On Boredom

By George A. Boyd © 2003

In boredom, the mind seeks engagement. People sometimes attempt to fulfill this need through entertainment, becoming intoxicated, going to parties, or idle past times such as playing games or gambling. The mind seeks a meaningful goal to engage, it seeks to be productively engaged.

Boredom is the first step on the pathway to productive engagement of the mind. Here are the steps:

  1. Seeking something to do (boredom)
  2. Getting an idea (excitement)
  3. Strategizing how to make it successful
  4. Developing plans to operationalize the strategy
  5. Executing the plan, making decision to do it
  6. Sustaining action towards the plan completion (commitment)
  7. Adjusting course, making contingency plans or alternate plans to handle unforeseen issues that arise (adjustment)
  8. Completing the goal or meeting a benchmark on an ongoing series of goals (success)

To avoid wasting valuable time and to engage the mind in meaningful and productive activities, we suggest that you ask yourself questions like these to engage the creative, actualizing the power of your Subconscious mind:

  1. What can I do right now to move forward on my important goals?
  2. What questions do I have right now that I can answer through research and contemplation
  3. (If you have not set goals) What key things would I like to accomplish with my life? (Use this time to formulate goals).
  4. What personal shortcoming could I work on right now to see if I can eradicate it?
  5. What could I learn right now that would enhance my ability and knowledge?
  6. What can I meditate upon that will increase my understanding and help me make progress on the spiritual path?
  7. In what activity can I now engage that will be service to other people or to God?

Since people spend much time doing activities that do not advance and actualize their dreams, driving the Subconscious mind by this means will help people to lead much more fulfilling lives.

Meditation on the Seven Levels Described in Theosophy

By George A. Boyd © 2023

Q: In Theosophy, they describe seven levels of being. How do you experience these levels?

A: You can start with doing a quick process:

Body – What am I experiencing now in my body?

Energy – What is my state of energy and vitality now?

Emotions – What are the feelings, memories, and beliefs I’m experiencing now?

Attention – What is my attention focused on right now?

Self and Will – What am I choosing to create in my life right now?

Illumined Mind – What guidance do you have for me right now?

Soul – What is my experience of the totality of my potential and actualization now?

Notice what comes up for you as you query each level.

Next, notice what activities tap into these levels. Through specific activities, you can open to these levels. For example:

Body – movement, exercise, nourishing meals

Energy – breathing, hatha yoga, martial arts

Emotions – journaling, sharing my thoughts and feelings, communication, vulnerability

Attention – mindfulness, meditation; attentional union with Self, spirit, and Soul

Self and will – goal setting, planning, clarifying and acting on values

Illumined mind – receiving guidance, dialogue with your Higher Self, communing with your guides and angels

Soul – Abiding in peace, joy, and bliss; experience of oneness

Next, notice what feelings come up as you focus on each level:

Body – This is what my body feels like right now.

Energy – This is the energy I feel right now.

Emotions – These are the emotions I feel right now.

Attention – This is the feeling of being focused, centered, and fully present.

Self and will – This is the feeling of being the Self and having the capacity to create my future.

Illumined mind – This is the feeling of rapture and peace I feel as I tap into my Illumined mind.

Soul – This is the bliss and joy I feel when I am in touch with the Soul.

You can key into these levels through monitoring your experience, noticing the activities that connect you with each level, and dropping into the feeling state of each level.

Meditations that help you tap into each level are:

Body – Movement meditation †

Energy – Breathing meditation †, Kundalini †

Emotions – Process meditation †, Emotional Vipassana †

Attention – Mindfulness †, Raja Yoga †

Self and will – Centering meditations †

Illumined Mind – Jnana Yoga †

Soul – Raja Yoga †, Mantra Yoga †, and Kundalini Yoga †

[† These are techniques we teach in our intermediate classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.]

We encourage you to become familiar with all of these levels in yourself, so you can translate Theosophical theory into experience, action, and a felt sense that will allow you to recognize it.

Types of Meditation

By George A. Boyd © 2009

There are many types of meditation. Seekers are often not aware that there are so many ways to meditate. They might have learned only one type of meditation, and were told by the teacher that initiated them that this is the “only true way to meditate.” They might have learned a single mantra, to watch their breath, or to contemplate an inner image. But they are not aware that each type of meditation directs awareness differently. For example, here are 35 different ways that people meditate:

  1. Concentration (focusing attention on an inner focal point)
  2. Fine Concentration (finely focusing attention to become minutely aware of the content of a vehicle)
  3. Contemplation (awareness of content after focusing the attention on a point)
  4. Mindfulness (awareness of content in the present time, mental monitoring of content as it arises)
  5. Absorption (in breath, sensory or energetic streams (passive) – no control over depth of immersion
  6. Following breath (active) so that one deepens into awareness to a specified level, then emerges
  7. Absorption in sensory or energetic stream using concentration (active) so that the depth of immersion in this stream is controlled
  8. Mental suggestion (suggestion with the attention; repeating a mantra with the attention)
  9. Mental listening (asking a question, listening for the answer)
  10. Mental striking or knocking (directing the attention to strike a certain center or inner door); or rotation (directing the attention to turn an inner wheel)
  11. Mental scanning (content) noticing all of the content of the awakened portion of a vehicle
  12. Mental scanning (structure) noticing the structure of the vehicle itself as form, shape, dimensions
  13. Mental scanning (background) noticing the content of the unawakened portion of the mind in which the vehicle is embedded
  14. Mental scanning (origin) noticing where the vehicle originates out of Spirit
  15. Attentional principle creation, visual (visualization)
  16. Attentional principle creation, auditory (giving a voice to an entity)
  17. Attentional principle creation, thaumaturgic (sending light or thought to an inner vehicle or to a mantra)
  18. Vocal utterance (structured, aloud) – used in chanting or singing
  19. Vocal utterance (structured, whispered) – used in prayer and mantra repetition
  20. Vocal utterance (unstructured, aloud) – used in intoning, making a sound from an inner vehicle
  21. Vocal utterance (unstructured, whispered) – used in making the breath audible
  22. Vocal attentional click – used to “push off” in direct projection
  23. Movement (structured) – used in sacred dance or martial arts
  24. Movement (unstructured) – free movement used in contact improvisation and movement meditation
  25. Movement (structured, subtle) – movement of astral body using suggestion: parts of astral body, movement of the whole astral body to a spatial or dimensional location; movement of the whole astral body in time
  26. Movement (unstructured, subtle) – movement of the astral body as generated by random sounds, falling, sudden shock, or use of anesthetic stimulant or psychedelic drugs
  27. Volitional command – directing movement or operation of the body or inner vehicle
  28. Volitional suspension – turning off the operation of the body or inner vehicle
  29. Repose in Being or Voidness (Nirvanic dwelling) holding the attention in inner voidness
  30. Dialog – inner dialog with a subpersonality, major integrating center (ego, Self) or spiritual essence (attentional principle, spirit, or Soul)
  31. Communion – inner dialog with a spiritual Guide, with the Holy Spirit, an angel, or the Divine
  32. Inspiration or channeling (active) – receiving telepathic information from a guide, the Holy Spirit, an angel, the Divine, capturing it by writing or speaking
  33. Inspiration or channeling (passive) – receiving telepathic communication from a guide, the Holy Spirit, an angel, or the Divine, and simply remembering it
  34. Being present as the fullness of Being (darshan) – revealing your inmost, eternal nature
  35. Grace-Bestowing – radiating Light or Shakti from the presence of Being (Shaktipat)

We suggest that seekers will benefit from becoming familiar with each of these other types of meditation and their uses. No more than you would use only a hammer to do a variety of household repair tasks, neither should you have only one or two meditation “tools” at your disposal to carry out inner work. It would be superior to have a wide variety of tools to permit you to do exactly what you need to do for personal and spiritual development— this is what you learn in the Mudrashram® system of Integral meditation.

In the Introduction to Meditation Program, you learn techniques 1, 3, 4, 6, 9. 29, and 30.

In the Accelerated Meditation Program, you learn techniques 1, 3, 4,6,7, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 29, and 30.

In the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation, you learn techniques 1, 2, 3, 10, 12, 12, 13, 15, 15, 19, 21, and 31.

Concerning Transformational Imagination

By George A. Boyd ©2023

Q: Isn’t spiritual work just imagination and none of this is real?

A: Genuine spiritual work is the activity of transformational imagination. To understand what this is, it is important to look at the spectrum of imagination:

Sensory imagination – This is the ability to manipulate three-dimensional objects in space through visualization. Architects visualize a building; scientists imagine what a dinosaur looked like; designers mock up a finished product; game designers picture a virtual reality scenario.

Desire-laden imagination – This experiences the native language of the unconscious mind, which is called fantasy. These are elements of the unconscious that are not allowed expression in human life; they have not been integrated, so they operate in the background of normal awareness. The unconscious includes emotionally charged elements such as fear, anger, shame, guilt, hated, envy, jealousy, grief, lust, greed, addictive craving, attachment, and narcissism—these are called the passions.

Psychotherapy works with people to uncover and integrate intrapsychic elements of this type of imagination through a variety of evocative techniques.

Recovery groups also have people work on elements that arise from this level of the mind that are relevant to their addiction.

Goal-oriented imagination – This is the ability to visualize the outcome of goals. These visions of the future powerfully motivate behavior and substand the drive to succeed at the level of the personality. Goal-oriented imagination is also referred to as a personal dream of what someone wants to achieve.

Metaphysical imagination – This is the ability to imagine what a spiritual state of being may be like. This type of imagines what heaven would be like, how they might be when they reach a certain state of consciousness, and what it would be like to have certain spiritual powers.

This type of imagination is highly speculative, and overvalues and distorts the objects of its speculation. This type is also called glamour. It is commonly associated with the Psychic Realm.

Religious imagination – This type of imagination attempts to interpret scriptures and religious ideas without gaining insight into the actual meaning of what these sources communicate. In Christianity, for example, it generates elaborate fantasies about the Second Coming of the Savior, the Rapture, the Last Judgment, visions of the future (eschatology), and the subjugation of society to its religious dominion and demand for global adoption of its values and beliefs.

Without the development of discernment, this type of imagination can readily degenerate into distorted and paranoid beliefs that give rise to conspiracy theories.

This type is commonly associated with groups that identify with the Moon Soul nucleus of identity in the First Exoteric Planetary Initiation.

Creative imagination – This is the expression of the gifts of the Soul through the personality. This is usually associated with artistic media, literature, and invention, but it can express in other areas like cooking, interior design, gardening, and comedy. The ability to share the gifts of the Soul has been called talent, genius, or giftedness.

Transformational imagination – This type of imagination is based on the ability of the attentional principle to visualize and use intention to engage in inner work to generate transformation of the ensouling entity, to travel in full consciousness on the inner Planes, to make attunements for healing and guiding, and to perform spiritual ministry and initiation.

Because this type of imagination cannot be empirically verified, it is often portrayed as fantasy or self-delusion. In actuality, it is the foundation of genuine spiritual development. Students of Integral meditation are trained to activate and utilize this type of imagination, which enables them to fully actualize their spiritual potentials.

We suggest that developing sensory imagination, goal-oriented imagination, creative imagination, and transformational imagination will help you actualize your personal and spiritual potentials. Moreover, it will be valuable for you to have tools to work with the issues arising from desire-laden imagination, and to develop your wisdom and discernment so you are not entrapped in the illusions and delusions of metaphysical and religious imagination.

Those who wish to learn how to use the methods of transformational imagination that activate your attentional principle can start this process in our intermediate courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation or the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.

The Seven Tracks through the Lower Astral Plane

By George A. Boyd ©2022

In the spiritual evolutionary journey through the Subtle Realm, each Soul Spark must face the challenges of the Lower Astral Plane, which is located just beyond the top of the Middle Subtle Bands of the Continuum. Each one is tested with the great temptations; some are able to escape from this dark realm; some become entrapped; and some some become involved with the Occult Adepts who rule this realm. This article was written in response to a question about what happens to the individuals who must cross this Plane.

Q: Does everyone in the Lower Astral have to enter the Occult Mystery Schools?

A: Once the Soul Spark has reached the Hermit stage in the Lower Astral Plane—after having overcome the temptations of the Chemical Snare, the Sexual Snare, the Criminal Snare, the Political Powers and Corruption Snare, and the Spiritual Slavery Snare bands of this dark realm—the Soul Spark may enter one of seven tracks:

Track one – The Soul Spark ascends through the Occult Mystery School on its Ray. This track leads individuals to become high occult initiates or even an Occult Adept.

Track two – The Soul Spark elects to renounce the Lower Astral. On this track, the Soul Spark moves beyond Satan in the Occult Hierarchy and continues to develop in the highest levels of the Lower Astral Plane to the Light of Renunciation at the threshold of the Subtle Illumined Mind.

Track three – The Soul Spark is translated directly into the Subtle Illumined Mind, and its karma is moved upstream into the Planetary. [The Multiplane Masters of Mudrashram® use this track for Mudrashram® students, who reach the doorway to the Lower Astral Plane.]

Track four – The Soul Spark elects to remain at the station of the Hermit and renounce further progress. It acts as a spiritual counselor or a therapist to assist others makes it through the bands of the Lower Astral snares.

Track five – The Soul Spark does not advance into either the Occult Mystery Schools or the track of Liberation, but rather, it remains where it is. It acts as an emissary of an Occult Adept to assist carry out the project on which the occult initiate is working.

Track six – The Soul Spark feels led to engage in a religious service that worships Satan. They do not advance on either the Mystery School or Liberation track, but they work with established Lower Astral religious organizations to set up formal religious services and to carry out occult or magical rituals.

Track seven – The Soul Spark disseminates occult information through videos, radio shows, podcasts, public talks, articles, and books. In this posture, the Soul Spark does not advance into either the Occult Mystery Schools or the track of Liberation, but remains where it is to act as mouthpiece for Occult and Magical teachings. There have been some popular writers, philosophers, and media personalities who operate on this track.

For the Soul Spark to enter the Occult Mystery Schools: it must have a powerful desire to do so—and it must choose and affirm that it chooses to do so. The Soul Spark then undergoes a series of tests; if it passes these challenges, it is admitted to the Occult Mystery School on its Ray.

How prevalent are these alternate tracks?

  • Perhaps no more than one out of fifteen—about seven percent—of those who reach the Hermit stage of development, opt to enter the Mystery Schools.
  • In contrast, about eighty four percent choose the Liberation track.
  • The remaining nine percent are about evenly divided between the occult counselor, the occult emissary, the occult apostle, and the occult communicator.

We discuss these Subplanes of the Lower Astral in the Mudrashram® Correspondence Course. We encourage those who are sojourning through the Middle Subtle Realm familiarize themselves about the major landmarks of this dark realm.

We also suggest that those who have advanced into the Planetary also become familiar with this realm, to assist those who may be trapped there, and show them how they can escape from this realm’s hypnotic spell.