Skip to main content

References to Meditation permeate the early books of PB. E-teaching #26 was based on teachings from The Wisdom of the Overself. The Notebook Series, Volume 4, Part 1, Meditation, and Volume 15, Part 1, Advanced Contemplation, offer information and techniques helpful to pursuing the practices in greater depth. Reading the “Editors’ Introduction” in both volumes for an overview is recommended. Volume 4 (Category 4) focuses on Fundamentals, Visualizations, Mantrams and Affirmations, Mindfulness and Mental Quiet, (the Long Path) while Volume 15 (Category 23), Advanced Meditation, explores the redirection of ego to the Overself, with the focus on living inside the stillness of the Overself, often referred to as “the Short Path.”

The paras, which PB terms “Detached Intellections,” are to be read slowly and reflected upon. The words are specific and practical but inspiration is present between the lines. Examples of helpful advice in Meditation include: “Constant practice is more important for success in meditation than any other single factor.” (V. 4, Part 1, #404, p. 124.) “First seek in your meditation for the Overself, then, when you feel something of its presence, then only, may you make any effort to help other persons by the powers of thought and prayer.”( Ibid. #411, p.125.) “Always close your meditation or end your prayer with a thought for others, such as: “May all beings be truly happy.”(Ibid. #413, p. 125.)

Several paras on the three stages of meditation: 1) Concentration, 2) Meditation, and 3) Contemplation are in both volumes. PB offers guidance in the passage from one stage of meditation to the next. He says the will must be used in the first two stages for the attention to penetrate deeper and deeper. “…It is only when the frontier of the third stage is reached that all this work ceases, and that there is an abandonment of the use of the will, a total surrender of it, and effortless passive yielding to the Overself is alone needed.” (V. 15, Part 1, #54, p.176.) The descriptions of entering into this final stage are beautiful and mysterious. “We enter into paradise when, in contemplation, we enter into awareness of the Overself.” (Ibid, #96, p. 182.) “There is a great calm in this state: not a great rapture, but a patient attentive repose in the higher power.” (Ibid, #101, p. 182.)

“This identification with the Overself is the real work set us, the real purpose for which human life in the world serves us. All else is merely a comfortable way of escape, a means of keeping us busy so that conscience need not be troubled by the central duty to which we are summoned.”(Ibid. #36, p. 8.)

“If, in his earlier days when on the Long Path, he practised daily checking his personal feelings where they were negative, hostile, or condemnatory in the relationship with others, or when they interrupted his inner calm in the relationship with himself, now on the Short Path he abandoned this training. It was no more the really important thing, for it had been just a preparation of the ego for that thing-which was to forget and transcend the ego by transferring attention to the remembrance of his divine being, his Overself.” (Ibid, #45, p. 9.)