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!
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.
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.
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.
The mind constantly seeks engagement with memories, desires, social interactions, pleasures, distractions, etc….and it avoids (disengages from) things that it dislikes, things that cause pain/discomfort.
The “day-to-day” mind/consciousness goes through the cycles and patterns of behaviors that it has grown familiar with over the course of a lifetime. Some of these patterns/habits of thinking and acting may not be so beneficial: addictions, negative behaviors, etc.
Whenever I find myself feeling stuck in habitual patterns of thinking/feeling/acting, if I allow myself to notice where my energy is in the body, it is usually “stuck” in the lower energy centers (the lower chakras)…and this stuck-ness creates agitation in body and mind…and this is when the mind can so easily slip into subconscious realms of desires, of sex, moodiness, past memories, addictions, etc.
I think it is important to recognize the sensations connected with “stuck energy.” By noticing the sensations/feelings involved, you will also begin to notice the thought patterns involved.
With habitual patterns of thinking/behaving, there is usually little resistance to the strong current of the habit. There is little or no effort to notice the subtle energies of what moves us to fall again and again to habit patterns that may not be healthy or of benefit to us.
I believe resisting bad habits with just the mind is not as helpful as learning to feel into the activating energies of what is “tempting” us to fall into habitual patterns of behaving/thinking in the first place.
Every desire has a kind of agitating impulse in the body. If we do not allow ourselves to feel deeply into these subtle impulses, we deprive ourselves the opportunity of lifting desires consciously to a wider and more beneficial playing field.
The mind is like a “pattern generator/seeker” that constantly creates and moves towards form, structure and meaning. It doesn’t like to deal with messiness or things outside what is familiar, outside what “makes sense.”
There is SO MUCH below the surface of what is familiar, in regards to our sense of self/identity, our day-to-day lives, our relationships, desires, etc. The momentum of our lives continues day-to-day and has created a kind of “footprint” or “pattern” that we have come to consider “reality.”
In my experience, the beliefs I strongly held around spirituality, meditation practice, etc., provided a sense of security and peace of mind. It made total sense and provided a neat and tidy, step-by-step spiritual world view, so very satisfying…until it all came crumbling down!
I have come to believe that any form and structure, no matter how seemingly “high-vibration,” like the forms of exalted beings and their teachings, are not necessarily meant to remain in form and structure to the awakening student/disciple.
At any rate, in the experience of being swept up by the primal “Bliss Resonance,” your sense of identity and attachment to any teaching, teacher, guru, etc., all get shattered/pulverized, changed forever!
Perhaps, in a sense, the form/structure of the student (as well as the teacher/Guru) changes/shifts to a wider container that is able to accommodate the expanding relationship and consciousness.
Previous relationships of form and structure are remembered as a distant dream, a distant lifetime, meant to be transformed to a different and wider relationship…one that, like a dance, can be wild, chaotic, disassembling…as well as sublimely transcendent, blissful!
When the Divine Dance takes over, form, structure and mind patterns drop away…there is only the dance!
As mentioned in the previous post, it was “for want of feeling slightly below my familiar set of sensations…” that I spent years in meditation practice without connecting deeply with subtle sensations and vibrations…the oh-so-important “stepping stones” to deeper and deeper meditations.
These “stepping stones” of subtle sensations are like connecting pieces that opens you up to the visceral experience of the “Om Vibration,” the resonance of exquisitely fine vibrations.
I found that the “subtle sensations” in the body (and spine) are readily accessible and easily felt by our sensitive nervous systems. From my perspective I can describe the process as this: feeling into the overall sensation of the body…and then feeling slightly deeper…and then slightly deeper, etc.
This approach sounds easy enough to do…and I believe that it truly is. However, if there is any difficulty in accessing the subtle realms/vibrations in the body, it is in the mind’s resistance to feeling deeply.
Of course we all have the capacity to feel deeply, as evidenced whenever we have emotional outbursts of joy, sadness, anger, etc. My suggestion here is to use this capacity (to feel deeply) with intention… to follow sensations to finer and finer points of subtlety. Following just the sensation!
Now, what I mean by the mind’s “resistance” to feeling deeply is the habitual pattern of the mind to follow the trail of thoughts and memories that are connected with the sensations…instead of just focusing on the sensation/vibration.
l found that as I began focusing on just the overall sensation of the body, the mind would begin to relax and the thoughts would slow down, with occasional moments (flashes) when thoughts would stop altogether.
These momentary flashes of “no-thought,” as fleeting as they were, imparted intimations of the vastly wide and deep “Bliss Resonance.” I think of these “intimations” as a kind of “pattern disrupt” that shifts the body and mind to a very different relationship with the Life Force (the energies moving through the body)…and how we interact with sensations/vibrations.
Normally we do not pay much attention to our familiar, “day-to-day” set of sensations. We do not give much thought to the overall vibration of Being. There does not seem to be any reason or purpose for doing so.
Of course, whenever we are in physical or emotional pain, our attention is drawn towards the feelings of pain, usually with reactivity…wanting to be free of the pain.
Now, it is easier to feel into subtle sensations when the body and mind are fairly calm and free of pain. However, the very practice of feeling into subtle sensations has a practical benefit of easing physical and emotional pain, even if just a little.
This can be a challenge because when we are in pain, the last thing we want to do is to tune into and feel deeper into the pain! For this reason it is important to experience the process of tuning into subtle sensations when the body and mind are fairly stable and free of pain.
I remember suffering severely from the intense pain of sciatica and nothing seemed to help, even my practice of tuning into the subtle sensations. The pain was like a “bull-in-the-china shop” of any connection that I may have had with fine vibrations.
However, I found it interesting that I could feel two simultaneous “rivers” of sensations: one that was intensely painful and the other one that had a kind of “underground” reverberation that was comforting. It did not free me of pain, but it shifted my reactivity to it.
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.
The resonance of the body (its overall physical vibration), holds the mind in patterns that it has grown accustomed to. These familiar, habitual patterns become the day-to-day “reality” that—over time—becomes like an old window that we can no longer see beyond narrow constraints of the “house” that we’ve lived in for so long.
A body that is filled with toxins will reflect the vibration of illness in body and mind. If you wish to shift to a higher level of power and capacity, to attract the resources, knowledge and wisdom that make for a more fulfilling life, then the prime directive would be to change your frequency range to a finer resonance that is in tune with the wider and more powerful current (Life Force).
As you begin vibrating at a higher frequency, you also begin to shake up and release the “sediment” of heavy/dark energies…and this may feel like a “detox.” The body seems to require extra time to “catch up” with the higher vibrating frequencies of Spirit…and so it is important to keep the body in good condition (healthy, high vibration foods, exercise, etc.).
The body can also be thought of as a kind of battery and/or pump that is able to store and move energy. Another important capability of the body is that it can refine and distill energy…and with refined energy comes the birth of spiritual vision, connection with Divine purpose and the expression of the unique gifts you are meant to share on Planet Earth.
In the beginning it is enough to “capture” the fleeting moments, the “split seconds” of noticing the sensations of the underlying “hum” of the body. Also, because the sensations are so subtle, there can be a tendency to dismiss or discount them. However, by paying attention, by noticing and acknowledging the subtle “feel-good” sensations (if even for a fraction of a second), you might also come to feel its connection with the wider field or current that can be felt as the underlying “hum” of the body.
These fleeting, “flash-in-the-pan” moments of noticing subtle sensations is oftentimes coupled with split second periods of “no-thought”…as deep attention to subtle vibrations creates little gaps in thinking. This is significant insofar as this experience creates the inner acknowledgement that you have the capacity to consciously and intentionally feel into finer and finer vibrations.
Knowing that you have the capacity to tune into subtlety may not necessarily be a “big bang,” transformational experience of Divine Awakening. Paradoxically however, the experience is hugely significant because it represents a transformative shift in your relationship with Life Force and sense of Self. It signifies your entry point into the Divine Subtlety and connection with the Bliss Resonance!
Feeling subtle sensations in the body is not difficult. The suggestion here, in order to go deeper in meditation, is to initially feel just slightly below the surface of what you normally feel in the moment. Just one layer at a time. No big leap required! No superhuman feat of discipline needed!
Whatever vibration/sensation that you feel in the moment is fine. It is helpful to have the intention to feel the overall sensation of the body…and to feel slightly deeper with calm “noticing.”
In just noticing the overall sensation of the body, the intention to feel slightly deeper will activate the awareness of the wider “field” of vibrations…sensations that you may not have apprehended previously.
Again, this is not a difficult process. it just requires a willingness to explore the inner landscape of vibrations and to continue just long enough to the point that you are able to apprehend the “slightly” wider field of sensations.
This seemingly “small” incremental step in noticing, is in reality a monumental moment…if you truly “get” the “doorway” that you’ve just created! In allowing yourself to go just below the surface of what you feel in the moment, you’ve created an entryway, a doorway to continue on to finer and finer realms of subtle vibrations!
The dance has begun! Little by little, in feeling subtle sensations/vibrations, you will begin to apprehend the very fine “currents” moving through the spine, body and “sacred space” of all that you feel/experience!
You will have then established a very different relationship and understanding of your “Life Force,” as well as with your sense of “Self.” Your connection with subtlety will become more and more like a dance, a push/pull/play of exquisite sensations moving through the spine and rest of the body!