By George A. Boyd ©2022
Q: In the Introduction to Meditation program, you frame mindfulness as tool for monitoring the contents of consciousness arising in the present time. Does mindfulness have other uses?
A: Mindfulness begins with the collection of attention, so it is present and inwardly alert. Then it can be focused on the content arising in the present time from the different levels of the Conscious mind. This monitoring of present time experience can be performed at any of the focal points of the Conscious mind. For example:
- Waking state of consciousness (Body scan)
- Movement center (Walking meditations)
- Sensorium (Heightened awareness of sensory experience—sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch)
- Deep body awareness (releasing sensations of pain or physical discomfort)
- Feeling center (working with emotions arising in the present time—used in psychotherapy)
- Mental center (observing thoughts in the present time)
- Ego (observing the different roles of the ego organized under discrete “I am” statements)
- Preconscious (observing the content of the Subconscious mind that enters conscious awareness)
A deeper function of mindfulness comes into play when attention is applied to not simply monitor the content that arises in the present time, but to actually process the content. Here attention notes the content, releases it, and moves to a deeper layer of the mind. It sinks down into a deeper stratum of the mind that lies just behind the content that arises at the surface.
This processing function of mindfulness has been called Vipassana. This uncovering through process can be performed on different types of mental experience. For example:
- You can uncover the core of physical pain in the body and release it.
- You can move through an emotional issue that is locked in the body and work it out.
- You can sink to the core of confusion and find clarity.
- You can encounter a block or obstacle in the mind that keeps you from going deeper meditation and you can break through it.
- You can interface with a subpersonality in your unconscious mind and transform or dissolve it.
- You can travel across an entire segment of your unconscious mind and reach the Light of Liberation beyond it.
- You can trace a karmic impression in your causal body to find the karmic seed at its origin.
We train students in both functions of mindfulness in our meditation classes.
- You learn the monitoring functions of mindfulness in the Introduction to Meditation program.
- We introduce the processing function in our intermediate meditation courses—the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program. In our intermediate courses, you learn the technique of Physical Vipassana, where you are able to sink deeper into the body to ultimately have a breakthrough experience and lift up into the voidness of consciousness of the state of being; you also learn to interface with a subpersonality using the Rainbow Technique.
- In the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation, you learn to travel across the unconscious mind to the other side using the Yoganidra method.
Mindfulness in its monitoring and processing aspects is a powerful tool for meditation. We suggest it will be beneficial for you to learn how to perform these different applications of mindfulness.