Focusing the Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part X

What happens after you clap your hands and then feel deeper and deeper into the slowly diminishing vibrations, as suggested in Part IX of “Focusing the Mind for Deeper Meditation”? You may notice how long you are able to track the vibrations, even as they get finer and finer (less noticeable).

By continuing to track the vibrations, you may come to a point of feeling the underlying “buzz” or “Hum” of the energetic field of the body. In experiencing the subtle Hum as can be felt in the hands, you will also feel its connectivity with the forearms, upper arms, shoulders, neck, etc. The whole body will be felt as a wave of sensation/vibration.

Alongside, or perhaps just below this subtle vibration, there is an exquisitely fine sensation that imparts a beguiling, infinitely nuanced response in the centermost space of the body…the Bliss Resonance!

The body/mind/psyche that relaxes, surrenders to this resonance, easily accesses meditative trance and begins to move and adjust in dance-like micro movements, which includes spontaneous twisting, spiraling, contortions of the body.

The inner witnessing mind learns to stay out of the way and not interrupt the Divine Dance that takes place. Any efforts to control or guide the experience can cut your connection with the subtle Bliss Resonance.

Any resistance to the strong current moving through the field of the body can result in grotesque flailing of body and limbs, especially if the body and nervous system are not prepared to receive the strong voltage of the awakening Life Force…Kundalini!

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Focusing the Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part IX

In these blog posts, “Focusing the Mind for Deeper Meditation,” I speak often of “subtle currents” and feeling deeper and deeper into “subtle sensations.” My intention here is to share some things that I did not fully understand or “get” in my years of meditation practice and that prevented me from connecting with the exquisitely fine “currents” in the central core of the spine that are now so obviously apparent.

What does it mean to feel into subtle sensations, subtle currents? This is not a difficult concept to understand or to viscerally experience. An example of this approach is this: clap your hands loudly three times and then place them on your laps, palms up. Feel into the vibrations/sensations. Continue feeling as the sensations get softer and more “subtle.”

Take note of how you can track these subtle sensations for long periods of time, much longer than you would normally ever consider.

It is important to acknowledge to yourself that you have the ability to feel deeply…to feel into subtlety. Now, the following point is important to “get.” As you feel into subtle vibrations/sensations, you may find inner resistance of the mind. It wants to do what it is habitually familiar with doing…engaging with thoughts, desires, memories, etc.

So, although you may know that you have the ability to connect with subtle sensations, the mind may resist with thoughts of “So what? What’s the big deal with subtle sensations?”

Here is the big deal with subtle sensations: As you feel deeply into fine vibrations and sensations, you want to take notice and acknowledge those fleeting moments (flashes really) when the mind is not moving…when the mind is in the state of “no-thought.”

While tracking and feeling into subtle sensations, you may also notice how the mind continues “firing off,” engaging in thoughts…but you may also notice the thinking mind experienced as though from a distance…and with occasional flashes of “no-thought.” Just sensation!

These “flashes” are important to notice and acknowledge, even if at first they do not seem like a big deal. It is a huge deal, because these fleeting moments of “no-thought” that flash on and off through periods of meditation will ultimately reveal/impart the underlying “Hum” of the body that is connected with the Bliss Resonance!

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Focusing the Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part VIII

Awakening Higher Self, art by Bruce Manaka

Awakening Higher Self, art by Bruce Manaka

I spent many years practicing meditation techniques without going very deep. I chalked it up to the thought that I wasn’t trying hard enough. However, it seemed that “doubling down” on my efforts also did not help. I had some nice experiences, but it was quite evident that something was missing in my approach to meditation practice. I was not connecting with the subtle currents in the spine that now seems so overwhelmingly obvious.

In looking back at my years of meditation practice, there are some glaringly obvious points that I would like share. The intention that I held for meditating was to attain the ultimate freedom: oneness with the Divine, enlightenment, Satori, Samadhi, etc. and it seemed reasonable that dedicating my life to the spiritual path in an ashram was the quickest way to fulfill this intention.

However, I did not remain in the ashram. In the intervening years, my meditation practice of technique shifted to one that seemed to be more like a dance…a dance of micro movements, initiated by subtle sensations felt deep in the core of the spine.

These fine currents, which are so obvious now, were inaccessible so long as my meditative approach was centered in technique. Also (and paradoxically), once you are connected with the “micro” currents in the spine, then meditation technique can take you even deeper. It’s just that technique cannot seem to activate the initial connection.

For me, leaving the ashram and all that led up to that event, in a strange way provided a deep psychic “hit” that seemed to initiate my first glimpses of roiling and chaotic, primal energies previously hidden from me.

My life and spiritual world view came crashing down and in its place were wild and chaotic sensations intimating of infinitely deeper and subtler vibrations. In the years following, meditation “practice” became more and more like a spontaneous dance with subtlety…with Divine Subtlety and one in which the Divine takes the lead.

In the “crashing down” and ultimate release of my spiritual world view,  spiritual philosophy, technique and structure were no longer of much importance. There was/is only the deepening of the sublime dance, a surrendering to the flow of how the Divine Subtlety wishes to express in the body/mind/psyche!

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Focusing the Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part VII

Turtle Medicine - Live in Peace Art by Bruce Manaka

Turtle Medicine – Live in Peace Art by Bruce Manaka

The overall sensation of the body during periods of meditation practice resolves to an awareness of an underlying vibration, a gentle “hum.” This is a feeling experience that has a way of focusing the mind to moments of one-pointed attention.

Perhaps a more accurate depiction is that the easily distracted and active mind is rendered silent as it is “gripped” by the inwardly felt resonance of the “Hum.” During these moments of one-pointed attention, of “no-thought,” there is only the visceral experience of the subtle currents of “Life Force.”

The mind/consciousness that is “caught” in the currents of Life Force (the awakening Kundalini), experiences a different perspective with its sense of self and the normally active and easily distracted mind. It is able to observe dispassionately the rising and falling of thoughts…with fleeting moments of “no-thoughts.”

In other words, it is able to observe the mind for what it is: an energetic vortex of energy connected with the body that in normal waking state is constantly “firing-off” thoughts, memories, desires, like/dislikes, etc. It is able to observe without attaching to them!

The mind that is held in the “current” of the underlying “Hum” of the body easily goes into meditative trance. Its perspective changes from outward focus to inward focus that locks into the ever-deepening sensations of subtle vibrations.

Although the process of connecting with the subtle currents of the inwardly flowing Life Force (Kundalini) is simple enough, it may seem like the most difficult thing to do…until you allow yourselves to simply feel what you feel in the moment…and then to go slightly deeper.

The going “slightly deeper” is important in that there is a subtle shift in the mind and body that takes place. There is a focusing affect that occurs, along with a bodily sensation. This is subtle and the mind may not want to pay attention to something so mundane and simple.

However, I believe everyone has the ability to notice this transition and my suggestion here is to hold intention to explore this seemingly uninteresting transition. The very intention and act of exploring nuances of vibration in the body allows an opening or entryway to deeper and deeper subtleties of the energetic field of the body.

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Focusing the Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part VI

In exploring the subtleties of how to focus the mind during meditation practice, I find it helpful to pay close attention to those fleeting moments when the mind is still, between thoughts. Noticing the moments between thoughts is not difficult to do, but the important point during those moments is to feel deeper into the overall sensation of the body.

Without the intention to feel slightly deeper, the mind may not apprehend the opening that it is being given…to go deeper and deeper into the subtlety of vibration!

However fleeting those moments are (like a “flash-in-the-pan”), they are accompanied by a visceral experience involving the deepest vibrations of the body. There is an overall sensation that is created…and this “overall sensation” has a way of holding the mind for longer and longer periods of “no-thought,” in one-pointed focus.

To me, it is as though the sensation “grips” the mind in one-pointed focus, almost as if the mind/brain had a muscle around it that “squeezed” it into stillness. Using this approach, the body becomes part of the “mechanism” for tuning the mind into one-pointed focus. The process can be thought of as a dance with finer and finer vibrations, a dance where we allow the subtle (Divine) Currents to take the lead.

When feeling into the overall sensation of the body, you may notice the mind moving (firing off), engaging with thoughts, memories, distractions, likes/dislikes, etc. However, as you hold the intention to feel finer vibrations, the mind (and all distractions) may slowly begin to fade, as though you were observing them from afar.

During those moments of feeling deeply, you want to notice the overall sensation of the body…and the flashes of when the mind is not “firing-off.” This is important insofar as you are given an “entryway” to go deeper and deeper…if you allow yourself to latch onto the finer “threads” of what is just below the superficial thoughts and feelings.

As you gain familiarity with those moments of “no-thought,” you will be inwardly guided to string those moments together into longer and longer periods of one-pointed focus.

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Focusing the Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part V

Kundalini Awakening

When Kundalini Awakens

The sensations of the incoming and outgoing breath become finer and finer, threadlike, as you deepen your focus upon the infinitely nuanced vibrations that play in the central core of the body, especially in the spine.

The subtle sensations of breath may, at first, not be noticed because of the habit patterns of mind that are conditioned to chase after distractions of thoughts, memories, desires, likes/dislikes, pain/pleasure, etc.

You have the capacity to notice and feel exquisitely subtle sensations created by the movements of breath. I believe it just requires getting past the gatekeeper of the analytical mind just long enough to simply feel in the moment…and then slightly deeper.

The “slightly deeper” part, although not difficult to access, can be where the mind gets in the way. Even with strong intention to feel into subtle currents of the Life Force, the mind may not truly recognize the invitation of the moment when it has the opportunity to go once again “slightly deeper.”

The mind, in normal waking state, that vibrates in resonance with Earth density, cannot help but continue in its constant engagement with body, mind, ego, desires, etc. Recognition of the subtle Life Force seems to happen in those fleeting gaps when the mind is not “firing off,” in moments when the feeling connection is made with the sublime vibration (Kundalini). In those moments, there is only sensation/vibration, with an awareness of a deeper underlying connection with a nectar-like sweetness.

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Focusing the Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part IV

You can experiment for yourselves what happens when focusing your mind on subtle and seemingly insignificant sensations in the body. There are an infinite number of sensations that can be focused upon: cold or hot hands/feet, giddiness in the area of the stomach/abdomen, tension in the scalp, etc., etc.

When feeling into any subtle sensations, take notice of what happens to your awareness and how it affects the body. When the mind’s focus connects deeply with any subtle sensation, I notice that my eyes become very still and lift slightly upwards in the eye sockets.

This “lifting up” of the eyes happens automatically, spontaneously. If you use intention or will to lift them up, as sometimes recommended in certain meditation techniques, you may miss the point of connecting with the very fine “currents” of the Life Force that flow naturally through the spine and rest of the body.

It just requires a delicate noticing. The “rising up” feeling of the eyes creates an overall “lifting up” sensation of the body. There is an important point being made here. When the mind is deeply focused on any subtle sensation, the eyes become still…and the mind also becomes still (if only for a moment).

These “moments” of focus and stillness are worth taking deep notice of, in that it offers a way for you to “capture” the visceral experience of the focused, one-pointed mind and how deeply interconnected it is with the body.

Mind holds sensation…sensation holds mind! In apprehending the delicate balance of mind and subtle sensations, there is an inner “getting,” a gentle “aha!” of how very close you are and always have been to the Divine Resonance, the underlying “Hum” of your body/mind/psyche/spirit!

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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

DSCF0581

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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