Instructions for WESAK 2014
I have taken part in WESAK festival meditations for the past 28 years. In all cases I was part of a group meditation. In the first years, our group of aspirants, rented a cottage or retreat centre for a 3 day WESAK retreat. We wanted the retreat to be very intense to help us focus as a group and build up the energies of invocation.
The first thing we did was determine the exact time of the full moon. This would be our main meditation. Then we timed every thing we did based on that exact time of the WESAK full moon.
This is just a short outline of our plan for the WESAK retreat:
- We would do a group meditation 4 times a day.
- We kept silent, except for our teacher who was directing this event.
- There would be 3 study periods per day.
- Food, strictly vegetarian. One major meal per day plus light snacks.
- There would be some free time to take walks outside or relax.
- Sleep would be limited to 4 or 5 hours, dependent or meditation times.
- For couples, there is no relations during this retreat.
- No smoking or alcohol. (most of us didn’t drink or smoke)
- An end of retreat celebration, with a veggie feast and we could now talk.
Our meditations were intense as we worked on the invocation of the energy from the Buddha and Hierarchy of Masters. As a group we sat in a circle, at the centre was a stand with a large white, non-scented, candle. Below it was an incense burner and we only used sandalwood incense, the traditional incense of the Buddha. Sandalwood is also a 1st Ray incense that helps to clear negative thought forms from the room. Incense is very important as it is the offering/food for the devas who belong to the inner school of the Buddha and are also attracted by the invocations.
We did follow a traditional format:
- We would start the meditation period by centring on the ‘flame-in-the-heart’, picturing our body as empty and hollow.
- We visualized and paid our obeisance to the Master who was guiding the group, radiating the OM aloud.
- Then we would visualize and pay obeisance to Lord Maitreya.
- Now it was time to meditate on Lord Gautama. Start by visualizing him above your head, flaming gold in colour sitting on a white lotus with his right hand held up in blessing.
- Holding the visualization of Lord Gautama, chant the mantra of the Buddha in the heart. We would chant loudly then silently. We did 12 rounds. (Om namo tasse bugavato arahato samma sum Buddha sa) We were inspired and have a special tune for the mantra. When chanting it, is important to generate a deep feeling.
- Then we would say the Great Invocation, sound the OM 3X’s.
- Again we would centre in the flame-in-the-heart and listen to the silence.
Each meditation would take at least 1 hour, some times longer. Our teacher also would do a short reading before we meditated. All the above with little sleep made for a very intense experience. Many of the participants had solid spiritual experiences. One of the experiences many of us felt was at the exact time of WESAK, when chanting the mantra of the Buddha, there was this definite feeling of a deep peace that had descended on the group. We’ve noted that this exact feeling occurred at other WESAK retreats. You feel lifted up, from the point of consciousness, the visualization of the Buddha seems so real, then at the same time your aware of this peace. I really don’t know of any other way to describe it…one can only experience it and then they will know.
The WESAK experience would charge our spiritual batteries for the entire year. For us, in the group, WESAK was our new years, not December 31 as it is for the world. We were living on a different time table. We lived in the world but lived on its fringes. Everyone in the group had jobs and regular responsibilities but the inner Work for us was what really guided us.
We also noticed that after several WESAK retreats that the group was being fused together, sort of a soul fusion. We all became very close. What was interesting was that when we meditated and were chanting we created a ‘cone of fire’ that reached to the higher planes. Several members were able to see this as their psychic senses were opened during the meditation period. This ‘cone of fire’ also protected us from negative psychic disturbances during the WESAK meditations. As you make progress there is always the ‘forces of resistance’ that awakens to thwart your progress. Theses ‘forces of resistance’ are not talked about in today’s spiritual books. Today’s spirituality has everything nice and sunny. On the esoteric Path its not really like that at all.