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Meditation & Awareness

We will be updating this page with information on meditation and related resources. Please check back for future updates!

 

What is Meditation?

Meditation is the art of being in the present moment, commonly related as a 'no-mind' state - where your thoughts and feelings cease to be the primary focus and your soul consciousness takes it's righful place as the foremost awareness. This is also known by mystics as being the 'witness' of the world, or 'being in the world and not of the world', where curiosity and acceptance reign instead of judgement and interpretation.

In our 'normal' waking consciousness, typically our thoughts, feelings and body cravings take precedence over our soul's awareness. There are specific techniques from various spiritual disciplines throughout the world which will enable the seeker to achieve a meditative state of awareness, however, when we take the time to allow ourselves to become fully engaged, fully present in any undertaking, the conscious, peaceful state associated with meditation becomes our every waking moment.

What do Brain Frequencies have to do with Awareness?

(The following excerpt is taken from "Your Book of Life:Accessing the Akashic Records" by Gary Bonnell, page 19. Full bibliography information is given in the Booklist/Resources section of this website.)

The more an individual is capable of releasing his or her investment in the world of form, the more able they will be to enter the non-distracting state of Witness awareness. As Consciousness plays in the physical body it produces waves of rhythmic electrical impulses within the nerve centers of the brain and spinal cord. The frequency of these brain waves have been correlated with certain states of Consciousness:
Beta - At 14-35 cycles per second an individual is fully conscious of their senses. Most people are fully awake at this level.
Alpha - Meditation and relaxation produce the 8-14 cycles per second that define this level. Most everyone can remain fully conscious in alpha. This is not a transcendental state of meditation, nor is it to be confused with certain profoundly relaxed states of consciousness attained while practising yoga.
Theta - Trance, hypnosis, profound day dreams, wakeful or lucid dreaming and light sleep happen at 4-8 cycles per second of brain wave activity.
Delta - With most individuals this is the level of deep sleep. Individuals who are able to remain fully conscious at 0.5-3 cycles per second are considered to be mystics. This is the level of transcendant Consciousness where everything is experienced as One.

From this information we can see that the slower we can maintain our brain waves and still remain conscious, the more profound will be our experience of life. What helps us to do this? The more we are able to stay in a 'no-mind' state, the more we are able to remain a witness in each and every moment of our life, then the more we will experience the deeper states of alpha, theta and even delta. When this happens, then we will open up a wholly different understanding of life - one which is more internally-validating and not so externally driven.

Experiencing meditative techniques on a regular basis, or simply creating a meditative lifestyle in all your activities, will help you achieve the inner peace, harmony, connectedness that mystics have attempted to relate to us throughout time. How does this happen? When we experience meditation or meditative activities on a regular basis, not only do our brain wave patterns start shifting, but the very pharmacology of our body begins to transform as well!

What the Bleep Do We Know?

If you have seen the 2004 movie "What the Bleep do we Know" (which I highly recommend), you can understand the correlation between your neural activity and your awareness, specifically your behaviors and patterns. One of the humorous episodes in the movie illustrates what happens when neural peptides, formed from our thinking patterns, start running the show. In our unconsciousness, this could look like repetitive thought and emotional patterns such as "I can't have what I want", "I always look fat and ugly", "I have to do everything for myself!" - all of which can create repetive actions based on subsequent neural synaptic patterns in the brain which become reinforced throughout time. Think of it like strengthening a muscle from working out, or taking a certain route when you travel because you're familiar with it. In this case, the more we have certain thoughts, the more likely we will continue having those same thoughts, emotions and actions associated with them. All kinds of addictions and obsessive/compulsive behaviors will have this sort of short-circuited, repetitive cycle in common.

Authentic Response: Therapy and Meditation

Authentic Response recommends a two-fold process of therapy and meditation (which I have used) to shift these patterns permanently. My experience is that using a body/mind psychotherapy (I use methods such as Hypnotherapy and Hakomi Somatics) helps us break these repetitive patterns very quickly. We then release our conflict, complete with the past, and develop new resources that then enable us to create a different reality in our lives - one that is of our conscious choosing. Simultaneously, we increase our awareness (and shift the neural activity and neural peptides creating biochemical reactions in our bodies) by maintaining a regimen of meditation and meditative activities. All of this is part of creating an Authentic Response to life instead of a rehearsed reaction. With this new, authentic response you are able to stay in the present moment and stay in the meditative experience.

What Helps Me to meditate?

Several factors help the seeker stay in a meditative or present state:

  • Using your Body Awareness - the 5 senses - as a doorway to help you stay in a curious, non-judging, simply witnessing 'no-mind' state.
  • Releasing the need to be right/loved/accepted.
  • Releasing what you think you know - your beliefs - in favor of observing.
  • Focusing on your breath.

What are the Ways of Being that help shift my patterns, including my neural activity, and help open me up to a greater reality?

Moments of laughter, celebration, internal validation, presence, gratitude, joy and reverence.

Exercise: Just as an experiment, try being grateful for everything that happens to you for a period of just one day. Watch the activities, the events that take place from a position of absolute gratitude for whatever happens. At the end of the day, record your experience, your thoughts, feelings, responses and reactions. Living in gratitude is very much the experience of mystics.

Slowing down in your life, consciously breathing, and remembering that you are already connected to Source in every moment can be very supportive in maintaining yourself in these deeper states of awareness. For example, the mystic Jesus (Jeshua ben Joseph) would use a continual reminder prayer of gratitude by expressing "I and the Father are One". In modern terms, we might use an acknowledgement with gratitude, a conscious "I AM' statement, such as "I am unified Triad Oversoul, Earth Spirit and Christ Logos", where each human being is a Triad Oversoul (Consciousness, Energy, and Urge), the Earth Spirit and Christ Logos are the 'female' and 'male' spiritual hosts that help us on Earth. Without their help we would not be able to function on this planet. (Note: Be very aware of making 'I AM' statements because when you do, the declaration stands until you make another one. Watch saying statements like "I am angry". When you say this you literally become anger. Save 'I AM' statements for very conscious declarations. To be more accurate you might consider saying things like "I feel anger" or "I feel sad").

Remember - life is about living from the inside out, being internally-validating as the witness. Think about the subjective example of when you're in love. You could be hit by a Mack truck going 110 mph and come up smiling because you're in love with the world - everything is great. And when you hate your job, even a compliment from your boss could make you want to rip their head off. We can make life very subjective, a blessing or a curse, but life becomes a blessing all the time when we make it objective, taking nothing personally. If you learn how to become internally-validating, which extended moments of meditation can contribute to, then all of life will become a blessing, a gift, something to celebrate.

Enlightenment

When your many moments of being present, being grateful, feeling deeply connected to Source, having no judgements, and remaining a Witness, transform into your every moment, you will be experiencing what many people call enlightenment or awakening. Remember that releasing our internal conflict is paramount in enlightenment. In fact, some believe that having any conflict is the only thing that holds us back from our 'natural state' of being. Using the two-fold method of therapy and meditation seems to help us on our natural course.

Everyday Meditation Techniques

Almost any activity can be used to dive deeper into a Witness awareness. Make a list of the activities where you could easily spend hours doing it with awareness and the time flies by. I find that typically, the slower I can do something, the more awareness I tend to have.

A few of the activities where I have experienced a deeper awareness include: Focusing on breathing, dancing, laughing, singing, any movement with awareness, yoga, hiking, watching nature, rock-climbing, skiing, sailing, swimming, listening to others, driving, cooking, eating, cleaning, painting, carpentry, hugging, making love.