Give up Wishing

I have said this before, but here it comes in again. Before you can pass on from meditation to contemplation you must be able to give up wishing and hoping entirely, at least during the period of practice. The mind can never be single while wishes occupy it.

Every wish is also a seed from which may spring anger, untruthfulness, robbery, impurity, greed, carelessness, discontent, sloth, ignorance and resentment; and while one wish or hope remains within you, all these violations of the spiritual law are possible. Give up wishing and hoping; say: “I will”, and have faith; stand out of your own light and let the spiritual law work its will and way.

If only you can maintain this attitude there will be no obstacles in your meditation, but if you have it not, they will constantly come in and spoil your work. The stream of thought will try to flow aside into little gullies and channels left open by unsatisfied desires and indecisive thought. Every little unsatisfied desire, every unthought-out problem, will present a hungry mouth calling aside your attention; and inevitably in your meditation, when the train of thought meets with a difficulty, it will swing aside to attend to these calls.

To clear away these obstructions it is little use trying: to repress and suppress them. A better plan is to give them their due, appoint them a time and think them out. A mind that cannot overcome such vacillation as leaves its problems perpetually unsettled cannot succeed in meditation. A man for this purpose must decide to arbitrate his problems, abide by his own decisions and refuse to think the same matter over and over again. The ability to do this grows with practice and with the habit of putting decisions into action.

Fill up all the chinks of thought and bend the little side-rills round so that they discharge themselves into the main stream. Think out every problem and interruption in the light of its bearing and effect upon your main purpose. The development of a general philosophic mood which brings its experiences and faculties to a unity of understanding and purpose is essential for the successful pursuit of meditation. It is of great assistance also to know what type of man or woman you are, so that you will not try to cover too wide a field in your personal life. We are limited. And you cannot be doctor, engineer, poet, artist, shop-keeper, lawyer and preacher all at once. Having chosen your type and sphere of activity keep to it unless you have good reason to change.