Yes everyone is meditating. Or at the very least talking about meditation, or planning to start meditation or expressing their frustration with meditation.
While most of us are in consensus that meditation is useful and has real health benefits, we still remain a little mystified by what it is, what it’s supposed to look like and how to know if it’s working.
So let’s set the record straight about meditation.
Over the years improper teachings, quick sales tactics and packaging have led to everything being labelled as Meditation. And in the process caused unnecessary frustration amongst practitioners and beginners who haven’t been told the difference and the stages of practice or what to expect.
A lot of people get frustrated with ‘meditation’ because they aren’t always experiencing the bliss or the oneness. Or they get frustrated because they can’t seem to cease the thoughts and the mind drifts.
It’s like waking up one day and deciding to run the Ironman and then getting frustrated when you can’t even finish the swim.
The Yoga Sutras describe a certain process using three words; Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. The experience that these three words bring for the practitioner is lumped into one and this is labelled as Meditation but these are distinct stages and layer on top of each other to take the practitioner to the final experience.
Roughly translated, Dharana means focusing or directly attention; Dhyana means single-minded concentration; Samadhi means oneness.
*To further clarify, there are various levels of Samadhi that are achieved but we won’t go there for the purpose of this blog.
These three words are listed in sequence in the Yoga Sutras and are meant to convey to students the path of achieving oneness or union with the source, what to expect and what to work on. If we understand the process and the meaning of these words, we can easily identify where we are, what we experience and what needs to be worked on.
When we start our practice of ‘meditation’ we actually need to start with Dharana, focusing or directing our attention. This means that we need only to narrow down our scattered thoughts and noisy minds. Maybe we narrow it down to a couple of thoughts, one thought, one object or one mantra. The objective here is to train and master the mind so as to cease generating random thoughts and to narrow our focus. That’s it.
The next level of our practice is Dhyana, a single-minded concentration. This means that we work on and bring complete awareness to the present. In addition, the objective is to train the mind to stay for longer periods of acute awareness of that singular thought or present moment. This practice continues until we have complete control and mastery over the duration of acute awareness.
The next level of the practice is the experience of Samadhi, oneness with the source. The experience and the descriptions vary based on the practitioner. The objective, however, is to become one or be in a state where the individual self, ceases to exist. It could be a moment or several moments where one moves beyond the body and mind and experiences, what often gets described as ‘bliss’.
The three stages or levels are the recommended design so that practitioners can gradually prepare their minds to experience the bliss for long continuous periods of time.
Most of us actively look for some out of body experience each time we sit on the mat and get frustrated when we don’t find it.
Now that we understand the difference, let’s ask ourselves, where are we with our practice?
Now let’s ask ourselves, is it worth getting frustrated when all that we need to do is to work at the appropriate level.
Let’s all relax about it. The more we relax, the more we find success.
The first step is to master narrowing the focus of our thoughts at will and control if a new thought is generated. This takes time.
When we’ve got that in the bag, we need to master holding focus for long periods of time, at will, on call without breaking focus or getting distracted. This too takes time.
Yes, there are moments when we will experience the bliss even if we haven’t mastered the first two stages. It happens. But even if we don’t doesn’t mean that our practice was a waste or we aren’t doing it.
Some days we might hold focus, some days our minds are running wild and that’s OK. This is exactly why we practice and what we need to master. We need to figure a way to instruct the mind instead of being dragged by it.
So don’t be frustrated with your Meditation practice, just keep at it.
May we all find ‘The oneness’ and melt the ‘I-ness’
For us to use deliberate creation successfully we need to become masters of the Art of Allowing.
Until you understand the potent energy of allowing on a deeper, spiritual level, its power, your power will always be amateur at best.
Which could mean you will journey through life’s experience with a hit or miss deliberate creation process.
Why is it that we struggle with allowing?
How come we manage to keep the good stuff away while the icky stuff pours in?
And if we are powerful creators, why is it that our process of deliberate creation isn’t a guaranteed success?
Let’s first understand what it is that we are hoping to ‘allow’ and why does this process exist?
In the LOA world allowing is talked about as the situation where the universe has what we want and all we have to do is energetically line up to what we want. And once we are aligned it comes into our reality.
I find this explanation to be too narrow because it's all good and we are OK when things we want, show up but it leaves open to the imagination what we are to do when things that we don’t want show up.
And the one thing we have lots of is a wild mind, with plenty of time for creativity, which in happy circumstances works wonders but when things aren't going as per plan, can get out of control.
Hello! Spiral into my deepest darkest fears!
Allow me to offer an explanation which is one of the principles of the State of Happy course we did a while back. This I find is the unsaid process of the Art of Allowing.
All of our physical experiences are a result of our individual soul’s journey. The current reality is a physical reflection of thoughts of the past. That is to say, the current reality is the manifestation of something you asked for in the past, it is not based on or related to what you are thinking now.
What you think, do, or say in the present creates the future reality that you will experience later on.
The universal law at play here is that every action (thought, action, word) has a manifestation, and the person creating it will experience it. There is no escape or way out of it. If you create it, you experience it.
It is a circle of life, the infinite loop that is the law of creation.
Our creative control or the power to create is on the onset of that loop. With our thoughts and intentions, we send out into the creation circle what we want to manifest.
But beyond that, we cannot stop the loop. The intention must complete the cycle and come back to us as an experience to be had.
Look at the image above (it’s the best way to illustrate my point).
The part where the sun is just a bit brighter? Think of that point as the onset of our power to create. We send off into the circle our intentions and it loops back to us, as a manifestation of reality.
So far this is information we are familiar with. This next bit is the additional explanation.
When we experience something in our reality and we engage with it, either through feelings, thoughts, actions or words, we start off another ‘loop’. And although it is a new loop of creation, whatever is the energy with which we engage, it brings the same experience as manifestation.
So when its the good stuff and you engage, you'll see more of the good stuff come in. If its the icky stuff and you engage you'll see more of the icky stuff come in.
If you allow whatever shows up in your life to play out without interacting or reacting to it, you allow that loop, that past creation, to close.
And this is particularly useful to remember for when the icky stuff shows up.
If we keep in mind that whatever is playing out right now are loops closing from past creations, allowing as a process can be a hopeful and serene event.
Over the years we've created so many loops, however, our higher-self, knows what it wants to create because it knows what lessons and experiences it wants to have. We have to trust what it has already kick-started.
With the art of allowing we must allow the loops to close, learn the lessons for our soul and keep our focus on choosing which news loops we want to kick start.
Allowing the icky stuff in, is not a sign of weakness or giving up or being powerless. It is you aligning yourself to the universal laws. It is a way to move forward and keep the focus on creating what you want next.
The more you ‘react’ to the icky reality without consciously choosing your thoughts, the less control you have on bringing the good stuff in. Because you are spending time creating new loops of the icky stuff when you could be creating new loops of the good stuff.
Like everything else, the art of allowing is mastered with practice.
Sometimes you might find yourself in the thick of things, that's where you want to have support. Find someone who can guide you through your process of allowing. When you are stuck you find it with your mentors, confidants, or with Free coaching or GVCA coaches or me.
The sooner you become better at allowing, the faster you will move towards accomplishing your purpose on Earth.
Written with Love
PS: Get in touch for coaching and healing. You don't need to do this alone.