Simplicity, Joy, and Light During Meditation
(Posted on: May 1, 2015 by David McMillin)
[NOTE: While serving as mentor for an online verion of “A Search For God” study group, there was a nice exchange of comments and replies that included some interesting thoughts on simplicity, joy and light during meditation. Here are some excerpts that capture the essence of that dialogue. – David McMillin]
Thanks for sharing your experience and reflections on meditation. I think we all struggle with consistency, so you are not alone with that issue. That's great that you are approaching it from the standpoint of Cooperation.
Like you, I also really appreciate John's simple meditation method [John Van Auken’s “The Magic Silence”] (and certainly he has promoted some more complex approaches as well). I think that sometimes meditation can become so complex and cumbersome (as a ritual), that we lose enthusiasm for it and that contributes to the lack of consistency. And yes, I think we are all familiar with that inner split — not wanting to do what we know is right. So you know the score on that as well.
Personally, I have found that over the years my meditation practice has become more simple and shorter in duration. Usually two or three deep, conscious breaths while repeating a simple mantra (Praise God, Alleluia!! — yes I think it within with real gusto!! Fortissimo!!) — the lights come on and I feel the peace and joy and freedom of attunement. I think the system (Pineal system) becomes trained over time and knows what to do when the intent is there. But meditation is different for each of us, so you must figure out what works best for you. The main thing is that you make the connection — the shift in consciousness. It is your birthright as a soul.
Thanks again for your honest and insightful sharing about your Attunement experience. May you find much peace and joy within as you enter the silence. Blessings, Dave
[The group member replied that she has a tendency toward being “a bit of perfectionist and can be pretty hard on myself.” She affirmed that she would try to keep it simple and lighten up a bit. Here is my reply.]
Yes, the perfection thing can be a drag. I find it helpful to realize that I don't have to get it all perfect in this one lifetime. And it helps to have a sense of humor about it, too.
For example, when I meditated early this morning and did my breaths and praised God with JOY, I did not get the typical flashes of light in my head that I mentioned previously. It doesn't always happen – attunement can be variable for any number of reasons as was noted in the comments above.
But I had to chuckle about it (big inner chuckles with GUSTO) since I had posted here on that and was probably a little self-consciousness about it. So I calmed down, became silent and prayed a simple prayer of attunement for this study group and my part in it (which I do often). Then the light came on. It seems the sincere intent of the expression (whether praising God or simply seeking to attune to the will of God in service to others) is the key. Many use the Lord's prayer that way – of course the intent has to be sincere. There are many ways to do meditation.
About the inner chuckling, I do it a lot – especially during my daytime experiences in the midst of life when I goof up or notice others being silly. If everything was perfect in life, I would miss out on a lot of chuckling. I even created an exercise titled "Chuckling with God" (Fellowship lesson) because it is a meaningful part of my experience in the Search For God. I only include exercises for these lessons that I have experienced myself. That was the criteria that was set for the first study group. They were told to apply it in their own experience to keep it real.
So you might want to indulge in some inner chuckling when you become aware that you are being hard on yourself – even if you are trying to meditate. Blessings, Dave
[She replied that she really appreciated the "Chuckling with God" suggestion and shared: “a funny experience last night after writing that post. I went to bed and was lying there saying some simple heart-felt prayers with a simple little meditation. It was really cold so I put my head completely under the covers and in that total darkness I saw these beautiful sparks of light around my body. I've seen those lights before around me or other people but it has been a very long time ago. The funny part I have to chuckle about is that the inner-critic in me doesn't consider what I was doing last night as part of my 'regular' meditation practice… But in reality, it was probably a truer connection than when I go through the motions with more time and formality. What a hoot! Thanks for the reminder to laugh at myself every now and then, and also for the prayer of Attunement for all of us here. I think something is working.” Here is my reply.]
… thanks for sharing the followup report on your meditation, and especially about the “beautiful sparks of light” around your body. Many people do experience various sensory phenomenon during meditation – light, heat, vibrations, etc. Meditation has a physiological component (since we are triune beings – spiritual, mental, physical) and it is not at all unusual to have such experiences. That said, let us be clear that these are not to be sought as ends in themselves – they are merely “signs along the way” – indicating that we are on the path moving in the right direction.
Some people do not have any such manifestations and begin to wonder and doubt themselves when they hear of others' experiences. “I must be doing something wrong.” “There must be something wrong with me.” ETC, ETC. It's that inner critic that seeks perfection and gets us down on ourselves – you have noticed this tendency. And then your inner critic is unhappy when you do have such experiences. Amazing! This is all part of the “Know Thyself” lesson, for the inner critic is also a part of self that we are to know.
So for those in the group who may be meditating and have self-doubt – it is simply about attuning to Oneness with God. However you achieve that is fine. That Oneness will probably manifest as feelings of peace and joy and love. That's the main thing. The simple meditation that we have been discussing will get you there, if you practice it consistently with good intent. And if you want to explore “deep meditation,” there are resources for that as well.
P.S. A couple of nights ago while sitting in my recliner during meditation, I also covered my head (because of the coolness of the room) and experienced the light cascading down from my head, over my body (like a light bath). Yes, it is beautiful.
[Another group member joined the dialogue, sharing some of her own experiences with light during meditation. Then she posed a question about a good friend in an Ashram in India: “… when she meditates she does not think about the light, that her focus is in her heart because that is where God resides. I have wondered whether she is doing something wrong with regard to not visualizing the light. Is she doing something wrong?” Here is my reply.]
Thanks for sharing your Attunement experiences and especially your awareness of light. And that's a great question as well.
First of all, there are many ways of doing meditation. Even within the Cayce readings, there are various techniques and purposes. I have researched all the readings that discuss meditation, putting them in chronological order (because I have found that to be very helpful in seeing patterns). You can check out that article if you wish:
Likewise, there are various traditional forms of meditation in the east, as your friend has experienced. The heart meditation sounds like a form of bhakti yoga that focuses on love and devotion. God is love. Investing an entire incarnation on manifesting love is probably a pretty good use of one's life, in terms of soul development – but that's just my opinion. So I wouldn't worry about your friend's meditation practice. Again, there are many forms of meditation.
With regard to “light” experiences in meditation, in the Cayce material this usually relates to “deep meditation.” The “deep meditation” readings only really began in the early 1930's with the 281 series for the Glad Helpers Prayer Group (a subgroup within the first ASFG study group). The emphasis was on opening the spiritual centers and raising the lifeforce energy from the Leydig/lyden center, along the pineal cord (silver cord) to the higher centers in the head (pineal and pituitary), energizing the other centers along the way.
Some have noticed the similarity of this form of “deep meditation” to kundalini yoga in the eastern traditions. The experience of light is common in such practices. As the Glad Helpers got deeper into their study, they also became aware of the book of Revelation as a resource on this process, especially with regard to the experience of light in meditation — even to the point of “rivers of light”:
In considering then the studies that have been made with this group, in the understanding of the Revelation as given by the beloved of Him: These as we find have been well, and as you each become conscious in your own experience of the movement OF the influences THROUGH the body upon the various stages of awareness, there comes a determination, a desire, a longing for the greater light. To him, to her that is faithful, there shall be given a CROWN of light. And His Name shall be above every name; For ye that have seen the light know in Whom thou hast believed, and know that in thine own body, thine own mind, there is set the temple of the living God, and that it may function in thy dealings with thy fellow man in such measures that ye become as rivers of light, as fountains of knowledge, as mountains of strength, as the pastures for the hungry, as the rest for the weary, as the strength for the weak. Keep the faith. (281-28)
Reading 281-28 is a wonderful resource on the practice of “deep meditation” from the Cayce perspective. And you will notice that some of the core ideas presented in the ASFG Meditation chapter come from that reading. The purpose of raising the energy was for healing others. If you are going to raise the energy, it must be put to some good use, or it can be harmful. All of this is covered in the meditation resources for this study, as I am sure you are aware.
I hope this answers your question and provides a little background on the experience of light during your own meditation experience. Thanks again for sharing and asking. Blessings, Dave