Eight Meditation Themes

By George A. Boyd © 2022

Q: People meditate, but they don’t appear to have a similar experience. Can you shed some light on why this might happen?

A: Depending on what pathway you are focusing your attention, it evokes different content from the Higher Mind. Here are eight major meditation themes you might encounter:

  1. Direction – In this theme, you receive guidance for action. This comes from the Soul communicating its purpose to the personality. In advanced disciples and Initiates, they may receive the impress of the Divine Will (Agya). This is associated with the First Ray, which taps into the Will Stream.
  2. Visualization – In this type, you obtain an image or seed thought upon which you contemplate. This might appear as an image that will help you focus your attention on a spiritual essence—attentional principle, spirit, nucleus of identity, or ensouling entity. Sometimes, this might employ revealing a mystery that veils a spiritual essence. This Second Ray meditation theme draws from the Intuitive Wisdom Stream.
  3. The Wellspring of Love – This type opens into the virtue, unconditional love, and compassion of the Soul. It is associated with Agni Yoga, which sends healing attunements, and Nada Yoga, in which the spirit travels back upon the tracks of the Nada and unites with the Divine Beloved through love. Loving kindness meditation and meditations that enhance virtue and improve character also access this pathway. This alternative Second Ray meditation draws from the Love Stream.
  4. Inspired Discourse – This explains spiritual ideas to promote insight and understanding. It may also act as a voice over in guided meditation, which leads attention into union with a selected spiritual essence. This Third Ray pathway channels the Vocal Stream.
  5. Experience – This views the present time unfolding of life at different levels, and becomes fully aware of the content of the mind, wherever attention is focused. Mindfulness and Vipassana enters this track, and allows you to be aware of your present time experience; Raja Yoga moves attention along this inner corridor through the levels of the mind and lets you become aware of the content at each focal point. This Fourth Ray immersion in experience leads your attention upon the Thread of Consciousness.
  6. Analysis – This carefully studies spiritual forms or vehicles of consciousness to reveal their structure and function. It identifies the major landmarks and content of the Continuum of Consciousness through the four bands of the mind. The Mudrashram® Correspondence Course utilizes this approach. This Fifth Ray path of study contemplates Form and Structure.
  7. Invocation – This calls upon a spiritual being—an angel, a spiritual guide, a god or goddess, or a form of the Divine—to fulfill a fervent desire, to ensure success in an endeavor, or to receive Grace, Blessings, or Divine Comfort. This Sixth Ray aspiration activates the Thread of Faith.
  8. Synthesis – This ties together disparate insights or revelations to create comprehensive understanding: it constructs a global picture that places each idea or insight into an ordered context. This Seventh Ray perspective draws upon the Intuitive Thread (Antakarana).

These eight different meditation approaches evoke different aspects of the Higher Mind. Different systems of philosophy and meditation emphasize one of these pathways:

  1. The Will Stream is prominent among Karma Yogis, who seek to know the Divine Will and enact it.
  2. The Intuitive Wisdom Stream uses evocative images, spiritual ideas (seed thoughts), metaphors, parables, and stories to spark meditation and inspire contemplation. Many religions and spiritual groups embed parables and stories in their scriptures and their commentaries to provide guidance and inspiration.
  3. The Love Stream taps the healing love of the Divine to awaken the heart. Nada Yogis immerse their spirit into the river of the inner light and sound, and travel back to their Divine Beloved. Agni Yogis taps this everlasting fount of love to minister the Light to others. This immersion in Light awakens the love and devotion of the spiritual heart.
  4. The Vocal Stream gives rise to satsang or preaching. It directly communicates spiritual revelations to teach and guide others.
  5. The Thread of Consciousness is the native track of the attention, and enables the meditator to experience each level of the mind directly. Vipassana and Raja Yoga practitioners interiorize along this pathway.
  6. Contemplation of Form and Structure enables exact knowledge of the forms through which the immortal essences of consciousness—attentional principle, spirit, and ensouling entity—operate. It facilitates the construction of maps of consciousness for each of the levels of the mind. This enhances discernment: it helps you know exactly where you are in meditation.
  7. Awakening the Thread of Faith allows you to remember and commune with selected spiritual beings. Most established religions emphasize this pathway, and adopt some form of prayer and worship to connect with the spiritual source that they invoke. Bhakti Yoga practitioners commonly adopt this approach to worship God and dedicate their lives to serve the Divine.
  8. Contemplation of the Intuitive Thread leads to Enlightenment and Gnosis. The Soul reveals its essential nature and accesses the layers of insights and discoveries it has experienced along its inner journey of spiritual evolution. Jnana Yogis gravitate to this track.

We recommend that aspirants and disciples learn to access each of these eight themes. They can use these pathways to:

  • Get direction
  • Receive ideas for contemplation
  • Become immersed in healing love
  • Tap into spoken words of guidance
  • Directly experience the levels of the mind
  • Study the levels of the mind and the Continuum of Consciousness
  • Call upon the Divine for succor and support
  • Achieve a complete understanding of their station on the Path and realize their Soul

We teach ways to access approaches (2), (3), (5), (6), and (8) in our intermediate meditation courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program. We introduce you to approach (1) and go deeper into approach (8) in our Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation. We invite you to study with us to learn to connect with these different meditation themes.

What is Focal Awareness?

By George A. Boyd © 2021

Focal awareness means your attention is fully focused upon an immortal essence of consciousness—attentional principle, spirit, or ensouling entity. Seven stages mark the attainment of focal awareness:

  1. Nescience – you don’t know the essence exists and you don’t know what and where it is
  2. Conceptual knowledge – you learn about the essence, so you know it exists, but you don’t know what and where it is
  3. Map – you are given a description of the place you find the essence, but you are unable to go there and merge with it.
  4. Remembrance – you locate the essence along the thread of consciousness and you acquire it as a meditation target.
  5. Traveling to it – you move your attention along the thread of consciousness until you come into its presence and you mentally touch it and feel it
  6. Union – you use micro concentration to merge into the essence at its brain center and look out from its perspective
  7. Fusion – you become one with the essence so observer and observed become one. You are the attentional principle, spirit, or ensouling entity and experience what it experiences.

How do you learn focal awareness?

To gain focal awareness, you need to enter stages six and seven.

You achieve stages two and three by reading our articles and books.

In our intermediate meditation classes—the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program—you learn to remember the essence and move your attention into its presence, which enable you to reach stages four and five.

In our advanced meditation class, the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation, you learn about the fine points of gaining union and fusion, which help you experience stages six and seven.

Focal awareness is key to:

  1. Having a depth experience of meditation
  2. Seeing and hearing within
  3. Traveling the Path in full consciousness
  4. Having conscious communion with your guide and Supervising Initiate
  5. Being able to contemplate and study your essences of consciousness, your vehicles of consciousness, and the bands of the Continuum
  6. Consciously carrying out Attunements and spiritual ministry
  7. Performing the work of transformation and experiencing the downpour, feeling your ensouling entity and its vehicles unfold, and sensing your spirit opening the channels of the Nada

If you are having difficulty achieving focal awareness, you may want to schedule a meditation consultation to learn ways to overcome your difficulties identifying and traveling to these spiritual essences, so you can shift into union and fusion. We stand ready to assist you reclaim this core meditation proficiency that will allow you to move into your next level of spiritual experience.

If you don’t know how to reach these spiritual essences and you have never taken our classes where we show you how to focus on them, we recommend that you sign up for the Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation or the Accelerated Meditation Program. If you are not sure whether that is right for you or not, schedule a spiritual discovery session with us.

The Three Threads

By George A. Boyd ©2021

Q: What is the difference between faith, philosophy, and meditation? Do they arrive at the same point ultimately?

A: To understand the difference between these transcendental functions of the mind, you need to become clear about the three threads.

The thread of faith and remembrance – This thread connects with the ego and tracks into the presence of the form of God in the First Mesoteric Initiation—this is the faith aspect of this thread. Then, it connects with each form of the Divine above the First Mesoteric Initiation from the Second Planetary Initiation to the Infinite Stage on the Seventh Transcendental Path—this is the remembrance aspect of this thread. So we believe in God up to the First Initiation; beyond that, we remember God. This is the conduit through which we pray to God.

The intuitive thread (Antakarana) – This is the thread that runs from your brain, through your conscience, your intellect, and the Superconscious mind to the Soul’s consciousness, what we call the Illumined mind. This is the thread that allows you to ask a question and receive an answer. Philosophers, theologians, psychics, and psychologists tap this thread to receive understanding and guidance—this allows you to dialog with your Soul. We teach you to tap into this thread in our training in Jnana Yoga, which we present in our intermediate classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and the online Accelerated Meditation Program.

The thread of consciousness – This thread connects the attention in its ground state through each focal point in every level of the mind—Conscious, Subconscious, Metaconscious, and Superconscious. You access this thread through isolating the attention (mindfulness) and guiding it to travel along this thread to specific locations along this thread. We teach how to accomplish this in the Raja Yoga portion of our intermediate classes.

The cord of faith is primarily emotional; the intuitive thread, mental; and the thread of consciousness, noetic. You use the thread of faith and remembrance when you want God to help you and guide you. You tap the intuitive thread when you want to gain insight and understanding. You travel on the thread of consciousness when you want to have direct experience of the object of your meditation.

We suggest that you need to be able to utilize all three threads effectively, when it is appropriate to use them. You are taught about how to have faith in God or to remember the Divine in your religious training, and how to pray to this Being. We point out that it is also important for you to be able to activate and utilize the other two threads.

Study and explore these three threads. Learn to apply them.

The Six Levels of the Mind Beyond the Brain

By George A. Boyd ©2017

Our modern scientific worldview identifies the mind with the brain. There are, however, six additional orders of mind that dwell beyond this neural surface of cognition. These seven layers of the mind are shown below.

  1. In the waking state of awareness, it appears the mind is the activity of the brain. This is the empirical viewpoint that modern Science holds.
  2. In the next octave of cognition, you activate the astral brain. When this occurs, you become capable of lucid dreaming. Your imagination is enhanced. You are able to do astral travel and remote viewing. You can produce voluntary hypnotic phenomena through giving suggestions to your astral body. You can learn to perform psychic or impressional readings, which gather information not accessible through the physical senses. You become aware of other beings in their astral bodies and of the Astral Planes or worlds of dimension.
  3. At the next octave, you become aware of the lighted area of human consciousness embedded in the matrix of the unconscious mind. You become aware of distinct forms or vehicles of consciousness that have discrete functions that they carry out. You may begin to have experiences of the Kundalini awakening the etheric chakras. You may obtain glimpses of your Higher Self in peak experiences.
  4. At the next order of mind, you become aware that you are attention—a ball of mind-stuff—that observes the activity of the mind and the content of these vehicles of consciousness. You become aware of the thread of consciousness that allows your attention to travel through a series of focal points to deeper bands of the mind. You become capable of mindfulness and contemplation at this stage.
  5. When you move to the next level, you become aware of the Self, which integrates and coordinates the activity of all of the levels of your Conscious, Subconscious, and Metaconscious mind. You discover your volition, which enables you to take charge of your life and create your personal destiny. This is the stage of personal empowerment.
  6. Once you awaken your Superconscious mind, you become aware of the vehicles of consciousness that your Soul has activated. You rise into the vast vista of you your Soul’s consciousness, which grants intuitive knowledge about the vehicles of consciousness you have opened and the bands of the Continuum in which they dwell. It also stirs the unconditional love of the Soul, and the love and devotion of your spirit. It animates the higher abilities of your Soul at each stage of the Superconscious mind that you have opened.
  7. When your mind fully awakens, you realize the essential nature of your Soul and your Illumined Mind becomes fully active. This grants wisdom, understanding, highest discernment, the ability to become aware of every level of the mind (mandalic reasoning), and bestows Gnosis—where the Soul realizes its own true nature.

You normally experience the mind as the brain when your attention dwells in the waking state of awareness. At this level, habit largely governs your functioning.

The astral mind operates during the states of sleep, hypnosis, anesthesia and intoxication, and astral projection. Most people experience this state through dreaming, but have little control over their experience.

You typically tap into the etheric mental helix during deep sleep, when your attention is drawn deep into the unconscious mind. The causal body operates in this state: it consolidates your daily experiences into long-term memory and sets into motion the regenerating and recharging processes of deep sleep. You may also tap into this matrix if you practice hatha yoga, martial arts, or breathing meditations, or if you do exercises to awaken your Kundalini.

The state of inner alertness or mindfulness occurs when you collect your attention and become present at the entrance to the thread of consciousness that travels through all vehicles of the mind. This is the gateway to meditation.

Centering techniques enable you to unite your attention with the Self. This activates the entire personality, and enables your Self to operate its vehicles of consciousness at full efficiency.

You reach into the Superconscious mind through uniting your attention with your intentional consciousness, which we call the attentional principle, through the practice of Raja Yoga. You can learn to raise the Kundalini through the higher vehicles of consciousness of the Superconscious mind and stir then into full activity.

Through the practice of intuitive meditation, Jnana Yoga, you gain discernment and Gnosis. When you achieve the state of Superconscious Illumination, which is called Samadhi, you fully activate your Illumined Mind, which teaches you about the mysteries of the Soul and about matter, energy, mind, and consciousness.

We introduce you to your vehicles of consciousness, traveling along the thread of consciousness, and activating the Self—levels three through five—in our beginning meditation class, the Introduction to Meditation Program. We teach you how to access and awaken levels four through seven in our intermediate classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.

We encourage aspirants to familiarize themselves with these deeper layers of the mind beyond the physical brain. Meditation is the master key to unlock these other zones of the mind veiled to this surface mind of the cerebral cortex. We invite you to learn how to meditate with us, to transcend your brain, and experience these other six levels of the mind.

Uncovering Conscious Experience

Uncovering Conscious Experience beneath Ideas, Beliefs, Opinions, and Values

By George A. Boyd © 2017

One of the challenges of the modern seeker is discovering what is their actual conscious experience apart from the ideas, attitudes, beliefs, opinions, and values that create a secondary conceptual and perceptual filter over their inner witness. The first thing the seeker must do is to differentiate the content that is arising in the mind and to recognize it. The thought things of ideas, beliefs, opinions, and values need to be identified for what they are—as you withdraw your attention from these cognitive layers of the mind, you are able to awaken as the conscious witness of mental content, and achieve mindfulness and conscious presence.

This article came out of a dialog I had with my Higher Self in two separate sittings. The first question and answer session drilled down on defining what are ideas, beliefs, attitudes, opinions, and values. The second session focused on the difference between facts, opinions, and conscious experience.

Here’s the dialog:

Q: What’s the difference between on idea and a belief?

A: An idea is an image that encapsulates meaning. It combines visual models, verbal statements, and a written explication that describes and supports the idea.

A belief is an internalized verbal statement that:

  1. Makes a judgment about truth or falsity of an idea
  2. Give arguments why something is true or false
  3. Stores information related to the belief that reifies the contention why the statement is true or false

Q: How is an opinion different than a belief?

A: An opinion is a belief you express verbally—you state your belief aloud or communicate it through writing.

Q: How is belief different than attitude?

A: Attitude is the physical and emotional expression of a belief. What you believe often becomes charged with emotions, and shows up as certain facial expressions or postures that communicate the belief non-verbally. For example, people who are self-righteous—who believe they know the final and absolute truth, based of their reading of a scripture or other authoritative book—will hold their body in a certain way; and they’ll express their beliefs arrogantly and condescendingly.

Q: How is a belief different than a value?

A: Values assign rules or standards for making judgments. Values commonly condition beliefs. For example, if you hold a value that sex outside of marriage is wrong—if you believe in that value, you will affirm it, and you will attempt to act in consonance with that value. When your behavior matches your values, you will experience integrity; if you act counter to that value, you will experience inner conflict.

Q: What is a fact?

A: A fact is something that our senses and reason determine are objective reality—something that exists whether we believe it exists or not. Facts are objects you can detect through your senses or instrumentation: for example, you can extend your physical senses to view extremely tiny objects through a microscope.

  • Facts are measureable.
  • Multiple witnesses can verify them.
  • They exist at a specific location in the physical universe.
  • They can be observed at a specific time.
  • They are documented through written accounts or photographic, audio, or video recording.
  • The person experiencing the fact has intact and normal sensory, perceptual, and cognitive functioning—for example, a person under the influence of a hallucinogenic drug could not be said to demonstrate intact and normal sensory, perceptual, and cognitive functioning.
  • It can be represented as data that can be analyzed, calculated, computed, and communicated to others.

Q: In our modern contentious political environment in the United States, there seems to be a discounting of facts based on beliefs in a certain political ideology. Factual reporting of statements of witnesses is labeled fake news. Facts are ignored or cherry picked to support a particular agenda. Facts are discredited if they do not agree with political or religious orthodoxy. What creates this phenomenon?

A: The facts are what they are—regardless of whether someone chooses to consider them or not. Science attempts to uncover facts and verify they whether their hypotheses about these facts are accurate.

On the other hand, these political actors hold strong beliefs that support their values, which they express as opinions. These values and beliefs are primary; they will cling to their beliefs even if the facts do not support them.

Opinions appear to operate in several ways:

  1. You form opinions about what facts mean, and what they imply.
  2. You decide whether a fact is real, or whether it is an artifact or optical illusion.
  3. If you have political or religious beliefs, you may decide not only if the fact is real, but also if it is right or wrong, or if it is good or evil.
  4. You may decide whether a fact is relevant, or whether it can be ignored. For example, a biochemist detects glucose in a cell, when he is searching for the presence of a specific protein. He may note the glucose is there, but he will ignore it, because it is not relevant the protein he is seeking.
  5. You decide if a fact fits into mental category, schema, or classification, or not. You decide whether a fact should be included in a discussion of a topic or not, or whether or not it is germane to a dialog you are having.
  6. You decide if a fact fits into an ideological, political, or religious belief system’s doctrine or not.
  7. You decide whether a fact is important to you personally or spiritually, and whether or not you need to take action.

Typically, opinion type 6 heavily influences these political actors. Their doctrine is primary, and they reject any facts that do not fit in with it. This system of beliefs filters their perception, and forms a mindset through which they view reality.

These perceptual filters, or mindsets, operate in most people. These mindsets may not be founded upon political or religious beliefs, but they do lock people into a particular perception about what is possible and who they can become in the future.

Q: How is it possible to become conscious? It seems most people are completely entrenched in their mindsets and belief systems, so they cannot see any other viewpoint.

A: To become conscious, to become aware and mindful, you have to transcend the field of mindsets, of the nested array of values, beliefs, opinions, and ideas that form them, and collect your attention.

When you are established in conscious experience, you observe:

  • Your body position and movement in the present time
  • The environment around your body and become aware of what your senses are experiencing in the present time
  • The physiological activity of your body and your experience of your muscles, organs, and other tissues in the present time
  • Your feelings and emotional reactions in the present time
  • Your thoughts arising in the present time
  • The different identity states of the ego and the thoughts, feelings, actions and perspectives each identity state embodies
  • The memories that arise in response to different stimuli

As you go deeper in meditation, following the thread of consciousness to deeper strata of the mind, you eventually encounter the three immortal principles—the attentional principle, the spirit, and the Soul. When you reach these essences and come to identify with them, it shifts you out of the mindsets and belief systems that captured your attention. You wake up within. You experience that you are separate and independent from these gossamer palaces woven from belief and you are the conscious witness of all that occurs in the mind.

We teach the method to isolate your conscious experience and direct it along the thread of consciousness in our beginning class, the Introduction to Meditation program. We teach you how to awaken your conscious essences in our intermediate classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program—and how to use them to transform your spiritual potentials.

We encourage you to reflect deeply on these different elements of the cognitive strata of your mind, and learn to isolate your attention from the ceaseless cascade of thought things that separate you from your naked awareness that exists behind this river of thought. Then you can shift from being locked in the hypnotic absorption of mindsets and belief systems and become a conscious being.