation, which is ever the paralleling activity of breathing. Then by an act of the will, resulting in a "breathing forth", and engendered or arrived at dynamically in the interlude of contemplation or retention of the breath, the created form is sent forth into the phenomenal world, to serve as a channel of experience, a medium of expression and a response apparatus in the three worlds of human living.
In the life of the disciple, through meditation and discipline he learns to reach high moments of interlude whenever he concentrates his forces on the plane of soul life, and then again by an act of his will, he breathes forth his spiritual purposes, plans and life into the world of experience. The thought form that he has constructed as to the part he has to play, and the concentration of energy which he has succeeded in bringing about become effective. The energy needed for the next step is breathed forth by the soul and passes down into the vital body, thus galvanizing the physical instrument with the needed constructive activity. That aspect of the plan which he has appreciated in contemplation, and that part of the general purpose of the Hierarchy in which his soul feels called upon to co-operate is breathed forth simultaneously, [Page 152] via the mind into the brain, and thus "he drives the thought forms from him."
Finally, in the science of Pranayama, this stage covers that exhaling breath which, when carried forward with thought and conscious purpose behind it, serves to vitalize the centres and fill each of them with dynamic life. More need not be said here.
Thus, in this science of "breathing deeply" we have the whole process of creative work and of the evolutionary unfoldment of God in nature covered. It is the process whereby the Life, the One Existence, has brought the phenomenal world into being, and Rule IV is a digest of the Creation. It is equally the formula under which the individual soul works as it centres its forces for manifestation in the three worlds of human experience.
The right use of the Life-Breath is the whole art at which the aspirant, the disciple, and the initiate work, bearing in mind however that the science of the physical breath is the least important aspect and follows sequentially upon the right use of energy, which is the word we apply to the divine breath or life.
Finally, in the mental life of the disciple, and in the great work of learning to be a conscious creator in mental matter and so produce results in the phenomenal world, this fourth Rule holds the instructions upon which the work is based. It embodies the science of the entire magical work.
Therefore, this Rule warrants the closest consideration and study. Rightly understood and rightly studied it would lead each aspirant out of the phenomenal world into the kingdom of the soul. Its instructions, if carried out, would lead the soul back again into the phenomenal world as the creating force in soul magic and as the manipulator and dominating factor of, and through, the medium of the form.
In the training of the occidental student, blind unquestioning [Page 153] obedience is never asked. Suggestions are made as to method and as to a technique which has proved effective for thousands of years and with many disciples. Some rules as to breathing, as to helpful process and as to practical living on the physical plane will be imparted, but in the training of the new type of disciple during the coming age, it is the will of the watching Gurus and Rishis that they be left freer than has heretofore been the case. This may mean a slightly slower development at the beginning but will result, it is hoped, in a more rapid unfoldment during the later stages upon the Path of Initiation.
Therefore, students are urged to go forward during their period of training with courage and with joy, knowing that they are members of a band of disciples, knowing that they are not alone but that the strength of the band is theirs, the knowledge of the band is theirs too as they develop the capacity to apprehend it,—and knowing also that the love and wisdom and understanding of the watching Elder Brothers are back of every aspiring Son of God, e'en though apparently (and wisely) he is left to wrestle through to the light in the strength of his own omnipotent soul.
(WM 160) 1. The Condition of the Waters
The creating agency, man, has through the incentives of a co-ordinating purpose, intent meditation, and creative activity built the thought-form which he is ensouling with his own vitality and directing with his will. The time has come for that thought-form to be sent upon its mission and to carry out the purpose of its being. As we saw in the earlier rule, the form is "driven" from its creator by the power of the expulsive breath. This is a symbolic statement but, at the same time, an experimental fact in the magical work. In the disciple's work, there is often failure owing to his inability to understand both the esoteric and the literal significance of this expulsive breath as he carries forward his meditation work. This expulsive breath is the result of a preceding period of rhythmic breathing, paralleled by concentrated meditation work, then a definite focussing of the attention and the breath, as the purpose of the created form is mentally defined, and finally, the vitalizing of the thought-form, by its creator, and its consequent energizing into independent life and activity.
(WM 206) 6. Breathing Exercises. Little by little as progress is made will the needed instruction be imparted. Let me point out however that no breathing exercises can be safely used where there is no attempt to impose rhythm upon the life of every day. The two activities must go hand in hand.
The effect of breathing exercises is varied:
a. There is an oxygenating effect. The blood stream is purified and pressure is relieved. A symbolism underlies this:—for as the blood is oxygenated so is the life of the man in the three worlds permeated by spiritual energy.
b. There is the imposition of a peculiar rhythm, brought about by the particular spacing and time limit of the breaths—inhalation, retention, and exhalation—and this will vary according to the counts.
c. There is a subtle effect of prana (which is the subjective element underlying the air breathed in and out) which affects most potently the body of prana, the vital or etheric body. Students should remember that subtle effects are more powerful than the physical effects. They produce results [Page 207] in two directions; on the physical body and on the etheric body. The entire vital body assumes a particular rhythm according to the breathing exercises. This kept up for a long period of time will have a shattering or a cohesive effect upon the physical body, and devitalise or vitalise the etheric body correspondingly.
d. There is the effect upon the centres, which is most effectual and which follows the trend of the aspirant's thought. If, for instance, a man thinks upon the solar plexus, that centre will inevitably be vitalised and his emotional nature be strengthened. Hence the need for students to hold their meditation steady in the head and so awaken the head centre.
Let no one doubt the effect of breathing exercises upon the vital body. As surely as eating and drinking build or destroy the physical body, and aid or hinder its right functioning, so do breathing exercises produce potent effects, if rightly used over a long enough period of time.
And what shall I say about the last three requirements? Nothing much, for the time is not yet ripe for their correct understanding. Step by step must the aspirant proceed and his theory must not persistently run ahead of his experience. Perhaps I can give the clue to each of these three through the formulation of a simple rule for daily living. This will be grasped by those for whom it is intended and will not work harm to the unevolved. This rule, when followed will bring about, gently and subjectively, the necessary conditions for the manifestation of the requirement.
Learn to use the will through the development of steady purpose and the organising of the daily life, so that that purpose may reach fulfillment.
Learn to do something else with time besides organise [Page 208] it and use it. Learn to do several things simultaneously, and utilise therefore all the three bodies synchronously. Let me illustrate:—When you are practicing your daily breathing exercise keep your count with accuracy, listen attentively for the sound that "soundeth in the silence" of the interlude. At the same time think of yourself as the soul, the imposer of rhythm, and the voice that speaks. This is something which can be acquired by practice by each of you.
Discover the serpent of illusion by the help of the serpent of wisdom and then will the sleeping serpent mount upwards to the place of meeting.
(WM 513) God breathes and His pulsating life emanates from the divine heart and manifests as the vital energy of all forms. It flows, pulsating in its cycles, throughout all nature. This constitutes the divine inhalation and exhalation. Between this breathing out and the breathing in comes a period of silence and the moment for effective work. If disciples can learn to utilise these interludes, they can then release the "prisoners of the planet," which [Page 513] is the objective of all magical work, performed during this world period.
(RI 55) Earlier I pointed out that the sound of the A.U.M., the sound of the O.M. and the SOUND itself are all related to vibration and to its differing and varied effects. The secret of the Law of Vibration is progressively revealed as people learn to sound forth the Word in its three aspects. Students would also do well to ponder on the distinction between the breath and the Sound, between the process of breathing and of creating directed vibratory activity. The one is related to Time and the other to Space and they are distinct from each other; and (as the Old Commentary puts it) "the Sound, the [Page 55] final and yet initiating Sound, concerns that which is neither Time nor Space; it lies outside the manifested ALL, the Source of all that is and yet is naught." (No thing. A.A.B.)
(EH 242) In the yoga of the future, through meditation and alignment and right practices, the centres will be brought under the direct control of the soul—a very different thing to the control of the centres by the mind and one for which the masses of men are not yet ready. To this the [Page 242] Science of the Breath will be added—not breathing exercises as now taught, with often such dangerous results, but a breathing rhythm imposed by the mind through which the soul can work, and which will not require anything more than the simple rhythmic physical breath but which will reorganise the subtler bodies and bring the centres into ordered activity, according to ray and point in evolution.
(EH 132) The sound of the AUM, the sound of the
OM, and the SOUND itself, are all related to vibration and its differing and varied effects. The secret of the Law of Vibration is progressively revealed as people learn to sound forth the WORD in its three aspects. Students would do well to ponder on thedistinction between the breath and the sound, between the process of breathing and the process of creating vibratory activity. They are related but distinct from each other. One is related to Time and the other to Space and (as the Old Commentary puts it) "the sound, the final and yet initiating sound, concerns that which is neither Time nor Space; it lies outside the manifested All, the Source of all that is and yet is naught" (or no-thing. A.A.B.).
(EPII 589) 1. If the door to the astral plane has been opened by following certain breathing exercises, plus certain postures, and other methods taught by ignorant teachers at this time, I would suggest certain preliminary and necessary steps, as follows:
a. Let the man drop all such exercises and postures and avoid all contact with the teacher. This is a first and necessary step.
b. Let him live a full life of physical activity, permitting himself no time for the introspective life. If he is materially minded, let him fulfill his commercial, business or social obligations, by physical plane interests and his due responsibilities with every power he has, permitting himself no backward thought.
c. Let him focus his attention upon the things of physical living until such time as evolution carries him to the stage of mental focussing and spiritual orientation. Before this can be done, the lower door must be closed. Let him, therefore, control emotion, for emotion serves to keep the door ajar and facilitates astral experience.
d. Let him "learn to work and think with the spine and head and not with the forefront of the body", as the ancient rule can be translated. The idea is that the average psychic regards the solar plexus and throat centres (the only two about which they seem to know anything) as existing in the front and centre of the torso or the front of the throat. This carries the energy downwards by the involutionary route and not upwards by the evolutionary route of the spinal column. This is of moment.
Occult Obedience and to serve and obey
(CF 159) Yet, when these simple truths are enunciated and we are urged to serve our brother and to obey our soul, it seems to us so familiar and so uninteresting that it can evoke but little response. If we were told that the following of a prescribed form of meditation, the practicing of a definite formula of breathing, and regular concentration upon a specific centre would release us from the wheel of life and identify us with the spiritual self and its world of being, gladly and willingly and joyously would we follow out instructions. But when, in the terms of the occult science, we are told to serve and obey, we are not interested. Yet service is the mode, par excellence, for awakening the heart centre, and obedience is equally potent in evoking the response of the two head centres to the impact of soul force, and unifying them into one field of soul recognition.
OM 104) From insanity. This evil has often been seen in earnest students who persist in unwise pressure or seek unguardedly toarouse the sacred fire through breathing exercises and similar practices; they pay the price of their rashness through the loss of their reason. The fire does not proceed in due geometrical form, the necessary triangles are not made, and the electrical fluid rushes with ever increasing speed and heat upwards, and literally burns away all or part of the brain tissue, thus bringing about insanity and sometimes death.
OM 156) …..This manipulation will be begun first on the etheric matter of the physical body, byforms of breathing (respiration and inspiration), and by certain rhythmic currents set up on the mental plane and driving from thence to the lower ethers. The etheric body will thus be strengthened, purified, cleansed, and rearranged. Many of the diseases of the dense physical body originate in the etheric, and it will be an object of attention at as early a date as possible.
(EOH 18) Meditation involves the living of a one-pointed life always and every day. This perforce puts an undue strain on the brain cells for it brings quiescent cells into activity and awakens the brain consciousness to the light of the soul. This process of ordered meditation, when carried forward over a period of years and supplemented by meditative living and one-pointed service, will successfully arouse the entire system, and bring the lower man under the influence and control of the spiritual man; it will awaken also the centres of force in the etheric body and stimulate into activity that mysterious stream of energy which sleeps at the base of the spinal column. When this process is carried forward with care and due safeguards, and under direction, and when the process is spread over a long period of time there is little risk of danger, and the awakening will take place normally and under the law of being itself. If, however, the tuning up and awakening is forced, or is brought about by exercises of various kinds before the student is ready and before the bodies are coordinated and developed, then the aspirant is headed towards disaster. Breathing exercises or pranayama training should never be undertaken without expert guidance and only after years of spiritual application, devotion and service; concentration upon the centres in the force body (with a view to their awakening) is ever to be avoided; it will cause overstimulation and the opening of doors on to the astral plane which the student may have difficulty in closing. I cannot impress too strongly upon aspirants in all occult schools that the yoga for this transition period is the yoga of one-pointed intent, of directed purpose, of a constant practice of the Presence of God, and of ordered regular meditation carried forward systematically and steadily over years of effort.
(ITI 221) Having attained to physical comfort, relaxation, and having withdrawn ourselves from the body consciousness, we next note our breathing and ascertain whether it is quiet, even and rhythmic. I would like here to sound a note of warning as to the practice of [Page 221] breathing exercises, except by those who have first given years to right meditation and to purification of the body nature. Where experience and purity are not present, the practice of breathing exercises entails very real dangers. It is impossible to put this too strongly. There are many schools giving breathing instruction at this time, and many exponents of breathing as a means to spiritual development. It has nothing whatever to do with spiritual development. It has much to do with psychical development, and its practice leads to much difficulty and danger. It is possible for instance, to become clairaudient or clairvoyant through the practice of certain breathing exercises, but where there is no true understanding of the process or right control by the mind of the "versatile psychic nature", the practicer has only succeeded in forcing entrance into new fields of phenomena. He has developed faculties he is totally unable to control, and he finds very often that he is unable to shut out sounds and sights which he has learned to register and being helpless to escape from the contacts of both the physical and the psychical, he is torn in two directions, and gets no peace. Physical sounds and sights are his normal heritage, and naturally make their impacts upon his senses, but when the psychic world — with its own sights and sounds — also makes an impact he is helpless; he cannot shut his eyes and remove himself from undesirable psychic surroundings.
In the ancient teachings of the East, the control of the breath was only permitted after the first three "means to union," as they are called, had been somewhat wrought out in the life. These "means" are: First, the five commandments. These are, harmlessness, truth to all beings, abstention from theft, from incontinence, and from avarice. Second, the five rules, which are internal and external purification, contentment, fiery aspiration, spiritual reading, and devotion. Third, right poise. When a person is harmless in thought and word and deed, [Page 223] when he is unselfish and knows the meaning of poise — emotional as well as physical posture — then indeed he may practice breathing exercises, under proper instruction, and practice them with security. Even then he will only succeed in unifying the vital energies of the body, and in becoming a conscious psychic, but this may have its place and purpose, if he classes himself as a research experimenter.
Failure to conform to the necessary preliminary steps has landed many a worthy investigator in trouble. It is dangerous for an emotional and weak person to take breathing exercises in order to hasten development, and any teacher who seeks to teach these exercises to large groups, as is frequently done, is laying up trouble for himself and his followers. It is only here and there that, in the ancient days, the teachers picked a man for this form of tuition, and it was added to a training which had produced a certain measure of soul contact, so that the soul could guide the energies evoked by the breath for the furtherance of its objectives and for world service.
Therefore, we will do no more than see that our breathing is quiet and regular, and will then withdraw our thoughts from the body altogether and begin the work of concentration.
Technique for Destroying Glamour
(GAWP 217) II. The Technique or Formula.
5. By an act of the creative imagination the worker endeavours to see and hear the soul—the source of light and power in the three worlds—breathing out the
OM into the mind of the attentive waiting personality. There the light and power of the soul is retained and held by the positive personality, for a negative attitude is not desirable.
6. The retained light and power, combined with the dual light of the personality (focussed as we know on the mental plane) is seen generating an intense light which can be visualised as a searchlight of great brilliance and strength. It must be seen as a sphere of vivid brilliant light but not yet radiating out or projecting outwards.
7. When this act of visualisation is deemed to be satisfactorily accomplished, a pause then ensues wherein the aspirant focusses all the will he has behind the light thus created by the fusion of the three lights. This refers to the stage spoken of by Patanjali as that of the "mind held steady in the light." This use of the will—soul-personality will—is dynamic but at this stage quiescent and not magnetic or radiatory.
8. Next follows a process wherein the glamour to be dissipated and the searchlight of the mind are brought into relationship by the power of thought. The glamour and its quality and the searchlight and its power are recognised to be as they are, and the effect or effects to be brought about by that relationship are carefully thought out. This must not be done in such a way that the mind process, light [Page 218] and power will strengthen the already powerful glamour. It must be done in such a way that at the close of the process the glamour will be appreciably weakened and eventually dissipated. This is an important realisation.
9. Having, as far as possible, achieved the needed concentration, realisation and relationship, the aspirant then (by an act of the will and of the creative imagination) turns on the searchlight and sees a vivid beam of light stream forth and pierce the glamour. He must visualise a broad brilliant beam, pouring forth from the illumined mind on to the astral plane. He must believe that this is so.
10. Then comes an important and difficult phase of the work in which the worker names the glamour and sees it in process of dissipation. He aids the process by saying with tension and inaudibly:
The power of the light prevents the appearance of the glamour (Naming it).
The power of the light negates the quality of the glamour from affecting me.
The power of the light destroys the life behind the glamour.
The saying of these three sentences constitutes an affirmation of power and of purpose and must be enunciated at a point of tension, with the mind held in steadiness and with a positive orientation.
11. Again the Sacred Word is sounded with intent to produce what in occult parlance is called an "Act of Penetration"; the light is then seen accomplishing three things:
a. Making a definite impact upon the glamour.
b. Penetrating the glamour and being absorbed by it.
c. Dissipating it slowly; as time elapses the glamour will never again be so powerful and will eventually disappear altogether.
12. This is followed by a process of withdrawing wherein the aspirant consciously and deliberately withdraws the beam of light and re-orients himself upon the mental plane.
I would point out that glamour is never immediately dissipated. It is of too ancient an origin. But a persistent use of this formula will weaken the glamour and slowly and inevitably it will vanish and the man will walk free from that particular hindrance.
(DINAII 452) Some souls in incarnation need constantly to spur their personalities on to action; they require to urge them to achievement and towards freedom from inertia. That is not a problem which confronts you, my disciple. For you, the "lesson of the interludes" is of major importance. I use this word in its most technical sense and as the Masters use it when attempting to incline any life within the Ashram into ways which are, for that unit of life, the essential process for the immediate moment.
In all breathing exercises, there are, as you know, the processes of inhalation and of exhalation, with two points intermediate between these two—that of the interludes. Beginners in the mechanics of right breathing seem inevitably engrossed with the processes involved, with the amount of air to be indrawn or out-breathed and with the consequent physiological effects and their etheric correspondence. Knowers and disciples pay small attention to this dual activity. They are preoccupied with what is proceeding within their consciousness during the interludes between the fixed inhalations and exhalations. These phases of registered consciousness are in reality points of detachment. They mark the cycles of tension and should be carefully studied and employed by you. This is a point in your future development to which I earnestly call your attention.
In my last instruction to you I gave you three words upon which to meditate and which were intended to constitute [Page 452] the theme of your meditation work throughout the year. By the means of these words you could be enabled to gauge your life processes and determine activity. By means of them also (rightly used) you can arrive at a real understanding of the Law of Cycles—in your own life, in the life of any related group, and in the life of humanity itself. They are also closely related, as you can well imagine, to the rhythm of breathing. It might be regarded in the following way, holding the suggested relations in mind:
1. Inhalation Focus Life centralisation.
2. Interlude Point of Tension Initiation of causes.
3. Exhalation Crisis Production of effects.
4. Interlude Recognition Prelude to refocussing.
These phases of activity—both positive and negative—can be applied in all aspects of life and in all activities. You can experience them and institute them as a personality, and the entire effect of these phases will then be contained within the personality life of the three worlds; you are meanwhile in process of learning them as a soul and as a disciple, and for the remainder of your life they should establish the rhythm of your effort; later, upon the Path of Initiation, you will re-learn this same process on the highest possible turn of the spiral within the planetary rhythm—but that time is not yet.
As I give you this individual instruction, my brother, I would enjoin upon you the need to establish this rhythmic, cyclic "breath of consciousness." Ponder on this phrase and make this objective a matter of real importance to you until the time comes when you will work upon inner levels, free of the physical body; you will find the effort both interesting and also practical.
Let these four stages condition the pattern of your daily meditation. Let them also mark the pattern of your daily life, indicating the gathering in of the sources of supply for that life of service which is your aspiration (I refer at this point to the meditation process, practised daily). Let them mark also the carefully planned and silently implemented allocation [Page 453] of such energies to the arranged duties of the day, and to the active outer task of breathing forth into the world of men that which it is your duty to contribute. Then let there be the final interlude of recognition.
The point I seek to emphasise to you is the need—imperative and permanent where the remainder of your life is concerned—for the interludes. These interludes are, for you, the growing times; they are essentially the "epochs for storage" (if I may use such an arresting and unusual phrase), and they are the "seed of samadhi." What is samadhi, from the initiate point of view and esoterically comprehended? Simply those interludes in the initiate's life of service wherein he withdraws all his forces into a "well of silence"—a well, full of the water of life. In this state of consciousness two definite activities transpire: Tension and Recognition. Without these interludes of abstraction, his work would slowly weaken as the tension, earlier initiated, weakened; his ability to attract and to hold others true to the vision would likewise slowly disappear, as his power to recognise became myopic. The initiate, therefore, as he works within the Ashram, withdraws at the needed times. As he inhales the life of the Hierarchy, and increasingly that of the Monad (which he gradually learns to do), and as he exhales the living essence into the "world of serving lives," he becomes steadily more and more dependent upon the "interludes" wherein both these phases of activity cease and he becomes immersed in Being and in Consciousness—the intrinsic parts of the animating Whole. I use this phrase "animating Whole" advisedly to indicate that the points of interlude are not related to form life at all, but to the life of Life itself.
Am I being too abstract with you, my brother? I believe not. As I look ahead into your future and sense the quality of your life, I know that the keynote of your inner programme should be ever the recognition of the essential demand of your soul for rhythmic interludes; your personality emphasis should be, therefore, upon this withdrawing. I refer not to the withdrawing from outer service but to an inner, constant, cyclic attitude of determined and planned abstraction.
If you will study your ray combinations, you will note that you have only one of your ray energies along the line of the first ray—that is the ray of the seventh type of energy. All your other rays are related to the great Second Ray of Love-Wisdom. This necessarily constitutes a problem until you remember that the seventh ray is the ray of interlude—an interlude and a ray which becomes active when the attractive, magnetic work of the building rays is ready to precipitate into the phenomenal world and bring about—under the Law of Ritual and of Divine Ceremonial—new phases of work. These are initiated in the silence of the process of abstraction, released when the interlude of tension has completed its work, and become effective when the interlude of recognition has made a new refocussing possible.
(DINAII 496) 6. Then sound the
OM three times:
a. Sound it mentally, breathing forth radiance on to the mental plane.
b. Sound it next in a whisper, breathing forth the dispelling power of Light on to the astral plane.
c. Then sound it audibly, breathing illumination on to the physical plane.
7. This is followed by a period of listening or what is called esoterically "egoic conversation."
(DINAI XIV) We have not felt it wise to give the meditations assigned or the breathing exercises, except in a few cases. They were strictly individual and suited to the person and his peculiar problems. In one or two cases, however, after due consideration, we have inserted some of the meditations with slight changes. It was obvious that they could be only helpful.
(DINAII xiii) It should be remembered that these meditations are dangerous to use except as prescribed by a Master and used under His watchful eye, just as there are many medicines available to the public which are not safe except as directed by a physician.
An examination of the text will reveal many factors knowable only to a Master which made these meditations safe and the breathing exercises useful while He was watching [Page xiii] the effects. For example: He knew not only the Ray qualities of all the vehicles but also the degree of response to Ray stimulant of any particular vehicle in relation to total, balanced progress. He knew also the conditioning Rays of the previous incarnation which may appear as a "hangover" not to be developed but to be transcended.
(COTA 112) would like here to sound a word of warning. Avoid those schools and methods which combine forms of breathing exercises with meditation, which teach different types of physical postures, and teach their students to centre their attention upon physical organs or centres. Those who follow these methods are heading towards disaster, and apart from the physical dangers involved, and the risk of insanity and nervous disorders, they are occupying themselves with the form, which is limitation, and not with the spirit, which is life. The goal will not be achieved that way.
(DINAI 106) Secondly, until the time of the Full Moon of May, cease from all breathing exercises. You have followed them for years and need a respite. Nature grows and progresses through cyclic activity and cyclic rest, and, before I can carry you forward to the next unfoldment, I seek to have you rest from mental pressure and e'en from that devotion which has governed much of your life experience. Till May, centre your thought, your meditation [Page 106] and your service on being and see if the reward is not great. Question not this suggestion but—in the thought of being—find your way into the centre of life from which all occult work is done. To be enjoined to be is an honour, brother of mine; it will carry you at this time further than intellection, pranayama, and that potent longing for spiritual fulfilment which is your outstanding divine quality and in some ways your main hindrance. I am here for a cycle to teach you to the best of my ability and I prepare those who respond for the service of the next life cycle. Ask of me, therefore, questions if you understand not the above injunctions and I will answer. You will find this line of more quiescent activity hard at first, for well-organised is your mind and life but, until May, simply live and stand in spiritual Being and love all beings. Later I will outline for you that training and that breathing exercise which seems to me to be for you the way. Understand that an interlude is being given to you wherein you cease from the active exercises of more than thirty years of aspiration and endeavour, so that a calmness of rhythm may be achieved. Later, upon that accumulated knowledge of years, a fresh structure of knowledge may be erected and a new and higher rhythm be imposed. The brain cells need rest, for a certain amount of mental fatigue exists.
(DINAI 107) You can now resume more active meditation and a breathing exercise which I will give to you. In your meditation seek to keep the whole process in the head and remember that for you the problem is to become an "extrovert of the heart type" instead of being, as you are, an "introvert of the head type." Therefore, for you the way of release is the way of Love and the note of love should colour all your meditation. Proceed therefore carefully to follow all instructions, remembering that, for you, I seek to avoid all emphasis on the form side. The subject of your meditation could be summed up in the following phrases:
(DINAI 108) I wish today to give you a breathing exercise which will blend and fuse the energies of the centres above the diaphragm. No thought of the centres below the diaphragm need enter your mind. In order, brother of old, that I may know that you understand this work and in order that your brothers in my group may profit from your experience, I would ask you to write a paper upon this triple breathing exercise.... I wish you to explain the purpose and the intent of this exercise and note its effect upon the animation of your vital and psychic bodies....
(DINAI 109) I seek to make a change in your breathing exercise and also in your meditation work and I would ask you in connection with both these to keep a register of results and, at the close of six months, note the general average of the results, any phenomenal effects and any growth in consciousness which you feel can be definitely traced to these exercises. These effects should be looked for, in your case, in the psychic consciousness. It is in this department of your being that there is a measure of arrested growth. The mental tension for thirty years has been such that the free play of the psychic forces has been inhibited.
You are of an age and a mental stability that will make it safe and beneficial if you seek—under my supervision—for a measure of psychic unfoldment. But along that line we will proceed slowly, my brother; for the next six months we will simply follow the method of a general psychic "washing" or purging by the means of the seven dynamic or electric breaths (anent which I will instruct you) sent forth by an act of the will. These will sweep through your whole being and produce a general stimulation that will eventuate in a more general sensitivity.
BSD became and accepted Disciple in jan 1935 (see 108)
(DINAI 112) You see, therefore, that for the present the ajna centre is the one which should receive immediate attention. Our problem is to awaken it and set its two major activities into motion. These are, in your case:
1. Its power to project thoughtforms.
2. Its capacity to act as an organ of clairvoyance.
I will ask you to do the following breathing exercise every day prior to doing your meditation work.... You can do this exercise twice a day but no more because it is very powerful. It will soon bring into greater vibratory activity the quiescent ajna centre. Should headache or tension supervene, stop the work for a day or two and then resume. Preserve ever the attitude of the onlooker and watch not for results. They will be there but at first only I will be in a position to note them.
As to your meditation, my brother, after you have finished the breathing exercise, proceed then to meditation, beginning your work at as high a point as possible. Choose for yourself a seed thought each month, keeping a record of those chosen.... Think deeply upon the embodied idea and carry your thoughts forward and onward and upward (choose whichever word conveys to you the deepest meaning) until you reach as abstract a point as you can achieve. When you can go no further and have entered the world of abstraction, then stay poised in thought and hold the mind steady in the light for as long a period as you can. Watch your thought processes as you do this and note anything new or especially intuitive which you may register during this time of waiting. Keep a strict record of the ideas which may come into your mind and note them down each day for your spiritual diary.
(DINAI 202) It will, I know, be a source of great satisfaction to you that some in my group are starting definite group work in healing. You are on the active line and it will be of peculiar benefit to you to thus cooperate, for it will do more to integrate your personality and your soul into one functioning unit than any other one exercise. For this reason, I do not intend to do more than give you a short breathing exercise which I would ask you to carry forward regularly before doing the group meditation. This exercise will aid in swinging your various bodies into a rhythm which will facilitate the downflow of the healing force which—in this group work—must come from the soul. The group is not really working (as does the average healer), with the etheric prana....
(DINAI 343) Now, brother of old, let me give to you the meditation work which I wish you to do. For six months cease from the breathing exercise that you have been doing, which you call the abdominal breath, for it vitalises primarily the centres below the diaphragm and with you—curiously enough—it is the centre at the base of the spine which is vitalised.... I seek to awaken the creative imagination and release your sense of specialised force in certain areas.
(DINAI 356) One thing I would like to point out: In your breathing exercises which I noted as you worked this week, the lung and the inflation aspect is unduly emphasised and there is too much effort in what you do. The power and subtlety of the pranayama process lies in the potency of the thought behind the act of breathing and not at all really in the inflation and deflation of the torso. The whole thing is summed up in the aphorism, "Energy follows thought." The main effect should be upon the etheric nadis which underlie the nerves, and not upon the bellows-like activity of the lungs. You are not getting the results which you should.... Your work lies largely with individuals and with the task of bringing solutions into life problems; you have the gift of strength to offer to others and the experience gained through many lives. This work can be increased if you deal with firmness, humour and perseverance with the vehicle which hinders you.
(DINAI 412) It has seemed to me (as I have studied you) that you might again begin to meditate simply. But there must be no intensity, and you should assume only the attitude of quiet reflection, which is meditation. No breathing exercises of any kind should be followed by you, but just the following simple form of soul recognition, yearning after the presence of God, and an aspiration towards spiritual love.
(DINAI 424) I seek to change your meditation quite radically. All disciples who are steadfast in their orientation entered, at the Full Moon of May, 1936, into a new cycle. This you also did. A most definite sifting and testing went on at that time, on subtler levels—a testing which had for its objective the discovery of those who had essentially the New Age characteristics, and could therefore be trusted to tune in on the newer and higher rhythms. Follow, therefore, the procedure outlined until I again tell you to make a change. Breathing exercises are necessary for you and aid you much.
(LOS 218) MEANS IV. PRANAYAMA
49. When right posture (asana) has been attained there follows right control of prana and proper inspiration and expiration of the breath.
Here again we come to a sutra that has led to much misunderstanding and much mischief. Teaching on the control of prana is prevalent and has led to the following of breathing exercises and to the practices dependent for their success upon the suspension of the breathing process. Most of this has been caused by a belief in the occidental mind that prana and breath are synonymous terms. This is by no means the case. Vivekananda points this out in his commentary on the sutra in the following words:
"When the posture has been conquered, then this motion is to be broken and controlled, and thus we come to pranayama; the controlling of the vital forces of the body. Prana is not breath, [Page 218] though it is usually so translated. It is the sum total of the cosmic energy. It is the energy that is in each body, and its most apparent manifestation is the motion of the lungs. This motion is caused by prana drawing in the breath, and is what we seek to control in pranayama. We begin by controlling the breath, as the easiest way of getting control of the prana."
Prana is the sum total of the energy in the body (and this applies equally to the planetary and the solar body). It therefore concerns the inflow of energy into the etheric body and its outflow through the medium of the physical body. In the physical body this is symbolized for us in the necessary inspiration and exhalation of the breath. By stressing the physical act of breathing, much of the true sense of this sutra has been lost.
Certain things should be remembered as one studies pranayama. First, that one of the main purposes of the etheric body is that it acts as a stimulator and the energizer of the dense physical body. It is almost as if the dense physical body had no independent existence but simply acted as it was swayed and motivated by the etheric body. The etheric body is the force or vital body and it permeates every part of the dense vehicle. It is the background, the true substance of the physical body. According to the nature of the force animating the etheric body, according to the activity of that force in the etheric body, according to the aliveness or the sluggishness of the most important parts of the etheric body (the centres up the [Page 219] spine) so will be the corresponding activity of the physical body. Similarly and symbolically, according to the wholeness of the breathing apparatus, and according to the ability of that apparatus to oxygenate and render pure the blood, so will be the health or wholeness of the dense physical body.
It should also be remembered that the key to the just response of the lower to the higher, lies in rhythm, and in the ability of the physical body to respond or vibrate in rhythmic unison with the etheric body. Students have found out that this is much facilitated by steady even breathing, and the majority of the breathing exercises when emphasized to the exclusion of the previous three means to yoga (the Commandments, Rules and Posture) have a definite effect upon the etheric centres and may lead to disastrous results. It is most necessary that students should follow the means of yoga in the order in which they are given by Patanjali, and so see to it that the purificatory process, the discipline of the outer and inner life and one-pointedness of the mind should be aimed at, prior to attempting the regulation of the etheric vehicle through breathing, and the awakening of the centres.
The work done through pranayama might briefly be stated to be the following:
1. The oxygenation of the blood and hence the cleansing of the blood currents and consequent physical health.
2. The bringing of the physical body into a vibration synchronous with that of the etheric [Page 220] body. This results in the complete subjugation of the dense physical body and its bringing into line with the etheric body. The two parts of the physical vehicle form a unit.
3. The transmission of energy via the etheric body to all parts of the dense physical body. This energy may come from various sources:
a. From the planetary aura. In this case it is planetary prana, and so concerns primarily the spleen and the health of the physical body.
b. From the astral world via the astral body. This will be purely kamic or desire force and will affect primarily the centres below the diaphragm.
c. From the universal mind or manasic force. This will be largely thought force and will go to the throat centre.
d. From the ego itself, stimulating primarily the head and heart centres.
Most people receive force only from the physical and astral planes, but disciples receive force also from the mental and egoic levels.
50. Right control of prana (or the life currents) is external, internal or motionless; it is subject to place, time and number and is also protracted or brief.
This is a most difficult sutra to understand and its meaning has been made purposely abstruse, owing to the dangers incident to the control of the bodily forces. The ideas and teaching conveyed fall into three parts:
I. The external, internal or motionless control [Page 221] of the life currents of the body (dense and etheric). This concerns:
1. The breathing apparatus and the use of the breath.
2. The vital airs and their radiation.
3. The centres, and their awakening.
4. The kundalini fire and its right progression up the spine.
II. The astrological significance and the relation of the man to his group, planetary or otherwise. This is dealt with in the words "place, time and number."
III. The process of illumination and the production of response in the physical man via the brain to the higher impressions. This ability to respond to the voice of the ego and to become quiescent and receptive must precede the last four means of yoga which do not so immediately concern the dense physical plane or the etheric levels of consciousness.
It will be obvious that much of the teaching conveyed in this sutra can only safely be given directly by the teacher to the pupil, after a proper study of the bodily conditions of that pupil. It is not possible nor right to give in a book intended for the general public those rules, practices and methods which enable the trained disciple to bring his dense physical vehicle into instantaneous synchronization with his etheric body, to densify and irradiate his aura so as to produce certain magnetic results in his environment, and to awaken his centres so that certain psychic powers are displayed. The methods for arousing the kundalini [Page 222] fire and blending it with the down pouring egoic force must also be left for direct teaching by a master in this science to his pupil. There is extreme danger attendant upon the premature awakening of the fire, and the consequent destruction of certain protective structures in the etheric body and the breaking down of the barriers between this world and the astral world, before the pupil is properly "balanced between the pairs of opposites. There is a menace in the premature growth of the lower psychic powers before the higher nature is awakened, and the effect upon the brain can be seen as insanity in some form or other, mild or the reverse. A few explanatory words can, however, be given which will enable the true occult student to gain that information which, if correctly used, acts as a key to the possession of more. This is ever the occult method. Let us, therefore, deal briefly with our three points.
I. The external control of the prana or life currents concerns those breathing exercises and rhythmic practices which bring the physical organs, allied with the etheric centres, into proper condition. These physical organs are themselves never specifically dealt with by the white magician or occultist. They are dealt with in black magic, and consist of the brain, the lungs, the heart, the spleen and the generative organs.
The black magician definitely utilizes these physical parts of the body to generate a type of force which is a mixture of etheric force and dense physical energy, to enable him to do certain [Page 223] forms of magical work and also to produce effects on the physical bodies of animals and men. It is the knowledge of this which is the basis of voodooism and of all those practices which cause the depletion and death of men and women who obstruct the path of the black magician or are regarded by him as enemies. With these the aspirant to the mysteries of the Brotherhood of the great White Lodge has nothing to do. He brings about the merging of the two parts of the dense physical, and the synchronization of the rhythm of the two bodies and the consequent unity of the entire lower man through attention to the etheric breath and rhythm. This inevitably produces the "external control of the life currents."
The internal control of the life currents is brought about in three ways:
1. By an intellectual understanding of the nature of the etheric body and the laws of its life.
2. Through a consideration of the types of energy and of their apparatus, the system of centres, to be found in the etheric body.
(LOS 223) Through certain developments and knowledge which come to the aspirant when he is ready (having attended to the previous means of yoga) and which give him the ability to tap certain types of forces, energies, or shaktis, to utilize them correctly through the medium of his own centres and to produce effects which come under the descriptive terms, illuminative, purificatory, magnetic, dynamic, psychic, and magic.
The motionless control of the life currents is the effect of the proper development of the other [Page 224] two, external and internal control and must be present before the fifth means of yoga, withdrawal or abstraction becomes possible. It simply indicates perfectly balanced synchronization and the complete unification of the two parts of the physical body so that there is no impediment to the outgoing or incoming forces. When motionless control is reached, the yogi can withdraw from his physical body at will or can pull in that body and manipulate at will any of the seven great planetary forces.
It should be borne in mind that the ideal condition is here dealt with and that no aspirant can achieve this means of yoga without working simultaneously at the other means also. The study of the parallelism in nature is of value here.
II. The astrological significance is also hinted at here in the three words, "place, time, and number." In these words the universal triplicities must be recognized, and right control of the life currents must be seen to be related to karma, opportunity and form; there are certain words which when rightly understood give the key to all practical occultism and make the yogi a master of life. They are:
Sound Number Colour Form
Word Life Light Body
and these are recognized as subject to the space-idea and the time-element. It should be borne in mind, in this connection, that "space is the first entity" (
Doctrine I.583) and that cyclic manifestation is the law of life.
When this is recognized, the entity, expressing itself cyclically, will make its presence felt through differentiation, through the colour or quality of the veiling form and through the form itself. These factors make up the sum total of the expression of any identity, God or man, and the appearance of any man in exoteric expression on the physical plane is dependent upon the rhythmic or cyclic outgoing or indrawing energy of the great Life in whom he lives and moves and has his being. This is the basis of the science of astrology or the relationship of the planet, or planets to the human being and of their relation to the stars and the various signs of the zodiac.
Some knowledge of this is essential to the right control of the life currents, so that the disciple can avail himself of the "times and seasons" wherein progress can be expedited.
III. The process of illuminating the lower man becomes possible through the right control of the pranas and this "illuminating process" is an exact science for which these four means of yoga have prepared the way. The fires of the body are justly arranged, the "motionless" condition can be somewhat reached, the vital airs in the head are "at peace" and the entire lower man awaits one of two processes:
a. The withdrawal of the true or spiritual man in order to function on some higher plane,
b. Or the bringing down into the lower brain consciousness, of light, illumination and knowledge from the planes of the ego.
51. There is a fourth stage which transcends those dealing with the internal and external phases.
We have seen how the control of the life currents can be either externally active, internally active or balanced. This triple process brings the entire lower personal man into a condition, first of rhythmic response to the inner motivating factor (in this case, the ego or spiritual man on his own plane) and then of complete quiescence or stillness. This latter condition of receptive waiting, if one might so call it, is succeeded by one of a form of higher activity. This is literally the imposition of a new rate of vibration on the lower, the sounding forth of a new note, emanating from the inner spiritual man which produces certain definite effects in the three sheaths which constitute the lower self and which veil the divinity which is man. These changes are dealt with in the next two sutras.
The work of the average aspirant is most frequently given to preparing the sheaths so that this fourth stage can become possible. His attention is concentrated upon the attainment of:
Complete Breathing Exercises
(DINAI 623) Continue with the meditation last given but use no longer the colour rose but a golden-orange. Blend the rose and orange and keep the meditation entirely in the heart centre, remembering that that centre is in the spine, between the [page 623] shoulder blades. Preserve ever the attitude of the Onlooker in the head. Thus the detachment of the soul will grow whilst the attachment of the soul to souls will grow and increase. The only breathing exercise which I set you is a series of long normal breaths, saying mentally as you inhale: "I gather life and strength." As you exhale, you will say mentally: "In love I send them forth." Thus the rhythm of the life of service is indicated and expressed.
DIJ was given this exercise to transfer energy from heart to the head
(DINAI 455) The time comes now in your life wherein you must conform to the ancient rule and become the sannyasin, the detached follower of the Way. You are now in the world but are not of the world; you must now dwell in that high and secret place where [page 455] divinity is ever sensed. Some call this the practice of the Presence of God; others regard it as walking in the light of the soul; still others term it the conscious treading of the Path. It matters not the name. For you, it is the steady transference out of the heart into the head and this, I think, you know.
Follow the breathing exercises with care and with attention. Seek also to strengthen the physical body. For you I suggest also the following exercise, to be performed at some time convenient to you, though not at the morning meditation.
1. Take seven long deep breaths, though hold not the nostril.
2. At each breath, as you inhale, say the following words: "Power and strength is mine." During the interlude, gather in as much of the golden-orange prana as you can; then, as you exhale, send it by an act of the will to the throat centre at the back of the neck.
3. In the interlude, between exhalation and the next inhalation (whilst the throat centre is subjected to golden-orange prana) say: "Let the Word sound forth through me."
4. Then sound the O.M., very softly.
Be attached to souls, my brother, but detached from personalities. Souls heal and aid each other's personalities. Personality relationships drain and devitalise. I shall have more to say in six months time when you are further adjusted to the work.
This exercise given to IBS
(DINAI 246) You may now resume your full quota of work and I suggest for your consideration the following breathing exercise. Please continue with the same meditation. Do a simple breathing exercise each morning and as you work at it, regard it as your meditation process, and so run a dual line of thought and work. Proceed as follows:
1. Inhale on 8 counts, and as you do so, say to yourself, retaining the entire process in the head and on mental levels: "With self-forgetfulness I gather what I need for the helping of my fellowmen."
2. Then follows an interlude of 12 slow counts, during which you ponder on the strength, the wisdom and the love which must be shown to your fellowmen.
3. Exhale on 10 counts, saying: "With self-forgetfulness, I breathe out love upon my fellowmen."
4. Then comes an interlude of 12 counts in which you ponder upon love to all beings.
Then repeat the process, only this time carry on the work entirely in the heart instead of in the head.
ISGL was given a breathing exercise to close the solar plexus and stimulate the ajna-he was completing the 2nd initiation
(DINAI 212) You have two handicaps and they must be considered. One [Page 212] is your physical condition and the other is your emotional polarisation. This latter condition is largely responsible for the first one, as you yourself know. As you learn to shift the force of your soul from below the diaphragm to the higher centres (which is the problem of all disciples in training) your physical condition will be alleviated. One of the first things, therefore, which you will have to do is to close the solar plexus centre to the entrance of forces from the astral plane, and open it to the entrance of forces from soul levels, via the head centre. You must learn to function also more powerfully from the centre between the eyebrows, the ajna centre.
The heart centre and the solar plexus centre are the two centres which are the most developed in you; next comes the throat centre. How shall we bring about the change from the solar plexus centre to the ajna centre? Through right meditation, my brother, and right breathing. I will ask you, therefore, for the next few months to follow the suggested routine below for a few minutes—fifteen at least—each day. This need not interfere with any meditation which you may choose to do, provided that you see to it that you preserve always a point of focus in the head. All your work with me—at any rate for the present—must be done in the head. There must the consciousness be held steady. I would suggest that you work as follows:
1. Start your meditation work by imagining (great is the power of the creative imagination) that you are consciously carrying the forces, entering the solar plexus centre, to the ajna centre.
a. Inhale as you count six and imagine as you do so that you are gathering up the force of the solar plexus centre (through an act of inhalation) to the head. Picture it as rising there—up the spinal column.
b. Then, as you count eight, think of those forces from the astral plane as being lost and merged in an ocean of intelligent love. On their way up the spine, they have been blended with the active force of the awakening heart centre.
c. Then exhale for six counts and as you do so realise that these forces are pouring out through the centre [Page 213] between the eyebrows on to the world of men. The centre between the eyebrows is that of the integrated, dedicated, threefold personality. Therefore, you have:
Inhalation . . . 6 counts — Gather the forces up to the head.
Interlude . . . . 8 counts — Forces blended and fused.
Exhalation . . . 6 counts — Blessing the world.
Interlude . . . . 8 counts — Realisation of work done.
Later we might increase these counts but this suffices for the present and for the beginner who may read your instructions. This will aid in the closing of the solar plexus centre and in stabilising the emotional body; incidentally it should improve your general physical condition.
2. Then, holding the consciousness steady in the head, at the close of the final interlude, say the following invocation:
"May the energy of the divine Self inspire me and the light of the soul direct. May I be led from darkness to Light, from the unreal to the Real, from death to Immortality."
3. Then, still holding the consciousness in the head and visualising a sphere of deep electric blue, vivid and living, say the following words, endeavouring to realise their significance as you say them:
"I stand in spiritual Being and, as a soul, I serve.
"I stand within the Light, and as the light shines throughout my form, I radiate that light.
"I stand within the love of God, and as that love streams through and from the heart, I magnetise the ones I seek to aid."
4. Ponder then for five minutes on the spiritual significance of the following four words: Stability, Serenity, Strength, [Page 214] Service, taking one each week for a month; for the space of six months build them into your very nature, thus aiding the work of closing the solar plexus and transmuting its force.
In a voluntary obedience to the suggested work (and not to me, my brother) will come for you increased power to live with joy and serve. This is, I know, your high and consecrated motive. Keep the link with me through the power of thought and not through love and devotion; that you already have, my friend of olden days, and you need not further unfold that aspect of your nature. Build up your physical body through relaxation, much sunshine and quiet. Read much and study primarily along the lines of international interest and those things which concern humanity as a whole. You are on the first ray where your personality is concerned, and broad general schemes and the wider plans are for you easy to grasp. See the world picture whole and shift the focus of your attention from the small, individual man to the larger Plan. Investigate the psychology of groups. You have wide knowledge as to the psychology of individuals. Study now world psychology and mass movements. Together we go forward to a wider realisation and my work with you as an individual is not so much to teach as to stimulate. My blessing rests upon you.
(DINAI 670) One of your problems in connection with all spiritual and meditational work is to avoid becoming too abstract; spiritual achievement for you in this life will come through the blending [page 670] of the highest possible point of spiritual recognition with your enlightened mind and your physical brain consciousness. The keynote of this is, of course, alignment. Have this thought of alignment in your consciousness as you proceed with the following meditation:
1. Sound the Sacred Word audibly, regarding yourself as the physical man and holding the thought of physical coordination.
Interlude wherein you take six long slow breaths, thinking as you do so about coordination.
2. Sound the Sacred Word then inaudibly, regarding yourself as the astral-emotional man, holding whilst you do it the thought of the purification and the transmutation of desire.
Interlude wherein you seek definitely to raise your consciousness higher and, whilst you are doing this, taking seven long slow breaths.
3. Sound the Sacred Word inaudibly again, pondering this time upon the mind as the reflector of the light of the soul and endeavouring to hold the mind steady in that light.
Interlude wherein you aspire to soul consciousness whilst taking ten long slow breaths, raising your consciousness as high as you can.
4. Sound the Sacred Word this time as the soul, realising that the attention of the soul is definitely turned to the personality and that it seeks to control and dominate the personality.
When doing the slow breathing, endeavour to sit erect without tension, and see to it that at no time, when inhaling, you inflate the abdomen, but that the abdomen is held drawn in towards the spine below the diaphragm.
(DINAII 123) STAGE II
1. Repeat rapidly Stage I, taking not more than five minutes in so doing. Lift your consciousness and relate the head and the heart. Repeat thoughtfully the mantram which eventually leads to the realisation of unity.
2. With the focus of the consciousness then in the head, summon the Will to your aid and by an act of the will carry the energy focussed in the head to the solar plexus. To facilitate this process, you can use the following formula:
a. I am the soul. And also love I am. Above all else I am both will and fixed design.
b. My will is now to lift the lower self into the light divine. This light I am.
c. Therefore, I must descend to where the lower self awaits my coming. That which desires to lift and that which cries aloud for lifting are now at-one. Such is my will.
Whilst saying these mantric words (taken from a very ancient disciples' manual) vision pictorially the process of focussing—demanding—descending and at-one-ing.
3. Pause here and endeavour to feel and sense the initiatory vibration or embryonic interplay which is being established between the awakened and the awakening points within the solar plexus. This can be done, but it involves an act of slow concentration.
4. Then sound the
OM twice from the head centre, [Page 124] knowing yourself to be the soul which is breathing it forth. Believe this sound, carried on the breath of will and love, as capable of stimulating the solar plexus in the right way and able to transmute the lower energies so that they will be pure enough to be carried first of all to the awakening point and from that point eventually to the heart centre.
5. As you vision the energies of the solar plexus being carried up the spine to the heart centre (situated, as you know, between the shoulder blades) I would ask you to breathe out the OM again into the solar plexus but this time, having done so, draw the focussed energy up the spine towards the head. The vibration thus established will carry the energy to the heart, for it has to pass through that centre in the spine on its way to the head. In the early stages that is as far as it may go, but later it will pass through the heart, leaving its due quota of energy, and finally reach the head centre.
6. Then focus yourself in the heart, believing that a triangle of energy has been formed between the head, the heart and the solar plexus. Vision it then as composed of the energy of light, something resembling a triangle of neon light. The colour of this neon light so-called will be dependent upon the ray of the soul.
7. Then again repeat the Mantram of Unification, beginning "The sons of men are one..."
8. Standing, therefore, in the centre of the heart see the energy of your group brothers as the radiating spokes of a great wheel of light. This wheel has twenty-four spokes and at the centre of the wheel, like the hub of the wheel, can be found your Master (D.K.). Then slowly with love, mention aloud the names of each of your group brothers, not omitting yourself.
9. Then see this wheel as actively moving and scintillating, and thus serving humanity through its focussed radiation. This radiation is the radiation of love. All the above is purely symbolic but carried out as a [Page 125] visualisation process for some months—consistently and consciously—it will create a state of mind and of awareness which will be enduring because "as a man thinketh, so is he."
10. Then close with the new Invocation and also with the Gayatri, with its emphasis upon one's duty.
This meditation process is relatively simple if you familiarise yourself with its stages for a few weeks. Much of the above is explanatory in nature and can be dispensed with when you can follow the process automatically.
I will now proceed to give you each your personal instructions and individual meditation. This meditation should be done at some time of the day which is not the time chosen for the group meditation. I do not want the two meditations done together at the same time, for I do not want your personality problems and your possible glamours to be interjected into the group consciousness. Beware of doing this because the task of each of you is hard enough without being complicated by the personal problems of some distressed brother in the group. In giving you your personal instructions, I shall speak with complete frankness and shall not spare you either praise or blame. If you resent what I may say, then it will simply indicate the power of your personality to react unfavourably to the truth and will consequently point out to you an area of blindness and of weakness in your consciousness. You will be thereby the gainer and will be able to grasp somewhat more clearly the nature of the battle which you have to fight.
As individuals, many of you have used regularly (and profited thereby) the meditation which I gave you thus far in this series of instructions. But speaking generally, the group as a whole has not given as much attention and thought to the processes outlined in the two parts of the one [Page 126] meditation, as I had hoped and asked. I would ask you, therefore, to renew your activity along this line from now until May, when—if you work with tension and achieve results—I can give you another meditation which will climax the work done and bring another centre into activity. There is little that I can do with you until this meditation work has been patiently and regularly done and produced effective results—from my point of view. I shall not be able to give you another meditation unless you strive afresh, and together, at the daily process outlined by me.
This meditation is one of the most important of the steps I shall ever ask you to take in these early preparatory stages of your work. It must precede the more definite training which may be possible if you persevere in the work outlined. I would remind you that this is my last effort with you in this incarnation and on the physical plane. You have put your hand to the plough and there is no turning back for any of you, but the time factor is determined by each of you and not by me. There may be times in the process of training you and preparing you for initiation when you may temporarily fail to understand the reasons for the requests I may make and for the requirements presented to you. Forget not that the aspirant to the Mysteries proceeds blindly in the early stages; only after the third initiation do the scales fall from his eyes. Therefore, follow obediently (though voluntarily) my requests as I endeavour to teach you the ancient rules.
Will you also, at this point, study anew the teaching I gave in the earlier instructions on the theme of Visualisation and explained why it is the secret of all true meditation work in its earlier stages? I seek not to repeat, but that teaching is needed by you at this stage. (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I. Pages 89-91.)
In connection with your Full Moon work, I seek to change the process which has been followed by you for so long—the process of entering my study and there contacting me. I will give you another symbolic process which will follow five stages:
1. At the time of the Full Moon (covering five days) picture to yourselves an ocean of blue and upon the horizon can be seen slowly rising a blazing sun.
2. Picture yourself as throwing yourself into the ocean, free of all encumbrances, worries, anxieties and cares, and as swimming towards a rowboat, lying midway between you and the rising Sun. As you swim, you become aware of your group brothers, also swimming in the same direction. You recognise, know and love each other.
3. Then visualise yourself as climbing into the boat. When all of the group are in, then see yourselves as each grasping an oar, and together, rhythmically and steadily, rowing towards the rising Sun. There is harmony of stroke, of purpose and of direction.
4. Then see—between you and the rising Sun—a figure moving toward you. It will be myself (the Master D.K.), coming from the light, in your direction. In the clear pathway of the light you can see me distinctly. You see me together.
5. Then say, inaudibly, yet as a group:
"Into the light we move, beckoned thereto by thee. Out of the dark we come, driven thereto by the soul of all. Up from the earth we spring and into the ocean of light we plunge. Together we come. Together we move, guided and led by the soul we serve and by thee, the Master we know. The Master within and the Master without are One. That One are we. The One is all—my soul, thy soul, the Master and the soul of all."
Meditation given to ISGL
(DINAII 515) Ponder on these points. particularly the third which concerns [Page 515] aptly your sensitive reactions to Us. This reaction will be felt in your soul as a complete surrender in time and space; in the personality it will register either as a glamour or a purificatory process, and in the group as a force, having either a good or a bad effect, according to its colouring by the higher or the lower nature and the activity it will succeed in evoking when it impinges upon the personnel of the group.
The following exercise can be done four times and repeated three times each day:
1. Stand with your arms outspread in the symbol of the Cross.
2. Take six long slow breaths, thus establishing a rhythm.
3. Then take one long breath and gather up by the power of imagination the energy of the solar plexus. Then carry it along the spine and upward to the head, not to the heart as is usually the case.
4. Focus the dedicated aspiration and emotional energy in "the secret place" and then sound the OM. Breathe it down into the throat centre.
This can be regarded as an act of breathing in and breathing out and constitutes an activity
carried forward on one breath with an interlude of conscious focussing. You will notice that, in combination with the group meditation, you will be working actively upon the solar plexus, the head, the heart and the throat. It will require careful watching of process, results in the centres and consequent activity.
Let me be ambitious for you, my brother of long standing. That I am. I have watched you with loving understanding for a very long cycle. My love ends not and my care of you is all-surrounding.
Given to RSU to intensify the Ajna chakra
(DINAII 604) As regards your personal meditation, I seek to give you one which will intensify the activity of the ajna centre and which will produce new vision and, above all, integration. [Page 604] The ajna centre becomes active increasingly as alignment, leading to integration, is achieved. I would have you use this meditation twice a day, laying the emphasis upon the exercise angle or aspect of the work and paying no attention at all to the possible spiritual value. I would remind you here (and when I say this I am speaking to all the group members and not only to you) that work in connection with the centres is incidental to true spiritual development and is or should be purely mechanical and automatic. The centres are physical, being aspects of the etheric body and constructed of etheric matter, and their function is simply to express the energy which flows in from the astral body, or from the mind or from the soul (in three aspects). After the third initiation, they will register energy flowing in from the Monad—again through three types of force. If this can be grasped, disciples in training will not over-emphasise the system of centres through which the expressive energy must come.
The object of this particular exercise is to centralise the consciousness (plus the energies of which it is aware within the physical body) in the centre between the eyebrows, the ajna centre. When this is done, you have a secondary form of integration made possible, i.e., the integration of forces coming from the outer world of impression, via the five senses and the synthesising sense, the mind. You have, therefore, energies seeking outlet and expression, via the etheric body as it conditions and renders active the dense physical body, and at the same time energies making known to the man the world of spiritual being. Of these two worlds of sense perception, the two eyes are the symbol, as you know.
1. Achieve quiet. Relax with as much rapidity as possible and with little mental activity. Then raise the consciousness to the ajna centre.
2. Sound the
OM, visualising the integration of the personality with the soul. In doing this, link the pituitary centre with the head centre, above the pineal gland.
3. Then pause and after a mental grasp of what is to be done proceed as follows:
a. Take a long breath and draw the energy from the throat centre in so doing.
b. Repeat the breathing and draw the energy from the heart centre, holding these two withdrawn energies imaginatively in the ajna centre.
c. Repeat the process in connection with the solar plexus.
d. Repeat also in connection with the sacral centre.
e. Recognising then that four types of energy have been centred in the ajna centre, take another long breath and draw the energy of the muladhara centre to the ajna focus.
f. Then consciously endeavour to hold all the energies there.
4. At this point, dedicate the energies of the personality (which express themselves through these five centres and the ajna centre, making six centres in all) and breathe them back again—by an act of the will—into the centres to which they belong. Do not do this sequentially and piecemeal but as one dynamic outbreathing; see these energies travelling down the spine to their respective resting places, carrying new life, pure stimulation and dynamic will to each and every centre.
5. Then, as the soul informing the body, sound the
OM and proceed with the group meditation.
This meditation should definitely aid in increasing the activity of the physical body along the lines you have for so long desired, and make the discipline for which you have striven, no longer a discipline but a life of unconscious, automatic spiritual expression.
Given to DPR
(DINAII 642) I have however a meditation which I would ask you to follow and to do so dynamically. By that I mean: Become simply a point of concentration when doing it, with all personal problems and conditions temporarily obliterated from your consciousness. To produce this concentration, I will give you a breathing exercise with the meditation.
1. Relax and turn the eyeballs upward. The Hindu system of rolling up the eyeballs does aid in this matter, and the point where the quivering of the eyelids ceases or is forgotten indicates the point of relative physical poise.
2. Take seven long breaths, slowly and without strain and as you do so visualise yourself as mounting higher and higher with each breath. To do this the more easily, picture yourself as mounting seven steep steps.
3. Then, at your highest point, sound the
OM,retaining its force in the head by an act of the will but without any strain or pressure. The retention of energy is not a physical matter but a mental process. This is a subject of importance.
4. Then, holding the consciousness as high in the head as possible, see how long you can achieve the position of listening without becoming negative or losing the [Page 642] recollection of who you are or what you are doing. Never relinquish in this work the sense of personal identity. Until I give you permission, do not hold this listening attitude for more than three minutes.
5. Then breathe out the
OM through the ajna centre, the centre between the eyebrows, and say:
I choose the way of the interpreter, and therefore ask for light.
I choose the way of loving guidance, and therefore ask for lifting power.
I choose the way of inspiration, and therefore ask for flowing life.
I choose the way of integrating, and therefore ask for the seal of silence.
6. Then sound the
OM seven times and proceed with the group meditation.
These phrases have each three esoteric meanings. Take one of the above sentences each for one month and then repeat the process of reflection twice, thus covering a year's work. See if you can arrive at deeper significances than those which appear on the surface.
Meditation given to DHB
(DINAII 660) To aid you in this, I suggest the following short meditation exercise which should be done each day at the close [Page 660] of your group practice. Its objective is the increase of the flow of energy to the heart centre, remembering always that the heart centre is a twelve-petalled lotus.
1. Visualisation exercise.
a. Achieve alignment as rapidly as possible.
b. Hold in the mind, imaginatively, the straight line of the spinal column, the head centre, the sutratma and the antahkarana—thus linking the centres in the body with the soul.
c. Then carry the line which your imagination has constructed, from the centre at the base of the spine to the closed lotus bud in the centre of the twelve-petalled egoic lotus.
2. Having done this, recognise your identity with all souls who constitute—in their entirety—the One Soul.
3. Then sound the
OM as a soul, as far as in you lies, breathing it out from soul levels with no fixed objective in your mind. Do this six times.
4. Then sound the OM again after a pause (thus making seven in all) sending it out into the ajna centre and from there carry it down to the heart centre and hold it there for later use. Do this as a soul whose nature is love.
5. Then, bearing in mind that the heart centre is the repository of twelve forces or energies, seek to develop them by pondering upon the twelve virtues through which these energies express themselves, taking one each month for a year.
a. Group love, embracing individuals.
b. Humility, signifying your personality attitude.
c. Service, indicating your soul's preoccupation.
d. Patience, signifying the embryonic immortality and persistence which is a soul characteristic.
e. Life, or expressed activity which is the manifestation of love because it is essential dualism.
f. Tolerance, which is the first expression of buddhic understanding.
g. Identification with others, which is embryonic [Page 661] fusion, carried eventually to synthesis when the head centre is developed.
h. Compassion, which is essentially the right use of the pairs of opposites.
i. Sympathy, which is the consequence of knowledge and of the unfoldment of the knowledge petals. Such energy then is in touch with the heart centre.
j. Wisdom, which is the fruit of love and indicates the awakening of the love petals of the egoic lotus.
k. Sacrifice, which is the giving of the heart's blood or life for others.
6. After a quiet meditation on one of these qualities of soul expression as they manifest upon the physical plane, sound the
OM three times.
I would remind you that these soul qualities, which express themselves through the heart centre, must be interpreted esoterically and in terms of relation. Bear this in mind and as you meditate, seek ever the inner significance and not just the assembling of thought upon these qualities. Most of the thoughts and ideas which will come to you in this connection will be well known and so purely exoteric. There are, however, secondary meanings which are of real significance to the disciple though almost unknown to the average man. Endeavour to find these.
I would ask you, my brother, as a service to the group, each month to write a short paper on these twelve qualities as expressions of soul energies, thus giving your brothers the fruit of your month's meditation. Be of good courage and let not physical liability hinder your inner life and joy. Seek closer contact with me, your Master, and look for response.
To DIJ to lift the life of the astral body into the heart chakra
(DINAII 687) I will give you now a personal meditation which will serve, I hope, to lift the life of the astral body out of the solar plexus into the heart centre, thus breaking down some of the limitations which will disappear when the astral body and the sixth ray astral force are transmuted and love of the whole takes the place of love of the part.
1. Take up the position mentally of the Observer. Your fourth ray mind should enable you to observe with detachment the conflict between the personality and the soul.
2. Then, noting the dim light of the personality and the bright radiance of the soul, observe then another duality, i.e., the bright and powerful light or influence of the solar plexus and the wavering, fluctuating light of the heart centre.
3. Then, through the power of the imagination, focus your consciousness in the radiant soul and hold it there steadily, linking the soul and the head centre, again by the power of thought.
4. Then sound the OM three times, breathing out the energy of the soul into the threefold personality and bringing that energy to rest (as in a reservoir of force) in the ajna centre. There hold it, enhancing the light of the personality with the radiance of the soul.
5. Next say:
"The light of the soul puts out the dim light of the personality as the sun puts out the flame of a small fire. Soul radiance takes the place of personality light. The sun is substituted for the moon."
6. Then, definitely throw the light and energy of the soul into the heart centre and believe—through the power of the creative imagination—that it evokes such a powerful, vibratory activity that it acts like a magnet in relation to the solar plexus. The energy of the solar plexus is lifted up or drawn up into the heart centre and is there transmuted into soul love.
7. Then still as the Observer, see the reversal of the earlier process. The solar plexus is dimmed. The radiance of the heart is substituted. The light of the soul remains unchanged but the light of the personality is greatly brightened.
8. Then again as the soul, united with the personality, sound the
OM seven times, breathing it out into your environment.
This, my brother, is more of a visualisation exercise than a meditation, but its efficacy is dependent upon your ability as a spiritual observer to preserve mental continuity as you do it. Energy follows thought and this is the basis of all occult practice and is of prime significance in this exercise. You will discover that if you do this exercise with regularity and with no biassed idea as to results, that changes will be [Page 688] wrought in your consciousness of a lasting nature and the light of the group will also be stronger.