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Attuning to the Eight Aspects of God

by Swami Kriyananda
Spring 2008 One Comment

The attributes or aspects of God are basically eight: peace, calmness, love, joy or bliss, light, sound, power, and wisdom. True meditation is a state of intense awareness in which one is absorbed in an actual experience of God in one of his attributes.

The practice of meditation is different, however, from the actual experience of meditation as a state of being. To experience God in his various attributes, we need to practice those things that will help lift us up into attunement with God’s higher consciousness. For this, there are a number of visualizations and meditations that are very helpful.

For example, if you meditate on peace, and on those things that will help you become peaceful enough in yourself to receive His peace, it will be easier for God to come to you as peace-you will be open at that window of your mind. The more specific your mediation or visualization, the clearer your attunement with it.

The kinds of questions we ask God determine the kind of answers we receive. If we have a clear idea of the experience we’re seeking, we’ll have a  greater chance of having that experience.

Peace
Think of the rays of the moon bathing the countryside, your mind, and your heart, filling you with peace. Feel these moon rays of peace entering in through the pores of your skin and filling your body, even to the marrow of the bones, until your whole body becomes peace. Feel this peace expanding outward from your body so that both you and the moon rays are bathing the whole countryside with that luminous peace. Feel this peace expanding beyond the countryside to the farthest boundaries of eternity until you feel that all space is being illuminated and bathed in the peace of your own being.

Meditate on a calmly flowing river as it moves majestically down toward the sea. Feel that all your life is a river of calmness flowing with purpose, not rushing off in a hundred directions at once, but a calm, sedate flow always moving toward an ultimate purpose—a purpose which is vast like the sea. Feel all the other little movements of your mind being drawn into that one movement, as if in its wake, to flow with the river. Feel that a new movement then takes over and that this new movement contains meaning, and a grand meaning at that.

Calmness
Think of yourself as sitting in the midst of space with stars millions of miles away from you in all directions. Feel that you have no body and that you are sitting on nothing; you’re just a point in space. Expand that point of space to include the sun, the stars, the galaxies. Feel that you’re sitting in that vastness of space, beyond time. This is the truth out of which you have come, the truth in which God lives, and the truth to which He calls you back.

Think of the sunrise on eternity, not the sunrise on a planet full of insects, birds, waving trees, and all the things that keep this world such a busy place–none of these things, just eternity. Think of the sun rising onto this eternity and its rays spreading outward and outward with power, joy and great calmness, until you realize that this is not the physical sun but the light of the Son of God which gives life to everything.

Love
Imagine an angel of light holding a flame-tipped spear to your heart. Imagine him holding it there until your heart bursts into flames of love—a love that’s not painful but exhilarating and that burns everything in you that isn’t made of that love.

Imagine one of the Masters gazing deeply into your eyes. Feel those eyes drawing all pain, all disappointments, all bitterness from your heart, through your eyes, and saying to you: “These are my burdens now; they’re no longer yours.” God in His compassion would take your burdens from you. Let Him do so through His love, drawing these pains out of your heart, through your eyes, and into His all-compassionate eyes.

Send rays of love and hope from your heart to all in this world who grieve. Tell them to release their grief into the soothing breeze of God’s love for them. Imagine this breeze going out from you with God’s power, flowing out to the world, soothing all creatures. Send these rays of love to encourage people to release these pains, these burdens into that ray.

Joy
Imagine yourself in heaven surrounded by saints and angels smiling upon you in greeting. Think that they approve of you. Yes, they know that you’ve done wrong things. Their smiles are for what is good in you, what is Godly in you, and that is the real you. The other things don’t count; the other things you can overcome because you are God’s child. Think of yourself that way, and think of them as blessing you on all sides.  Join them with rejoicing, with freedom. Imagine yourself dancing and singing with God’s joy.

Recall a moment of special joy in your life, perhaps a moment close to nature, or of closeness to another human being. Remove from that moment all sense of excitement or restlessness, so that it’s just the calm moment itself. Then remove from it also all sense of cause so that it isn’t associated with the experience where you felt happy. Just think of the joy in its pure essence.

Focus that joy in a point of bliss at the point between the eyebrows, and know that any ray of bliss that you send out from this point can dispel every cloud of sorrow. Imagine now your own mental sky. Do you see any dark clouds of regret or sorrow? God doesn’t want you to hang on to those things.

Send bliss into the heart of that cloud, and with those rays of bliss, gradually change that cloud into light. Then gradually disperse that light so that there is nothing but space, sky and bliss. Now expand your bliss until it fills the blue sky and then, from the heavens, reflects downward to all mankind, to all creatures everywhere.

Light
Think of how the sun rays shine down through a cloud. Think of a cloud of human darkness or a cloud of your own ignorance, and think of the sun rays shining down into this cloud, into this darkness. Think of yourself as rising up with those rays from this darkness, and bursting through the cloud into the blazing light of the sun behind the clouds. Feel that you are in communion with God’s light, that His light is speaking to you, and that you are absorbing yourself into that light.

Think of a light that is falling like a refreshing rain of rainbow colors. Instead of an ordinary rainbow, each individual drop creates a rainbow. Think of the sun as being so all surrounding that it creates rainbows out of every drop and that those rainbows shine in all directions. Feel that you are being rained on by rainbows on all sides, and that in this beautiful light you lose all sense of being anything other than light yourself.

Sound
Meditate on the ocean surf, soothingly coming upon the shore, bathing it and taking away its impurities. Think of the shore as your own mind, and the surf as bathing your mind and gradually taking away all dross and freeing you to go out and merge into the great ocean.

Meditate on a deep bell reverberating across the countryside and onward to infinity. Think of how, when a deep church bell rings, there are reverberations of that sound that come afterwards and seem to expand outward and outward. Think of yourself expanding outward with that sound into a great ringing voice of God in eternity.

Power
Meditate on fire. Think of that fire burning up all inner dross. Think of it as a great bonfire into which you are casting all attachments, all desires, all bad actions of the past and all memory of those actions. You are casting them into the fire to become purified so that you can lift yourself up in freedom to God’s love.

Meditate on the sun rays filling the world and your whole being with strength, vitality, enthusiasm. Think not just of the physical sun but the powerful sun of God’s great energy. Think of the energy that was required to create this vast universe as the power behind you. Try to attune yourself to this power; don’t be afraid because this is also the power of freedom, the power of victory. Just as we harness the powers of nature, so also we can use this power for our good.

Wisdom
Envision all things as transparent, dreamlike, insubstantial: the earth, the trees, your loved ones, your body, your possessions. Dissolve them all into the infinite. Nothing remains now, only you, bodyless, without thoughts, without personality – only you in your own true essence, your own causeless, infinite, eternal essence, which is that part of you which is a child of God.

Excerpted from: Meditation: What It Is and How To Do It. To buy a recording of the talk (CD or MPs), call Treasures Along the Path, (530) 478 7656 or email treasures@ananda.org.

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