This morning, as I usually do, I got up at 4:30 AM. I don't leave myself any choice in this matter — if I am not already awake (which is not unusual) when the alarm goes off, I instantly jump up out of bed. I never hesitate: one cannot engage in inner discipline if one is inclined to be lazy and hesitate.
This is just it, that people are not disciplined. I led a meditation yesterday, which was, admittedly, for beginners — all good people, I might add. Everyone said their meditation practice was casual: which means they are undisciplined, even lazy. I ask you, does God want us to be lazy? Think about it.
I ask you equally, does God want us to be inattentive? To make messes, to not properly clean up after ourselves and lead a disorganize life? He doesn't. Duty is something that extends to every incident of life; everything is my duty, and I must rise to that occasion in every instant.
In any event, while I was making Turkish coffee this morning, the question of how I do exercises and conduct meditation sessions came to me. There is a difference between organization and disorganization; but there is also a need to be flexible and relaxed, which may be in a free style—not structured, but still attentive. This is how I prefer to approach meditation.
Now, many people who lead meditation like to do specific meditations on chakras, to circulate energy in specific ways. This has become somewhat the vogue in recent years. I've even been to meditation sessions led by "advanced" (at least, so advertised—which in itself is suspicious) Qigong Masters, where they lead the participants through many different "chakra activations" and visualizations so quickly that one gets whiplash during the process. Others proceed at a more leisurely pace, but always there is this specific idea and structure about how to take the inner energy and do this and that with it.
Over the years, I've done many such exercises; and I know a number of exercises I have never told anyone, although various older members of the Gurdjieff work occasionally bring such an exercise to a sitting, where I recognize it from my own work.
The reason I ponder this is because I was not taught many organized methods of sitting before my inner life changed. For some reason, ever since I began meditating, I have been largely freestyle in my inner work. My own teachers were never rigid in their approach to energy; we never had specific things we were supposed to do over and over again, for example, circulating energy down the front and up the back, or vice versa, and so on.
Yet I opened; and I opened without all of the set pieces, the prescribed meditation methods.
Ever since then, I have spent years studying the inner conditions — investigating all kinds of meditation methods, both structured and unstructured – and trying to understand exactly what it is that helps one to open.
I have come, over the course of these many years, to understand that the prescriptions don't work. That's because all of the prescriptions come from me: and I'm not a doctor. Others aren't doctors either, although everyone believes they have some kind of snake oil that can lead us to God. The fact is that God leads us to Himself, not through our methods, but through His own.
Consequently, I could teach people many ways of opening chakras, inhaling energy in through them, and so on. But I intentionally don't. My own work with such methods over the years has shown such methods to be highly invasive and intrusive, and without exception all of them eventually (or even immediately) become a manipulation of one kind or another. The temptation, invariably, is to allow them to become a kind of masturbation.
Now, I am not one of these Victorians or Calvinists who believe that masturbation is a crime; but it hardly leads anywhere important, as everyone ought to know. But if I don't allow the energy within me the freedom to do its own work, as it sees fit, I am trying to put myself in charge of something I know very little about. And in my own experience, the more I know about it, the more I see that I am not in charge.
This is why I attend; but I attend without coming with an agenda, and I attend without making plans.