Self-discipline is such a scary word, you just have to mutter it and depression follows – but it doesn’t have to be like that. We never say to ourselves, “I will discipline myself to eat, or bath, or go to the toilet” we just do these things because they have to be done and are enjoyable. I believe that sitting quietly in meditation/contemplation/imagination needs to be done daily as with eating, sleeping or bathing. We say to our families/partners “I’m going to have a bath” and we do – and they let us with no question. Why can’t we say “I’m going to sit quietly for ten/fifteen minutes” and do it?
There is always a way. I used to shut myself in the bedroom when everyone (five children) was watching the telly. I also on many occasions went to “have a bath”. There is no reason why “I’m in the toilet!” will not keep the family away for some time so we can be alone. For it seems to me that the beginning and end of it is – we have to make time daily to be alone with our own observer-self.
Sitting quietly in a physically still body, waiting, is never in vain. It pays off with better health, serenity and inner balance and keeps the observer in the bubble.
There are many ways to meditate. Each way has a specific outcome.
Two outcomes that are useful are –
To lose yourself
To find angels and guides
The two easiest and most technically simple are these –
To lose yourself
Find a quiet place – the same one every day would be best. All you need is your own self, no paraphernalia like candles, pictures, incense, though if these appeal to you – they have the ability to consecrate the moment and bring about a reverent mood. This puts your observer-self into the right frame of mind for polite and tranquil interaction. You could set a timer for the amount of time you have at your disposal (twenty minutes is good) Sit comfortably rather than lie which encourages sleep. Imagine you are enfolded in the arms of a loving being who is about to touch you in the middle of the forehead, between your eyebrows. Wait for the touch. Every time you start worrying about things, thinking of work, the children, your partner, your debts, re-imagine yourself in the arms of your loving being and wait for the touch on your forehead. Sometimes you will not be successful in losing yourself, but other times, your observer-self will drift away and you will come back into yourself with some surprise. You will feel alert, aware, clear-headed and rested.
To find your guides and angels or natural energies
The second method is to build up your perfect place to be, with the skill of imagination. A friend has an exquisite imaginary white room that she has made, with big French doors that open out into a garden. She has added the fragrance of flowers and small details like muslin curtains, furniture, carpeting, and indoor fountains. She goes there in her mind and sits quietly, drinking in the tranquillity whenever she wants to. I have an imaginary garden – a conventional garden – with a still pond and a stone seat on which I find myself sitting. In the distance are lawns and huge trees with benches. I often walk around my imagination garden and the strangest thing is that I have experiences there that I could never have imagined they are so surprisingly delightful.
Once I was leading a meditation so I took everyone to my garden. Afterwards, someone said to me. “I would have preferred a wild, untended garden – your garden had nature too much under control!” So the point is, the place you make with your imagination is uniquely yours. You can be anywhere you like according to your own taste.
Daily reconstruct your perfect place. If worries distract you, get your mind back into your place and carry on. Soon you will find that you simply have to sit quietly and your perfect place will come to mind fully formed and the effort of imagining it all will fall away. Of course, in your perfect place there are no worries – but often answers to them come to mind without the effort of thinking them out yourself.
In your perfect place you can practise the skill of listening to the sound of the fountain you constructed, the feel of the water on your fingers, the smell of freshness and the taste of the water. Use all your senses. Your perfect place is where you can begin to work as an inter-dimensional creature.