- Why Meditation Can Be Unpleasant, and Why This Can Be a Good Thing

Why Meditation Can Be Unpleasant, and Why This Can Be a Good Thing

Drilling through the layers

meditation sins It is not uncommon for meditators to complain about negative traits arising in their mind which they believed were already eliminated. It should be understood that the meditator is like a geologist boring through strata laid down through millions, even billions, of incarnations. Let us say we have been greedy to an extreme degree in a dozen past lives: not continuously, but with other lives in between in which we were not greedy. We may be forced to face the greed demon for quite a few meditations to eliminate it from the impressions produced in our most recent life. We may then spend weeks, months, or even years, moving through the debris of prior lives, only to one day find the greed imp facing us again, just as before. Although it is the same negative trait arising, it is in one sense not the same. That is, it is the greed germ of a life farther back. It will in time disappear, and then once more reappear when we get into the layer of another past life in which we were obsessively greedy. It is good to know this, so we will not mistakenly think that we are simply cycling the same negative impulses over and over, and not really getting anywhere. We are actually making great progress when this occurs. It is possible to dissolve or work out karma through meditation.As can be imagined, this process may take a long time to get through. It is possible to clear the debris out in one lifetime, but diligent application is needed. “It is possible to dissolve or work out karma through meditation.”As can be imagined, this process may take a long time to get through. It is possible to clear the debris out in one lifetime, but diligent application is needed.

They live again

The most important thing in all of this, is to realize that successful meditation involves the seeming resuscitation of long-dead thoughts, desires, and habits of previous lives. Although meditation is the divine eye through which we perceive these ghosts, we are not to voluntarily seek for them nor are we to fix our attention on them and analyze them. Instead, we are to ignore them and keep on with the process of meditation. In this way we will directly experience what Saint Paul meant in saying that some men’s sins go to judgement before them, and some men’s sins follow after them (I Timothy 5:24). Those who practice the interior life find their sins judged and dealt with before the great summing up that takes place at physical death. Those who have no effective interior life will find their sins (negative karmas) coming after them and catching up with them at the great summation, and thereby impelling them into further earthly births.

Karma and meditation

It is possible to dissolve or work out karma through meditation. The impressions which arise during meditation are not just simple memories or interior impressions; rather they are the karmic seeds from which the external factors we usually call “my karma” proceed. If these seeds are cauterized in meditation through the purifying vibrations of higher consciousness, they will not manifest whatsoever in the future. In this way meditation becomes the fulfillment of the ancient counsel: “See that your past does not become your future.” “The current of meditation unerringly bears us to our true home in the heart of God.” Meditation has the power to mitigate (lessen) our karma. If our karma is to have our leg amputated, we may instead only cut it severely. Or if our karma is to break our leg, we may only suffer a painful blow to the leg instead. Meditation also speeds up our karma. Therefore the disciple is seen to reap far more karma in a single lifetime than the non-disciple. Further, the initiate’s karma is intensified: a karmic period that would ordinarily last several months or a year may last only a few weeks or days of great intensity. This is because the disciple can cope with karmic forces that would utterly overwhelm the non-disciple. Although, as has been said, meditation is healing, it has been my experience that the symptoms of an illness can be greatly magnified through meditation, thus making the illness of a much shorter duration. On the other hand, I have also found that meditation can greatly alleviate physical pain and lessen the discomfort of illness. All is done according to the infinite wisdom. One thing is sure: The current of meditation unerringly bears us to our true home in the heart of God.

This is from Abbot George’s commentary on a small book called Light On The Path, by Mabel Collins. Currently you can read this commentary online here at OCOY.org, but soon we will publish it as a paperback and as an ebook.

Further reading about meditation:
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