Lester Levenson: Meditation

The greatest thing, and the most difficult thing, we have to do, is to drop the mind. It’s a junkyard full of refuse from ages past; refuse of thoughts of limitations: I am a limited body; I have troubles. All thoughts contain limitation. We pile them up in the thing we call mind. Mind is nothing but the total accumulation of all these thoughts, so mind is nothing but a junkyard of limitation.

All right, so how do we get rid of the mind? By quieting it. When we quiet the mind we discover our infinity. The more we see our limitlessness, the more we recognize that junkyard called mind and the more we let go of it, until we go so far that we drop the whole remaining mind at one time.

However, before that, we keep [confronting] the thoughts as they come up. As the thoughts come up, we let go, let go, let go, until we let go of enough of them so that the Self that we are is obvious; then it takes over and takes us all the way. The greatest thing is quieting the mind, which is eliminating thought, which is eliminating the mind.

Meditation is necessary. This is the major point I’m stressing—meditation. Learn how to meditate. The deeper one goes, the more one discovers the innate joys to which there are no limits. No matter how joyful you get, you can always go further. If you were a thousand times more joyful than you are now, you could still go on and on and on in joy.  Joy is unlimited because we’re infinite. But the major thing to accomplish is the ability to control the mind, to meditate, to drop into peace at will. A man can control a whole nation, but if he cannot control his own mind, what kind of control has he got? He is a victim of his own mind. Rather than being in free control over his thoughts, he is an effect of them. He is actually pushed around by past habits. He is no master. Only he who can control his mind is a master—a master not only of himself, but of anything and everything he does. Meditation is the way.
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Meditation does not have to be formal to be meditation. It can be any time one gets quiet and seeks. Some of us find it is easier to meditate when it isn’t formal because sometimes we unconsciously have an aversion to formal meditation. However, we should work to drop the aversion.
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Meditate to get into the practice and habit of meditation. We should meditate as much as we possibly can. Meditation is getting the mind one-pointed in the direction of who and what we are. It’s taking the mind away from the worldly things and focusing it on the direction that we’re in. The more we do it, the more we like it, and the more we like it, the more we do it, until it becomes a thing that goes on effortlessly all the time. No matter what you’re doing, that meditation continues in the background—then you are really moving.
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Meditation is extremely difficult at first, but it gets easier as time goes on. Then one day you’ll say, “This is great! This is what I want!” Then you do it all the time. Then you’re really on the spiritual path.
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Meditation has to get to the point where it is the most important thing. The longer you can meditate, the deeper you can go. However, even a little meditation will go a long way, especially if it is concentrated.
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There is only one way to get to the high state, and that is by quieting the mind. The method of quieting the mind is meditation. It’s very difficult: the moment you sit down
and want to quiet the mind, up pop the thoughts. Well, as thoughts pop up, release the feelings behind the thoughts. Eventually you will reach a state where your mind is quiet. Then you begin to like meditation because it’s a deeper experience of your real Self.
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Release thoughts as they come into mind. This is done by allowing the negative feeling behind the thought into your awareness and focusing only on the feeling. Do this over and over until the feeling is gone for good.
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Whatever you let go of is gone forever. But even though you’ve let go of one thought, one idea, there still remains a multitude of thoughts, and so another one comes up. Letting go of one limiting thought doesn’t undo all the subconscious thoughts. What remains must be let go of by dropping a tendency or predisposition; this way you drop all the thoughts that arise from it. (See Letting go of the mind)
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We get to see the perfection by looking in the direction where the perfection is. Now, the perfection isn’t out there—we know that. The perfection is in here where we are, where the “I” of us is. So first, we have to direct our attention inwardly. We should pose a question and hold it until the answer comes. When the answer does come, you know, and you know that you know. And to get the answer to “What am I?” it is necessary to still the noise of the mind, to still the thoughts. The thoughts are the noise. The thoughts are concepts of limitation, and there are so many of them that they’re constantly bombarding us, one after another all the time. Keep on releasing the feelings behind the thoughts until the perfection is obvious.
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Meditation is putting your mind on the way to find God. Look within for the kingdom of God.
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To go inward is the doorway to the infinite. To go outward is the doorway to limitation.
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Internalize your attention. All externalized attention is wasted.
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What you do to yourself, being your own doing, can only be undone by you.
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Meditating to get the mind quiet is good. Meditating to let go of ego-wants is better. Meditating on “What am I?” is best.
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Meditation should be on: “What am I?” “What is God?” “What is the world?” “What’s my relationship to the world?” “What is the substance of this world?” “What is infinity?” “What is intelligence ?” “Where is this world?” Or on some of the statements you’ve heard, like: “I’m not in the world but the world is in me.” Question, and ask: “How come?” Try to see it. Try to see the meaning behind these statements of truth.
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Everything that everyone is looking for through work is far better gotten through meditation. Meditation will get you what you want sooner than working in
the world for it.
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With meditation, you will discover that you’ve covered up your unlimited Self with your limited ego.
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Meditation is the road to omnipresence.
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Meditation really should be communing with your Self.
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You’ll see your Self to the degree that your mind is quiet.
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The way to get rid of the ego is to get the mind so quiet that you can see what you are. Then you know that you are not the ego, and you drop it.
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Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Spiritual knowledge does not come down to a lower level—we have to raise ourselves up to it. We raise ourselves through meditation. Meditation should be used to get higher understanding by raising ourselves up to where higher understanding is.
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Meditation is wonderful. Things happen in meditation that never could happen while you are talking or active.
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Meditate until it becomes constant, i.e., until it continues in back of the mind regardless of what you are doing.
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You’ll reach a point where you’ll like meditation better than anything else, because you’ll reach a point where you’re being very much your real Self. That is the greatest of all joy, which before you thought was to be found in the world, in other people. You’ll see others as nothing but your very own Self; you’ll see that. And the joy will be direct and constant all the time.
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The answer won’t come from reasoning; it will come from quiet meditation. Some day, some time, it will come. It will just present itself to you, in its simplicity, and you’ll say, “Oh!”
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The quieter we are, the more we are the Self. When meditation becomes constant, all the time, even though we are outwardly active, we go through life and work automatically, all the time remaining in our real Self.
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Just look at what you are instead of what you are not. When you discover what you are, you simultaneously discover what you are not and you drop it.
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Seeing that you’re not the ego, you’re letting go of big chunks of ego.
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The depth to which you go in meditation determines how much you wipe out the ego. Depth of meditation is the degree of quieting the mind.
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Getting the good feeling is good. The higher you go the better the feeling is. But when you look for the good feeling as the end, then that is the end of growth. Growing is more than dropping into the good feeling of the Self; it is dropping the non-self, the ego.
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When you get full realization, you’re in the meditative state all the time. Actually, meditation is the natural state.
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Constant meditation is a constant remembering of God, the one Self.
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Dwell upon your Self. Turn the mind back upon the mind to discover what the mind is, and then go beyond the mind and dwell in your Self.
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We must learn to quiet the mind so that when we sit down, we let go of the world. Only then do we really begin to move at high levels on this spiritual path. We must learn to let go of thoughts, all thoughts. The way is through meditation, right meditation: quieting the mind, stilling the thoughts, and finally, eliminating all thoughts.
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In group meditation people support each other; but the very best meditation is when you are by yourself and you need no support. Then you are not confined to any time period. You might stay with it five, ten, even twenty-four hours. And this should happen. When you get to like it so much that you stay up all night continuing it, it has become more interesting than sleep—then you’ve got the momentum going. Then you’ll get to see and be you’re real Self.
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A way to dominate the mind is to drop into the Self. You reach a place where it’s so delightful you just don’t want to do anything but remain in it. It gets to be very easy.
Once you get to the point where it’s easy, then just continue it. Stay with it until you go all the way. By the constancy of it, each day, you get quieter and quieter, and then the Self, because you see it, keeps burning away the ego, which further quiets the mind.
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Meditation at first is holding the thoughts on God, Self, to the exclusion of other thoughts. When one is realized, meditation is the awareness, not of anything by anyone, but only the current of awareness of awareness; where there is no otherness and no action, yet there is full use of the mental and physical faculties.
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At the end of the road of meditation you discover your grand and glorious Self!
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This chapter was compiled from various sessions.

 

Levenson, Lester (1993). Keys to the Ultimate Freedom: Thoughts and Talks on Personal Transformation. Phoenix, Arizona: Sedona Institute. ISBN 0-915721-03-1 (pp. 291-302)

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