The World Disciple and the Inner Transcendental States Deepening The Connection To Service
In order to explore the subject of transcendent states of consciousness it is always best, from the standpoint of one who reads this essay, to view from the stance of the Heart Path, rather than the Eye Path. These concepts are the bedrock of entry to Enquiring the Way.
The Tibetan Master has this to say in Letters on Occult Meditation:
“Divine inspiration or that ‘divine obsession’ which is the privilege of all advanced souls, will be understood in the coming years as never before, and will definitely be one of the methods used by the coming Lord and His Great Ones for the helping of the world.
The thing to be remembered is that in the case of the wrong obsession the man is at the mercy of the obsessing entity, and is unconsciously or unwillingly a partner in the transaction. In divine obsession the man consciously and willingly co-operates with the One Who seeks to inspire, or to occupy or explore his lower vehicles. The motive is ever the greater helping of the race. The obsession is not then the result of a negative condition, but of a positive collaboration and proceeds under law and for a specific period. … As more and more of the race develop continuity of consciousness between the physical and the emotional, and later the mental, this transference of the vehicles will be more frequent and more understood.” (page 123) It is safe to say that today the inspiration must also include the abstract mind of the cooperator.
The Tibetan goes on to say in The Externalization of the Hierarchy: “The stimulation of certain people to phenomenal action, and the instigation of others to emerge as dynamic and inspired leaders, is also another way in which divine intervention might find expression. Oft, down the ages, men have been overshadowed by divinity and inspired by God to accept positive leadership, and so make divine purpose a fact in conditioning world affairs. Had they not so responded to the influencing impression, and had they not accepted the responsibility imposed upon them, the course of world affairs and world events might have been very different. I refer not here to specifically to spiritual leaders, but also to leaders in other departments of human living — to such expressions of divine will as Moses the Law Giver, Akbar the warrior and the student; Leonardo da Vinci the inspired artist, to other great and outstanding figures who have determined the basic trends of human civilization; I refer also to the constructive forces which have guided mankind into the increasing light of knowledge and understanding.” page 200
These practices are vital in establishing those qualities that will establish a soul firmly in the spiritual life, of the stream to nirvana. The realization of these practices can mature into a persistent state of awareness that will eventually permeate one’s entire life.
We set into motion those energies that will awaken deeper spiritual perspectives and values. We awaken to the beauty of love and kindness, the value of self-control and detachment, the importance of living in the present moment in the attitude of the Observer which hasten the day of becoming, rather than being constantly distracted by thoughts of the past and future, of doubt and negativity. When being in the proper mindset, with our arsenal of instilled spiritual values, we can deal with those issues, those imbedded energies, which then do not distract us but serve to liberate us! The purpose of the above has been by way of casting a light on the true “straight and narrow way” which lead us directly from awakening to awakening until we are gradually faced with the “Great Awakening” of the Arhat Who has entered into permanent Sahaja Consciousness.
So let us create that foundation in this essay which will then serve to further illustrate the various stages of Samadhi to such an extent that there will not be such a tremendous gulf between us and these higher states of consciousness. What we wish to create is such a state in ourselves which will find the ground of our spiritual garden ready so that the seeds of the Brahma-Viharas will bloom in such a way as to form a path to that key within us unlock these concepts in a living reality.
Awareness Practice and the Factors of Enlightenment
A word on Awareness Practice: Awareness Practices are different spiritual practices that can be categorized according to the primary quality that is emphasized. This may emphasize devotion, concentration, inquiry, love, surrender or any quality that will eventually call to us from within.
Rather than rigidly systematize these practices, which often tends to not be so conducive to that spontaneous upwelling which is so necessary to any ashramic work, we will just indicate the following few guidelines:
1. Take something simple like metta (loving kindness) in your daily life start the day with the intention that you will strive to start the practice as a daily affair.
2. In your deepest meditative state ask that you be given the opportunity to learn and set those energies in motion in daily living.
3. Contemplate those qualities in the lower interludes of your meditation.
4. DO NOT REACT when you suddenly bring yourself up short when your inner sense makes you aware that you are not practicing that chosen quality at the moment, only focus at that point to continue your resolve. This process will also speed the quality of your meditations.
5. After practicing the above qualities one at a time for a period of one month, then three months one at a time, you will find your inner sense coming up with its own suggestion of needed quality.
This may seem to take lots of time in the beginning, but you will find that this foundational work only serves to speed up the process later when it will really count.
As you become aware of the difference in your moment to moment awareness deepen and turn more and more into a soul awareness, you will find those supporting practices which will be the natural outcome of the awareness practices such as concentration, effort and equanimity naturally added to your daily focus. The result of this will be the ability to hold those presented points of tension from within which will make it possible to spontaneously begin to enter those states which we will examine in detail later in this paper
In His Teaching about the path of awareness/mindfulness (which He called “vipassana”) the Buddha identified seven qualities that He described as those factors that make enlightenment possible. These seven qualities need to be deeply developed and balanced one with another in our practice, which will purify our nature to ripen consciousness for the realization of nirvana. The Seven Factors are: mindfulness or awareness, equanimity, investigation, tranquility, effort, concentration and rapture. Mindfulness is the central balancing factor between the three energizing factors (rapture, effort, investigation) and three stabilizing factors (concentration, tranquility, equanimity).
These seven factors are practiced in the context of cultivating awareness of mental and physical phenomena as they arise, moment to moment, in one’s daily experience.
As these virtues and practices are instilled and ripened in consciousness, the result will be the ability, privilege and opportunity, in conjunction with deepening service, to move closer and closer to the center of the ashram in which we learn to more effectively serve.
Spiritual practice (sadhana in sanskrit) is the foundation of spiritual evolution. This practice is based on the exercise of discrimination and the conscious will to aid in accelerating our spiritual awakening. The practice and ripening of the above will lead to a natural touching more and more of that non-dual essence of ourselves involving the recognition that the concept and experience of practice, effort, will, discrimination, etc, will be transcended in those moments, infrequent at first but more and more stable as spiritual quality and service ripen that are described as Samadhi and non-dual realization. These moments assure us of the enlightenment to come. Spiritual practice and service that are first planted, allowed to ripen and squeeze out the “weeds”, are a precondition to non-dual awakening into enlightenment. This ripening, whether deliberately cultivated, or eventually resulting from longer and bitter experience, will lead to that transformative and awakening power which brings us enrapport with our Solar Angel, and the Great Ones. Not as a goal but as a result.
As the practice matures, the practitioner will naturally move on to more subtlety of awareness and practice, assimilating more and more of a non-dual perspective, finally erupting into what the Dzogchen Tradition refers to as “entering the Great Non-Action” — in other words, there being nothing in the personality which interrupts the goal of the soul, the ashram, the Monad (need we go on?). This ripening of qualities bring on the overshadowing quality of Bodhicitta which brings the soul-infused personality point of tension enrapport with the Monadic point of tension. In other words, transcending the decision of “doing practice”. The direction of this ripening is rigpa, in the Dzogchen, and sahaja samadhi in the Vedanta. This advanced state of the practice is a stage accessible to a very small number in any given generation of practitioners.
The point of this essay is to indicate the direction in which we, as disciples learning to love and serve, can begin to achieve this practice as a World Group. Think of the implications on a world scale!
“A kind heart is of potent use in our service, provided that it is kept in place by a wise head, and does not assume the form of glamour. That then makes it a definite and hindering weakness. We today need disciples who are capable of seeing people truly; able to see them as they are, and yet to love them and serve them just the same. … When the radiation is the radiation of love, the resultant words and actions can be stern without hurting. …A loving radiation and an intelligent assessment (or do I mean appraisement…?) of those you seek to aid, will render you more effective in your service to your fellow men, then anything else.” Discipleship in the New Age — Volume I page 382
“I tread the lighted Way into the hearts of men. I serve my brother and his need. Those whom I, the little self, love not, I serve with joy because I love to serve.” Discipleship in the New Age — Volume I page 481
“With a tender heart of love and pity, serve all you meet, knowing that ‘each heart hides its own bitterness’. This constitutes your major lesson on the Path at this time … the lesson of utter self-forgetfulness. Forget the past and all that it brought to you of pain and of joy; forget the personal self and all it has to give or what it withholds; forget that which you said or has been said anent you and your ways, and seek simply to serve. Serve with a joyous heart and equilibrium.” Discipleship in the New Age — Volume I pages 562/3
“Let the light and radiance of the Soul illuminate your service, and let not your intellect be the dominating factor. Let spontaneous love and not a cultivated kindness condition your relations with your fellow men.” Discipleship in the New Age — Volume II page 656
The Tibetan has referred to letting our service be horizontal and exceedingly inclusive. Here He holds out the goal of loving kindness and service leading to the second initiation.
“The task of the Master is to evoke from His disciples such a depth of consecrated love, and such a realization of today’s opportunity, that the personality aspects of their lives will fade out of their consciousness, and their main preoccupation will be: What must be my service at this time? What are the non-essential things in my life to which I must pay no attention? Which aspects of the Master’s work should I endeavor to give the most help at this time? These questions must a ll meet with a balanced, intelligent and non-fanatical response and answer.” Discipleship in the New Age — Volume I page 693
It dawns on the student that the needed qualities the Tibetan is referring to deepen service, are those qualities which will slowly ripen into that Bodhicitta which is the unifying quality of the Spiritual Hierarchy.
“As the individual aspirants lose sight of themselves in service, and as they arrive at the stage of indifference to personality claims and happenings, they learn to cherish a spirit of confidence, of joy and of love, deep and lasting for each other; they learn to work together wholeheartedly for the helping of the world and the assistance of the Hierarchy.” The Externalization of the Hierarchy page 117
“. . . as you achieve initiate status, self interest declines until it disappears and, as an ancient Word has it, ‘only God is left’; only that remains in consciousness which is THAT, which is beauty, goodness, and truth; which is not form but quality, which is that which lies behind the form, and that which indicates destiny, soul, place and status. Ponder on these words, for they convey to you where (as evolution goes on) you will later lay the emphasis.” The Rays and the Initiations page 293
It might also be of practical value to touch on the Brahma-Viharas. The four virtues mentioned in Buddhist traditions and in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali can be roughly translated as meaning the four “heavenly stations”; these Brahma-Viharas are metta (loving-kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy and gladness), karuna (compassion), and upeksha (equanimity). Working with the Brahma-Viharas in these traditions consists of methods extending and developing these qualities towards oneself and other beings through awareness practices and meditation practices. The awareness practice anchors the seeds of these qualities in the everyday waking consciousness and the meditation practices extend these seeds into the meditative states. Success is measured when these seeds also sprout in the dream state and the unconscious. These practices are foundational and make it possible to stabilize these qualities into transcendental states.
There is profound reason for this in all foundational esoteric literature. To attempt to reach these extended states before the foundational practices are set, not only invites danger, but increases the time needed in the cleansing and purifying stages in the absorptive states touched on in Part II. These seeds sprout into thoses needed qualities which give us the “ammunition” and reserves needed to deal with the dark seeds that the aborptive processes bring to the surface.
The Brahma-Viharas are prime spiritual practices that, when brought to our meditation/daily life/service, ensures core spiritual awakening. Core spiritual awakening involves direct perception of the true nature of oneself, all beings and all things. These means the deliberate cultivating of those virtues in dealing with plants, animals, friends, family and even those we do not like or care for, which results in the birth of that Bodhicitta which is the result of all our striving. It safely awakens us to the underlying nondual, transcendent essence of the universe. This realization emerges gradually, but saves much wasted time in vain, time wasted effort. But steady effort guarantees that there will be those moments along the way in which one experiences acute instances of illumination or openings to the divine, Buddha Nature or the Tao. It does not matter what tradition we find ourselves in the implications are universal. The Zen, for instance, refers to these experiences of kensho or satori, even if minor in the beginning. In other traditions they have been termed mystical experiences, cosmic consciousness, etc.
It cannot be emphasized enough that the above statements when taken to heart, can cut short those points of wasted time, denials, and desperate contentions, in the absorptive states leading to first and second initiate consciousness.
DYING TO THE SELF
Lord, make me an instrument of thy Peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
Oh Divine Maker! Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console.
To be understood, as to understand.
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to the self that we are born to eternal life.
FRANCIS of ASSISI
Affirmation of an Arhat.
It might profit us here to start to examine those states leading to the spiritual states of samadhi, and divine functioning. First, there is meditation. Used in a spiritual context, meditation usually refers to spiritual practice while engaged with the personality remaining inwardly still. Eventually the fruits of the meditation, cleansing, energizing, renewal, insight, revelation needs to be carried into outer living. The practice of meditation is dependent upon developing adequate concentration. The factors leading to deepening meditation require the cultivation of essential factors like, for instance, awareness and equanimity. All forms of spiritual meditation share in common the need to consciously cultivate an undistracted state for the purpose of spiritual development. By this is meant the creating of the basic internal environment so necessary for creating those expansions that will go beyond the limitations of the little self.
In advanced stages the notion of attaining something, and making effort are abandoned; yet those earlier elements of cultivation and attainment are essential to earlier stages of practice and motivation. To bypass the early needed essentials results in inertia, glamour or the negative state of the astrally polarized solar plexus psychic. The greatly increased concentration, awareness, love, and other qualities that the experienced meditator is able to generate and achieve while meditating (compared to the ordinary state of waking consciousness meditation) is widely recognized as creating the power to greatly accelerate transformation and spiritual awakening. Therefore, effective meditation attracts soul energy and awareness (and builds in these qualities in our very substance) to renew the personality and its destiny is the essential backbone to any program of spiritual growth.
To illustrate how interconnected the practice of the Brahma-Viharas are in deepening the meditative process leading to the goals we all seek, let us examine the word Metta. From the Pali meaning lovingkindness, metta comes from the Sanskrit maitri. Maitri is the root of Maitreya. The Bodhisattava Maitreya is considered to be the Bodhisattva of lovingkindness. The cultivation of metta or maitri in such practices is necessary in developing the capacity of contemplate. This contemplative act, according to the Buddhist who is aware of Who the Lord Maitreya is, results in the birth of the Maitreya consciousness (Christ consciousness in the west) in the heart. The Christ, as a result of the first initiation, is connected to each and every disciple who reaches this degree. The Lord Maitreya’s practice of metta to the degree where His relative bodhicitta is deepening to Absolute Bodhicitta (His Becoming the next Buddha) on a planetary scale is the reason why those who know of such things refer to Him as the new Buddha.
As meditation is the outcome of successful concentration, contemplation is the outcome of hard won success in meditation. All sacred literature that touches on meditation, stress the meditative attitude (the result achieved of deepening through cultivation of Brahma-Vihara practice) expands to the outer activity and outer mental attitude. Contemplation is that state of mind, of consciousness, where the personality nature begins to be “in synch” with the soul’s level of meditation. When this happens the attitude of the Observer becomes so ingrained that one can be contemplating something (a factor in service or the inner focus resulting in revelation) even while the concrete mind is involved with being engaged in the outer world. This smoothness allowed to ripen as the spiritual practice fills the empty spaces in consciousness with more divinity becomes the state of mind of the arhat known to the Vedantin as Sahaj Samadhi. The same practice stumbled upon and muddled through by the humble disciple is becomes the same panoramic, dynamic practice of the Christ which will deepen into the focus of a planetary logos, and the dynamic breath of a solar or cosmic logos.
It is indeed true that from the small acorns of our spiritual practice and service, mighty oaks grow!
“To contemplate involves steady vision, one-pointedly directed towards a specific objective. The soul or solar angel might be regarded as gazing in three directions.
1. Towards the Light Supernal, towards that central Life or Energy which holds hid within Itself the purpose and plan towards which all Being tend. . . . What that directive force may be, what is the secret of Being Itself is only revealed during the more advanced initiations, and is only finally grasped when the causal body itself, the karana sarira, disintegrates and the final limitation slips away. With this direction of the solar Angel’s vision we need not concern ourselves.
2. Over the kingdom wherein the solar Angel reigns supreme, over the world of souls, or egoic impulses, of hierarchical work and of pure thought. This is the Kingdom of God, the world of heavenly Being. It is the state whereof disciples are becoming increasingly aware, wherein initiates work, and from which the Masters in Their graded ranks direct the evolutionary process of the planet. These two directions in which the soul looks constitute the world of its spiritual experience and the object of its aspiration. Let it not be forgotten that the spiritual man, the solar Angel, has also his goal of endeavour, and that his becomes the predominant impulse once the subjugation of the vehicle in three worlds is brought about. Just as the fully intelligent human being can only begin consciously to function as a soul and to contact the kingdom of the soul, so only the fully active and dominant soul, in which the buddhic principle is potentially controlling, can begin to contact the state of pure Being for further progression in the awareness of the state of pure Being.
3. The third direction in which the soul looks and wherein he exercises the faculty of contemplative vision is towards his reflection in the three worlds. The object of the long struggle between the higher and the lower man has been to make the lower responsive to and sensitively aware of the forces emanating from the soul as the soul ‘contemplates’ his triple instrument.
There is an interesting relation between these three ‘directions of contemplation’ and the awakening in the three major centres. This cannot be more than hinted at owing to the abstruseness of the subject. So man factors govern this awakening, and each aspirant has to determine for himself the mode of his awakening.
The center between the eyebrows, commonly called the third eye has a unique and peculiar function. . . . students must not confound the pineal gland with the third eye. They are related but not the same. . . .The third eye manifests as a result of the vibratory interaction between the forces of the soul, working through the pineal gland, and the forces of the personality, working through the pituitary body. These negative and positive forces interact, and when potent enough produce the light in the head. Just as the physical eye comes into being in response the light of the sun so the spiritual eye equally comes into being in response to the light of the spiritual sun. I refer to the light in all forms, veiled by all sheaths and expressions of the divine life, and not just the light within the aspirant himself. As his awareness of this light increases so does the aparatus of vision develop, and the mechanism whereby he can see things in the spiritual light comes into being in the etheric body.
This is the eye of Shiva, for it is only fully utilized in the magical work when the monadic aspect, the will aspect, is controlling.
By means of the third eye of the soul accomplishes three activities:
<![endif]>1. <![endif]>It is the eye of vision. by its means, the spiritual man sees behind the forms of all aspects of divine expression He becomes aware of the light of the world, and contacts the soul within all forms. . . . It opens up the world of radiance.
2. It is the controlling factor of the magical work. . . . the soul knows the plan, and when the alignment is right, and the attitude correct, the will aspect of the divine man can function and bring about results in the three worlds. The organ used is the third eye. . . Force flows through the third eye.
3. It has a destructive aspect and the energy flowing through the third eye can have a disintegrating and destroying effect. It can, through its focused attention, directed by the intelligent will, drive out physical matter. It is the agent of the soul in the purificatory work.
It should be noted here that in each of the subtle bodies in the three worlds there is a corresponding point of focus, and the centre between the eyebrows is but the physical counterpart (for etheric matter is physical) of inner correspondences.
Through this point of focus the soul looks out upon, or contemplates the mental plane, including the mental mechanism. Similarly on the emotional plane, the soul is brought into a state of awareness or vision of its emotional sheath and the world of astral phenomena, and the physical parallel exists for the etheric body. . . . the destuctive work of getting rid of the oldforms, of shaking out of the bodies matter of an undesirable nature and of breaking down the barriers and limitations to true so ul activity.” A Treatise on White Magic pages 211/13
It should be noted that when the “centre between the eyebrows” comes into activity parallels the time when the student is in the third absorptive state touched in Part II. To illustrate, during the third stage leading to the first initiation, the ajna center at the etheric level begins to dispel undesirable matter. At the second absorptive state leading to the second initiation, the ajna centre dispels undesirable matter at the emotional level. At the path leading to the third initiation, the process begins with the dispelling of undesirable matter at the lower mental level, an “eye” develops making that process possible. The fact is that an “eye” develops at the appropriate time during each burning ground experience. After the particular initiate consciousness, the “eye” becomes the organ of perception at the appropriate plane (in stages, first the destructive, then sensitivity to impression, then vision), making perception and service possible at that level. The true third eye becomes the synthesizing organ of vision and perception after the third initiation, in all the three worlds of human experience.
It should become obvious that the spiritual practices hinted at in Part III of this essay become of enormous importance when the appropriate destructive aspect of the eye has been accomplished and the building in of appropriate higher molecules and atoms begins. After enough building in of the appropriate higher energies is accomplished within a particular vehicle (etheric, astral, lower mental) then the eye can effectively be directed to pour the higher energies into the corresponding environment in service. This is first accomplished as a serving soul as probationary disciple, then as a soul serving ashramic intent as the probationary initiate, then as the outpost of the master as He works with Shamballa energies as the initiate becomes the Shamballa disciple.
The Importance of Meditation leading to the Deepening of Non-dual Essence
Meditation is a term referring to spiritual practices engaged while remaining inwardly still. To be effective the meditative attitude must eventually be carried into the round of daily living. The practice of meditation is based on the degree of developed concentration. Success is also dependent upon the development of essential practice such as awareness, equanimity, and lovingkindness. Other spiritual qualities to be cultivated in meditation involve such concepts as the object of concentration, and the understanding that one must be “doing” something. Whatever that something is must involve the process of cultivating the necessary soul energy to gain control over, at first, unruly and unregenerate aspects of the personality. All forms of spiritual meditation share in common the conscious effort to cultivate an undistracted state for the purpose of spiritual development. In more advanced stages even the notion of attaining anything or making effort are abandoned, because the personality has come into alignment with the soul, and enters into the soul’s meditation. Yet the elements of attaining control, cultivating spiritual qualities to transmute and transform personality substance, are essential to earlier stages of practice, motivation and attainment. To move onto more advanced stages of practice without gaining the necessary proficiency in the earlier practices, result in inertia and sinking into negative, passive astral states.
There is a steady increase of deepening concentration and other qualities that the experienced meditator is able generate while in meditation. Meditation is widely recognized as having the power to greatly accelerate spiritual transformation and awakening and to be an excellent backbone in any effective program of spiritual growth. The Sanskrit term dhyana, often translated as meditation, results in the ability to be en rapport with inner quality, be it person, being, idea, feeling, intuition, energy or other reality in a direct soulful manner. Meditation, when successful, results in the opening of the inner doors of perception. The increase of this type of inner attunement results in the attaining (some say the maintaining) of the state of contemplation. The deepening into contemplation results in samadhi states. Success means awakening.
Core spiritual awakening involves the direct perception of the true nature of the self, all beings and higher reality. The goal is an ever-deepening process of awakening to the underlying non-dual or transcendent reality of the universe. Normally, this type of realization unfolds gradually, but there will be moments along the way in which one experiences acute illuminations or deep opening to the kingdom of souls, God, the Buddha-nature (monadic) or planetary, systemic, cosmic perception (the Tao). The zen buddhist calls the experiences kensho or satori; they have been termed mystical experience and cosmic consciousness. These core awakenings establish a soul firmly into the “stream to Nirvana”. In other words, the steady increase into a persistent awareness that permeates the entire life. The Vedantin refers to this state as sahaja samadhi, effortless and persistent God-consciousness, during daily activity and is the result of Self-liberation. This Self-liberation further results into a kind of absorption into the trans-human reality of the Master.
This does not happen by happy accident. The arhat, that being who is absorbed into a kind of relative bodhicitta (as compared to the absolute bodhicitta of buddahood), which is the perfect balance of Love and Wisdom and all spiritual qualities, happens over time. It starts with the concept of service, first to the Master and then to the plan and purpose of this planet. The process deepens through the cultivating of spiritual quality, which more rapidly brings on a steady, rather than dis -jointed growth. This is why this part of the essay on Initiation and the Dzogchen tradition focuses on awareness practice. We build into our vary nature the state we aspire to.
Differing spiritual practices are generally catagorized according to the primary quality emphasized. Given practices may focus on the deepening significance of concentration, devotion, love, inquiry, surrender, the list goes on, and when properly engaged, evokes the next step to cultivate from within.
Those practices involving the cultivation of mindfulness are termed “awareness practice”. Buddhism traditionally refers to these practices which stem from the oral teachings of the Budda.
It is said that these oral teachings resulted in the awakening of many arhats and masters. Other practices, stemming from the awareness practice, are also widely used. Examples of of awareness practices include vipassana, zazen, shikan-taza, and the essential practices of Dzogchen. It is said that the essence of Dzogchen has been successfully introduced on other solar systems prior to being introduced in deep inspiration on earth. The Hierarchy practices Dzogchen, though without any of the outer practices. It is said that early in the twentieth century an American Initiate achieved a level of realization of Dzogchen awareness in the Himalayas resulting in his achieving mastership. The Tibetan has referred to a Master P in North America who does not generally take on students on the physical plane.
Metta is the Pali translation of the Sanskrit word maitri. Metta is a word commonly used in Buddhist teachings to refer to quality of loving-kindness towards self and others. The practice of which deepens into loving-kindness, becoming a true bodhicitta, to the life wave as a whole. The Lord Maitreya, the future Buddha, has at the root of His name maitri, which is why He is considered as the bodhisattva of loving-kindness. Metta, or maitri, is one of the four Brahma-Viharas, and is the quality most invoked by humanity as a whole, and is why the Christ, the Lord Maitreya, is preparing for a momentous Appearance in the very near future.
Hence the emphasis in Part III of this essay as cultivating those spiritual qualities, when deepened in practice, lead to those states of transcendence (the various stages of Samadhi leading to the state of Relative Bodhicitta) which will be the highlight of this part of the Essay.
“Contact must be made by the soul between the lower aspect of its triple nature and the aspect which has already found lodgment in the brain of man. Intelligent activity and love wisdom must be united, and the union must take place on the physical plane. In order to do this the soul is entering into ‘meditation deep’, in union with all other souls who may have brought their instrument into a responsive state. This is the basic group meditation, and when a man achieves what the oriental books call ‘samadhi’, he has succeeded in participating, as a soul, in this group meditation, and enters upon that cycle of service which expresses itself through the planetary Hierarchy. The rational mind and the abstract mind function as a unit, and the motivating principle is love. The soul, expressing love and abstract intelligence, is at one with its expression on the physical plane through the brain, and, when this is the case, the lower man has synchronised his meditation with t hat of the soul.
This is the objective of our work. Let this not be forgotten, and let every effort be made to bring mind and brain into such functioning condition that a man can slip out of his own meditation and (losing sight of his thoughts) become the soul, the thinker in the kingdom of souls.” A Treatise On White Magic page 89
“This is brought about by the magnetic control of the soul, seated ‘on the throne between the eyebrows’.
Here enters in the work of one of the means of yoga, abstraction or withdrawal. Where the three lights are blended, where the centres are aroused and the atoms are also vibrating, it becomes possible for the man to centre all three in the head at will. Then, by the act of the will and the knowledge of certain words of Power he can enter into samadhi and be withdrawn from his bodys carrying the light with him. In this was the greater light (the fused and blended) illuminates the three worlds of man’s endeavours and ‘the light is thrown upward’ and illuminates all the spheres of man’s conscious and uncomscious experience.
. . . 1. The Solar Angel begins the work of initiating the Personality.
2. He withdraws his forces from soul enterprises in the spiritual Kingdom, and centres his attention on the work to be dome.
3. He enters into deep meditation.
4. Magnetic rapport with the instrument in the three worlds is instituted.
5. The instrument, man, responds, and also enters into meditation.
6. The work proceeds in ordered stages and with cyclic activity.
7. The light of the soul is thrown downwards.
8. The light of the vital body and the physical form is synchronised with that of the head.
9. The centres swing into activity.
10. The light of the soul and the two other aspects of light are so intense that now all life in the three worlds is illumined.
11. Alignment is produced, the work of discipleship and of initiation becomes possible and proceeds according to the Law of Being”. A Treatise On White Magic pages 108/09
Before we examine the inner stages of Samadhi, it will be well to examine a few more concepts. It will be seen that these examinations in Part III will only serve to widen the door to Samadhi.
First, let us examine the Intuition. This is the experience of direct realization without the use of reason, intellect or the senses (whether physical or psychic). The Intuition, or Buddhi, is a mode of relationship, insight and identification that transcends the dualism of the mind and senses, and gives the capacity to commune with a being or state, and know from deep attunement. Yet in the West, Intuition has sometimes been used synonymously with psychic abilities such as clairvoyance or telepathy, but these senses are still based on dualistic sensory modes of the subtler bodies, usually the astral, but can be the vital or lower mental. Therefore, they do not represent true spiritual understanding that is the true Buddhi or Intuition, which is group oriented and involves the kingdom of souls, and not material and personally centered. The Intuition informs the intellect in symbols, words, and the sensory and psychic, it is essentially formless and not dependent on these for functioning. Intuition is the heart of spiritual development and is a gradual unfoldment that is the increase of love, wisdom, peace, clarity, equanimity and ultimately non-dual realization/illumination/revelation with eventual impact on the environment of the three worlds through impact. It has been known as prajna, buddhi, and the ananda-maja-kosha.
It might serve to note here that the Buddhic Lotus has 49 petals, one for each of the forty nine fires of the Cosmic Physical Plane. Unfoldment of each petal, is the unfoldment of the Intuition, which gradually brings us into closer identification with the essence of the Absolute at each subplane.
Sunyatta, a Sanskrit word meaning emptiness, is a term often used in Mahayana Buddhism to refer to the Absolute or non-dual essence of reality. The use of this term in place of nirvana was first introduced by Nagarjuna Who would use the term to describe the Absolute as being void or empty of a self-nature or other eternally permanent characteristics.
All phenomena, including spiritual phenomena, are ultimately relatively fleeting manifestations in a stream of endless transformations. The Absolute is empty because it lacks any eternal substance distinguishing one thing as separate from another. The realization of the emptiness of the Absolute of all impermanent phenomena, even the self, is the same as the realization of the Absolute is Buddha-nature of the Absolute Self.
The term Absolute does not imply that It is missing something, or lacking anything, only that its nature is so transcendent that it is impossible to attach any limiting characteristic or label. It is void of any conditional or limiting characteristic, yet is the very foundation or substance behind all phenomena. This emptiness is synonymous with nirvana, Brahman, the Absolute. It is not limited by the finite, because it is Infinity — the drop can become the ocean while still remaining the drop.
Therefore, Non-dual Realization (the essence which samadhi leads to) is a state of spiritual illumination in which there is no imcompatibility with relative existence in human incarnation. This is a state in which the elements and conditioning aspects of Relativity are perceived as a relative level, and simultaneously realized to be none other than the non-dual Absolute or Buddha-nature. In various traditions, this realization is referred to as sahaja samadhi, theosis, rigpa, jivanmukti, Self-realization and nirvana.
Rigpa is a term used in the Dzogchen to refer to state of non-dual presence, often as the child luminosity. The Dzogchen Master Namkai Norbu has translated rigpa as the “state of presence”. Norbu has described rigpa as having three primary characteristics: Essence, Clarity, and Energy. Essence refers to the nondual nature of rigpa, its original state or nature. Clarity refers to the luminous and pure awareness of rigpa. Energy refers to the characteristic of rigpa to manifest uninteruptedly (the same as Sahaj Samadhi). In the state of rigpa one recognizes the non-dual nature of both consciousness and energy, synthetically, in each moment. Rigpa is essential identification to the Atman.
One of the concepts to understand before preparing consciousness for sustained experience in samadhi is that of Dharma. Dharma is a Sanskrit term with numerous meanings used in various spiritual traditions such as Sikhism, Hinduism and Buddhism. The Hindus do not traditionally refer themselves as “Hindu”, and neither do Native Americans ever refer to themselves as “native American”.
The Hindu traditionally have referred to their tradition as the Sanatana-Dharma, which means “The Ageless Wisdom” or “The Eternal Wisdom. The inner teachings have often been called “Atma Vidya” or “Gupta Vidya”. Often when we refer to “The Dharma” we really are meaning The Ageless or Primordial Wisdom Tradition. All authentic spiritual traditions across the planet and from the very beginning are strands of The Gupta Vidya, and may be included in “The Dharma” when the dispensation is still energized from the core Lineage of the planet.
No matter how profound a particular tradition may be, it cannot ever exhaust the Dharma. When dharma is referred to in the lower case it means the individual duty and path within the greater Dharma. But, as the dharma of the many fit into the one universal Dharma, there is no room for any glamour. Glamour diminishes dharma. Generally speaking, everyone’s dharma is to pursue the path to Self-Realization with the commitment to help other beings discover their dharma.
Duhkha is the Sanskrit term meaning “discontentedness” or the state of “suffering’. (The Pali word, a language of much of the early Buddhism is duhkha). In both the Hindu and Buddhist traditions the word refers to the experience of the individual, separate, self which always leads to extreme discontent. This discontent marks the point where the individual finally heeds that inward call which will lead to “Entering the Stream”.
Duhkha is a concept describing the realization that suffering is the flip-side of personal striving for fulfilling the specter of personal desire. No matter how much temporary happiness is achieved is always tainted by emptiness and limitation, doomed to wither and pass away into nothingness. There comes a point where a profound insight dawns on the consciousness that ego existence is limited, painful, discouraging and ephemeral. The sobering truth of Duhkha is the separative mode of existence of samsara, does not work. It ultimately is seen that we always wanted something deeper. The pursuit of individual, separative, happiness is seen to be the ultimate narcotic. It has always promised but never delivered. We each come to the realization that, unless separative striving is transcended permanently, we will continue to blindly suffer.
Duhkha is then the essential insight that we have been addicted to ego and desire and that addiction has been at the core of suffering and limited existence. The Buddha has given us the antidote to this suffering, and that is the cultivation of that bodhicitta leading to nirvana, Self-liberation and in order to achieve this we must be fully disillusioned with samsara. This insight eventually gives us the key to the end of suffering and aimless searching.
The Deepening Leading to the Arhat Stage
Let us go from Duhkha to activating the Amrita Nadi. This has been eloquently described by Ramana Maharshi as a subtle channel that continues the sushumna nadi from root to crown and arcing downwards to the heart chakra. In some traditions the raising of Kundalini to the Crown Chakra is the achievement of mastery, but in the Dharma established by the Buddha and His Arhats, and further widened by the Christ and His Masters from the angle of Humanity, there is so much more. The full raising of the Kundalini to the Crown on the path of ascent (culminating in the Third Initiation and absorption into Nirvikalpa Samadhi) reaches back to the Heart in a further stage and leads to the fourth initiation, Sahaja Samadhi or rigpa, the integration of non-dual realization into ordinary life at the emotional level. The Buddha referred to this stage as “nirvana with elements” and the Arhat stage of enlightenment.
Many traditions refer to the third initiation (really the stage before the point as recognized by Hierarchy) and the raising of the Kundalini to the Crown as final liberation. The amrita nadi is that etheric channel involved in the passing beyond the third initiation into higher levels of deepening and awakening. It is the channel that leads us to bodhisattvahood, which is the path of the Heart Doctrine, drawing us to stages beyond that of personal liberation.
Samadhi is a Sanskrit term describing a state of spiritual union with transcendent consciousness. In the Hindu tradition, Samadhi has been classified into two or three main categories. For instance in the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali divided Samadhi into two basic states which he termed samprajnata samadhi and asamprajnata samadhi. In the first instance the Sanskrit describe a state “with intuitive wisdom” so we can describe it as a superconscious state with intuitive insight. It is a formless state of soul/intuitive understanding uniting Bliss and Peace into Unity.
In this state the personality limitation have fallen away leaving a profound clarity and contentment. This is a union of the personality with the soul, and at the asamprajnata state leads to deepening identification with the Monad. In Samprajnata, the Non-dual awareness/presence is suffused with a subtle sense of a most reduced duality and spiritual identity. This state is described in the Vedanta as Savikalpa Samadhi, and there are four stages. It is now time to describe these four stages in a more public format.
Each of the first four initiations describe the establishing of an “eye” at a particular level. That eye is established as a result of activating of the ajna center at a particular level. For the first initiation, the eye is developed at the etheric level, and is a result of being absorbed from the third absorptive state to the fourth absorptive state. The first phase of the development of this eye is that of destruction. Matter which has become undesirable to the incoming soul energy is expelled. The sufficient expulsion of undersitable matter/energy results in the disciple being able to be a channel for buddhic energy through the lowest etheric sub-plane.
The point of tension established when the disciple goes from the second to the third absorptive state (remember that the burning ground leading to the second initiation starts at the astral, and not the etheric as with the first initiatory burning ground) results in an “eye” being created at the upper astral level. As in the previous state, this “eye” is only able to destroy the cohesion and then expel undesirable matter from the vehicle. The disciple is able to work with atmic matter (which explains that those on the path of the second initiation must learn the lessons of failure and make contact with the first will petal in the Egoic Lotus) through the third etheric sub-plane.
That point of tension established by the disciple going from the second to the third absorptive state (remember that the deeper burning ground leading to the third initiation requires only two absorptive state) results in an “eye” at the mental which expels undersirable matter.
Now what makes a disciple a third degree initiate who is recognized by the Lodge before the initiation is formalized, is the fact that these three “eyes” must become synthesized into what is the true Third Eye, and results in the ability to be absorbed into radical, non-dual realization or nirbikalpa samadhi.
After the Third Initiation the initiate begins that tension which will eventually propel to the one absorptive state leading to the Fourth Initiation. The final Dark Night has created a fourth eye at the Buddhic Plane becoming synthesized with the previous three “eyes”. This is what the Tibetan meant when He stated that at the Fourth Initiation one’s vision becomes fourth dimensional.
Back to our discussion of the four stages of savikalpa Samadhi: These four stages refer to Pratyahara which means a right withdrawal. The first degree initiate, at those rare instances when he achieves samadhi, becomes absorbed to the first subplane of the physical, and that part of the triple nature of the personality becomes united, in sensation only. The second degree initiate in achieving a samahi state (this is rare but not so rare as with the first degree initiate) becomes absorbed into the second stage savikalpa at the eye developed at the first astral subplane and unites his feeling with soul consciousness. At the third initiation (and this is before the moment of full recognition by the Lodge) the initiate more easily can achieve up to the third stage of savikalpa. After the three eyes have become synthesized into the Third Eye, the initiate can reach nirbikalpa Samadhi, the fourth Savikalpa state is often used after the radical, non-dual Samadhi state when the intuition subtle reacts to the Samadhi and registers revelation. The nirbikalpa state can touch the atmic plane. Between the Third and Fourth Initiation, when an eye is established at the first buddhic subplane, the initiate can become caught up to the fourth savikalpa state.
It is when the arhat has synthesized the eye at the buddhic that the first stage of Sahaja Samadhi is established. Ramana Maharshi described Sahaja Samadhi as external nirbikalpa.
We will now explore samadhi from the standpoint of sound.
A further note on the “Dark Night” experience, which relates to sound and samadhi. The four dark nights refer to the death of certain identifications. These deaths must occur to enable us to “at-one” with our higher nature and God through love. Each dark night renders us more able to respond to the inner “song of God”, which is the call to return to the Source. These “deaths” are the death of identification with the physical body, the emotional self, the mind, and finally the intuitive self, which is the final and most thorough purge and transformation, resulting in rigpa or sahaj samadhi or Self-Realization. In other words, these “deaths” are actually specific attention shocks that allow us to awaken to our true nature.
Those planes or dimensions of being dominated by abstract elements (“mind elements” espoused by the Buddha) are formless, and have the elements of akasha (space), consciousness, beingness. These formless states are beyond time and space, as we experience them, and are comprised of states of realization, quality and revelation. The soul or higher self is considered to be “formless” while the personality is comprised of mind and emotions, very much restricted to time and space, form and body. The psychological realms are also part of the concept of form and body. The formless realm is that of universal laws, principles, archetypes, Ideas, essences, soul, spirit and are also contained within Relativity. (Ponder on Einstein’s “Special Theory Of Relativity”) The universes of conditioned and dualistic experience (even though that dualism of the formless realms is subtle and secondary to Unity) are still the upper reaches of Relativity. Beyond the form and formless, comprising the ultimate essence is the nondu al Absolute. These formless states and realms, though still a part of Absolute, are more spiritually expansive, and less veiled, more reflective of the nondual Absolute.
The Sound Current, or the Nada, is the essence of the Absolute and is the “thread” which, when caught when we came sufficiently purified and transformed, guides us to It. Nada is Sanskrit meaning “sound” or “holy sound”, and when used in a spiritual context, refers to those subtle, non-physical sounds that are typically heard in the mind, especially in the region of the head, but can also be heard in any chakra, throughtout the body, and beyond the body. In advanced stages, it is possible to hear the inner sound of an object, being, kingdom, plane, which casts the listener as Bodhisattva, or Buddha, and makes it possible to magnify the current and sound of the Absolute enabling those behind to be drawn forward.
These sounds are audible manifestation of various levels of consciousness within us. These can be correlated to various qualities, chakras, realms, Beings, planes, etc. These sounds can take various forms, depending on stage of development. At the beginning, these sounds are like that of the conch, buzzing bees, rushing waters, tinkling bells, the harp, the flute, or roar of thunder. When meditated on, these sounds gradually become louder and more refined, thereby leading the consciousness through various stages of unfoldment. Eventually, the inner sound of nadad merges into the “music of the spheres” (Shabda Brahman — the Sound of God) expressing the realization and Presence of the universal Logos (the Word), the Transcendent Personality, Adi-Buddha, or Christ-Logos. Beyond this lies the Void or “Nirguna Brahman”. Thus, we might think of the nada, when fully realized, as “the sound of nondual realization”, or the “sound of the Christ Logos”. The nada is also referred to sometimes as “the Word”, the “sound current”, the “flaming sound”, “the sounding flame”, the “Celestial Sound”, Bani, Kalma, or Logos.
Being able to hear “the Voice of the Silence” is the beginning of being carried forward to Nirbikalpa Samadhi, the sound being described also as “Saguna Brahman”. What makes one an Arhat, is being able to listen to that sound coming from another or the environment. What makes one Master is being able to hear the sound coming from an entire Kingdom, and to learn what service means on that level. So hearing the sounds in us, even hearing the Soundless Sound which carries us to flat-out, direct, raw, Samadhi is only the beginning. Being able to hear and RESPOND to that sound is the true function of Bodhicitta.
Nada Yoga is related to mantra yoga in that both are forms of practice based on sound. With mantra yoga, the aspirant generates the sound (at least in the early stages) usually internally (mental repetition), whereas with Nada Yoga the sounds meditated on are spontaneously arising from within. Both lead to hearing what has been called the “music of the spheres” or the “Voice of the Silence” and are considered in various traditions leading to identification with the Universal Self, the word of that transcendent sound is the “name”. The catch is that these things will not happen, or if it does, will not be sustained unless one builds in the necessary qualities through what the Buddha termed “awareness practices” accompanied by the increased ability to serve the Whole.
We will now continue with deepening Samadhi.
The state of presence in the nondual reality is revealed from moment to moment as the true nature of everything perceived is called Sahaja, meaning “spontaneous” and “effortless” and refers to this state as being natural and effortlessly sustained while involved in ordinary life. This is in contrast to previous forms of Samadhi which require meditative absorption to maintain, and lead to loss of awareness of the physical and psychological dimensions of experience, also sustained in situations such as meditative retreat.
The Sahaj is liberated spiritual awareness integrated with, and sustained in the midst of ordinary, everyday life. It is “Sahaja” (spontaneous) because it is not sustained by an act of will or intention, and has become the natural state of awareness. Spontaneous, effortless it may be, but is virtually always realized through spiritual practice and is an outgrowth of those qualities cultivated in practice which have become a way of life. The heart and awareness have given birth to an expanded consciousness and expanded living. The only exception is where the foundation of practice has existed from a previous life (or lives). Sahaja samadhi has also been referred to as jivanmukti (embodied liberation), the Sant, the fourth initiation, “nearness to Allah” (the fourth ‘station of the soul” of Sufism), rigpa (integrated with elements) of the Dzogchen, and the Arhat realization (nirvana with elements) in Buddhism.
Ramana Maharshi is believed by many to be the greatest Advaita sage of the 20th century. Born in 1879, he experienced a strange premonition of impending death at age 16. He was profoundly moved to investigate from within, rather than get medical attention or ignore the feeling entirely, hoping it would all go away. After nearly a half hour of deep intuitive contemplation of the question “who am I”, “who is it that dies?” he entered a profound state of Self-Realization, Sahaja Samadhi, which persisted for the rest of his life. He died at age 81. In addition to offering a powerful transmission of non-dual realization through his presence and silent meditation, he also emphasized (to those who were ready) the method of atma-vichara or “Self-inquiry”, an awareness practice of contemplating the question of “Who am I” in the heart.
A word on Advaita Vedanta: This is a Hindu philosophy meaning “non-dual end of the Vedas”. Used to refer to a philosophical tradition espoused by Shankara. Advaita Vedanta teaches the radical non-dual view that there is ultimately no distinction between the Absolute and Relativity (the relative universe(s), and that even the “Creator” is dualistic. The path to God-consciousness in Advaita Vedanta is jnana yoga (as espoused by HPB) or the path of wisdom; the goal is Sahaja Samadhi or Jivanmukti — liberated enlightenment while still living in the phenomenal world. Another figure in early 20th century history publicly known to achieve this state is Krishnamurti.
A still higher state of samadhi is sarupa (while in form) or soruba samadhi in the tantric Siddha tradition of Souther India (a sister lineage to the Trans-Himalayan). Whereas Sahaja is achieved by integrating non-dual awareness down to the emotional level of the individual (nirbikalpa can be viewed as achieving integrated nondual awareness to the mental plane), Sarupa Samadhi is achieved by so deeply integrating nondual awareness with the physical body that it then becomes “transubstantiated” or “divinized”, becoming immortal of so desired. All within the Master is synthesized from the lowest levels with Atmic perception.
To illustrate how far the practice of meditation and awareness cultivation merged with the life of Bodhicitta resulting in going ever inward into deeper/higher initiatory states can go, we will explore the form of realization called in Dzogchen as “The Great Transfer”, or the “Body of Light”. This represents a level of samadhi life that culminates the manifestation of nondual realization of monadic awareness within the physical form, resulting in the complete transformation of form in spiritual light. This results is a complete disappearance from the physical plane. We might call this state “Shaberon” Samadhi (a phonetic spelling of a term referring to the sixth initiation consciousness). This state was attained by the 19th century Adept Ramalingar, whose body disappeared in a flash of violet light in 1874. Only the hair and nails were left behind.
Let us arrange the various levels of samadhi described in this part of our essay into these following stages:
1. Savikalpa samadhi — initial nondual realization, in four stages, conditioned by subtle separation.
2. Nirvikalpa Samadhi — radical, flat-out, nondual transcendence, achieved only in meditation.
3. Sahaja Samadhi — nondual realization sustained in deep sleep, dream, and waking states.
4. Sarupa Samadhi — further integration/realization leading to transubstantiation, immortality.
5. “Shaberon” Samadhi — final dissolution into nondual presence.
The list goes on, but no longer refers to consciousness, but integration into Life.
The realization at the third stage does not require going through the second, and the realization of the “final” stage does not require passing through the fourth, if achieved in previous lives. Also it is interesting to note that there are Those Who choose to remain in Sahaja, or Sarupa Samadhi in order to best serve humanity, even though they could choose to pass on further.
Some of the present day Buddhist literature stress that the Buddha only preferred the states reached through the practice of Vipassana (eyes wide open). Highlighting certain truths, this view is a limited understanding of the potential of some approaches to samadhi practices. The Buddha’s original teachings, according to the Northern Buddhist of the Heart Doctrine tradition stressed both internal samadhi practice with awareness practices.
Although some people experience peaks of momentary samadhi, or superconscious states, regular experience of Samadhi does not occur until one achieves just prior to the Third Initiation. Such experiences do indicate the future.
Completed on the Full Moon of Wesak, 2002 and dedicated to the Master at the Center of the Ashram (and to what that means to each reader) and the One Life.
If a “Part IV” is considered desirable, we shall delve into the differing practices leading to the cultivation of spiritual qualities which deepen into those states which are the natural result of sustained invoking of Bodhicitta, as way of a consciously sustained working with Hierarchy.