If you wish to know yourself as consciousness in presence and periodically access expanded states of consciousness, then meditation is required. This blog contains everything you need to know to be proficient at meditation.
If we said self-realization, and then living in that realization (and being transformed by it) afterwards, was the ultimate purpose in life, then meditation is an incredibly important foundational building block for that journey. Meditation enables presence, develops emotional intelligence, and is the core method (which rituals supplement) for accessing an expanded consciousness and self-realization.
This blog, the second in the series, Meditation & Magic Mushrooms, aims to simplify your journey in using meditation to bring you to presence.
Meditation & Magic Mushrooms—A Blog Series
- Meditation & Magic Mushrooms Overview
- How to Meditate for Presence and Rituals
- How to Safely Meditate with Magic Mushrooms
- My Expanded Consciousness Experiences
- Self Realization & Presence
- Spiritual Awakening & Spiritual Healing
- The Medical Benefits of Psilocybin Magic Mushrooms
- The Archeology of Meditation & Magic Mushrooms
- The Birds & Bees of Psychedelics
Understanding Consciousness Helps Our Meditation
Meditation is simply a means of bringing our awareness into presence.
We are in presence when we have a merged awareness of our breath and a minimum of one, ideally two, senses, such as sight, sound, the feel of a gentle airflow on skin, etc. Silence naturally arises in presence, so we should simply relax and let it be. Different types of meditation are used to develop different aspects of awareness (see below).
I have two big secrets that I discovered for understanding meditation better.
Firstly, humans are graced with two ‘eyes of consciousness’ for being aware—consciousness in presence and ego consciousness in fictional time (the busy projecting mind). They’re fundamentally different in experience—one is real, the other is imposturous and counterfeit. Humans were born biologically gifted with presence, but when our ego developed in early infancy, around 2–3 years of age when our memories developed, the ego insidiously hijacked our awareness. This moved the eye of consciousness from presence into fictional time, where we (likely) remain entrapped for the rest of our lives.
This consciousness hijacking happens life after life until we self-realize. After we self-realize we regain the infant’s brain mapping (coordinated by the thalamus) for presence, which then innately arises. After self-realization we witness the play of consciousness in our lives as she helps us transform our consciousness through our day-to-day lives. This could be described as an adult puberty witnessed from presence instead of from within emotions!
Secondly, until we self-realize we cannot fully comprehend or readily make happen Eckhart Tolle (ET) or Mooji’s reality: self-realization by grace. Grace is not a method, it can only be experienced then described. Before self-realization, meditation is like moving from ego to presence on a bungee chord. Afterwards we automatically spring back to the busy mind in fictional time. After self-realization our awareness naturally arises in presence, and after meditation we remain present.
How to Meditate
For meditation I use both eyes-closed and eyes-open techniques. I conduct meditation in relative silence, in nature (pre-sunset/rise), and I meditate at least once daily. This base method will help you readily attain presence and will also be used for Ritual Meditation (Meditation & Magic Mushrooms). Some important considerations when bringing your awareness into presence, in silence and peace, are:
PLACE OF MEDITATION Identify a comfortable, quiet sitting spot, ideally facing magnetic north (Northern Hemisphere) or magnetic south (Southern Hemisphere), inside or outside in nature. Whatever your preferred seating, the key is to be relaxed and comfortable so that you may melt into presence whilst remaining aware of your senses, body, and mind (feelings, emotions, and thoughts).
Seated: Place your feet shoulder width apart, with bare feet flat on the ground and relaxed (relaxed calf muscles, hamstrings, buttocks, and coccyx gently planted in your seat). Place your hands on your thighs and your elbows in a relaxed position at your sides, or cross your hands with interlinked fingers and rest them between your upper thighs. Maintain a straight back and let your head find a relaxed neutral position in front with the chin slightly dropped.
Cushion: You can sit on a meditation cushion with legs crossed or in the lotus position (or partial lotus). If you’re unpracticed at sitting down low like this, then it might take time to adjust to because, for the unaccustomed, it can impact leg circulation and create discomfort in the hips, knees, and lower back—especially as you get older. Sitting on a cushion can alleviate this discomfort and extend your meditation time.
Figure 1: The two main types of seated meditation i use. (A) Chair: seated meditation (eyes closed) as inspired by Pharaoh Rameses II at Abu Simbel (Egypt). The Pharaohs inspired me to use seated meditation—and their other methods for expanding/moving awareness (the all seeing eye), (B) Seated meditation Lord Shiva style (from simple crossed legged to the lotus position; as you wish). Use of a meditation cushion adds comfort and extends your duration of presence. Check out some of the seated meditation images and a range of meditation cushions for inspiration. Most of all – be comfortable.
CLOSE YOUR EYES, and gently breathe via your nose (inspiration and expiration). Relax your abdominal muscles and feel your belly drop forward while gently breathing using your abdomen (not chest). Feel your abdomen gently rise and fall. Avoid over-filling your lungs, and gently slow your breathing down. Be aware of your breath and how it feels in the throat region. Your inspiration will generally be longer than your expiration when learning, but as you become more proficient, the length of these breath phases tends to equalize. My breathing rate is six breaths per minute, and my inspiration and expiration phases are broadly equal in duration.
DURING MEDITATION While you are the awareness of breath (inspiration and expiration), your mind’s eye is effortlessly aware of the general region of your heart (the heart chakra region) and solar plexus, and behind the mid-forehead to the central brain region (the crown chakra and third eye).
When I was learning, I practiced focusing my awareness on one region at a time, binding that awareness with my breath, switching halfway through the meditation to the other chakra region. Fusing that awareness on both regions then happens automatically, after a few times. Once you are present, you can spread your awareness more generally as you melt into a relaxed, merged awareness (merging of the breath, senses, and body awareness). Everything merged into a singular point of awareness. A further refinement while being the awareness of breath is to focus your awareness on the gap between the end of your expiration and the start of your inspiration. By focusing on this gap with your ‘bound awareness,’ you can more rapidly relax into presence.
Automatic thinking is a natural part of the human mind and ego consciousness. The more present you are, the less mind noise arises. During meditation, if (when) thoughts arise, that’s OK. It’s not that thoughts arise that’s the issue, but rather that you are aware that thoughts are arising—and then you return to presence (sometimes with a silent smile). Don’t be hard on yourself, just keep at breathing and being the awareness of that, and return to presence.
In presence, with eyes closed, we can witness our thoughts arise in front of our observing silent awareness—its like a deep seated ‘eye of awareness’ through which we silently witness everything arise. That merged composite awareness is who we really are, and after death it departs life and continues its journey in eternity. Get to know yourself in presence. You will then have the opportunity later to consider conducting Transcendental Self-Inquiry so that you may self-realize. With self-realization we undergo physiological changes that support innate presence – you will then know ET/Moojis’ world.
MEDITATION & TIMINGS You can use a meditation app to provide a soft and gentle alarm. Upon completing the meditation, open your eyes and gently relax while maintaining presence. Rest for a few moments—and say your prayers.
Start out by meditating for 5 minutes and then increase by 5 minutes every few days until you’re doing a minimum of 30 minutes.
The secret to persisting with meditation is in realizing how relaxed, calm, peaceful, tranquil, and aware you feel during and afterwards. When you’re ready, work up to an hour daily or two shorter sessions. The more in presence you spend, the more in consciousness you live, and the more it reflects in your mind and life.
Ideally it’s best to start a meditation 30–60 minutes before sunrise (from autumn to spring equinox) or sunset (from spring to autumn equinox), in order to benefit from the enhanced Schumann resonances at these times. Meditation drives enhanced alpha brainwaves over the frontal brain, and these enhanced Schumann resonances can be used to increase meditation’s alpha brainwave voltages (see brainwave entrainment). This voltage increase helps the process of attaining presence and in expanding consciousness (i.e., voltage thresholds/gateways). That said, if time is short, just focus on the meditation.
You can use an online meditation calendar (http://ritualmeditation.com/meditation-calendar/) to find location-specific sun- and moonrises/sets and moon phases—useful for timing your meditation and Ritual Meditation.
Figure 2: Meditation calendar screen interface (Click here). This provides you with sun and moon rises and sets and phase of moon for any location on the planet, and set of instructions on use, and timing your meditation and Ritual Meditation.
DIFFERENT MEDITATION METHODS HELP DEVELOP AWARENESS It’s useful to learn various meditation techniques. Each type of meditation develops different aspects of awareness to help you attain and maintain presence, and for expanding your awareness beyond objective reality i.e., Ritual Meditation. Meditation can be categorized into focused attention (FA) and open monitoring (OM) techniques, done with eyes open or closed.
In FA meditation we focus our eyes in a relaxed manner on a non-distracting object, image, or candle flame in front of us (meters), as well as focus on our breath. This helps us focus our attention and makes it easy to return to presence if we drift from presence. The head/neck should also be relaxed and facing forward, chin pointing slightly downward.
Another valuable FA meditation technique is what I call ‘awareness dissection’. Here we become aware of our breath and a single sense (sight, sound, or wind-touch), or our feelings, or body awareness and arisings, and do this for a full session or the first 5–10 minutes of the meditation. Sometimes I start a meditation and ask, “How am I feeling?” (then listen)—particularly if things don’t feel right. We should always be aware of any arising thoughts in all meditations from start to finish, as with our breath! If we’re present, there will be mainly silence.
During OM meditation (eyes open) we simply relax and melt into a single awareness of all senses and body and mind arisings. We avoid focusing on any one thing, instead taking in everything as one. Our aim is to bind the awareness of breath with all senses and body-mind arisings into a single merged awareness—without effort. I do my OM meditation in the garden. I may start with my eyes closed and slowly start opening them once present.
Practicing FA meditation, focused on breath, senses, thoughts, feelings, and body arisings, enables OM meditation. We start by observing our breath, recognizing that we are seeing (if eyes open), hearing (birds, river, wind), and feeling (airflow on skin). We relax with each successive breath. We witness all but hold onto nothing (let it go). Between the solstices/equinoxes I do two FA meditations (eyes closed) to one OM meditation, and add in other types of meditations to mix it up.
In the weeks running up to the solstice/equinoxes, I use an FA method with a candle, two meters or so in front me, right in front of a mirror, placing the flame mid-forehead (eyes open!). Doing this can greatly assist us in developing a central focus of awareness with concentration (for prolonged periods). This also binds our awareness into the same region that the visuals arise during eyes-closed Ritual Meditation. This concentration booster is also naturally transferred to our routine meditation (the next time). Start doing 5 minutes, and work up the duration to 30–60 minutes. While learning meditation, do this once weekly. Ramp up your candle meditation to an hour daily in the fortnight running up to doing Ritual Meditation.
PRAYING & CONSCIOUSNESS As you progress with meditation it’s beneficial to start saying prayers and communicating any healing, awakening, or self-realization intentions. Prayers and intentions set in presence communicate conscious awareness (meaning the spirit and ego ‘align’) to the source of your consciousness in Unity (God, pure Consciousness, Brahman) and the higher self (Higher self, Soul, Atman) – our other eyes of consciousness – beyond body-mind in space-time, within and beyond objective reality. After meditation while in presence is a good time to pray. Sincerely praying also creates grace, which is crucial for Ritual Meditation.
The Dalai Lama inspired me to pray and what I should pray for. When I pray, I talk of gratitude for all that I have, all that is, for life’s beauty and richness, and all its lessons. I pray to different aspects of human suffering, which bare down on humanity. I pray for children, their parents, the elderly and frail—for abusive parents, war zones, famine and drought, disease, oppressive patriarchal regimes, all forms of violence and abuse. I pray for women who suffer from male violence, inequality, and control in a global culture dominated by patriarchy.
I pray to Mother Earth and all her life forms, elements of creation, the sun, moon, and stars, our ancestors and spirit world for all of creation, and that we humans collectively awaken, rapidly learn to minimize our ‘human footprint,’ and live in peace. This helps me consciously connect with my humanity with an open heart in presence, and consciously connects me (i feel it) with the source of all things.
In next month’s blog I will share my more profound Ritual Meditation (transcendental) experiences, which in composite constitute my awakening, healing, and self-realization journey.
Have a great month and let me know your thoughts or questions—I’m happy to help if I can. Thank you.
My best wishes to you.
Book: Discovering Ritual Meditation, Transcendental Healing and Self-Realization. Buy it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/29EdrS0 Download free book preview: http://bit.ly/2cNkx8k Free website resources: http://ritualmeditation.com Copyright © 2008 Carlton Brown of http://ritualmeditation.com. All Rights Reserved.
 See Chapter 7 & 8 of Discovering Ritual Meditation http://www.amazon.com/Discovering-Ritual-Meditation-Transcendental-Self-Realization-ebook/dp/B00HWIJ8EW/, or website for scientific publications http://ritualmeditation.com/resource-library/