The Power of Meditation | Spirituality Podcasts

Spirituality Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you in part by Book of Zen, makers of wearable inspiration for a better world. Today’s podcast has been edited and adapted from the book The Way of Peace by James Allen, published in 1907.

Spiritual meditation is the pathway to Divinity. It is the mystic ladder which reaches from earth to heaven, from error to Truth, from pain to peace. Without its aid, you cannot grow into the divine state, and the fadeless glories and joys of Truth will remain hidden from you.

Meditation is the intense dwelling, in thought, upon an idea or theme, with the object of thoroughly comprehending it. And whatsoever you constantly meditate upon, you will not only come to understand, but grow more into its likeness, for it will become incorporated into your very being, will become, in fact, your very self.

If, therefore, you constantly dwell upon that which is selfish and debasing, you will ultimately become selfish and debased. But if you ceaselessly think upon that which is pure and unselfish, you will become more pure and unselfish.

Tell me that which you most frequently and intensely think about (that to which, in your silent hours, your soul most naturally turns), and I will tell you to what place of pain or peace you are traveling, and whether you are growing into the likeness of the divine or the mundane.

There is an unavoidable tendency to become literally the embodiment of that quality upon which you most constantly think. Let, therefore, the object of your meditation be above and not below, so that every time you revert to it in thought, you will be lifted up. Let it be pure and unmixed with any selfish element; so shall your heart become purified and drawn nearer to Truth, and not dragged more hopelessly into error.

Meditation, in the spiritual sense in which I am now using it, is the secret of all growth in spiritual life and knowledge. Every prophet, sage, and savior became such by the power of meditation. Buddha meditated upon the Truth until he could say, “I am the Truth.” Jesus brooded upon the Divine immanence until at last he could declare, “I and my Father are One.”

Meditation centered upon divine realities is the very essence and soul of prayer. It is the silent reaching of the soul toward the Eternal. Mere petitionary prayer without meditation is a body without a soul, and is powerless to lift the mind and heart above error and affliction. If you are daily praying for wisdom, for peace, for a fuller realization of Truth, and that for which you pray is still far from you, it means that you are praying for one thing, while living out in thought and act another.

The individual who would secure any worldly advantage must be willing to work vigorously for it, and would be foolish indeed to wait with folded hands, expecting it to come for the mere asking. Do not then vainly imagine that you can obtain divine possessions without making an effort. If you really seek Truth, and not merely your own gratification; if you love it above all worldly pleasures and gains; more, even, than happiness itself, you will be willing to make the effort necessary for its achievement.

At the outset, meditation must be distinguished from idle reverie. There is nothing dreamy or unpractical about it. It is a process of searching and uncompromising thought which allows nothing to remain but the simple and naked truth. Thus when meditating, you will no longer strive to build yourself up in your prejudices, but, forgetting self, you will remember only that you are seeking the Truth.

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