Meditation in Conversation
The conversation continues. After the Living Connections gathering on anthroposophic meditation Inessa Guseva has continued to seeking out interviews. They have been appearing in german in the weekly publication ‹Das Goetheanum›. The circle that shepherded the Summer gathering into existence decided to keep the Living Connections website up for the time being as a platform for sharing these. Here you will find the original interviews that took place in preparation for the gathering and those that have occurred since.
I'm always asking questions. I can bring questions into meditation and, if I can allow the question to move in its own direction, answers come. Partly, I found that I need to meditate in order to be able to meditate. As I've become older, my capacity for meditation has changed. When I first began, I could sit down for three quarters of an hour quite easily. Now I struggle beyond five minutes. In a way, one can say that it's going backwards rather than forwards. But in these five minutes, a lot more happens than used to happen in three quarters of an hour.
You have to meditate individually, but you can work together with others. When you’re conscious about what you are doing and talk about it, it doesn't have to be un-free or dangerous. It’s a natural part of our times - to do together; when you are trusting each other, you can also build a circle for the future. Everywhere you can build a circle of common awareness, where you are working for a larger goal.
The sangha is a community of practitioners, monastic or lay, who are meditants together and committed to the Buddha’s Eightfold Path. Within this community there is the possibility of sharing practice. This reality of a community of practitioners wasn't available in anthroposophy at that time.
I am a world traveller, born in New Zealand but grown up in the world really. In 1976, at the very lowest point of my life ever, I ended up in the Canary Islands and there, as destiny would have it, I was lent Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, one of Rudolf Steiner’s early books.
In Benjamin Franklin's autobiography one finds the remark that it makes as much sense to tell people to be good as it does to walk up to poor people that are hungry and tell them to be fed. The question is, how do you get food?
I will often begin a meditative session without particulary knowing what exercise I will work with. I try to look for where the interest and energy lies and I take that as the starting point. I know Steiner says a lot about the importance of repetition in meditation, and sticking to a goal, but for me if meditation is too goal orientated and driven then it leads nowhere. But of course it's a balance and I don't mean that I have no continuity or structure to my meditative practice.
The Goetheanum conference that will take place in July 2017 is an example of the growing interest and openness to the work of meditation and Anthroposophy more generally. The conference will provide a way for many people to support and benefit each other in their meditation practice. I can understand the reluctance people have had to offer instruction in meditation. None of us are initiates; none of us are Masters, so to speak. Yet many have been working at meditation for some years and have gained valuable experience. I feel the sharing of those experiences is an important part of becoming a spiritual community when done in the right way, with modesty.
«I feel that meditation gives more capacity for love, spiritual love and even self-knowledge, of course, which is not always so nice, but it is necessary. This is Anthroposophy to me, that you don't only meditate for your own development, but for other people's development.»
«it seems that more and more people, especially younger people, sense with growing awareness the presence of a potential aspect, mostly hidden in their being. There is more than what we see and experience of ourselves and each other, in a sense of the perceptible world.»
«I really had this question, how can you combine a spiritual life with social engagement. There were very few opportunities to do that, but something that really impressed me with anthroposophy was that were both a spiritual path and also social engagement.»
«The main purpose for me is really enhancing my professional life. Research on one hand, also based on meditation, imagination, inspiration, intuition, but also by intervening, offering help to people who suffer from conflicts, problems.»