Focusing Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part XV

The approach that I take with meditation is simple and can be summed up in this way: feeling the overall sensation of the body and then tuning into finer and finer vibrations.

Of course this approach sounds like it “goes without saying” in any meditation technique. However, for me it made all the difference when I began to feel and focus upon the subtle and seemingly insignificant vibrations/sensations of the body.

Another important shift in my approach with meditation was in allowing the Life Force to “take the lead,” similar to the idea of losing oneself in dance, surrendering to the Divine Current, the “Music of the Spheres.”

In this approach, I found that the mind is less likely to wander…and if it does, it is fairly easy to bring it back to “center,” as the subtle underlying current of Life Force has an uplifting, blissful-by-nature, magnetic pull on the mind. In other words, it becomes easier to focus the mind because the inner subtle resonance puts the body/mind into a swoon/trance, an energetic contortion of the body.

It is not a difficult process to connect with these subtle spinal energies (experienced as bliss). However, we can miss it for years/lifetimes, as is what happened in my meditation practice. For want of considering and feeling into what was always available in the moment (the subtle vibrations underlying all sensations of the body) my meditations remained disconnected from the blissful Kundalini energies.

I found that once I started to feel into the overall sensation of the body, with the intention to go slightly deeper, an entryway into noticing subtle vibrations was created. Please note that “slightly deeper” means very small steps were required.

For those who like step-by-step explanations, here is the process in a nutshell: feel the overall sensation of the body…feel slightly deeper (one layer deeper will suffice)…notice and acknowledge the subtle shifts in awareness, of mind going slightly into trance. That’s pretty much it.

The rest is refinement, refinement, refinement…which happens relatively quickly once you’ve made initial connection with the subtle resonance of the Life Force.

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Focusing Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part XIV

When tuning into the subtle “nudges” of the life force, as felt in the spine during meditation, you may find yourself naturally lifting/stretching the spine upwards…because it feels good to allow the expanding energies an unimpeded pathway to flow in the spine. You will then viscerally understand the recommendation of meditation technique to “keep the spine straight.”

However, what technique does not normally describe or suggest is how to feel into the infinitely subtle sensations that “nudge” the body to move/adjust/dance in nuanced micro-movements…while keeping the spine erect.

When deeply listening and feeling into the Life Force (Kundalini), in the beginning you may feel a growing sensation of “giddiness.” As you go slightly deeper, you will come to understand these sensations as a kind of “nudge” or “tap-on-the-shoulders” so-to-speak.

At that point you may intuitively relax and surrender to the lead of what is calling for your attention. You will then learn to enjoy the Cosmic Dance that the body and mind take up with the Life Force/Kundalini!

Also, the body will naturally assume certain postures, your hands/fingers will take up certain “mudras, all on their own, as you relax and surrender to the increasingly blissful inner sensations. These postures and mudras are spontaneous “shapes” and “geometries” that the body takes up as it falls into alignment/resonance with the Divine Vibration that moves through the energetic field of the body.

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Focusing Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part XIII

In any practice of meditation technique, there can be a tendency to miss the very subtle inner “nudges” of how the life force wishes to move in the body…if our focus is rigidly attached to maintaining the form of meditation practice.

For example, many meditation techniques begin with instructions to keep the spine erect and eyes lifted upwards to the point between the eyebrows. Of course there are innumerable variations of practice, that also include certain visualizations, chants, etc.

In our “idealized” thinking, the practice of meditation technique would, little-by-little, step-by-step, connect us with and awaken Kundalini (the dormant primal energy “asleep” at the base of the spine).

However, what technique cannot encompass or explain adequately are the infinite number of finely nuanced inner movements that are activated by the Life Force/Kundalini, when it begins to “awaken.”

Now, in rigid adherence to technique and form, it can be easy to miss the delicate inner movements of Kundalini when She first begins to awaken. It is easy to miss the infinitely nuanced “micro-movements” of how the Life Force wishes to adjust the posture of the erect spine, from moment to moment.

This is an important point here. Technique suggests keeping the spine straight, so that the energy can flow easily in the spine/body. This is wonderful guidance, but when tuning into the “nudges” of Kundalini, we will find ourselves adjusting our posture in extremely fine micro-movements, as a way to accommodate how Kundalini wishes to move in the body.

This is all very subtle but easily accessible when we allow ourselves to feel slightly deeper than what we would normally consider. Here is an explanation of the simple mechanics of this process: feel the overall sensation of the body…feel slightly deeper…and slightly deeper…notice what happens to the body/mind.

In noticing what “happens to the body and mind,” you may get a kind of “snapshot” experience of the “no-thought” state of consciousness. The experience of feeling deeply into sensation has a way of focusing the mind. Very fleeting, but it offers a perspective of your consciousness that you may never have experienced before.

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Focusing Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part XII

When focusing the mind in meditation, there are no insignificant sensations, as they can all be potential entry points in connecting with the underlying resonance of the Divine Subtlety.

Every posture, every nuance of movement can be connected with the underlying “hum” of creation. This vibration/hum is the distilled essence of all that is felt in the body…and what is deeply felt has a way of focusing the mind!

This hum/vibration includes not only the familiar sensations of the inhaling and exhaling breath, the heartbeat, the weight of the body, etc., but it also includes the not-so-familiar sensations of fine vibrations and reverberations that are accessible but normally not considered.

Mind is like a liquid that fills the container of the body. What you feel can then be infinitely distilled to a most subtle essence…and this essence is experienced as a sensation that puts mind and body into a most delicious swoon!

When the body/mind/psyche enter into meditative trance/swoon, the feeling of the inner squeezing, contortion of the body, is like a churning of “cream” (of life force) in the spine until the “butter” of essence is created. The experience is felt as a ravishing pulsation of sweetness that radiates through the energetic field of the body.

The body/mind, when it “touches” the underlying “hum,” will begin to vibrate in resonance with the powerful current. The mind will be as riveted, focused upon the growing inner sensation that seems to naturally “push” energy upwards in the spine to the crown area.

Understand that the above experience can be described in a number of ways. For example: a giant snake spiraling up and around the spine, squeezing the energy to the crown area. Or…like taffy being pulled to infinite thinness up the spine.

There are numerous traditions describing the movement of the Divine Essence, Life Force, Kundalini in the body and spine. The important point to note is that these traditions (along with their meditative techniques) can be helpful when you actually connect with these infinitely subtle currents.

However, I don’t believe that techniques can impart the experience in a linear, step-by-step progression. They can be helpful in the beginning to establish intention, prayer and discipline, but at a certain point, the rigid practice of technique can get in the way. The Life Force, Kundalini, is such a wild, primal, oftentimes chaotic, disassembling force/energy! The pathway to it is not a neat and tidy, linear and logical, step-by-step process!

With this in mind, once you do have the connection, you will recognize how to use technique to deepen your attunement with this primal Life Force.

I do believe that meditation technique can be useful to prepare the body/mind/psyche for when Kundalini begins to tear your life apart, when it disassembles it, for purposes of putting it back together in a better way.

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Focusing Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part XI

When we enjoy an activity, such as dance, or playing the guitar, our minds can become very focused, usually around the enjoyment of the activity. For purposes of focusing the mind during meditation, the approach I use is in following sensations deeper and deeper into subtlety.

This simple practice has a way of showing different perspectives of mind, one that is connected to superficial, habitual thought patterns of our day-to-day lives and one that is connected to subtle sensations of the body.

The mind that is connected with subtlety is able to observe the superficial mind without getting stuck in the distractions that roil on the surface of mind. Having this reference point, the experience of observing the mind doing its “thing” of bouncing around from one distraction to another allows a very different perspective of the mind.

Normally we get caught up, lost in the habitual patterns of our day-to-day lives…and we lose touch with the deeper aspects of consciousness that are connected with the inward flowing currents of subtle vibrations.

To be able to calmly witness the superficial mind in motion, without getting caught up in endless thought loops, requires a perspective of watching from a center-point that has a different feel and texture than our normal waking mind.

This “center-point” of awareness seems to be an experience of feeling all sensations as one resonance…and quite surprisingly (at least to me), the day-to-day, stuck-in-the-drama, familiar mind, also gets absorbed into the overall sensation!

Another way of explaining this: When we endeavor in our meditations to feel into sensations as widely and as deeply as possible, the feeling experience brings our attention to the moment, as feelings can only be experienced in the moment. Our “surface” mind then may continue its patterns of thinking, but our perspective as viewed from the “center point” will be as from a great distance.

As you begin to tune into subtle sensations, another aspect of mind surfaces: the Observer. The experience of the overall sensation can be resolved to a center point of awareness. This awareness is the Observer, around which all vibrations and distractions revolve around.

If the above sounds all too complicated, think in terms of how it is when you surrender yourself totally to the enjoyment of dance, or when listening to music that is so beautiful that it “hurts.”

The suggestion here is to follow the sensations of what you enjoy to finer and finer reverberations. At a certain point you will find your mind embedded, riveted to the finest pulsations of the underlying “grid” of scintillating sensations!

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Focusing Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part X

Focusing the mind during meditation sometimes seems to me like trying to shoot a bull’s-eye from 100 yards away while riding a bucking bronco!

I know for myself that I spent years in meditation practice without reaching any consistent depth and duration of focus. I was able to feel a certain degree of peace in regular practice, but felt that I was not really “getting” what it meant to truly focus my mind.

It wasn’t until I started to apprehend (and feel) all the “moving pieces” of my mind as one overall sensation, that I began to understand that my “hook” into a focused mind was through feeling…feeling into progressively subtle sensations.

In a way, it seems that mind will always bounce around, but when focused on the overall sensation of the body, the mind can be felt as a kind of distant vibration on some far periphery.

Experiencing the mind in this way (as part of the overall sensation of being) imparts an understanding that sensation can only be experienced in the moment…and feeling into subtle sensations has a deeply focusing effect on the mind. At any rate, when focused upon subtle sensations, the bouncing mind does not have as much power to distract.

I believe it is important to have the reference point of experiencing the mind as from a distance…watching the mind doing its thing, like observing a fireworks of random thought projectiles, but from afar!

The idea of “focusing the mind” then takes on a very different meaning, as the day-to-day, waking mind seems to retreat to the background…and then what comes forth is not so much an act of “focusing the mind,” but rather a primal experience of Being!

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Focusing Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part IX

What do I mean by “meditative swoon?” It is a visceral experience that occurs when the mind feels deeply into the overall sensation/vibration of the body. As the mind continues following subtle vibrations, at some point there arises in the awareness a “feel-good” sensation.

At first, this “feel-good” sensation is very subtle, but as you continue in your meditations to connect with subtlety, the uplifting feelings get stronger and more distinct.

The mind and body then go into a “swoon” as it “locks” into the fine and blissful vibrations that seem to bubble up from the depths of the spine. As you get more and more familiar with the the sensations involved when going into meditative swoon, you will learn to extend the duration of the experience. You will also learn how to follow the lead of the fine dynamics at play in the spine and body.

When connected with the “feel-good” sensation in the spine, notice how the body takes up and holds certain postures and focuses the mind upon fine sensations that feel as if a kind of taffy is being pulled to finer and finer strands of scintillating vibrations.

These fine “threads” of vibrations draws the body/mind/psyche into meditative swoon/trance, into the inward flowing current of Life Force, which then contorts the body into various positions while also activating it to move dance-like, in resonance with the river of the Bliss Vibration!

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