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How God Can Be Cognized/On Meditative Work
On Meditative Work
What is meditation? Many people believe that to meditate means to sit in complete silence with the crossed legs and with the eyes squinted at the nasal bridge...
Long before my meeting with Vladimir, I had tried to “meditate” in no other way but this. Thus I was sitting for a long time and thinking: “What is next? Should I just sit and wait? But how long should I wait and what should I wait for?”...
While reading Castaneda’s books, I wanted very much to repeat everything that he related, but I did not know how to master “the second attention”* that he described. Castaneda did not explain anything about it, and everywhere in his books everything happened in the same way: Don Juan hit him on his back, and something amazing began… But what should I do? Who will hit me?
Of course, I tried many times to stop my internal dialogue, but nothing good came out of this as well. I did not succeed because I tried to stop the flow of my thoughts while staying in my head. It was so frustrating! The pinnacle of my achievements at that time consisted in the fact that the heap of thoughts turned into one endlessly repeating thought: “Do not think about anything!”, “Do not think about anything!”, “Do not think about anything!”...
It was until I started learning from Vladimir. He explained the mechanism of mastering the “mental pause”:
“One just needs to exit the upper bubble of perception and move to the lower one. In this case, one’s internal dialogue disappears by itself. ‘In one’s head’, one can only fantasize. Nothing happens in reality. It is only in the lower bubble, it is possible to achieve inner silence, the ability to move the consciousness inside the multidimensional space, and the ability to see what is really important on the Path to the Creator and the Creator Himself.”
... I remember how on one occasion, at the beginning of our discipleship, Vladimir acquainted us with a very interesting place of power. It was on a bridge over a small river. It was necessary just to cross the boundary of this place of power, and suddenly a practitioner, as a consciousness, fell through the bridge without efforts.
“Everything is very simple! You do not need to ‘tear’ yourself out of your body. You just need to perceive yourself lying on your back at the bottom of this river. The shift happens instantly, because the consciousness moves with the speed of thought.”
So I started gazing into the cool streaming water. The river was shallow, and I could see the sand on its bottom and some algae slightly swaying in the current. After that, I, as a consciousness, moved into my lower bubble, and then... I realized that I was lying on the bottom of the river, feeling soft sand with my back and clear spring water streaming around me and through me... I felt so good and peaceful, and all my problems and thoughts sped somewhere far away with the stream of the river... Suddenly I heard the voice of Vladimir that came to me as if through the thickness of the water:
“Be careful that your body does not fall into the river as well! You have already forgotten that it is standing on the very edge of the bridge!”
... I was greatly amazed then, because for the first time in my life, I was able to completely flow into the other world and immerse myself into it to such a degree that the material plane ceased to exist for me! And it turned out to be so easy to accomplish!
... Vladimir, undoubtedly, always rejoiced at our achievements! However, he did not teach us concrete meditations only. He gave us new tasks and every time explained not only the technique of carrying them out but also the strategy to do so. In other words, we had to understand how each exercise fits in the general outline of the Path and to be aware, including intellectually, of each stage that we have passed.
For example, while giving us that exercise on the bridge, he explained very understandably why it is so important to learn to move oneself as a consciousness below one’s body:
“At the first place, we all, in a quite natural way, have been learning before to perceive the world from our head chakras, that is, from the upper part of the body. However, in order to progress on the spiritual Path, we have to move into the middle dantian — the anahata chakra — which is located in the middle of the body. This is not easily, immediately mastered by everyone. That is why the correct decision in this case would be first to master the stable concentration of the consciousness as low as possible, on the other pole in relation to our heads, so to speak. Then it will be easy to master the concentration in the middle as well.
“Another important thing is that we must reject the stereotype of thinking, which exists in almost all religious movements, that ‘God is above, while hell is below’. Divine Teachers often manifest Themselves in the form of huge Fire Mahadoubles, and people saw Their Faces high in the sky. From this, the idea that God lives above us — has appeared (however, how can this be true if our planet is round?). In reality, everything is quite different: God is everywhere, but one does not need to look for the entrances to the Creator high in the sky. Instead of this, one needs to look for them in the depth of one’s own developed spiritual heart, much deeper than one’s body. It is in this way, we find the Abode of the Creator, the subtlest spatial dimension.”
... On another occasion, when we worked in the midst of expanses of meadows, inside the huge Mahadoubles of our Teachers, Vladimir gave us the following instructions:
“We, as consciousnesses, should flow out of the anahatas backward and immediately try to flood all the space with ourselves, to dissolve ourselves in the space of Light! It is not necessary at all to experience ourselves anthropomorphically, of the size of a material body. The latter is the experience of occultists in their attempts to exit from their material body, being in an astral body. However, this has no further prospects. We have completely different objectives, and we need to try to dissolve ourselves right away in the Light of the Divine Consciousness.”
... Later, when we ourselves were learning to be instructors, Vladimir explained to us that it was not enough just to know the techniques and methodology of spiritual advancement but also to understand the psychology of our disciples:
“While learning to be God, we have to become psychologists, because God is the best Psychologist.”
... When we were making our first steps in teaching others, it seemed to us that the most important thing was to find the boundaries of a place of power, to deeply feel a meditation, and then to properly explain all this to the disciples. But Vladimir laughed:
“You look like soloists in the theater: you go on stage to sing your aria. It is not right! It should be done in another way! It is important to have feedback with your disciples! You have to see whether each of them is succeeding in this or that meditation, or not! If they are not succeeding, you need to find the cause of this failure and help them remove it.”
Vladimir has always been an example for us on how to lead people. No matter how many times we went to the same place of power, he never repeated himself. He contrived to present a meditation to a person in those words and terms which were understandable for that person. For everyone he placed an emphasis on the most important aspect at that particular moment.
... How can one estimate progress and prospects of one or another disciple? It turned out that it should be done not only according to his or her meditative abilities. Vladimir taught us that the main criterion of assessment is the motive that drives this particular person. Does this person just like the company to which he or she has joined? Does this person only get pleasure from meditation states or look for the healing of the body or want to “pump up” the personal power? If a person is driven by any of these motives, it means that he or she must not be led any further!
Only the person, who aspires to cognize the Creator and who is driven by the love for Him, has the right to approach Him as close as the methods that we have allow! God opens His Arms only to the person who has chosen the Mergence with the Creator as the Goal of all his or her earthly life!
... Sometimes in the past, people, who were already sufficiently “crystallized” consciousnesses, joined us. This condition helped them to easily perform complex meditations, but they did not always achieve success. If they did not have the most important thing, i.e., the love for the Creator, God put an end to their further progress very soon.
“Only love decides everything! A person must not be attracted by pleasant communication with us or with meditative experiences that he or she receives. Instead, one must clearly see the Goal and seek the Mergence with the Creator!” — Vladimir explained.
Indeed, how can one accomplish such meditations as Cross of Buddha, Giving Away, or Awakening — without love? It is impossible! Whether we feel ourselves as the River of the Holy Spirit (Pranava) or penetrate into new unknown layers of the multidimensional space, filled with the Living Light of the Divine Consciousness, with Its Tenderness, — we can stay There only being love!
One day Sathya Sai Baba told me the following on this topic:
“When you are tired, you start practicing meditation as a series of memorized actions. But this is very similar to church rituals, which you consider empty and useless. You do those memorized movements and then you wonder why the flow of love does not appear in response. Meditation is not a series of memorized actions! It is not physical education for a consciousness! Meditation is the manifestation of your love for Me! It is giving yourself to Me!”
* * *
Before the beginning of my work with Vladimir, I had thought that the spiritual Path is like a series of “instant enlightenments”. I was also sure that if you completely exited your body once, submerged into meditation very deeply, or received a Revelation, — these achievements remain with you for the rest of your life.
However, very soon I had to realize that things were quite different. In the spiritual world, nothing that you mastered once — belongs to you forever. Each new boundary has to be “taken by assault” and then you have to prove every day that you are worthy of the height that you managed to achieve. Each taken stage needs to be made “habitable”, as with a new house. It needs to be transformed into the basis from which you can continue your ascension. There is no possibility of resting for a long time on this Path. There is no time or place for being satisfied with one’s own achievements. As soon as we grow up, the next stage is ready and needs to be mastered. And when this one is taken, God opens another one, whose height makes you feel lightheaded again.