By George A. Boyd © 2011
For some meditators, when they contact the Soul through dialog and receptive meditation, the Soul sits silently like a sphinx—knowing, in its impenetrable mystery, the secrets of the Ages, but not revealing them. This occurs because the Soul has not activated the intuitional stream, which manifests through the thalamic center; and the octave of speech that communicates the Soul’s insights (satsang), which operates through the throat center.
Once the Soul begins to communicate, meditators often find that the Soul’s profound insights are highly abstract and vague, like cotton candy. To spin down this cognitive fuzziness into something that is concrete and useable, there are several steps that you can take.
Step One – Use a Journal. Write down whatever your Soul tells you verbatim. Write down anything you saw in meditation; anything you heard in meditation.
Step Two – Drive the process of gathering information. Once you have some initial output from the Soul, drill down to greater clarity by asking it pointed questions that elaborate and clarify these abstract concepts.
For example, if the Soul says, “be more loving,” you might ask the Soul, “In what ways do you suggest I be more loving?” “Are you suggesting I change my behavior? If so in what ways?” “In what specific instances am I being not loving, and what might it look like for me to be more loving?”
Write down these more specific responses, if they are forthcoming.
Step Three – Expand upon these initial insights. Take the initial abstract concepts and use reflective meditation.
Use the little sun technique on vague concepts, to flesh them out. Extend any unclear extensions with mind mapping.
If the Soul points out to you a character weakness, e.g., “you are too lazy,” do the mandala method to explore this.
If the Soul uses the future tense regarding one of its fuzzy suggestions, such as “you will become wealthy,” use the stepping-stones method to discover the next steps to obtain wealth.
Step Four – Wax philosophical. Use philosophical and process-style inquiry to further elaborate these ideas, so that you examine (a) their meaning; (b) how these are expressed by different people, who might be an example of how it has been operationalized; (c) how you might implement the idea in your own life; (d) what might be the consequences of implementing this idea on your self, your family, your work, your community, and the world; (e) noting the pros and cons of carrying it out, (f) noticing your willingness and reticence towards carrying it out, and exploring the rationale for each position, and (g) notice if you feel ready to make a decision to act on it.
Step Five – Make a plan. Once you have decided to operationalize the Soul’s idea, you will break it into specific behavioral sequences. Set each behavioral sequence into a time frame; set a deadline for the accomplishment of each behavioral sequence. Develop some contingency or fallback plans in case things do not work out as you have planned for each behavioral sequence, and specify one or two alternate ways you might accomplish this objective.
Step Six – Check back in. Review the plan with your Soul, to see if (a) you have correctly captured the essence of its request, (b) whether you have its permission and support to carry out the plan at this time, [or if not at this time, when it is to commence] (c) whether there is anything else that you are not considering that you need to add to your plan, (d) what will be the marker that the plan has been accomplished successfully, (e) what will be the consequences for not succeeding in the plan, (f) asking for its blessings and empowerment to move the plan forward, and (g) asking it to give you the “go” signal.
Step Seven – Make It So. Once you have clarified and operationalized what you Soul wants, you have made a plan to operationalize it, you have checked in and gotten the go-ahead from the Soul, then act on it. Your action actualizes, or makes real, the abstract, ideal concept the Soul has given you.
If you will use this process of capturing and concretizing the information that your Soul gives you, you will be able to translate the abstract idea you have received from your Soul into (a) something you understand, and (b) something you can act on that has clear objectives. Your milling of the rough diamonds of your Soul’s insights into the finished jewels of knowledge and purpose-driven action will bring your Soul’s purpose into manifestation in your life.
We teach the Little Sun Method and mind mapping and the Stepping-Stones Method in our intermediate meditation programs, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.
Those who have completed one of these programs can learn more about philosophical and process style inquiry in our book, The Fundamentals of Meditation. Also available to intermediate course completers is a complete program on developing a personal and spiritual journal called The Mudrashram® Home Study Workbook.