Meditation Class: A Mystic's Journal Entry: Thursday, September 6, 2007 by Laurie Conrad.
The Emotions and More Supernatural Fragrances: Meditation Class: A Mysticís Journal entry: Thursday, September 6, 2007
We are continuing our studies of Paul Bruntonís excellent volume on the emotions: Emotions and Ethics. (The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, Volume Five; Larson Publications).
We began with the quote: The quest will uncover the weakest places in his character, one by one. It will do so either by prompting him from within or by exposing him from without. If he fails to respond the first way, with its gentle intuitive working, he must expect to endure the second way, with its harsh pressure through events. The only protection against his weaknesses is first, to confess them, and then, to get rid of them.
We quickly agreed that the quest referred to the spiritual Quest, the spiritual Path. I said that we are all on a spiritual Quest, whether we are conscious of it or not - and that it is far easier to progress on the spiritual Path if we consciously accept that we are on one.
the weakest places in his character. We noted that Brunton here says weakest, i.e. the most weak, the most vulnerable parts and places within our personalities. I then mentioned that when I was going to the meditation Center so many years ago - if ever I had a problem with someone there, when I entered the meditation room the only available empty cushion was always right across from where they were sitting. We must consciously confront our greatest weaknesses if we are to progress on the spiritual path, if we are to grow in strength and Wisdom. Being on a spiritual Path will speed the process up - and also present us with each fault one by one, just as Brunton tells us. And we should be grateful for this process, on our knees to those who force us to rise to greater heights within ourselves. The Dalai Lama of Tibet once said that we should respect our enemy, they are our greatest Teacher. The class groaned and I gave them this exercise to try:
Imagine the most difficult person or situation in your life, either in the past or in the present. Now say "thank you". I asked what happened and the meditators responded that the situation did not disappear as it can in other exercises, but that the sting was gone. Even if they did not really feel gratitude as they did the exercise, they were still filled with peace. Chris said she couldnít say "thank you" and she laughed. I asked her to try again, and she had the same response. Then I said to think of some joyful, happy experience and then go to the difficult scene and say "thank you." Chris said the exercise worked. It does not matter if we feel the gratitude initially: it is an exercise, an imaginative spiritual practice to build a Greater Understanding and Gratitude. I added that even if you do not know what the lesson is you are trying to learn in a given experience, it helps just to know that you are learning something: this knowledge can help detach us from the appearances of the situation and prevent us from completely falling in.
The discussion continued and Mary gave an example of a truck driver who had screamed at her some years ago. She said every time she thought about him she still got angry. She gave a long, complicated psychological analysis that she said helped to get her to Love and Peace about the situation - and I asked why she did not just close her eyes for a few seconds and say: "I am Light, Love, Peace." This led to a discussion about Long Path and Short Path: the Long Path is a long one, in fact it never ends. "I am Light, Love, Peace" is a Short Path exercise - and can get us There in a second. And once we are There - we are There firmly, and in every situation and area of our life and being. We are That, we are already Enlightened: we are the Soul.
I then asked the meditators to ask themselves why they had chosen that particular person or situation to learn that particular lesson, even if they did not consciously yet know the lesson they were trying to learn.
I then added that it should be easy to have Compassion for a truck driver: he doesnít have an easy job. I told everyone to send him Love and Compassion, and added that somewhere on this vast earth a truck driver was probably feeling better than he had in his entire life - and had no idea why ...
Thursday, September 13
Last night during meditation, two meditators came late. As they entered the living room the strong scent of perfume accompanied them. After meditation and before class I asked if anyone in class was wearing perfume, and the answer was "no". Trudy also was aware of the fragrances, and Chris said when she entered the room for class she also had a few whiffs of perfume. Trudy and I were aware of the fragrance of flowers or myrrh during class, although no one else was. This might be because Trudy and I were sitting next to each other on the couch and everyone else was seated on cushions on the floor.
Thursday, September 20
We continued our studies of Paul Bruntonís excellent volume on the emotions: Emotions and Ethics. Pam read: No aspirant is asked to remain stoically neutral regarding his personal hopes and fears. He is asked to strive for impartiality in his decisions, to recognize that it is wrong action which secures his own enjoyment at the cost of other peopleís suffering or his own gain at the cost of their rights.
Our discussion began with the class questioning the first sentence: No aspirant is asked to remain stoically neutral regarding his personal hopes and fears. It was the classí impression that we were being asked to do just that on the spiritual quest. However, when we delved into the sentence a bit more we realized that we are all seeking happiness - and that if we looked at a situation in that light, it could give us a certain detachment. I said that what struck me most about this quote by Brunton was the phrase: He is asked to strive for impartiality in his decisions. Meaning: we have a choice and we make a decision every time we think or act.
Someone in class again asked what to do if someone is coming at you in an abusive way, and I answered: "We are all seeking happiness". I asked the class to imagine a difficult person or situation and then see the other people involved as merely seeking happiness. The class said the exercise helped them to detach. T. mentioned something that had happened to her that week, and said the other personís harsh words had repeated themselves in her mind for a full day. I then gave the class another exercise to try: imagine yourself changed to air, or Light, and image the harsh, abusive words going harmlessly right through you. This way nothing is stored, either in thoughts or in the body.
Without these practices, the ego will react, will protect itself. And bring us and others suffering.