TSU FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions regarding The TSG University

General Questions on Meditation

Health questions

Security/privacy questions


General Questions

What is the area of study for TSG University and is it a useful subject of study?   - Return to top - 

TSG University’s focus of study is called the Ageless Wisdom. This is defined in the book The Ageless Wisdom by Torkom Saraydarian as follows: “…The Ageless Wisdom is contained in the Vedas, Upanishads, Vishnu Purana, Bhagavad Gita, Books of Moses, Kabala, New Testament, Mahabharata, Koran, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, in Mithraism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, Sufism, the teachings of the Mayans and Aztecs, the American Indians and the teachings of Shankaracharya, also the teaching given by a great leader in Japan by the name of Nichiren Daishonin—not to mention that which has been imparted by many other great philosophers, scientists, and artists throughout the world. This, in general, is the Wisdom given to humanity.

 “Throughout time Teachers appeared in many places in the world, revealing the Teaching in China, Egypt, Greece, England, Armenia, the Middle East, India, South America, Africa, and so on, organising special schools which were founded in the spirit of the Ageless Wisdom.” (p. 79)

Our goal is to advance this kind of religious education for the public benefit. When we say religious, we mean the religious foundations of the major religions of the world. Religion to us means the culture, the worship, the music, and the complete spiritual tradition of peoples. 

In our books and lectures and religious educational materials, you will find specific books and references on Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Native American, as well as the tradition of spiritual belief known as the Ageless Wisdom tradition. The Ageless Wisdom tradition is a way of thinking that believes that the religious, cultural, ethnic beliefs and philosophies of the peoples of the earth are derived from the same source. This tradition believes that if people are aware of the common threads that unite us, we will all live in harmony and peace and be able to resolve conflicts in a non-violent way.

We have at least one major book devoted to each of these topics. All the rest of the books derive the inspiration of the particular topic from one of the religious traditions of the world. For example, the two books The Science of Meditation and The Science of Becoming Oneself rely heavily on the Teachings of the ancient sage Patanjali of 10,000 years ago. The book The Creative Fire derives its inspiration from the Upanishads. The books on healing derive their inspiration from the writings of the Lucis Trust, Theosophy, and Agni Yoga Societies. The books on family values and building family unity derive their inspirations from Sufi and from Yogananda traditions, and so on. You can find similar example in every single book and lecture that we provide for the public. Our music is also an eclectic mix of modern, classical, as well as Middle Eastern musical styles. These musical selections are designed to help the individual to relax, meditate and pray with the deep inner conviction. Our prayers and meditations are collected from all the religious traditions of the world and they inspire unity, peace, healing, and asking the help and protection of the Creator.

The author Torkom Saraydarian was a student of comparative religion and philosophy. He was trained in the Armenian Orthodox Church for ministry and was later ordained bishop in the Apostolic Church of Antioch. He collected and synthesized for modern students the books and music of all cultures as others have done before him. His published books number 100 with another 70 books to be published in the future. He composed and performed hundreds of musical compositions for the piano, oud, guitar, flute, and voice. He composed songs and dances that are in the tradition of Sacred Dance and Sacred Songs. He traveled the world and lectured in Europe, South Africa, the United States, and South America. He was a renaissance man.

Our main focus is to provide any interested party with Torkom’s creative works. We also provide the philosophy and books by other authors and use materials by other authors in our seminars, classes, lectures, and training courses. We accept and encourage active involvement of anyone in discussion and presentation of diverse viewpoints. And, we carry out our business relations and teaching relations with utmost sincerity and professionalism.

We teach the theoretical foundation, the golden thread that weaves through all religions and spiritual traditions. Many other spiritual principles are also included and taken from such works as by Confucius, Zoroaster, Plato, Upanishads and Vedas, as well as the myths of various cultures and civilizations.

We provide the books, lectures, and music that will help educate the discerning and searching person, in any field of life, to appreciate the beauty and diversity of the spiritual traditions of the world. We hope to foster tolerance, ability to understand and function with the diverse cultural and religious conditions that are found all over the world. We hope that through our educational materials, people of all faiths and cultures can learn to live together and create peaceful alternatives to conflict. As such, we also teach communication based on soul values and well as leadership principles based on spiritual values.

In addition to the specific titles of books mentioned above, we have the following books that address themselves specifically to the multi-religious concepts and to communication and leadership. Part of our function is to provide the books in our collection to any interested party:

  1. Dialogue with Christ

  2. Christ, Avatar of Sacrificial Love

  3. St. Sergius

  4. Buddha Sutra

  5. Bhagavat Gita

  6. Hiawatha and the Great Peace

  7. One Hundred Names of God (representing the Sufi/Islam tradition.)

  8. Five volumes on spiritual and principled Leadership

  9. Teaching the Ageless Wisdom Laws of Successful Communication (taught as soul to soul communication.)

  10. The Ageless Wisdom

All our books and lectures help diverse peoples develop the ability of independent and critical thinking; that is, the ability to think for yourself and make the right choices in life based on love, understanding, forgiveness and tolerance for the differences that are inherent in all peoples. Our books and lectures help people to meditate, to pray, to seek guidance from higher sources to overcome their problems using materials from myriad sources. 

We believe that given the tremendous crises that the world is facing, plus the multi-ethnic and multi-religious nature of much of the world communities in the developed as well as the developing nations, there is great need for educational materials that provide the basis for the development of tolerance and understanding. We believe that the materials that we have provide wonderful opportunities for growth and expansion.

 

Does your organization approach its subject of study from a neutral viewpoint and present its material in a balanced way?   - Return to top - 

We believe in the words uttered by the Lord Buddha thousands of years ago and we present our materials with respect to that belief, and that is stated in the following: “Do not believe on the strength of traditions even if they have been held in honour for many generations and in many places; do not believe anything because many people speak of it; do not believe on the strength of sages of old times; do not believe that which you have yourselves imagined, thinking that a god has inspired you. Believe nothing, which depends only on the authority of your master or of priests. After investigation, believe that which you have yourselves tested and found reasonable, and which is for your good and that of others.” (As quoted on page 1 of Other Worlds.)

The Trustees of TSG focus to provide these religious and educational materials to people in all disciplines. Readers and participants are free to agree, disagree, argue, or even to not participate! Our students are from many faiths, many cultures, and many spiritual traditions from all over the world. In short, we do not function to force any set of religious principles on anyone. Nor do we want blind adherence or obedience. To the contrary, we continuously pursue open-mindedness and respect to one another.

People read and use our materials from the fields of politics, education, psychology, various fields of medicine, finance, and religion. Our materials reach people in all fields and help them better themselves and give them the tools to train others in expansive thinking.

 

What are the discernible merits of the courses of study that you offer?   - Return to top - 

We are presenting our classes and educational materials in order to advance religious and spiritual education and religious and spiritual tolerance based on the principles of the Ageless Wisdom. In addition, our activities and products teach not only tolerance, but also understanding and acceptance of the Divinity in every man, woman, and child, regardless of culture, religion, color, national origin, or life expression. The major hindrance to a peaceful world where people treat other human beings with dignity is the lack of this key understanding: That every human being, is divine in origin and deserves to be treated with the dignity of the Divine.

The activities we undertake, in making printed materials available free online, or by purchase, seminars and classes, bring depth and breadth to the spiritual expansion of every participant. These materials are of such a rich heritage and expansive nature that one cannot help but be educated by them. In all our works, we emphasize not merely the “imparting of information” but of helping every single man and woman to develop and transform themselves to become better persons and citizens of their nations. For example see our classes on meditation, spiritual training, training for teachers in our spiritual study programs. Our book Education as Transformation emphasizes how the imparting of information does not mean education. Real education is when the person changes as a result of the experience and information.

Our organization does clearly present the religious and spiritual information in a neutral way. Our books and lectures do not propose that we are the only answer to the world. On the contrary, we demonstrate in all our work that the religious and cultural expressions of the whole world have value; we demonstrate how to find this value; and we demonstrate how one can synthesize the religious tradition and therefore become capable of understanding the opposite viewpoint. We do not teach a one-point of view, but rather encourage people of many faiths and traditions to study with us and contribute their perspectives. We are not involved in making people follow a one-perspective teaching, but rather to help everyone be a better person, staying in their very own religious and cultural paths. In fact, our most central book, The Ageless Wisdom, the following is stated:

“Religion gives people a certain degree of certainty. That is why the Ageless Wisdom discourages us from forcing our own religion on others or trying to convert people, imposing our beliefs by force. To the Ageless Wisdom, all true religions are facets of the same stream of Teaching which have been given to people according to their need, character, and environment.

“Sometimes severe psychological problems and deep-seated turbulences in the psyche of a person are created if he changes religions. However, the Ageless Wisdom encourages tolerance, compassion, and the search for the common denominator in all true religions.” (The Ageless Wisdom, p. 74.)

 

I would be grateful for more information on the TSG University.   - Return to top - 

TSG University was founded by Gita Saraydarian in order to organize the huge body of spiritual materials created by Torkom Saraydarian, and make them accessible for students in a systematic and sequential manner. The first order of business has been to train a group of students to become teachers. After five years of training, the students will be able to give classes and lectures in any venue that suits them.

The University has also promoted annual conferences in the US in which teachers from various groups and disciplines are invited to lecture and teach classes and lead group discussions.

The University also promotes musicians who join the annual conferences and perform musical selections designed to co-ordinate with the programs of the conference. In addition, a cultural program is presented at each conference allowing actors and poetry recitations to take place.

People in the fields of education, business, music and dance, and even corporate communication experts design the meditation courses offered in the University. Students are now taking classes on site in the US as well as online. The students come from diverse backgrounds both in terms of religion, culture, and nationality. The University provides courses for those who wish to have personal enrichment classes; others take courses for enhancing their careers, others for teaching and so on. The University programs are continuously being expanded and enhanced.

The purpose of TSG University is to provide an organized way of study and application of the spiritual and religious traditions of the world and to become an open forum of study and discussion. Gita Saraydarian is at present the founder and teacher. In time, the present students will graduate and begin to teach classes. In fact, when Gita Saraydarian travels, other students and teachers teach the classes in her absence and train to become good teachers and leaders.

TSG and its affiliates are not created to be vehicles to expand the career of any person. Our work is not focused on one person; it is focused on providing the materials and forum and places by which people can benefit and expand their spiritual understanding.

 

Can you give some samples of sources used by Torkom in his Teachings?   - Return to top - 

Yes. Torkom had a library of over 5,000 books. He studied, researched, and meditated to find the answers to his search of truth and light. The following are a small sample of sources of inspiration and study found in Torkom Saraydarian’s works.

  • Agni Yoga Teachings / Living Ethics

  • Letters of Helena Roerich Volumes 1&2

  • Altai Himalaya (Nicholas Roerich)

  • Abode of Light (Nicholas Roerich)

  • Himavat (Nicholas Roerich)

  • The Secret Doctrine (H. P. Blavatsky)

  • The Voice of Silence (H. P. Blavatsky)

  • The Key to Theosophy (H. P. Blavatsky)

  • In the Hours of Meditation (Alexander)

  • At the Feet of the Master (Krishnamurti)

  • Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Nietzche)

  • Buddhism (Christmas Humphreys)

  • The Ethical Religion of Zoroaster (Meander Miles Dawson)

  • Philosophies of India (Heinrich Zimmer)

  • Ideas and Opinions (Albert Einstein)

  • From suffering to Fulfilment (Hermann Keyserling)

  • H.P. Blavatsky, Tibet & Tulku (Geoffrey A Barboka)

  • The Gospel of Buddha (Paul Carus)

  • Mysticism (Evelyn Underhill)

  • A Search in Secret India (Paul Brunton)

  • Man the Unknown (Alexis Carrell)

  • Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy (G.de Purucker)

  • The Ocean of Theosophy (W. Q. Judge)

  • The Mahatma Letters (A. P. Sinnett)

  • Zorastrianism (Sir Rustin Masini)

  • The Light of Asia (Sir Edwin Arnold)

  • The Growth of the Soul (A. P. Sinnett)

  • The Crest Jewel of Wisdom (Sankaracharya)

  • The Secret of the Golden Flower (Richard wilhelm)

  • The Holy Qu’ran

  • New Testament

  • A New Model for the Universe (P. D. Ouspensky)



Can you give a sample of the various spiritual teachings and traditions on which Torkom Saraydarian lectured?   - Return to top - 

Yes. Here is a sample.  See the audio list by subject for a complete listing of topics and dates.

  • Lessons from the Secret Doctrine

  • Lotus Sutra

  • Lessons from the Bhagavad Gita

  • Teachings of Gita

  • 32 Marks of Buddha

  • Buddhism and Nirvana

  • Beauty of Christ

  • Disciples of Christ

  • Kata Upanishads

  • Excerpts from Dhammapada

  • Threefold Discipline of the Sufis

  • Easter-Transformation

  • Tibetan Teaching on Groups

  • Teaching of Hermes

  • The Dream of Hiawatha

  • Three Joys of the Arhats

  • Three Joys of the Bodhisatva

  • The Teachings of Christ

  • The Tibetan Teachings

  • The Christ Light

  • Living Ethics the Teaching of Milarepa

  • Ark of Noah

  • Parables of Christ

  • An Indian Prayer

  • Lords Prayer

  • The Ramayana

  • The Wisdom of King Solomon

  • Teaching of St John

  • Saint Sergius

  • What are The Upanishads

  • What is Yoga

 

Who can take courses at TSG University?   - Return to top - 

Anyone who is genuinely interested in self-transformation. What does this mean? It means leading a successful, happy, healthy life; it means to have a purpose in life; it means to have avenues of service and help for others; it means finding ways to express the real you in your daily life; it means to have spiritual will and be determined and focused; it means to be able to understand what it means to have a life of virtue and to be able to express the highest in you in the world; and it means to radiate your wisdom, your love, your intelligence every day. Self-transformation is the path of finding your True Self that is deep inside of you.

 

 

What will I learn at TSG University?   - Return to top - 

  • You will learn the body of knowledge known as the Ageless Wisdom Teachings.

  • You will learn how to meditate safely and effectively.

  • You will learn how to discipline yourself.

  • You will learn how to follow through your meditation with proper writing and reporting of your findings.

  • You will learn the art of synthesis.

  • You will learn how to think clearly and find the causes of events in your life.

  • You will learn discipline of your bodies.

  • You will learn how to radiate as a soul.

  • You will learn the true meaning of success and discipleship.




How will these studies benefit me?   - Return to top - 

Studying high-level spiritual materials benefits every aspect of our life. We are spiritual beings and we have forgotten that in our fast-paced, materialistic life. How this spiritual enhancement is translated in your life may vary. Some people may experience renewed faith, prosperity, health, joy, and a positive and creative outlook on life. Some experience a greater understanding, tolerance, and better family relations. Some experience greater success and purpose in life. Others may experience serenity and inner understanding. The result is not guaranteed nor dictated by the University. Every student is responsible for his or her work and application of what he or she learns in everyday life.

 

 

Why do you focus on Torkom’s writings and on the particular teachers and their writings that you discuss in your catalog?   - Return to top - 

The coursework at the University is based on the works of Torkom Saraydarian, Alice A. Bailey, H. P. Blavatsky, and Helena Roerich (Agni Yoga Teachings). We use the high-level spiritual materials of these four of the greatest Teachers of the 20th Century as the foundation of our training. As students advance in their training, additional literature from world philosophy and religion as well as contemporary writings and expressions from many sources are used. The beauty of these teachers is that they never made claims but let their work stand the test of time; they left all their students free to explore and learn from their own inner drives; they based their work on their own soul-experience; they never had the glamour that they were Initiates or Masters. They were the sanest, balanced, and deep Teachers who left a lasting influence in the body of esoteric knowledge. Lastly, their work formed the nucleus from which sprang many other groups, traditions, and teachers. Their work continues to generate a wealth of new material and continues to challenge our philosophic and religious beliefs.  In these days of confusion and self-promotions, these four Teachers bring us the true, deep spiritual principles that are time honored and time tested.

 

 

Will my work be supervised? What role will the teachers play?   - Return to top - 

We will monitor your progress and answer questions as needed. Our training is based on self-responsibility. We believe that it is the responsibility of each individual to develop his or her inner mechanism to understand the mysteries of life. Our goal is to help you and mentor you as needed so that you can do your spiritual work. We provide the study materials in a measured way so that it is not overwhelming to you.

We supervise only to guide you to find the answers to your questions.

 

 

How do I know if TSG University is for me?   - Return to top - 

Please read all the materials we have presented to you here in these Question & Answer sections and also please see our complete catalog. If you have additional questions or concerns, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you have any health issues and concerns, we encourage you to seek medical advice.

TSG University, TSG Foundation, TSG Publishing Foundation, Inc. and its directors and staff do not assume responsibility for you and will assume that you will monitor any health issues under proper, medical supervision. We do not give health, financial, or medical advice. We offer the courses of spiritual study, and we hope that by developing your inner soul-consciousness, all answers and solutions will be made available to you by life itself.

 

 

What degrees are awarded?   - Return to top - 

A Certificate of Completion is awarded for each completed meditation course and for any completed course for students in the Self Enrichment program. For the Undergraduate Program, a BA Degree is awarded in Ageless Wisdom Teachings. The Master’s Program offers two choices: An MA for Ministry of the Ageless Wisdom; An MA for Teacher of the Ageless Wisdom. A PhD in Spiritual Philosophy is also available.

 

 

Are you an accredited University?   - Return to top - 

No we are are not. Our purpose is to offer spiritual education.


 

Frequently Asked Questions on Meditation

What kind of meditation do we teach?   - Return to top - 

We teach meditation based on the process of deep, analytical thinking on a seed thought. Through proper meditation, a person will be able to expand his consciousness slowly and safely. Meditation helps us understand the mysteries of life. Meditation, in essence, is the path of contact with our soul.

Our meditation lessons are based on the courses taught by Torkom Saraydarian. He meditated continuously throughout his life. As a result, he had boundless creativity and energy. His training was based on the solid instructions given for meditation and expansion thousands of years ago by the Great Teacher Patanjali. In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, instructions are given that are still valid today. See for example A. A. Bailey's magnificent commentary on the Sutras titled The Light of the Soul.

The courses that were designed by Torkom have benefited thousands of students all over the world. These are still in use today. New courses continue to be added based on the same guidelines that he provided.

The meditations taught at TSG University follow this ancient tradition and Torkom’s guidelines and examples. The courses are based on the concept of seed thought meditation. In this method, the student prepares himself by the purification of his environment and his bodies, attains a quiet emotional body, a serene and focused mind, and then, after saying various mantrams, the student will think about a given seed thought. This thinking process will be simple at first, and slowly will deepen and expand commensurate with the expansion of his mental mechanism.

The courses are divided into five levels. If you are unsure where to begin, please contact the director and we will help guide you toward the right course.

 

 

What can I expect with each lesson?   - Return to top - 

All the information you need for each lesson is contained in the meditation packet. Each lesson contains the following materials:

  • Complete instructions, reading material and compilation, text if applicable.

  • Questionnaire and instructions for completing each lesson.



 

What will I be expected to do for each lesson?   - Return to top - 

You will be expected to read, study, meditate, and record your thoughts.
You may study each lesson for one month or longer. Although the format for each lesson may vary, typically, you can expect to do the following:

  • Choose the time, days, and frequency of your meditation practice. You will need a total of 15-30 minutes of time in the beginning: 5 minutes to meditate, and the rest for reading and writing.

  • Recite the Great Invocation, followed by OM.

  • Recite any other Mantrams that are included in the particular meditation.

  • Reading from the text and the accompanying compilations.

  • Meditation on a selected seed thought.

  • Writing your thoughts about the seed thought.

  • Closing the meditation with a mantram/prayer, blessings, and OM.



 

What are other requirements of the student?   - Return to top - 

  • Set a special time during which you will work on your lessons.

  • Be consistent, if you decide you can only study and meditate once a week, then stick with it. If daily, or several times per week, that is good too. The idea is to plan a special time for your meditation work and discipline yourself to maintain that schedule as much as possible. 

  • Strive to purify your physical, emotional, and mental life. For instructions, see our booklet (available free online) Cornerstones of Health.

  • If you have any medical concerns or questions, please contact your medical doctor.

  • If you are unable to participate in a formal meditation course, but would like to engage in study, please contact the director for what is best for you.



 

Who will monitor my lessons?   - Return to top - 

Your lessons will be monitored by trained secretaries under the direction of Gita Saraydarian. Your lessons and papers will be held in the strictest of confidence.

 

 

How long do I work on each lesson?   - Return to top - 

The length of time you spend on each meditation lesson depends on you. Most of the lessons are designed to be completed in one month. If this is your first study course, you may wish to set a time once to twice per week that you devote to your meditation work. You will need about 15 minutes total at minimum as a start. We do not encourage longer than 5-15 minutes of actual meditation until you are an advanced student. You may read for longer periods from your text or from various texts on the Teaching if you wish. The most important part of your practice is to have a rhythmic schedule and stick to it.

 

 

Where can I get more information about the kind of meditation taught at The Torkom Saraydarian University?   - Return to top - 

You can find information about meditation in almost all of Torkom’s books. The books that deal exclusively with the topic of meditation are as follows:

  1. How to Find Your Level of Meditation (Torkom Saraydarian)

  2. The Science of Meditation (Torkom Saraydarian)

  3. Symphony of the Zodiac for monthly full moon meditations (Torkom Saraydarian)

  4. The following audio/video tape lectures by Torkom on Meditation are an excellent resource:

    1. Science of Meditation 1: 10/18/81

    2. Science of Meditation 2: 10/25/81

    3. Science of Meditation 3: 02/02/83

    4. What Meditation Does 02/16/83

    5. Dangers of Meditation 02/23/83

    6. Why to Meditate? 07/03/83

    7. Effect of Meditation on the Body 12/08/85

    8. Regular Meditation (Dangers of Irregularity) 01/20/88

    9. Does Meditation Improve Health? 04/27/88

    10. Gradient Meditation 05/07/86

    11. Basics of Meditation 11/14/93 (also available on video)

  5. Letters on Occult Meditation (A. A. Bailey)

  6. The Light of the Soul (A. A. Bailey, a study of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali)
     


Health and Meditation Questions:

What if I have been taking medications to treat depression or other mental health issues, how do I determine if I am ready for meditation?   - Return to top - 

The mental health field is more advanced now than ever before in the history of humanity. Many people are finding that medications to treat mental illness is useful and necessary. If you wish to pursue meditation courses or study courses, here is a very useful guideline explained by Dr. Robert Constas.

Safety Screen for Meditation:

The practice of Meditation is like watering a garden: when we tend a garden and water it, the seeds sprout. The first seeds to sprout are usually weeds. The creation of a beautiful garden requires the care of a diligent and vigilant gardener who is able to discern the difference between a weed and a desirable flower. Weeds need to be removed regularly so as to allow room for the flowers to bloom.

Most systems of meditation require substantial amounts of concentration. Meditation brings extra energy into our physical brain, emotional and mental natures, and into our etheric centers [chakras] for better and for worse. Healthy persons can absorb the extra energy and use it for constructive service and transformation. Persons who are not balanced run the risk of further imbalance. If you feel that you are not emotionally or mentally stable, this sort of meditation may not be right for you. You may need to begin with meditation that teaches you how to relax and how to observe your emotions and mental events. Or, you may wish to engage in brief periods of reading and contemplation.

Meditation and service are two sides of the spiritual practice. Those who do not feel the urge to provide useful and selfless service to others are also discouraged from serious meditation. When a person meditates and seriously studies the Spiritual Teachings, energy flows into the bodies. In order to keep one’s balance, it is important that the energy is used to provide service to others or be involved in creative activities for the betterment of life. When the energy is not channeled into positive and selfless activities, the person runs the danger of overstimulation and the breaking down of the protective shields in his subtle bodies.

The danger is increased if a person tries to rush into psychic activity and tries to develop psychic faculties such as clairvoyance, telepathy, seeing auras, or other paranormal faculties. One of the greatest dangers awaits the average person who tries to transform his or nature using kundalini yoga.

Meditation may bring episodes of overstimulation. Overstimulation may lead to feelings of inadequacy, fear, and imbalance mentally, emotionally, and even physically. An over stimulated person will often discontinue the meditation and other spiritual work. [This may actually be the healthy thing to do for a while until balance is restored.]  Overstimulation may lead to thinking that one is a very special person, and may even exaggerate spiritual ambition thus leading to making false claims for one’s status and even delusions of grandeur. Another sign of overstimulation is criticism of coworkers. Vanity is another indication of overstimulation. Vanity is believing that we are more than what we really are. If we approach meditation from a selfish and self-centered perspective, vanity is a danger that we will eventually encounter.

Overstimulation occurs when a person tries to do too much too soon.  It may occur when a person is engaged in meditation that is not properly monitored by an experienced teacher.  It can happen when the level of meditation is beyond the present capacity of the individual, or when a student ignores the advice of the teacher and engages in meditation beyond his or her capacity. It can also occur when the person has serious mental, emotional, and life challenges and does not heed the advice of an experienced medical doctor.

People with emotional and mental disorders are more susceptible to overstimulation than the average person. If a person does have any serious life or mental or emotional challenges, it is always advisable that proper medical advice is sought prior to beginning meditation and that the teacher is given full knowledge of any medical condition that may hinder the student’s progress.

The goal of meditation is not to cultivate states of ecstatic trance, gain psychic abilities, or to become rich, beautiful, famous, and successful in business. The goal is to organize and transform our physical, emotional, and mental natures so that we become better able to deal with daily responsibilities, meet the needs of our family and job, and qualify for greater service for the upliftment of the common good. In other words, the goal of meditation is to beautify daily living and then expand our service to beautify our environment and community. Eventually, we become servants of the Divine Plan. Christ advised us to seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things would be given to us, that is, if they are needed for our service. A disciple asks only for those things that are necessary to continue his/her service.

Preliminary self-examination prior to starting a meditation program:

Before beginning a program of meditation, the candidate should examine his/her nature and life to determine if it is safe for them to proceed. Here are a series of questions to help you evaluate your readiness to be involved in meditation:

  • I perform my job duties well. If retired, I did my job well when I was working.
    [Attending school is equivalent to working, as is homemaking and raising children.]

  • I have good relations with my friends and family. I often and lovingly share my time, talents, and prosperity with them.

  • I enjoy helping other people and do so on a regular basis.

  • My sleep is fine and I feel rested in the morning when I awaken.

  • My energy level usually is good. I am a healthy person.

  • I am able to enjoy things I usually enjoy. I usually have love and joy in my heart.

  • I am able to laugh at what most mature people think is humorous.

  • I forgive easily and hold no grudges. I ask others to forgive me so that others do not hold grudges against me.

  • I do not engage in gossip, belittling criticism, or envy.

  • I am mature and balanced in my life.

  • I am not greedy; I do not expect something for nothing.  I understand the prosperity law of giving and taking.

  • I am able to control my speech and am able to be a good listener and observer.

  • I am able to commit to spiritual discipline, and will be able to schedule a regular meditation and study in my daily/weekly life.

  • I realize that spiritual work, meditation, and study take time and I have the maturity and humility to know that I cannot push or rush spiritual attainment.

 

If you answer yes to all the above, then it is probably safe for you to proceed with a meditation program that includes mental concentration. If you answer no to any one of the above, then there is a problem that needs to be cleared before proceeding with meditation.  

Only those people who have a stable personality should meditate.

The above statements reveal if there is some imbalance in your life. Imbalance may appear as poor health, mental illness, lack of personality integration, lack of social development, lack of understanding of the spiritual path, or lack of commitment. Or, the person may feel that the effects of meditation are immediate and can be accomplished without any self-exertion. If these are present, meditation is not advisable until the problems are cleared and balance achieved. Some people believe that meditation can solve all their health problems, especially emotional and mental disorders. Most serious emotional/mental/psychiatric disorders often have an inherited, genetic basis. One danger is that the practitioner of meditation will fail to pursue appropriate medical treatment, whether psychological counseling or drug therapy.  

Many sincere students of meditation are suspicious of using psychotropic medicines even for well-defined psychiatric conditions that extensive research and experience have shown to be effective and relatively safe. Chronic anxiety, panic attacks, fear of leaving the house, major depression, bipolar disorder [manic-depression], schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder – all these can be treated with medication alone or in combination with psychological therapy. If such problems exist, it is always advised that the student consult with a qualified medical professional prior to practicing meditation.

The name of the condition [diagnosis] is not the most important thing to consider when screening for safety for meditation. The major issues are:

  • How the condition affects the clarity and stability of consciousness.

  • How the condition affects the exercise of willpower.

  • How the condition affects the ability of the person to concentrate, remain objective, follow directions in the courses, and have a balanced approach to discipleship.

  • How the medication’s side effects affect consciousness.

Even common antihistamines used for allergies or the common cold can make a person drowsy.

Meditation should be done only when the consciousness is clear and there is no anxiety or distortions of perceptions. Drugs used for psychiatric disorders are meant to reduce anxiety and depression and clear the mind of distorted perceptions.

If you are not able to meditate or take regular courses, you can benefit from short and regular prayers, especially if the prayers are for others. In addition, virtues can be practiced consciously in daily life, such as compassion, generosity, joy, forgiveness, humility, detachment, and so on. You can also benefit by thinking about the principles of beauty, goodness, righteousness, joy, freedom.

Relaxation exercises also can benefit everyone. There are a series of five very brief prayers that are recited every day.  See the excellent booklet The Daily Discipline of Worship by Torkom Saraydarian. The five daily contacts using brief prayers and invocations are very helpful in establishing a rhythm of spiritual contact that safely channels energy to our nature. When the personality nature is not balanced, sometimes it is best even to avoid spiritual reading so as not to stress the brain and etheric centers.

Physical labor strengthens the will power. This can be housecleaning, working in the garden, or physical exercise. Studying science, mathematics, current events and politics can help organize the mind and prepare it for higher meditation. The ancient sage-saint Pythagoras did not accept disciples for training until they had studied geometry, music, and physical development. They also had to demonstrate speech control by remaining silent for 2-5 years. The spiritual Hierarchy [Church Invisible] is looking for coworkers who are sane, balanced and mature.

(Dr. Robert Constas, a physician psychiatrist who is a long time student of the Ageless Wisdom, prepared the above analysis.)

Commentary by Gita Saraydarian: For these and many other reasons that are fully discussed in Torkom’s books on meditation (see for example The Science of Meditation by Torkom Saraydarian), the courses we offer at TSG University y present a slow, step-by-step approach to spiritual unfoldment. Our courses are designed with the intent to help transform our life. We offer a dual path of discipleship, of study and service. Before starting a course, each student is asked to complete a questionnaire in order to gauge one’s level of readiness. We encourage the student to participate only in one course at a time. We leave each person free to develop according to his or her abilities.

If you have any concerns before starting meditation, talk to your medical professional. Then, if you are ready to proceed, contact the director and discuss your needs, your plans, and any special considerations that you think are important for the teacher to know about. Finally, know that meditation is a natural part of a spiritual person’s life and it takes years, and even lifetimes to develop and mature our nature so that we become true co-workers.



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We hope we have offered the answers to your questions. Please let us know if we can offer further clarification of our organization, our programs, and our purposes and goals.

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