As your body settles into meditation, the environment and your body will call to you. The phone will ring, your nose will itch, and your back may begin to hurt if you haven’t yet figured out the best meditation posture for yourself. That’s all fine, don’t worry about it and don’t respond.
Stay physically seated in meditation, and the world fades away.
As your mind settles into meditation, all of the impressions you’ve gathered will call to you. Memories will surface, visions may blossom, and your mind might sink into a train of thought. After a time, you will recover your perspective and observe all these thoughts and feelings again as external to your essential self. After such things come, just let them go. As you practice, the hold these spells have over you will shorten.
Stay mentally seated in the position of the Witness, and you are freed of attachment and delusion.
As you break open your self-image and build a new one, again and again, you will be confronted with negative feelings about yourself when your actions deviate from your ideal. You might relapse, you might overwork, you might do something that in hindsight feels immoral. That is fine, that’s one part of the mind reforming another part of the mind, it’s to be expected. Don’t deviate from your new, temporary ego – continue to reach toward your new ideal until the time comes to reformulate yourself again.
Stay conceptually seated in your best version of yourself, and you resist temptation.
As your temporal self journeys out of the dust and back into dust, you will be confronted with great terrors and mighty struggles. Loved ones will get sick, some of your efforts will fail miserably, and you will eventually be forced to let go of all your relationships, your belongings, and your senses of identity. This is part of life, it is the nature of the cycles, and it is inevitable. Your temporal self is dead wood and it must be burned for you to travel on. Trust the process and divinity, and you’ll begin to understand the grand mystery and spectacular love that leads you ever deeper into the heart of God.
Stay spiritually seated in trust and faith, and you will inherit the Kingdom.
Now, if you see something unjust, take action to correct it. If you see that your current path is contrary to intuition and the whispers of spirit, change course. If you are taught, in this grand classroom of life, that your current patterns have caused suffering, make amends and reformulate yourself.
But, through all of that and in the middle of all your doing, stay seated.
Before this divine fire of love is introduced into the substance of the soul, and is united with it, by means of a purity and purgation which is perfect and complete, this flame is wounding the soul and destroying it and consuming in it the imperfections of its evil habits; and this is the operation of the Holy Spirit, wherein he prepares for divine union and the transformation of its substance in God through us. For the same fire of love which afterwards is united with the soul and glorifies it is that which aforetime assailed it in order to purge it; even as the fire that penetrates the log of wood is the same that first attacked and wounded it with its flame, cleansing it and stripping it of all its accidents of ugliness, until by means of its heat, it had prepared it to such a degree that it could enter it and transform it into itself.
St. John of the Cross in Living Flame of Love,
as quoted by Andrew Harvey in Son of Man: The Mystical Path to Christ