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Mudrashram Institute of Spiritual Studies

 

 

 

Attention's Role in Meditation

 

By George A. Boyd ©2003

Focusing attention gives rise to different types of meditation practices. A sample of 12 different ways that attention can be focused in meditation is shown below:

Number

Type of Meditation Practice

Focal Point of Attention

Keynote

1

Raja Yoga

Attention is focused on the attentional principle – witnesses the inner vehicles and Planes of the Great Continuum of Consciousness

Consciousness

2

Nada Yoga

Attention is focused on the spirit; through remembrance it becomes identified with it

Individual spirit

3

Bhakti Yoga

Attention is focused on a nucleus of identity while one worships and serves the Divine as known in that state of consciousness

Emotion

4

Karma Yoga

Attention is focused on the ensouling entity while the individual gives permission to be guided by that deeper life and engage in selfless service

Action

5

Jnana Yoga

Attention is focused on the ensouling entity or the intuitive stream while the wisdom faculty (buddhi) informs the will (guidance), the intellect (understanding), the concrete mind (life direction) and conscience (moral correction)

Intuition

6

Attunement/Agni Yoga

Attention is focused on the attentional principle while the attentional principle is directing intention to send the Light

Intention

7

Mantra Yoga

Attention is focused on the attentional principle while the attentional principle is directing the Light to activate the transformational mantra

Transformation

8

Psychic Visioning/Astral Travel

Attention is focused on the attentional principle while it is using intention to direct the Astral Body and the faculty of metavision to view on the Inner Planes

Using Subtle Senses

9

Kundalini Yoga

Attention is passively absorbed in the higher vehicles by immersion in the rising kundalini current

Energy

10

Guru Kripa Yoga

Attention is passively absorbed in the opening centers during the unfoldment that occurs during Light Immersion

Receptivity to Grace

11

Laya Yoga/Pratyahara

Attention is passively absorbed in the inner sensory currents of light, sound, nectar, pranic-vibration/breathing or kinesthetic rhythms (as in movement meditations)

Absorption in Sensory Currents

12

Vipassana/Mindfulness

Attention is focused on the unfolding of present-time experience

Present-Moment Monitoring

The attention may be actively fixed and concentrated in many types of meditation, but passively absorbed in others (see types 9-11). In the Mudrashram® System of Integral Meditation, we believe that the aspirant should be trained in a broad range of meditation techniques so that he or she can gain Mastery over the different ways of focusing attention. For example, types 1, 2, 5-7 and 9-12 are taught in the Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation.

Many religious groups use attentional focusing in order to participate in remembering, worshipping and serving the Divine as they know Him, Her, It or Them (type 3). Prayer, chanting or singing typically augments this.

Karma Yoga (type 4) is marked by a complete dedication of human life to the service of the Divine and humanity. Surrender and obedience to the Divine Will characterize it.

Many New Age groups use psychic visioning and astral travel (type 8). Individuals who develop psychic abilities use these methods. Those who train others in psychic development utilize guided meditations, often with "New Age" or "meditational" music accompaniment. These faculties may also be activated by hypnosis.

As the aspirant is able to gain increasing Mastery over the ability to focus attention on the inner focal points of the spiritual work, several typical results can be identified:

  1. Enhanced ability to concentrate

  2. Greater facility in relaxing and relieving stress

  3. Improved ability to sense thoughts and emotions with greater clarity

  4. Strengthened will power

  5. Activation of the metavisional faculty, yielding the ability to see, hear and feel the Inner Planes of the Superconscious mind

  6. Amplification of the ability to use intention, allowing the individual to use this faculty to channel the Light (attunement) and activate a transformational mantra

  7. Opening of intuitional and insightful faculties of the mind, resulting in increased self-knowledge, Soul Realization (gnosis) and God-Realization (beatitude)

We encourage aspirants to understand the differences between the ways attention is focused in each of these 12 types of meditation practices, and learn to utilize these methods in order to gain insight, growth and Mastery at each level of the mind. Taking the Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation [or the Accelerated Meditation Program] may be a tool to help familiarize your self with several of these methods, and begin to incorporate them as appropriate in a congruent fashion in your personal meditation practice.

 

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