We'd now like to introduce a technique
that can be used as an integral part of our deep meditation practice,
without increasing our time of sitting. It is called the
solar centering enhancement.
Since the beginning, we have picked up the mantra
without any particular intention to physically locate it in the body. This
has been the instruction. While this has been the case, we know that we may
be inclined to repeat the mantra mentally somewhere wherever we happen to
have localized our thinking in the moment. For many, this is often in the
region of the head. If not there, then perhaps somewhere else. It is
something we do unconsciously, and this is good practice
with the procedure for deep meditation we have.
We have not wanted to distract from the procedure of easily picking up the
mantra whenever we realize we have gone off it. As soon as we divide the
mind by doing something else, the effectiveness of our meditation practice
will suffer. This has been a point made often in relation to incorporating
other practices into our deep meditation session. Divided attention is a
divided and less effective meditation.
However, there is a
in terms of locating the mantra. By not locating the mantra when we think
it, we gain in having a practice focused on the simple procedure for
refining the mantra
in deep inner silence. At the same time we may be
unconsciously locating the mantra in the head or elsewhere, creating a
slight angle in the body that may not be noticed. This angle
of physically locating the mantra is in addition to the specific vibrational
effects of the sound quality of the mantra when picked up in awareness, as
we discussed in Lesson 59, and in other lessons where
we have covered mantra enhancements.
Here we are making a
distinction between the sound quality of the mantra resonating in our
nervous system, versus where in the body we may happen to be thinking the
mantra. It is for addressing the latter part of this that the solar
centering enhancement is being offered.
We call this an
"enhancement" because it is to improve our meditation practice. This does
not mean we have been doing anything wrong. In fact, we may choose not to
add this enhancement at this time. Like
mantra enhancements, the solar centering
enhancement should only be considered by those who are stable in their
meditation practice, whether it be with the I AM (AYAM) mantra or any mantra
enhancement that has been added previously. In other words, the solar
centering enhancement can be incorporated with any mantra we are using,
assuming we are well-established with it. This would be after months or
years with our practice, not days or weeks. The solar centering enhancement
can also be used with the
practice we discussed in the previous
lesson for over-sensitive meditators.
The solar centering
technique is as follows:
When we easily pick up
the mantra, we favor locating it at the solar plexus. This is the area just
below the sternum (breastbone) and about three fingers width inside. That is
the area about half way between the navel and the center of the breastbone,
between the two sides of the rib cage. We just easily repeat the mantra
there. When we realize we have drifted off the mantra, or the location of it
at the solar plexus, we just easily favor the mantra at
this location at whatever level of faintness
fuzziness (refinement) we may be at with the mantra
and location at that time.
All of the other characteristics of deep
meditation remain the same the natural refinement of the mantra to
stillness, the coming and going of thoughts, physical sensations, etc.
Everything is the same, except we pick up the mantra favoring this location
in the body.
With this additional aspect of meditation
we may notice several things occurring:
- An obvious shift in physical location from
where we have been thinking the mantra, away from the head or other
place where we may have had an unconscious habit to locate it. This does
not affect the vibrational qualities of the mantra throughout the
nervous system, which will still resonate as a tuning fork does when
near another tuning fork of the same frequency.
reduction in head pressure or other symptoms
we may have experienced when
locating the mantra elsewhere in the body.
- An initial increase in sensitivity in the heart
and solar plexus region. This is purification and opening, and can
manifest as emotion, vibration or the sensation of heat in this area. If
any of these symptoms become excessive, we should first follow the
procedure in Lesson 15 for handling strong
sensations during deep meditation. If this does not dissolve excessive
symptoms of purification, then we should self-pace the use of the solar
centering enhancement, as needed. It does not mean we have to reduce
overall meditation time if self-pacing the use of solar centering is
sufficient to restore balance.
- For those experiencing ecstatic
conductivity in the nervous system, sensations in the solar plexus
region can be used to locate the mantra. This may be experienced as a
physical sensation, radiating energy or light, or expansive empty space.
Due to the proximity to the heart, it is common to experience symptoms
of expansion and spaciousness, which may be combined with the energetic
symptoms of the solar region. This is the joining of emptiness with
energy, the joining of the metaphorical
shiva and shakti principles in this
central region of the body. It produces a radiation of the joining that
can illuminate the entire body, and beyond. At the same time, there is a
centering effect. So
may be experienced in both ways radiating and centering. The place we
will notice the practical results of this will be in daily activity,
which is the true measure of any practice we are doing. If we find more
and outpouring divine love in daily activity,
we will know our practice is good.
As mentioned above, the solar centering
enhancement can also be used with breath meditation. In that case, we easily
favor the energy impulse of breath at the solar plexus. This is obviously a
more advanced application of attention in breath meditation, and not for
beginners. The same goes for mantra meditation. It is not recommended to use
this enhancement until our meditation procedure is deeply ingrained and
stabilized. We should regard it as similar to taking on a mantra
It is fine to undertake the solar centering
enhancement at any stage of mantra, but we should be stable with the
mantra we are using, whether it be I AM
(AYAM), or any of the
Whenever we do undertake the solar
centering enhancement, we should consistently favor the location of the
solar plexus with the mantra. If the favored location drifts upward to the
heart or downward to the navel (or elsewhere), we just easily bring the
location of our mantra back to the solar plexus. No doubt some will be
tempted to try the mantra in other locations. Remember that the consistency
of our practice over the long term is the key to best results. So, as with
any practice, it is suggested to avoid jumping around between alternatives.
To the extent these are not covered in the lessons, the results cannot be
predicted and it will be the practitioner's experiment.
The question may arise,
if this is a centering technique, can it be of help to over-sensitive
meditators? And if this is an
energy radiating technique, can it be of help to under-sensitive meditators?
We do not yet know the answer to either of these questions. In time we will
find out. This technique is being presented as an enhancement for everyone
to consider at the appropriate time on the path.
It may or may not be appropriate for
under-sensitive or over-sensitive meditators. It is a technique I have used
with excellent results for many years, discontinuing it only during the
formative stages of presenting the AYP system of practices, so as to be on
the same page with everyone. During these years, your practice has been my
Now is a good time to bring the solar centering
enhancement into the AYP system, given the experiences
we find across the broad spectrum of practitioners,
and the possibilities for enhanced progress with balance.
It is a technique that requires a certain level of maturity in the
practitioner. For the first
time, we are introducing a nuance in the central procedure of deep
meditation. It is not done
lightly. In offering the solar centering enhancement, we
are also looking at the entire community of meditators in relation to the
steady rise of world consciousness (see Lesson 365).
So this lesson is for both individuals and the community as a whole, with
the intention of providing a useful step forward in both
radiance for all practitioners.
It is hoped that the trade-off in benefits for
well-established meditators will be found worthwhile.
As with all practices, the solar
centering enhancement should only be taken on when we sense that the time is
right. It is a function of our bhakti, balanced with practical application.
As always, the advice is to continue
practices as necessary to maintain good progress with comfort and safety.
Click here for
lesson content covering Solar Centering and Sensitivity to Meditation.
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed instructions on deep meditation
procedure, see the
Deep Meditation book,
and AYP Plus.