Tag Archives: subtle sensations

Surrendering to the Cosmic Dance, Part II

Runaway Monk

Runaway Monk, Artwork by Bruce Manaka

Surrendering to the lead of the “Cosmic Dancer” is similar to the idea of “losing oneself in dance.” Now, for purposes of going deeper and deeper in meditation, it just requires feeling into the subtle sensations of the body…while sitting still.

At a certain point, you may notice how the body will automatically and spontaneously adjust in “micro-movements.” Even with intention to sit perfectly still, you might observe how the body is constantly moving, adjusting in very slight, hardly noticeable increments as a way to maintain balance and to maintain erect posture.

The suggestion here is to observe and feel deeply into these micro-movements that we normally pay little attention to. Follow to their source what is activating or “nudging” the body to adjust.

This develops a fine awareness and attunement with subtle currents and waves of Life Force that move through the body. This is not difficult to do! It just requires noticing what we would normally not pay much attention to.

Going deeper in your connection with the subtle currents in the spine and body, again, is like learning to surrender to the dance…to the lead of the Cosmic Dancer!

This requires feeling just below the surface of familiar sensations…and then going slightly deeper. This develops a sensitivity to subtle vibrations…and ultimately to primal waves and pulsations of the Life Force, the awakening Kundalini!

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Focusing the Mind for Deeper Meditation, Part XVI

Surrendering to the Cosmic Dance - Artwork by Bruce Manaka

Surrendering to the Cosmic Dance – Artwork by Bruce Manaka

Surrendering to the Cosmic Dance

In learning to focus the mind for deeper meditation, there is a dynamic interplay of mind that occurs with the Life Force. I think of the Life Force as the underlying “Hum” or resonance of the body.

Another way of describing this process is that when the attention is placed on the overall sensation of the body, the mind is given an “opening” or invitation to follow the sensation to finer and finer points of subtlety.

The mind and body then goes deeper and deeper into meditative “swoon,” or connection with the Bliss Resonance. In the beginning, the Bliss Resonance is quite subtle, like drawing closer and closer to a rose garden…at first receiving only intimations and wisps of the sweet fragrances.

However, as you learn to navigate and feel deeper and deeper into subtle sensations, you may notice how the mind and body are affected by the “intimations” and “wisps” of the fine vibrations.

Please understand that you all have the ability to feel into exceedingly fine vibrations. It just requires that you allow yourselves to feel below the surface of familiar sensations…and then continuing to feel deeper and deeper.

In my experience, the process is very much like like learning to dance…surrendering to the lead of the fine, subtle and magnetic push/pull/play of the Life Force!

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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 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 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 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

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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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The Paradox of Subtlety—When Kundalini Comes Like a “Thief in the Night” Part X

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When you begin to recognize the subtle forces at play…the push/pull/squeeze/twisting dynamics of the Life Force moving in the body, especially in the spine, then you will recognize the great gift you have been given that allows connection with the Divine Current!

It is the gift of being able to “tune-in” quickly to the proverbial “needle-in-a-haystack” of the exquisitely fine Bliss Resonance” vibrating deliciously in the spine!

The “Divine Current” can be thought of as a high frequency field of vibration that, through resonance, begins to shift the “density” of the body to a finer vibration. You will also find that whatever “lifts” and shifts the vibration of the body automatically tunes the mind to the higher frequency…again through principles of resonance.

The paradox is how close and easily accessible these subtle vibrations/sensations are! Your mind has the ability and capacity to naturally and quickly shift to a deeply focused, one-pointed attunement with the subtle currents.

In a nutshell, feeling into the fine sensations of the body (especially in the spine) has a way of focusing the mind. These moments might be fleeting in the beginning, but the visceral experience of connecting with finer and finer sensations gives you an inner acknowledgement (an inner “aha!”) of what happens when you “touch” the underlying sensation of the body/mind/psyche!

The experience is exquisitely subtle, but it is also a “big deal” because you recognize how very close and easily accessible the vibration has always been. It also represents a major shift in your relationship with your Life Force and your approach to meditation.

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