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.
Learning to access deep states of meditative trance is not difficult when you allow yourselves to simply feel the overall resonance of the body…with the intention to follow sensations to deeper and deeper subtlety.
The initial states of meditative trance bring a noticeable slowing down of thoughts, relaxation of body and a magnetic-like inward pull of attention to what feels like the central core of the body.
You may also begin to notice a pleasant, “feel-good” sensation building up in the spine, along with a spontaneously-occurring uplift of the eyes in their sockets. The “uplift” feeling also happens in the spine.
As you gain greater facility with feeling into and surrendering to these subtle sensations, you will find your mind/consciousness going into one-pointed focus, as the growing Bliss Resonance fills the entire experience of Being!
The feeling of the Bliss Resonance begins as a most subtle “feel-good” sensation that seems to vibrate delicately in the spine. This too, is not difficult to experience…it just requires a setting aside of any resistance to vibrations that are slightly below the surface of familiar and seemingly insignificant sensations.
When going into meditative trance, you will notice the eyes naturally lifting upwards…along with a spontaneous uplift of the spine. This “uplift” energy has a feel-good sensation connected with it.
How to connect with this “feel-good” sensation? There are many ways, but one that I suggest is this: take a deep breath…exhale, relax…and then keep the breath out until you begin to feel the need to breathe in again. However, for purposes of this exercise, keep the breath out slightly longer…feel a subtle giddiness arise…and then breathe in deeply, exhale and tune into the subtle “feel-good” sensation that accompanies the satisfying of the need for breath.
For as long as you can, focus upon the subtle, pleasant feeling that comes with the satisfying of the need for breath. A deeper connection with this feeling is developed as you follow it to its source.
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!
As you continue to relax and feel into the subtle vibrations in the palms (that were started by clapping the hands together, see Part II), you might begin to feel the overall sensation of the body…and ultimately the Hum or Om Vibration. By tuning the mind inwardly on the subtle vibrations, it begins to apprehend its connection with the underlying Hum of all vibrations…felt as One Resonance!
The vocalized sound of Om is a representation of this “One Resonance.” Embedded in this resonance is a sweetness that can be tuned into while toning (or chanting) Om. The vocalizing of Om can be thought of as getting the motor of the body and especially the spinal currents running.
Just like in clapping the hands, the vibrations started in the vocal cords can be—through resonance—felt throughout the body, especially the nasal cavities, lower abdomen, heart area, spine, etc.
The sweetness of the Bliss vibration has a particular resonance that can be tuned into. Like tuning the guitar, or any instrument, the body/mind/psyche can be tuned to the Resonance of Bliss!
There are reverberations, echoes of fine sensations that can be felt in what might ordinarily be thought of as mundane, everyday actions: yawning, sneezing…and other body functions. And it is because these functions are so “everyday” we do not pay much attention to the subtle sensations that move deeply within.
The simple noticing and mindfulness of the moment can easily be waylaid by a mind that is hypnotically caught in its default patterns of “surface” living, disconnected from the subtle currents of the Life Force.
There are endless reverberations that can be felt in the simple yawn. The body knows how to move/adjust to the energetic wave of a yawn…or sneeze, etc. The invitation here is to tune into their ongoing vibrations…reverberations/echoes that continue on and on.
Why would you do this? What’s the big deal? The mind that is caught in its default pattern of its everyday world resists exploring the subtleties of what is suggested here…because it is a resonance/vibration that it is not accustomed to or familiar with.
The mind can be like a runaway train that moves along its tracks with a certain momentum…and to have it move in a different direction is resisted by that same momentum that it created over a lifetime.
Again, “Why would you do this (to connect with subtle vibrations)?” The offering here is that this simple effort can serve as a way to “short-circuit” the mind that is trapped on the runaway train, caught on rails of surface living, unconscious of its connection with the subtle Life Force.
By connecting even once with the subtle reverberations, there is an awakening to the underlying resonance, the “Hum” that imparts the experience of Bliss!
The sensing of fine and subtle vibrations moving through the the body (and especially the spine) imparts an experience of immense sweetness…like a kind of delicious nectar moving through every cell of the body!
Again, as mentioned previously, there is no difficulty in connecting/feeling into this blissful vibration. In my experience, when first connecting deeply with the subtle vibration, I was amazed at the infinitely thin layer of separation I created through my own resistance to feeling deeply…in not considering the simple invitation to follow the trail of feelings to deeper and finer levels of subtlety.
I was also amazed at how many years (and perhaps lifetimes) I struggled in meditation to connect with what was, ironically, so very close! The “problem” was not in meditation technique or in any lack of trying, but in not truly “getting,” understanding the import of feeling into subtle sensations…which is so very accessible to anyone!
Another important aspect of feeling into subtle sensations is in noticing/acknowledging of the buildup of the energy in the areas where the sensations are tuned into. It seems that wherever the sensations are focused upon, there is an expansion of the energy…creating energetic currents moving through the body/spine.
You might then notice how the body may adjust in “micromovements.” Twisting, coiling, contorting, etc., as a way to manage the higher voltage of life force in the body.
Medicine Song is the inner vibration of Being, an ecstatic wave of energy felt as the underlying “hum” of the body, the sum total of all sensations felt in the moment as one resonance. ONE RESONANCE!
There is no difficulty in feeling this, but an important component of this experience is in noticing and acknowledging the period of “no-thought,” if even for a fraction of a second…the “moment” when there is only the sensation of Being. This need not be a big “Wow!” experience.
The simple “noticing and acknowledging” of the moment creates a gentle “Ah, there it is!” experience of the subtle vibrations and sensations that we finally “get” were always so very close and within easy reach of our awareness.
So what? Of what benefit is this? Well, this initial “get” creates a kind of opening that leads the awareness to deeper and deeper levels of subtlety, the primal energies as felt in the spine and throughout the body. It allows us to experience a vastly wider range of vibrations, connecting us to the underlying “hum,” the overall resonance of Being.
This fine vibration of Being is delicate, subtle, sweet…ecstatically blissful!
When feeling into the subtle waves of sensations, going deeper into the overall resonance of feelings, the natural reaction of the body is to adjust to the buildup of energy. By the simple focusing upon sensations in the body, the energy seems to grow/expand, which then requires the body to accommodate the expansion of energies.
The adjustment that happens can be a stretching out of the spine, a shift in posture, yawning, shaking, etc. If there is an intention to keep the body still (as in meditation), the buildup of energy will adjust the body through “micromovements,” very slow adjustments that allows for relaxed posture.
If the attention is not so focused, it can be easy to miss the movement of life force in the body…and either fall asleep or lose oneself in distractions. It really isn’t difficult to focus on the subtlety of sensations…it just requires a willingness and intention to feel into the nuances of vibration, to replace old habits of how we relate to our sense of Being, how we relate to our Life Force.
The important point to get to in this exploration of “Life Force” is when you begin to notice the subtle buildup of energy, when it gets to a certain level. it creates a particular feeling/sensation that, in the beginning might feel like “giddiness.”
Just beneath this “giddiness,” if you allow yourselves to tune into (and follow) what is underneath this feeling, you might find an undercurrent of what I describe as “sweetness,” that has a most delicious and enchanting affect. It puts the body/mind/psyche into what feels like a “swoon.”
It is easy enough to feel, while sitting still, the underlying vibration of the body. At the same time, because this vibration is so familiar to us, we may not be inclined to explore deeper into the subtlety that is just below the surface…because of the mind’s natural inclination to remain in the default habitual patterns of what it has grown used to.
The mind is easily hemmed in by the day-to-day, familiar patterns and so it may put up resistance to, or not consider the possibilities of exploring the subtle sensations that can be apprehended as delicate waves and eddies of fine vibrations…like a deep underground hum.
Feel deeply into the core of the overall sensation felt in the body. Breathe into it, observe, be with that very fine, subtle “humming” sensation. You may find that the body naturally adjusts in fine micromovements as a way for it to accommodate the flow of what moves through…and what moves through is felt as a coiling, pulsating radiation, so very subtle and sometimes “thread-like.”
What is meant here is that when connecting, feeling into subtle sensations, the body has a way of “squeezing” the energy, whether in the spine or elsewhere. This squeezing, combined with the feelings of coiling energies creates the experience of exquisitely fine/thin strands of energies that feel “thread-like”…and like a fly-fisherman/woman casting his/her lines out into the lake/river, these vibratory strands can be cast far out into the wide energetic space surrounding the body!
The delicate sensations of sweetness, as felt deeply in the spine, can be gently “grabbed” or “embraced.” It is just a matter of surrendering ourselves to the delicate waves and pulsations that move rhythmically through our bodies. The process is similar to “losing” oneself in dance, a dance of “micromovements.”
In the dance of micromovements, there is an inner allowing/surrendering to the body’s natural knowing of how to move in resonance with the subtle currents that can fairly easily be felt in the spine. There is an intuitive knowing of how to create “energetic locks” in the body that “holds” life force and allows the buildup of what is like an “elixir of bliss” in the spine. This elixir can be thought of as a distillation of essence that builds up to the point of overflow.
The overflow of this elixir creates an upliftment of body/mind/psyche…a sense of enchantment with All Things!