Meditation and Higher Consciousness
This is an edited version of a lesson from our online counselling course
It consist of quotes from many different sources, strung together by comments of our own
The state of meditation is difficult to obtain, and many don’t know it is there,
and confuses the technique of meditation to be the same as the state of meditation.
Dalai Lama writes:
If a person has a really deep interest in spiritual growth, he or she cannot do away with the practice of meditation. That is the key! Just a mere prayer or wish will not effect this inner spiritual change. The only for development is through a constant effort through meditation! Of course, at the beginning it is not easy. You may find difficulties, or a loss of enthusiasm. Or perhaps at the beginning there will be too much enthusiasm- then after a few weeks or months, your enthusiasm may wane. We need to develop a constant, persistent approach based on a long-term commitment.
Dalai Lama, “The Good Heart” p. 123
“It is my belief that if prayer, meditation, and contemplation which is more discursive and analytic- are combined in daily practice, the effect on the practitioner’s mind and heart will be all the greater. One of the major aims and purposes of religious practice for the individual is an inner transformation from the undisciplined, untamed, unfocused state of mind toward one that is disciplined, tamed, and balanced.”
Dalai Lama, “The Good Heart” p. 40-41
The word "yoga" means "Union with God", so yoga is not only hatha yoga, but many other techniques as well.
Yoga is the cessation of movements in the consciousness
“Yoga is the cessation of movements in the consciousness.
Then the seer dwells in his own true splendour.
At other times the seer identifies with the fluctuating consciousness.
The movements of consciousness are fivefold. They may be cognisable or non cognisable, painful or non painful.
They are caused by correct knowledge, illusion, delusion, sleep and memory.
Correct knowledge is direct, inferred or proven as factual.
Illusory or erroneous knowledge is based on non-fact or the non-real.
Practice and detachment are the means
to still the movements of consciousness.
Practice is the steadfast effort to still these fluctuations.
Long, uninterrupted alert practice is the firm foundation
for restraining the fluctuations”.
Excerpts of Patanjalis’ Sutras (1:2 – 1:14)
As Dalai Lama indicated, contemplation is more analytic than meditation, and therefore it is easier accessible for the western mind to start there, and the technique can create positive change.
The hands-on healing technique we teach has particular contemplations related to the different tarot and cosmic images as an integral part.
These contemplations are important in their own right, and also helping the mind to open up for the non-intellectual and non-verbal energy-transmission in the pictures.
A good way of using these contemplations is:
Look at the picture with a relaxed gaze while you at the same time allow the question given in the contemplation to stay open.
Do not solve anything, allow the question to remain open, contained, alive, but not solved, boxed in.
As with any technique, it requires some concentration, time and repetition, there is no way around it – practice is the means.
“Meditation is one of the greatest arts in life - perhaps the greatest, and one cannot possibly learn it from anybody.
That is the beauty of it. It has no technique and therefore no authority.
When you learn about yourself, watch yourself, watch the way you walk, how you eat, what you say, the gossip, the hate, the jealousy - if you are aware of all that in yourself, without any choice, that is part of meditation.
So meditation can take place even when you are sitting in a bus or walking in the woods full of light and shadows, or listening to the singing of birds or looking at the face of your wife or child.”
A story. “A disciple who had been practicing for some time came to see Ikkyu. It was raining, and as he went in, he left his shoes and umbrella outside. After he had paid his respects, Ikkyu asked him on which side of his shoes he had left his umbrella.
Now, what kind of a question…? You expect masters to ask about God, about kundalini rising, chakras opening, lights happening in your head! But Ikkyu asked a very ordinary question. What does shoes and umbrellas have to do with spirituality?
But there is something immensely valuable in it; the question has meaning. The disciple could not remember - who bothers where you have put your shoes and on which side you have put your umbrella?
But that was enough - the disciple was refused. Ikkyu said, “Then go and meditate for seven years more.”
“Seven years” the disciple said. “Just for this small fault?”
“Faults are not small or big, “Ikkyu said. “You are just not yet living meditatively, that’s all.”
Don’t make any distinction between things, that this is trivial and that is very spiritual. Pay attention, be careful, and everything becomes spiritual. If you don’t pay attention, don’t be careful, everything becomes unspiritual.
Spirituality is imparted by you, it is your gift to the world. When a master like Ikkyu touches his umbrella, the umbrella is as divine as anything can be. Meditative energy is alchemical; it goes on transforming the baser into the higher. Peel an orange as if you are conducting a symphony, and you will be coming closer and closer. The more meditative you become, the more you see God everywhere.
At the ultimate peak, everything is divine.”
Osho: “Take it easy, vol 2”, here from ”Neo Tarot” p. 28-29.
The purpose of meditation
“The purpose of meditation [..] is to teach the mental layer to open up for the higher and faster spiritual energy.
It is imperative to understand that if one can establish a vacuum in the consciousness, if one can stop the thoughts, be still, then this mental vacuum will immediately attempt to fill itself up with some other non-mental energy.
Therefore it is very important that there is a relative tranquillity before the meditation, relative balance in the lower aspects: The physical, the etheric [pranic], the astral. If there is not balance and thus control, in these lower aspects, the mental vacuum will fill with what there might be of blockages, physical unbalances, pain, sexual blockages emotional disturbances, weaknesses in the character, shadow-material.
The meditation will, without previous and continued training of the physical-etheric-astral, result in more energy flowing into extremes and unbalances in the total psycho-physical system.
Only if there are relative balance and control in the lower aspects, the vacuum created by meditation will be filled with the higher, healing, spiritual energy.”
The risk that is connected with […] meditation techniques therefore precisely lies in that the meditation - if it really is effective - because of the mental vacuum, strengthen and enlarges all the imperfections, unbalances and unconscious aspects in the person.
Jes Bertelsen: “Dybdepsykologi 4, p 10 – 11, our translation
Four steps in the meditative process
Recollecto; Silentio;Iilluminatio; Unio Mystica
In the Christian mysticism […] the four steps is described this way:
Concentration consists of the act, the exercise, wherein the soul constantly is focused on and remembers God. When walking, standing, speaking, working, eating, resting, constantly to remember God, constantly to direct oneself towards God. […] This process is often called Recollecto.
Meditative equilibrium between inward and outward is by Master Eckehard described as the condition where the soul and God is in harmony, that the soul is born into God and God is born into the soul. This clearly meditative, double-poled awareness in harmony between soul and God is called Silentio (silence).
[The third step] Illumination is by the mystics Teresa, Eckehard and Ruysbroek described as momently-enlightened, a state where the soul and God in a brief moment are one. This condition is called Illuminatio.
Finally the lasting higher consciousness is described as Unio Mystica, permanently to be one with God.
In the east for example Patanjali describes in the 3’ book of the yoga sutras the same phases:
1 Fixing the consciousness on one point or region is concentration (dharana).
2 A steady, continuous flow of attention directed towards the same point or region is meditation (dhyana).
3 When the object of meditation engulfs the meditator, appearing as the subject, self awareness is lost. This is samadhi.
4 These three together - dharana, dhyana and samadhi - constitute integration or samyama.
5 From mastery of samyama comes the light of awareness and insight.
Obstacles to meditation
Tricks of the mind - Don’t be fooled by experiences
All experiences are just tricks of the mind, all experiences are just escapes. Meditation is not an experience, it is a realisation. Meditation is not an experience; rather, it is a stopping of all experience.
Experience is something outside you. The experiencer is your being. And this is the distinction between true spirituality and false: if you are after experiences, the spirituality is false; if you are after the experiencer, then it is true. And then you are not concerned about kundalini, not concerned about chakras, not concerned about all these things. They will happen, but you are not concerned, you are not interested, and you will not move on these by-paths. You will go on moving towards the inner centre where nothing remains except you in your total aloneness. Only the consciousness remains, without content.
Content is the experience; whatsoever you experience is the content. I experience misery; then the misery is the content of my consciousness. I then experience pleasure; the pleasure is the content. I experience boredom; then boredom is the content. You can experience silence; then silence is the content. If you experience bliss; then bliss is the content. So you go on changing the content – you can go on changing ad infinitum – but this is not the real thing. The real is the one to whom these experiences happen – to whom boredom happens, to whom bliss happens. The spiritual search is not what happens, but to whom it happens. Then there is no possibility for the ego to arise.
Osho: “Meditation the First and Last Freedom” p.314 -334
You are not a becoming - You are a being
[…] A wants to become B; B wants to become C. Then the fewer of becoming is created.
You are not a becoming; you are a being. You are already that which you can be, which you can ever be – you are already that. Nothing more can be done about you; you are a finished product.
This is the meaning I give to the story that God created the world: when the perfect creates, the creation is perfect. When God creates, how can you improve upon it? Just think of the whole absurdity; the whole idea is absurd.
You are trying to improve upon God; you cannot improve. You can be miserable, that’s all. And you can suffer unnecessarily. And you will suffer diseases which are just in your imagination and nowhere else. God creating means: out of perfection comes perfection.
You are perfect! Nothing else is needed. Look right now, this very moment, within yourself. Have a direct insight. What is needed? Everything is simply perfect and beautiful. Not even a cloud in your inner space. Everything is full of light.
But the mind will want, sooner or later, to be something else, to be somewhere else, to become. The mind doesn’t allow you to be. The mind is becoming, and your soul is being. That’s why Buddha’s go on saying: “Unless you drop all desiring you will not attain!” Desiring means becoming. Desiring means to be something else. Desiring means not to accept the case as you are, not to be in a total ‘yes’ mood – no matter what the situation.
Osho: “Meditation the First and Last Freedom” p.332 - 334
The levels of consciousness
[Consciousness has several levels, and they can roughly be described in this way], beginning on the lowest and ending on the highest level: Deep dreamless sleep; dream; awaken; holographic consciousness; non-dual totally awake consciousness
While the ordinary consciousness is isolated, dual and separated, the holographic consciousness in its essence is connected with all other consciousnesses. […]
The practices of double-poled awareness, practicing consciousness non-verbally knowing of itself in glimpses, gradually train the ordinary consciousness to refrain from the isolating and sequential way of functioning [that are the earmark of ordinary consciousness].
The ordinary consciousness [..] is identified with, or primarily interested in the object, while the double poled awareness is turned back, inward, towards […] awareness, and in that process, let go of attachment and identification with the object, and first and foremost, in a glimpse, know of itself.
In double-poled awareness, any content in our consciousness, any condition, is treated simply and only as an offset for double-poled awareness. […] All contents and conditions are equally well suited for the mind, to momentary know of itself.
What happens or do not happen in the mind immediately after a moment of double-poled awareness is without consequence for the practitioner. Any incident after the moment of double-poled awareness experienced or hoped-for as a possible outcome of the technique, is just once again the sequential, understanding-producing, normal dual and causal mind.
[…] The other condition is that the practitioner must have trust, must dare letting go of the known, and open up to the unknown. This trust is about the trust towards ones own practice, but, […] this trust is also connected to the process of teaching and thus to the teacher and the lineage of the teacher.
Translated and edited from Danish: Jes Bertelsen: “Bevidsthedens inderste, Dzogchen”. P 17 ff
How to prepare ourselves for meditation
The physical aspect is the body. The training of this aspect as a preparation for meditation happens in physical exercises as for example hatha yoga, tai chi etc.
The pranic or etheric aspect is the life-force, the auric layer that is of the opposite sex to the physical. The training of this layer happens in breathing exercise (Pranayama), training of chakra structures, meditations on the opposite sex etc.
The astral aspect is the emotional. This is trained in cathartic techniques as for example encounter, gestalt, bioenergetics, meditations on the shadow and exercises in the astral aura.
The mental aspect is the thinking itself, the basic activity of consciousness. Meditation understood in the Eastern way is precisely training of the mental layer.
The spiritual layer is the higher and highest layers of consciousness, the form of energy that expresses itself in the Self, in intuitions, compassion, bliss, peace, wisdom.
Jes Bertelsen: “Dybdepsykologi 4, p 10 – 11, our translation
Patanjali on meditation.
1.28 The mantra aum is to be repeated constantly, with feeling, realizing its full significance.
1.33 Through cultivation of friendliness, compassion, joy and indifference to pleasure and pain, virtue and vice respectively, the consciousness becomes favourably disposed, serene and benevolent.
1.34 Or, by maintaining the pensive state felt at the time of soft and steady exhalation and during passive retention after exhalation.
1.35 Or, by contemplating on an object that helps to maintain steadiness of mind and consciousness.
1.36 Or, inner stability is gained by contemplating a luminous sorrow-less effulgent light.
1.37 Or, by contemplating on enlightened sages who are free from desires and attachments, calm and tranquil, or by contemplating Divine objects.
1.38 Or, by recollecting and contemplating the experiences of dream-filled or dreamless sleep during a watchful waking state.
1.39 Or, by meditating on any desired object conductive to steadiness of consciousness.
Higher consciousness or Samadhi
Higher consciousness is the state wherein the whole of the Cosmic energy is experienced - the Divine - is met. […] higher consciousness is a fully structured harmony in wisdom, light and energy. The higher or cosmic consciousness dwells in unspeakable unity.
Translated from Jes Bertelsen Højere Bevidsthed
Patanjali describes samadhi as follows:
Fixing the consciousness on one point or region is concentration (dharana)
A steady, continuos flow of attention directed towards the same point or region is meditation (dhyana)
When the object of meditation engulfs the meditator, appearing as the subject, self-awareness is lost. (3.1-3.3)
Concentration; Meditation; . The object of meditation engulfs the meditator; This is samadhi.
Vanished are the veils of light and shade,
Lifted the vapours of sorrow, Sailed away the dawn of fleeting joy, Gone the mirage of the senses.
Love, hate, health, disease, life and death - Departed, these false shadows on the screen of duality.
Waves of laughter, Scyllas of sarcasm, Whirlpools of melancholy, Melting in the vast sea of bliss.
Bestilled is the storm of Maya By the magic wand of intuition deep.
The universe, a forgotten dream lurks subconsciously, Ready to invade my newly wakened memory divine.
I exist without the cosmic shadow, But it could not live bereft of me;
As the sea exists without the waves, But they breathe not without the sea.
Paramahansa Yogananda, Songs of the Soul
From meditation to illumination
The path from meditation to illumination is an accumulation of light, of energy as light or to light. This light or this alight-energy is in ordinary levels of consciousness spread as thoughts, images, archetypes, symbols, colours, visions. It is the spreading of the light, that in the process from meditation to illumination is connected into one ray. Or meditation works from the separated phenomena of light inward towards the source of the light. The meeting with this identical inner source of light, that is lying behind all spread phenomenas is illumination. Both before and after a illumination- experience is it possible for the consciousness to use the collected light in different ways. When a sufficient amount of meditative energy is accumulated in the consciousness, and thus is at hand as ready energy, clear light, then this light can either be maintained there, turn inward towards its source, or it can be turned outwards in creative action, visions of colours, in aura vision Many who meditate have been seduced by these colourful experiences and has stopped progressing there, with the ability to see the aura, with the ability to create pictures, to create within reality.
ranslated from Jes Bertelsen Højere Bevidsthed
The task is illumination
But [….] the task is illumination, and then slowly onwards towards lasting enlightenment. Only thus can the individual function transparent for the cosmos, as a channel for the divine, without mixing the ego in as a filter. The ego is necessary, is a beautiful deep phenomena, whose idea is to focus the consciousness in the ordinary functions. Without this focus of the ego, the consciousness would not be able to collect energy enough to reach realisation of itself as higher consciousness. The ego is a boat, in which the consciousness can sail from unconsciousness to higher consciousness. But when higher consciousness is reached, the ego is a delay, a regressive aspect. To hold on to the ego - when higher levels of consciousness unfold their cosmic many-dimensionality - is like keeping the baby teeth when one is 18.
Translated from Jes Bertelsen Højere Bevidsthed
The problem of ego inflation
If the light [gathered in meditation] is spread in colours and cast out in aura visions and aura phenomenas, the danger is that the ego gets new fuel from the feedback it receives because of the aura capacity. And if it happens that the ego is nourished by being able to spread the light in aura colours, then it would be better if the ego had not discovered this simple, beautiful secret, consisting of letting the light, collected in meditation, be spread in one of the numerous facets of the consciousness and spread its rays out in plays of aura colours and symbols . The problem or danger does not consist in for example using creativity or aura abilities; the danger is if the ego grows, gets powerful feeding on the positive feed back from the world. And if the ego is strengthened and accepts the honour, or is blown up, the transformation process in the consciousness is stopped, the growth towards the goal: illumination, and later enlightenment.
Translated from Jes Bertelsen Højere Bevidsthed
The enlightened moment has three aspects: Light, joy and non-duality
Light detoriate into irritation
Joy deteriorate into sexuality
Non-duality deteriorate into sleepiness
Intuition deteriorate into anger
Translated from Jes Bertelsen Højere Bevidsthed