Meditating to Help Others
Active Meditation is also effective for helping other people and society. The same principles of Active Meditation which are so effective in promoting personal growth can also be used to help others.
The influence of the light, love, and strength of the Higher Self is not limited just to our own consciousness. By holding a certain ideal or quality of the Higher Self in mind while meditating, we can radiate its light to specific individuals or to segments of society, for healing, purification, inspiration, or blessing.
The good that can be done in this way is enormous. In fact, there are many who believe that the work of blessing and healing the world is the primary value of meditation. It is certainly true that this is one of the major ways in which we learn to think and act as the Higher Self thinks and acts. Consequently, this use of meditation is highly recommended.
Many beginners, however, confuse the use of meditation to help others with prayer. This confusion is quite understandable, as both prayer and meditation can be used to aid those in need, and in fact can be used together.
There are a few differences which ought to be kept in mind:
Prayer is the invocation of a transpersonal, divine blessing. Anyone with good intentions and faith in universal divine forces can pray effectively, because a prayer to help others or society is a request for a divine agency to intercede on behalf of a needy individual or group.
Meditation is the radiation of a transpersonal, divine blessing. The meditator contacts the Higher Self, and through the Higher Self, the force of the blessing or healing to be given. A significant portion of this divine force is brought into the aura or consciousness of the meditator, and then radiated to the person or group who is being helped.
While anyone can pray and invoke a blessing, individuals who meditate to help others need to cleanse and purify their thoughts and emotions before attempting their blessing.
Otherwise, they may produce results that are less than desirable. Instead of radiating light, love, and the power of spirit, they may well end up radiating their selfishness, prejudice, wishes, and fears.
Fortunately, the risk of this occurring with sincere and mature people of goodwill is small. This is because the potential for good usually outweighs the potential to harm.
Still, it is important to understand that the integrity and quality of our bodies of thought and feeling are involved in the activity of radiating light and healing energies. There is a greater responsibility in using meditation to help others than there is in praying for others.
The Duty To Help
There are many worthwhile reasons for spending some of our time in meditation helping others. The most important one is that the Higher Self itself is already motivated to heal the problems of humanity and promoting the evolution of its collective consciousness.
Since we are striving to value what the Higher Self values and act as the Higher Self acts, learning to help others is a natural way to honor the wisdom and love of the Higher Self.
Some additional reasons for helping others through meditative activity include:
- It is part of our duty as a human being to help society grow and develop. The value of society and civilization to us individually is immeasurable. It has helped clothe us, feed us, protect us, educate us, and inspire us. It has given us a context in which to discover our individuality, find meaning in life, and grow as a human being. In turn, we have an obligation to help society.
- There comes a time in our evolution when it becomes appropriate to help support the efforts of those individuals who have helped us at the subtle, inner levels. These are the teachers, leaders, and guides of the human race who have nursed us in our efforts to grow.
This obligation cannot be fulfilled by helping them directly, since they are the leaders, and we the followers. Rather, it is fulfilled by lending support to their work. These people are usually a part of the Inner Masters, a vast organization of enlightened people who are the custodians of the divine plan for the evolution of humanity and civilization. The Inner Masters as a group operate on the subtle dimensions of life, rather than the physical plane. As such, their methods of helping humanity are primarily meditative ones.
As we learn to use meditation to help heal and inspire society, we give the work of the Masters support. We may also become a channel through which the Inner Masters can work more directly.
- Humanity has a tremendous need for greater wisdom, love, and enlightened direction. If we can radiate even a small portion of these treasures of spirit into the mind and emotions of humanity, we perform a useful service.
- Using meditation to help others opens up a new opportunity for self- expression. Many people have an urgent need to increase their expressiveness in life, thereby grounding intentions, ideas, and goodwill. Serving humanity and helping others is an excellent way of enriching self-expression.
- As we work in these ways, we realize more profoundly that we are, in a very real sense, a citizen of the universe. We experience the true meaning and power of fellowship by realizing that, collectively, we are the body of light which is the Christ, and individually, the different parts of it. The work of helping others activates some of the most significant and powerful aspects of our individuality as a human being. It likewise helps us develop an awareness of the Aquarian spirit.
- The use of meditation to help others also gradually builds a rapport, physically and telepathically, with other people who are working with similar purpose and intent. This can greatly enrich the impact of the light and love which is radiated. It also helps us find new friends and acquaintances who share similar interests and activities.
Preparing To Help
It is important to make sure we are well prepared to handle these energies intelligently, before we begin. We must be able to remain relatively pure in intention, understanding, and attitude while we are meditating.
Many people, however, have no real understanding of what genuine help is. First of all, we need to be sure that our intention is to offer genuine help, not just sympathy or good wishes. An example of this error would be praying for a friend who is sick just to feel better. Yet if this friend is sick primarily because they worry too much, we would be better advised to pray for the friend’s confidence and mature outlook.
Or, if a friend is suffering abuse at the hands of another person, they try to visualize their friend being delivered from this situation, or their antagonist being brought to justice. But being rescued miraculously might abort a learning process which both people need. It may well be that the friend needs to confront justice as much as his antagonist.
We must understand that there is great risk in projecting our personal judgments about a situation while we are trying to help meditatively. We are usually not in a position to judge.
The same is true in helping society and groups in society. Some people, for example, meditate quite diligently to help the Russian Jews escape persecution. On the surface, this seems like a noble activity, but it is still the projection of a personal preference upon a circumstance we cannot judge. The enlightened way to help, by contrast, would be to invoke the forces of goodwill and divine justice for both victim and persecutor alike. This effort would seek to turn the minds and hearts of both sides to cooperation, sharing, and harmony.
By proceeding in this way, we are not making personal judgments we are leaving judgment to universal law. We are merely offering help, not just to a specific group, but to the society as a whole.
An important part of preparing to help others meditatively, therefore, is to detach ourself from our personal wants and preferences. This automatically tends to purge our consciousness of factors and influences which would pollute or distort the light and love we seek to radiate.
An effective way of making this detachment is to offer our assistance to the higher spiritual intelligences – the ones who guide the destiny of the group, nation, or institution of society we are seeking to help.
Or, if we are seeking to help an individual, we offer our assistance to the Higher Self of that person. If we seek to work with these intelligences as an agent of universal goodwill, then we can be sure the quality of light we radiate will be benevolent and pure.
When we seek to help others with their issues, we do not have the latitude and flexibility we can apply to our own problems.
We need to consider the individual purpose of these people as well as the destiny of groups in society. This is likely to be far more complex and subtle than our own problems.
In addition to these considerations, our help for others must always honor the principle of free will. We can only work impersonally. This means we must avoid arbitrarily imposing an answer that we personally would like to see come to pass. Our goal should be to help create a climate of healing and enlightenment in which the person or group can heal or enlighten itself.
In other words, we should limit ourself to reinforcing the spiritual will and plan for the people or group involved, not directly intervene in their problems. In this regard, the guidelines for helping others meditatively are a good deal different than helping others physically.
Since the recipient of our help may not be consciously aware of the help we are offering, we must be more cautious and circumspect. We need to avoid projecting specific ideas to change them, and instead, support their basic capacity to help themselves.
We can do this best by radiating the generic energies of goodwill, wisdom, courage, divine order, or healing vitality. It is these energies that will support their innate healing potentials and plans.
As a general rule, the act of radiating light and love proceeds much more effectively if we broadcast the energy to a large group of people instead of a single individual.
A light bulb illumines the whole room with light, not just a single point on one wall. This does not mean that we should never work to help individuals, however. It means that we can best help individuals by simultaneously working to help others with similar problems.
If we have a friend, for example, who is suffering from despondency, and we want to radiate healing energies to them, the help we can offer will be much more powerful if we work to help everyone in our community who is suffering from despondency and pessimism.
The specific procedure to use in radiating light and love to others will vary with the kind of help we are seeking to give.
The following format is offered as a starting point for beginners, and a reference point for those who already have experience in helping others meditatively:
- We begin by determining the scope of the help we seek to offer, and the individuals or groups we seek to assist.
- Next, we ascertain the quality of light and love we need to radiate. Genuine help can be given meditatively only if we have determined the nature of the enlightened qualities which are missing or deficient in the individual or group we are trying to help.
The real problem in an angry person is not their anger, but rather their lack of compassion. We would therefore send them compassion.
The real problem in society is not war or the threat of a nuclear holocaust, but rather the selfishness, ignorance, intolerance, malice, greed, jealousy, prejudice, distrust, and nationalism which lead to competition and strife.
These difficulties clearly betray a lack of goodwill, tolerance, wisdom, and understanding of the Inner Masters’ plan for humanity.
We should therefore send society the light of goodwill, tolerance, wisdom, and the will to fulfill its fundamental design. If we are going to radiate light, we must be willing to work on these terms.
- We establish meditative contact with the Higher Self, as described in chapter five. Through our contact with our own Higher Self, we make contact with the Higher Self of the person we are seeking to help or the spiritual forces which nurture and protect the segment of society we are seeking to help, asking for guidance in offering this help.
- These forces should be invoked in a spirit of devotion and with the confidence and trust that there truly are forces and intelligences in the universe which will respond to our request. These are the wise and benevolent intelligences that guide the destiny and evolution of society and its institutions. There probably will be no conscious indication that this contact has been made, yet if we make it with reverence, conviction, and the intention to help, we can be sure our invocation will be answered.
- Using the creative imagination, we visualize the light of the quality we are invoking being gathered around us, giving our full attention to it. Once we are attuned to it effectively, we then visualize sending it forth to the person, group, or aspect of society we are seeking to help.
There are many variations which are possible at this stage of the work. If we are sending help to a large group of people, for example, we can visualize the spiritual light we are sending entering the minds and hearts of the individuals in the group. We can add to this visualization the expectation that this will enrich the light in each of them and adding to their goodwill and wisdom.
In using the creative imagination in these ways, however, it is important to remember that visualization is just a skill for directing spiritual forces. The image we create is not the force itself. It is just a convenient vehicle. Our primary attention should therefore be centered on holding steady in our consciousness the quality of the light we are sending.
It is likewise important to keep in mind the value of remaining impersonal as we radiate light to others. As long as we remain detached and impersonal, we will be able to serve as an effective agent for these forces.
But if we lose our detachment, we open the gateway for the influx of our personal fears and desires, thereby weakening the contact with the higher energies and polluting our effort.
Achieving this detachment is a great challenge to the meditator, as it requires that we work without personal concern for the outcome of our efforts. This is a necessary part of helping others effectively, for it enables us to work with the actual forces of spirit. In addition, detachment will aid in protecting us from the unpleasant aspects of the problem we are seeking to heal.
- We hold our attention, as well as the intention, to radiate light and love for as long as appropriate. This can be anywhere from a few minutes to fifteen or twenty minutes. Rarely would it be desirable to spend more time than this unless we are highly experienced in the art of meditation.
- The session can be brought to an end by detaching from the focus of attention we have been holding, taking care to remain impersonal toward the work we have done. Our work has been to launch universal energies to help others. Now that we have done so, it is best to turn our attention to other matters and not be consumed by a personal curiosity as to the impact we have had.
The Great Invocation
The effort to help others can be made even more effective if we use a universal invocation to help focus our attention and energies. This would obviously not apply to meditative work to assist specific individuals, but it can be enormously powerful as a way to radiate goodwill, wisdom, and spiritual will to the whole of humanity.
One of the best invocations to use in this manner is the Great Invocation, which was first published in the writings of Alice A. Bailey during the 1940’s. It has been widely used by spiritual aspirants since that time, and its merit has been fully proven. It summons the wisdom, love, and will of God, directing these qualities into the mind and heart and will of mankind, and then evokes our participation in the fulfillment of the divine plan for humanity and civilization.
The full text of the Great Invocation is:
From the point of Light within the Mind of God Let light stream forth into our minds. Let Light descend on Earth.
From the point of Love within the Heart of God Let love stream forth into our hearts. May the Christ return to Earth.
From the center where the Will of God is known Let purpose guide our little wills, the purpose which the Masters know and serve.
From the center which we call the race of mankind, Let the Plan of Love and Light work out, and may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.
After entering the meditative state, each stanza in the Great Invocation can be stated, mentally, or aloud, with the certain conviction that there is a reservoir of light, love, and divine will which is set aside for all men and women to call upon, for the purpose of blessing humanity and stimulating its evolution.
This light and love and power will help redeem humanity from the darkness and selfishness which grips the bulk of our race.
It is a good idea to pause for a short while at the end of each stanza to allow the quality of the particular force it has invoked to stream out to the minds, the hearts, and the little wills of men and women everywhere.
After using the Great Invocation a few times, the meditator will soon find the right and proper pace for using this invocation most effectively.
Daily use of the Great Invocation is an excellent way to enrich the quality of our meditations and enhance our efforts to contribute to the redemption of humanity.