Guidance from Within
Although “meditation” has become a household word, this was not the case when Ernest Holmes was teaching and writing. His use of the word “meditation” refers to something we might now call “contemplation,” for his instructions guide us to focus on an idea or a written passage. Although this is one technique that can be used to meditate, know that there are as many ways to meditate as there are people on the planet. Part of your spiritual development is to find the method that works for you.
Meditation is not mentally active in the way that study is active; nor is it mentally directive in the way that prayer serves to direct our thoughts. If meditation resembled any activity, it would be the activity of listening. If it required any action, it would be the action of surrender, for meditation is the practice of allowing emptiness to permeate the mind. Meditation can also be described as the state of awareness and experience of freedom that rises up in the absence of thoughts, feelings, or expectations.
Affirmative Prayer (Spiritual Mind Treatment)
Communion with the Divine
Prayer, in the common use of the word, is an act of communicating with God by speaking out loud or by silently using directed thought. Prayers can also be sung. Often the purpose of the communication is to ask for something for oneself or someone else: an outcome, a change in circumstances, an increase in possessions, awareness. Affirmative prayer is a specific type of prayer that departs from the idea of asking God to do anything on anyone’s behalf. Instead, affirmative prayer is a mental exercise one actively engages in to realign one’s thought with the true, good nature of Divine Reality. In this way, affirmative prayer is a practice of thoughtfully aligning with Reality by affirming it.
Awakening to Meaning
Spiritual Study is the intentional exploration of the thoughts, beliefs, and ideas of others in order to clarify our understanding, expand our awareness, and deepen the personal meaning of the Divine.
Seva (Selfless Service)
Oneness in Action
Seva means “selfless service” in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. On a personal level, Seva can be thought of as those acts of service we do for other people with no personal gain in mind. Typically, this would refer to acts of volunteering for charitable causes. However, the spiritual practice of Seva refers to the state of mind with which we perform an action in the world, a state of mind founded in dedicating and surrendering our actions to the Divine One. Ultimately, then, Seva is the attitude of selflessness with which we engage in any activity, including those that form our daily work routine.
Participating in the Natural Spiritual Order of Never-Ending Flow
It is the nature of the Divine One to simultaneously give and receive. By emulating this quality of inward and outward flow, we reveal our own true spiritual nature. Both our physical and emotional health thrive when we balance the acts of taking in and giving out. To understand why, just imagine inhaling without exhaling, or exhaling without inhaling. Or think of the Dead Sea in the Holy Land, filled with undrinkable water–heavy with minerals–because there is only water coming in and none going out. These physical examples reflect the necessity for flow and harmonious exchange on both the physical and spiritual levels. Your spiritual nature requires that you become both an inlet and an outlet for Divine Good.