By George A. Boyd © 2017
Q: What is spiritual growth? This term is used quite widely, and I’m not sure people have really identified what this actually is—every group seems to have different criteria for what marks spiritual growth.
A: Spiritual growth occurs when your spiritual essence unfolds closer to its Source: it moves along the track that connects it with its origin. This spiritual essence in different groups is construed to be a nucleus of identity, the spirit in one of the twelve domains, or an ensouling entity; sometimes it is even a seed atom in a particular vehicle of consciousness.
In the Mudrashram® system of Integral meditation, we measure this growth on three poles: the movement of your ensouling entity on the 1st Pole, the spirit coordinated with the Soul at that level of the Continuum in the channels of the Nada on the 2nd Pole, and the vehicles of consciousness of the Superconscious mind on the 3rd Pole. When all of these align to the same nodal point, we say you have achieved balanced spiritual development.
The changes that occur as a result of that transformation are the outcome of spiritual growth, and this is what people point to when they say someone has made spiritual growth. So we can say:
- Someone’s consciousness has expanded
- They have a deeper intuitive knowledge and wisdom
- Their sphere of love and compassion has become larger
- They are able to demonstrate new abilities and powers; they have the capacity for greater service
- They have purified more of the karmic accretions within them, so they have greater purity
- Their spirit has grown in love, wisdom, purity, and devotion
- They demonstrate new, spontaneous virtues
- They demonstrate greater energy and vitality
- Their awareness can open to deeper layers of the mind
The point is that real spiritual growth is contingent upon actual transformation. Not imagining you are in Heaven, or what Heaven might be like after you die. Not floating in some altered state of consciousness. Not simply praying for Grace, but not going anywhere. It means your Soul actually moves—and as the result of this movement, these other changes that groups use to verify spiritual growth is taking place, arise.
Q: Mudrashram® works at the cutting edge of spirituality. Do groups that work at other levels of the Continuum and bring about transformation to the spiritual essence(s) they unfold—does this also produce spiritual growth?
A: Yes, it is spiritual growth. It’s just not at the cutting edge of spirituality. There is measureable progress towards the origin at that level, which gives rise to the different outcomes that are produced when that spiritual essence moves.
Q: On the Mudrashram® website, you have this phase at the bottom of your pages, “Giving you the keys to unlimited spiritual growth since 1983.” What is unlimited spiritual growth?
A: It means that the spiritual essence that unfolds is not stopped somewhere. For example:
- If you unfold the seed atom in your Psychic Vehicle, it can only go to the flame of the Mother Father God at the top of the Psychic Realm.
- If you unfold your Moon Soul or Christ Child nucleus of identity, it can rise to Mastery in the form of a Saint, but it can only go to its origin in the First Esoteric Initiation.
- If you unfold your Solar Angel nucleus of identity, it can rise to Mastery in the form of an Ascended Master, but it can only unfold to its origin at the top of the Second Planetary Initiation.
- If you unfold your Cosmic Consciousness nucleus of identity, it can rise to Mastery as a Yogi Preceptor, but it can only unfold to its origin at the top of the First Cosmic Initiation (Kaivalyam).
- If you unfold your Cosmic Soul Awareness nucleus of identity along with the spirit on the fourth segment of the Nada, your Cosmic Soul Awareness can rise to Mastery as a Light Master, but it can only unfold to its origin at the top of the Cosmic Tree of Life at the highest Plane of the Second Cosmic Initiation; and your spirit at this level can return to its origin in the heart center of the form of the Light Master.
- If you unfold your Astral Soul through a transformational method or Light Immersion from a Cosmic Master, it can rise to Mastery as a Cosmic Master, but it can only unfold to its origin at the top of the Cosmic Sphere in the Light of Brahma Jyoti.
- If you unfold a Supracosmic Seed Atom on one of the 64 active Supracosmic Paths, you can drop this seed atom into its origin at the top of that Path and allow the radiant Light of the Guru Power to flow through you, but you can’t move beyond that stage. If you are fortunate to select the Path on which your Supracosmic Soul dwells, your Supracosmic Soul can unfold in synchrony with your Supracosmic Seed Atom, you can rise to Mastery in the Light at the top of the Supracosmic brain chakra, but you cannot progress beyond this level.
- If you open the channels of the Nada in which the spirit dwells on one of the Transcendental Paths that are aligned with your Axis of Being (T1 to T5), and unfold the ensouling entity on this Path, your spirit can only ascend to its origin and the ensouling entity can only go to that level from which the spirit originated, as state we call Sat Guru Bhagwan.
In unlimited spiritual growth, you are not stopped. You finish your spiritual work at the Subtle, Planetary, and Transplanetary. Then you shift up into Cosmic work and finish it. You then complete your work at the Supracosmic level, and you’re able to lead your Supracosmic Soul to Liberation. You complete one Transcendental Path aligned with the Axis of Being, and then you awaken on the Bridge Path. From here, as you rise into Multiplane Mastery, you gain the ability to open every Path and liberate every spiritual essence within you.
There’s nothing left undone. There’s no stopping. Eventually, you eradicate the karmic darkness in all aspects of the Continuum.
This is what we teach you how to do in our intermediate classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program. We show you how to generate this transformation that moves you forward in a balanced way, so you don’t lose your human grounding.
So it’s unlimited. You finish everything and rise to Multiplane Mastery.
By George A. Boyd © 2017
Some of you have looked at our article on the Great Continuum of Consciousness, and were uncertain about how to proceed. We recommend you follow these seven steps when you study the Great Continuum of Consciousness.
- Begin studying each band of the mind. So, the first band of the mind is the Conscious mind. Set your intention that you wish to study the Conscious mind.
- You identify the levels of that band of the mind. For example, the levels of the Conscious mind are… [list].
- You describe the function of each level through the vehicle of consciousness that operates there. You would do this by describing each level in turn: “The function of the waking state of awareness is [describe].” You would then list the function for each center of the Conscious mind.
- You next focus your attention on a focal point at each level and note the content. For example, “When I focus my attention on the deep body awareness center of the Conscious mind, I become aware of my muscles, organs, bones, and nervous system, and the activity of my physiological functioning.”
- Once you have focused your attention on each level of that band of the mind, you will label each focal point to create a landmark. So for example, you would note the place where you focus your attention at each level, and hen, you label it: “this is my waking state of awareness, this is my movement center, this is my sensory center, this is my deep body awareness center, this is my feeling center… up to the highest center, the Subconscious Gateway center.
- Practice moving your attention to any one of these levels in this band of the mind and holding your attention there to monitor the content. Do this until you can move your attention at will to any of the focal points of this band of the mind.
- Optional: If you wish to do a more in depth study of the first three bands of the mind—the Conscious, Subconscious, and Metaconscious mind—and you have not meditated before, you might wish to take the Introduction to Meditation Course. If you have completed one of our intermediate courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation or the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program, you could opt to review our “Adventures in Pinda” webinar series.
To study the Superconscious mind, those who complete one of our intermediate courses have the option of studying the Mudrashram® Correspondence Course, our master consciousness studies program. Those who wish to have a guided meditation format exploration of the Superconscious mind, they can take the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation in an in-person or online format, or take the online version of the Satsang Program Home Study Course.
To extend your knowledge of the Great Continuum of Consciousness, after you have identified the focal points for the Conscious mind, you would do the same thing for the Subconscious, Metaconscious, and Superconscious minds. You would study each level of the Superconscious mind: Subtle, Planetary, Transplanetary, Cosmic, Supracosmic, and Transcendental in this same way.
The Continuum is broken into segments using accordions in the article to let you study the different bands using these seven steps. You should strive to build a clear road map with landmarks for each level, so you can focus your attention on any level you select.
We encourage you to study this map of the Continuum of Consciousness. We encourage you to study the associated maps of the Supracosmic Sphere and the Transcendental Sphere that are available in our Library. [To access these articles, you will need to sign into the Library. If you don’t have access to the Library yet, you can sign up for your free membership here.]
By George A. Boyd ©2017
The current cultural fascination with mindfulness does not understand cultivating mindfulness as a preparation for the deeper work of depth meditation. This article will briefly explain the differences between the two, how mindfulness is achieved, the levels of preparing for mindfulness and the levels of depth meditation, and how enlightenment states of mind that some teachers highlight do not produce transformation of the spiritual evolutionary potentials that permit you to ascend to Mastery and Liberation.
Differences between Mindfulness and Depth Meditation
You achieve initial mindfulness when your attention collects into a sphere (e.g., concentrates), and you become conscious and present. This state is the precursor to depth meditation.
Depth meditation involves moving your collected attention along the thread of consciousness to contemplate focal points within the vehicles of consciousness that operate at different layers of your mind. Depth meditation enables you to focus your attention upon discrete objects of meditation and become aware of them. These objects of meditation include:
- Personal identification centers – your ego, and your Self at the nucleus of your personality
- Identification centers of the Superconscious mind – your nuclei of identity
- The immortal essences of consciousness – your attentional principle, your spirit, and your Soul
- The form of a spiritual Master you encounter in the Superconscious mind – the radiant Guide form
- The Universal Consciousness – the Divine, God, or the Universal Self
Aspirants need to understand that achieving mindfulness is the necessary foundation for depth meditation, but does not produce the actual movement of attention that marks the process of depth meditation.
The present time monitoring that aspirants learn through mindfulness practice allows them to become aware of the content of the level of the mind where their attention is focused, but does not emphasize selecting an alternate focal point for attentional monitoring.
Depth meditation enables the identification of discrete focal points in different vehicles of consciousness, whereas mindfulness only notes content as it is arising, without any context or recognition of the level of the mind from which the content is arising.
Mindfulness has a special strength in that it allows you to process through mental content and transcend it, but it does not emphasize processing material from layers of the unconscious at other bands of the mind—so while you may process through the issue at the level of the waking state of awareness, you might not remove the impressions for this issue at deeper strata of the mind.
Seven Methods to Achieve Mindfulness
There are seven major ways to achieve mindfulness. We suggest there is not one way to achieve the state of initial mindfulness—based on observing the perceptual substratum of attention across the Seven Rays—but several different pathways.
Those aspirants who are having difficulties collecting their attention and becoming present should try each of these seven methods to discover which ones enable them to reach the initial state of mindfulness. These seven methods are shown below.
- Direct concentration of the attention using intention (Tratakam)
- Absorption in the breath using a full inhalation
- Discerning the centers (chakras) below the waking state of awareness, and shifting awareness until it is focused in the medulla center
- Using body scan, and processing through the issues held in the body to disengage attention from the issues and free it to rise into the state of mindfulness
- Using a mantra coordinated with a quick sniff breath to collect attention (the Hansa Breath)
- Absorbing attention in sensory currents through Laya techniques for the visual track (Jyoti Laya), the auditory track (Shabda Laya), and the combined gustatory and olfactory track (Amrita Laya)
- Absorption of attention through movement or postures, such as Hatha Yoga or martial arts poses
We teach methods one through six in our meditation classes. We encourage you to become familiar with all seven methods for achieving mindfulness.
The Spectrum – from Mindlessness to Full God Consciousness
The stages of achieving mindfulness and its subsequent progression into depth meditation are shown below.
Stage zero to eight marks the progression from mindlessness (also called ignorance or Avidya) to initial mindfulness.
Stage nine through sixteen comprises the journey of attention along the thread of consciousness in depth meditation.
- Stage 0 – (Mindlessness) Here you act out unconscious passions of lust, rage, attachment, greed, ignorance, or arrogance without awareness that you are doing this.
- Stage 1 – You become aware that you are acting out of unconscious patterns.
- Stage 2 – You place your attention on the issue and make initial contact, and may recognize it (e.g., this is my anger), but you do not enter into its stream of impressions.
- Stage 3 – You place your attention on the issue and you begin to become aware of its thought impressions arising in the present time.
- Stage 4 – You place your attention on the issue and you begin to uncover its core beliefs and justifications.
- Stage 5 – You place your attention on the issue and you begin to become aware of its core desire and craving.
- Stage 6 – Your attention transcends the issue and becomes focused at the point between the eyebrows.
- Stage 7 – (Concentration) Your attention collects into a sphere.
- Stage 8 – (Initial mindfulness) You become conscious and present at the medulla center in the waking state of awareness.
- Stage 9 – (Initial meditation) You move your collected attention along the thread of consciousness, contemplate selected focal points of the Conscious, Subconscious, and Metaconscious mind, and notice the content arising from that level.
- Stage 10 – (Purusa Dhyan) Your attention focuses upon the attentional principle and activates it: you awaken as the attentional principle.
- Stage 11 – (Surat Dhyan) Your attention focuses upon your spirit and activates it: you awaken as the spirit.
- Stage 12 – (Manasa Dhyan) Your attention focuses upon the vehicles of consciousness in your Superconscious mind and the nuclei of identity embedded in them, and activates these centers: you awaken the abilities, knowledge, wisdom, and altruistic emotions anchored at these levels.
- Stage 13 – (Enlightened mind) Your attention focuses upon the wave of the present time on the Akashic Aether; you become aware of your Soul’s thoughts and intention arising in the present time, generating a dynamic vortex of creation.
- Stage 14 – (Adi Atma Dhyan) Your attention focuses upon the Soul and activates it: you awaken the Divine Atom within the Soul and experience Gnosis.
- Stage 15 – (Guru Dhyan) Your attention focuses on the guide form of the Master that supervises your spiritual development and you receive guidance and instruction from him or her.
- Stage 16 – (Bhagwan Dhyan) – Your guide leads your attention into the presence of the Divine and you gain conscious union (Samadhi) with the Universal Self.
In addition to training students in different methods to establish initial mindfulness (stage 8), we teach a methodical practice of contemplating each major focal point in the Conscious, Subconscious, and Metaconscious mind (stage 9, Initial Meditation) in our Introduction to Meditation class, which is designed for those who have never meditated before.
We reveal the methods for awakening the three immortal essences—the attentional principle (stage 10), the spirit (stage 11), and the Soul (stage 14)—in our intermediate classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.
We show you how to contemplate your Superconscious identity centers, called nuclei of identity (stage 12); to commune with the spiritual guide (stage 15); and to travel into the Presence of God (stage 16) in the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation.
Achieving mindfulness is like stepping into the ocean of the mind at the shore, but depth meditation shows you how to cross that ocean. We invite you to progress beyond the preparatory technique of collecting your attention and establishing conscious presence—mindfulness—to the mastery of the practice of depth meditation, which you can learn in Mudrashram®.
From Enlightenment to Initiation
There are several popular teachers who train aspirants to move from initial mindfulness to the two stages of “enlightened consciousness,” the wave of the present time (stage 13) and union with the Soul, with conscious awareness of the Divine Atom within you (stage 14). These practices activate the abilities of the Superconscious mind; tap the Soul’s intuitional stream; unites your attention with the Soul’s unconditional love and compassion; and absorbs your attention in the bliss of the Soul—but they do not move the Soul closer to the Source.
Enlightenment means that you unite with the Soul inside of you and gain access to its knowledge, compassion, and abilities. But you do not move the Soul; it remains where it is.
Initiation means you move the Soul along its track through each nodal point of the Way until it reaches Mastery and Liberation. This adds new abilities to the Soul’s repertoire; expands its sphere of intuitive knowledge, wisdom, and love; and deepens its bliss.
Initiation can be experienced actively or passively.
Active Initiation occurs when you use a transformational method to draw down the Light of Spirit to unfold the Soul. [We teach this method of a transformational mantra keyed to your Soul in our intermediate courses.]
Passive Initiation occurs when you receive attunement from an Initiate (e.g., a spiritual Master), who actively unfolds your spiritual potentials. [We give these attunements in our bi-monthly Light Sittings, which our intermediate and advanced students are eligible to attend.]
We acknowledge that many aspirants do not feel ready for the work of depth meditation, immersion in the enlightened states of mind, or core transformation. But when you do feel ready to move beyond the practice of mindfulness to these deeper levels of spiritual work, Mudrashram® is here to assist you.