Definitions - Meditation
(from Life is the Teacher-Side 6)
[brackets for clarification]
(Question from audience): Given to the mechanics of moving out of the lower levels of consciousness, would you advise one step at a time.)
Well, I've found that's about the only thing I can do, is take one step. I, generally, would begin this first step by considering the actual circumstances. I'll stop all my fussin' and fightin' [inner conflict of trying to go in two different directions at the same time] for a little bit and consider. I consider what I already have-I consider first in light of what do I value?
I value feelin' wonderful more than anything I could think of, ok? Do you? So I have a certain amount of that. I have a pretty-good physical being-looks all right-feels all right. I haven't had it checked by a physician lately to see-they no doubt could find gobs wrong with it; but I don't let them near it, so I don't know about it. So the physical body feels pretty good. I can see pretty good. I can hear pretty good. I can taste things. I can touch, and I can tell what I'm touching and all these things. So I begin to see that's where my value is; and I begin to be very thankful for that.
Now this, to me, is what I would refer to as meditation. I read something the other day that the present form of meditation is to sit down and let the head wander here and there and be blank-that in the old old days was called wool-gathering, but today it's called meditation--it's very respectable.
Now to me, meditation is considering what is of value to me and what of it do I already have. What do I really put a value on. When I begin to do that, I have to be contented, ok? I have to be at least to contentment.
Then I can get to these other upper states of vital interest and enthusiasm very easily. All I do is start being a little enthusiastic. A person in the lower states starts doing it, but they won't get anywhere because they just go around in circles in there because they're doing it to try and be non-disturbed. Once you see you already have everything that really counts in this world, then you're ready to go to another place.
(As you say, you take one big step.)
Well, I would say that is one fair-sized step, or I could take it in six little ones, it doesn't matter how I get to the door. If I am such a good broad jumper, I can jump from here to the door-or I can walk there-just so I get through the door. I can't broad jump that far.
(Would yawning a dozen times put me in a higher state.)
No, it would be a treatment on it-it would make you feel better for a little bit, but it wouldn't get you up there.
First, this is mental-a mental seeing of values. It can create a little rearranging of values. You know most of us don't have our values very well consciously arranged. What we are doing is becoming aware and making a conscious arrangement of values. When you see what your conscious arrangement of values are, you're bound to be in contentment. That's a fair-sized step. That's what I'd call meditation or considering something very diligently, and I'm paying attention to it. I'm not just letting the head roll around and feel good; that passes, as the man said, for wool-gathering. It's an old word anyway.
(When you're talking about the conscious arrangement of values, isn't that counting your blessings?)
Well, that sounds awfully holy and righteous and Sunday School-ish, but you can call it that if you want to. I wouldn't because counting blessings usually comes out that "I should be thankful". If you sat down and rearranged what you really value, then I will let you use whatever terms you want; but I said that sounds very Sunday School-ish and we don't keep Sunday School here very much. It would be valuable if that fits you-if you count them as really being your values, not as something you "should do" because it's the proper thing to do. That's kind of "Pollyannaish" sittin' countin' my blessings while I feel sorry for myself that I don't have this one thing that really counts. As long as there's one not "I" that says, "It's a mess",--forget counting your blessings.
That's what I said, a conscious seeing of your values and seeing what you really value. That's as good a set of words as any. That sound all right to you?
[..from Marsha Sometimes we say that we value something, but we do an entirely different thing when it comes to actions. So sometimes it's interesting to watch our actions and see what we're truly valuing. Then we know what's going on and what we are actually valuing and have an opportunity to change it.]
You see when we start translating it into other words, what happens is we say, "I already do that." And then you won't do a damn thing. You won't do a thing about it because you've already translated it into saying, "Well, I've done that all my life." We've all counted our blessings all of our life; but in reality we still felt sorry for ourselves. Is that right? Look at all the blessings we have, but oh how pathetic it really is in spite of all these blessings, "I don't have the thing that really matters."
[from Marsha….. One of the reasons I started this page (and continue to work at it) is that it keeps me working with the teaching ideas. Otherwise, I have a tendency to drift and forget how valuable the teaching ideas are. When working on this particular page, I thought the above idea of "seeing what I am valuing and what of it I already have" was pretty minute. What often happens when working with a teaching idea is that a challenge from the present moment occurs. As I went into work, I was approached with the information that it was my last day. Being a musician, this happens all the time and is not necessarily a reflection on the job done. It was a shock; but in the present moment I was facing two hours of playing piano for people I had been playing for for years. Was I going to indulge in my emotions, predictions, and self-pity or turn my attention to the people there, at that moment, and make our last two hours the very best I could? My mind remembered this teaching idea and I decided to make it the best two hours I could. I was delighted that the people there, though dazed, joined me in the effort.]
[and then from another workshop of unknown origin, probably Daytona Beach which reiterates self-remembering and can be seen as meditation…Marsha]
………..then we could start another subject that we'd never really end and that is called self remembering.
Self remembering is very simple; but it's something you can do every day of your life and possibly every hour without having any great difficulty. If a person was in a state of self-remembering, they would never be in any turmoil or hassles-and in certain literature it would be called being in a state of meditation at all times (not sittin' down trying to get yourself unconscious and go floatin' off); but being something you're aware of. There are a tremendous lot of things goes around these days that is called meditation and it is simply the old practice of auto-hypnosis-so that method we're not interested in. Self remembering is really being aware of something and you're aware of it at all times.
So we will put four questions here that is what one remembers.
What am I?
Where am I?
What's going on here?
What can I do?
I believe that we can all agree that if a person could not answer these four questions in some form or another, we'd have to say the person is in a state of amnesia or is insane. You don't know what you are, you don't know where you are, you don't know what's going on here and you don't know what you can do. You'd be in a mess; but I think most people are. So that's where we find the situation.
The old teacher that wandered around over in Europe many years ago said that the only thing we ever really find out in this world is knowing what in the hell's going on here. So we added a little bit, and say you can find out four things.
Now if you answered those four questions, and you are aware of that, we'd say you were in a constant state of meditation. You are self-remembering, and can't possibly have a problem. You can accomplish just about anything you want to do. I said "DO", I didn't say "HAVE."
Now if you wanted to DO something, you'd probably HAVE something as a byproduct of it, but that's not the point.
So let's take as best we can "What am I".
If you look out a bit, you'll find that you did very little (that you can recall, at least) to get here. You don't recall putting out any great effort. So you're here at the planet and you arrived ok, I believe, like everybody else--broke, helpless, naked, no understanding of the language, and you found a couple of slaves to look after you, provide you with all your necessities until you could do it somewhat on your own. So we can become aware, somewhat, of what's going.
Obviously if you arrived with no effort on your part, and could do nothing; but found yourself well taken care of-you have had food, clothing, shelter, and
transportation ever since you've been here, right? You really didn't earn a whole lot of it except for a slight little bit.
(They didn't o a very good job of taking care of me.)
They did all right--maybe not what you would have liked to have become accustomed to, but they did all right. They certainly did the best they could with what light they had. [The only light they had was what experiences, conditioning, skills and resources they had……Marsha]
So could you say that you're a privileged invited guest. You've had the privilege of being alive, being on this place and having all those necessities.
Of course we didn't believe it, so we felt somebody had shanghaied us and pulled us in here and we've been griping about it ever since because it's not different.
(different than what)
……..than it is. The people just didn't put the party on properly--that's all. So we can say I'm a privileged invited guest.
We could also look at Where am I?
Obviously we're at a very beautiful estate called earth. I've had the good fortune to travel around a good bit of it and I've found a very beautiful estate-everywhere I've been. Every place is different, some green, some wet, some dry, and they're all very well set up. So, we're a privileged guest at a very beautiful estate called earth where Life is the Host. Don't accept my word for it, go check it out and find if it's true.
Then we could ask, "What's going on here?
Well, that's all we have to do is look around and see that there's a big party going on. There's all kinds of people doing all kinds of games. The only thing about it is that very few people people know what they are, they don't know where they are, and they certainly don't know that they're at a party, and they don't know they're playing games-they think it's for real. They act like this is very serious business. If you see a lot of people gathered around playing games, you'd have to say it's a party, is that right?
The Host invited us here, but we've griped a lot about the party, not knowing what we are, where we are, and not knowing what's going on. We gripe about the other guests a lot, huh? I've noticed that there's people keep coming to the party and people keep goin' away all the time. I think if you were obnoxious enough, anybody would send you home. Now while you're at the party at this big estate, you can run around and gather up a lot of the things at the party (somewhere it's called the furniture of the place). Some people gather up a great amount of it.
Now if you were at somebody's house and you went around and saw the silverware (that's pretty valuable these days) and you put it in your pocket; the host would probably think you were a little eccentric. Inasmuch as he invited you, he wouldn't say your crazy, he'd just call you eccentric-that's a nice word for it.
But about the time you got ready to leave, he'd say something like, "Well, thank you for carrying the silverware around, but you can leave it right here on top of the TV". In other words, you don't get to take it away with you! So you don't get to take anything away with you, so I don't see any reason for knockin' ourselves out trying to accumulate the stuff we can use freely. You have food, clothing, shelter, transportation, interesting things to do, interesting other people to be around and a delightful companion here and there. You've had it all. So there's nothing you need to accumulate.
Now let's ask a question. If you find yourself as a guest at a party, What can you do?
You really only need to ask yourself the last question.
Obviously, if I'm a guest at a party, I can be what, to me, is a good guest.
That doesn't look like it's so difficult. I don't know what a "GOOD" guest would be, but I do know what, to me, is being a good guest.
I'm a guest in your home. Now being a good guest, to me, would be to not go around nosing in your dresser drawers and all these things because it's none of my business. That's people asking, "What's Life all about?" "Why are we here?"
"Why did mankind ever be invented?" It's none of our business. The Host put on a party, He put on a party, that's all.
So the first thing is not wondering why the Host put the party on.
The other part is not wondering why he invited you of all people. I don't have to worry about that. You and the other guests must have been interesting to the Host. You invite people to your house? Do you invite them because they are of some interest to you or would it be more like they would get mad at you if you didn't invite them?
Maybe my interest doesn't go the way some of the other guests do, so I don't have to associate with any guest I don't want to, is that right? I can go some other place. I don't have to play any game I don't want to. I can play the ones I want to. If the Host found the other guests interesting, I don't see any need to find any fault with them.