Meditation in the Hayloft


The Third Eye

One day when the young Guptananda was well into his second year of study under his Guru, he was given a question. The question was this: How much time should he spend meditating each day in order to achieve a good rate of progress? His Guru would not advise him on this. He wanted the student to discover the answer. The young man was rather puzzled because he thought that this was the sort of thing that his Guru would want to be telling him, not asking him. However, on his long walk home our friend had time to ponder on this question.
He asked himself “What is the purpose of meditation?”
He told himself, “We meditate in order to quieten the mind and to contact the God within, who has all the answers.”
“Ah,” thought he, “Then I will ask my God within for the answer to this one.”
Some days he would sit and try to still his mind, but all the time images of his life’s activities would float across the mirror of his mind. On other occasions he would fall asleep as soon as he had settled himself and he would wake with a jolt when his head touched his chest. A few times he had glimpsed other worlds, or levels of existence, and had to control the astral images that had intruded on his consciousness. His guru had told him to dismiss these by simply telling them to go. Rising above these he had occasionally had glimpses of Light and Glory, but these had been few and far between. An occurrence, which he looked forward to with a gentle warm anticipation, was the feeling of being in communication with another mind greater than his. This happened at times when he was at his most tranquil and when he was in a good receptive learning mode. He looked on this as his guidance, not sure if it was the presence of God, or of some sort of spirit helper there to counsel him and help him along.

When he reached home the young Guptananda went straight away to an outbuilding on his father’s grounds where he could be alone. Only his horse moved quietly on the straw and cobbles while he perched in the rafters of the loft on a little platform he had made for the purpose. He made himself comfortable and peaceful. There he opened his mind to the Almighty One. He asked of the Supreme Spirit an answer to his question. He sat and waited and, as he waited, he felt a coolness on his forehead. With his eyes closed, he saw the blue starry heavens open up to him; he felt himself floating amongst those stars; and he felt as large, or as small, as any one of those stars. A great feeling of peace came over him. There he stayed enveloped in peace and with the Almighty, visible, and yet invisible. He felt energy radiating from his limbs and his head, and finally the ‘knowing’ or hearing of some words:
“You must meditate for as long as it takes to get your answer. And if you cannot do it today, then try again tomorrow. Do not allow meditation to take over your life. A young man has work to do, gifts to appreciate, life to live. It is not the amount of time that matters, but the quality of openness to God.”

Finally the young man descended from the loft feeling uplifted and energised by this knowledge and power which he had experienced. He knew fully now that it had not been just his imagination at work on those other occasions when he had experienced ‘meditational happenings’. It had been real. Guidance was at hand for whoever seeks it and whenever it is sought. His Guru had explained that sometimes we are not ready for an answer. We must be content to learn at a pace that is appropriate for our own development.