Subsidiary exercises

A meditant should do six subsidiary exercises:
1. Think about a simple object for at least five minutes. Hold it fast in thoughts without going over to other things. One can prepare for this by familiarizing oneself with the object first. After a few days one can choose another object. This exercise arouses a feeling of firmness in the pupil as it activates the chakram between his eyebrows. One should send this feeling through the brain and down the backbone.
2. Do an unimportant thing every day at a certain time. This exercise also gives firmness.
3. Develop equanimity, that is, one shouldn’t fluctuate between rejoicing to heaven and despairing to death. A joke can be enjoyed just as much if one doesn’t laugh boisterously at; one can bear a pain better if one doesn’t wallow in it too much. This gives one a feeling of quiet calm that one lets stream from the heart to the arms, and out through the hands.
4. See the beautiful and true elements in all things. Christ Jesus admired the beautiful teeth in a rotting dog, where his disciples only saw ugliness. One can discover at least a small kernel of truth and something beautiful in everything. If one does this exercise for some time it gives one a feeling of great joy.
5. Always be open to new things. One should never say: I never heard of that, that can’t be, or I don’t believe that. One should always leave the possibility open that one can learn something from everything that people say. Thereby one can learn from children, animals and everything else. This gives one the feeling that one could also perceive things while one is partly outside one’s body.
6. This exercise is a combination of the preceding ones, so that one can combine two and two or any way one wants. By doing this, one gets the feeling that one has grown beyond the limits of one’s skin.

( This is a series of soul exercises that help combat the negative influences of meditative work. They were given to me by Dr. Franz Winkler at 16 as a kind of trial preparation for meditatation, before he was willing to teach me to meditate. I can vouch for their effectiveness and the fact that, if meditation is done without them, a certain lassitude of these soul qualities and attitudes will set in.)

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