The Answer Lies Within
What Is the Relationship Between the Science of Meditation and the Practice of Human Rights?
Roundtable In Observance of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Friday, 24 October 2008; Noon—1:30 p.m.
Transforming Consciousness Through the Practice of Raja Yoga Meditation
and the Six-Fold Progression of Divine Love
Stephen P. Nation
It was Dag Hammarskj÷ld who said "we all have within us a centre of stillness surrounded by silence." In stillness, as practitioners from different paths, we enter into the within-ness of things - and there we find incredible riches of Being and of Presence. These riches transform our identity, they change the way we experience the world, they give us an intimate relationship with the Oneness and Wholeness of life, and they shape our moral imagination—bringing it into centre stage. And so making a regular approach to the centre of stillness within affects in most profound ways our engagement in the human rights agenda.
Since youth I have always had a sense of a deep inner silence—a centre of harmony within. Raja yoga meditation has helped me build a bridge between that mystical, Lighted Self and the thinking mind. Through the years there has been some progress in the path towards union, fusing the different aspects of mind.
We are all familiar with the mind that slays the real—this is the natural, instinctive way we think. There is nothing wrong with it—it simply means that we see life and all events through the lens of a separated self. Yet in reality we know that life is one interdependent whole. The Work is to educate the mind and emotions to think in the light of the Essential Self. Through practices of visualization, concentration, meditation and contemplation Raja Yoga helps us hold the mind in the light of the Self. Separation loses its hold as clear, inclusive, intuitive thinking grows.
The 'six-fold progression of divine love' is the technical term for a meditation practice working with the dynamics of evolution—as seen from the perspective of the Divine. At the collective level, the higher reaches of mind and heart are visualized as a Great Net of Illumined Minds—the energy fields of the divinities, spirits, saints and sages acknowledged in all spiritual traditions.
Think for a moment with me. Imagine a flow of energies streaming out from the centre of All Love (however this is understood); pouring ceaselessly through the Great Ones on the Inner Side of Life; flowing into the Master of All the Masters (however we identify this Great potency of Love); streaming on, as a tide of new life, into the field of mind and heart of the service network in humanity. Think about this network, a group mind made up of all human beings who find a part of their meaning and sense of purpose in their efforts to love and serve. In the visualization the energies flow out from this group as a tide of Lighted and Loving energy into the world of thinking, feeling human beings where it nourishes and supports all evolutionary impulses and stirs the fires of thought and activity building justice, peace and right relationships. This for me is how I understand the process of incarnating the principles of the Declaration of Human Rights.
The historical process of creating a global society that positively enables everyone to find work, adequate housing, sufficient food, health care and so on is alchemical work. Selfishness has to be understood and transformed by a widespread desire to attain the common good. A part of this meditation practice is to observe clearly the popular unspoken desire for a rights based culture and to lift this desire up into the light—imaginatively magnetizing it and projecting it as an invocative cry to the Great Ones on the inner side. It is a call for Hope, Insight, Inspiration and Will to flow into the networks of people of goodwill.
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