Developing any kind of precision skills is exciting and fulfilling. It helps you become a master at your craft, an expert and in complete control of yourself. Fortunately, Sahaja meditation involves our incredibly intricate subtle energy system and allows us to develop such skills if we strive for it. This is not your average meditation where you simply focus and concentrate and hope for some vague outcomes. Rather it can be as precise as you want it to be and the best part is that the potential for precision is infinity. That’s because spirituality itself is infinite (or in fact encompasses the concept of infinity itself, perhaps?).
Not only that, but it can also be highly customized to you as a person so you can use it to your advantage. In this part, we share with the inner and precise workings of your attention and how meditation actually results, so you have a thorough understanding of what goes on underneath the hood, i.e., inside your subtle energy system.
What is our attention?
Our attention is the central vehicle or platform for our meditation. Our consciousness is defined and manifested through the power of our attention. Our attention can be thought of as a white canvas. Thoughts that come into our attention are like spots of different colors splashing onto this white canvas. They are essential, but for the most part, we get thoughts randomly and in an uncontrollable manner. So, this canvas of our attention is fairly convoluted and mixed up with different changing colors on it.
Another analogy you can use to understand your attention is that it is like the surface of a still lake. When thoughts come in, they are similar to throwing in pebbles into the lake or sometimes even rocks, and these cause ripples and disturbances on the surface.
The states of consciousness
We have 4 states of consciousness – deep sleep, the waking state, the regular state of awareness where we spend our attention most of our day and then the higher state of consciousness which we experience during our meditation. The regular state of awareness is where we experience our thoughts, feel our emotions and perform all our cognitive activity.
However, in the higher plane or the 4th state, none of these can exist. The way it has been built is that it is a vacuum when it comes to any kind of cognitive activity or thinking. It is a spiritual plane, but very real and incredibly subtle. One can only experience how it feels during meditation. On this plane, we experience our spiritual being tangibly in terms of the components of our subtle energy system – our Spirit, the Kundalini energy, our energy centers and channels. We also experience the sensation of the all-pervading spiritual power on our fingertips and palms. We experience the vacuum like state in the form of total calm and peace and the absence of thoughts, which is why we call this state Thoughtless Awareness.
Accessing the state of meditation
In Sahaja meditation, this crucial task of accessing the highest state of consciousness is done by the rising of the inner Kundalini energy through the central energy channel. When doing so, it stretches the canvas of our attention like a tent pole lifting the canvas upward when we erect the tent, thus stretching it into the higher realm where no thoughts or cognitive activity can exist. This is how and when our attention is immersed or touches the state of meditative calm and peace.
It’s important to note that this state is achieved spiritually in Sahaja meditation because the Kundalini energy and the 4th state of consciousness are spiritual and subtle in nature. In fact, this entire discovery and the experience of a higher state make spirituality very tangible and real. It’s the difference between mere belief or faith in the divine power and actually experiencing how it feels like to be in touch with it. And that is very profound.
Yet, the meditative process in Sahaja is also partly cognitive and closely linked to scientific constructs and processes. The experience of the 4th state is realized on our Central Nervous system, for one. Secondly, typically, we don’t tend to stay at the higher state non-stop for say 15 minutes of our meditation session.
The attention tends to drop back lower intermittently, thus re-entering the cognitive plane. In fact, the entire process consists of a series of thoughts rising and falling and some kind of oscillation between the 3rd and 4th states of consciousness.
Sustaining and improving the state of meditation
Based on the above working, it becomes clear that a strong rising of our Kundalini energy lifts our attention strongly and quickly to the higher state. Therefore, the state of our meditation is sustained and our ability to stay in the higher state is directly proportional to how much and how long our Kundalini energy can keep it up there. That, in turn, is dependent upon how clear the pathways for the flow of it – the channels and center or our chakras – are clear, well balanced and well nourished.
When our subtle energy system is supercharged and kept well maintained, a split second is all it takes for a number of strands of the Kundalini energy to rise and lift us to the meditative state and we enjoy a long, deeper meditation.
On the contrary, when we have imbalances or our Kundalini energy is weak and unable rise up, then you can expect to barely be able to touch the higher state or at times, not even that. This is the worst case scenario and not many people at many times encounter this. But definitely possible.
How do the benefits of meditation manifest?
Through the conduit of the 7th energy center and energy channels, the vital all-pervading energy that is abundant and can be experienced at the higher state of consciousness, flows back into our subtle energy system to nourish our centers, heal and nourish them.
The energy centers and channels govern or drive the functioning of our physical activity, cognitive functions and emotional activity. Hence we are able to function better and correct our imbalances and health problems.
But more than that, the opening up of the subtle system and connection of our Spirit to the all-pervading power gives us true and dynamic spiritual growth and access to true spiritual consciousness. Spirituality is no longer a theory, faith-based or imagined. Or something distant out of reach. It is real and experiential. Alive and kickin’ as they say. All other forms of spiritual pursuits or attempts without this activation and use of the inner subtle energy system are “good faith attempts”, imagined or assumed, but not the real thing.
The precise formula for making your meditation work
Meditation and the realization of its benefits are part cognitive, part spiritual in Sahaja. Based on the above construct, the steps are:
- Allow your the Kundalini energy to do its work of raising your consciousness. This is the governing principle. This happens through surrender in humility as well as conscious efforts to keep our subtle system charged up and clear.
- At the start of your meditation, raise your energy by giving it support in rising up and establishing a state of balance.
- Watch your attention in the 2 states – the one convoluted by thoughts initially when your attention is in the 3rd state and then as the Kundalini rises up, the higher state of peace, calm and lack of thoughts. Keep monitoring your attention. At the 3rd state, it is a purely cognitive process and at the 4th state of consciousness, it is a purely spiritual process of your Spirit being or playing the role of a witness. Obviously, there are states in between that are far too subtle, possibly transient in nature that can be felt and monitored too.
- Watch your thoughts come up intermittently due to the oscillation or movement between the states and get past them by regulating your attention using both cognitive and spiritual means.
- In the long term – nurture your subtle system so your connection can be very strong lifting you effortlessly into meditation.
- Stay in meditation longer so the nourishment of your subtle energy system by the vital, all-pervading energy can happen, resulting in long term self-improvement through physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth.
Now all this seems reasonably clear-cut, yet, the above steps are only the tip of the iceberg in becoming an expert or precision meditator. Why?
Because Step #5 above is the key to success and rather a tough one. The other steps are easier and almost tactical in nature, even though we’d say that less than half the number of Sahaja practitioners truly understand all this in so much detail.
What is harder is making progress on #5.
Which is why we decided to devote the second part of this article entirely to Step #5 – how practitioners focus and attempt to do it in their lives and ways to increase the probability of being successful with that step of building a strong inner subtle energy system progressively.