Perception vs. Perception
Al: It’s good to know the foundation for meditation. Even for one who considers themselves adept at mediating, it’s good to go back over the basics.
Assumptions for Deep Relaxation
I am assuming that all who will find themselves here at this Column will already know the basics that can help achieve deep relaxation — using a regular/familiar place and position to meditate in; checking light, temperature, sound, body parts for optimal comfort; focusing on a few deep breaths in and out, etc. These and many more, you know. And I’ll assume you are achieving this relaxed state.
The Issue of Falling Asleep During Meditation
For those of you who get so relaxed that falling asleep is a common complaint, what has worked best for those I’ve guided who have this issue is to have them speak during the meditation. There’s no need to speak loudly. Just have the lips slightly parted so that they barely move, and just whisper, nearly inaudibly. This is a powerful tool for staying awake and doing so in this manner requires no real effort that would cause a focus on the body.
- Whisper questions about what you are perceiving/not perceiving, state the obvious, request help, anything such as this; perceive the answer and then continue with the communication.
- Pretend I’m guiding you, asking you questions, and whisper your answers to them as though you hear me, until I am no longer a part of your meditation and you are communing with another or others… questions you might answer would be such as: What are you perceiving? Tell me more about that. Move towards that and tell me what you get. What color or colors are you perceiving? Is one area lighter than the rest? Move towards that and tell me what you’re feeling. Move into it, what do you perceive?
Speaking during the meditation actually serves more than one purpose: Not only does it tend to keep one from falling asleep, it can often leads to greater perception; it also helps move past the thoughts that often come to try to clobber us as we quiet the mind. So it’s not a bad practice even for those adept meditators.
Perception versus Senses
Everyone has the innate ability to perceive. Those without physical sight or hearing most often have acute perception that more than compensates. In meditation, perception is the most powerful and precious guide. Rather than trying to see or hear something as you are accustomed to, perceive it. Feel it. And follow this with faith that you are Knowing what you are perceiving. These three steps lead to an openness of consciousness into which your guides, those who love you, God/Source, all of Consciousness, are eager to greet you and journey with you.
A Note Before You Begin
Here is a very important point to attaining successful meditation: During the meditation, do not question what you are getting with a sense of disbelief. Only if questioning something with the intent to gain deeper understanding or a deeper level of Consciousness should questioning be employed in a meditation. If you want to question something that seems far-fetched, do so after your meditation.
A Prayer for Self
I would say that, whether adept or not, it’s important to say a prayer about your intent for this meditation you are about to embark on. (After all, I don’t want just anyone coming to “help” me in my meditation.) When you have prayed your intent, always add “this or better.” Then believe. Believe your prayer will be answered, and say thank you for what you are about to receive. Offer this gratitude from the fullest deepest center of yourself, and your prayer will be answered. When you start your meditation, know that you will ALWAYS receive something. What you get may not always be what you expected. But if you let your faith guide you, and you have set your prayer and your belief before you, when you review your experience you will discover, sometimes wondrously so, that your prayer was, indeed, answered; you will have received the highest and best for you at that time and you will know it.
A Prayer for Others
Follow your prayer for yourself with a prayer for another or for others. Speak this prayer out loud if circumstances allow, even if it is a whisper only audible to you. Speak the prayer fervently, from the deepest part in you — not a beseeching prayer or one of pleading, but one from a heart glad to be about a service in God’s name for one in need. You will discover that the deeper you pray in this manner, the more you will feel God with you, answering that prayer, and when you place your focus back on your intent of the meditation, you will find that that process in and of itself has lifted you beyond the confines of finiteness. You will feel the presence of the Source of all life with you, lifting you, guiding you to your soul’s intent.