From The Hidden Side of Things-"By Our Habits - Meditation"

by CW Leadbeater

Just as a man who wishes to be strong finds it advisable to use definite,  prescribed exercises to develop his physical body, so the student of occultism
uses definite and prescribed exercises to develop his astral and mental vehicles. This is best done by meditation. Of this there are many kinds, and each teacher enjoins that which he thinks most suitable. All the religions recommend it, and its desirability has been recognised by every school of philosophy. This is not the place to suggest any particular system; those who belong to the Theosophical Society know that within it there is a school for such practices, and those who wish for further information are referred to it.

The Roam by Allison L. Williams Hill

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All systems alike set before themselves certain objects, which are not difficult to comprehend. They all direct that a man should spend a certain time each day in thinking steadily and exclusively of holy things, and their objects in doing so are: first, to ensure that at least once each day a man shall think of such things, that his thoughts shall at least once in twenty-four hours be taken away from the petty round of daily life, from its frivolities and its troubles; secondly, to accustom the man to think of such matters, so that after a time they may be present always at the back of his mind, as a kind of background to his daily life-- something to which his mind returns with pleasure when it is released from the immediate demands of his business; thirdly, as I began by saying, as a kind of astral and mental gymnastics, to preserve these higher bodies in health, and to keep the stream of divine life flowing through them (and for these purposes it should be remembered that the regularity of the exercises is of the first importance); fourthly, because this is the way, even though it be only the first halting step upon the way, which leads to higher development and wider knowledge, the gate of the road which through many a struggle and many an effort leads to the attainment of clairvoyance, and eventually into the higher life beyond this world altogether.

Although the man in his daily meditation may see but little progress, and it may seem to him that his efforts are altogether unsatisfactory and without result, a clairvoyant watching him will see exactly how the astral and mental bodies are slowly coming out of chaos into order, slowly expanding and gradually learning to respond to higher and higher vibrations. He can see, though the experimenter cannot, how each effort is gradually thinning the veil that divides him from that other world of direct knowledge. He can see how the man' s thought-forms grow day by day more definite, so that the life poured into them from above becomes fuller and fuller, and reacts more and more strongly upon their originator, even though that originator may be entirely unconscious of it; and so, speaking from his knowledge of the hidden side of things, the clairvoyant advises all aspirants to meditate, to meditate regularly, and to continue their meditation with the certain conviction that (quite irrespective of their own feelings) they are producing results, and steadily drawing nearer and nearer to their goal.

Thought detail by Allison L. Williams Hill

Old Dr. Watts is alleged to have perpetrated a hymn which said that "Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do". He probably referred ex-clusively to the physical world; but the wise man knows that that is true at any rate with regard to the mind. The time when an evil thought springs up in the mind is the time when it is lying fallow and unoccupied. Therefore the surest way to avoid temptation is to keep steadily at work, and since even the most indefatigable of mortals cannot work always, it is well that for those dange- rous  moments of leisure he should have a safeguard in the shape of a definite subject upon which his mind always instinctively falls back when not otherwise occupied. Most men have some such background, but often its nature is trivial or even undesirable. There are men who have impure thoughts at the back of their minds all the time, and others have jealousy or hatred. Many mothers are thinking all the time of their children, and the man in love usually has a portrait of his charmer always on view, often indeed occupying the foreground as well as the background of his mind.

When a man has attained to the dignity of having the right sort of back-ground to his life, he is in a position of far greater security. For some natures religion provides such a background; but these natures are rare. For most men only the study of the great truths of nature can provide it-- only that knowledge of the scheme of things which in these modern days we call Theosophy. When that great plan is once grasped, the mind and the higher emotions are both engaged on it, and the man' s whole nature is so filled with it that no other thought, no other attitude is possible to him but that of the intense desire to throw himself and all that he has into that mighty plan, and to become, as far as in him lies, a fellow-worker together with the Deity who conceived it.

 S Soul portrait by Allison L. Williams Hill

So this becomes the background of his mind-- the dominating thought from which he has to turn away in order to attend to the details of outer life-- to which he gladly and instantly returns when his duty to those details is done. When he can attain to this condition he is in a position of far greater safety from evil thought, and he need have no fear that this constant preoccupation with higher things will in any way mar his efficiency down here. He will do his daily work better, not worse, because he is constantly going behind it to something far greater and more permanent; for it is precisely the men with this higher stimulus for a background who have been the most efficient workers of the world.

Nature 2 detail by Allison L. Williams Hill

As Keble puts it
There are, in this loud stunning tide
Of human care and crime,
With whom the melodies abide
Of the everlasting chime.
And then he speaks of them as
Plying their daily task with busier feet
Because their secret souls a holy strain repeat.

Sound by Allison L. Williams Hill



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