East and West

Changing the world, by changing ourselves....…

In the case in which the monthly proposal should not come in time to be put online, in any event, the exercises below can be performed.

1 Concentration 10 minutes

2 Meditation on the Prologue to the Gospel of John (I 1-14).

[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God: [3] Through Him all things were made, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. [4]In Him was life and that life was the light of men; [5]and the Light shines in the darkness, but the darkness comprehended it not. [6]There was a man, sent from God whose name was John. [7]He was not that light, but came as a witness to that light, so that through him, all men might believe. [8]He was not that light but was sent to bear witness to that light. [9]That was the true light that lights every man that was coming into the world. [10]He was in the world, and the world was made by him, but the world knew him not. [11]He came unto his own, but his own received him not. [12]But to as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God: even unto them that believe upon his name, [13]which were born not of the blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. [14]And the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us; and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only-begotten son of the Father, full of grace and truth.

On techniques:

1 Concentration

In what follows, the conditions which must be the basis of any occult development are set forth. Let no one imagine that he can make progress by any measures applied to the outer or the inner life unless he fulfils these conditions. All exercises in meditation, concentration, or exercises of other kinds, are valueless, indeed in a certain respect actually harmful, if life is not regulated in accordance with these conditions. No forces can actually be imparted to a human being; all that can be done is to bring to development the forces already within him. They do not develop of their own accord because outer and inner hindrances obstruct them. The outer hindrances are lessened by means of the following rules of life; the inner hindrances by the special instructions concerning meditation, concentration, and the like.
The first condition is the cultivation of absolutely clear thinking. For this purpose a man must rid himself of the will-o'-the-wisps of thought, even if only for a very short time during the day - about five minutes (the longer, the better). He must become the ruler in his world of thought. He is not the ruler if external circumstances, occupation, some tradition or other, social relationships, even membership of a particular race, the daily round of life, certain activities and so forth, determine a thought and how he works it out. Therefore during this brief time, acting entirely out of his own free will, he must empty the soul of the ordinary, everyday course of thoughts and by his own initiative place one single thought at the centre of his soul. The thought need not be a particularly striking or interesting one. Indeed it will be all the better for what has to be attained in an occult respect if a thoroughly uninteresting and insignificant thought is chosen. Thinking is then impelled to act out of its own energy the essential thing here, whereas an interesting thought carries the thinking along with it. It is better if this exercise in thought-control is undertaken with a pin rather than with Napoleon. The pupil says to himself: Now I start from this thought, and through my own inner initiative I associate with it everything that is pertinent to it. At the
end of the period the thought should be just as colourful and living as it was at the beginning. This exercise is repeated day by day for at least a month; a new thought may be taken every day, or the same thought may be adhered to for several days. At the end of the exercise an endeavour is made to become fully conscious of that inner feeling of firmness and security which will soon be noticed by paying subtler attention to one's own soul; the exercise is then brought to a conclusion by focusing the thinking upon the head and the middle of the spine (brain and spinal cord), as if the feeling of security were being poured into this part of the body.

Rudolf Steiner

2 Meditation

Real meditation demands that the mind concentrate on a precise thought, clear as crystal. The preselected though does not need to be the object of faith, something to be blindly believed, but must correspond to an actual spiritual experience: an experience that exceptional men have accomplished and which others can repeat. The works of spiritual science are fled with such contents: you only have to choose in total freedom. The meditation selected is lit up in the centre of the soul as a powerful imagination, which over time shines over the inner withdrawal.

Rudolf Steiner