The Gentle Art of Concretizing the Soul’s Insights

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.

On Making Resolutions

The Gentle Art of Making Resolutions and Making Them Come True

By George A. Boyd © 2018

As we again come to the turning of a new year, you may be making new resolutions that you hope to accomplish in the the coming 12 months of 2019. It is a common experience for people to set resolutions, and not follow though on them, despite their best intentions.

It is important to understand the mechanism through which you actually carry out a resolution. This process starts with getting an idea of what you want to change or implement in your life. If you are clear about the exact process through which you turn an idea into reality—which we call concretizing ideas—you can begin to actualize your resolutions and produce the change that you want.

I have written on this topic, and I share it with you here:

Concretizing Ideas

By George A. Boyd © 2017

It is relatively easy to get an idea. You can brainstorm. You can get a tip from someone. You can listen to advice from a friend or relative. You can read something in a book or on the Internet.

Ideas are plentiful. There is no shortage of ideas. Maybe there is a plethora of ideas in the world, with so many opinions and no one seems to agree what is the right idea is to solve your problem.

But in spite of this, you have settled on an idea that you believe will solve your problem; something you believe is a workable solution to your dilemma. But how do you run with this idea? How do you turn it into action?

  1. You first need a vision of how you will implement it.
  2. You examine alternate ways to implement it.
  3. You select the best alternative, based on your research and the information that you have.
  4. You set a goal to achieve it.
  5. You make a step-by-step plan to implement it.
  6. You make a commitment to the plan and determine you will do whatever is necessary to make it happen.
  7. You take action, working on the first step of your plan.
  8. You monitor the effects of your actions, and you adjust your course if necessary.
  9. You arrive at your goal. You have made your idea real.
  10. You measure your effectiveness in achieving this goal and look for ways to improve on your performance and your product.

People typically get stuck at steps one, six, and eight.

People get stuck at step one when they don’t know how to do it. This requires that they learn how to do it.

They get stuck at step six because they have lingering doubts, and they can’t make a commitment to their goal. So they procrastinate.

They get stuck at step eight when things go wrong or are don’t go as expected. They often give up here.

Think on these steps and see if you can take an idea and bring it to fruition and make it real. The more you do this, the more effective you become at translating ideas into reality.

Think about what you do that sabotages your resolutions year after year. Try using this ten step process and see if you aren’t able to actually carry out your resolutions this year.