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Will2 decided to take questions regarding the stillness practice. “For the moment, I would like to limit our question and answer discussions to those matters directly related to stillness practice since that is the thrust of our ministry. For now, the floor is open. Question away.”
JOAN: I have combined some prayer and visualization at the beginning of my meditation then basically done transcendental meditation without the mantra. Biofeedback has shown that this produces alpha waves and a feeling of deep relaxation. Is this deep silence a suitable platform from which to focus a reaching to God without and the fragment him and is the purpose of this practice to grow closer to God and synchronize my will with His? And can I use this same silence platform to focus on listening for inner guide or would it be better from a shallower level of meditation?
WILL: Transcendental meditation and similar techniques of meditation are recommended except to the extent that they lead to obliteration of consciousness. Obliteration of consciousness is a difficult concept to convey. So long as your transcendental meditation does not fall below the state of relaxation with a feeling of readiness to it, with a feeling of potentiality to it, you do well. An absolute requirement of stillness practice, as taught in this ministry, is consciousness. You
must be conscious. Therefore we attempt to discourage people from becoming entangled in elaborate schemes of self projection or identification with natural phenomena or celestial bodies in the astronomic sky. Or practices such as astral projection. Where you are, who you are, is always good enough for God. You need not remake yourself. God loves you anyway. God's communication with you is not conveyed with human words; certainly not in the English language nor any language that we recognize. God's communication is spirit to spirit; spark to spark; forehead to forehead; palm to palm. You are becoming progressively spiritualized. As you make progress, your communication with the Father is more complete, has more depth, more breadth. You are increasing your contact area at the point of intersection with results that I will leave to your imagination. That, too, is part of the experience. It is not necessary to think certain thoughts or to listen to certain sounds or even to hope to identify and repeat certain feelings which are naturally spawned by the active communication, person to person, with the Heavenly Father. It is enough for you to earn all the necessary stripes simply by making yourself available. That is the most important part. Make yourself available for God. What you do or don't do or try to do in addition to that simple fact of availability is trivial. I can say with absolute authority that God appreciates you. He is waiting to share Himself. He is ever polite in His mannerisms. By making yourself available, you invite Him to enter your life. Through the process of age and the normal ups and downs of life which vary from hour to hour, great variety is experienced in the type and tenacity of connection available with the Heavenly Father. It is meant to be so. Jesus of Nazareth did not have a certain mentality or point of view which he maintained all through life. He lived the full range as a human and he experienced exactly the same surge of emotions, joys and disappointments, irritations and happiness that each of you experience every day. It was not necessary for him to go to any particular place in his personality in order to communicate with the Heavenly Father. To the extent that you somehow identify a practical and productive place to which you go to make yourself available to the Father, and then we encourage you to utilize that, yet we will say that it is not exclusive. The Father is always there. The only limitations on your communication with Him are those which you impose upon yourselves. This doesn't have to be a dreary exercise. There is no reason why communication with the Father should not be lighthearted. Availability
is the key.
SUSAN: I think many of us, on occasion, are disgruntled when we try to practice stillness, which implies, no, which specifies stillness. We close our eyes and lots and lots of other thoughts come in and the harder we try to keep from thinking of daily things the more they intrude. We begin to feel like we are not getting anywhere and we give up in self disgust. I don't think that I am alone in having that feeling on occasion. Do we just keep sitting there and hope for the best?
WILL: You know, by design, you are intended to be thinking creatures. Your thoughts are one of your chief products. You might even say that thoughts are a part of the currency of the universe. You know, in the afterlife, people are not exclusively limited to profound thoughts. [Laughter] It is the interchange of ideas expressed as thoughts that provides the vehicle for people to gain experience, to gain understanding, to gain a modicum of wisdom without having to endure the necessity of individual discovery of every facet of the universe. In order to arrive on the shores of Paradise, it is necessary to have seen all and to have grasped all, but you all also know that you have but one material life to live and so you are not chained to the personal experiential collection of all evidence in order to reach the ultimate goal. That is why I can say that thoughts are part of the currency of the universe. So we do not prescribe that you attempt to stop your thoughts. Stillness, like life in general, is about keeping your mind on the most important thing. It is not necessary to root out all your thoughts. Simply let them pass through. They are only bit players on the scene anyway. One of the design flaws of the ego is that it attempts to organize things for which it is unfit. The ego tries to extend its authority into areas of the personality where it is not properly designed for preeminence. The human ego will attempt to organize and thereby inescapably trivialize spiritual experience. It will seek to categorize and pair off in polar opposites those experiences which might otherwise be quite productive to you. The ego does this any time you focus attention and is naturally intended to function in this manner. If, however, rather than focusing your attention upon any particular thought, which the ego naturally interprets as needing some organization, just let it go, then that thought will float past and off the stage. Do not vex yourself over your thoughts. We recommend that you attempt stillness practice for ten minutes at a time. Twenty minutes at the outside extremity. If you find that you are burdened with extraneous thoughts during your stillness practice at a regular time each day, experiment with the time frame in which you practice your stillness. You might find a certain time of the day more conducive.
DENNIS: Will, I have a question. You mentioned that when we meditate we should meditate for no more than twenty minutes. Sometimes I meditate in a darkened room and I am not always aware of how much time has transpired. Is there any danger in getting too much of a good thing?
WILL: The term "danger" would be inaccurate to use to describe the situation. Let us describe it like this. We are just beginning. Availability for the Heavenly Father is what is desired. Next, regularity is desired. By this we do not mean any specific frame of mind or attitude or mind set nor do we mean any particular time of day. By regularity we mean only a good and faithful ordinary attempt to practice on a regular basis. Because we are beginning, we feel that modesty is an appropriate goal. Ten minutes is asked, twenty minutes at the further reaches. Our experience in observation of people in your society in this period of history is that substantially more than twenty minutes is likely to be unproductive. This does not mean that to practice longer will be offensive in any way. It is just that statistically it has been shown to be unproductive. We have experimented with this at great length. Do not trouble yourself over the amount of time. The Heavenly Father is always willing to communicate. It is not necessary that you should say any particular thing or think any particular thought or pursue any particular notion. Your simple availability is how it all begins. He appreciates it. There is no point at which the Heavenly Father will turn His face away from one of His children. You can do no damage.
HAL: I was wondering, Will, if you have any comments about physical posture during silence practice.
WILL: There are a few parameters of psychological and physiological character which have effect upon stillness practice. We prefer, for example, that you do not attempt stillness practice when you are near the extreme reaches of physical effort. At such a time your body needs sleep, rest at the very least. The Father will not interfere with that. Neither should you take on a large dose of stimulating drugs, such as tea or coffee. That situation would be equally unproductive as a polar opposite. Nor would it be especially effective if a person was in a great agitated emotional state, although we will say that stillness is generally the proper remedy for agitation and should work to swiftly bring you back into balance with your normal self. Such does not equal communication with the Heavenly Father, however. To answer your question, then, I will say that the ideal would be an attitude of relaxed alertness. We have many times remarked that stillness practice must be conscious and in simple fashion it is easy to figure out that certain body positions are more productive of relaxed alertness. In a general sense body positions that tend to interrupt the flow of physical energy also tend to have a negative effect upon relaxed alertness. We have no preference for body posture but in its most basic form I would say a person should maintain an erect position, relaxed with the limbs in some natural resting position and not twisted, tied or knotted in any particular mystical fashion.
JUDI: I have four statements that I would like you to respond to and then I have two questions.
The first statement is that our vehicle for spiritual growth is stillness, our connection with the Father.
The second one is that by making ourselves available to the Father, that's the key to the stillness but it doesn't have a specific form or format.
The third one is that the more we can listen to our Indwelling Adjuster and be sensitive to guidance the more we might be able to trust our own insights about our daily lives and get our lives more in tune with the Father's will.
And the last one is that as we approach the anniversary date of this group it occurs to me that we have spent a great deal of time trying to understand communication because it is a phenomena that's novel to us but we are just now beginning to realize that stillness should be the important focus of our attention. Can you comment on my four thoughts?
WILL: I embrace themes two, three and four exactly as you have stated yet I will offer a refinement about stillness practice as the method of spiritual growth. Long ago on your planet people in the Northern Hemisphere recognized that although the picture presented among the stars in the night sky was changing throughout the course of the night, there was one star around which all things rotated. That one star was reliable. It appeared every night in exactly the same place and, no matter the motion of the other stars, that polestar could be relied upon until the morning sun dawned. The polestar is not a bright star. It is rather dim, but it is just as reliable. Knowledge of the polestar made life more reliable for those people. It did not make it any easier. They had a more sturdy tool for navigating the passages of life, but it did not take them there. They had a method of transiting from one learning experience to another, but the polestar itself did not provide the experience. The polestar provided the opportunity. You are responsible for your spiritual growth. The First Source and Center has provided you an opportunity. He is reliable. He is always there. Even when the blazing sun rises, He is still there, you just cannot see Him. Your reliance upon that polestar is a tool for navigating the passages of life. It is not life, itself. That is necessarily within your realm.
VINCENT: Will, this is Vincent. I have a question on the stillness. I believe that as we do the stillness, whether we feel any sensation or not, that it is contributing to the construction of the spiritual foundation within us. Am I accurate on this?
WILL: Absolutely correct. Sensations are likely to be misinterpreted anyway. Spiritual growth will find its out in the mental processes in your approach to your brothers and sisters and in the expansion of your capacity for love and kindness toward all with whom you share the material experience. The pursuit of sensations in no way differs from the ecstasies sought by the mystery cults of times past. It is a byroad. It is not necessary for you to feel, see, hear, smell, or shiver with any sensation to hear the word of God ring true in your heart. You are opening the door. What lies beyond the door is unfathomable except with spiritual eyes.
CAROL ANNE: Will, at the risk of sounding like I'm whining, I don't know what I am supposed to do. You probably know that I have been inconsistent with the stillness practice and I try to stop the thoughts. Am I just supposed to sit there and try to void everything?
WILL: At this stage you will benefit more from regularity than from the application of any particular technique. Do not attempt to rule your thoughts for you will merely be combating one thought with another thought which is parried by another thought and thrust across with another thought. And in only a moment or two you will have sunk into a morass of warring thoughts. I prescribe regular practice first. Everything will settle down. It takes time. I do not mean this to sound harsh, but those who will not take the time will find the way going very difficult indeed. It is human skill to calm yourself. It is a human reaction to fill up all the empty spaces with chatter. It is merely your soul desiring company. You can get control of it, but you will not control yourself by warring upon yourself. Sit quietly and wait. Peace will come.
SUSAN: You talked about not seeking sensations and so on and what it made me think was, do we go into that stillness somewhat on faith that God is talking to us whether we are understanding at that point or not. Is that a correct interpretation?
WILL: Heaven speaks not a word but acts always. God cannot be limited by an Earth language. He sent His son to show. He will communicate to you spirit to spirit. There is no other way. That communication takes place by the rules of the universe of which you are only rudely acquainted. It is fine for you to speak to Him in words. What comes back to you is love. Is that any better?
D: Will, this is D and, although I prefer to remain anonymous on this question, I want to ask for the benefit of myself and maybe others who wouldn't be brave enough to ask. I need to know if a person is under the influence of alcohol or marijuana or some other drug, and I don't mean to the point of being totally mindless, but that they use to relax, does that interfere or somehow hinder your ability to receive spiritually if you are doing stillness during that time period or any time close to that? Can it enhance it, although I am more concerned with the fact that it is possible to have a negative effect on it.
WILL: Considering liquor as a type of drug, the effect of all drugs upon the human is to render the human more or less senseless. You're not damaging the Heavenly Father and the effect on yourself is only temporary but your ability to recognize the results is hampered. The short answer is, the process continues unabated. The time is the most important thing. Functionally there is little difference between stillness approach from an attitude of natural excitement or natural depression or unnatural sedation. The river of love flows over all. It is unstoppable. Your ability to perceive it, perhaps diminished. The Father prefers that, when humans report for duty, that they bring with them their full complement of wits, but the most important thing is that they are on duty. I think that is good enough.
We will continue this next week. When your opportunities arrive this week, it is the path with more love in it. That will always be the Father's path.
1 This chapter is extracted from “Correcting Time” written by Fred F. Harris, Jr. published by Mind, Body & Spirit, Inc. ISBN 0-9667435-0-4 and is reproduced with permission.
2 Will is a celestial teacher attached to one of the Teaching Mission groups. The rest of the individuals mentioned here are members of her group. This is in effect a transcript of a session delivered by Will to her human students.
~ said Jesus through Glenda Green in "Love without End" ~