How is Consciousness experienced in Meditation?


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Consciousness is the expansive experience that you begin to have when you go deeper and deeper. But if you notice what is creating that is your surrendering, it is your opening up yourself to that infinite space, relieving yourself of thinking, because the moment you make too much effort; the mind becomes restless. But the moment you start giving up that effort and you start surrendering, “I don’t know. I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you are. I don’t know what consciousness is, but I want to know. I want to experience.” It’s that yearning without trying to keep a picture and a thought and a label. It’s such yearning from inside, and that heart of surrender that will bring that experience. Sri Vasudeva

Transcendent and Immanent Qualities of Consciousness


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The beauty of what lies within you as your very essence, is that it created the entire Universe and is totally involved in its creation. It is manifesting in everything created. It is totally immersed and involved and identified with its creation, and yet stays apart. What is it that can be a part of everything and yet be apart from everything? That is how powerful consciousness is. It has the power to identify and be in and exist with everything, and yet be apart from it. So we say that it is immanent, it is involved, and it is transcendental, it is beyond.

The goal is to able to see that immanent nature of this consciousness, that it is inside of everything and can identify with everything, and to be able to understand its transcendental nature, which is to come back and look and experience its apartness. This is how it manifests in the whole Universe – it is totally involved in the creation, immanent, and totally transcendental, beyond – and the same is reflected within our being. There is transcendence within us and there is immanence within us.

Excerpt of talk by Sri Vasudeva, for more go to  www. blue-star.org

Develop the Skills of Exploration


We are beings of Consciousness and we need to explore that field beyond that which we are conditioned to experience –  the human consciousness.  It requires great curiosity; your interest needs to be heightened and you need to learn how to investigate, otherwise you will not see that which is right before you. I am sure that you can remember instances where you are observing a situation and you do not pick up everything, and then someone brings it to your attention, “Look at this,” and then you say, “Ah ha.” How easy it is to get locked into our own limited way of looking in simple situations, not being able to see that which is right before our eyes. So  true observation, is an art. It is an ability you can develop.

How do we develop the skills to really explore, that we can see more than meets the eye or the senses? How can we go beyond the known, beyond the conditioned thinking, to see more? How are we going to explore the Consciousness if we do not develop these skills? People are trained in investigating, it is a skill. If you want to explore such a critical field that is important to your wellbeing and transformation and shift, then you need to develop those skills. Even in daily life when you develop these skills, you are much better at everything that you do. So it is worth the while to develop these skills of exploration.  Sri Vasudeva

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What Has Grabbed your Attention Today?


I had a request from a reader for a simple tip that a beginner on the meditation path could use to understand and experience what it means to observe oneself. I thought a story would illustrate the concept.

A few days ago I left home early for an appointment. It was downtown and I planned to walk there. On my way I noticed there were quite a number of nail salons that have cropped up. Nail art has grown in popularity. I paused for a moment to gaze through a store window …. mmm creativity on such a tiny canvas.

I arrived a few minutes early at the office and while waiting I looked around at the people in the vicinity and noticed many interesting nail designs ranging from the simple to really complex. I smiled with enjoyment. I love to see variety in expressions.

Now this was not exactly an earth shattering experience, how could something so mundane bring me to a greater inner awareness? It begins when I become curious about why nails were catching my attention. What about my nails? Well at some point that morning I broke a nail, eventually the discomfort drew my attention until I discovered what had happened.

I had walked past those same nail salons many times before but they did not come to my attention until there was some personal connection. If I was to delve a little deeper I can say I have an interest in many forms of creativity so that innate tendency combined with my broken nail drew my interest. This is a simple story where it was easy to figure out the personal connection. Often times when the story is more complicated by emotional overtones it takes quite a lot of reflection to discover the personal connection.

The intention of this article is to illustrate the starting point in self exploration. First we need to become aware of what is drawing our attention in the outer world and begin the investigation of our personal connection with it. So the most important question is what has drawn your attention today, and why do you suppose it did? I recommend starting with the more neutral attention grabbers.

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Image courtesy Lassie Maclean

 

 

 

I Celebrate Every Day


It is a new day and another opportunity to engage in the karmic play in higher consciousness.  When you can see everything from that space, you see the perfection of the play, you accept the players and you use all the experience of the play itself to grow in consciousness. The play is perfect: all the challengers, all the friends, all the partners, if only we have the eyes to see it. Everything that we need to grow is right before us, so the goal would be to see all the opportunities that are there in every day.

It does not matter what the condition of the body is, it does not matter what the condition of the space is; I celebrate every day, simply because of higher consciousness. The weather conditions may not be right, astrological conditions may not be right, social conditions may not be right, there are so many things to be desired. But one thing is right; that I could be centred in my Higher Self, an Immortal Self, totally in present moment, totally in all possibilities. That is one thing that is right. Sri VasudevaUnknown.jpeg

Discoveries


We’ve been talking about observing the stories the mind creates and I promised to share a little more of my practice.

I became so interested in the observation process and wondered if I could watch the stories as they were being created in the mind. This was fascinating because what I discovered so far, is that the mind begins to create a story when I start to lose focus on what is happening in the present moment!

This was a great surprise to me, because I thought I was being present moment focused. As I pondered the experience I realized that there are gradations in the experience of present moment awareness. Sometimes I was more present than others and when I was more present the experience was more expansive, more blissful, more harmonious. I could increase how present I was by more consciously engaging in an experience.

Do you ever find, you tell yourself a story about how if you were in what you consider an ideal spiritual community, you would be able to experience more of your spiritual Self? That Self may have more love or peace or harmony. You probably have variations to this story.

Well another discovery I made as I practiced observing and being more conscious, was that the circumstances I was in, were ideal for growing or manifesting those same qualities I was wishing for! The more present I was, the more I realized how perfectly designed my situation was to help me to make a leap, not just a little step. As the mind became clearer I could see the opportunities better, the mundane seemed to disappear and everything around me became a rich spiritual field. This could be what is meant by “everything is in Divine order”. Isn’t this interesting?

Whenever we join in practice the collective field we create together is wonderfully supportive. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with me. Lets see what we will discover this week!

Dropping The Baggage


I have been observing my mind’s tendency to create stories and trying to arrest that habit.

The first time I discovered a story I was really so surprised, because I was treating this story as if it was the “truth” not realizing it was something made up by the mind. I took the story and attempted to delete my interpretations, bias, feelings… trying to find the core idea. I kept simplifying the idea until it was expressed in one or two short sentences.

In this way I dropped the baggage associated with the idea and it was easier to decide what to do with it. In a very natural way the idea fell away if it didn’t serve me and if it was useful, new information came to me, now that the field was cleared of the clutter.

As you would guess the more I engaged in this practice, the lighter I felt and more peace seemed to fill my being.

There is lots more I want to tell you about this practice but I want to give you a chance first to try this practice yourself, so that we can explore it in an experiential way together. You see once I did this practice a few times I found I didn’t have to do it every time because in the process I learned about why the mind was creating those stories but that is for the next time we chat.

Two Attitudes To “I Don’t Know”


I’ve been exploring consciousness expansion practices with the key element of remaining open to all possibilities. I set out with the intention of finding out what observing from an open space would be like. A natural progression was wondering what happens when the observing takes place in a closed space.
There were a number of situations that occurred these past few days where I had to make a decision or take some action and I didn’t know what to do and from what I can see they fell into two categories. I’ll give you an example of each.
When I am creating a new workshop or writing teaching materials I often don’t have a starting point. There is stress as I look for inspiration to get started. As the deadline for submission draws near, the stress builds up. But deep inside me I feel that some idea will come and I keep looking. Indeed once the inspiration starts to flow I can hardly type fast enough to capture all the ideas. It feels like I’m carried by a wave as the creative process unfolds. When I look back at materials that came out of this type of experience I still find the materials interesting, they stand the test of time. So I ask myself how could I transfer this experience/ process to when I’m working with challenging patterns of behavior in myself. Because this must be what observing from an open space must be like.
On the other hand when I observe myself and encounter unhelpful emotions or patterns of behavior then sometimes I get very upset with what I see. I can get swept up in negative feelings. I start to feel powerless. I know in the moment that I’m feeling contracted but I find it difficult to change and until this practice of observing process I didn’t have a clue as to how to move forward. I now realize that my attitude is closed. I’m observing from a closed space. In this scenario when I realize I don’t know what to do I see it as an end point. Whereas when I’m writing and I don’t know what to do next I see it as a starting point and that the inspiration will come. This was like a thunderbolt to me; I have two radically different attitudes when I feel “I don’t know”. One attitude leads to new discoveries and the other attitude lands me mired in misery. Can you see the difference in the two “I don’t knows”?
The next step was to try to apply a change in process when feeling contracted by seeing unpleasant patterns of behavior in myself. How could this be the starting instead of the end point? I could focus my attention on the information and tools that I already have about making changes. I could pay attention to the role models around me and draw motivation from them. I could pray for support while keeping alert so that I recognize the help when it comes. There are so many things I can do. I can see how this approach would open up the space.
I have to keep at this longer to see where it will take me. Hope this all makes sense to you. Let me know what you think.

Beginning To Figure Out How I Observe


 

 

 

 

 

Stop-at-the-first-thought-and-witnessA big part of my spiritual journey has been observing what is happening with me. I’ve focused a lot on what I observe in my inner space. So for example I can now see the types of thoughts I create in my mind and the emotions they generate. Of course I have been very interested in managing my mental and emotional creations.

 

I can also observe the vast space behind the thoughts and emotions, exploring the inner silence that is a constant companion.

 

In other words I’ve become more familiar with what is in my inner space. In a way it’s like entering a room and becoming familiar with what is in the room. I’ve enjoyed playing in that room, moving the “furniture” around and creating a pleasing environment. The furniture is like the events in my inner space.

I can say I have developed more confidence in my ability to observe myself. That is an important mile stone, “I can observe!”

 

 

 

 

Now I want to turn my attention to how I observe. What process do I use in observing? What are different ways of observing? What types of options are there? What is the effect of the different ways of observing? Are there more constructive ways of observing? Hmmm very interesting don’t you think? I shall report back on what I have discovered :). In the mean time feel free to share your process of observing.

Note the marvelous mindmap created by Paul Foreman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have I Taken Control Of My Day Or Is My Day Controlling Me?


How quickly time is passing by! We are well into the new year. I have to reflect on what’s been happening to see if I am spending my time in a way that is congruent with my larger vision for myself.

So far today have I taken control of my day or did I allow it to control me? Or was there a mixture of both; sometimes I was in charge and sometimes it controlled me? When and in what situations did I allow the day to control me? Was I controlled by the feelings of the body, or the triggers that come from other people, or energies from around me? How did I feel when things around controlled me? What was the feeling when I was in charge of what was happening?

Did I go with the flow of things and was I still in control? Was I keeping aware and changing when I thought it is not going where I want it to go? Did I manage my thoughts and emotions and align myself to what was happening around me in such a way that I felt more harmony?

Today my intention is to uplift my Self, Self inside and Self outside, to recognize the very same Source inside of me is looking at me through another, to come to the awareness that this is my Self in another person, “those eyes are looking from the same space that is inside of me”.

I seek to understand my Higher Self in everybody else. I want to understand that, I want to feel that, I want to know that Higher Self, to see my Higher Self in everything!

I want to recognize the energy working within me, and within others, feel peace within me, and recognize peace within others. The more I can feel that Higher Self inside of me, the more I will see it in others. It is by knowing Self that I begin to know my world.

I will keep a check on that ego part of me that is looking to be satisfied with the little things – a little fight here, a little pleasure there, the need for recognition here, not wanting to serve there, the need to protect personal property, the desire not to give but to hoard. All these are ego plays that serve no purpose. There is so much to learn, there is so much to know and there is so much to experience in every day! Today I am going to keep myself on track.