New Moon #4 Practice – Turning toward the Light of Awakening

New Moon #4 Practice: January 2012 Sharifa Norton and Muinuddin Smith

Contemplations on an Earth of True Vision

Turning toward the Light of Awakening

“The only real voyage or discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”  Pir Vilayat Khan

Why does the action of the sunflower, in following the sun during its day movement, immediately inspire us?  Proclus describes a sympathy:  we have the very same passion for light, and for turning toward light, that the heliotrope has.  But why the initial passion?   Because we are literally born of the stars, and on every plane of reality, from the physical to the most subtle or spiritual, light reminds us of our true identity.

In an earlier meditation we mentioned the ancient idea of the earth being infused with Xvarnah, the “Light of Glory,” and to perceive this light, irradiating the world around us, brings us a sense that the soul and spirit behind the universe has  become the universe.  When this happens, there is no need to go into solitude to find Reality. We find a continually unfolding mystery in our earthly lives:

“When the body is redeemed in the holy mystery of participation in an animate and theophanic cosmos, hope will again arise for the future of our green globe and what is more, true presence in the moment. ”   Pir Zia Inayat-Khan

To come to Reality we have to cultivate our capacity for vision, to shine the creative light of our soul into our lives.  Instead of taking in impressions through our eyes passively, we cultivate an active glance, clearing the way for beauty in life.  With practice, shining light into the life around us, our glance affirms the “light of glory,” and becomes itself a prayer.  This light beautifies, transmits and glorifies. It awakens, catalyzes and makes things grow.

Steps to Development of the Creative Glance:[1]

” … the glance of a sage has the power to open every object and to see through it; in reality it is the light which the sage throws out from within that makes the same things clear to his vision which are only half seen by the ordinary man.”           Hazrat Inayat Khan

Usually, as soon as we open our eyes after meditation, everything in the physical environment seems to call out for our attention. The practice here is to literally retrain our consciousness to maintain a positive and radiant state rather than being pulled in every direction. Once that is attained at least partially, we can gain a capacity to shine the light of universal intelligence right into everyday life.

1.     Begin with a meditation with closed eyes.  We first charge our being by attuning to the world of splendor behind the physical universe.  Sense the Unseen, the intelligence and splendor that has given rise to all the planes of creation.  “Look up first, and when your eyes are charged with divine light, then when you cast your glance on the world of facts, you will have a much clearer vision, the vision of reality.”  Hazrat Inayat Khan
2.     Concentrating deeply on the third eye has the effect of charging the eyes with the light of the heavenly spheres.    Then, opening our eyes, we can offset our glance slightly from the physical world.  This will help us from being pulled too strongly by the attraction of objects.
3.      From the depths of meditation, open your eyes and feel that they are like search lamps, illuminating the field of your vision.  Instead of focusing on discrete objects, you are looking into an ocean of light.  Without focusing on any objects or people, and with your glance not fixed on any object, infuse this instant of time with light, freshness, and possibility.
4.     Next, we can have the experience of looking upon our life with our whole body and mind. We are like a sun, gazing at the life around us and realizing it to be a mirror of our light.  We cast a creative glance, giving light and energy to the world.  We hold in mind the thought of illuminating, of bringing light and life energy into life.

Casting a fructifying glance of light fulfills our primordial pledge, “to contribute to the transfiguration of the world.”  Like the heliotrope, turning towards light, and becoming surcharged with the light of divine intelligence, this gives us the capacity to radiate compassion and sympathy for the earth, contributing to the transformation of our world.
[1] These practices are found in the book An Emerald Earth, by Felicia Norton and Charles Smith, TwoSeasJoin Press, 2008.