Spiritual science meditation exercise
In this simple spiritual science meditation exercise, the purpose is to connect with your feeling or sense of awe about life and the world. Rudolf Steiner describes in his book 'How to know higher worlds' how such a feeling of awe and reverance is fundamental for a training in spiritual science. It is all too easy to criticise and judge others and ourselves. I used to do this all the time. It was like a knee-jerk response and often also felt quite entertaining to make fun of people, deride them, and so on. But this attitude was actually harmful to my personal growth. Once I realised what I was doing, I began to stop giving in to those thoughts.
Instead, we need to learn to simply observe, without judgement, without negative critique. One way of doing this is empathise with whatever we are criticising. For example, I might feel a deep antipathy towards certain people, or towards certain political situations. Instead of getting carried away by such feelings, and thereby strengthening your ability to hate, to dislike, I try and understand those people or situations from a more neutral position. This does not mean changing my view, it only means becoming less attached to my views, opinions and judgements. Once I became better at doing this, I also became more open to seeing to what extent I am (and you are), indeed, a spiritual being.
The exercise is simply this: in your daily life become aware of your own negative judgements and critique of others and yourself. Begin to realise that such judgements have very little to do with what things or people are actually like. When you catch yourself being negative, acknowledge it and then try instead to find something positive about that person or yourself.
So this time not a sitting meditation, or even a meditation at all, but a 'life attitude' or 'life observation' exercise that you carry along with you, in the back of your mind, while you go through your daily activities. Simple, yes. Easy, no. I am in awe of the incredible power negative and critical thinking can exert over me. It can suck me in and make me believe that these views are the whole picture and are true. I often do not even notice this happening. But when I do, it then requires my conscious effort to steer my thinking towards the other side of the coin. And this feels like a liberation from the shackles of my mind, like walking out into a wild flower meadow, after a tour of the factory floor!
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Weekly artistic response to Rudolf Steiner's soul-calendar-37 with original German text, my translation and interpretation.
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Weekly artistic response to Rudolf Steiner's soul-calendar-35 with original German text, my translation and interpretation.