The nearly worn out guided meditation tape from my college friend Andy played in the cassette deck. I had stumbled across the tape earlier while searching for an old mixtape to play as background music. Andy was a proponent of guided meditation and auto-hypnosis tapes and turned me onto the format back in the early 1980s. I still enjoy taking time out to decompress occasionally with pre-recorded guided meditations.
I settled into as much of a half-lotus posture as I can still manage. Then focused on the pan-flute background music. Andy’s soothing voice began the session with a saying by Swami Sivananda. “Your duty is to treat everybody you meet with love as a manifestation of the Lord.” I smiled after the words were spoken. They were a reminder of the times Andy and I had explored Vedanta along with other Hindu practices and teachings together. We both over-used two words in those days, “auspicious”, and “manifestation”.
Indeed, as the cassette tape continued playing, Andy’s young voice spoke the word “manifestation” over and over in the meditation monologue. If his voice had not been deep and soothing, the overuse of “manifestation” would have been highly irritating. Yet, the overuse did make the tape sound very “new agey”.
The purpose of the taped meditation was to enable the listener to manifest dreams in the material world. Andy’s voice instructed the listener to visualize the thing or project one wanted to have. Then to focus on the fulfillment of that desire. If the motivation for achieving that desire is pure and wholesome, the ultimate manifestation of that desire will be auspicious or helpful.
The tape advised the listener to grow and expand consciousness in a way that allows spiritual prosperity to manifest now and in the future. The focus should be on what is best for everyone involved.
The meditation encouraged the desire to investigate all things. The aim is that learning new skills and knowledge can lead to the attainment of wisdom if done in a compassionate manner. The more focused the listener is, the sooner the object of the goal will manifest.
The tape continued with reminders to beware of complacency and laziness. The listener should be careful not to occupy oneself with constant daydreaming. Equal effort must be made to physically work towards manifesting the goal. The listener should also notice whether or not the desire is long-term and sustainable or if it is only a short-term pleasure and an urge.
The narration ended with a reiteration praising the expansion of consciousness and compassionate action. The volume level of the pan-flute music increased. While the improvised tune played out to the end of that side of the tape, I contemplated Andy’s words.
I don’t think Andy owned a thesaurus in the 1980s. If he had, his guided meditation script would have benefited by substituting such words as appearing, revealed, expressions, and materialization in place of so many manifestations.
After listening to Andy’s guided meditation, I want to check out some of the new meditation apps that are being promoted nowadays.
The Blue Jay of Happiness ponders a thought from screenwriter, director, producer, and novelist Guillermo del Toro. “You cannot convince a Buddhist to become a Protestant any more than you can convince a person who embraces realism as the highest form of art that fantasy is an equally important manifestation. It’s impossible.”