Dealing With Strong Emotions Part 2
Relaxation and Meditation
Relaxation and Meditation
Many see meditation through a narrow lens. They see it as something that a few people do and what they do is sit down, remain silent and try to quiet their thoughts. While this is somewhat of a characterization it is reflective of what many do during their meditations; however, over the years I have come to learn that meditative practices can be used for a variety of reasons.
For example, I can use meditation for all of the following reasons (and there are others):
- Get in touch with my inner self for peace and balance and so on
- Explore past experiences
- Find the thoughts that give rise to emotions
- Work directly on personal issues and challenges
- Visualize and set up future actions
- Cleaning my energy field as well as my home or objects and so on
- Access other aspects of awareness
- To work directly with energy
- Explore within and without
The common definition of meditation is a practice where one uses various techniques to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. This is as good a definition as any. It does not get overly specific as there is wide variety of reasons to meditate and techniques to use as it is far more than a one-trick pony. The key part of meditation is that by doing it we are training our attention and awareness. The common definition does not specifically mention mental attention and awareness and rightfully so as we shall see. Practicing meditation in virtually any form modifies and reduces the control our rational mind exerts over our conscious attention and awareness. This is important as our growth accelerates the more we conscious we are. The benefits of it to for our mind, emotional state and physical body have long been known. This is being backed up by study after study. All too many do not mediate though it is not because they do not want to gain extra awareness and so on, it is that the untrained mind is too distracted by the external world, which limits access to our "higher awareness", to grasp the value of it. They do not realize that how much own mind confines and restricts our consciousness awareness and attention.
I believe all people should regularly practice meditation, and mindfulness, of one type or another. There are many reasons why people do not bother to do it, a significant one being that most are not actually unaware of how unaware they are. Another reason is that many do not know or accept that there is more to us than our bodies, emotions and mind. Yet others distrust anything that is not the product of their thoughts such as their non-rational awareness. The end result is that too few use it to any significant extent. This has led to a sense of “aloneness” that is more common today, given our accelerated lives and their "busy-ness".
Over the years I have spoken to thousands of people and one of the most common issues they face is the sense of separateness from others and the world around them. They feel disconnected or cut off from the vibrant universe around them. Many of the issues humanity faces are a direct result of this for it is far harder to do harm to another when you feel connected to them. It is possible to lift the veils, to feel more connected again and meditation is a way to do this (as are any activity that promote mindfulness).
In many ways meditation gives us a time out from our minds relentless activities and control. This helps us expand our awareness and ability to work with our rational mind. It also contributes to a sound state of mind and body. Meditation is that time when we are more able to use our hidden aspects to view and "experience reality". During periods of meditation, we can even suspend the rational mind by withdrawing our attention from it. While the degree to which one can meditate effectively depends on the skill of the practitioner there are benefits regardless of ones skill level.
Meditative practices help us develop our focus and attention both of which make it easier to monitor and scan our thoughts, even the non-conscious ones. Besides the other activities I mentioned we can also test our honesty, resolve issues, get information from other sources and so much more. For instance, we can see and experience the aspects of self most barely know exist, that is if they are aware of them at all. We can explore thoughts in immense detail and have adventures of the most incredible kind. I encourage you to practice a regular regimen of meditation. You will benefit greatly from it.
Anyone seeking to develop or improve his or her spiritual or psychic aspects must meditate in some fashion. I know of no other way to gain access to one’s higher awareness outside of practicing some form of meditation. Doing so starts us down the road of of living life with far less ego and live our life based on "higher values" such as devotion, compassion and unconditional love. For those with natural talent meditation is essential for honing skills and developing new ones. Also, as I mentioned, even though conscious awareness of and abilities to work with different rates of vibration vary from person to person, we are all able to do it to some degree.
In order to be able to access higher levels of awareness we must raise our awareness level. Living an exemplary life and meditation may be the most powerful and direct tools for accomplishing this. We gain access to the various forms of "higher awareness" we posses by raising our vibratory rate. Both meditation and mindfulness help us do this. This occurs during our meditations and then radiates out into our lives. Meditation brings more calmness to our lives, which helps us reduce the number of negative thoughts we have. In turn, this leads to fewer lower emotions. Also, both of these lower our vibration rate.
The more time we are aware at an elevated level the higher our energy rate becomes. There are other ways to increase our vibrancy rate. Unconditional love as expressed through compassion, devotion, affection and sympathy also elevate our rate. When we are mindful or meditation we raise our thoughts beyond the mundane physical word and into one of abstract mental thoughts and constructs. They also make us more open our intuition further increasing our vibrancy rate. The longer we sustain these influences on us, the faster we raise our overall rate. This is one of the main benefits of meditation for the average person. All acts of meditation and mindfulness have this effect on us because they bring us closer to ourselves.
Getting started in meditation can be a challenge for many reasons, two of the most significant being the result of the way experiences program our minds. One of these manifests as resistance to the idea itself. You may find yourself thinking that it is a waste of time or is of little value or you have better things to do. None of these reasons are valid; however, experiences have programmed our minds with these concepts. We must remove the programming blocks in our minds as well as modify our concepts and beliefs about meditation. Do not argue with yourself over it, note your resistance and meditate anyways. Push yourself to do it, even if only for a short period.
The first few times you meditate, you may encounter one of two challenges. They are falling asleep or dozing off shortly after you start and difficulty in quieting the relentless activities of our mind. Both of these are the result of how our minds have been programmed and the thoughts we posses. In the former case it is due to not having created the thought forms needed to maintain conscious awareness without thinking a lot and the latter due to a mind that cannot let go of all its various activities.
Do not chastise yourself for it; continue to meditate even if you either fall asleep or cannot quieten your mind. Also practice mindfulness as you go about your daily activities. We do this by paying more attention to every aspect of our doings be it the thoughts we have or the sensations we experience in our body and our reactions to both. By doing so you will build new thought forms “to stand on” and reduce the barriers the old ones created. Try to let go of thoughts that are irrelevant or if it is something left undone or that distracts then we try to remind ourselves that we can't fix or do it at the moment and that it can wait for a little bit. Also try to use your imagination to conceive of a world of energy and not things and the ebb and flow of energy between them; try to imagine it in your mind’s eye. The more separate one feels from the world around them the harder it is to let go of the feeling of separation created by believing we are simply our bodies.
As an example of a meditation, I will list some of the steps I perform most times (some steps I may take prior to starting). The below steps are meant as a high-level view. A little later on you will come across a reference to the meditation exercise, where we will look at these things in more detail. The general process is covered here to serve as a background for discussion. The steps are as follows:
- Preparing: Before sitting down I begin the process of preparing to meditate. If possible, I make sure I am able to take the time I need so as not to be distracted during that period. I set up my place to meditate in advance by letting part of my attention go to imagining myself there, what I want it to be like and so on. I may have chosen to do something in particular during my meditation, though not necessarily so, in which case I will also imagine myself doing this. Typically, I pick a spot where I have meditated before or where I can feel comfortable and at peace, but this is not required. My focus is on preparing and relaxing which creates thought forms conducive to meditation.
- First step: Be seated in the chosen spot, in a posture that is "solid" and comfortable. Sitting with legs crossed and a straight back help but are not essential. Once seated begin to focus on breathing and settle on a pattern that becomes steady and rhythmic. My focus is on getting to a peaceful state of mind, I try to withdraw my attention from my thoughts, let go of physical sensations and drift into a calm state.
- Grounding: The first thing I do in every meditation is ground. It is important to be completely grounded and have testing it before proceeding. My focus is on being firmly grounded; and I check by a quick scan to make sure.
- Clearing: I clear all the “loose” negative energies from my aura and at a minimum, clear the area where I plan to meditate. My focus is on what I perceive in myself that is not light and clear, to perceive tension and stress and on moving these energies down into the Earth through my ground.
- Centering: This is where I bring myself into a balanced state so that my emotions are not affecting me. I withdraw attention from thoughts that solicit emotional responses. My focus is on ensuring that I my thoughts are tranquil and do not stir emotional reactions.
- Shifting awareness: Once I am grounded and clear I start to focus on withdrawing attention from thoughts of any kind including those connected to physical sensations. Some of this can be done in the previous steps. The main activity is concentration through the narrowing of attention. My focus is on withdrawing from the thought functioning of my rational mind, to Be, know and act through Being rather than thinking.
- Self-check: I do a quick check to make sure I am grounded, my energy field is clear and I am centered. If not I will repeat any steps as needed. If my thoughts are not quiet I take stock on the kinds of thoughts I am having, examine them and how they are making me feel. If I cannot settle my thoughts then my activity, the next step, will be to work on dealing with them. This can affect whether I change my plans for the meditation. My focus is on checking to make sure I am prepared for the activity I am about to undertake.
- Activities: Depending on the purpose of the meditation, I may fully detach from my thoughts, focus on being neutral, and carry on. Otherwise, I may choose to explore an issue and use the period of meditation to work on it. If I am clear, I raise my awareness higher and either bring forward thoughts that relate to the work I intend to do or simply allow myself to be in the moment without any particular focus outside of simply being. In this space, there is no need to focus per say. Although a portion of my attention is on maintaining this state, less is needed the “deeper” one goes. The majority of my attention is on whatever it is I am doing during the meditation
- Returning: Meditation raises your vibrancy rate. As a result, when you are ready to stop and return to normal awareness do so slowly. I start by using my rational mind a little more and reconnecting to my physical body first through perception then through little movements. Depending on how long the meditation is it can take up to ten minutes for me to get back to waking consciousness and be physically active. How long this takes depends on the skill of the practitioner. The quicker we do it the more attention we have to pay to our bodies reactions and can use energy to sooth our body as a way to compensate for a rapid shift in our overall vibratory rate. My focus is on a gradual and relaxed return to waking consciousness, I am mindful of not being in a hurry.
I follow the above steps during every meditation. The only time I may skip one is if I am doing a meditation but am active. An example would be if I am at work and something happens where I feel being in a more meditative state would be helpful. Structure or having a process to we meditate creates a “mental space” whereby it becomes easier and easier to slip into a meditation state even when physically active. Persistence and focused intent are essential in meditation. Without them, our minds tend to wander making focus harder and progress slower.
The key factor in spiritual or psychic development is continuous effort, which means ongoing practice. Daily meditation fosters the development of thought forms, including modifying restrictive ones, that are essential. They also are provide a sustained influence that increases our rate of vibration. The longer we resonate at higher levels the higher our general rate becomes. By the day we find our energies becoming clearer and stronger and how we feel about ourselves and our lives better. The full impact of meditation is only achieved by keeping it up. As the old saying goes, today’s personality is tomorrow’s individuality.
It is best to set aside a particular time of the day to meditate as this helps fix a pattern making it easier to repeat, again structure helps us. I cannot understate the importance of continual practice. What we are trying to do is make a change in ourselves that is significant. We should view meditation as an ally in our efforts rather than a task to accomplish. If you are serious about learning to meditate, make it singularly important and not something casual or whimsical, though one could certainly start there.
Undertaking the development of our awareness is a lifelong commitment. At times, during meditation, it may seem that little is happening and is pointless; however, do not stop. This is merely the resistance of the mind, resistance based on old programs and thought forms. Remember, each step taken makes the next one easier. We have had years of practice at keeping mentally active and blocking our awareness. Getting away from our minds tendency to be in a perpetual state of doing and unblocking it takes time, give yourself that time.
Types of meditation
I find it enjoyable, useful and beneficial to meditate and, as mentioned, do so for a variety of reasons and purposes. I employ the same basic process for every meditation even though what I do during them varies according to my intent. It is generally best to focus on one purpose at a time though this is a rational mind limitation. One can overcome this limitation with sufficient experience.
Many view meditation as a way to inner peace and tranquility, a way to be in the moment. This is perfectly valid and an important aspect of one’s spiritual development. Yet, we can use the meditative process for much more. We can meditate to clear negative energy, to explore or examine energies within, around and beyond us, to “tune in” to our higher self, for practical energy work, channeling or to learn to simply be in the moment to name but a few. The process is much the same regardless of what type of meditation you are performing, what is important is what you do during that time.
Meditation is not the same as physical relaxation. Relaxation can raise our energy level some; however, it is more a result of letting go of some of our emotional baggage and thought forms than raising our vibration rate. That is not to downplay the benefits of relaxation, it is very important for people to spend less time stressed; however, it is not meditation. All the same being able to relax is a valuable asset in preventing stress and lower emotions from building up in our energy field, our aura. It would not be a waste of time to try to stay relaxed as much as possible. Besides, we do our best thinking when our minds are relaxed and fluid versus busy and "tighter".
Let us look at some examples of what we can do during meditation.
1. Clearing Energy
Each and day of our lives our thoughts manifest energies with the type of energy dependent on the nature of the thought itself. The strength of the energy is proportional to that of the thought, its nature and to the number of other thoughts connected to it. The stronger or more intense energies we manifest extend out beyond our aura’s potentially affecting all nearby objects, including people. They also can extend to any object or person associated with those same thoughts. This occurs regardless of whether the person or object is next door or half way across the planet. Where these energies are of a higher vibration they are a benefit, where they are not they can lead to a number of problems. Emotional or astral energies of lower vibration are the primary concern.
Astral energy that we “cast off” tends to collect with energy of like kind, leading to the creation of pockets of negative energy. This happens within our homes, where we work or out in the world and within our auras. I am excluding cases where we simply would feel uncomfortable due to our wants, needs or judgments and not due to the energy there. I would dare say most people could think of a place they would prefer not to simply because they feel uncomfortable when they are there. In other cases, people simply avoid certain places, often without any awareness of doing so or they just do not like it and avoid it. We can learn to find these places and clear the lower astral energies that are there. We can do this without formally meditating, though this method requires some experience and skill.
There is a caveat attached to the clearing of energy. We are not to clear areas that are not our responsibility, or to try to clear the energy of living creatures without permission and the skill to ensure we do not harm, tamper or manipulate them or it in any fashion. There are consequences for doing so, they can be severe and will be ours to bear.
2. Meditations in “being”
In many ways, our bodies and our rational minds trap us. They limit us to space and time and cut us off from our inner selves. The attraction of the external world is strong and the senses most people are aware of and use are those associated with the physical world. This keeps people looking without for just about everything. We gauge our success by others, we try to look good in their eyes, to please them or want them to make us feel better and there are expectations of others and so forth. Well, one measure of spiritual awareness is the degree to which one can shift away from the external, to be in the moment. By the moment, I mean in “the now”. In the terms we use to mark the passage of time, “now” is that which lies between two adjacent points in time. In figurative terms, it is when both adjacent moments cease to be, when there is no next moment.
There are many ways one can meditate which lead to being in the moment. You can find good meditations if you look. The best are those of belief systems such as a variety of nature-based beliefs, the Hindu faith, Taoism, Jainism or Buddhism, though diluted forms also exist in Christianity and Islam. A core principle of many of these is in the act of tuning one’s attention to a single point, one not based in the mind. It is a way to transcend our emotions and thoughts and "be" through our higher aspects or vehicles.
So how does one do this? What we do is circumvent the rational mind by withdrawing our attention from it. Doing so removes the restrictions on our awareness and consciousness due to our mind, ones based on its reliance on its need for control and conditioning thoughts and constructs. These include include the nature of what we are, space, and time. In order to “be in the moment” one must be able to perceive and be aware without using our rational mind. Doing so requires we work towards developing thought forms within our rational mind that permit this to occur and remove beliefs that block it. The rational mind does not step aside willingly; however, we can retrain our minds and direct our non-conscious mind and awareness. The later act contributes significantly to helping us develop the sensitivity to energies of higher vibration required to prevent us from falling asleep when we start to try to withdraw our attention from our thinking mind. This later point is a common challenge for beginners in meditation.
One can use most any method of meditation to reduce the internal dialogue of the rational mind and to bypass attention on our physical perceptions. The mind is essentially a construct and reduce mental chatter is essential. If we cannot calm and quiet our minds their activities we will struggle getting beyond it and remain stuck within it. Formal practices, such as various forms of Buddhist meditation, have been refined for thousands of years and can be very effective at this. Any significant reduction in these areas leads to heightened sense of awareness. In such a state, one can also perform practical energy work as mentioned below. Meditation to facilitate being in the moment requires one to be well grounded and centered.
The closest most people come to the moment is during moments of certain types of déjà vu experiences, excluding precognitive awareness. What can happen is we simply slip into the moment unaware we have done so. It is kind of like a blip in the rational mind software where it simply is not active for a moment. In that moment, we perceive everything around us, but we do not “think” about it, as our rational mind is not active. We do not have thoughts about what we perceive, yet we know what we perceived without attachments. The rational mind then kicks back in and perceives the same information; however, it seems to be the second time. This is one form of déjà vu. The rational mind knows it has seen it before, yet it cannot process the first occurrence. As a result, we could swear we had been through that moment or in that place before, which in a manner of speaking we have.
3. Other purposes for meditation
During meditation, we ground, clear our energy field and becoming centered. This assists us in stilling our rational mind and its thoughts. Doing so frees us from many of the mental binds we get into due to the programming of the rational mind. It gives us the opportunity to step outside of our thoughts to examine them and feel or see the effect they have on us. We can also use other aspects of our consciousness to explore the energies of the vibrant world around us. We can even learn to travel without our physical bodies.
i. Examination Meditation
Examination meditations are useful for wide variety of purposes. These include the resolution of personal issues, dealing with concern and fear, or getting answers to questions. We all are aware that our memory of events change over time and the rational mind is not always as rational as its name implies. Not only does the mind require training to be rational, memories blur as other experiences alter both the perception and details of them and we can find ourselves believing in and acting on conflicting memories as well as viewpoints. Often we cannot let issues go because we do not remember how they started or even why we feel as we do. We only know that we feel the way we do and cannot seem to let it go.
To resolve issues we need clarity and truth, not altered or incomplete memories and interfering emotional entanglements. There are times when we need to ask ourselves why we believe something to be true. In other words what experiences support a particular truth or belief, what we feel about them and why. We can do this in a meditative state, one that is neutral and balanced. When we are in this state, we can go back through an experience objectively bypassing the rational minds faulty version and reasoning altogether. Through practice, one can learn to raise their awareness above the emotional entanglements that make understanding and resolution difficult. In this state, you can see the dynamics of the experience and any connected to it, examine it from multiple perspectives and understand your own role in it as well as those of others.
It is also important to accept that we have more than one area to grow in as issues entwine and form relationships of their own. It is difficult to work on one issue when others connected to it keep surfacing due to the web of entanglements. Say you are having relationship and financial issues, which in turn relate to ones ego, fears, beliefs or other shortcomings. With one’s emotions going in different directions and often fueling each other, it is difficult to resolve our problems. We can learn to access each separately reducing and even eliminating the emotional clutter caused by other issues so we can focus on one issue at a time. With this knowledge, we can then look at how they interrelate. This will help us to find a balance between them so we can resolve the issue.
It is also possible to meditate on important life questions or to help us make a decision between alternatives. We often find that we do not get clear answers to our questions due to our feelings about the potential outcomes. We have created these feelings, or emotional ties to people, things, money, concepts, beliefs and even ways of being. To us the truth of them is less important than how we feel about them. This can prevent us from making good choices or from changing when we need to.
In meditation, we can get past our rational minds emotional entanglements to particular outcomes or to the thoughts coming from our rational minds. In this state, we can see the dynamics and the conflicts within us clearly, and can then examine each in turn. This helps us to know what we need to do to get past it. While we may not like what we need to do, that is our rational mind may not like what it learns, we at least know what we need to do and can then work on our resistance. Certainly one can use their willpower to force resolution. While this may be necessary in some situations, we benefit more when we also work on the issue in meditation as in this state we can learn to see our resistance and work through it.
To summarize, being able to shift into a centered meditative state helps us to be objective, to perceive the subtle vibrations of issues or events and track them to their source. We can ask questions without the rational minds interference as we bypass its programming and judgments about outcomes. Both of these are invaluable aids in personal and spiritual growth and in the quest for balance and harmony in life.
ii. Exploration Meditation
Exploration meditations are generally more “fun” than those intended for examination. Certainly, becoming sensitive enough to see beyond the physical aspects of our reality is incredible indeed. Exploration, like any meditation, aids the development of what many would call the “second sight”. This is an awareness we can use to locate problem energies and influences coming into our home, or ourselves from without. We can learn to astral travel, facilitate healing, do remote viewing, or if we gain the use of even higher aspects of ourselves, we can explore beyond earthly boundaries and the confinement of space and time.
When it comes to energy influences people do not realize that whenever we think we manifest energy. This applies to every conscious being on the planet. The energy created is not static, not only do we cast it off like dust from a dirty rug, where it will start to collect with other similar vibrations as discussed above, it also flows out towards the subject of our thoughts whether that be it a concept, object or person.
Generally, rational mind programming blocks our perception of more subtle vibrations and when we do notice them we are more likely to simply try to ignore them or attribute them to some nameless source.
How often have you suddenly felt different but could see no reason for it? This may be the result of the energy manifested by others directed at us or from encountering energies left behind by others. These energies are not typically strong enough to have a great deal of influence unless we have that same attribute within us; however, when the thoughts become more directly and focused such as hate or strong anger the energy can be like a spear thrust at us. By being aware of external energy influences, we see how we connect to the energy others manifest and either deal with our connection to them or eliminate the energies influence. Being able to do so would be of benefit to everyone.
Astral travelling and remote viewing have a great deal in common; I could even argue that they are essentially the same act. Both require one to shift awareness beyond the physical plane and use that awareness to view the world outside of our senses. Everything physically manifested has an astral counterpart or aspect. It is a medium we can, in a sense travel through or view with our awareness.
There are resources available to those interested in this area, though again, one’s own rational mind must be able to allow the perception else any given technique will not necessarily help one do so. Lack of belief in the possibility, clinging to one’s body and fear of the unknown are among the most significant hurdles people face when trying to do either of these acts. One may need to examine their beliefs to break the restrictions of the rational minds programming. A belief such as the world is physical, made up of finite, indivisible things, can be a challenge to overcome.
iii. Energy Work
One can learn to work with energy directly; in fact, we all do so regularly, though we are not typically consciously aware of the energy of our thoughts or of the world around us, and their interactions. We have become somewhat knowledgeable of the laws of the physically manifest universe; we have not become knowledgeable of those at the basis of consciousness and personality. We have touched on these though we have not delved deeply into the laws of consciousness, as it is beyond the scope of this material; however, it is important to be aware of some fundamental elements of it. Awareness of them is important so that we do not work against ourselves or interfere in the path of others.
We have already touched on some of these, in relation to thoughts, and it is a part of the sections on grounding and clearing. It boils down to this: thoughts are energy, and they manifest energies of different potencies depending on the nature of the evoking thought. This type of energy work, albeit at an elementary level, is the secret behind the success of some of the better self-help programs.
By creating and empowering certain types of thoughts (such as positive and uplifting ones), we shape our mind and hence our energies both of which attract energies of like kind. A lack of success in an area is directly attributable to either difficulty in formulating and holding onto the new thoughts or from other thoughts that conflict with the envisioned success or those that are in opposition to our intent. For instance, if I want try to create and empower thoughts of being popular, thoughts that I am not worthy of it make it difficult.
In meditation, we can focus our awareness on particular kinds of thoughts and hence energies, to channel them. We attain focus by limiting our attention through eliminating the irrelevant. Development of this aspect of our awareness gives us the ability to convert negative energies be they from our own thoughts or those from outside influences and to manifest beneficial energies or use energy to shield us from influences. We will cover these in both the sections that follow and through the exercises.
4. Working with higher vibration energies
There are prerequisites for working with higher vibration energies. First, one must develop the awareness required to become sensitive to them. This does not come simply through meditation. This skill develops through the creation of though forms that allow us to open up to them, and takes a great deal of practice and focused intent. The higher the vibrations one seeks to work with the greater the degree of clarity and refinement of thought and self that is required. You do not make a fine steel blade by including impurities that weaken it. One must prepare.
In addition, as with many non-rational or psychic skills, the main challenge to overcome is the rational minds focus on the outside world and the focus on one’s self, on the “I”. The rational minds control over our awareness is very strong. The untrained mind manipulates, interferes with and blocks our ability to work with higher vibration energies.
When working with higher energies I do my best to feel connected to my wholeness though not as a separate being rather as an aspect of a whole and vibrant Cosmos. Simply put, we will not progress until we have diminishing the importance of ourselves, and increasing that of others and the source of our awareness, the Cosmos itself.
Visualization plays a role in doing this and there are as many thought forms to connect to ones higher self, as there are people. The one element in common is that of lifting our thoughts towards the divine, to feel the “oneness” that is creation and away from the mundane world. This is where one should start the process.
During our meditations, it is important to ask for only that which is in your best interest, and highest good. Doing so may seem foolish or unnecessary; this simply is not the case. This thought form will help us focus; it will also aid with protection, the amount of which is dependent upon the individual and their level of development, guidance and more.
How we create thought forms that benefit us is not as relevant during initial stages of spiritual development. The important point is the nature of the thoughts one has, and commitment to developing oneself. We are very powerful, and our thoughts manifest far more than we imagine. We do have the skills to do these acts already though our lack of awareness of them and our own thoughts keep us from doing so more actively. Focusing on even a nebulous or vague concept of our higher self will start to activate the awareness. By doing so we force ourselves to confront notions related to our self-conscious awareness and personal will as they keep us separate. If one persists, ideas and concepts we would never have otherwise noticed begin occur to us. We will find ourselves exploring ideas and our energies in ways we never expected or imagined.
What I have described is simply the first steps. Enabling our higher awareness is not easy to do, even with considerable efforts. It is important to seek a connection rather than demand one. Demanding thoughts act as a block limiting or preventing the very assistance we seek.
I have already spoken of how to start the process, there is another way we can access our higher self for assistance. We can learn to ask our inner self for guidance, answers to questions or simply for trying to become more familiar with the process. The exercise in this, at the end of the book, should help you get started.
Something to remember when you try to reach upwards, or rather inwards is likely that the higher self sees what we need, this may conflict with what we may desire for ourselves. Even when I do not “like” the answers I receive from my guides or inner self, I at least have a better idea of what is in my best interests. I know what I should strive for even if I am unable to do it at that time.
Most spiritual tasks or efforts require some form of meditation, certainly so if the work to be done is on the higher planes. Meditation plays a vital role for clairvoyants, card readers and ghost busters. There is the need to focus or to concentrate, through limitation of attention, and for one to be “in the proper space” to perform certain kinds of work, therefore one must prepare, make ready. In order to do anything meaningful one must attain a certain level of conscious awareness of energy. However, this discussion goes far beyond the scope of this workbook. Practice at mediation makes this easier to attain states of heightened awareness; however, when undertaking spiritual work the need to prepare is even more important.
One area where we can make progress and in turn help our development is by working on our intuition. Intuition, often mistaken for impulse, is not the result of our feelings or emotions any more than it is the result of some form of mental calculation. One can notice this in that when you have an impulse your feelings waffle between the thought and idea being true or not, that is between yes and no. This can be due to a number of reasons, mostly emotional based ones such as an attachment to one of the outcomes or the desire to be right. This is not to say that an impulse is never from an intuition thought, only that our emotions cloud our ability to be sure.
Intuition is different. It is a knowing, that is we are aware of something without having any objective evidence to support what we know, feel or are thinking. It comes without the emotional baggage we find with impulses. Intuition can be related to now or extend into the future, that is one may know that a particular event will occur before it has happened. We do not need to know why we have an intuition about something, though there is a tendency to question what we do not understand or where there seems no evidence to support the thought.
Intuition is similar to, or shares strong commonalities with certain types of telepathy, precognition and clairvoyance. All three of these skills require a rational mind that is more transparent and sensitive. In this case, transparency refers to the ability to allow information to flow freely without the lower ego and the rational mind getting in the way. When we are transparent, we do not interpret, rationalize, evaluate or judge what information we get. Sensitivity is the degree to which one is sensitive to vibrations, thoughts and energy beyond those of the noise physical world and the relentless thoughts of the rational mind. In the din, it can be hard to perceive subtler vibrations.
Intuitive skills vary dramatically between people for a variety of reasons besides what we can attribute to natural gifts. They can also vary over time or with circumstances such that one who is not generally intuitive may be so during various periods of their life in relation to particular people, types of events or circumstances.
This happens for a variety of reasons; some of which we can attribute to the following:
- Shifts in sensitivity
- Changes in emotional states
- Changes in degree of conscious control
- External stimuli
- Changes in beliefs or outlooks
- Non-conscious impressions
- Our closeness or connectivity to the world around us
- Life changes (biological or situational)
- Traumatic events
- Momentary lapses in the rational minds control
We can learn to become more intuitive by the same method we use to expand our minds. Intuition is a knowing that we are both conscious of and sensitive to or are we are not. It is a mysterious function or skill primarily because there is little “evidence” to support the intuitive thought. It becomes even more suspect when the intuitive thought relates to future events. In the latter case, it is a matter of how one can know what will happen, and the idea that future events are somehow fixed runs contrary to the conventional idea of free will. Then there is the matter of seeing a particular future through intuition, when through an act of will we take a different course that future may not occur at all.
It is the notion of free will that keeps people from seeing behind the veil of illusion. People assume that because they can think that what they think or choose to do is unpredictable. This is not the case as we have touched on in the sections on the rational mind and the nature of thoughts. Our rational minds are a program synonymous with, though near immeasurably more complex than a software program. Invariably, though not universally, we will act based on what we have learned from previous experiences. While we have free will it is rare that people exercise it, instead we tend to act based on what our past taught us. We rarely step outside the box our minds comfort zone or out of the paradigm that it creates.
Working on our transparency and sensitivity is one way to reprogram our rational mind and to expand our non-rational awareness. As previously stated, meditation is the most direct way to do this. For example, say we find ourselves suddenly thinking of a particular person or have the thought of an event that will or is occurring. We often write this off and pay little attention to it or perhaps have a noticeable emotional response to the thought. We may have even been inclined to believe it; however, we ignore it or shrug it off. Later, assuming we remember our thought, we may learn that the person we thought of had something happen to them, or they may have been thinking about us at the same time or that the event actually occurred. We did not accept the accuracy or origin of the thought we had because we reacted to it rather than simply accept it.
Our rational minds reactions to thoughts affect our transparency. So, how many other intuitive thoughts did you not even notice at all because the rational mind’s reactions blocked them, we have not developed our attention or we have not developed the sensitivity to perceive them?
Meditation helps with all of these. In a meditative state, we learn to increase our transparency by not questioning, analyzing and evaluating everything we think, and feel and by not seeing ourselves as separate islands. In meditation, we learn how to shut down the relentless thoughts of our overly active rational mind, which in turn increases our focus and attention. This helps us develop our sensitivity.
Our conscious mind is a noisy place. We have many thousands of thoughts every minute, most of it unordered. This is a chaotic mental environment. There are many reasons we do not listen, and most of them are due to our self-centered focus and reliance on our rational mind. One can learn to listen to their inner voice more.
There are many reasons for and ways to meditate including some I have never heard or thought of. You may find ways to use it in your daily life that no one else does. Do not dismiss your way of meditating due to someone else saying you are doing it wrong or doubting your method. Do listen in case they have a valid point you are overlooking. Nonetheless, in the end, if it feels right then there is less likelihood it will cause problems.
© 2009 Allan Beveridge
Last updated Nov 7, 2016