Tag Archives: meditation technique

Surrendering to the Cosmic Dance, Part XV

There are many subtle sensations connected with the breath. For example, take a deep breath, exhale and keep the breath out until you begin to feel a slight discomfort. Breathe in deeply and feel the relaxation and relief that comes over the body.

Notice that the visceral experience of relaxation and relief can be followed deep into what may feel like the areas of the gut and spine. Understand that the whole purpose of this exercise is to connect you with finer and finer waves of sensations…which, through resonance, connects you with the underlying and primal Bliss Vibration!

As you begin to tune into and familiarize yourself with the inward focus on these subtle sensations, you may first notice gut feelings, intestinal sensations, perhaps similar to giddiness.

As you continue to deeply feel into these pulsating, shivering vibrations, they will guide you to what feels like an exquisitely fine “thread” of sensations vibrating deliciously in the centermost channel of the spine!

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Surrendering to the Cosmic Dance, Part V

Spirit Elephant - Artwork by Bruce Manaka

Spirit Elephant – Artwork by Bruce Manaka

Again, there are no insignificant sensations when it comes to the approach of following vibrations that move through the body. Every breath (the inhale and exhale), every movement, posture, body function, yawning, stretching, etc., all create subtle sensations in the body that can be followed/tracked to finer and finer points of visceral experience.

Allowing yourselves to feel deeper and deeper into these seemingly mundane functions of the body requires a shift in perspective that moves away from mind-centered to feeling-centered.

When feeling deeper and deeper into any sensation, the natural “direction” of awareness is towards the wider “field” of vibration/sensation. For example, upon awakening in the morning, as you yawn and stretch the body, the reverberations of the yawn continue on long afterwards.

Now, as you continue tracking sensations to finer and finer subtlety, notice the wider expanse of the underlying (or overall) vibration of the body. Understand that following subtlety opens the awareness to wider and wider vibratory fields!

At first, the mind may distract you away from going deeper into subtlety, but as you become more familiar with the “dance” of subtle vibrations in the body, you will find your awareness “held” for longer and longer periods by what begins to “bleed through”: the Bliss Resonance!

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Focusing the Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part XV

The sensation of the current of Life Force moving in the body (especially in the central core of the spine) naturally and automatically focuses the mind, drawing it within to exquisitely subtle sensations…just like iron filings to a magnet.

Attuning to the vibration/sensation requires a delicate balance between tension and relaxation…as the movement of the Life Force in the central core of the body creates a sensation that activates the body to “contort,” to fall into “swoon.”

Finding the balance point between tension and relaxation is important because, in the beginning, the tension of the body contortion can quickly exhaust the body. As you gain familiarity with the contortion energy, you learn to modulate the buildup of energy without overextending the energy of the body.

As I’ve mentioned many times in previous posts, connecting with the subtle sensations of the Life Force (the awakening Kundalini) is not a difficult process. I realize, though, the immense paradox of how a vibration so close (and obvious), can remain seemingly hidden, unobtainable for a lifetime(s)!

The subtle sensation is available, accessible through every movement, every posture…in yawning, in stretching the body, in every smile, in tears, through sex… through every body function!

The connecting piece, which I believe is also the “missing ingredient” that opens the feeling connection with the subtle sensations (at play in the central core of the spine), is surrender…to the dance.

Not a passive surrendering to any and all vibrations, but a listening, feeling and falling (surrendering) towards expansion, towards what imparts an uplift of the heart. In surrendering to the Cosmic Dance, there is a deep release of self to follow the lead of Higher Self!

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Focusing the Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part XIV

Please note that in the approach that I use for focusing the mind for deeper meditation, the sole purpose of using music and dance is to connect with the subtle currents in the spine that are easily felt when they align and move in resonance with the music.

Now, once the connection with the subtle “current” of Life Force (Kundalini) is made, I believe at some point the outer music can be dispensed with. When the inner “current” or “motor” of the Life Force is strong, then you want to feel deeper and deeper into the resonance of the “music” that plays within.

As blissful/pleasurable it is to feel into the subtleties of music/dance, understand that this approach is primarily to “get you through the door” so-to-speak to connect with the subtle currents. Once you are viscerally connected with these currents, then you want to continue refining and distilling your connection with the Life Force.

This is where I believe meditation technique is ultimately (and finally) helpful. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, in my experience, the practice of technique could not bridge the gap for me to connect with the very subtle currents in the spine. However, once the connection was made, then technique helped immensely.

I use the word “technique” loosely, as once the connection is made with Life Force (Kundalini), technique is not so necessary, but it does seem to create a way to “ground” and stabilize the energies that can at times feel too wild, primal and chaotic.

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Focusing the Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part XIII

In learning to focus the mind for deeper meditation, a refining process of the body/mind/psyche takes place, one in which the mind does not direct the process.

At least, in my experience, the mind initially takes part in making intention, saying prayers, preparing the space, etc. At a certain point, however, you might notice that the mind continues to do what it does: bounces around, engaging with thoughts, desires, memories, etc.

I find it difficult to focus mind using the mind. Perhaps it is possible, but I’ve not had much success with this approach. My approach to focusing the mind ties in with the previous post of feeling into dance…feeling into the pleasure of dance.

However, for purposes of learning to focus the mind to “one-point,” where all distractions, all thoughts, memories and desires fall away, the process does not lead to the movements of dancing, but at most includes subtle “micro movements.”

Here is the process: When feeling into the pleasure of dance, instead of actually getting up to dance, deeply feel into the pleasure of what is activating you to move in rhythm with the music.

Notice that as you tune deeper and deeper into the activating impulse of the dance, you may also witness exquisitely subtle and spontaneous “micromovements” of the body as it naturally adjusts to the buildup of energy in the spine.

These micro movements of the body are adjustments we normally do not pay much attention to, as they usually happen at a subconscious level…automatically.

By observing/witnessing these fine adjustments of the body, we allow ourselves an opening to experience the wider field of the Bliss Resonance!

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Focusing the Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part XI

The visceral experience of the awakening Kundalini is very much like a dance, in which we surrender to the “lead” of the Life Force. In this dance, the mind/body/psyche adjust in micro movements as a way to accommodate the buildup and flow of the expanding energies in the spine and rest of the body.

What usually happens when we sit to meditate? With the intention to turn the attention inside, to follow and connect with the subtle sensations, we might feel a sense of peace and relaxation. However, no matter how intently we focus on breath, on stillness, the mind inevitably seems to get distracted by thoughts, desires, memories, etc. And then it falls into subconscious dreams, etc.

What to do to go deeper? Sometimes it just does not occur to us to follow and focus upon the finer and finer sensations in the body.

In the rigid attachment and focus upon sitting still, holding to technique, it can be easy to miss the subtle “nudgings” of the Life Force and how it moves in the body. In a sense, we resist allowing ourselves to be “shaped” or “postured” by the awakening currents, and thus remain disconnected from the deeper resonance of the Life Force.

The mind and body that is in tune with the subtle Kundalini becomes “enraptured” as though electrified. This is a sublimely delicate experience, like balancing on a razor’s edge or tip of a needle. It is not so difficult, it just requires a recognition and focus upon the subtle sensations and connections with the underlying vibration or “Hum” of the body.

In this experience, the mind may continue doing its “thing” of bouncing here and there. However, there will be a perspective of watching the mind, as though from a distance, not getting caught up in any “threads” of memories, thoughts, desires, etc.

It will be more like watching embers rising and fading away from a campfire. The Self will not attach to the rising and fading away of the embers (thoughts). It will just observe/experience.

Again, the mind may continue bouncing around, as it does in “normal” waking consciousness. However, when the consciousness is also connected with the subtle sensations of the underlying “Hum,” the “bouncing” around of the mind is experienced with mental neutrality.

In other words, you do not get caught up in the endless rising and falling of thoughts, memories, desires, etc. What I believe happens is that the visceral connection with the subtle underlying vibration (the Bliss Resonance), has a way of deeply interiorizing the mind…because it is so sublimely delicious!

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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 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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