By George A. Boyd © 2022
Q: People meditate, but they don’t appear to have a similar experience. Can you shed some light on why this might happen?
A: Depending on what pathway you are focusing your attention, it evokes different content from the Higher Mind. Here are eight major meditation themes you might encounter:
- Direction – In this theme, you receive guidance for action. This comes from the Soul communicating its purpose to the personality. In advanced disciples and Initiates, they may receive the impress of the Divine Will (Agya). This is associated with the First Ray, which taps into the Will Stream.
- Visualization – In this type, you obtain an image or seed thought upon which you contemplate. This might appear as an image that will help you focus your attention on a spiritual essence—attentional principle, spirit, nucleus of identity, or ensouling entity. Sometimes, this might employ revealing a mystery that veils a spiritual essence. This Second Ray meditation theme draws from the Intuitive Wisdom Stream.
- The Wellspring of Love – This type opens into the virtue, unconditional love, and compassion of the Soul. It is associated with Agni Yoga, which sends healing attunements, and Nada Yoga, in which the spirit travels back upon the tracks of the Nada and unites with the Divine Beloved through love. Loving kindness meditation and meditations that enhance virtue and improve character also access this pathway. This alternative Second Ray meditation draws from the Love Stream.
- Inspired Discourse – This explains spiritual ideas to promote insight and understanding. It may also act as a voice over in guided meditation, which leads attention into union with a selected spiritual essence. This Third Ray pathway channels the Vocal Stream.
- Experience – This views the present time unfolding of life at different levels, and becomes fully aware of the content of the mind, wherever attention is focused. Mindfulness and Vipassana enters this track, and allows you to be aware of your present time experience; Raja Yoga moves attention along this inner corridor through the levels of the mind and lets you become aware of the content at each focal point. This Fourth Ray immersion in experience leads your attention upon the Thread of Consciousness.
- Analysis – This carefully studies spiritual forms or vehicles of consciousness to reveal their structure and function. It identifies the major landmarks and content of the Continuum of Consciousness through the four bands of the mind. The Mudrashram® Correspondence Course utilizes this approach. This Fifth Ray path of study contemplates Form and Structure.
- Invocation – This calls upon a spiritual being—an angel, a spiritual guide, a god or goddess, or a form of the Divine—to fulfill a fervent desire, to ensure success in an endeavor, or to receive Grace, Blessings, or Divine Comfort. This Sixth Ray aspiration activates the Thread of Faith.
- Synthesis – This ties together disparate insights or revelations to create comprehensive understanding: it constructs a global picture that places each idea or insight into an ordered context. This Seventh Ray perspective draws upon the Intuitive Thread (Antakarana).
These eight different meditation approaches evoke different aspects of the Higher Mind. Different systems of philosophy and meditation emphasize one of these pathways:
- The Will Stream is prominent among Karma Yogis, who seek to know the Divine Will and enact it.
- The Intuitive Wisdom Stream uses evocative images, spiritual ideas (seed thoughts), metaphors, parables, and stories to spark meditation and inspire contemplation. Many religions and spiritual groups embed parables and stories in their scriptures and their commentaries to provide guidance and inspiration.
- The Love Stream taps the healing love of the Divine to awaken the heart. Nada Yogis immerse their spirit into the river of the inner light and sound, and travel back to their Divine Beloved. Agni Yogis taps this everlasting fount of love to minister the Light to others. This immersion in Light awakens the love and devotion of the spiritual heart.
- The Vocal Stream gives rise to satsang or preaching. It directly communicates spiritual revelations to teach and guide others.
- The Thread of Consciousness is the native track of the attention, and enables the meditator to experience each level of the mind directly. Vipassana and Raja Yoga practitioners interiorize along this pathway.
- Contemplation of Form and Structure enables exact knowledge of the forms through which the immortal essences of consciousness—attentional principle, spirit, and ensouling entity—operate. It facilitates the construction of maps of consciousness for each of the levels of the mind. This enhances discernment: it helps you know exactly where you are in meditation.
- Awakening the Thread of Faith allows you to remember and commune with selected spiritual beings. Most established religions emphasize this pathway, and adopt some form of prayer and worship to connect with the spiritual source that they invoke. Bhakti Yoga practitioners commonly adopt this approach to worship God and dedicate their lives to serve the Divine.
- Contemplation of the Intuitive Thread leads to Enlightenment and Gnosis. The Soul reveals its essential nature and accesses the layers of insights and discoveries it has experienced along its inner journey of spiritual evolution. Jnana Yogis gravitate to this track.
We recommend that aspirants and disciples learn to access each of these eight themes. They can use these pathways to:
- Get direction
- Receive ideas for contemplation
- Become immersed in healing love
- Tap into spoken words of guidance
- Directly experience the levels of the mind
- Study the levels of the mind and the Continuum of Consciousness
- Call upon the Divine for succor and support
- Achieve a complete understanding of their station on the Path and realize their Soul
We teach ways to access approaches (2), (3), (5), (6), and (8) in our intermediate meditation courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program. We introduce you to approach (1) and go deeper into approach (8) in our Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation. We invite you to study with us to learn to connect with these different meditation themes.