Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.
- Descending into a deep cavern, one prefers to have a bright and even-burning lamp, rather than a smoky sputtering torch. It is the same with the quality of psychic energy. The sparks of a smoky flare do not improve a situation. But how to attain an even light? Only by constant meditation about the basic energy. Like a wordless mental process, in the rhythm of the heart the inextinguishable Light is strengthened.
- Agni Yoga, Aum (591)
- By means of meditation, a man finds freedom from the delusion of the senses, and their vibratory lure; he finds his own positive centre of energy and becomes consciously able to use it; he becomes, therefore, aware of his real Self, functioning freely and consciously...
- Alice Bailey in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 746
- Meditation involves the living of a one-pointed life always and every day . . . 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.
- Alice Bailey in The Externalization of the Hierachy, p. 18
- The habit of quiet, sustained, and sequential thought, directed to non-worldly subjects, of meditation, of study, develops the mind-body and renders it a better instrument; the effort to cultivate abstract thinking is also useful, as this raises the lower mind towards the higher, and draws into it the subtlest materials of the lower mental plane.
- The main preparation to be made for receiving in the physical vehicle the vibrations of the higher consciousness are: its purification from grosser materials by pure food and pure life; the entire subjugation of the passions, and the cultivation of an even, balanced temper and mind, unaffected by the turmoil and vicissitudes of external life; the habit of quiet meditation on lofty topics, turning the mind away from the objects of the senses, and from the mental images arising from them, and fixing it on higher things; the cessation of hurry, especially of that restless, excitable hurry of the mind, which keeps the brain continually at work and flying from one subject to another; the genuine love for the things of the higher world, that makes them more attractive than the objects of the lower, so that the mind rests contentedly in their companionship as in that of a well-loved friend.
- Annie Besant in The Ancient Wisdom, (1897)
- First he must gain control over his thoughts, the progeny of the restless, unruly mind, hard to curb as the wind. (Bhagavad Gitâ, vi. 34). Steady, daily practice in meditation, in concentration, had begun to reduce this mental rebel to order ere he entered on the probationary Path, and the disciple now works with concentrated energy to complete the task, knowing that the great increase in thought power that will accompany his rapid growth will prove a danger both to others and to himself unless the developing force be thoroughly under his control. Better give a child dynamite as a plaything, than place the creative powers of thought in the hands of the selfish and ambitious.
- Annie Besant in The Ancient Wisdom, (1897)
- Indeed, wisdom is born of meditation; without meditation wisdom is lost. Knowing this twofold path of gain and loss of wisdom, one should conduct oneself so that wisdom may increase.
- Rahula, develop meditation that is like the earth. .... Just as people throw clean things and dirty things, excrement, urine, spittle, pus, and blood on the earth, and the earth is not horrified, humiliated, and disgusted because of that, so too, Rahula, develop meditation that is like the earth.
- Gautama Buddha, Majjhima Nikaya, B. Nanamoli and B. Bodhi, trans. (1995), Sutta 62, verse 13, p. 529
- Rahula, develop meditation that is like water. ... Just as people wash clean things and dirty things, excrement, urine, spittle, pus, and blood in water, and the water is not horrified, humiliated, and disgusted because of that, so too, Rahula, develop meditation that is like water.
- Gautama Buddha, Majjhima Nikaya, B. Nanamoli and B. Bodhi, trans. (1995), Sutta 62, verse 14, p. 530
- Once Soma, having returned from her alms round
- and having eaten her meal, entered the woods to meditate.
- Deep in the woods, she sat down under a tree.
- The tempter Mara, desirous and capable of arousing fear, wavering and dread,
- and wishing her to interrupt her focused meditation, came to her and said,
- Your intent is difficult, even for the sages;
- Completion cannot be reached by a woman regardless the wisdom reaped."
- Then Soma thought, "Who is this speaking, human or nonhuman?
- Surely it is evil Mara desiring to interrupt my focused meditation."
- Knowing that it was Mara, she said,
- "What does gender matter with regard to a well-composed mind,
- which experiences insight in the light of the dharma?"
- The evil Mara thought, "Soma knows me"
- and sorrowful for the evil, instantly vanished into darkness.
- Gautama Buddha Soma and Mara An adapation of a translation by C.A.F. Rhys-Davids
- Meditation is listening to the Divine within.
- It is essential to every inquiry about duty that we keep before our eyes how far superior man is by nature to cattle and other beasts: they have no thought except for sensual pleasure and this they are impelled by every instinct to seek; but man's mind is nurtured by study and meditation.
- Cicero, On Duties, 1.105
- Meditation is a method, more or less scientific (depending on the meditation), for bringing the man or woman in incarnation into contact and eventual at-onement with the Higher Self or soul.
- Meditation — Scientific means of contacting one's soul and of eventually becoming at-one with the soul. Also the process of being open to spiritual impression and thus to co-operation with the Spiritual Hierarchy.
- Benjamin Creme in The Ageless Wisdom, An Introduction to Humanity's Spiritual Legacy (1996), Glossary, p. 49
- Evolution is speeded up through meditation and service. These are the two levers of the evolutionary process. Nothing moves you forward faster than correct, scientific meditation and powerful, altruistic service to the world.
- Benjamin Creme in The Ageless Wisdom, An Introduction to Humanity's Spiritual Legacy], (1996), p. 34
- My third maxim was to endeavor always to conquer myself rather than fortune, and change my desires rather than the order of the world, and in general, to accustom myself to the persuasion that, except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power. ... This single principle seemed to me sufficient to prevent me from desiring for the future anything which I could not obtain, and thus render me contented; for since our will naturally seeks those objects alone which the understanding represents as in some way possible of attainment, it is plain, that if we consider all external goods as equally beyond our power, we shall no more regret the absence of such goods as seem due to our birth, when deprived of them without any fault of ours, than our not possessing the kingdoms of China or Mexico; and thus making, so to speak, a virtue of necessity, we shall no more desire health in disease, or freedom in imprisonment, than we now do bodies incorruptible as diamonds, or the wings of birds to fly with. But I confess there is need of prolonged discipline and frequently repeated meditation to accustom the mind to view all objects in this light; and I believe that in this chiefly consisted the secret of the power of such philosophers as in former times were enabled to rise superior to the influence of fortune, and, amid suffering and poverty, enjoy a happiness which their gods might have envied. For, occupied incessantly with the consideration of the limits prescribed to their power by nature, they became so entirely convinced that nothing was at their disposal except their own thoughts, that this conviction was of itself sufficient to prevent their entertaining any desire of other objects; and over their thoughts they acquired a sway so absolute, that they had some ground on this account for esteeming themselves more rich and more powerful, more free and more happy, than other men who, whatever be the favors heaped on them by nature and fortune, if destitute of this philosophy, can never command the realization of all their desires.
- René Descartes, Discourse on Method (1637), J. Veitch, trans. (1899), part 3, pp. 24-28
- The old dispute about the relative virtues of the active way and the contemplative way is a spurious one. We require both. They are phases of a single rhythm like the pulsing of the heart, the in-drawing and letting go of breath, the ebb and flow of the tides. So we go deep, deep inwards in meditation to consolidate our vital energy, and then, with greater love and wisdom, we come out into the family, the community, the world.
- Eknath Easwaran, God Makes the Rivers Flow (1982), pp. 18-19
- Meditation takes chaos and begins magically morphing it into nothing.
- Michael Scott Gallegos, "Internally Strewn Selves: The 'All' Surprisingly Includes Everything" (Oct 5, 2014)
- Thy thoughts to nobler meditations give,
And study how to die, not how to live.
- George Granville, 1st Baron Lansdowne, Meditations on Death, Stanza 1; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 504.
- Meditation … puts into question more or less everything you tend to do in your search for happiness. But if you lose sight of this, it can become just another strategy for seeking happiness—a more refined version of the problem you already have.
- Perhaps the most important thing one can discover through the practice of meditation is that the "self"—the conventional sense of being a subject, a thinker, an experiencer living inside one's head—is an illusion.
- Happy the heart that keeps its twilight hour,
And, in the depths of heavenly peace reclined,
Loves to commune with thoughts of tender power,—
Thoughts that ascend, like angels beautiful,
A shining Jacob's-ladder of the mind!
- Paul H. Hayne, Sonnet IX; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 504.
- This contact of mind and brain with the soul may be achieved by suitable techniques of meditation, but may also be brought about by living a life of inner mental reflection, by disciplining the lower nature, by expressing goodwill and self-forgetfulness, and by rendering dedicated service to fellow human beings.
- The steps to be followed by the aspiring meditator are firstly to practise certain physical disciplines and to purify his system. The second step will be to obtain reasonable control over the emotions, and thirdly he should aim at some measure of control over the wild horses of the mind.
- The standard Christian conscience does not permit the believer to look upon the self and find beauty, goodness, natural kindness, strength. Self-knowledge is tainted with self-hatred. The rules of the game of the Christian conscience are such that, when I look within, I must take the blame for all evil, all hardness of the heart that I find, but give God all the credit for any evidence of love. ... It is not surprising that the practice of meditation ... has remained under a cloud in the West, and that we have, consequently, created a culture of extroverts.
- Sam Keen, The Passionate Life (1992), p. 162
- There are some who cannot make anything much of meditation, and when they try to study they find it very hard. They ought to continue to try both these things, because we must develop all sides of our nature, but most of all they should throw themselves into the work, and do something for their fellow-men.
- The Effect of Meditation. Remember also that every one who meditates upon the Master makes a definite connection with him, which shows itself to clairvoyant vision as a kind of line of light. The Master always subconsciously feels the impinging of such a line, and sends out in response a steady stream of magnetism which continues to play long after the meditation is over. The methodical practice of such meditation and concentration is thus of the utmost help to the aspirant, and regularity is one of the most important factors in producing the result. It should be undertaken daily at the same hour, and we should steadily persevere with it, even though no obvious effect may be produced. When no result appears we must be especially careful to avoid depression, because that makes it more difficult for a Master’s influence to act upon us, and it also shows that we are thinking of ourselves more than of him.
- C. W. Leadbeater, in The Masters and the Path, p. 72
- In beginning this practice of meditation it is desirable to watch closely its physical effects. Methods prescribed by those who understand the matter ought never to cause headache or any other pain, yet such results do sometimes occur in particular cases. It is true that meditation strains the thought and attention a little further than its customary point in any individual, but that should be so carefully done, so free from any kind of excess, as not to cause any physical ill-effects. Sometimes a person takes it up too strenuously and for too long at a time, or when the body is not in a fit state of health, and the consequence is a certain amount of suffering. It is fatally easy to press one’s physical brain just a little too far, and when that happens it is often difficult to recover equilibrium. Sometimes a condition may be produced in a few days which it will take years to set right; so anyone who begins to feel any unpleasant effects should at once stop the practice for a while and attend to his physical health, and if possible consult someone who knows more than he does about the subject.
- When you smoke herb, herb reveal yourself to you. All the wickedness you do, the herb reveal itself to yourself, your conscience, show up yourself clear, because herb make you meditate. Is only a natural t'ing and it grow like a tree.
- Bob Marley, as reported in Martin Booth, Cannabis: A History (2005), p. 366
- Only true meditation can reveal the Real. Although you will not know what it is, you will realise that the mind can never reveal it. The mind, the known, can never reveal the Unknown. The mind is merely ideas, memories, experiences--- that is all the mind is made up of and it can never reveal the Real Truth. What most people think is the truth is merely a projection of their mind. They may read about the Truth or they may listen to words which are merely other people’s ideas, but now you know that that is not Truth. Truth can only be revealed from within, never from without... Concentration on an idea only narrows down the mind, and a mind that is narrowed down can never understand that which is limitless, immeasurable. Even prayer is not true meditation. Through repetition of words and sentences one can make the mind still and in that stillness receive a response, but that response is not the response of Reality---it is a response of the unconscious mind, because prayer is merely a begging, a supplication and can never be creative. In prayer there is always duality, one who begs and one who grants. You pray for something you haven’t got, either a motor-car or a virtue and so on.
- Murdo MacDonald Bayne, The Yoga Of The Christ , p. 14, (1956)
- Jesus said, in other words: When you pray believe you have received. This was the immediate present. Everything is now. Meditation is really finding out what the mind is made up of. Now, not some time later, but NOW. What your mind is made up of is your conditioning which is always seeking expression in thought Now! To know yourself you must be aware of your thinking Now; then there will not be a yesterday or a tomorrow. For when the mind ceases to chatter Reality is, And Reality is ever present NOW... true meditation means a mind that is capable of swift pliability, aware extensively and widely, and limitless, so that every problem as it arises can be dissolved instantaneously, every challenge being understood now in which there is no response of yesterday. True meditation is a self-revealing process. Meditation that is not self-revealing is not meditation, it is merely a contracting process that can never reveal anything.
- Murdo MacDonald-Bayne, The Yoga Of The Christ, p. 14, (1956)
- To know yourself is to know all the content of the mind both the conscious and the unconscious activities---when it is awake and when it is in its so-called sleep... First of all realise that meditation without self-knowledge has no meaning; self-knowledge is not high or low; your higher or your lower self is but an idea, a product of the mind which is time, and time cannot reveal the Timeless. Therefore in true meditation the concentration on the higher self does not mean a thing. Truly, meditation is to uncover the whole process of thought which is memory and this can be done immediately. Truth is not a matter of time; Truth is now or it can never be. Time can never reveal the Timeless. Memory thought is the product of time, is it not? Now what is the self?Obviously it is memory---at whatever level, high or low, it is still memory. As I said, the idea of a higher self and a lower self is merely speculation, a product of the mind, is it not? If you look into it you will find out that it is so. The higher self and the lower self are merely ideas---something you have read somewhere---you think about it and now you think it is real, but it is not a reality.
- Murdo MacDonald-Bayne, The Yoga Of The Christ, p. 14/15 (1956)
- This peculiar type of mental state is sometimes called a "Mystical Experience" or "Rapture," "Ecstasy," or "Bliss." Some who undergo it call it "wonderful," but a better word would be "wonderless," because I suspect that such a state of mind may result from turning so many [inner] Critics off that one cannot find any flaws in it. ... such experiences can be dangerous—for some victims find them so compelling that they devote the rest of their lives to trying to get themselves back to that state again.
- Marvin Minsky, The Emotion Machine (2006).
- Mindfulness, though so highly praised and capable of such great achievements, is not at all a “mystical” state, beyond the ken and reach of the average person. It is, on the contrary, something quite simple and common, and very familiar to us.
- Nyanaponika, The Heart of Buddhist Meditation (1965), p. 24.
- Attention or mindfulness is kept to a bare registering of the facts observed, without reacting to them by deed, speech or by mental comment which may be one of self-reference (like, dislike, etc.), judgment or reflection. If during the time, short or long, given to the practice of Bare Attention, any such comments arise in one’s mind, they themselves are made objects of Bare Attention, and are neither repudiated nor pursued, but are dismissed, after a brief mental note has been made of them.
- Nyanaponika, The Heart of Buddhist Meditation (1965), p. 30.
- This method of transforming disturbances to meditation into objects of meditation, as simple as it is ingenious, may be regarded as the culmination of non-violent procedure. It is a device very characteristic of the spirit of Satipatthana, to make use of all experiences as aids on the path. In that way enemies are turned into friends; for all these disturbances and antagonistic forces become our teachers, and teachers, whoever they may be, should be regarded as friends.
- Nyanaponika, “The power of mindfulness”
- Meditation on any theme, if positive and honest, inevitably separates him who does the meditating from the opinion prevailing around him, from that which ... can be called “public” or “popular” opinion.
- José Ortega y Gasset, What is Philosophy? (1964), p. 15
- Man holds an inward talk with his self alone, which it behooves him to regulate well.
- Fixing the consciousness on one point or region is concentration (dhāraṇā). A steady, continuous flow of attention directed towards the same point or region is meditation (dhyāna). When the object of meditation engulfs the meditator, appearing as the subject, self-awareness is lost. This is samādhi.
- Union is restraining the thought-streams natural to the mind. Then the seer dwells in his own nature. Otherwise he is of the same form as the thought-streams.
- Meditation is a way for nourishing and blossoming the divine within you.
- Amit Ray, Meditation:Insights and Inspirations, (2010), p. 14.
- Life is a mystery- mystery of beauty, bliss and divinity. Meditation is the art of unfolding that mystery.
- Amit Ray, Meditation:Insights and Inspirations, (2010), p. 34.
- Meditate, Visualize and Create your own reality and the universe will simply reflect back to you.
- Amit Ray, Yoga and Vipassana: An Integrated Life Style, (2010), p. 108.
- When the mind is silent like a lake the lotus blossoms.
- Amit Ray, Enlightenment Step by Step, (2016), pp 65
- Once you have the view, although the delusory perceptions of samsara may arise in your mind, you will be like the sky; when a rainbow appears in front of it, it’s not particularly flattered, and when the clouds appear, it’s not particularly disappointed either. There is a deep sense of contentment. You chuckle from inside as you see the facade of samsara and nirvana; the View will keep you constantly amused, with a little inner smile bubbling away all the time.
- As you can experience days or hours within its framework in the dream state and not age for the comparable amount of physical time, so as you develop, you will be able to rest and be refreshed within psychological time even when you are awake. this will aid your mental and physical state to an amazing degree. You will discover and added vitality and a decreased need to sleep. Within any given five minutes of clock time, for example you may find an hour of resting which is independent of clock time.
- Jane Roberts, Seth, Dreams & Projections of Consciousness, p. 152.
- You ask whether or not you should continue with meditations. Everything that increases the power of concentration and thought is very useful, and clearness of thought should by all means be encouraged. There is now so much chaotic thinking that it is most essential to learn to marshall one's thoughts and to avoid an involuntary leaping. Clarity and sequence of thinking is very necessary in the process of the broadening of consciousness.
- Helena Roerich, Letters I, (26 April 1934)
- If we spent half an hour every day in silent immobility, I am convinced that we should conduct all our affairs, personal, national, and international, far more sanely than we do at present.
- Bertrand Russell, "The decay of meditation" (1931).
- Doubt about the fact that insight wholesomeness consists of simply observing the presently arising mental and physical phenomena is also skeptical doubt. This doubt is so subtle that it is rarely detected but is instead mistaken for investigation. ... A doubtful meditator who falls prey to wavering and procrastination cannot continue on with practice. He or she will then become a victim of mental defilements and be unable to escape the cycle of suffering. Only when he or she abandons doubt by noting it and uninterruptedly continues the practice can he or she be liberated from the cycle of suffering.
- Mahasi Sayadaw, Manual of Insight (1945), p. 64
- In maiden meditation, fancy-free.
- Divinely bent to meditation;
And in no worldly suits would he be mov'd,
To draw him from his holy exercise.
- Mind without agitation is meditation. Mind in the present moment is meditation. Mind that has no hesitation, no anticipation is meditation. Mind that has come back home, to the source, is meditation. Mind that becomes no mind is meditation.
- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, "What is Meditation?"
- Nothing is more necessary to the cultivation of the advanced sciences or of the elevated portion of sciences than meditation, and there is nothing less fit for meditation than the interior of a democratic society. One does not encounter there, as in aristocratic peoples, a numerous class that stays at rest because it finds itself well-off and another than does not move because it despairs of being better off. Everyone is agitated: some want to attain power, others to take possession of wealth. In the midst of this universal tumult, the repeated collision of contrary interests, the continual advance of men toward fortune, where does one find the calm necessary to the profound combinations of the intellect? how does each man bring his thought to a stop at such and such a point, when everything moves around him and he himself is carried along and tossed about every day in the impetuous current that swirls all things along?
- Not only do men living in democratic societies give themselves over to meditation with difficulty, but they naturally have little esteem for it. The democratic social state and institutions bring most men to act continually; yet the habits of mind suited to action are not always suited to thought. The man who acts is often reduced to contenting himself with that is nearly so because he would never arrive at the end of his design if he wished to perfect every detail. He must constantly rely on ideas that he has not had the leisure to fathom, for it is much more the timeliness of the idea he makes use if than its rigorous exactness that helps him; and all in all, there is less risk for him in making use of some false principle than in wasting his time establishing the truth of all his principles. It is not by long and learned demonstrations that the world is led. There, the quick look at a particular fact, the daily study of the changing passions of the crowd, the chance of the moment and the skill to seize it decide affairs.
- In centuries in which almost everyone acts, one is therefore generally brought to attach an excessive value to rapid sparks and superficial conceptions of the intellect and, on the contrary, to deprecate immoderately its profound, slow work.
- When you listen to a thought, you are aware not only of the thought but also of yourself as the witness of the thought. A new dimension of consciousness has come in.
- Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now (1997), p. 19
- Create a gap of no-mind in which you are highly alert and aware but not thinking. This is the essence of meditation.
- Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now (1997)
- Whenever you are able to observe your mind, you are no longer trapped in it. Another factor has come in, something that is not of the mind: the witnessing presence.
- Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now (1997)
- That which is known as "meditation" is the act of sustaining an object of meditation and specific subjective aspects by repeatedly focusing your mind upon a virtuous object of meditation. The purpose of this is as follows. From beginningless time you have been under the control of your mind; your mind has not been under your control. Furthermore, your mind tended to be obscured by the afflictions and so forth. Thus meditation aims to bring this mind, which gives rise to all faults and flaws, under control and then it aims to make it servicable. Servicability means that you can direct your mind as you wish toward a virtuous object of meditation.
- Je Tsongkhapa, The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, as translated by Chenmo Translation Committee (2000) p. 99
- All meditation involves some degree of auto-hypnosis.
- Morris West, The Clowns of God (1981), Ch. I
- I began to practice 'meditation', sitting cross-legged for hours, staring straight in front of me. the result was a sudden and total transformation of my inner-being. There was a sense of freedom from my personality -- from the being called Colin Wilson who was born in Leicester in 1931. I felt that 'he' was a series of responses and reactions, of ambitions and frustrations. But after half an hour of staring straight in front of me, of concentrating my attention 'at the root of my eyebrows', I felt in control of his responses and frustrations. This control brought such a sense of exhilaration and satisfaction that I often sneaked away from other people to spend just five minutes sitting cross-legged; when I was working as a labourer on a building site, I would find a quiet spot and, while the others were having a smoke, would sit in a position that could quickly be changed to an ordinary sitting posture if someone came by.
- Colin Wilson, Frankenstein's Castle (1980), p. 87
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
- Meditation is the soul's perspective glass, whereby, in her long remove, she discerneth God, as if He were nearer at hand.
- Owen Feltham, p. 406.
- Profound meditation in solitude and silence frequently exalts the mind above its natural tone, fires the imagination, and produces the most refined and sublime conceptions. The soul then tastes the purest and most refined delight, and almost loses the idea of existence in the intellectual pleasure it receives. The mind on every motion darts through space into eternity; and raised, in its free enjoyment of its powers by its own enthusiasm, strengthens itself in the habitude of contemplating the noblest subjects, and of adopting the most heroic pursuits.
- John G. Zimmerman, p. 406.
- It is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most on Divine truth, that will prove the choicest, wisest, strongest Christian.
- Bishop Joseph Hall, p. 406.
- For with all our pretension to enlightenment, are we not now a talking, desultory, rather than a meditative generation?
- John Campbell Shairp, p. 406.
- It is an excellent sign, that after the cares and labors of the day, you can return to your pious exercises and meditations with undiminished attention.
- Hannah More, p. 406.
- Night by night I will lie down and sleep in the thought of God, and in the thought, too, that my waking may be in the bosom of the Father; and some time it will be, so I trust.
- William Mountford, p. 406.
- Avoid all refined speculations; confine yourself to simple reflections, and recur to them frequently. Those who pass too rapidly from one truth to another feed their curiosity and restlessness; they even distract their intellect with too great a multiplicity of views. Give every truth time to send down deep root into the heart.
- François Fénelon, p. 407.
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