By George A. Boyd © 2018
To begin the process of meditation, you need to collect your attention at the waking state of awareness. This initial state of collection of your mind-stuff into a sphere, coupled with the sense that you are conscious and present, has been called mindfulness.
This state of mindfulness is the precursor to monitoring your present time experience (Vipassana); absorption of your attention in the currents of breath, inner sight, and inner sound (Laya); and moving your attention along the thread of consciousness and contemplating the content at each focal point (Dhyana). So learning to collect your attention is the first step in meditation.
There are a variety of methods to collect your attention. Some of the methods that people use to become established in that state include:
- Take a series of deep, slow breaths
- Use the sniff breath, or Hansa breath [we teach this method]
- Concentration, simply collect your attention at a single point
- Mentally (with your attention) repeat a mantra like OM
- Note the changes that occur in your awareness as you just sit—this is Vipassana performed at the waking state of awareness
- Practice sense withdrawal methods such as absorbing attention in the breath, or the visual or auditory channels
- Visualize the globe of mind-stuff is seated in an eight petalled lotus at the medulla center
There is no best way to collect your attention. You simply need to find a method that works for you. Then you can progress to the deeper stages of meditation.
While focusing your attention and entering the state of conscious presence and inner alertness (mindfulness) is the first step in meditation, the next step is interiorization—moving your attention to deeper levels of the mind.If you have not meditated before, you may have not experienced interiorization, and your attention has remained at the waking state of consciousness.
When you contemplate a focal point along the thread of consciousness, you witness the content of that level originating and arising at that level of the mind. For example, in the waking state of consciousness, you may become aware that something you watch on You Tube or Facebook makes you angry—these feelings come into your waking awareness like waves wash up onto a beach.
When you contemplate the feeling center of the Conscious mind, however, you notice the feeling originate in this center, and then pass away. This is like you were on a surf board far enough out from the beach that you could observe the wave arising, breaking, and flowing onto the shore.
There is a structured contemplation exercise on our Open Stacks page called “How to Open Your Own Third Eye.” This lists many of the common focal points of the Conscious and the lower and middle bands of the Subconscious mind.To gain context on where these focal points are on the thread of consciousness, you may wish to read our article in Open Stacks, “The Great Continuum of Consciousness.”
If you have never meditated before or you have attempted to meditate and have been unsuccessful, you may wish to consider taking the Introduction to Meditation Program, which trains you to contemplate and explore key focal points in your Conscious, Subconscious, and Metaconscious mind, and trains you to recognize your Soul in the Superconscious mind.This is a good place to start in your progressive mastery of meditation.
Mindfulness is the first step on the ladder of meditation. The other steps include:
- Interiorization – You reach this level when you can move your attention along the thread of consciousness to contemplate and observe the functioning of the mind at different focal points.
- Hypnotic inner work – When you reach this level of ability, you can consciously move your attention to a selected level of the mind and give suggestions. At this level, you can guide and direct your astral body to access different bands of the mind.
- Conscious awakening – At this level you awaken as the three immortal principles, the attentional principle, the spirit, and the Soul.This confers rebirth and activates these essences. This readies you to perform inner work.
- Activation and transformation – You become capable of doing this when your attentional principle and your spirit can learn the methods to unfold the Soul, travel in full consciousness through the higher Planes, to open the channels of the Nada, to activate you Soul’s intuition, and awaken the energy of awareness (Kundalini), and to direct the Light Fire within the Soul to make attunements.
- Higher octave development – Through transformation, you awaken your spiritual potentials at progressively higher octaves of being— Subtle, Planetary, Transplanetary, Cosmic, Supracosmic, and Transcendental bands of the Continuum of Consciousness [These levels of the Continuum are described in “The Great Continuum of Consciousness” article cited above.]
- Empowerment and ministry – At the highest levels of development, you are trained and empowered to teach, guide, and initiate others and/or perform spiritual ministry.
You learn about the (1) process of interiorization in the Introduction to Meditation Program. We train you in steps (2) to (4) in our intermediate meditation programs, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and the online Accelerated Meditation Program. You learn about step (5) in the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation. You access step (6) in our teacher training programs when you reach the seventh stage of spirituality, and begin your ascension on the Bridge Path.
If you seek our support to learn meditation and move through each of these steps, we encourage you to sign up for a free consultation and discover if we can help you reach your spiritual and personal objectives.