sounds, conducive to intensive meditation. To secure complete external silence involves careful selection of the spot for meditation; but, one has only to close one's eyes in order to protect the mind from the disturbance of sights. Sometimes, when there is light, closing the eyes is not sufficient to ward off all visual stimulation; and then it is advisable to start meditation in complete darkness. Darkness is normally one of the things that promote progress in meditation.
With regard to the posture which is most helpful, there are no fixed rules. Any posture which is comfortable and hygienically unobjectionable may be adopted, so long as it does not induce sleep and contributes to the alertness of the mind. The posture should not involve any physical tension or pain; because it then invites the attention of the mind to the body itself. The body should, therefore, be completely relaxed, as when going to sleep; but the usual position which is accompanied by sleep should be avoided, because it has a tendency to induce sleep. When the body has assumed a convenient and suitable posture, it is helpful to turn one's attention to the head as the centre of the body. When the head is regarded as the centre, it is easier to forget the body and to withdraw one's attention from the body and fix it on the object of meditation.
It is desirable that the aspirant should take the same posture for each meditation. The previous associations which the posture has with his meditations endow it with a special capacity to induce and facilitate similar meditations. When the body has assumed the chosen posture, it is, as it were, constantly under the subconscious suggestion that it must not obtrude any more upon consciousness, and that it has to serve the purpose of meditation. Choosing the same spot and a fixed hour for meditation also has a salutary effect upon meditation because of previous associations. Hence the aspirant must be serious about resorting to an identical spot, posture and hour for the purposes of meditation. The choice of the spot also involves consideration of the occult associations and possibilities of the spot. Special importance is attached to meditating in holy places or the spots where the Masters have themselves lived or meditated.
The spot, posture and hour of meditation all have their relative importance, which varies according to the peculiarities and history of the individual. The Master, therefore, often gives different instructions to each disciple to suit his individual case. However, in those cases where meditation has become habitual through constant practice, adherence to a fixed spot, posture or time can be dispensed with; and the aspirant can carry on his meditation