If someone had said to me when I was a teenager that I would be doing meditation when I was older I would have been completely disbelieving. I liked my sport, going out for a drink, and parties and music. In my early twenties I added nightclubbing to the list along with the culture that could be found in London.
There wasn’t much room for spirituality and not a hint of meditation.
But then my guides intervened. “He is too immersed in low purpose, the glamour of backwards and sideways living, he’s living like a caveman, and going round in circles. Time to wake him up to his higher purpose, and get rid of the glamour and see things for what they really are. Time to wake him up to spirituality. Right, given him a crisis, no, give him a couple of crises, and a good detox (vomiting and diarrhoea) all at the same time. That should do it!”
The guides stand back and rub their esoteric hands together in satisfaction, and watch the entertainment.
So I was propelled to sort myself out and find some answers. By that time I had heard of meditation but still thought it was for rather weird people and cults, which was admittedly a narrow and wrong view.
So I took a route through aromatherapy (really useful for letting go of old emotions and for detoxing as it turned out), shamanic healing (didn’t really work for me but other people like it, and the one real South American shaman I did meet was lovely and could do stuff that really was magical), and rebirthing (healing and great fun, though looking back it seems completely whacky with some crazy ideas flowing around it, I mean, who really would want to live forever? just showed a complete lack of even basic understanding of karma). So my journey to meditation was terrific fun but took a couple of years.
Then a healer suggested I do some Om-ing. So for the first week I chanted Om or Aum for twenty minutes. The next week I chanted for forty minutes and then for sixty minutes the following week. That really cleared my centres and expanded my aura. It cleared my third eye so my intuition opened up. My clairvoyance opened up and I could look at things and see energy and timelines. My heart centre opened up and would glow with a warm, soft feeling.
Then after that preparation I started to meditate. I learnt first of all to put down roots into the earth, deep into the planet.
I learnt to allow down white light into my crown centre and fill this up, and then go down each centre in turn, filling each centre up with white light. Then I would let the white light flow down through the centres, and down through the roots into the earth like a gift.
Afterwards, as a protective sequence I would button up each chakra in turn.
That was it. Nothing too special. But wonderful all the same. That was the basic technique.
I learnt other meditations. I was teaching science and was intrigued by novel ways of teaching. I came across “Superlearning” which was a set of radical ideas on learning derived from a teaching and learning technique called Suggestopedia created by a Bulgarian psychologist (there is a bit of a Cold war story in there). The Superlearning techniques morphed and were diluted and became accelerated learning. Both these Westernized techniques used creative visualization to help with learning. Creative visualization has a lot to do with spiritual meditation, or can do, and is very useful for creatively using the mind in learning, in being creative, and for improving self-confidence and performance. I incorporated a lot of the techniques, including creative visualizations in teaching my students. Life could be hard for some of the inner city students so they referred to the visualizations as de-stressing.
The initial visualization was typically a relaxation one, which often involved moving through a cave, or rooms in a buildings, or through tunnels, or clouds etc., going through red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, and then back. Quite basic but very effective. Also now looking back I can see in it a spiritual dimension that I was unaware of at the time. It is actually a very healing kind of meditation.
I’d then use creative visualization in the lesson, for instance, studying the water cycle, the students would imagine themselves as molecules of water going on a journey through the water cycle, so they would get the feeling of it as well as the idea.
I came across New Age meditations which were interesting and some were useful though the energy of many was empty and more like New Age glamour; fashionable but fleeting and failing to live up to the promise.
At that time I was meditating too much which meant I wasn’t participating enough in life. I wasn’t being practical, and it was pointed out to me that I was using meditation as an escape from life and my practical responsibilities. So I had to consider how to use meditation to help me to live and be a useful member of society.
I looked into Meher Baba and how his followers lived their spirituality. It was all so ordinary, in fact there was no meditation, although in a book by Meher Baba called”Discourses” there is a section on meditation and meditation techniques.
A general guideline in the Meher Baba world was and is “Don’t worry, be happy”, and take care of your responsibilities. There is an emphasis on service to others in the world. So it was all very grounding. I was weaned off New Age language as well, as the language used in the community was so ordinary, too.
There were some things in this world that struck me as being related to meditation, but in a very natural way. Visiting the Mehercenter in Meherabad, near Ahmednagar (near Pune), I visited Meher Baba’s tomb daily. The energetic atmosphere there switched me straight into meditation more powerfully than anything else I had experienced. Avataric energy does that. It was filled with love and compassion.
There were other places in Meherabad suffused in Meher Baba’s energy that had a similar instant effect.
On the evening of 9th July 1925, before going into one room Meher Baba said He would stop talking from that night on, and then be in silence. The next day He came out in silence, and was silent for the rest of his life. He used and alphabet board to start with to communicate. (Silence day is observed on the 10th of July to commemorate the first day of silence.)
I went into that room for a couple of minutes and tried to meditate. The energy was too intensely silent for me, almost burning, and I came out of the room before getting a headache.
The Meher Baba followers would get together for events which included saying prayers that Meher Baba had written. After saying the prayers they stood still. There descended a silence that was like the gates of infinity opening. The silence was deep and vast, and dynamic. My centres would go into instant meditation and work mode. Then after a minute or so, the work done, the silence would lift.
Subsequently I explored meditating with a range of other energies to do with spirituality. A key focus has been on putting roots down into the earth and grounding, again and again, as this is so important in being able to meditate with Avataric light or Perfect Master energy without getting spiritually drunk, or white-lighted and ungrounded, or throwing up!
Then there is the lovely Devic energy which brings healing, nurturing and change, Angelic energy (being grounded is essential), and a whole range of other energies. I explored ways to use energies in healing and protective ways for myself and others, and for clearing up old negative energies around people and places.
The learning is still a continual ongoing process. We are spiritual beings in a big universe in creation, there is so much to learn about spirituality so we can fully bring it into our lives, the payoff being that we end up being happy and happier, and can end up making others happier, too. Also, there are energetic ways to be of service and do something for people as well as physical ways, and for the locality and the earth generally. For instance we can use techniques to clean up energy as a form of healing, or simply send out beautiful and loving thoughts and act with kindness and love.