If our mind is only occupied with gossip, everyday worries, telephone bills, resentments, and the like, it will assume their hue. If I think about joy, infinity, or universality, its hue will again correspond. Your mind will be like its habitual thoughts: for the psyche is influenced by thought processes and reflects them in the ego.
A fundamental principle is at work here: our thoughts define our universe. For thoughts do more than color our minds. Far from being ethereal and remote from life, as we may sometimes believe, thoughts act on us in profound ways; indeed, we can literally say that thoughts are living beings. For us humans "static" ideas do not exist: each one has an energetic aspect. Consequently, every idea tends to actualize itself and would do so completely, were it not for the existence and pressure of many other ideas, differing and often opposed to it, which also tend to actualize themselves. These can be called "idea- forces" or "thought-forms".
Practice shows that we can create, vitalize and strengthen an idea-force and create a thought-form by thinking about it. As we observe its possibilities, dimensions, and applications, it becomes more clearly defined. FEELINGS are attracted to it, and the new idea-force or thought-form "seeps" into us, becoming part of our attitudes toward life and our habits of action. Thus by thinking about strength, love, or joy, we create strength, love, or joy in ourselves. The technique of deliberately picking a psychological that has within itself a spiritual dimension is an important one… since all psychological qualities have their spiritual aspects as well. This method of work can be called REFLECTIVE MEDITATION.
METHOD OF WORK
REFLECTIVE MEDITATION is nothing more than systematic investigation of some idea. Let us say that you have decided to reflect on JOY. We can think about the joyous people we have met in our life and the times when we experienced joy; the relationship of joy to a similar state, such as cheerfulness or humor; its origins and the hindrances to it; and so on. At some point our mind will be tempted to go off the track and think about something else. We then bring it clearly back to the subject of our reflection. Firmly but lightly, we bring all our power of focus, all the intensity of our understanding, to this endeavor.
SEEDS FOR REFLECTIVE MEDITATION
The following exercise is designed to introduce you to this practice:
1 - Choose one of the qualities in the following list (or another one you have in mind - remind yourself that each one of these qualities are potential SEED IDEAS that unfold a cosmic ENERGY within your subtle bodies):
2 - Reflect on the quality chosen for a period of ten to fifteen minutes and then if you wish, take a few notes in your diary.
3 - As a subject for your reflective meditation, you may also want to choose a meaningful phrase such as one of the following:
"The greed for fruit misses the flower" - Rabindranah Tagore.
"Gratefulness is heaven itself" - William Blake
"We are not troubled by things, but by the opinions which we have of things" Epictetus
"It is in self-limitation that a master first shows himself" Wolgang Goethe
"Love is the pursuit of the whole" Plato
"The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind" Albert Schweitzer".
An important note:
At some point during the meditation you will reach the stage of believing that you have exhausted the subject, covered its every aspect. Or you will become bored and want to do something else. Or you will feel that the subject lacks the importance you thought it had and start asking yourself whether you should have chosen something else to meditate on. This is precisely the moment not to stop, but to keep meditating. This feeling of going up a blind alley often occurs just before achieving insight. If you go through and beyond this stage, your mind will shift onto a level at which the quality of thought is more lucid and meaningful.
4- Always take notes in your notebooks - you will probably want to come later and reflect on your own impressions, feelings and discoveries.