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The next stage of the program deals with the conscious mind. You must learn to concentrate. In one sense, everyone knows how to concentrate on subjects with which they are familiar and which have constituted their fields of interest. You will rarely find a man who cannot spend hours reading, talking and thinking about various events in the world of sports. He will spend hours debating the qualities of the Dodgers and the Yankees, mentally and vocally. You will rarely find a woman who cannot spend hours reading, talking and thinking about fashions,-to say nothing of a little choice tid-bit of gossip. We all know how to concentrate. What we do not know is how to use the same technique on an unfamiliar subject. Concentration is nothing more than becoming engrossed in a particular subject. As long as you are giving it your full attention, you are concentrating on it.

Now, we know that first we must learn to relax. Then we must also do some con-centrative work on a specific subject,-- God. When we concentrate our thoughts on God, we call it prayer, or meditation. Meditation is to the soul what food is to the body. The tragic thing is that so few people have realized this, but in the past quarter of the century, more and more people have learned it. We should spend about ten or fifteen minutes each day with God.

What is meant by meditation? You take an idea,--any idea that happens to interest you, but NOT your problems. That is the rub, because we love to dwell on our problems. You start with a positive idea,-such as what you think God is. Think what God means to you, and then think what you mean of God. Do not forget that you are “a special enterprise on the part of God.” Think it through in those terms. Nobody uses exactly the same words. It might happen, because it happens to many people,-that in spite of your loquaciousness with your fellowman, you find yourself tongue-tied now. It is an odd sidelight on our habit patterns, but a very real one. If you find this to be the case in your instance, release your shyness with the realization that God loves you, with a far greater and deeper love than that of your parents, your husband, or wife, your children or your dearest friend. He knows you, not only as you should be, but as you are. He cares for you. Your welfare is dear to the heart of Being.

I am inevitably asked, “How do you do it?” My own form usually runs in this manner: “God is the only Presence.” “God is the only Power.” Then I begin to think about what this really means to me. They are beautiful ideas, but unless they have some meaning for me, they will not do anything for me or to me. The Presence is that which gives me life. I AM. The Power is the Law which sustains the universe and everything in it. I AM a child of God,--and so are you. My birthright,--and your birthright--is to learn how to use that law to create my life in accordance with what it should be.

I start with the premise that my birthright gives me perfect health, perfect harmony and perfect fulfillment. That is not something for which I should have to work to bring to pass. That is what I should have, because that was God’s gift to me when he created me. But, since I have not reached the stage of evolution where I completely manifest it, I work towards that, by “treating” it in prayer. A “treatment” is a short form of meditation through which we change the pattern and belief in the subconscious mind. I meditate on the aspect of God which is necessary for me to build in my conscious and subconscious mind.

There are seven main aspects of God, or to put it in simpler terms, there are seven qualites through which we can to some degree comprehend and understand God. They are Life, Love, Truth, Wisdom, Spirit, Soul and Principle. Whichever you find lacking in your own life, that is the one to be explored in meditation. If it is health, meditate on God is Life. If it is lack, meditate on Truth or Soul. If it is difficulty with other people, meditate on Love. If it is fear and age complexes, meditate on Spirit. Meditate frequently on Wisdom, particularly if you need guidance in making decisions,--and even if you do not,--for we all can use more wisdom. When the problem seems stagnant, meditate on Principle, which is the law of God in action, the one and only Power in the universe.

Spend ten or fifteen minutes of each day on it. People often say, “I just can’t find the necessary time.” Can you get the time to draw a breath? Can you get the time to go to your business? Can you get the time to have a social life? Of course you can. There is a wise statement from an unknown source: “We always find the time to do the things we want to do.” Do you think in the final analysis, that there is anything really more important than this,-- the welfare of your body and your soul? We so often have the idea that if we go to church on Sunday, and we use that period for prayer, we have done the job for the week. But no one would be so foolish as to think that

Sunday dinner would be sufficient to keep the body well for the balance of the week. This is the bread of the soul,- meditation is the food it needs.

There are various ways of meditation. There is what we call the “free” meditation, which is touched on in the above paragraphs. This is some times a bit difficult for the beginner. He has not learned to control his thinking sufficiently to hold his thought on one idea. Then too, he sometimes finds himself stumped for ideas. It is equally good to take up some book that gives you a spiritual lift. There are many excellent metaphysical books which have been written with just this in mind.

Of course, the Bible is the greatest book of all. There is hardly a page on which you will not find some text that answers your need, or that will fail to give you the necessary boost. Or, if you prefer, you can take something with which you are familiar,--the 23rd Psalm, for instance. What is more beautiful than that? In fact, the whole book of Psalms is a small Bible in itself. Ask and claim understanding, and then read the Psalm through.

Re-read it, and this time put it in your own words. That is the way in which it is most effective. “The Lord is my Shepherd”. . . then say to yourself, “Who is the Lord?” The Presence of God in me. My own I AM. The Indwelling Christ. What does that mean to me? Well, I know that He is interested and concerned in my welfare. My body is His temple. My life and affairs are His manifestation. “I am a special enterprise on the part of God.” The language does not matter. The feeling does. Remember that God is never impressed with oratory. All He wants is that you turn to Him and seek Him.

In the beginning it is wiser to set aside the same time daily until you get into the’ habit of it. The subconscious mind thrives on what we call the “habit pattern.” Once it gets to the point where it knows that a certain time of the day is the meditation period, it will not give you any peace until you observe that time in that way. A short trial period will convince you that this is so.


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