By: Chip Weston
Edited Excerpt from a School of Wisdom Class
In all the different forms of meditation that I have studied, there seem to be three basic types: Bodymeditation, Soul meditation and Spirit meditation. Body meditation uses the physical world, especially your own body, as a doorway and guide to deep meditation. Soul meditation uses life energies, all forms of life, including people, past, present, and even future entities. Spirit meditation is the most abstract, focusing on symbols, ideals, and pure emptyness - the "Clear Light of the Void" as the Tibetians call it.
One well known type of Soul meditation which I have been trained in is called "Guru meditation", or sometimes, "Ancestor" meditation. In this type of meditation you begin your session by trying to access a line of teachers. You are tuning into these souls. Traditionally, in all the different parts of the world, going all the way back into Shamanism, you begin this meditation by calling upon your Ancestors to be with you. If you meditate, and you practice some type of Ancestor or Guru meditation, why don't you call on your Ancestors to be with us right now. For instance, right now I call upon the Kriya Yoga teachers: Yogananda, Hari Harananda, Sri Yukteswar, and Babaji and those people to come and help guide me. Part of the Soul meditations we do at the School of Wisdom are based on traditional "Guru" or "Ancestor" meditations.
Another type of Soul meditation I have experience with is called "Love" meditation. I grew up as a Quaker, and they taught me to meditate when I was a little boy. They would light a candle--we could even do that now--and you go into the same place where love is.
Find love within yourself; find love within the room. It is the most simple form of meditation you could imagine. It is just meditating on love. We could do that now for a minute while our Ancestor friends are coming to guide us, even if you can't see the flame. Look in the direction of the light and begin to become centered. Try to remember the last time you had the experience of love. Hopefully it was sometime today. If not, see what comes into your mind. Look in the direction of the candle, let your eyes close and try to keep your spine straight. This is an ancient meditation. The Essenes taught this; so did Shamanism.
Think of the very first human beings who used fire. Let the image of the cave come into your mind, the ancient archetype. Outside are the extremes of temperature and inside is the family, the tribe, yourself and the fire. The whole tribe is around the fire-- this most ancient archetype for humanity; maybe the first meditation. Go into that place and feel a communion with those first people, working so hard on the outside to sustain their lives, but now pausing and going inward and finding love. Let your eyes open; sit up straight; listen.
Try to go between the two hemispheres of your brain with your consciousness, not in one hemisphere or the other. Try to go back behind the eyebrows about three inches, right in the very center. Listen there for a moment. Try to hear the sound that is coming from inside yourself, your own song, your own rhythm. Again let your eyes close. This last technique is a type of Body meditation, as it involves tuning into the body.
The third form of Soul meditation seems to be the same everywhere on the planet, and I will call that God meditation. Here you put yourself in relation to God, and thus tune into your true inner being, your "God face". In the first Soul meditation that we spoke of, Guru meditation, you link yourself up with a whole lineage, a whole line of teachers. You use them and commune with them as your guides. The second form, Love meditation, you look for love in the universe and inside yourself. You come to love yourself. God meditation is yet another type of Soul meditation. God meditation is frequently begun with different forms of "bowing" where you realize how small you are, how tiny you are. Not that you are insignificant by any means; it's almost the opposite of that in God meditation. You find your significance, but the way you do that is through surrender.
Sit as straight as you can. In the essence of all the God meditations is a vertical feeling of an alignment with the earth. Feel that you are sitting firmly on the ground. Even if you are sitting in a chair imagine that you are sitting firmly on the ground. Become aware of where you are on the planet, wherever you are, and when you are corresponding to human history, the current agreed-upon date. You center yourself in your mind--where you are and when you are--and then you say, "Who am I in this moment?"
You begin to have some self-awareness. Without self-awareness you can't be aware of God. However you call God--All That Is, the Great Spirit, the Universe--whatever name you use, call God now. In the God meditations you feel that God is just outside yourself. What you do is to open yourself so that God can come into you. Feel that you are opening. Perhaps you imagine that you are a flower bud closed very tightly. Will one petal at a time to come down. Feel gravity pulling all the weight away from your body. You feel lighter and lighter, and you feel like you are opening like a flower opening. Within a few seconds you feel closer to God. Just let go. Let your face shine. Be happy. Trust in God. Let go.
Sit still and let your eyes open very slowly. When your eyes are open stretch a little bit. Try to feel here and now. Come back into this moment. That was just a tiny little glimpse of some of many types of Soul meditations in the world today.
Now we will try a different type of Spirit based meditation. Most Spirit meditations use a symbol or "Yantra" of some kind as a focus, even if the symbol is complete emptyness, the vast emptyness of Infinite Space. A Spirit meditation that we have been working on for the last few years at the School of Wisdom is based on a symbol called "The Wheel". wheel
Begin by just staring at the Wheel for a minute. Just take in the whole thing. Look at the overall form. Then notice in particular its circularity. Notice all of the concentric circles. Then notice the lines, and the various directions. Then take a while to look at the various geometric shapes formed by the interconnecting lines. Now really look at the colors. Finally, just let your eyes roam freely. Let yourself space out staring at the symbol. Try and picture the Wheel in your head when your eyes are closed. Practice this several times over a period of a few months and you can begin to recall this image in your mind at will. This can not only lead to deep mediatations, but can also have other spiritual benefits related to your overall progress in understanding, especially if you are pursuing a course of study at the School of Wisdom. For instance, having this image in your head can help in holistic understanding and comprehension of the underlying fractal connectivity of all things. (See for instance my Essay on Fractals, Consciousness and Creativity found at the FractalWisdom.com website.)
When Ralph talked to "C" earlier tonight about the hidden spiritual meaning of C's 21st birthday, he was talking based on such holistic knowledge from the Wheel. I'm not going to get into a lot of detail, but basically we carry this Wheel around within ourselves, so we target our meditations based on the Wheel to improve our results. (See the Holistic Wisdom web pages for more information on the Wheel as developed by the School of Wisdom and Arnold Keyserling.) The whole thing about meditation in this age, I feel, is that we need results. We all become Bodhisattvas. What that means is that we no longer cloister ourselves, and go off and meditate and disregard the world, and just work on our own personal salvation. Now it is almost as if the potential has changed, and you get the salvation--get it as quickly and as efficiently as you can--and then go back and work in the world. When you lose it, you go back and get your salvation again, and then go back and work in the world. The way we have been trying to do that is by embodying the Wheel in our Spirit meditations.
We will now do one of many forms of Wheel meditations. Basically, in this Wheel meditation we are going to work on all three levels: body, soul and spirit. In the body work we are going to work on the potential of the body. The potential of the body is the same potential as the chakras. The chakras are energy, and in the Soul realm, but they are tied directly to the Body. If you aren't familiar with this, it doesn't matter. Don't try to get too intellectual or anything else. We are just doing some exercises to see if they have any positive results for you.
The first thing that I want to do is some Soul meditation from China called "Qi Gong". Qi Gong is great when you can see it. By that I mean it is great when you can feel the results; but when you can see it, the energies called by the Chinese "CHI", that is even better. Take your two index fingers and put them close together, and let your eyes really relax. You want your fingers to be maybe one-quarter of an inch apart. Don't use your imagination; just let your eyes relax. It doesn't matter if you see anything or not, but see if you do see anything. I'm not even going to tell you what I see, because I don't want you to use your imagination. If you can see something that's great. If you don't, don't get frustrated. It doesn't matter. What we're doing right now is a form of centering.
While you are looking between your fingers, rock back and forth from side to side on your feet. This is the Body component to the meditation. As you do this we have two places of attention: one with our eyes, we're looking at our fingers; two with our feet, we've lowered our center of gravity. We're rocking back and forth, and you feel that your feet are actually expanding. Let go of any tension, especially tension in your feet. Feel that you are standing on Mother Earth. You feel that there is a huge life under you -- your Earth Mother. You feel her energy coming up through the foundation of the room into your feet. You feel her energy as she longs for the center of the Universe, reaching up through your legs, your knees and thighs, to the very base of your spine. Now you have three points of Body attention: one in your eyes, two in your fingers and three at the very tip of your spine.
Keep rocking back and forth. Bring more and more of your attention into your spine at the very tip. Just for a moment let your eyes close. What do you see? Let your eyes relax. Try to remember what you see. Very gently let your eyes open and let your hands begin to relax. Look again to see if you can see the Chi now, or what it looks like now. Then let gravity pull your hands down. Let your hands completely relax. Turn your feet so that they are shoulder width apart and pointing straight ahead. You are firmly planted on your heels and on the balls of your feet, just behind your little toes. Let your spine become straight. Don't focus on anything. Your eyes are just slightly opened. Take your pelvis and pull it in. When you pull your pelvis in, take your tongue and roll it up so that the tip of your tongue is touching the roof of your mouth. There are scientific reasons for all these things, but I won't go into it here. I just want you to have the result, for you to get some kind of positive result from the exercise.
Your feet are firmly on the ground, your knees are slightly bent, your pelvis is tucked, your shoulders are back, your hands are relaxed, your tongue is rolled up. Just above the fifth chakra (neck level) pull your chin in so that you are straightening this part of your neck. Your eyes are relaxed and unfocused. Let your arms come out, your hands come out, and wiggle your fingers. Put in all of your attention, even close your eyes and just feel your hands. Is there any tension in your hands? Let it go. Open your eyes a little and just let your hands hang loose. Your knees are a little bent.
Listen to the sound of the PrimaSounds chakra music now in the background. (To replicate this play a PrimaSounds CD now.) We are going to be doing some first chakra work now (Soul type of meditation). Pay attention to the very tip of your spine, even just below the tip of your spine. Remember Mother Earth below you. She is always trying to help you. All you have to do is be receptive to her. Feel that your fingers are attached to Mother Earth with luminous bands of energy, little packets of quanta--however you want to have the realization that you really are attached to the earth. Feel your fingertips attached to the earth and pull your fingers up just a little bit, back and forth. Really start to feel that. It isn't just gravity. You really feel an attachment to the earth as though you're kind of sticky, and all of a sudden you kind of lock right in there. You can feel her. If you have that great; if you don't, don't get frustrated. Just go with the exercise. Get attached. Your hands will stop wiggling when they do.
Pay attention to your first chakra. Keep your tongue rolled up. Take a slight inhalation through your nose and bring your hands up. Pause. Feel it, and then exhale through your nose. Let the earth pull your hands down. Again inhale, bring your hands up to your heart, big inhalation, and exhale, bring your hands down. One more time inhale, exhale. Now relax and let your hands go. Pay attention to your first chakra. Listen to the sound.
We are going to do a little color work with our first chakra. Close your eyes. Let the color red come into your eyes. Feel the color penetrating into your whole body everywhere, especially into your first chakra. As you listen to the sound (the first chakra tone is playing now as found at the end of any of the PrimaSounds CDs) and feel the color, feel the vibration in your first chakra that is sympathetic to the experience of hearing. Do this for a minute now. It is very common to have the experience that your first chakra is blowing up like a balloon. It is just letting go; it is like a flower opening. All of a sudden the tension just lets go, tension that you could have had for years, possibly all kinds of energy blockages; they just let go. Automatically you yawn. It is the most natural thing in the world. Even force yourself to yawn. Try to yawn from your first chakra. Keep your eyes closed and yawn. Feel that your first chakra is yawning and opening up. Have a big, big yawn. In yogic meditation when the masters are looking at you, when they see somebody take a huge yawn they usually know that either the first or the fourth chakra is opening up.
Let your eyes open just a little bit and get a little of the color through your eyes. Let your eyes close almost all the way. Put all of your attention into your eyes. How do they feel? Are they tired? Are they refreshed? Let your eyes smile for a minute. Feel as though they are letting go--first your right eye and left brain, and then your left eye and right brain. Feel that you are cleansing all of your internal sensory apparatus for seeing. Your eyes are cleansed; your optic nerves are cleansed.
Now go into your olfactory, your smelling. First go into your upper sinuses; imagine them re-energized, healed. Then go into your lower sinuses. Feel them opening up and restored. Then go into your nose. Take a deep, deep breath. Stretch your hands and your arms way up in the air; really stretch. Take a big breath through your nose. Stretch your hands way, way, way out; big, big stretch. Relax and exhale. We are cleaning our Sensing. We are still working on our first chakra.
Touch your hands. Touch your shirt or blouse and your pants. Really get into touch; really feel. Remember what it was like when you were a baby and you could touch something, and touching was big deal? Really feel that your whole sense of touch is restored. Really get into touch. Feel that part of your first chakra just open right up. All your touch is restored. Then pause and relax. Again take another deep breath and stretch out. Feel that you are touching the air above you. Your touch is so sensitive that you can touch the air. Relax.
Go into your right ear and bring your consciousness from the outside through the ear canal, through the eardrum, into the little bones and mechanisms inside, into the spiral; come deeper and deeper through your ear, restoring every part of your ear until you become electrical energy and go into the brain. Move into the left ear from the outside. Move in through the ear canal, through the eardrum, through the anvil and the stirrup, through the spiral, and become electrical energy and move all the way in. Now concentrate on both ears at once. For 30 seconds just listen to the chakra music (PrimaSounds). Feel that your hearing has become restored. Then stretch, inhale; big stretch. Stretch with your ears. Yawn. Open your mouth; really open your ears up as you yawn. Relax and come back down.
Go into your tongue, to the tip of your tongue. Feel the tip of your tongue vibrating if you can. Be on the very periphery, the very outside of your tongue. Then move back through the whole sense of taste. Feel your tongue vibrating. Feel yourself salivating. Rub your teeth gently over the top of your tongue. Move your tongue around in your mouth. Feel that the whole inside of the mouth is being cleansed and your whole sense of taste is being restored. Take a deep breath, stretch way up. Now with your eyes closed so you don't embarrass yourself, stick your tongue out. Really let the tension out of your tongue. That is all you are doing right now. Relax and let your arms down.
Let your eyes open. Go into your first chakra and feel how that chakra feels. Maybe you feel this kind of wavy energy moving back and forth, back and forth, almost like a pendulum or an ocean wave. The wave is actually moving up as it comes towards the shore, and you feel the energy moving up from the first chakra into the second chakra. Come up about three or four inches, still in the very lower part of the spine. Be calm and relaxed. It's fine to sit, it's great to stand; however you are comfortable.
Let your eyes close. Penetrate into the second chakra. As you go into your second chakra feel that your thoughts are becoming very calm. Listen now to the sound and wait for maybe two minutes, and see if any thoughts come. (Again, for best results, play the second chakra tone now found in the seven tone sequence at the end of all PrimaSounds CDs.) Don't identify with thoughts if they come, but let them come if they will. If you have thoughts try to get above them, wherever they are. Imagine that these thoughts are birds flying. Imagine that you have opened some door and they just fly away, so grateful. Even thoughts that you have had for many, many years that don't serve any positive purpose, let them all join the flock and fly away until your thinking becomes crystal clear.
Imagine now with your eyes closed that there is a huge lake, and your whole life you have lived around the lake, moving from here to there like the houses on the circular Wheel. Here is where you are born, where you come into physical reality Here is where you are seven. Here is where you are 14. Here is where you are 21. At different ages you go out into the lake. Sometimes the lake gets muddy; sometimes there are storms. Now you are going way above the lake until you can see your whole essence, and the lake becomes very calm--very calm like a mirror. Your thoughts become completely still, and your second chakra feels like it is opening up like a flower.
Feel the energy coming up again, that pendulum feeling, and move right up into your third chakra. Feel where your belly button is, and go just a little below that and just a couple of inches inside near your spine into your third chakra. Feel that energy move up about four inches. Feel that whole area behind your stomach open up. (The third chakra tone should be playing now on the PrimaSounds CD.) Really let your stomach go. If you need to loosen your belt, loosen your belt, but really be comfortable now. Pay all of your attention into that area. Really let your stomach go. We all try to hold our stomachs in. We put so much energy into holding our stomachs in; now just let it go. Let it be itself, whatever it wants to be. Now look down on that lake. What's deep in the lake. What's lurking there? What emotions have you carried with you for years and years and years? Let them rise up and vaporize until your emotions become extremely calm. Let your stomach relax. Let your third chakra open like a beautiful golden flower until the only emotion that's left is love. Feel that your love is going out from 360 degrees, out in all directions.
Right away the energy starts to move like a pendulum coming up, and you move up just behind your heart. (The fourth chakra tone is playiong now.) Hold your fingers over your wrists so that you can feel your pulse, or put them to your neck, or if you can feel your pulse without doing that; take one minute and feel your heartbeat. Pay attention to your heartbeat. Are you beating your heart? Have you been beating your heart your whole life? Who is beating your heart? Who has always made your heart beat? Go really deep to the player who is playing your heart drum. "Hello drummer. Thank you for playing my heart." Let your beat, your rhythm become very powerful, very strong, very smooth and very pure, just like your Will. Let go of all the superfluous desires. You feel that your heart has wings, like the Sufi symbol of the heart with wings.
Instinctively it begins to fly, and it rises up. It comes up into the fifth chakra, and your neck becomes very straight. (The fifth chakra tone is now playing.) Your breathing becomes very regular. Your body becomes very strong. You feel your whole body at once. You feel that this little meditation exercise, and all of your previous meditations and prayers and consciousness exercises are all coming together, and your body is completely restored in this moment. Feel how wonderful your body feels, how strong it feels. You can stretch even if you are sitting on the ground. Stretch your hands and your arms; feel your body. Give a little credence to your body, this great vehicle that you have for your whole life. Say to your body, "Body, I will protect you. I will take care of you. Just get me through this life as well as you can. Let me do what I need to do here. Help me to do that, Body."
Now let the energy move up between the two hemispheres, four inches deep behind the eyebrows--pinpointed attention there. (The sixth chakra tone is now playing.) Really wake up. Keep your eyes closed deeply; look deep within. Really use your consciousness, lose your tension. Let go and go inside. Try to look for a little spark, a little light inside yourself--pinpointed attention in your sixth chakra. Really pay attention to the sound just for one minute. Who am I? Who are you? Why did I come here? Why did you come here? What is my purpose in life? What is your purpose in life? Just listen and let go. Close your eyes deeply.
Feel all your energy moving up until it is about a half an inch from the top of your head. (Seventh chakra tone is now playing.) You see all the ideals of life on Earth, all the wisdom images and sounds from our ancestors, all of their ethereal versions that are yet to be discovered--all right up here just below the top of your head in the seventh chakra. Feel that your consciousness has completely let go, that all of your consciousness has come up to this spot. Your whole head is filled with light. Listen as the PrimaSounds music very slowly fades away.
Now you feel that you are rising. There is no sound in the universe; you are just rising up. Your whole Wheel essence completely safe in the universe is going higher and higher. Go higher; be up in the clouds. You see all the flocks of birds, all the thoughts of the world far below you. Earth
Go higher. It is your chance to go way up. How peaceful you are. How calm you are. How much together you are with yourself. You feel that you have become beauty, that you have become joy, that you have become light, that you have become love. The universe pulls you up towards the moon, and you look back at the earth, and you look down and love the earth, and you shine your light on all the creatures of the earth. You go higher, past the moon, past the stars. You see the whole galaxy, the whole Milky Way. You feel yourself drawn to the very center of creation, your love and joy and beauty drawn into awareness itself.
You completely let go of yourself and become one with awareness. In the deep love of awareness you feel it moving out in all directions at once, going into every star and to every being. It is your love, and you send it everywhere in the whole universe. You feel that awareness. It is just over the top of your head now. You are awareness, and you are your Self. All the love of awareness is pouring in like a cascade of pure love, pure energy, pure clarity--like crystal clear, cool water pouring through the top of your head, through your whole face. All the tension in your face is gone. It is all washed away, and you can't help but smile. Feel your smile. Feel what it's like to smile with your whole face. Just do it. Smile. Let awareness wash down through your eyes, in your cheeks, in your tongue, in your lips, in your hair, in your ears, in your neck, in your shoulders, in your arms and hands, through your heart and your lungs, through your whole spine, through your whole You--all your Body, all your Soul, all your Spirit--through your legs and your feet, and come right through you and keep going all the way into the earth, all the way to the center of the earth. For this moment, pause and feel one with the earth and with yourself, with your role in life, with why you came here, with All That Is, with awareness--just be one. Smile.
Let your consciousness come back in between the two hemispheres of the brain, just in your neocortex, just in your responsibility as a person, as a human being. Very slowly from this place let your eyes open. Don't let them focus; just let them open. Bring your meditation into your waking consciousness. Don't separate it; use the meditation. Let your eyes open. Don't focus. Send your calmness into your favorite chair. See yourself sitting in your chair at home. Send your energy there right now and to where you work. Surprise yourself tomorrow at work with this great burst of smile. Send your energy into your automobile so that you drive home safely.
Let your eyes begin to focus. Come back into this moment. Keep the meditation mood. Stretch up a little bit.
Serendipity. We did some little things that we hadn't had planned, but so it goes. Feel free to share your experience or talk, or anything you want