In the corner of the room where we practice Qigong and Meditation every Tuesday evening, there’s a chalkboard. On that chalkboard, I’ve listed our main objectives:
- To be present
- To let go
- To allow
To be in a constant state of allowance is the ultimate goal. This would mean that you are in Flow, and that all is good, all the time. It’s kind of like what athletes feel when they are in the “zone.” In the zone, they can do no wrong. Everything happens perfectly, and does so effortlessly. We are at our best when in the zone.
In order to achieve this state of being, we have to be able to let go of everything that blocks or impedes the Flow; things like tension, doubt, fear, guilt, or the need to control. In order to let go, we must first be able to be present. Because being present means being aware, and we cannot let go of that which we are not aware of. Therefore, being present is the precursor to it all.The present moment holds all of our creative power. What we think, feel, and do in the present, seeds all our future moments. If we spend our present moments revising past events, or fantasizing about future possibilities, then a case can be made that we are not actually living our lives. “It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.” …Eckhart Tolle ‘The Power of Now’
Qigong, if done correctly, forces you to be present. The specificity and synchronization of the movements require you to become keenly aware of your body and your breath. With practice, you slip into a flow and begin to feel more and think less. It becomes a moving meditation.
This is a perfect adjunct to sitting meditation, which is built into the practice of Qigong, in order to settle the chi (life energy) into our main energy storage area (low dantian). I’ve often said that Qigong is a way to the chair, where the real work is done. Being present creates a state of inner peace. “It is impossible to fully conceptualize present moment awareness by instruction alone. It must be experienced first-hand in order to embody its true meaning.”…Michael Brown ‘The Presence Process.’
The purpose of the workshop is to provide a safe space where anyone with the desire to experience inner peace can come and practice various techniques that help develop the habit of being present. A nice thing about this workshop is that anyone can participate and gain benefits. There are no prerequisites, timelines, expectations, or judgements. You come as you are and take what works for you. Our hope is to build a supportive community for conscious living.
BEYOND THE MINDFULNESS
Ready for this? We practice mindfulness to become mindless.
The practice of meditation involves stages. It is a personal journey –so the stages and their timelines can be unique to the individual. However, there are some typical patterns. The following explanations are derived from my personal readings and experiences.
STAGE 1: This stage is the same for everyone. It is purely the desire to meditate, and the commitment to work the process no matter what comes up. What usually arises is the struggle with the silent stillness, and the subsequent struggle with the noise of distracting thoughts. If one sticks to it, utilizing learnt tools and techniques, at some point they will slide into stage two.
STAGE 2: In this stage one has moments of nothingness (no thought), and occasional hypoesthesia (no feeling) like sensations of the legs or arms. Also, through the relaxation process, the feeling of lightness takes over the body, as though gently hovering over the seat. Time is also lost, so to speak. Meaning, the practice time goes by quickly, and without notice.
At this point of the practice, one begins to toggle between alpha and theta brain waves. (Types of brainwaves). These frequencies represent the bridge between consciousness and subconsciousness, where data can easily pass between the two minds. It is during this phase that the process of self-discovery can begin, if one chooses to. After some time, the practitioner is able to reach theta wave states more consistently, and begins to transition into stage three.
STAGE 3:This stage consists of longer periods of nothingness. The practitioner is present, and aware of their body however, they may not feel it. They experience steady calmness, and occasionally, a burst of vibratory energy coming from their pelvic area, traveling up through their spinal cord towards, and sometimes, into their head. This sensation can be intensely arousing.
STAGE 4:In stage 4 one begins to consistently enter deeper states of meditation. Their breath slows down to only a few a minute. Their brainwaves also slow down to theta, and delta speeds. These are the states that scientist see the most evidence of healthy changes. Long time meditators grow more grey matter in their frontal cortexes, and their amygdala shrinks. The functions of these areas ofthe brain areconcentration, decision making, emotion control and stress management (go figure).
While in this state, the brain and body go into repair and recovery mode. All vitals come into balance, as physiological harmony takes hold. The meditator loses all sense of the perceived self. He or she is completely present with gentle awareness – void of judgmental thoughts of any kind. Powerful sensations of calmness and peace arise, along with a deep feeling of connectiveness to all things (oneness). There is also a presence of a higher power communicating the assurance that all is well and good. It is believed that this state of being allows for Divine download to occur, replacing faulty software. Thus, the more time spent in this state, the more proficient we are in the waking state. “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10.
I remember clearly my challenges of stage one. It took a solid six months of persistence before experiencing what I interpreted as stage two. Many years followed before I began to feel the states I describe as stage 3 and 4. My process continues to evolve. Some people go through the stages quicker than others. The great thing about the meditation journey, as is the case for all journeys of evolvement, is that it’s not really about the destination.It’s the lessens that you pick up along the way that make it a worthy cause. In other words, it’s less about the achievement, and more about what you become as you work towards the achievement
We are blessed to be living in a time when modern science is validating the wisdom of the ancient teachings. This may explain the rise in popularity of meditation and metaphysical ideologies. A timely shift in our collective consciousness is taking place. The truth is, if you analyzeall the world’s historical religions and the laws of metaphysics, they all communicate the same messages. They provide the blueprint of how to live our best lives in harmony with our planet and with one another. Let’s discuss one specific metaphysical Law of theUniverse, the Law of Attraction, because it is directly affected by our thoughts and beliefs.
Even though every thought has a chemical reaction that affects our internal world, random thoughts have little effect outside of our bodies. But the samethought, thought over and over, eventually becomes a belief. Beliefs have an emotional charge and get stored in our subconsciousness. They then become the source of our perceptions, creating our life experiences by engaging the Law of Attraction.
We have multiple minds within us. Our conscious mind serves as the control panel, or a keyboard, if you will. It is where our awareness resides and where our choices are made. Our subconscious mind acts as a hard drive where our data (memories) is stored. Every meaningful experience that we have seen, heard, smelt or felt, is stored there. We also have an unconscious mind that involuntarily controls all our bodily and primal functions that keep the “machine” alive and running. And lastly, there is an aspect of our conscious mind known as the Super Consciousness (aka: The Field/God/Source Energy). This Mind is unlimited and has no boundaries. It exists everywhere and encompasses all things. It is always listening, observing, and waiting for vibrational commands. Here’s a great video describing this. (THE 3MINDS)
Quantum physics shows us that everything in the Universe is made of vibrating energies moving in a circular fashion, and that everything is connected through the “empty” spaces. And since energy never dissipates, it just changes form, everything has a vibrational effect on everything. When an emotional thought is uploaded from our subconsciousness to our conscious mind and is allowed to resonate (dwell upon), it gives off a vibration that travels outside of us. It is then picked up by the Super Consciousness which searches for like vibrations to attract back to us. Hence the term, “like attracts like.” There is more to the science of the Law of Attraction but principally, the Universe responds to what we feel. She delivers to us an exact vibrational match to our state of being at every given moment. “Quantum theory tells us that our environment is an extension of our mind” …Dr Joe Dispenza.
The beauty of this reality is that we have the capacity to manipulate the Law of Attraction to manifest anything we want in the physical realm. We can truly live the life of our dreams by way of conscious awareness because all thoughts and beliefs begin and end in our conscious minds. By practicing mindful meditation, we exercise our awareness muscle, which heightens our capacity to redirect our attention/focus/energy to what we want, as opposed to what we don’t want. Every moment can become one of intentional creation.
We are always co-creating whether we are aware of it or not. We are completely responsible for all the things that come into our lives. That is our Super Power; it is what renders us all Supreme Beings. If we are not writing the screenplay of our life, then someone else is writing it for us. Living consciously by taking control of our thoughts and beliefs, allows us to employ our Power to create our own paths of fulfillment.
“Every 10 secs you can be consciously aware of what you are thinking, feeling and choosing. Keeping yourself in a state of mental peace comes from being aware, every 10 secs of your thoughts.” …Dr Caroline Leaf.
To be continued…