Dangers and Safeguards of Meditation
The following information is provided by the Lucis Trust. The Lucis Trust is a nonprofit service organization incorporated in the United States in 1922 by Alice Bailey and her husband Foster Bailey, to act as a trust for the publishing of twenty-four books of esoteric philosophy publised under Alice Bailey’s name, and to fund and administer activities concerned with the establishment of “right human relations”. These include the Arcane School, a school for esoteric training, World Goodwill, Triangles, a lending library, The Beacon magazine, as well as the publishing company.
The way of meditation is much like any other journey, in that one follows a path to reach a goal. And, as with any path, there are certain pitfalls that may face the traveller. Meditation is not harmful itself, but if misused or practiced unwisely, it can create personal problems for the meditator.
The major safeguard in any course of meditation is simple commonsense, and a balanced attitude. Commonsense offsets over-zealousness, fanaticism or a rigid one-pointedness, which can lead to mental or physical strain. With a sense of balance, one realises that progress in consciousness is a long-term affair, and that changes do not occur over-night. This avoids the disappointment felt by the neophyte when great revelations do not come as promptly as desired.
One of the major pitfalls of meditation is also one of the best known: the case of an individual who becomes so lost in his own subjective world that he tends to withdraw from physical reality. Meditation should lead to a well-rounded life expression. Too much mental strain or over-stimulation can be corrected by expressing mental experiences as physical facts. This might be done by attempting to translate one’s highest visions or ideas into some project or activity which will benefit others.
A second possible danger of meditation lies in emotional overstimulation. Meditation brings an increased flow of energy into the meditator’s life, which tends to accentuate both positive and negative qualities, and to bring them to the surface where they can be clearly seen. Each meditator is responsible for handling this greater energy flow. He has to discover his own emotional weaknesses and endeavour to maintain a balancing focus of attention on the mental plane.
The student of meditation should proceed slowly and cautiously. Anything worthwhile requires time and effort. The results that occur from a slow building process are more likely to endure than the results of work done hastily in hope of instant success. The student should also aim at regularity in meditation. Twenty minutes’ work daily is worth more and is safer than four hours of work once a month.
The most reliable safeguard is to be found in a life of service. Meditation brings in energy and inspiration. If this is not expressed through some form of service, it can result in congestion or overstimulation. Service is the right use of soul energy, vision and inspiration.
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