From Mindfulness to Depth Meditation

By George A. Boyd ©2017

The current cultural fascination with mindfulness does not understand cultivating mindfulness as a preparation for the deeper work of depth meditation. This article will briefly explain the differences between the two, how mindfulness is achieved, the levels of preparing for mindfulness and the levels of depth meditation, and how enlightenment states of mind that some teachers highlight do not produce transformation of the spiritual evolutionary potentials that permit you to ascend to Mastery and Liberation.

Differences between Mindfulness and Depth Meditation

You achieve initial mindfulness when your attention collects into a sphere (e.g., concentrates), and you become conscious and present. This state is the precursor to depth meditation.

Depth meditation involves moving your collected attention along the thread of consciousness to contemplate focal points within the vehicles of consciousness that operate at different layers of your mind. Depth meditation enables you to focus your attention upon discrete objects of meditation and become aware of them. These objects of meditation include:

  • Personal identification centers – your ego, and your Self at the nucleus of your personality
  • Identification centers of the Superconscious mind – your nuclei of identity
  • The immortal essences of consciousness – your attentional principle, your spirit, and your Soul
  • The form of a spiritual Master you encounter in the Superconscious mind – the radiant Guide form
  • The Universal Consciousness – the Divine, God, or the Universal Self

Aspirants need to understand that achieving mindfulness is the necessary foundation for depth meditation, but does not produce the actual movement of attention that marks the process of depth meditation.

The present time monitoring that aspirants learn through mindfulness practice allows them to become aware of the content of the level of the mind where their attention is focused, but does not emphasize selecting an alternate focal point for attentional monitoring.

Depth meditation enables the identification of discrete focal points in different vehicles of consciousness, whereas mindfulness only notes content as it is arising, without any context or recognition of the level of the mind from which the content is arising.

Mindfulness has a special strength in that it allows you to process through mental content and transcend it, but it does not emphasize processing material from layers of the unconscious at other bands of the mind—so while you may process through the issue at the level of the waking state of awareness, you might not remove the impressions for this issue at deeper strata of the mind.

Seven Methods to Achieve Mindfulness

There are seven major ways to achieve mindfulness. We suggest there is not one way to achieve the state of initial mindfulness—based on observing the perceptual substratum of attention across the Seven Rays—but several different pathways.

Those aspirants who are having difficulties collecting their attention and becoming present should try each of these seven methods to discover which ones enable them to reach the initial state of mindfulness. These seven methods are shown below.

  1. Direct concentration of the attention using intention (Tratakam)
  2. Absorption in the breath using a full inhalation
  3. Discerning the centers (chakras) below the waking state of awareness, and shifting awareness until it is focused in the medulla center
  4. Using body scan, and processing through the issues held in the body to disengage attention from the issues and free it to rise into the state of mindfulness
  5. Using a mantra coordinated with a quick sniff breath to collect attention (the Hansa Breath)
  6. Absorbing attention in sensory currents through Laya techniques for the visual track (Jyoti Laya), the auditory track (Shabda Laya), and the combined gustatory and olfactory track (Amrita Laya)
  7. Absorption of attention through movement or postures, such as Hatha Yoga or martial arts poses

We teach methods one through six in our meditation classes. We encourage you to become familiar with all seven methods for achieving mindfulness.

The Spectrum – from Mindlessness to Full God Consciousness

The stages of achieving mindfulness and its subsequent progression into depth meditation are shown below.

Stage zero to eight marks the progression from mindlessness (also called ignorance or Avidya) to initial mindfulness.

Stage nine through sixteen comprises the journey of attention along the thread of consciousness in depth meditation.

  • Stage 0 – (Mindlessness) Here you act out unconscious passions of lust, rage, attachment, greed, ignorance, or arrogance without awareness that you are doing this.
  • Stage 1 – You become aware that you are acting out of unconscious patterns.
  • Stage 2 – You place your attention on the issue and make initial contact, and may recognize it (e.g., this is my anger), but you do not enter into its stream of impressions.
  • Stage 3 – You place your attention on the issue and you begin to become aware of its thought impressions arising in the present time.
  • Stage 4 – You place your attention on the issue and you begin to uncover its core beliefs and justifications.
  • Stage 5 – You place your attention on the issue and you begin to become aware of its core desire and craving.
  • Stage 6 – Your attention transcends the issue and becomes focused at the point between the eyebrows.
  • Stage 7 – (Concentration) Your attention collects into a sphere.
  • Stage 8 – (Initial mindfulness) You become conscious and present at the medulla center in the waking state of awareness.
  • Stage 9 – (Initial meditation) You move your collected attention along the thread of consciousness, contemplate selected focal points of the Conscious, Subconscious, and Metaconscious mind, and notice the content arising from that level.
  • Stage 10 – (Purusa Dhyan) Your attention focuses upon the attentional principle and activates it: you awaken as the attentional principle.
  • Stage 11 – (Surat Dhyan) Your attention focuses upon your spirit and activates it: you awaken as the spirit.
  • Stage 12 – (Manasa Dhyan) Your attention focuses upon the vehicles of consciousness in your Superconscious mind and the nuclei of identity embedded in them, and activates these centers: you awaken the abilities, knowledge, wisdom, and altruistic emotions anchored at these levels.
  • Stage 13 – (Enlightened mind) Your attention focuses upon the wave of the present time on the Akashic Aether; you become aware of your Soul’s thoughts and intention arising in the present time, generating a dynamic vortex of creation.
  • Stage 14 – (Adi Atma Dhyan) Your attention focuses upon the Soul and activates it: you awaken the Divine Atom within the Soul and experience Gnosis.
  • Stage 15 – (Guru Dhyan) Your attention focuses on the guide form of the Master that supervises your spiritual development and you receive guidance and instruction from him or her.
  • Stage 16 – (Bhagwan Dhyan) – Your guide leads your attention into the presence of the Divine and you gain conscious union (Samadhi) with the Universal Self.

In addition to training students in different methods to establish initial mindfulness (stage 8), we teach a methodical practice of contemplating each major focal point in the Conscious, Subconscious, and Metaconscious mind (stage 9, Initial Meditation) in our Introduction to Meditation class, which is designed for those who have never meditated before.

We reveal the methods for awakening the three immortal essences—the attentional principle (stage 10), the spirit (stage 11), and the Soul (stage 14)—in our intermediate classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.

We show you how to contemplate your Superconscious identity centers, called nuclei of identity (stage 12); to commune with the spiritual guide (stage 15); and to travel into the Presence of God (stage 16) in the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation.

Achieving mindfulness is like stepping into the ocean of the mind at the shore, but depth meditation shows you how to cross that ocean. We invite you to progress beyond the preparatory technique of collecting your attention and establishing conscious presence—mindfulness—to the mastery of the practice of depth meditation, which you can learn in Mudrashram®.

From Enlightenment to Initiation

There are several popular teachers who train aspirants to move from initial mindfulness to the two stages of “enlightened consciousness,” the wave of the present time (stage 13) and union with the Soul, with conscious awareness of the Divine Atom within you (stage 14). These practices activate the abilities of the Superconscious mind; tap the Soul’s intuitional stream; unites your attention with the Soul’s unconditional love and compassion; and absorbs your attention in the bliss of the Soul—but they do not move the Soul closer to the Source.

Enlightenment means that you unite with the Soul inside of you and gain access to its knowledge, compassion, and abilities. But you do not move the Soul; it remains where it is.

Initiation means you move the Soul along its track through each nodal point of the Way until it reaches Mastery and Liberation. This adds new abilities to the Soul’s repertoire; expands its sphere of intuitive knowledge, wisdom, and love; and deepens its bliss.

Initiation can be experienced actively or passively.

Active Initiation occurs when you use a transformational method to draw down the Light of Spirit to unfold the Soul. [We teach this method of a transformational mantra keyed to your Soul in our intermediate courses.]

Passive Initiation occurs when you receive attunement from an Initiate (e.g., a spiritual Master), who actively unfolds your spiritual potentials. [We give these attunements in our bi-monthly Light Sittings, which our intermediate and advanced students are eligible to attend.]

We acknowledge that many aspirants do not feel ready for the work of depth meditation, immersion in the enlightened states of mind, or core transformation. But when you do feel ready to move beyond the practice of mindfulness to these deeper levels of spiritual work, Mudrashram® is here to assist you.

What Transformation Do You Offer in Mudrashram

By George A. Boyd © 2017

Q: Let me ask you Oprah Winfrey’s question: “What transformation do you offer?”

A: We offer five types of transformation in Mudrashram®.

  1. Soul transformation – We teach others to speed up their spiritual evolution and to unfold their Soul. They do this through using a transformational mantra and Light Immersion that we teach them.
  2. Individual spirit transformation – We teach others to awaken their spiritual heart and travel in the channels of the Nada until the spirit returns to its Divine Source. They achieve this through practicing Nada Yoga.
  3. Spiritual form transformation – We teach others how to activate each of their vehicles of consciousness and to bring their intellectual, creative, spiritual potentials into full expression. They learn how to do this though meditating on the forms as they tune up in synchrony with the unfoldment of the Soul using Raja Yoga, and raising the Kundalini into union with the Soul.
  4. Perceptual transformation – We teach others to shift their attention to activate their three immortal principles—attentional principle, spirit, and Soul—and how to move attention into the states of Enlightenment and Gnosis.
  5. Transformation through empowerment and skill acquisition – In addition to teaching others to work on themselves spiritually to accelerate spiritual evolution, bring about spiritual salvation, and actualize their spiritual potentials, we also teach them practical skills to work on their personality. We show them a variety of techniques to access the Subconscious, Metaconscious, and Superconscious mind. These methods assist them to actualize their goals, overcome their obstacles, and to rehabilitate their ability to be effective and achieve results.

While the first four types are experienced immediately, and progressively unfold your spiritual potentials with each new meditation that targets that aspect of being, the fifth type is ongoing and developmental.

For example, if you want to achieve your goals, there are several steps to translate them into action:

  1. Inventory – You find out what you truly want through inner process and introspection.
  2. Identify priorities – You ascertain which of your desires are essential for you to live a full and meaningful life. You recognize your key desires that make your life worthwhile, and label them as “A” priority.
  3. Path – You determine what actions you will need to take to make these core desires become real. You clearly define this as a goal you wish to achieve.
  4. Plan – You break down the actions into a step-by-step plan.
  5. Action – You work on the first step and make incremental progress towards your goal.
  6. Ongoing feedback – You notice what hinders your forward progress towards your goal, and find solutions to overcome those hindrances, and implement them. You focus on what is working and continue to make progress in that aspect of your plan. You continue to monitor what is and what is not working.
  7. Attainment – You finish the last step and attain what you have wanted to be, have, do, or experience. This successful achievement of one of your goals allows you to operate on a new plateau for this area of your life.

We discuss this process of goal setting and achievement in greater depth in our book, The Practical Applications of Meditation in Daily Life and Education.

For overcoming obstacles, there are similarly steps to work on each issue that hinders your forward progress and achievement of success. We noted in step six of goal achievement that you need to identify what holds you back or what you encounter that is difficult. For each obstacle, there are a variety of methods you can use to engage with it and resolve it.

  1. Identify the issue – Get clear as to what exactly your issue entails. Is it a lack of belief? Resources? Support? Lack of knowledge? Is it external or internal?
  2. Interact with the issue – For internal problems that are getting in the way, dialog with the issue as it is personified in your mind as a subpersonality. Use dialog and inquiry methods like the Rainbow Technique that we teach to find out more about the issue.
  3. Process the issue – You trace where this issue originated using process meditation, which we teach. You uncover what emotions, beliefs, perceptions, or choices hold it in place, again through process meditation, or through one of our evocative methods called the Mandala method, which allows you to gain insight into the layers of your issue.
  4. Go to the core – Focus your attention upon the issue and experience what it is like to be this part of you. Focus on its shape or form, its core feeling, and location in your body. Use the Rainbow Technique to uncover its core essence—what it is really.
  5. Transcend the issue – Lift your attention into the wave of the present time, and contemplate this issue from the perspective of your enlightened Soul. Process and release the issue as it arises into this enlightened state of awareness.
  6. Re-choose and re-create – From the Soul’s perspective of empowerment, choose a new outcome, scenario, belief, or possibility. Use reframing, affirmation, faith, and affirmation—view it in a new way that enables you to change.
  7. Dissolve and integrate the issue through transformation – When you complete your inner work with the issue, you experience transformation and integration. Genuine personal transformation dissolves the issue, so its pattern ceases to operate, and a new, more positive pattern replaces it: you change. The latent abilities, wisdom, and strengths that were buried in the issue become reintegrated into the Self, and you can function in new ways: you integrate the issue.

We teach these methods to work with personal issues in our intermediate courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation, and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.

To be effective and achieve results, you undergo the process of learning and developing a skill to the point of mastery. This developmental process has several steps:

  1. You begin to learn the skill – You learn the theory about the skill. You practice the skill. You make mistakes, and correct them.
  2. Habit formation – You practice the skill until you can do it automatically: it becomes a habit.
  3. Innovation – You find ways to improve your performance of the skill. You use inquiry (what if) and experimentation to see if you can do it better. You may seek the assistance of a coach or mentor to help you improve your results at this stage.
  4. Gain insight – You discover the core components of the skill, and enhance your ability to utilize the skill, so that you excel and achieve peak performance in it.
  5. Mentor others – using the insights you have gained, you teach others how to use the skill. You might teach a class or write a book at this stage. You become an expert.
  6. Challenge yourself – Continue to set higher benchmarks and work until you can achieve them.
  7. Become a master of the skill – At this stage, you clear the channel of this ability to your Soul. Once this occurs, your Soul can express its gifts and genius through you, and you become an instrument of the Soul’s purpose.

You develop proficiency and mastery of skills through long practice, obtaining mentoring and coaching, and the process of continually motivating yourself to extend this ability. You achieve this mastery by focusing your attention upon this skill track and exploring whether you can do it better, what are the key elements of the skill, and continually aspiring to discover what greater demonstration of this skill is possible.

In Mudrashram®, we assist our students to gain mastery of meditation, but this basic framework applies to any skill that is a core part of your career and your life’s mission. We help our students gain mastery of meditation through training them in introductory, intermediate, and advanced meditation classes, supplemented with books, webinars, and additional courses to help them gain the deepest insight and proficiency in meditation—this ultimately readies them to teach and initiate others.