We are "harmonized" when our three centers are coordinated in unison rather than "in chaos" when each center acts independently of the others (our usual, normal, mechanical condition). We approach harmony when the three centers are each relaxed because then they are comfortably related to one another. In meditation we try to be as physically relaxed or loose as possible, to which is added a neutral emotional condition, to which is added a quiet mind (no thought). A goal is to do everything with the three centers harmoniously related. (Paul Beidler)
There is some dispute as to whether Gurdjieff taught meditation, if by that word we mean an exercise that is passive, since Gurdjieff was constantly stressing the active role we needed to play in our Work. In Beelzebub's Tales Gurdjieff refers to a form of active and conscious contemplation called 'aiŽsiritoorassian contemplation'. An essentially passive form of meditation called 'Sitting' or 'Morning Preparation' is taught in many groups today, but it was not a practice taught by Gurdjieff. Aside from the fact that there are many mentions of meditation recorded in Ouspensky's books, the following quotation from Beelzebub's Tales gives us an indication that he considered some sort of meditation as a part of a daily routine :
"So in the meantime, exist as you exist. Only do not forget one thing, namely, at your age it is indispensably necessary that every day, at sunrise, while watching the reflection of its splendor, you bring about a contact between your consciousness and the various unconscious parts of your general presence. Try to make this state last and to convince the unconscious parts--not as if they were conscious--that if they hinder your general functioning, they, in the period of your responsible age, not only cannot fulfill the good that befits them, but your general presence of which they are part, will not be able to be a good servant of our Common Endless Creator, and by that will not even be worthy to pay for your arising and existence." (26)
Another indication is in the form of the last Movement that Gurdjieff created, Movement Number 39. The posture is the first clue and although there are four positions coordinated with the accompanying music, the pace is very slow and each posture is held between 15 and 30 seconds. The Inner Work that was given for this movement consists of three 'inner-positions' where the Attention is directed. The first position involves Sensing the body, the second with attending to a calm, neutral emotional center and the third with attending to a clear mind, free of thoughts and an awareness of being here now.
If we widen the definition of meditation to include active efforts as well as the passive, we could characterize meditation as an attempt to cultivate the Reconciling force. In that case we could see not only Self Remembering, Contemplation and the Movements as forms of meditation, but also any exercise which attempted to bring the three centers into harmony or a state of All Brains Balanced Being Perception.
The Endless Search © 2004 Ian C. MacFarlane