A VIEW FROM THE MOUNT World Service for World Service
By REV. PATRICK HARBULA
Some years back, when I first heard about Meditation Mount, I was told that the staff were very serious meditators and informed of the grave importance of the work they were doing. On visiting the Mount for the first time, I found, behind the mystique and the intense spiritual dedication, a group of extremely loving individuals. Joy, love and, of course, humor — a valuable key in spiritual awakening – are the qualities that are the untold story of Meditation Mount. With this in mind, let me share with you my experience of the Mount today.
On approaching Ojai, I felt a certain enhancement of creativity and insight, as though an energy from that unique little community, in which the Mount is situated, was transforming my own awareness. This experience was clarified by Misha Foster the coordinator for Group for Creative Meditation (GCM) at the Mount, during my interview with her.
Before explaining the nature of the Ojai energies however, I would like to relay some of the history and basic purpose of Meditation Mount. It all began with a student of the Arcane School and disciple of the Tibetan Master Djwal Khul.
This student chose twelve individuals to start groups around the world, particularly in Europe. The purpose of these groups was to transmute the written teachings of Alice Bailey into a form that could relate to greater numbers of students and seekers.
The person chosen for the American section of this project was Florence Garrigue. At the time she was working at the Arcane School. Florence was a dynamic, powerful lady with a very strong will — a necessary tool for her many accomplishments. The Mount was founded April 11, 1971. Florence had been doing the essential work for over 20 years before that from her home in Connecticut.
This extraordinary lady founded Meditation Mount at the age of 84; she recently passed on at the age of 98. Though her physical expression of life has ceased, her selfless service lives on through the Mount and the many souls she has influenced.
A basic purpose of Meditation Mount is “world servers for world service.” The staff members come from many different disciplines. There is one member who has studied a great deal of Rudolf Steiner. Another is a disciple of Sai Baba. Still another is of the White Eagle discipline. And there are many more. The important thing is coming together “for one focused purpose as world servers, to build within the consciousness of humanity thought forms of betterment, brotherhood, and cooperation.”
As we move into the New Age, one of the difficulties facing us is that more and more groups are comprised of leaders — as opposed to a group of followers with one leader. The Mount teaches that every individual is a leader unto himself. This is called esoteric leadership. It’s not easy to get a group of leaders to work together as a cohesive unit with no central person, The hub of the group must be the fundamental purpose. The leaders are then electrons which spin around that central point. The key to any successful group work in the New Age is a strong, clearly defined purpose.
More specifically, the purpose of the Mount includes teaching the “Laws and Principles of the Kingdom of God… and preparing for the reappearance of the Christ.” I asked for feelings on when and in what form the Christ will appear. Some think the Christ will appear in physical form in one particular body, but not for quite some time. What’s more important is “the reappearance of the Christ coming within each individual. Then the Christ is everywhere at once.”
If the Christ were to appear physically right now, the tendency for many might be to drop everything and follow. However, the New Age cannot be made up of followers, but of people who are mature in their own spiritual qualities.
The Mount feels that the coming of the Christ is not purely a Christian event but a universal one, that the Christ is the same Great Being awaited for by many faiths under many different names: The Messiah, Bodhisatva, Imam Mahdi, Mohammed and Maitreya.
Three programs of training-service are offered by the Mount. They are: Meditation Group for the New Age (MGNA), Group for Creative Meditation (GCM) and the Specialized Groups. These three programs are designed to teach and integrate into practice the six new age Laws and Principles: the Law of Right Human Relations, the Principle of Goodwill, the Law of Group Endeavor, the Principle of Unanimity, the Law of Spiritual Approach and the Principle of Essential Divinity. These laws and principles are not new. Their correspondences can be found in all religions and are the same principles found in ancient mythology.
The MGNA three-year program is a series of yellow booklets sent out on a bi-monthly basis. During each two-month period recipients of the booklets use the meditation forms and various techniques for implementation of one of the three Laws or Principles.
GCM puts out a blue booklet which is also bi-monthly. This program is tailored for those who wish to go into deeper aspects of the training, after completing the MGNA work. These booklets have a more esoteric flavor and are distributed on a more limited basis than the MGNA books.
Since the Specialized Fields are the most esoteric part of the work, we are not at liberty to print a great deal of information on them. In this program, the Mount works with people in specialized fields of service towards the implementation of the Principles. For instance, a gentleman who spoke at the Mount’s last Transpersonal Conference is part of an esoteric group. This man also works at the Pentagon in the nuclear center implementing Spiritual Principles at that level.
The mailing lists of the Mount cover about seven thousand people all around the globe. In addition, the same booklets are sent out from England, Italy, Switzerland, West Germany and South America. The lists include people of all faiths and denominations including Buddhist Lamas, Catholic priests and nuns, etc. This is what the New Age is about.
I asked Misha to define for our readers the term “New Age.” She replied that, in some circles, the term New Age has a bad reputation, primarily because a few questionable cults call themselves New Age. The potential for New Age energy has always been here. It’s just new to us. The surgence of brotherhood and cooperation is an effect of the upward spiral of consciousness changing the geometrical forms of energy and, thereby, making consciousness appear new within each individual. The goal has always been the same: the redeeming of matter by Spirit. This process is coming out to the masses, because the masses have reached a point of evolution where the new geometrical formation of energy can manifest.
What can the average meditator do to aid in global transformation? Without hesitation came the answer, “That’s the point! The average meditator can! And must know he can!” If, during his meditation, he is able to bring into his own concrete mind the fact that there are thousands, if not millions, working with him for the betterment of mankind — then he aids the effort. It’s the many grains of sand that make up the ocean’s shore. It’s the solid pure thoughts of cooperation, brotherhood, and peace that will bring them.
And how can one personally transform oneself into an instrument of transformation for the world? Desire, aspiration — the mind can only go so far. You can’t get anywhere until you light the fuse of emotion, linking it to mind which has formed the picture. The mind is the reflection of the heart and they must unite into one function. It’s good to become knowledgeable concerning the discipline with which you’re working, but first its more important to have love for that discipline. Then you can extend that love to the nation, the world and beyond.
“What really makes the New Age ‘new’ is the meditator. The role of meditation in the New Age is to align the vehicles (the mental, emotional and physical bodies) with the soul. It’s the realization of what we really are. We are light, in totality, on every level. The goal is to awaken the spark within each center to its essential divinity. Alignment will dispell darkness, fears and frustrations, and allow humanity to become a network of light.
In groups, alignment takes place not merely between the members. Each individual is aligned with himself first. This creates unanimity rather than uniformity. The group entity is a balanced portion of each balanced individual.
Earlier in this article, I mentioned the unique energy of the Ojai region – particularly of Meditation Mount. This area is as a point where heaven touches earth. And like other such locations — Sedona, the Himalayas, Stonehenge — the energy has always been here. Just as when a good spot to lay down a high-way is determined, what may not be recognized is that the energy route has been there for thousands of years. Both highway and cars will follow that energy route.
Temples and sacred meeting places exist throughout Ojai’s history. It is said that the Indians were not allowed to bring weapons into the area because of the sacredness of these highlands. Symbolically, the beauty of being situated on a mountain overlooking a valley is not only the height of aspiration but the breadth of understanding.
The energy tends to bring out ones strongest and weakest points, because of its transformative nature. Some people, who come to the Mount and to Ojai, can’t stay. Things just don’t seem to work out financially or what-ever — and they are forced to leave. As in many groups, “The first couple weeks are great, the energy is really nice; but, if a sincere commitment to service is lacking, this intense energy becomes centralized in the individual. What this energy teaches then, is the importance of balanced reception, assimilation and direction of energy?”
A Service Center of Light in this mystical region is ideal in that the dual energy of the area and the work can be dispersed to humanity. The energy is stepped down into a more usable form by the essence of being human and then sent out through the work. Many mailings are left in the meditation room a few days before it is sent out to the world — that everyone may benefit from the spiritual energy, contacted and stepped down through meditation.
In addition to its other services, the Mount houses a lending library that is open to the public. There are two major events each year: the MGNA Symposium and the Transpersonal Conference. Also, monthly full moon meditation meetings are presented. These programs are open to the public. No fees are charged, but voluntary donations are accepted. Their most recent MGNA Symposium was October 26th.
The Mount is a place of meditation, study, and simple enjoyment. Some people who have been to Tibet say that the ranges surrounding the Mount are very similar to those of that far off mystical land. Also, the architecture of the buildings resembles Tibetan structures.
Full moon meetings provide an opportunity for meditators to join together in group service. A talk is presented on related energies and astrological influences of the particular full moon period. These aid in the meditation, which focalizes the energies. The Great Invocation is recited as a means of radiating the energies contacted. On the terrace overlooking the Ojai valley, the meeting is concluded with a world blessing as a final form of radiation to the world. The purpose of full moon meditation according to the Mount is for the group to create a body of light — a chalice. This chalice is raised to the Spiritual Kingdom that the Hierarchy may pour Their Light and Love through it and direct it to where it is most needed in the world.
There is no fee for membership in this group and no dogma that demands belief — all that is needed is a sincere desire to serve. Anyone wishing to be a part of this center of light, to partake in the mailing programs, the activities and the love, may write to Post Office Box 566, Ojai, California 93023.
As a closing question, I asked some of the members of the staff their feelings on the most important message Meditation Mount has to share with the world:
Joy: “Do your daily alignment and you’ll stay out of trouble.”
Alverna: “By meditating on the Laws and Principles we can all bring God’s Kingdom to earth.”
Frances: “Service and response to need.”
Tom: “Service through meditations or inner service.”
Misha: “The Work is One, Humanity is One, let’s work together!”
This New Age and this new world order must be founded upon spiritual laws and principles. For too long we have wrestled through the ages with each other and ourselves because we have been out of line with divine laws, and have not ordered our lives in accordance with their principles, although time and time again we have been directed to them by the great Law-Givers of God. We must begin to live in harmony with spiritual law; the recognition and acceptance of this is essential to bring right balance into the human situation. Spiritual laws and principles have directive power which cuts through human complexity and confusion. Like pathways through the Jungles of life they help us to find clearer trails and come eventually to the uplands of greater freedom, simplicity, and truth. They signpost the way at all stages. The Laws of Nature, which protect and direct on the physical plane are, we know, inviolable except at our cost, and in every type of laboratory in the world more and more of the perfect economy with which they work is being discovered and the beauty of the pattern they reveal is seen.
Evolution has unfolded through the agency of law and each age and race has had the needed laws given to its people. To mention the best known: the Commandments which Moses brought down from the mountain, the Noble Eight-fold Path of the Buddha, the Law Christ gave for the Christian era — The Law of Love. And as we look around for guidance today in the bringing in of a new world order based on spiritual values, we find that, while these may be formulated in various ways, they may be summed up in three Laws and three Principles which are universal, and which can be adopted as a platform whatever our convictions or beliefs.
- The Law of Right Human Relations
- The Principle of Goodwill
- The Law of Group Endeavor
- The Principle of Unanimity
- The Law of Spiritual Approach
- The Principle of Essential Divinity
The Law of Right Human Relations, the great linking factor between man and man, is receiving considerable emphasis today from those concerned with human welfare and world peace, and so also is the Principle of Goodwill, basic intention to good. The importance of these two fundamentals is already widely realized and their cultivation is being recognized as vital for the solution of our problems, whether in family life or in the political, economic or social fields. Relationship is a science still in its infancy, but its study and promotion through psychology, through the social sciences and the many other branches of world work with which it is connected are bringing the power of right relationship and good will into new perspective.
The Law of Group Endeavor, or of cooperation for the common good, and the Principle of Unanimity, the cohering force, are also bringing about some of the major trends of the New Age. We can see effort everywhere to work together in groups and in unison, and although the influence of this Law and this Principle is often distorted and results in outer regimentation and enforced uniformity, resistance to infringement of the spiritual Law of Freedom is also increasing. The value both of the individual and of integration with the group is being recognized, and the blending of the two, without overemphasis on either, is being seen as the desired goal. Groups are increasingly being held together by inner united purpose and aspiration rather than by outer, enforced rules, and they may be found functioning in this way in many fields today, with the strength of a freely accepted unanimity.
The Law of Spiritual Approach, which links us with our greater “Being,’ and the Principle of Essential Divinity, the spark of God in every man, open up to us participation in a life greater than our own. They show that there is no real gap between man and God and bring the realization that we can discover this not only through religious experience, but through recognition of our place within the “Whole.” Daily, through every branch of science, discovery is being made of our relationship to one great Life, and of our interdependence as parts of the whole within that encompassing Reality. Among all the wonders being opened up to us none is more revelatory and inspiring than the identical nature of microcosm and macrocosm, atom and star.
These Laws and Principles form a fundamental code for our life In the New Age. They ring out the note of our higher possibilities, and if we will work with them they can establish those conditions upon earth which will truly build a new and better world.
Reprinted from Meditation Group for the New Age booklet, First Year, Set I.
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