of my books and artwork reflect the rainforest and the reef, which
are major themes in my work. In Australia Down Under, a book I wrote
about underwater life - the colours and patterns of the reef are
shown in the colour photographs. I now use these in my work as an
I have an Ascension Meditation audio CD. It follows Dr Joshua Stone's books, available for $A20. Contact me by email:email@example.com to obtain a copy. Payable by Paypal or credit card.
The following is a summary of a Discourse on Meditation given by Fr Bede Griffiths, a Benedictine monk to a group of cancer patients at the Yarra Valley Centre in 1992.
I have based my answer to the question on this talk given by Fr Bede because it is one of the best answers to the question that I'm aware of.
Father Bede for many years led a Christian ashram in the south of India and was the author of many books
' .. Our method basically first of all is to relax the body. That is the most important thing, In the Hindu tradition of Yoga, (which means harmony of the body) it is extremely important in meditation that you meditate with your body- not only your mind. The great problem is: we are all in the mind. We Christians do not relate properly to the body. That causes so many problems.
I always emphasise the first thing which is this: relax from tension and stress in the mind and allow the body to get peaceful and become aware of the body.....
...Then of couse, the next is the breathing, This is very important. It is the mediator between the body and the mind. If your breathing is calm and regular, your mind becomes calm. If your breathing is short and sharp your mind is disturbed and vice versa. Breathing should be from the abdomen.
But when you have calmed your body and your breath, then you have to face your mind and that is the main problem. The mind is always so active. It is so agitated. To bring it to silence for western people particularly, is difficult. Indians - it is not at all difficult. But we are so occupied with our minds - that to stop the mind..!!
...To get beyond the mind is the great problem. The mind is controlling your body. Many diseases come with the tension in the mind. Once the mind comes to this quiet calm., you become aware of the deeper self, and that is where healing takes place.
If you can go beyond the mind, which is causing stress in the body, and open it up you become aware of a healing power, It is inevitable for everybody.
I make this distinction of the body, soul and spirit. The body is the physical organism and our link with the whole of nature. The psyche is the psychological organism with all its thoughts, feelings, desires, fears, hopes, anxieties - all that is in the area of the psyche. Beyond the soul is the neuma, all the spirit or the Atman, and that is the deep self where you are in the union with the transcendent. Truth, Reality, God, - whatever you like to term it.
.. You open the mind beyond the senses, go beyond the mind. You open on this deeper centre which has no name. You can't properly imagine it. But it is simply an experience of deep peace, deep calm, happiness. Being, Consciousness, and Bliss. That is what we call it - Sachitananda. The being is fully conscious and enjoys this bliss. And that is what we are aiming at.
Father Bede in describing his own experiences, says that following a period of sickness in 1989
`When I came round I didn't have my ordinary consciousness. I couldn't walk and needed people to support me. But it was an extraordinary experience.
As I came round I discovered that this ego - this mental consciousness had been knocked down - this ego consciousness - and the deeper self had simply emerged.
I began to see everything in harmony, instead of everything divided and separate. It was all embracing. A unity. A harmony. Ahd that was the opening of the deep self really...
...All these things knock down the ego-accident-loss-disaster and once you get beyond that, this power comes into you. It has many forms. It can be healing power for the body and it can be an enlightenment of the mind.
The Buddhists call it enlightenment of course. There are many ways it can be experienced. Everybody should get beyond the mind. Everybody.
In every human being this power is present. I think children often have it. They haven't got their ego developed. Many very simple people who are living a hard-working life; I think they also discover it - unselfish love is one of the keys. If anybody is giving his/her life in unselfish love, it can open up this deep centre and then allow this power to come into our lives.