By Suryc Nayr
Method for Studying the works of the Master DK
From Letters on Occult Meditation pg.113
“The occidental has in view the withdrawal of his consciousness to the heart at first, for already he works so much with the head centres. He works more by the use of collective forms and not individual mantrams; he does not work so much in isolation as his oriental brothers, but has to find his centre of consciousness even in the noise and whirl of business life and in the throngs of great cities. He employs collective forms for the attainment of his ends, and the awakening of the heart centre shows itself in service. Hence the emphasis laid in the occident on the heart meditation and the subsequent life of service.”
These are very important directions given out by the Master DK for the aspirant struggling for greater knowledge and light.
Let’s look at this quote and pick out some of the key points in this quote, discussing them to get a deeper understanding of what the Master DK is teaching. Key points:
- Withdrawal of consciousness to heart
- Find his centre of consciousness
- Awakening of the heart centre..
- Heart meditation…
When reading the works of the Tibetan Master DK, the aspirant needs to realize that his teachings in the books by Alice A. Bailey are not ordinary books; it’s not like reading a novel or text book of instructions. The Master DK does not waste any words; he’s not trying to fill up pages just to make a thick book. Each word and sentence is charged with meaning and purpose. One should read slowly, only a couple of pages at a time, going over them several times, almost in an attitude of meditation in order to absorb what he is teaching us. The Master DK’s teaching is 5th Ray (spiritual engineering) and 7th Ray (focused organization) permeated by 2nd Ray (love/wisdom). Therefore at least use 5th Ray when studying these teachings, dissecting each sentence instead of just reading and assuming you understand what it is you read. Also, do not try to memorize these works, you have to grow into them, digest them, until the teaching becomes part of you.
Let’s discuss each point and see how they tie together.
- Withdrawal of consciousness to the heart…this is extremely important. How do you do it? What does it really mean? Remember the Master DK is transferring yogic ideas into English phrases. Withdrawal of consciousness in Sanskrit is ‘pratyahara’ (from Yoga Sutras of Patanjali) an important step in the process of meditation where the ‘shakti/life vitality’ that flows through us is harnessed and focused. Normally much of this life force goes out to our constant thinking; it propels the movement of thought. We are stuck in our heads. To pull it down and stabilize it in the heart is no easy task. When you focus deeply in the heart, the outer world disappears.
- Finding his centre of consciousness…in the process briefly discussed in #1, ‘pratyahara’ discipline eventually will help one build a centre of consciousness that is separate from the personality. The ‘centre of consciousnesses’ is what the Master DK calls the ‘soul in-incarnation’ and I use the term Essential Nature. It is this ‘centre of consciousness’ that controls the personality and aligns with the Soul on its own plane. When the ‘centre of consciousness’ awakens, detaching from the personality thought-form becomes possible, then you’re beginning to be in your heart.
- Awakening of the heart…this is a long process as briefly touches on in #1 and #2. Just feeling happy, joyful and empathy for the plight of others does not mean you are in your heart. These are good feelings and are related to one’s deeper feelings but are not an indication that one is centred in their heart. It is just an expression of positive emotions, touching the heart.
- Heart meditation….again the Master DK throughout this quote is focussing on the ‘heart’. Learning to centre in the heart when you meditate does not mean to think of beautiful things and picture them there. That is not bad but does not create an adequate amount of focused intention to get real results. It’s better to picture the Buddha in your heart, as the Buddha or a Deity such as Avalokiteshvara, since they represent awakening/enlightenment but are also a power on the higher planes that can be touched that will help awaken the true heart through the process of purification.
- Service…. What is service? There are three types of service;
- A) Service to one’s Soul. This is the first service, to awaken in the heart as discuss above. This has a huge, though not visibly apparent, impact on humanity and the total environment. To be disciplined, focused, and sincere in your efforts to awaken is a most important service.
- B) Service to the School/Ashram/Group. By following the discipline, rules, and methods of the esoteric path and successfully awakening a ‘centre of consciousness’ the soul in-incarnation, you immediately become conscious of the inner worlds and with humility and obedience serve the needs of the Brotherhood.
- C) Service to Humanity. Why is this last in the list of ways to serve? When you accomplish both A and B then service to humanity flows spontaneously as you now know your inner dharma/purpose and your service arises naturally, not from personality desire but from an inner direction.
So you can see that this one paragraph from Letters on Occult Meditation is packed with guidance given to us by the Master DK. These instructions are not easy to follow and they are not meant to be undemanding. The deeper esoteric path takes real discipline, constant effort no matter the circumstances, perseverance, and patience. We are all capable of this Great Work; we just have to want it above everything else.