August 19, 2010
“Present moment awareness” isn’t something that can be captured in words. It is a holistic awareness of “what is”. This short meditation is an opportunity to explore what is “here and now”.
This is a more advanced meditation in that the instructions are very subtle. The words I say in meditations are never meant as instructions to be followed precisely, and that is even more true for this meditation. Since there’s so much interest in the idea of the “present moment”, it might be easy to get caught up in concepts about it and what it is. Any idea we have about the present moment, however, is not what it is. As you listen to this meditation, listen easily. Treat it more like poetry than prose, allowing it to reveal something to you that can’t be named. Let go of the need to understand!
We’d love to hear your experiences with this meditation!
August 4, 2008
Recently I’ve received a number of emails from people asking about feeling energy in various ways while meditating. People have reported things like a feeling of energy flowing and tingling. One person said it felt like water on the top of his head at the crown chakra with a sense of a slow circular motion under the skull while doing the chakra meditation. Sometimes people have these experiences outside of meditation as well.
There are lots of reasons why people ask about this. Some people may feel uncomfortable because they don’t understand these experiences. Others are simply curious about them, or interested in subtle energies. It can be helpful to understand our experiences in meditation, not only so that we can be comfortable with them but also to integrate them into our understanding of ourselves. Meditation is, among other things, an exploration of oneself. So I thought I’d explore this a little here.
If you don’t have these experiences in meditation, doesn’t matter. You can still enjoy the benefit of meditation on all levels. If you don’t care about these experiences or even believe in them, fine. Some people do, some don’t. This is for those of you who are curious about such things.
I like to keep things simple and not get too esoteric about these experiences. The bottom line on all of them is that during meditation we can sense subtle energies in the body (or even in the energy field around the body). That happens because during meditation our awareness can go to deeper levels. We can feel subtle energies that we normally don’t notice. In addition, some meditations can open up our energies so that they start to flow more freely.
Whether you are experiencing these energies as moving or still, flowing through the body or in one area, tingly or liquid, and so on isn’t important. What’s important is simply to understand that this is a natural experience as these energies are enlivened and as we open up to noticing them.
Sometimes people start to focus on the energetic sensations, wanting to control them or magnify them. My advice is to treat them like thoughts, not paying any special attention to them. Just continue the meditation, not minding the sensations. Let them go the way they naturally go. In this way you are trusting the wisdom of the body as it adjusts itself and comes into more balance. Let the natural intelligence of the body do it’s work rather than trying to manipulate the energies from your side. That way things will unfold in a more balanced way.
Please feel free to share any of your experiences and ask questions about them on this blog. I may be able to give more specific answers to specific experiences.
Note: What I say here refers to experiences while listening to our guided meditations on the podcast or our CDs. It may or may not apply to experiences during other meditation practices.
Related Post: Body Movements in Meditation
April 11, 2007
My guided meditations arise out of my own meditation practice and exploration. When I sit to record a CD or podcast, I close my eyes and enter a meditative state and see what comes. Currently I’m working on a CD of meditations using the breath. In the process of doing this, some entirely new meditations have come up. As I explore my own inner landscape, new ways of meditating are called forth. I try to assign names to the meditations that capture something of the essence of them.
Inevitably, if I Google a meditation name I’ve come up with, I discover meditations online from various traditions that use similar names and work in similar ways. Often the meditations are based on ancient traditions. It is fascinating to see how in the freshness of my own consciousness the same meditations are born again which arose in minds in the past and became part of long-standing traditions.
This has made me appreciate the saying that “there is nothing new under the sun”. We may learn meditation from a tradition or we may discover it within ourselves. The fundamentals of human consciousness and experience don’t really change. Things such as clothing, language, technology, and lifestyle may change, but the inner reality doesn’t change. Human consciousness, which is where we live our lives, doesn’t change. Past and future meet there as the present moment, and the present moment is all there is.