Meditation on the Moon Rays
The moon has a very calming effect upon the mind. As you sit to meditate, think of the rays of the moon bathing the countryside, bathing your mind, bathing your heart, filling you with peace. These moon rays of peace enter in through the pores of your skin and fill your body, even to the marrow of your bones, until your whole body becomes peace.
Now feel this peace expanding outward from your body, so that your peace is bathing the whole countryside with luminous peace, and expanding beyond the countryside to the farthest boundaries of eternity, until you feel that all space is illuminated and bathed in the peace of your own being.
Meditation on a Lake in the Moonlight
Imagine you are sitting beside a lake in the moonlight. Think of this lake as rippling with your restless thoughts. Try gradually to calm those ripples. Just as the wind agitates the surface of the lake and makes it full of ripples that distort the reflection of the moon, imagine that your breathing is like a breeze that calms the waters and makes all the waves so still that the lake becomes a mirror. In this mirror, you now can see the moon reflected perfectly in the lake, without any distortion. As you gaze at the reflection of the moon, feel you are retracing the rays that have come down from the moon—that you are being absorbed into the moonlight, into the night, into eternity.
Meditation on the Calm Sea
Think of a calm sea with no boundaries. This very calm sea expands to the horizon on all sides. There’s nothing anywhere to hem it in; it expands outward to eternity.
Meditation on a River
Meditate on a calmly flowing river, moving majestically down toward the sea. Feel that like this calm river, all your life is a river of calmness, flowing with purpose—not rushing off in a thousand directions—but a calm, sedate flow—always moving toward an ultimate purpose, a purpose that is vast, like the sea. Feel this movement has meaning, a grand meaning and purpose.
Visualize a balloon, a little helium-filled balloon, such as children play with. Imagine you are holding the balloon in your hands. Now release this balloon and watch it rise up, up, up into the sky, becoming smaller and smaller and smaller until finally it is a tiny little pinpoint in the sky. And then it disappears. By focusing on the balloon, and becoming more and more concentrated, your mind finally became so focused that it expanded and became infinite. You broke through the veil of limitation by concentration on a little point in space, which suddenly ceased to be. In this way, you became all space itself, the sky itself.
Calmness versus Peace
Calmness differs from peace. Peace is an aspect of God, too, but it is that which you experience once the agitation of the mind is stilled. An experience of inner peace is very pleasant—you feel as if you are standing under a waterfall, bathing yourself with peace. It’s wonderful, refreshing, releasing.
But there’s another side to it also, which is very dynamic. When you get into a deeper level of calmness, what you begin to feel is something very powerful. It is an expansion of consciousness that begins to take you away from the ego. It is almost overwhelming, much more than a simple state of peace might be. This profound calmness is the soil in which cosmic consciousness begins really to blossom forth in your consciousness.
Expansion into Space
As your body is the little body, so God’s body is space, and if you want to feel Him you must feel space in the body and all space beyond it. Close your eyes and feel space all around your body, stretching out in all directions to infinity. Feel that space becoming a vast sea of light in which you are floating. Feel that light coming into every part of your body, from the soles of your feet to the brain. Your body is now made of light, merged with the vast sea of light and space within and all around you. Imagine yourself leaving this earth, flying upward into the vast blue sky, upward further still into outer space, toward the dim stars and distant skies lying beyond the eternal stillness of the ether. Joyfully leave everything behind you—all attachments, all that keeps you bound to this world.
Dwell in inner silence and mentally repeat: “My silence spreads like an expanding
sphere, directionless, everywhere. My silence, like the ether, passes through everything, carrying the songs of earth, atoms, and stars into the halls of His infinite mansion.”
(From Metaphysical Meditations, by Paramhansa Yogananda, 1932)
Expansion from Inner Center
Imagine yourself seated at the heart of eternity. On the outskirts of your vision, swirling away into the distance, are the mists of endless cycles of time. Those mists can never touch you. You, on the other hand, can control them, once you are fully, consciously centered in yourself!
From your center of inner calmness, radiate your energy outward in all directions.
Behold: you alone are in control of all that happens to you. Visualize yourself as a king or queen, seated on the throne of consciousness. Everything that happens to you is an emanation of your true Self.
“I am in control of my life. Time cannot control me, for I am timeless forever, right
here, and right now.”
Meditation on an Expanding Light
Light is one of the aspects that Jesus often spoke of in the Bible. Many people who have had experiences of God have described those experiences in terms of a brilliant, wonderful light. And so let us think about light as an aspect of meditation, and one of the ways that God would love to come to us if our eyes were not so hooded with self-inflicted darkness, preoccupation with too many little things, and forgetfulness of the greatness of God.
Meditate now on an expanding light. Think of your body as surrounded with light. Let this light gradually expand and fill the room in which you’re sitting. The light now expands beyond the room to fill the house, the countryside, or your city, your whole continent, gradually all continents, all seas, and the whole world. Finally this light spreads outward to fill the whole solar system, our galaxy, the entire universe. Feel that this light is really who you are, especially when you are feeling God’s presence—you are in God and God is in you. Call to God as light, because that is what God is, always calling you to share in that light.
Meditation on the Sunrays
Imagine how the sunrays sometimes shine down through the clouds. Think of a cloud of your own ignorance, or perhaps a cloud that hangs over this world of human darkness, egotism, and ambition. Think of the sunrays piercing downward through this cloud, into the dark veil of this world. And then think of yourself as rising with those rays, rising up from this darkness, rising up through the clouds, bursting through them into the blazing light of the sun that is behind those clouds. Feel that there, you are communing with God’s light, and that that light is speaking to you, that you are absorbing yourself into that light.
A Hall of Rainbow Light
Imagine yourself entering a large hall. Think of the walls and the arched ceiling of this vast hall as being made of rainbow lights. Now walk along this hall toward what you see at the very end of it: perhaps you imagine an altar. Or perhaps a wall of rainbows. Or it might be something too subtle and too immaterial to be called even an altar, but a blazing, almost blinding, but not painful, brilliant white light, filling the wall at the end of the hall. Feel yourself being drawn toward that light, until finally you walk into the light. Walk past the rainbow walls into the all-unifying power of Divine Light.
Extending Light from Your Heart to Infinity
Meditate on rays of light, extending outward from your heart and expanding to infinity. As these rays of light expand, they bless all creatures, all souls everywhere, touching them with light, so that they no longer walk in darkness, but walk in the divine protection of God’s light.
A Snowfall of Light
Think of a snowfall of light. During a normal snowfall, you see snowflakes falling, white and beautiful. But think of these snowflakes as little points of light. Now those lights grow thicker, becoming a blizzard, so that light is swirling around you, landing everywhere, and making the whole world full of light. Jesus said, ‘If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be filled with light.” And it says in the Old Testament that, ‘He came by way of the east, and the earth shone with His glory.’ See the light settling on everything, covering the world around you with radiantly beautiful light. Think of that light as being your own self. The light surrounds you until finally the blizzard of light becomes so intense that only light is bathing you, purifying you, lifting you out of all pettiness and ego into freedom.
A Rainfall of Rainbow Light
Think of light falling around you like a refreshing rain of rainbow colors. Instead of thinking of an ordinary rainbow in the sky, imagine how each individual raindrop creates a rainbow. Feel the sun as all surrounding, so that it creates rainbows out of every drop. The rainbows shine in all directions, so that you are rained on by rainbows on all sides and from every direction. In this beautiful rainfall of rainbow light you lose all sense of being anything less than light yourself.
Meditation on the Sound of Water
In many places in the Bible the ‘sound’ of God is described as the sound of rushing waters or as a mighty wind. Sound is one of the most instantly and profoundly affecting of all experiences that we have through the senses. Sound has a more instant effect on the nervous system than the most beautiful colors. So feel God’s presence as sound. Meditate on sounds that are calming, like the ocean surf, the sound of many waters, the ocean surf soothingly coming up on the shore and washing away its impurities. Think of the shore as your own mind, with the surf bathing your mind, gradually taking away all dross, freeing you to merge into the great ocean of Spirit.
Meditation on the Ringing of a Bell
You can meditate on the sound of a deep bell, reverberating across the countryside and onward to infinity. Remember how a big church bell sounds when it rings. It isn’t only that one sound, but the reverberations that come afterwards, which seem to expand ever outward and outward into infinity. Think of God that way, and think of yourself as expanding with the bell sound into a great ringing, spreading vibration—the voice of God in eternity.
Meditation on Wind in the Pine Trees
Imagine the sound of wind in the pine trees, cleansing your mind of restlessness, and your heart of worldly desires. The sound of the wind through the pine trees is one of the experiences that can come in meditation, and when you really hear it, it’s so much more beautiful than anything you can hear with your physical ears. Listening to it, you feel you could listen for all eternity and never get tired of it. It has a wonderful cleansing feeling that takes away selfishness, all pettiness. You feel yourself lifted up into another world. Meditate on this wind sound, because God can come through that ray of consciousness and actually give you that inner experience more easily.
Meditation on Fire
Mentally build a fire. You can think of this fire as a powerful instrument for burning up all inner dross and all attachments. Into this cleansing bonfire cast all your attachments, desires, bad habits, all thought of I, me, and mine, all harmful actions of the past, all memory of those actions, offering them into the fire to become purified and taken from you, so that you can lift yourself up in freedom to God’s love.
Meditate on the power of the sunrays. Fill the world and your whole being with sunrays of strength, vitality, wellbeing, and enthusiasm. These sunrays are not from the physical sun—the sun that warms you or sometimes makes you uncomfortably hot—but rather the powerful sun of God’s great energy. Think of the energy that was required to create this vast universe. That’s the power behind all that you are and all that you can become. Try to attune yourself to that power. Don’t be afraid, because this immense power is also the power of freedom, the power of victory. Just as we can harness the powers of nature to serve us, we can use divine power for great good. If you flow with that divine power, you find that there is release and joy.
A Mighty Generator
Think of power as being a silent, mighty generator at the heart of infinite space, sending vibrations of life and victory to all planets, to all creatures. This great power from the Infinite sustains everything. The more we recognize it, and feel its humming vibrations within and all around us, the more this power can be used for good.
An Angel of Light
Imagine an angel, made of light, holding a flame-tipped spear to your heart. Imagine him holding it there until your heart bursts into flames of love—a love that’s not painful, a love that’s exhilarating, but that burns away everything in you that isn’t made of that divine love.
Compassionate Eyes of Love
Imagine God as your loving father or mother, or as Christ gazing deeply into your eyes. Feel those eyes gazing deeply into you, drawing through your eyes from your heart, all pain, all disappointments, and all bitterness, saying to you, ‘These are my burdens now, they are no longer yours.’ God, in his compassion, would take your burdens from you. This is what Christ meant when he said, ‘Come unto me, all you who suffer and who are heavy laden….’ God, through the power of Infinite Love, would take all burdens from us. Let him do so through his love, drawing these pains out of your heart, through your eyes, and into his all-compassionate eyes.
Breezes of Divine Love
In meditation, visualize yourself sending breezes of love and hope from your heart outward, into all in this world who grieve. Tell them to release their grief into the soothing breeze of God’s love for them. Imagine this breeze going out through you with God’s power, flowing out into the world, soothing all creatures with breezes of Divine Love. Send this love to encourage people, to release their pains, their attachments, and all their burdens into that breeze. Let it soothe them and take these pains away from them.
Meditation on Joy
Joy is the fulfillment of love. Joy is the fulfillment of human striving. And God is joy! A great saint, the Cure d’Ars in France, said: “If you knew how much God loves you, you would die for joy!” What a wonderful thought. Imagine yourself now in heaven surrounded by saints and angels, who are smiling upon you in greeting, because you are one of them. Know that they approve of you. Yes, they know that you are weak. Yes, they know you’ve done wrong things, that you’ve sinned. Yes, they know all that. God knows that. Your children make mistakes; do you hate them for it? The great saints and angels are compassionate, because God is compassionate, and they want to help you, because they seek to serve God. And so their smiles are for what is good in you, what is Godly in you, and that is the real you. The other doesn’t count. The other you can overcome, because you are God’s child. Think of yourself that way, and think of them as blessing you on all sides. Enjoy their company with rejoicing, with freedom. Imagine yourself dancing and singing with them in God’s joy.
The Remembrance of a Special Joy
Recall a moment in your life of special joy, perhaps a moment close to nature, or perhaps a moment of closeness to another human being. Remove from that moment all sense of excitement or restlessness, so that it’s just a calm moment itself. Then remove from it also all sense of cause. Don’t associate it with what was happening at the time; don’t let your memory of joy exist except as a pure reality in itself. Don’t let the joy be associated with that scene or with that person with whom you felt happy. Just think of the joy itself in its pure essence. Hold on to that feeling now.
Bliss Rays in the Sky
Focus on divine joy as a point of bliss at the point between your eyebrows. Know that any ray of bliss that you send out from this point in your forehead can dispel every cloud of sorrow. Imagine now your own mental sky. Are there any clouds in it? Do you see any dark, glowering clouds of sorrow, sin, or grief? Disperse them with your bliss rays. Remember, God doesn’t want you to hang on to those things. He wants you to get rid of them forever.
Send bliss into the heart of each cloud, and with those rays of bliss, change the cloud into light, and then gradually disperse that light altogether so that there is nothing but clear sky. Are there any woolly clouds of confusion in your mental sky? Dispel them with the salvo of bliss arrows. Send a whole salvo of these arrows into that woolly cloud, and suddenly it ceases to exist.
Send bliss rays into your clouds of mental confusion until they become clear and a part of the great sky. Do any lingering vapors of sorrow remain? With rays of your joy, convert them into airy fountains of bliss, so that they can no longer pull you down, but lift you up into the sky, until all that’s left is space, sky, eternity. Now, expand your bliss freely so that it fills the blue sky. Finally, from the heavens, reflect this bliss downward to all mankind, to all creatures everywhere. Offer their bliss with your own at the feet of eternity.
Dissolving All into Infinity
God’s presence as wisdom can be attained, with the right attitude, by envisioning all things as transparent, dreamlike, insubstantial. The earth, the trees, the things you own, your loved ones, even your own body: dissolve them all into the infinite. Nothing remains now, only you, bodiless, without thoughts, without personality, you and your own true essence. No cause, no moods, nothing—just your own causeless, infinite, eternal essence, which is that part of you that is a child of God.
God is all of these attributes: peace, calmness, joy, love, wisdom, sound, light, and joy. True meditation is actual inner communion with one of these attributes, so that God comes to you as a great peace, or with a sense of infinite wisdom or unconditional, divine love. Still, in fact, every one of these experiences is only a hint of the glories that come to people who pray deeply enough to be able to listen to and finally hear God’s response in their souls.
There is no joy comparable to the actual presence of God. Nothing in this world can give you that. Meditation is like a laboratory in which you test your beliefs, and through direct experience of God, find which ones are true and which ones were born of ignorance, of dogmatism, or of false preconceptions. But God, directly acting in your soul, can free you from delusion and give you truth. As Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
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