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Major Categories of Meditation Techniques

 

©2001 by George A. Boyd

We characterize three major categories of meditation techniques: Practical Meditation, Centering, and Transcendence.

Practical Meditation is taking conscious charge of your attention, your thinking processes, and your behavior in your waking state. [For more information about the Seven Rays discussed below, click here]. It comprises the following characteristics:

Ray

Process

Technique

1

Observation of Behavior

Mindful awareness of your actions. Note its consequences on you, on others and the environment around your body. Note others' reactions to your behavior and the feelings this evokes in you.

2

Visualization

Mentally rehearse each action before you do it. For example, go over a public speech in your mind before presenting it.

3

Goal Setting

Identify goals for each area of your life. Assign a priority for each goal. Develop an action plan that specifies a deadline for achieving the goal, and itemizes all resources you need to accomplish it.

4

Relationship Sensitivity

Use empathic listening. Maintain awareness for the feelings and meanings of others. Notice what is evoked in your own feelings when you listen to their response.

5

Factual Reporting

Vividly and accurately describe what appears to your senses, so that others may clearly get a picture of it in their mind.

6

Attribution

Describe others' character traits, so that others may get an impression about another person's qualities. Reflect how they helped you or contributed to your life, and any salient memories that come up when you think about them.

7

Drama

Act out a role by personifying a fictional character, one of your subpersonalities, or impersonating another individual. Practice controlling your voice, actions, and body language to make the personification vivid and realistic to another person.

Centering means union with the Self, the nucleus of your Metaconscious mind. The avenues through which the Self can be encountered include the following:

Ray

Personality Function

Technique

1

Will

Tratakam through the seven chakras

2

Intuition

Watching the breath

3

Intellect

Reflection and disidentification

4

Present-time experience

Vipassana upon sensations arising within the body in the present time

5

Body Awareness

Relaxing into the Self

6

Sensation

Pratyahara, withdrawal of energy from the senses, using shabd laya and jyoti laya

7

Movement

Moving from Center

We teach each of these centering techniques in the Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation.

Transcendence means activating the principles of the Superconscious mind, which brings about enlightenment, empowerment, and transformation of your spiritual essence. We also train you in each of the transcendence methods in the Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation. These seven transcendence methods are shown below.

Ray

Function

Technique

1

Transformation, Soul Evolution

Transformational (bija) mantra, Mantra Yoga

2

Attunement, channeling the Light of your Soul

Agni Yoga

3

Discernment, Illumination, and Gnosis

Jnana Yoga

4

Balance of internal spiritual forces, Integration

Guru Kripa Yoga

5

Control of attention and attentional principle

Samyama, direct projection, Raja Yoga

6

Opening your spiritual heart

Nada Yoga

7

Awakening your core energy and awareness, the Kundalini Shakti

Kundalini Yoga

The Path of Insight and Growth

You begin the process of insight and growth with practical meditation in your daily life. You learn to be more

  • aware of your actions

  • thoughtful and considerate of others

  • able to clearly visualize your intended actions

  • self-directing and goal-oriented

  • sensitive to the feelings of others

  • observant of the world around you

  • cognizant and appreciative of the qualities of others

  • perceptive of what is beautiful and valuable

  • creative and playful.

As you become skilled at these practical meditations, you may find yourself using them in your career or avocation.

For example, as an athlete you would use observation of behavior and visualization to improve your performance.

As a business executive you would need to practice visualization for upcoming presentations or speeches, goal setting to continually enhance your productivity, and relationship sensitivity to effectively serve your customers' needs.

As a police officer or security guard, you would develop keen observation of behavior with factual reporting ability.

As a psychotherapist, you would utilize behavioral observation and highly developed relationship sensitivity skills to help your clients recover optimal functioning.

As a minister, you would be sensitive to others' behavior, their character traits, and cultivate effective relationship sensitivity.

As a writer of fictional books, you would combine factual reporting, attribution, and elements of dramatic personification to vividly portray your characters in the imagination of your reader.

As an actor, you would rehearse using visualization and role-play using your well-developed dramatic skills to make your character come alive.

Most people practice some form of practical meditation without being aware that they are doing it. Stepping back from habitual actions and automatic reactions, you take a moment to reflect, to check in, to change course—this is practical meditation in action.

Practical meditation operates in the field of the Conscious mind while you are in your waking state of awareness. It is present-time focused. It brings into your awareness

  • the actions you take and how others react to them

  • perception of the environment around you and the behavior of others

  • your thoughts and feelings

  • your empathic sensing of the feelings of others

  • your own reactions to events, persons, and things

  • your opportunity for choice in a situation

  • memories that spontaneously arise

  • ideas that come to you while thinking or brainstorming

  • creative inspirations for movement, song, humor or drama

Inner Awakening

Many people experience an inner drive to explore the inner world of self and spirituality. This may dawn on them in a mysterious dream, through a poignant and moving experience, during an encounter with a saint or spiritual teacher, or with a sudden insight or revelation that ignites in them a burning curiosity. It culminates in an experience of inner awakening.

During an inner awakening:

  • You may suddenly experience looking down at your physical body from outside of it (astral projection).

  • You may have a sense of being at one with the cosmos, in union with an exquisite inner harmony and perfection (peak experience).

  • You may have a downpour of intuitive insights and revelations (illumination) that explains the inner mysteries of man, cosmos, and the Divine.

  • You may sense your heart being filled with a fiery, unconditionally loving, palpable presence of great sweetness and tenderness (gift of the Holy Spirit).

  • You may discern a Divine Pattern or unifying principle that gives a sense of meaning and purpose to your lives (vision of Divine Purpose).

  • You may experience another person as having many forms and dimensions, and may for a moment, be able to look into that person's spiritual essence (darshan).

  • You may experience your Soul as possessing many vehicles of consciousness, as a multi-dimensional Being (awakening of the Kundalini Shakti).

This spontaneous experience of inner awakening stimulates an intense curiosity to explain and understand what happened to you. You begin a process of questing, seeking answers to these mysterious events that suddenly changed your inner world. You may feel led to deepen your ability to know yourself and your potentials.

It is at this stage in your journey that you will need the centering and transcendence methods that allow you egress into the inner portals of consciousness and being. Through centering, you become aware of your Self and your total personality. Through transcendence, you experience your Soul and spirit, and travel through the dimensions of your Superconscious mind in full consciousness.

To be successful in your life, it is valuable to cultivate the talents of practical meditation. To be successful in self-actualization, making your dreams and visions real, it is important to be able to focus on the Self with centering methods. To be successful on the spiritual path, it is essential to have mastery of transcendence methods.

We encourage you to learn each of these meditation tools for success, and to gain mastery of these skills in each of the categories of meditation.

 

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