Meditation is the key...

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Jun 2006
4,322
California
From Abdul-Baha come important statements on the subject of meditation:



You cannot apply the name 'man' to any being void of this faculty of meditation; without it he would be a mere animal, lower than the beasts.



Through the faculty of meditation man attains to eternal life; through it he receives the breath of the Holy Spirit -- the bestowal of the Spirit is given in reflection and meditation.



The spirit of man is itself informed and strengthened during meditation; through it affairs of which man knew nothing are unfolded before his view. Through it he receives Divine inspiration, through it he receives heavenly food.



Meditation is the key for opening the doors of mysteries. In that state man abstracts himself: in that state man withdraws himself from all outside objects; in that subjective mood he is immersed in the ocean of spiritual life and can unfold the secrets of things-in-themselves. To illustrate this, think of man as endowed with two kinds of sight; when the power of insight is being used the outward power of vision does not see.



This faculty of meditation frees man from the animal nature, discerns the reality of things, puts man in touch with God.

This faculty brings forth from the invisible plane the sciences and arts. Through the meditative faculty inventions are made possible, colossal undertakings are carried out; through it governments can run smoothly. Through this faculty man enters into the very Kingdom of God.



~ Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 175
 

CK9

May 2009
25
UK
Interesting indeed. Any thoughts on what constitutes meditation? Traditionally meditation is perhaps best associated with the act of sitting quietly, breathing rhythmically, reciting a mantra, etc. The quotes seem to suggest that meditation is much more than this, and perhaps that we often meditate without realising it.

So, what is meditation?
 
Sep 2009
1
Phoenix
What is meditation

I think Abdul Baha said it best, it is simply to abstract yourself. By doing this you open yourself to spiritual influences. Ideally you want to live in a perpetual state of abstraction. I think it is to be non-attached to yourself and your personal inclinations. Baha'u'llah says in the Hidden Words: "O Son of Man, if thyou Lovest Me turn away from thyself and if thou seekest My pleasure regard not thine own, that thou mayest die in Me and I may eternally live in thee." To achieve what Baha'u'llah is asking of us would be to be in a perpetual meditative state. But that doesn't mean that you need to be out of touch with what is happening around you. Just don't be affected by personal considerations. Be concerned only with what God would want of you in any particular situation.
 
Sep 2009
31
New Jersey, USA
I think Abdul Baha said it best, it is simply to abstract yourself. By doing this you open yourself to spiritual influences. Ideally you want to live in a perpetual state of abstraction. I think it is to be non-attached to yourself and your personal inclinations. Baha'u'llah says in the Hidden Words: "O Son of Man, if thyou Lovest Me turn away from thyself and if thou seekest My pleasure regard not thine own, that thou mayest die in Me and I may eternally live in thee." To achieve what Baha'u'llah is asking of us would be to be in a perpetual meditative state. But that doesn't mean that you need to be out of touch with what is happening around you. Just don't be affected by personal considerations. Be concerned only with what God would want of you in any particular situation.
This is of course a deep subject with many angles, I hope I can offer a few extra thoughts.

There is a kind of abstraction in which one's vision grows larger, so that they contain more and more of the context of their surroundings. We call it "stepping back". There is another abstraction which causes one to separate and cut themselves off from what's around them. Now, giving that we are talking about Spirituality here, I think that anything which leads toward Unity is closer to truth that anything which leads toward Separation.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá also says that "man must live in a state of prayer". Perhaps this is linked to the condition of meditation?

Also, I looked up the Arabic of the Hidden Word quoted above. The end of reads: li-takuun fiyya faaniiyan wa-'akuuna fiika baaqiyan. Like most of Bahá’u’lláh's writings, this sentence rhymes while juxtaposing opposites.

What's interesting about the phrase, is the words used for life and death. In the end of the Seven Valleys, there is a Valley called True Poverty and Absolute Nothingness. Here Bahá’u’lláh says: "This station is the dying from self and the living in God...". The words for dying and living this phrase are the same as those used in the Hidden Word. And neither precisely means death or life, in the physiological sense.

The word for death is "fanaa", which is a negation in the presence of something infinitely positive. The word for life is "baqaa", which is often translated as "eternity", in the sense of a state which is permanent and undying.

Meditation leads to awareness and vision, and true vision leads to a reduction of self and a beholding of the God's grandeur. A candle cannot pride itself before the light of the Sun; in fact it becomes perfectly invisible.

When a drop of rain falls toward the Ocean, it does not find its peace in separation, but in the complete merging that occurs after it gives up its life of singleness.

John
 
Jun 2006
4,322
California
John,

Thanks for your post and welcome to the Forum...!

Keep studying the Arabic... :wink

- Art
 
Dec 2009
165
United States
"O people of Baha! The faculty of meditation is the depository of crafts, arts and sciences. Exert yourselves, so that the gems of knowledge and wisdom may proceed from this ideal mine, and conduce to the tranquility and union of the different nations of the world."

(Compilations, Baha'i Scriptures, p. 151)
 
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