Posts Tagged ‘White Magic’

Silent Illumination

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

I’m not entirely sure why Japanese Zen split into the soto and rinzai sects. Auckland Zen Centre practises Integral Zen, which I don’t really know a lot about, but it’s an interesting thought.

And then there’s the thought of meditation stages:- counting the breath, focusing on the single breath, and I guess focusing on nothing. If I’m to understand the practise of silent illumination properly, this last one is that. Patanjali describes I find focusing on nothing requires a level of concentration that the others I guess are indeed a preparation for. Perhaps this is why people like Gil Fronsdal and Bhante Henepola Gunaratana describe Zen as the most difficult practise.

Huatou practise (wato in Japanese, but more commonly and less correctly known as koan practise does indeed seem much easier. Personally, I like to do that as well. As I wrote in an earlier post, my question is “what is emptiness?”. And these to practises seem to dovetail quite well, but I practise focusing on nothing first. One of the reasons is that while huatou is meant to cut thinking off at the root, the mind occasionally finds things to grip on to. Another reason is that it seems to deepen the sense of emptiness observed in silent illumination practise. Patanjali refers to meditation with seed in Book I, 46 of his Yoga Sutras. And meditation without seed in Book 3, 8.

I think I’ve talked about the first two rules of magic before. The Tibetan as I recall it anyway observed that the personality and soul need to be meditating in alignment. Technical discussions aside, I think the practise of silent illumination is in one aspect the personality actively listening for what Blavatsky calls The Voice of the Silence. And this I think the practise of silent illumination does more readily.

And then both practises are the same. By the way, I think Sheng Yen’s book on this topic The Method of No-Method: The Chan Practice of Silent Illumination is a good one; a good addition to your meditation library.

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The beginning of magic

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Alice Bailey‘s Treatise on White Magic lists the first two rules as follows:

  1. The Solar Angel collects himself, scatters not his force but, in meditation deep, communicates with his reflection.
  2. When the shadow hath responded, in meditation deep the work proceedeth. The lower light is thrown upward; the greater light illuminates the three, and the work of the four proceedeth.

The first rule is very insightful. What it claims is that it is the indwelling Soul – the greater light – that is meditating upon the personality – the reflection or shadow. It is suggestive that there are times when the Self is occupied with this meditation.

In the second rule we discover that the personality must meet the Soul with equal concentration. But in reality it is the Soul that is meditating, which is why I suppose Buddha could remark that all human beings were already enlightened.

The three being illuminated here is the personality by the soul. The soul it must be remembered is non-dualistic. In the world of the Soul there is no separation .

For a long time, aeons indeed, the personality has been active and the soul passive. Here in dhyana the personality is quietened to become receptive to the now active soul. The personality awakens to that which was always awake.

May you awaken and be free.

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