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Mudrashram Institute of Spiritual Studies


Types of
Inner Seeing

The Role of Tratakam



Developing Inner Vision in Meditation


By George A. Boyd © 2003

One of the siddhis meditators seek in their meditation is the ability to be able to see clearly. This faculty, called clairvoyance, seeing with the inner eye, or metavision, usually develops slowly over time.

Gaining an understanding of what comprises inner seeing, however, can enhance this faculty. The following inner vehicles and principles mediate inner seeing:

Types of Inner Seeing

The two eyes of the astral body - these inner eyes are sensitive to elements of matter beyond the range of the physical eyes, such as energies of the electromagnetic spectrum beyond visible light, and finer particles of matter such as atoms and subatomic quanta. They also can sense the subtle etheric substrates of matter comprising the information ether, and the holographic ether, on which the records of experience (Akashic Records) are traced. They also can view the constructions of astral matter: thought forms, the scenery of the other Planes, and the inhabitants of those realms.

The astral eyes awaken spontaneously when the Astral Soul is unfolded. They are also stimulated by the practice of concentrating on the point between the eyebrows in the astral body, by direct projection, and by tratakam.

The forehead eye of the astral body - sometimes called the third eye or cyclopean eye, this center brings intuitive knowledge of the inner Planes. It mediates mandalic reasoning, which discerns the landmarks and phenomena of the inner Planes. It permits the identification of correspondences on parallel Planes.

The forehead eye awakens spontaneously when the Astral Soul is unfolded. It is also stimulated by the practice of concentrating on the center of the forehead in the astral body, by tratakam, and by the Hong Sau and Kriya Yoga techniques taught by Kriya Yoga adepts.

Intuitive vision of the vehicles of the Superconscious Mind - as the Soul Spark, Planetary Soul, Monad, and other ensouling entities evolve, they awaken the vehicles of the Superconscious mind. The brow center (point between the eyebrows) of each of these vehicles provides a panoramic intuitive vista of the phenomena of the Planes on which it is anchored, and the contents of the vehicle. These vehicles may be found on each Plane: contemplation of them will yield much information about the inner worlds.

Concentrating on the brow center of selected vehicles enhances the ability to access Superconscious vehicular vision. The advanced self-study practices of Raja Yoga, including meditation on the inner vehicles, or meditation on the archetypes or forms of these vehicles, also activate this faculty.

Global Intuitive Knowledge Center - variously called Buddhi, the Illumined Mind, Bodhi, or the Wisdom Mind, this center synthesizes and integrates the multidimensional strata of vehicular visioning into one comprehensive picture. It is the inmost covering over the ensouling entity. It evokes Gnosis, the awakening of the Soul's Knowledge of itself, which in turn permits you to see the Soul in others.

The Global Intuitive Knowledge Center is developed by the practices of Jnana Yoga and Kundalini Yoga, which awaken discernment and awareness within each of the vehicles up to the level of the ensouling entity.

The inner seeing of the spirit - while the spirit is more commonly associated with the faculty of feeling (faith) and listening (hearing the words of the inner guide and the rapturous strains of the Nada), it too has a faculty of vision. These "eyes of the heart" behold the inner Planes, the spiritual guide and the inhabitants of the inner Planes—but more importantly, they see the spirits of others. This faculty moves beyond phenomenal vision, which views the content of the vehicles as phenomenon—colors, forms, archetypes, etc.—to essential vision, which sees the spiritual heart of others.

Spiritual seeing is developed by focusing the attention upon the spirit, and by the sustained practice of Nada Yoga.

Mental seeing - this faculty is mediated by concentrating the attention. You are familiar with the practical applications of mental seeing, such as comprehension of new subjects in school and the visualization of goals and plans to carry them out. But concentration and contemplation of the attention are at the bottom of meditational insight as well. Focusing the attention allows you to become aware of the content of the inner vehicles, and direct energy to that focal point. It is this energetic function of sustained concentration that acts to stimulate and awaken the inner faculties of the mind; concentration upon the visioning faculties specifically strengthens them.

Raja Yoga practices and tratakam are specific to developing the faculty of directed concentration. But nearly any form of meditation exercise that focuses the attention enhances the faculty of mental seeing.

Metavisional Seeing - this is seeing with the attentional principle, which is a wave of consciousness (chetan) encased in various vehicles that give it a form (purusa). This inner eye of consciousness is ever-awake (Turiya). When it is fully activated, it can access any other form of seeing by utilizing intention to gather information from that center.

Raja Yoga, Tratakam, and Purusa Dhyan develop metavisional seeing. Doing direct projection with the attention united with the attentional principle will dramatically demonstrate to you the depth and power of the insight that can be gained by this simple technique—through this means, you can experience Samadhi, in which vast intuitive knowledge is revealed to you.

The Role of Tratakam

Tratakam or steady gaze is a method that can help you rapidly activate your inner faculties of seeing. We reproduce this method here for you study and practice so you can begin to improve your ability to see the phenomena of the inner Planes, and the spirit and Soul in others.

The Practice of Tratakam

Excerpted from the Yoga of the Seven Mudras:
Introducing the Mudrashram® System of Integral Meditation

©1990 by George A. Boyd

Tratakam means steady gaze. Tratakam is the focusing of the mind stuff (chittam) on specific anatomical or psychic locations, with an aim to awaken the awareness and energy within these foci. The seven basic anatomical centers used for tratakam, with their implications are as follows:

1) Root of nose (between the eyebrows) tratakam - directs the mind stuff into the Superconscious Mind, and brings about union with the Higher Self.

2) Middle of nose tratakam - directs the mind stuff into the metaconscious mind, and brings about union with the Self.

3) Tip of nose (closest to the mouth) tratakam - directs the mind stuff through the unconscious mind into absorption (laya) with the Higher Self.

4) Medulla oblongata tratakam - directs the mind stuff into the AUM vibration, and union with the Cosmic Consciousness Center.

5) Third ventricle (above and behind pituitary gland) tratakam - directs mind stuff into union with the attentional principle (nirat)

6) Pineal gland tratakam - directs mind stuff into the Nada and brings union with the spirit (surat).

7) Perineum tratakam - directs mind stuff into the seat of the Kundalini and allows vision of the awakening kundalini shakti energy.

Advanced Tratakam

Sit in an upright pose, with your eyes closed. Select one of these seven tratakam to use as your meditation focus. Concentrate the mind stuff in that focus and hold it steady, and notice the changes in your energy and awareness. Allow the energy to carry your mind stuff into complete union with the attentional principle, the spirit, the center you are meditating upon, or the Kundalini. Enjoy and contemplate that state for as long as you wish. Return to normal awareness, and do grounding meditation if necessary.

Practice of tratakam that is done for longer periods of time will lead to recognition of, union with, and mastery over each of these principles. Tratakam is a direct button to stimulate these principles of consciousness, and bring about absorption and Samadhi.

Advanced tratakam aids in the practice of advanced Raja Yoga by strengthening the ability to concentrate and focus the mind stuff (dharana), and is essential in the development of the ability to use Superconscious abilities or powers (siddhi).

After mastering these seven basic methods, additional tratakam you may wish to experiment with are:

8) Temporal lobe tratakam - directs the mind stuff into awareness of the present moment.

9) Anahata nadam tratakam - holding the attention above and behind the right ear, the mind stuff is directly absorbed into the Nada, which becomes audible through this means, as if sounding in the air.

10) Whole body tratakam - contemplating the whole body, the higher forms and vehicles of the metaconscious and Superconscious Mind are experienced

11) Spatial tratakam - contemplating the fine particles in the space around the body leads to the awareness of the atomic and subatomic realms and other dimensions of existence.

12) Eye to eye tratakam (darshan) - steadily gazing directly into the eyes of a Master or Liberated Soul while that One is in Samadhi brings about vision of one's own inner form (swarup) and that of the Master.

Practice these tratakam and master them and they will improve your ability to practice all the techniques you have learned so far and the ones that are to come.


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