Monthly Meditation Themes
At the beginning of every month, TRIUNE members receive an electronic newsletter which also includes a seed thought for meditation. If they choose, members are encouraged to incorporate these thoughts into their own daily meditation routines. Meditation themes are usually seasonal and/or address a specific topic or situation needing immediate attention. Please feel free to join us in meditative focus.
There is no denying that we live in a technologically-based society, and there is a great need for workers who are well-versed in such things in order to fill currently vacant jobs. For this reason, the new educational standard in our schools has begun emphasizing the study of technology, math and science in an attempt to steer students into these career paths. In many instances, major funding is going for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) programs. Unfortunately, the downside to this current trend is that funding is being cut for subjects such as music, art, dance, theater, etc., and the importance of the study of the arts is receiving less attention.
Beautiful works of art in any form make life more enjoyable here on the physical plane. Perhaps a work of art in some form has helped you personally in some way, such as when you were ill or perhaps consumed by grief. But the importance of the arts is not limited to the physical plane. A background in and appreciation of the arts in all their forms is essential for the well-rounded spiritual education and development of children and adults alike; and it should not end when the school years do, but rather should continue for our entire lives. Why, for instance, would beautiful hymns and music have been used in religious services over the centuries, if not because they are so uplifting and necessary? The same holds true for the inspiring works of religious artwork -- paintings and sculpture, for instance -- that we see in cathedrals, etc. and the magnificent architecture itself of churches, temples and mosques.Steeples and spires pointing heavenward are no mere accident. Art in all its forms plays an important part in the development of one's spiritual identity, bringing out one's intuitive nature and ability to reach beyond the mundane to the higher planes of consciousness.
Theosophist C. Jinarajadasa wrote an essay called "Art the Liberator," in which he described the importance of art in our lives and the need for those who are able to keep reminding us of that point.
Life in many ways appears a tragedy; but as from the ugly mud of a pond the lotus rears its head, so does beauty reveal its mystery out of every occurrence in life. But there are so few to teach the way to that mystery. The creative artist does his best. Each poet, dramatist, singer, composer, painter, sculptor, architect or dancer tries to tell us of the mystery...when they are at their highest creative mood.
For the month of March, therefore, let's meditate upon the idea of art and spirituality, perhaps using Jinarajadasa's quote as a seed thought. And if, as a result of your meditations, you come up with an original poem, essay, piece of visual art, etc., feel free to send it to us for possible inclusion on our website.
We are experiencing a great deal of chaos right now. Every country in the world seems to be in a state of flux right now, with many turning inward, contracting and reverting to a strong sense of nationalism. There is a global feeling of pulling back, closing up borders, and looking out for one's own interests, to the exclusion of all others.
Naturally, there is nothing wrong with national pride or concerns about national security issues or where one's country can find the resources to support great numbers of refugees and immigrants, while still meeting the needs of one's own citizens. These are all practical matters which need careful attention and the implementation of detailed plans of action. However, a persistent mental attitude of turning inwards upon oneself is counter-productive in this age when we need to be expanding outward and thinking on a global rather than nationalistic scale.
Esoteric wisdom teaches that we are not alone in the Universe. Our tiny planet and population are just one of many such civilizations in existence on different planes and different planets in myriad celestial systems of the Universe. Humanity is now at that stage of evolution where we must begin thinking of the, as they are called in the Agni Yoga teachings, "far-off worlds." If, on the other hand, we continue on a path of contraction, we ignore the vast opportunities which lie ahead for the human race, beyond the confines of our solitary planetary existence.
Also, there is a very real danger that, through carelessness and selfishness, we humans could literally destroy our beautiful planetary home. Should that happen, "only exceptional groups of earthly humanity could enter the higher planets to continue their evolution in new, beautiful conditions," states Helena Roerich in a letter to one of her students.Millions of years would need to elapse before new, suitable forms and bodies on a new planet would be ready for the remaining vast majority of humanity seeking to complete their cycles of physical incarnation. What a shock this would be to those who have never given thought to the far-off worlds.
Thus, in our meditations during the month of February, let's concentrate on this thought of the value of expanding outward, rather than turning inward; of reaching beyond the confines of our small world to the higher worlds and the distant planets and civilizations with which we will eventually associate. And let's send these energies and thoughts into the ethers and the minds and hearts of every citizen of Earth.
2016 was certainly a frenetic year of activity on the global scene, and it seems we have our work cut out for us in this new year. The general atmosphere right now is one of change and uncertainty, and it is up to the co-workers here on the physical plane to maintain steadiness and continue to take advantage of any opportunities that may arise to help on humanity's racial and spiritual progress. The task may seem daunting, especially at this moment when international relations seem so tenuous and fragile and much of humanity feels confused and even frightened. However, we are encouraged to not lose heart, but simply to continue to do the best we can to help on the work of the Blessed Ones who watch over the progress of the race and the health of the planet.
In the Agni Yoga teachings (Leaves of Morya's Garden), it is said: "Help build My Country." The work of doing so is certainly not easy, and it is sometimes tiring and even discouraging to keep on with it. We may even be tempted on occasion to give up the exhausting task completely, but the Teacher encourages us to press on in courage and faith.
It has been told that there will be instances which require courage, that there will be sharp precipices which can be crossed only in the Name of the Teacher. They will say, "It is warm by the fire." You will answer, "I hasten into the cold." They will say, "Fine is the fur coat." You will answer, "Too long for walking." They will say, "Close the eyes." You will answer, "Forbidden on watch." Be steadfast not only during the time of Communion with me, but also when you are left to your own devices, because only then is the resourcefulness of the spirit forged."
Our work and cooperation with the Divine Plan is so greatly needed here on the physical plane, and the Master assures us that the help and strength of the Blessed Ones is never far away. "Unutterable are the Forces which serve you." If we look closely and pay attention, the signs are always visible.
When the raindrop taps upon the window -- it is My Sign.
When the bird flutters -- it is My Sign.
When the leaves are borne aloft by the whirlwind -- it is My Sign.
When the ice is melted by the sun -- it is My Sign.
When the waves wash away the sorrow of the soul -- it is My Sign.
When the wing of illumination touches the harried soul --it is My Sign.
It's autumn here -- harvest time. The local farm stands are filled with delicious, seasonal items like apples and pumpkins, and a harvest or "in-gathering" festival is held somewhere every weekend. While we usually associate the harvest with produce, we can also think about it in other ways.
It's next to impossible to watch a newscast these days without feeling fatigued. There is certainly enough activity of a negative and depressing nature in the world to make us all weary of continuing to "fight the good fight." But when the weight of the world's problems seems heavy, it's helpful to look back through the years and explore just how far the human race has come. Despite the odds, humanity has made considerable progress and accomplished an astonishing amount of good. Though there is still much difficulty and suffering throughout the world needing attention, our "harvest" in this regard has actually been very plentiful and should give us reason to remain optimistic as we continue our work.
We can think back to what conditions were like in developed countries, say, just one hundred years ago. Workers, including children, struggled in harsh and unsafe conditions of near-slavery; air and water pollution were rampant; issues like domestic violence and animal cruelty had hardly been acknowledged; education and health care were unavailable to the majority of the population. Yet in little over a century, humanity has not only addressed these and greater problems, but is also actively working to implement the changes needed to globally eradicate them. A sense that we are One Humanity, each responsible for the other, is slowly taking hold. Selfishness is giving way to compassionate inclusiveness; and while progress may seem painfully slow and unsteady, it is sure.
There is a Bible entry in Galatians: "Let us not grow weary of doing good; for in due season, we will reap." This may serve as a seed thought for our meditation periods in October. May we express gratitude to our Creator not only for the bountiful harvests in our own lives, but also for the strength and resolve to patiently serve others.
A bounty of Peace, Love, Light and Gratitude to all.
The summer Olympic Games will soon be starting in Rio, Brazil. Despite any controversy that inevitably surrounds such an event and the athletes who take part, the Olympics always provides a time of great joy and sense of global cooperation. The opening ceremony, with its parade of nations, is always a particularly moving time. It's a delight to see the excitement and pride on the faces of the athletes, as they enjoy the special honor of representing their home countries while the entire world watches. The tiniest to the largest and most powerful countries all equally share their time of recognition and appreciation in the eyes of the world. To witness so many people voluntarily coming together in such a spirit of respect and good will touches us all in a very special way. It seems to be a reminder of our innate Oneness and a vision of what everyday life on this planet could and should be -- every single day -- not just every four years.
While all the pageantry and exciting sportsmanship of the Olympics takes place, the sad reality of so much suffering, hatred and injustice in other parts of the world continues. This, too, is a reminder to us; a reminder of the terrific imbalance we are experiencing on the planet and our duty to repair that damage. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said: "Every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes are not enough; we must become actively engaged."Of course, not everyone has reached this point of understanding, and so the balances are constantly tipped in one direction or the other, causing great distress and consternation to all life on Earth.
The dictionary describes the word "balance" in the following ways:
- An even distribution of weight, enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
- In art, harmony of design and proportion.
- A condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.
- A counter-acting weight or force.
- As a verb, to keep or put something in a steady position so that it does not fall.
Let's meditate upon the idea of what balance means to the health of the planet and its inhabitants and what we can do to restore and maintain that balance. During our meditation periods, we can think of how the above definitions relate to all the various situations, people and activities upon the planet today and how we might use our knowledge and experience to relate to and understand these. What can we do to "steady and upright" that which is faltering? How can we, for instance, bring "harmony of design and proportion" to all parts of the world? We can open ourselves to contacting the very finest and most subtle vibrations in the ethers, sensing where and when there is an imbalance somewhere on the planet. Then, filling ourselves with the energies of synthesis, beauty and love, we can seek to restore balance where it is lacking.
In the Bible in Proverbs, it is said: "A false balance is an abomination to the Lord; but a just weight is his delight." The Fountainhead Source of all Creation, by whatever name we choose, wants humanity to be happy, healthy and in balance with all other life forms and the planet itself. May we be worthy co-workers in this endeavor.
Here in the United States, much of our news coverage is being taken up by preparations for our upcoming Presidential election in November of this year, when a new person will become the face of our country to the entire world. Naturally, thoughts about "leadership" come to mind. Many difficult global issues face us at this time, and people of all the countries of the world are anxiously looking to their own national leaders for guidance and reassurance during these uncertain times. If we closely examine the true agendas of all the global leaders, we have to wonder if they (and those who wish to be their successors) are up to the challenge.
There are many resources devoted to the study of what makes a good leader, but all seem to include the same, basic traits. An effective leader naturally garners the respect of those he or she leads, not simply because of personality traits, but because of their innate abilities and how they go about using them. He or she engages others and respects the opinions and accomplishments of those they lead. They give credit where it is due and are not afraid to admit their own mistakes and infallibility. They are transparent and honest in their undertakings and hold themselves accountable if they are wrong. They choose a life of leadership because they want what's best for everyone, not simply as a means to their own security and success. They see leadership not as an opportunity for personal gain, but as a responsibility to help or guide others and make the world a better place. They are strong and confident, yet always remain genuinely humble. If we use just these few examples as a baseline, then we must ask ourselves just how many of our current global leaders and their potential successors really live by these standards.
In Applied Wisdom (Lucille Cedercrans), it is said: Leadership is the ability to inspire a Divine idea or a grouping of ideas, and in turn to inspire a following, not of the person, but of the idea....True leadership is always a result of Divine Inspiration.
All the world's spiritual teachings contain references to Divine Leaders and honor those here on Earth who try to carry on that tradition of pure and spiritually- inspired leadership. With so many critical issues facing us at this time -- global warming, pollution and the loss of species; the proliferation of once-eradicated diseases and the appearance of new ones; terrorism and continued warfare; crime and brutality; income inequality and poverty; racial, ethnic and religious tensions, to name just a few -- we desperately need a return to Divinely inspired leadership in order to find lasting solutions.
Our leaders should understand that their positions are Divine gifts, given to them to enhance the lives of everyone on the planet and to ensure the health of the Earth and all her species. For the month of June, therefore, let's ponder this issue of Divine Leadership in our meditations. We can send helpful thought forms into the ethers and the minds and hearts of all who would be leaders and policy makers of all the nations of the world. As a seed-thought for manifesting those thought-forms, we include a proverb from our TRIUNE website:
for you are made of earth.
for you are made of stars.
-- Serbian Proverb
After experiencing snowy, cold winters, we northerners always enjoy the beginning of spring very much. January 1 may be the start of the new calendar year, but April 1 always feels like the REAL start of the year. Maybe it's because we can get outside more now, and this creates a feeling of expansion after months of being mostly indoors. Daylight hours are longer, so we feel less rushed and are able to take advantage of the light to get more things done. It's also the start of the gardening season, whether it's vegetables and herbs or flowers and shrubs. Everything about life feels bathed in a "newness" that prompts a fresh start and a moving forward to brighter possibilities. It is a very optimistic time of year.
Humanity as a whole is desperately in need, metaphorically speaking, of a bright and cheerful spring season.We need to completely wash the slate clean and begin anew. The old ways of doing things are certainly not working anymore. Every day, news casts from around the globe remind us of this sad fact. Sharing, equality, freedom and liberty, cooperation, kindness and compassion for every living being on the planet can no longer simply be pleasant notions; they must become a part of our reality if we are to continue as a species. We all must accept that feeding, clothing, housing, educating and employing our brothers and sisters everywhere is everyone's responsibility. If the politicians, current global leaders and those in charge of global resources won't do it, we will have to find another way. Only through sharing can we save ourselves from ourselves.
In New Era Community, an Agni Yoga book from 1926, we are reminded of the importance of living not as isolated individuals, but as members of a community of Souls incarnated here for a purpose and responsible for each other:
He who affirms the Community contributes to the hastening of the evolution of the planet. Each and every petrifaction and immobility signifies a return to primitive forms. Pay attention to the history of the past; you will perceive clear jolts of progress, you will see graphically that these jolts coincide with manifestations of the ideas of community -- cooperation. Despotic states have been destroyed, attainments of science have been secured, new ways of labor have arisen, benevolent boldness has shone forth when the banner of cooperation was unfurled. If humanity had thought more often about cooperation, it already long ago would have entered into universal understanding of the Common Good.
In our meditations for the month of April, therefore, let's concentrate on the idea of bringing about a fresh, new change for the entire race and all the other beings which share this planet. Let's envision the Community we wish to be.
Here in the United States, we will soon be choosing a new President. Right now, we are in the middle of the "primary" season, where potential candidates put forth their platforms of ideas and generally present themselves to the American public, in hopes of securing their political party's nomination as their choice to run for election of President in November. It has been most enlightening to follow the maneuvering of the potential candidates as they make their way through the country on various speaking engagements.
As usually happens in election years, some of the candidates have taken to petty and childish tactics, such as abusive name calling and taunting criticism of other candidates, without really talking much about the issues that affect the American public or presenting information about how to solve the many problems we face today. Such selfish squabbling completely misses the point of why we elect public officials in the first place -- to effectively represent the needs and concerns of the entire population whom they serve. This current atmosphere of egocentric behavior is disturbing and counter-productive and does not bode well for the future of the United States or its relations with other countries.
While such behavior may have been tolerated in the past, the time has come for humanity to put it aside and act from a new point of reference, one that concerns our very survival. We have reached a critical point on this planet, where personal concerns must be superseded by concerns for the entire group. This is no longer simply a pleasant notion; it is quickly becoming imperative that we recognize the urgency of this need. As the global population continues to increase, global resources are lagging behind. Clean water and sustainable sources of food, as well as access to basic healthcare, education and gainful employment -- the barest minimum which people should expect to receive -- are becoming scarcer, as the most wealthy control and keep these things out of reach of the rest of the population. Politicians who selfishly posture rather than address these issues, as well as the many other concerns we face today, do not deserve the attention, let alone the respect and support, of the public. Their failure to consider the needs of the entire group over their own is an insult to all of us.
The popular American author, Gary Zukav, has said:
"The requirements for our evolution have changed. Survival is no longer sufficient. Our evolution now requires us to develop spiritually - to become emotionally aware and make responsible choices. It requires us to align ourselves with the values of the soul - harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for life."
For the month of March, therefore, let's meditate upon this idea, particularly what we consider "the values of the soul." We can send into the ethers (and hopefully into the minds and hearts of our global leaders and those who would assume these positions) thought forms of peace, harmony, cooperation, respect and, above all, sharing -- sharing not just of our resources, but of our compassion, love and respect for each other. For it is only through the principle of sharing, practiced from the depths of our hearts and the level of our Souls, that we as a race can continue to survive and thrive on this beautiful planet.
At the start of a new year, we always think about new beginnings and how to approach another new year of work. The key to success in 2016 -- not just personally, not just in our TRIUNE work, but for all citizens of the planet in every capacity -- will be creativity.
When we look back upon the past few years, we have seen incredible achievements in certain areas of life on this planet. Technological advances, for example, have been mind-boggling. But while we, as a civilization, have been able to launch rockets into space and create tiny phones that enable us to instantly talk to someone on the other side of the world, we have sadly failed to find answers to some of the most pressing and lasting problems which have plagued humanity for ages. Why do we still continue to fail, for instance, to provide food, shelter, or an education to all persons on the planet? Why do we still find it necessary to send our youngest, bravest souls into armed conflicts? Why do we still allow the suffering of our animal brethren and continue to poison our Earth Mother? Aren't we, by now, smart enough and capable enough as a civilization to finally put an end to these tragedies? If so, why do we "pick and choose" those problems which we will gladly address, while we claim an inability to solve all the others?
There is a saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over in the same manner and then lamenting the achievement of the exact same results. If we, as a society, tried some different approaches, wouldn't the natural outcome be the exact opposite? Perhaps it is not insanity that causes us to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Perhaps it's selfishness or the fear of being creative and trying something new or just that we're stuck in the same ruts of thought forms we've created over the centuries. If world events over the past couple of years are any indication, then most of our politicians, world leaders and decision makers are guilty of all three. At the very least, they could use some mental prodding to help move them from their positions of inertia.
For the month of January, therefore, let's use our meditation periods to send streams of powerful, creative and vivifying energies into the ethers. This will help clear the maya and cobwebs of illusion that tend to bog down the thinking and actions of people, particularly of those in positions of power and authority in all the countries of the world. As we prepare for meditation and the sending of these energies from our Souls out into the etheric net of the planet to help those who are receptive, there is a beautiful Christian Bible saying which can serve as a seed thought in our efforts:
For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness, but of power and love and discipline. - 2 Timothy 1:7
Starting in January, let's make 2016 a year of creative change for our planet and all who call her home.
December is traditionally a time to celebrate Light, particularly here in the northern hemisphere. We have our shortest day of the year on the 21st and then can look forward to the gradual brightening that occurs as we slowly go through our winter months. For the month of December, therefore, let's meditate on all the forms and aspects of Light that we know and then continue to spread Light throughout the world. Also, let's include in our meditations gratitude to all the other Lightworkers around the world who want the same things as we do in TRIUNE: universal peace, love and sharing; global cooperation and understanding among all the nations; environmental balance and protection; an end to hunger, illness, inequality, terrorism, animal cruelty and any other negative energies. For we are not alone in our work; and it is our hope that in 2016, TRIUNE will reach out to and cooperate with even more individual and group Lightworkers. More information on how we hope to do this will be forthcoming. For now, please feel free to use the following as a seed thought for your December meditations.
There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth,
beyond all of us, beyond the heavens,
beyond the highest, the very highest heavens.
This is the light that shines in our hearts.
- Chandogya Upanishad
November 14, from 11:00 am till 4:00 pm EST, the World Goodwill organization will host a seminar called "Rebuilding the Shrine of Human Living." This is the United Nations International Year of Soils, and seminar participants will explore, among other things, what it means to live a spiritual life at this time while rebuilding the environment of the planet we all share. Next to clean and accessible water, clean, productive soil is the most important thing we need to grow enough food to sustain our global population. Additionally, the idea of rebuilding also involves so much more. To rebuild our planet to sustain our evolving population, we must also consider a complete restructuring of the current way we do almost everything. World Goodwill quotes Alice Bailey, explaining that the work of our age is "rebuilding the shrine of human living, reconstructing the form of humanity's life, reconstituting the new civilization upon the foundations of the old, reorganizing the structures of world thought and world politics, plus the redistribution of the world's resources in conformity to divine purpose."
With this in mind and in solidarity with World Goodwill seminar participants, let's keep this as our seed thought as we meditate during the month of November.
You can go the following website for more information about World Goodwill.
World Goodwill publishes a booklet called Techniques of Goodwill, in which they explain at great length why the simple act of sharing is so important to the future of humanity. It involves a completely new way of viewing not just human interaction, but also global economics as we now know it. This is something we've also discussed often in TRIUNE. World Goodwill describes it as follows:
It is seldom understood that it is not so much the actual owning of many objects and things which holds us back in our efforts towards inclusiveness, but our mental picture that we do own them. If mentally we give all back into the planetary flow and yet physically retain guardianship, we will be freed of the weight of ownership at once. It is the idea of "holding and keeping" which is not in line with the natural flow and rhythm. As we begin to examine and readjust our attitude from that of ownership and possession to that of trusteeship and guardianship, we contribute to the clarification of this planetary hindrance. As we realize that all resources belong temporarily to those who have the need at the moment, then the circulatory flow of nature will begin to distribute the riches more evenly among the human family.
World Goodwill says that "sharing is, in essence, a manifestation of synthesis and the natural effect of justice in its clearest form." For the month of October and beyond, therefore, let's use this as our seed thought to meditate upon this concept of sharing and the free and unhindered circulation and distribution of all the world's resources among the entire human family. For those so inclined, we can also send to our legislative bodies streams of energy to unblock and de-crystallize any thought forms which are contributing to their polarization, lack of cooperation and inaction in finding answers to the many problems which they have been entrusted to solve.
May / June 2015
The erratic weather patterns around the globe continue to be a subject of much concern. Here in some parts of the United States, there has been torrential rain and severe, record-breaking flooding, particularly in Texas. Another devastating oil spill has soiled the beaches of California, harming many species of birds, fish and marine mammals in its wake.
In May, we concentrated in our meditations on sending gratitude to the world's bodies of water for sustaining us. It seems fitting that in June we continue in our meditations to concentrate on the bodies of water which surround us, this time sending thoughts of purification to the areas we humans have managed to contaminate. For unlike the other species which inhabit this planet, we humans are the only ones who continually refuse to live in harmony with nature.
Below is a reprint of last month's seed thought for meditation. We can also add an expression of forgiveness for any lack of respect we may have shown to Mother Earth's water features and a desire to do better in the future. Because so many of us travel at this time of year to be near water in some form -- lakes, oceans, rivers -- we can collect a bit of that water, bring it home with us in a small container, and use it in our meditation periods over the month.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Let's spend our meditation periods in quiet reflection about the precious commodity of water and about how we might purify, protect and sustain the waterways of the world. Most of us live in proximity to some sort of body of water -- an ocean, a river or stream, a lake or pond, an underground spring or other aquifer. Think about the body of water which lies closest to you. Link in thought with the water elementals and help them to do their jobs of sustaining that body of water. Imagine the water as pure, clean and refreshing, serving the plant and animal life which it sustains. Send gratitude to the precious water for its help in sustaining your own life and the lives of your loved ones.
As a seed thought for meditation, we can think of the words of the following Native American prayer for water:
We give thanks to all the waters of the world
for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength.
Water is Life.
We know its power in many forms . . .
waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans.
With one mind,
we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of water.