Today, like yesterday, I have another opportunity to meditate comfortably at home. I’ve decided today to experiment with my meditative posture and the objects of my focus.
Recently I was reading one of Paramahansa Yogananda’s books. He recommends lifting the eyes upward toward the third eye center of the forehead and concentrating there. He calls this point the seat of spiritual awareness. As I mentioned briefly on day one, I prefer to focus my attention on my heart center. When I concentrate on my third eye center, I feel like I am back “in my head” so to speak, often letting my mind wander. But surely the man knows what he’s talking about. I will add it to my practice today and pay attention for any benefits.
I have read elsewhere that one of the key benefits of raising your eyes to the third eye center is that your mind stays more quiet when your eyes are fixed. Thoughts cause the eyes to flutter. By fixing the eyes you quiet the mind.
Also, I would like to try to eliminate all superfluous movement from my posture as I sit. I feel that the small motions and corrections I make are sufficient to distract me from a deeper level of focus. I feel like I’ve arrived at the place where I can appreciate these more subtle nuances. I will take a little longer preparing to sit to achieve a posture that I can hold with perfect stillness through the hour.
To achieve this I find it helpful to begin by perfectly balancing the head so that I’m not holding it up using my neck muscles. To balance it perfectly my spine must be aligned underneath it. To balance my spine, my hips must be at the right angel; and to get my hips at the right angle my legs must be comfortable beneath me. I sit with my eyes closed and adjust my alignment until it sings to me. I’m ready. Crap, I have to change my position to push start on my timer. Ok, here we go.
I bring my eyes up to the third eye center. I experiment with levels of effort and focus. I open my eyes a few times to see exactly how high I have them aimed. I find a comfortable spot. I sit and observe. I feel like I am back in my head and I don’t care for the feeling. I spend the next fifteen minutes or so pointing my eyes up while keeping my awareness in my chest. It’s like trying to pat your head and rub your belly. Through a bit of concentration and patience I begin to feel it and the benefits are apparent instantly:
By locking my eyes upward I lock the mind in its place. Previously when I was centering on my heart, I would point my eyes down. I see now that I was projecting my mind into my heart center. By fixing my eyes upward, I fix my mind in my head. The awareness that lingers in my chest is now pure awareness, not mental projection. By controlling the eyes and locking the mind up top I keep the mind out of the lower centers. This is powerful new awareness. Glad I’m at the point where I benefit from it.
I observe inwardly for several long minutes. I recall the success I had yesterday from relinquishing want. I ask my wants to present themselves to me so that I may relinquish them. I will relinquish them in the order they appear. I sit as though observing an inner movie and wait.
As wants arise within me, I notice that they are not immediately identifiable. They begin as restlessness or buzzing within my field of consciousness. I expected them to present themselves and shout boldly “Lust” or “Greed” or “Power” or “Recognition.” Instead, buzzing bundles of light appear out of the inner void. As I watch them and focus on them, they unfold into the most random and bizarre images. They flash before my eyes only for an instant and then leave me, almost as if conscious awareness dissolves them from my body. It is the same experience I had on day two.
There is something profound going on here but it’s difficult to articulate. It is as if the wants and desires I have held with sufficient intensity have stored themselves within my consciousness, almost like barnacles clinging to a ship underwater and out of sight. When I ask them to surface they appear first as feelings. As I focus on the feelings and direct my awareness inward toward the center of my being, they appear out of the void as vibrant bundles of string or rope. I hold these bundles in my direct awareness and they unfold as random and bizarre images. With that they disappear completely from my consciousness. With each one I release, my inner void grows more quiet and calm. It is almost as if I am exorcising aberrant energies stored within my subconscious or unconsciousness.
I release six or seven of these bundles. I cannot describe the way I feel now. My countenance is still and effortless. Everything feels so easy. I feel satisfied with everything.
My time is up and I open my eyes. The feeling of satisfaction follows me into the day. It is as if something cumbersome is gone from my consciousness. Without want I realize how much I have. Everything is good enough, and that feels amazing. I find myself laughing more than normal and smiling about everything.
I wonder how many more of those bundles I have within me, and what other kinds of bundles there are. I’m most curious what the result would be if they all were gone. Perhaps I’ll find out over the next 42 days.