Guidance In Esoteric Training

Main Exercise

In the early morning, immediately after waking, before any other impressions have passed through the soul, the pupil gives himself up to his meditation. He strives for complete inner stillness, which means that all attention is withdrawn from impressions coming from outside and from all memories of everyday life. He also endeavours to free the soul from all cares and anxieties, which are apt to oppress it particularly at this time. Then the meditation begins. In order to facilitate this inner stillness, the consciousness is first of all directed to a single idea, perhaps that of `Rest’, and then this idea is allowed to disappear from consciousness so that no image whatsoever remains in the soul; the content of the following seven lines is then allowed to live in the soul, to the exclusion of everything else. These seven lines must be held in the consciousness for five minutes. If other images intrude, the pupil keeps returning again to these seven lines, in profound contemplation:

In purest outpoured Light
Shimmers the Godhead of the world.
In purest Love toward all that lives
Outpours the god-hood of my soul.
I rest within the Godhead of the world;
There shall I find myself,
Within the Godhead of the world.

In den reinen Strahlen des Lichtes
Erglanzt die Gottheit der Welt.
In der reinen Liebe zu allen Wesen
Erstrahlt die Gottlichkeit meiner Seele.
Ich ruhe in der Gottheit der Welt;
Ich werde mich selbst finden
In der Gottheit der Welt.

After this has been practised for five minutes, the pupil goes on to the following:

He takes a calm, strong breath; after the in-breathing he breathes out, just as calmly and strongly, so that there is no pause between the in-breathing and the out-breathing. Then he abstains from breathing for a brief period, endeavouring however to let the breath remain wholly outside the body. The following are the approximate periods to be observed. The time taken by the in-breathing is optional, to be adjusted in accordance with one’s capacities. The out-breathing should take twice as long as the in-breathing, and the abstention from breathing three times as long as the in-breathing. If, for example, two seconds are needed for in-breathing, then four seconds are taken for the out-breathing, and six seconds for the abstention from breathing. This in-breathing, out-breathing, abstention from breathing is repeated four times. During the in-breathing and the out-breathing the mind is emptied of thought and the whole consciousness directed to the breathing; but during the first abstention from breathing the pupil concentrates on the point lying between and a little behind the eyebrows, at the root of the nose, inside the forepart of the brain, while he fills his consciousness exclusively with the words:

I am.

During the second abstention from breathing he concentrates on a point inside the larynx, while he fills his consciousness exclusively with the image:

It thinks.

During the third abstention from breathing he concentrates on the two arms and hands. The hands are either held folded, or the right is laid over the left. At the same time he fills his consciousness exclusively with the image:

She feels.

During the fourth abstention from breathing he concentrates on the whole surface of the body; that is, he pictures his bodily self with the utmost possible clarity and fills his consciousness with the image:

He wills.

If these exercises in concentration are continued strenuously for several weeks, something will be felt at those points upon which the consciousness has been focused: at the root of the nose, in the larynx, a stream in the hands and arms and on the whole outer surface of the body.

During concentration upon the arms and hands the pupil will feel as if a force were driving the hands apart; he lets them go apart, following the line of the force, but he does not suggest this to himself. The feeling must come quite of itself.

In `It thinks’, the `It’ signifies the universal Cosmic Thinking which should live as impersonal power in our words. In `She feels’, the `She’ signifies the Cosmic Soul – it means that we should feel, not personally but impersonally, in the sense that the Cosmic Soul is impersonal. In `He wills’, the `He’ signifies God, within whose Will we instate our whole being.

When the pupil has carried through these four breathing exercises, he fills his consciousness for a while with one single image in which he is entirely absorbed, so that during this time nothing else whatever is present in the soul. This image is: `My Power’ or `I in me’ or `I will’.

Then we pass on to complete absorption, for five minutes, in our own Divine Ideal. This exercise must be enacted with the utmost devotion and reverence.

The whole meditation need not last longer than fifteen minutes. In all the periods specified above, we do not go by the clock but by our feeling. Care is taken to adopt such a position of the body that the body itself cannot (because of fatigue, for instance) be a cause of distraction.

The previous Mantram in a rather more individualized form:

In purest outpoured Light
Shimmers the Godhead of the world.
In purest Ether fire
Outpours the lofty Power that is `I’.
I rest within the Spirit of the world,
There shall I find myself for ever,
In the Eternal Spirit of the world.

In den reinen Strahlen des Lichtes
Erglanzt die Gottheit der Welt.
In dem reinen Feuer des Aethers
Erstrahlt der Ichheit hohe Kraft.
Ich ruhe im Geiste der Welt,
Ich werde mich immer finden
Im ewigen Geiste der Welt.