Meditation is the key...


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Redlands, California
From Abdul-Baha there are some 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
Yes, but how does one meditate? I've heard many different sources uplift meditation, and each will tell you it's methodology is as individual as the individual, but I've not had any real good guidelines.

I myself have a very difficult time with meditation; when I try, all the little voices in my head that tell me I have things to do, bills to pay, stressors to deal with start becoming BIG voices in my head. Very difficult to center oneself and free your mind of all that's earthly when all that's earthly keeps intruding.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

Suggestions for meditation...

There is no one way to meditate for Baha'is but there are some techniques that I have found useful for my own practise that you may consider..

The best time to meditate during the day is early morning soon after arising.. this would be before the cares of the day begin to descend upon you.. Some people find early hours best ..some prefer evening after the work day is over. Keep to this schedule once you have started.

Select a place to meditate... this will vary of course for each person. It might be a room or area that is seldom used for other purposes.. Once you start your meditation in the place continue there.. It could also of course be outside in a garden or place that is less frequented by people.

The back should be straight to relieve pressure as possible and avoid physical discomfort. You can sit in a chair or sit comfortably say cross legged. The point is though the posture should be comfortable and avoid stress.

Breathe naturally and over time you could focus on the breaths themselves to cleanse the mind of other thoughts..

Never force yourself to meditate for a certain time ... should meditate as long as you are comfortable this will avoid stress.. over time as you meditate the time may increase but avoid focusing on time as such..

You can also use prayer beads or joints and fingers of your hands to recite a prayer.. Baha'is recite Allah'u'Abha ninety five times a day and this can be part of a meditation practise that can cleanse the mind.

Select a prayer that has meaning for you and read or recite it during meditation.. this will help elevate your consciousness.:)
Thanks for the reply Arthra,

just an FYI, I'm a Bahai'i as well (I must admit that I've been rather distant from the Faith for a long time and I'm feeling the loss.), and just within the last few nights have started to say my 95 Allah'u'Abhas just prior to sleep. I was taught the knuckle technique a long time ago to say them. I've been dealing with insomnia for a while now and have been saying my Allah'u'Abhas in a meditative manner in order to relax and try to fall asleep.

My problem has been, as I stated earlier, is quieting all the voices in my head that are telling me I have something to do, need to talk to someone about something, etc. I think I MAY have come across something that is helping. While I say my Allah'u'Abhas, and am counting on my knuckles, I have been mentally drawing the Greatest Name symbol. So far it's working, though it's not a perfect solution.

As for selecting a prayer, The Long Healing prayer seems to have an inherent meditative quality; for me it's very soothing.

Thanks for this thread.