The Art of Meditation

Book by Joel S. Goldsmith
 

. . . begin your meditation with some passage of scripture that may come to your thought, or, if you like, you may open the Bible or a book of spiritual wisdom and read for a short time. You may read only one paragraph, or you may need to read ten pages before some particular thought attracts your attention. When this occurs, close your book and take that thought into your meditation. Think about it; hold it right in front of you; repeat it to yourself. Ask yourself: Why did this particular quotation come to me? Does it have an inner meaning? What is its significance to me at this time?

As you continue meditating another statement may come to your attention. Consider both of these thoughts: Is there any relationship between them? Is there any coherence? Why did this quotation follow the first one? By this time probably a third idea and then a fourth will have come, and all these thoughts will have come out of your awareness, out of your consciousness. In this short period of meditation which may have been of only a minute’s duration, you have experienced God revealing Itself; you have opened yourself to divine Intelligence and Love. This is the Word of God which is quick and sharp and powerful.

To have received one statement of truth from the depths of our own being is evidence that we have had a degree of realization of God; peace and quiet descend upon us; and a sense of well-being and assurance well up within us. This form of meditation, if practiced faithfully, opens our consciousness to permit God to function in our life, to permit Christ to live our life — but it must be practiced. It is necessary, therefore, to return to our meditation at our first opportunity, and to repeat the process in the middle of the day and again in the evening. We may find that we are unable to sleep continuously throughout the night. In the middle of the night, the demand comes, “Meditate.”  (Chapter: “The Practice” 26-27)

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God cannot be known with the human mind, but if we listen and are still, in that stillness, God reveals Itself.  Right where we are God is. . . . The presence of God is within our consciousness. We do not have to reach out for God even mentally, or pursue God as if He were afar off or as if he were something difficult to attain. Many have found as they gave up their frantic search for God, learned to be still, and ceased the parrotlike repetition of meaningless words and phrases, that one day there came an awakening and they discovered that God had been right there beside them all the time, quietly whispering, “Wait — why don’t you stop and let Me have something to say?” How would that Me speak to us in a moment of helplessness, if we were out on a desert, lost, with no way for us to find human help, and no way for human help to find us? As we listen, we hear its whispered words:

The place whereon I stand is holy ground. Whither shall I flee from thy Spirit? “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” Alone, yet not alone; helpless, yet not helpless; divine help is here where I am, and it does not have to find me, and I do not have to find it. God is here where I am. The kingdom of God is within me, for I and the Father are one. God is not lost, and I am sure God has not lost me. If I am here, God is also here.

This is a powerful meditation. . . .

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The nature of God is I.  Quietly, humbly realize that that I whom you have thought to be you, that I whom you have thought to have problems is God. How then can you — that I — have problems or know limitation?  If you believe that God is your Father and my Father, and that that Father is within you, how far can you ever be from guidance, from protection, from supply? When you realize the nature of God to be I — from then on, I have no problems.   (Chapter: “The Indissoluble Union” 40, 42)

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. . . Going to God without a single desire eliminates the “I” in large measure, because it is only the personal “I” who could have a wish, a desire, or a will. We turn to God to receive a spiritual blessing or benediction, and no one knows what will be the nature of his particular spiritual blessing or benediction. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit.”

When the Finger of God touches us, It may place us in a completely different life — if that be Its destiny for us. For each of us there is a destiny; we are not all intended to engage in the same kind of activity:

    Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. . . .

    And there are diversities of operations; but it is the same God which worketh all
    in all. . . .

    For to one is given by the Spirit, the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge, by the same Spirit;

    To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another diverse kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues;

    But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

    For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.

God works as bridge builders, coal miners, teachers, salesmen, lawyers, artists, ministers; and it is God, the infinite Intelligence, at the center of our being, which determines our special form of expression. To know what Its destiny is for us, we must touch this center within us in meditation.

The degree of fulfillment experienced is in proportion to the degree of consciousness unfolding. Wherever we are at this moment in life represents the degree of God-life unfolded in conscious expression, and we can change that expression by opening our consciousness for a greater flow. Those who open themselves to God through meditation are at one with the Infinite Invisible. God uses the mind, soul, and body as instruments for Its activity and unfoldment, and the grace of God flowing through them is a benediction to the world:

“My grace is sufficient for thee.” Thy grace is not only my sufficiency but thy grace is the sufficiency of all those who come within range of my thought. Father, I am an instrument through which this invisible blessing may appear in the world for those who seek Thee. The kingdom of God is within me, the kingdom of righteousness; it is Thy kingdom and Thy power and Thy grace. Thy grace is a blessing and a benediction to all who are in the world. It is my joy that this blessing — this benediction of God, this grace of God — shall flow equally to friend or foe, near or far, that it shall flow to those of any nationality, race, or faith who lift their hearts to God. It is my joy that all those who honestly lift their thought or voice to God shall find their benediction and blessing through Thy grace which flows through me.

(Chapter: “The Indissoluble Union” 47-49)

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As we advance in this work, if we permit ourselves to be deprived of our periods of contemplation, by the pressure of business or the demands of increasing responsibility, we shall miss the way. Once the Christ-center has been touched it is possible that outer activities may increase to such an extent that they encroach upon the time which should be devoted to meditation. Too great an indulgence in the things of this world might soon take from us the spiritual gift which is infinitely more valuable than any material thing we may sacrifice. . . .   (Chapter: “The Difficulties” 53)

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Many times in meditation we attain a sense of peace or harmony — the realization of the presence of the Christ. These are inspiring experiences but we must be willing to give up even that deep peace and rise to the next higher level of consciousness in which the attaining of that peace is of no significance or importance whatsoever. Having realized the ever-presence of the Christ, is it necessary to have any kind of an emotional reaction? Whether we feel emotionally satisfied or emotionally starved will make no difference, since we shall have realized that the activity of the Spirit is an eternal thing, always with us.  (Chapter: “The Difficulties” 54-55)

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. . . As often as our thought wanders in meditation, we gently come back, with no impatience, to the subject of the meditation. There will come a time, as we continue in this practice, when these extraneous thoughts will not impinge on our consciousness. We will have starved them by neglect. We will have made ourselves so unreceptive to them by not fighting them that they will not return to plague us. But if we fight them, they will be with us forever.   (Chapter: “The Difficulties” 56)

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We have no right to interfere with the divine plan; our responsibility is to begin where we are, confident that the place whereon we stand is holy ground.  That place may be a prison, a hospital, or a position of high honor; but however high or lowly, that place is holy ground.  There we play the part assigned to us.  There we remain, until God moves us.  We interfere with the divine plan when we let the little “I” decide where it should function, instead of being satisfied to let the Christ determine our activity.

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The government is on His shoulder. As we listen to that I that is deep within our own being, we are led of the Spirit. We behold the hand of God reaching right up through us, in us, coming out into manifestation and place Its glory in our experience as our activity. . . . (Chapter: “The Place Whereon Thou Standest” 88, 89)

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If there is no evil in your consciousness, there is no evil operating in your world.  How can you determine whether or not evil is operating in your consciousness?  Do you accept or recognize a presence or a power apart from God?  If you do, then evil exists for you.  Do you see something to hate, fear or resent?  Then you are seeing an image which you have created within yourself.  Hatred, resentment, and fear are but figments of thought, the result of a self-created image, and are, therefore, without power, presence, or reality.  God is the fabric, the substance, and the law of your consciousness.  Evil is but a suggestion or temptation to accept a creator apart from God. This suggestion you must handle within yourself, until you come to that place of rest in which the Word of God abides in you and you abide in this consciousness of truth.   (Chapter: “Fear Not” 109-110)

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Never look upon the discords and inharmonies of your life as if they represented a lack of understanding or a lack of demonstration. Regard these unfortuitous circumstances as opportunities which will be dissolved when they no longer serve their purpose as spurs to your spiritual unfoldment.

Have courage to look at every person and circumstance that you consider harmful or destructive. In the silence, face the situation fearlessly; face the condition or the person and you will discover that it — or he — is an image of your own thought; and therefore, there is no cause, jurisdiction, or law to support it. Recognize God as the Soul of every person and God as the activity in every situation.

Fear not what mortal thought can think or do, since mortal thought is self-destructive. Fear not the thoughts or deeds of man whose breath is in his nostrils. You are the temple of God, and God is in His holy temple now. You are the temple of the living God; your body is the temple of the living God; your life, your soul, your mind is the abiding place of truth, and if you abide in this truth and let this truth abide in you, no evil will come nigh your dwelling place. Fear not; rest in faith and confidence in the kingdom of God. (Chapter: “Fear Not” 112)

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I surrender; I surrender every material obstacle, every mortal and human obstacle, everything that stands between me and God. In Thy Presence is fullness of life. I surrender every desire that I have ever had. I surrender every desire but one; all that I seek is Thee. Let me be in Thy Presence. Thy grace is sufficient for me — not Thy grace and health or wealth, but Thy grace alone. I surrender the desire for person, place, thing, circumstance, or condition — even my hope of heaven. I surrender every desire for recognition, for reward, for gratitude, for love, for understanding. I am satisfied with Thy grace. If only I can sit here and hold Thy hand, I will never ask even for tomorrow’s breakfast; I will fast the rest of my days. Just let me hold Thy hand and I shall never hunger; I shall never thirst. Only let me hold Thy hand; let me be in Thy Presence.

(Chapter: “The Tabernacle of God” 118)

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Note: Emphasis, such as text bold-facing, italics, or text color highlighting, may have been supplied, with respect to the excerpts posted in this page.

 

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