Category Archives: Accessing Your Higher Self

Focusing the Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part III

The mind’s habit of wanting to define and distill meaning to all experiences, even ones of a transcendent nature, can get in the way of going deeper into the subtle vibrations of the energetic field of the body.

The constant mind “chatter” seems to be a “symptom” of earth and body density. At least in my experience, when I just observe my mind, there is a constant “firing off” of thoughts, memories, desires, likes/dislikes, etc. Mental activity of all kinds!

This is what the mind seemingly cannot help but do when caught in the strong tidal pull of Earth density. If there is no intention or inclination to explore beyond the “matrix” of the worldly resonance we find ourselves in, then there is not much chance to experience states of consciousness beyond the proverbial “corner” that we “paint ourselves into” along with the belief that, “This is the reality of all that is!”

What I believe happens is that the overall vibration of body, mind, psyche and sense of self resonate at a certain range of frequencies…and this overall vibration creates the conscious range of how we experience the world. As long as the predominant frequency range remains within the density of the Earthly dimension, the body/mind/psyche will experience only what is within range of the worldly resonance.

Consider this: during sleep our minds access a very different state of consciousness (or frequency range). The day-to-day world falls away and our minds cease to “process” in the ways that we are familiar with during waking state. The awareness shifts when “tuned” to different resonant fields.

Normally we are not aware of these subtle shifts, such as when we fall asleep, because the patterns of awareness developed over a period of a lifetime makes the transitions a seamless shift from one state of consciousness to another. We fall asleep without noticing the transitional states of consciousness.

Also, because it is so seamless, we may not ever consider exploring the subtle states of consciousness as we fall asleep…or when we sit in meditation. Why would we? Our habitual patterns are so automatic, why would we even consider the subtleties of what we do naturally everyday?

Well, the whole purpose of meditation or mindfulness practice is to be able to focus upon these very fine subtle “transitional” states of consciousness, feeling into what we would normally not consider very interesting or significant.

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Focusing the Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part II

Shaman's Dream III, art by Bruce Manaka

When connected feeling-wise with the subtle sensations that move through the body while meditating, the “practice” of meditation technique may fall away. In its place, meditation “practice” transforms into what seems to be more a natural and spontaneous dance of “micro-movements.”

These micro-movements are guided by the connection you develop with the refined energies of the Life Force, experienced as a most delicate and uplifting sensation felt in the central core of the spine.

As you gain greater familiarity with these subtle vibrations, you will come to understand how the body is able to spontaneously adjust and “posture” itself in infinitely nuanced “micro-movements.”

These “postures” and movements can only be described in most general terms, as it is not possible to adequately describe and quantify the infinite subtleties of how the awakening Life Force (Kundalini) moves through the interior landscape of body, bones, fascia.

When I watch certain kinds of dance, especially Balinese dance and belly dance, to me certain movements of hands/fingers and spine/neck are deeply reminiscent of the movements that I feel when connecting with the energies of Kundalini.

Perhaps the movements of the dancers can be described, taught and learned, but the infinite nuances of the internal “micro-movements” can only be intimated about, poetically rendered as a most delicious, nectar-like substance in the spine!

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Focusing the Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part I

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What happens when we normally sit for periods of meditation, with intention to focus the mind one-pointedly on the Divine? I know for myself that I spent years practicing techniques without going very deep in my meditations.

I had some nice experiences, but for the life of me, could not seem to make any headway into truly focusing the mind. I did not “get” the significance of feeling into the vibration of the “Life Force” and how the vibration itself, when experienced as an overall sensation, has a way of holding/gripping the mind in one-pointed focus, even if initially for just moments at a time.

I find it ironic that I had spent years practicing meditation techniques for purposes of focusing the mind and connecting with the subtle (Divine) currents, but with little improvement in my ability to focus!

I learned to sit for long periods of time, but with mind more oftentimes drifting into subconscious realms of memories, desires and even sleep!

To me it seems that I kept my meditation practice on the surface, focused on techniques and mental discipline, keeping the body seated in meditation posture for long periods. I did not consider the importance of listening and feeling deeply into the subtle vibrations and sensations that were there from the very beginning!

Apparently my regular practice of meditation techniques did not give me the focus of mind that I wanted in order to connect with the subtle currents. I believe now that although meditation techniques may not be enough to connect us with the subtle currents, they are very helpful once we have connected with them!

Here is what I believe happened in my own experience. The techniques and forms of my meditation practice kept me within a certain range of habits and patterns of consciousness.

I sat still during meditation, maintained a disciplined lifestyle in the ashram, adhered to a certain philosophy, etc. When things started to come crashing down in my life, I was given the first glimpses/impressions of very subtle sensations in the spine, connected with the not-so-subtle feelings of fear, panic…free fall!

It took years to gain deeper and deeper connection with these subtle sensations, which dramatically shifted the relationship with my Life Force and with my sense of Self.
My practice of meditation techniques has also drastically shifted and now seems more like a dance of “micro-movements.”

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The Paradox of Subtlety—When Kundalini Comes Like a “Thief in the Night” Part VI

Butterfly-Expansion

Artwork by Bruce Manaka

The play and dance of Kundalini is a most delicate feeling connection with finely nuanced sensations inside what seems to be the central core of the spine. We all have the capacity to feel these “currents” of vibration but miss them for want of “tuning in” slightly below the dense and heavy vibrations of the five senses, as well as with the habitual patterns of thoughts, desires, memories, etc.

There is so much that keeps us “busy” and distracted…engaged with all manner of outer distractions! Even with the intention to turn the attention within during periods of meditation, distractions and patterns of mind can distract us from connecting with the subtle vibrations.

When I look back on all the years of my meditation practice, I believe now that it just did not occur to me how important it was/is to feel into the overall sensation of the body…composed of all the seemingly insignificant sensations.

Now, the “overall sensation” of the body seems to resolve to a resonance or “hum” that, when focused upon, opens the awareness to extremely subtle sensations…the awakening of Kundalini!

As you gain greater facility and familiarity with Kundalini, it becomes more and more a play and dance with subtle forces, a most delicate balance of stillness and movement, of thought and no-thought!

My suggestion here, when feeling into the overall sensation/resonance of the body, to pay special attention to the subtle feeling of sweetness…even if it is just a “grain of sand’s” worth! Remember the paradox of subtlety: what seems to be so small, insignificant, can have huge impact on the consciousness!

The smallest feeling of sweetness, however it shows up for you, can be latched onto and followed to its source. There you will begin to understand and “get” the power (and paradox) of subtlety!

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The Paradox of Subtlety—When Kundalini Comes Like a “Thief in the Night” Part V

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When feeling into the “overall resonance” of the body, you might notice feeling a fine underlying vibration/sensation that can be tracked to deeper and deeper levels and that is refined to a most subtle “activating center.”

For me, this “activating center” is felt between the shoulder blades. It is “activating” in the sense that it seems to have a kind of push/pull play (like a magnet) of forces that creates a dance-like dynamic…between tension and relaxation, stillness and movement.

Another way of explaining this: if you observe the incoming breath, along with all the muscles involved with breathing in, you will feel a certain amount of tension, with a very subtle “lifting up” sensation. With the outgoing breath, you might feel a relaxation of tension, along with a “down-flow” of sensation.

Normally we do not pay much attention to the subtleties of the incoming and outgoing breath, but what I’m suggesting here in these posts is that, when you allow yourselves to explore the inner landscape of finer and finer sensations/vibrations, you will begin to also notice extremely nuanced forces at play in the body, especially in the the spine.

As you become familiar with these forces, you will also notice how the body will automatically, spontaneously adjust in most delicate micro-movements and ultimately in dance-like movements that allows for the greater expansion and flow of the Life Force, Kundalini.

This is all a play and dance of Kundalini, the activated primal life force in the spine. When connected with these subtle (and at times not-so-subtle) forces, you will have a very different perspective with your body, breath, life force, mind, Self and Nature…a perspective that experiences these things as waves of fine vibrations/sensations, connected with the underlying resonance or Hum of Creation!

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The Paradox of Subtlety—When Kundalini Comes Like a “Thief in the Night” Part III

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To me, the “paradox of subtlety” is the mystery of how feeling into barely perceptible sensations can serve as a “doorway” into profoundly blissful states of being.

For example, take a deep breath, tense the muscles of your upper arms for a few seconds…exhale and relax. Feel deeply into the vibration that continues on in the arms. Continue focusing upon the slowly diminishing sensation to finer and finer degrees of subtlety.

Now, if you continue your focus of attention for a number of minutes, you will recognize for yourself that you can “hold” the vibration almost indefinitely, long after the initial tension/relaxation period.

There is a significant point here because it is important to viscerally “get” the experience of your Self as vibration that is innately connected with a vastly wider, underlying vibration.

As you continue feeling the gradually-diminishing vibration moving through your arms, the sensitivity of your inwardly focused mind may discover the energetic connectivity of the arms with your shoulders, with your neck, with the rest of your body.

In other words, as you track vibration to its activating center, you will begin to feel yourself as a vast vibration!

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Connecting With the Bliss Resonance, Part VII

Kundalini Mother

Connecting With the Bliss Resonance

When feeling into the overall sensation/resonance of the body, with the intention to focus upon subtle vibrations, you may begin to feel intimations of a vast and primal sensation. Initially it can be mere flashes of what feels like a deep underground “rumbling” or “reverberation.”

These “intimations” can bring up certain feelings. For me,  they are quite oftentimes feelings of nostalgia and sensations of giddiness…all very subtle at first.

With the intention to go deeper into the subtlety, the mind and body begin to experience a most delicate balance point of focus…and by virtue of simply feeling into these fine vibrations, you may connect with certain unfamiliar sensations, including one that imparts an upliftment of feelings, the Bliss Resonance!

With deeper play, exploration and surrender to the Bliss Resonance, you will begin to experience how the body innately and spontaneously knows how to move and dance with the growing Bliss energy.

You will observe how the body will take up certain postures and “micro-movements” as ways to allow greater flow of what wants to move, express and expand in the body/mind/spirit.

The play of subtlety with the Bliss Resonance becomes more like a beautiful dance and unlike what we might have considered as meditation “practice.”

When viscerally connected with the fine energies of the life force, the Bliss Resonance, the thought of “meditation practice” no longer “fits” nor has the same meaning that it may once have had.

When connected with the fine energies of the life force, meditation “practice” becomes more aptly thought of as meditation “dance” or meditation  “swoon”…or perhaps “dance of subtlety.”

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Connecting With the Bliss Resonance, Part VI

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When holding the exhaled breath out to a slight point of discomfort, the purpose of this exercise is to feel and track the subtle sensations that are created in the body. Please note that a slight discomfort is all that is needed to allow the mind to focus upon the very subtle sensations that are created.

As you inhale, notice the release of the slight discomfort and once again focus upon and track for as long as you can the very subtle sensations of release (the feel-good sensations) that are created.

When tracking fine sensations to their source, notice how the mind is able to focus deeply inside the body. This is an important point insofar as when you are aware of the mind connecting with subtle vibrations of the body, you now have a very different perspective on sensations that you may not have considered before.

There is also an acknowledgement that you have opened a pathway into the inner landscape of fine vibrations/sensations. Another way of considering this is that when you are feeling into fine sensations that you’ve not given much thought of before, then you’ve created a small “aha!” kind of experience.

This is a small “aha!” experience in the beginning because when you first feel into fine sensations, you will most likely also connect with what might initially feel like “intimations” of the primal vastness of vibrations that are just a hairbreadth below the surface of awareness!

The bigger “AHA!” experiences come when you start to feel the connectivity of sensations to the wider field of all vibrations. For example, the vibrations felt in the hands can be felt in relationship with the vibrations of the forearms, with the upper arms, shoulders, etc., etc.

With the big “AHA!” experience comes a noticing and acknowledgment of mind going into trance states, along with an allowing and surrendering of the body to move, dance and posture itself according to how the energy (life force) wishes to express in the body.

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Connecting With the Bliss Resonance, Part IV

There is another approach that allows a different pathway to connecting with the fine currents that move through spine and body.

Clap your hands three times and then rest them with palms up on the lap. Feel the reverberations in the hands that have just been activated. Close your eyes and continue to feel the vibrations as they begin to dissipate.

Notice what happens to your awareness as you focus on the vibrations in your hands. Notice and acknowledge to yourself that you have the ability to track and feel into sensations as they get more and more subtle.

As the sensations get softer and more subtle, notice that you can easily continue to maintain awareness of the vibrations indefinitely. You might also begin to notice the vibrations in adjacent areas of the wrist, forearm and upper arm.

When you are able to feel the subtle vibrations of adjacent areas, you will also begin to apprehend the connectivity of vibrations with the rest of the body…from hands to wrists, to forearms, arms, shoulders, etc. You will feel your whole body as a wave of vibration, like an underground reverberation!

Spend long periods of time basking in the subtle reverberations, the resonance of all that you feel! This is a delicate state of awareness but not difficult to experience.

I believe that it just requires a slight shift in approach when feeling into sensations: that there are no insignificant sensations! Any sensation, when followed to deeper and deeper subtlety, can be felt in relation to the vibrations of the other body parts…and ultimately as part of the overall resonance of the entire body!

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Connecting With the Bliss Resonance, Part II

When feeling into the overall vibration of the body—with the intention of tuning into finer and finer sensations—the underlying reverberations of the Life Force (energy in the body) can be experienced as a gently vibrating background “hum.”

The mind normally does not pay much attention to this, even during periods of meditation practice. Moreover, even when we consciously hold the intention to feel into subtle sensations, the mind may think, “So what? What’s the big deal?”

The “big deal” here is that if you dismiss these seemingly insignificant subtle sensations, you close down an avenue of approach that can lead to sublimely exquisite experiences of the Bliss Resonance!

This is not a difficult process! It is similar to what happens when you listen to beautiful music…music so beautiful that it “hurts.” If you are able to apprehend this sentiment, then you can use this to go deeper and deeper into subtle sensations.

For example, as you listen to any special music that touches you deeply, the idea is to focus upon the feelings that arise in the body (and especially in the spine) as you surrender to the beauty of the music. The important point here is to “capture” or focus upon the most subtle sensations.

You will notice that the beauty of the music that touches you profoundly has a deeply sourced sensation that can be tuned into, focused upon…captured! It is also important to notice that as you feel into the subtle sensations, how the body will begin to automatically move in response to the sensations. It will move in ways that allows for wider and greater flow of the blissful resonance!

There are innumerable entry points and approaches for connecting with the Bliss Resonance: using vocal overtones is a powerful one which I use extensively in my “play” with subtlety. Using the vibrations of the voice to produce “overtones” can be used to feel into the finest of sensations in the body and especially inside the spine!

Dance of micro-movements is another favorite approach that I use. Other approaches can work just as fine, such as through the enjoyment of delicate fragrances, exploring the nuances of yoga asanas, playing the guitar (or any other instrument), losing oneself in artistic creation, writing, etc.

The important point here is to find the entry point that works for you and then to fine tune your connection with the scintillating currents of Life Force that move ever-so-subtly in your body and spine!

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