Finding Inner Calm and Deeper Wisdom

Go Deep to Learn Who You Really Are.

Posts Tagged ‘enlightenment

Uh Oh, Where’s My Body?

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This morning a humorous situation happened to me. I had an early supine meditation that was deeper than usual. I can do supine only in the morning when I’m thoroughly rested; otherwise I fall asleep. It was so peaceful that I wanted to come out very slowly. Then for some reason I stopped right on the edge, just before the conscious mind goes active.

HapiWithSignIn case you’re interested, that state of mind has a name: hypnagogia. It’s that state of mind where you sometimes have a flash of brilliance or one of those eureka moments of discovery. It works because the conscious mind is quieted, and you’re listening to parts of the brain you normally can’t hear. And it usually lasts only a moment or two.

Unless memory fails me, today was the first time in my life I was able to stop right there—on the border between the Zen state and being awake—and then stay there for a while. Believe me, it is a magical place. But then, I had a short moment of anxiety when I realized I couldn’t feel any connection to my body.

What an incredible feeling that was! I became aware that “I” (whoever that is) was floating in a warm comfortable place without a body. I was awake and aware of being, but not aware of my physical body, and of course not thinking. Somewhere nearby, I could feel the urge of my conscious mind to start thinking. I sent a message telling it to relax.

Now, hours later sitting here at my computer, I can think about the experience and write about it. But at that time I was only noticing, not thinking. One of the first things I noticed was the sublime joy and peace of being without any connection to the physical world. At one point my silly conscious mind blurted, “Are we dead?” which, as I remember, made me want to chuckle.

In a while, the conscious mind’s question came more into focus. Was I dead? I widened my noticing to see if I could pick up anything. Voila, I felt my heart beating. Ahah! My body is still alive. Then I noticed the pulsation of blood pressure radiating out from my heart, especially coming up into my head. I was feeling the carotid artery. But as far as muscles were concerned, they were all asleep.

Then I noticed pulsations of heartbeat in my fingertips. But I did not feel any sensation coming back from my feet. Maybe that’s because the feet are so much farther away. Oh, and then I noticed the slight rise and fall of my chest. Something was making me breathe and my heart beat, but I couldn’t detect the source. My meditative state wasn’t deep enough to reach the autonomic nervous system. I’ve read that some masters can do that.

Soon I began to feel the meditative state slipping away from me. Alas, I would have to go back to life in the real world. And sure enough, my conscious mind leaped into action and started planning how I was going to write this piece. But before I moved—while I was still physically inert—I took the time to relish those last few moments of peace and relaxation.

What I experienced today might be a little preview of what it’s like when the body dies. I discovered the human spirit can be at peace when it departs the body. There’s nothing to fear.

Pretend You’re Going To Die Tomorrow

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It’ll give you a new and interesting outlook on life. Ask anybody who’s faced death. Ask anybody who has looked the Grim Reaper right squarely in his black, beady little eyes. Things change. Money doesn’t matter any more. Your house, your car, all your toys—they don’t mean a damn thing. It’s all just stuff. You can’t take stuff with you when you go.

What is important are the people you love. The people who love you. The relationships you’ve developed. The inner development you’ve accomplished during this life. But there might be something even more important—more meaningful—as you draw your last few breaths: Forward vision into what happens next.

One of the possible rewards of a long-term practice of Zen meditation is receiving enlightening knowledge that provides a wider view of the Universe. One can receive the knowledge and the resultant understanding of his spiritual being as an indestructible energy form.

Discovering your own self-nature is an extraordinary gift. That knowledge allows you to live life on a higher plane than ordinary human existence. With apologies to my religious friends, that knowledge lets you walk through this life in a somewhat god-like state. That knowledge reveals this life as just one chapter in a much greater drama. Of course, that knowledge lets you smile in the face of physical death.

Written by Eduardo Mitchell

July 17, 2014 at 10:44 am

Get Over All That Stuff

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“Each experience you hold onto defines your expression in life.  In Yoga/Hinduism it is called ‘samskara;’ the belief that each thought, feeling and emotion leaves one impression on each cell within the body.  Your expression is the sum total of these expressions.  Yoga and mantra are designed to cleanse these impressions, as they often obstruct one from perceiving their true essence.  This is the journey of life, to clear these impressions and perceive ones true nature.”–Yogi Baba Prem
Thanks to the Yogi Baba for permission to reprint the above. English doesn’t (yet) have a word for this sense of samskara, but that knowledge is emerging from neurology, psychology and other disciplines, especially Gestalt. Ergo, the human being is a multi-media recording recording device that runs 24/7 from before birth until after death. The undeveloped person is a raw expression of all those experiences. If you don’t process and organize those experiences consciously, you are the victim of everything that has ever happened to you. As a perhaps humorous example, if somebody smacked you with a fly swatter when you were two, you’ll always have a “thing” about fly swatters. You just need to get over it. Worst of all, you’ll never discover your own depths and your self-nature until you begin healing and growing from your samskara.
The yogi and I travel parallel paths of inner development. His is Hinduism, mine is Zen. Both are paths of healing, growth, and discovery. We both know that discovering your own self-nature is the path to persistent joy and enlightening experiences.

Written by Eduardo Mitchell

March 14, 2014 at 11:29 am

What Is This So-Called “Great Wisdom?”

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If you like old movies, you’ve probably seen at least one where a brave explorer is on a quest to attain great wisdom. He hacks his way through jungles and climbs snow-covered mountains to reach a cave on a windswept rocky slope. Inside the cave is a bearded old man seated on a cushion with his eyes closed.

Breathless and exhausted, the explorer drags his weary body into the cave and places himself in front of the old man. If he’s a considerate and thoughtful explorer, he will have gifts of food and drink for the old man. Then, the explorer pleads with the master to impart his greatest wisdom. After a lengthy pause, the old man speaks.

“You must become one with yourself.”

If you are like the explorer, that answer is frustrating and meaningless. What kind of “knowledge” is that? Is it just more mystical nonsense? How does one go about “becoming one with himself,” anyway? And, if one can do it, what benefits could that possibly yield?

If you’ve read this far, you deserve congratulations—and a reward. In return, I will give you my answer to those questions. Furthermore, my answer is sensible, rational, not based on any kind of dogmatic belief system, and best of all, completely true. Here it is in one paragraph:

Your mind is not a single entity. Rather, it is a fragmented collection of independent centers of thoughts and feelings. Your mind is a collection of different “voices” in your head, many of which you can’t even hear, but which constantly nag and pull you in different directions. The loudest and most distracting of those voices is your thinking machine—your conscious mind. And, that is the part of the mind which you may think defines who you are. But, that is NOT who you are. Your core being, the inner person who you really are, exists on a higher and separate plane from your conscious mind. When your conscious mind and your core being are connected, and discover how to communicate with each other, then you have achieved the first major step of inner development—of becoming one with yourself.

Your reward is clarity. You will understand yourself at a depth you have never known. You will know who you are. You will come to know your purpose in this life. The future direction of your life will become obvious. Your goals, and the direction you must take to achieve them, will be known to you at last. This is a gift of enormous value.

Written by Eduardo Mitchell

May 18, 2010 at 11:08 am