I. What is meditation?

Meditation will provide material for meditation, if we just observe the observer.   Richard Rose

Meditation is the witnessing of experience. Participation in experience is dreaming.

Lotus flower

"Meditation: It's not what you think..." (part 1). Two types of meditation work together and lead to Self knowledge: intellectual effort—to identify our true self, and effortless meditation—sinking into transcendental consciousness. Doing both alternately is very reinforcing and leads to full Realization. Examples of effortful meditation (part 2) and effortless meditation: A practice of "letting go" (part 3).   Michael Conners

What is meditation? Let's first play a little game, but you have to be honest. It won't hurt, at least not at first. You just need to answer a few simple questions.

There, you've successfully meditated. Carry on, go within, and good luck.   Bob Fergeson

meditator Any product of thought is not proper meditation, as that is of the mind's memory. Meditation is a total denial, a total negation of everything that mankind has created. To meditate is to refuse all postures, breathing exercises, all things set in motion by thought. Meditation is the total comprehension of the whole of existence, the place from which correct action flows. Meditation is absolute silence of mind—not relative silence (lack of noise), but absolute silence (lack of self). Order, projection, structure, all silenced. Such is true freedom. Only in that total and complete silence do we abide in truth. A position where time no longer exists—an everlasting beginning and end.   Gary Harmon

To meditate is to think with a goal in mind. Some may meditate on money or murder. Regardless, the goal is discovery—the answering of a question that will not leave us in peace until it is resolved. Meditation is scientific inquiry, and the outstanding scientists use logic and intuition to solve their mysteries. The scientist forms a question, researches what others have found, uses the best tools available, and is not afraid to admit they were wrong. To reach the highest goal, the discovery of one's true nature, requires scientific logic and scientific intuition.

Reflecting on the discussion at a TAT event. Photo by Phil Franta. Photo: Phil Franta

Who? what? where? when? how? why? are the topics of inquiry and meditation. We try to answer these questions with research and logic. Yet, the honest person is plagued by the shadow of doubt. We find that our minds are unreliable. We hallucinate, desires cloud our judgment, we assume, pre-judge, discriminate. A host of influences (cultural, psychological, and physiological) determine what we see and think, and we are rarely conscious of these influences. The lack of certainty regarding all that the mind perceives leads us to meditate on the nature of the mind. What is this flawed glass out of which we peer?

To meditate is to strip the mind to its foundation in search of certainty. We find that all is in doubt except our awareness. We are aware of events in an apparently outer world of things and an inner world of our private drama. We are aware of thoughts. Yet, logic tells us that even awareness may have another side. Everything the mind witnesses has a flip side. There is awareness and not-awareness. Yet, we cannot conceive of not-awareness.

We look for that which is behind awareness, because there is no where else left to look. All other roads have been explored or rejected. Our heart tells us the answer is there, behind the mind.

To meditate is to ask questions, to think, to be honest about what we see, to listen to our intuition, and to desire an answer to our deepest questions. To meditate is to be honest about what we see outside and inside and reject what is less true.   Shawn Nevins

II. The Psychology of the Observer

Jacob's Ladder by Wm Blake Meditation is one aspect of the threefold path recommended by Richard Rose. It corresponds to the "way" of the Way, the Life and the truth mentioned by Jesus and to the "dharma" of the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha taught by Gautama Buddha.

While advice on meditation occurs throughout his writings, the Meditation booklet is a good place to start.

Jacob's Ladder in stained glass If you like learning by listening, TAT Foundation videos of Richard Rose's and others' talks provide material for gaining an impression of a common-sense approach to the spiritual search. The video, Mister Rose, captures a trip by a group of students from Raleigh, NC and their first meeting with this remarkable man.

For the serious pursuit of studying the mind with the mind, with the objective of removing the veil that's obscuring the recognition of the innermost Self or essential Being, the Psychology of the Observer is an invaluable resource. It combines a paper on Psychological Directions, where Rose lays out the triangulation process by which the seeker climbs "Jacob's Ladder," the transcript of a University Lecture that reaches out directly to the intuition or heart of the listener, and a Practical Approach that discusses the personal struggle that anyone making the effort to really find himself may go through.

Read an outline of the Threefold Path.

Read an essay on Jacob's Ladder: A Direct Going Within.


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