17. Beautiful Practices and More
People over the years have learned that certain disciplines and practices help them keep their spiritual channels open and help keep the heart turned toward God. By themselves, the disciplines can't turn you into a holy person. Instead they can increase your desire and awareness of your spiritual nature. When practiced regularly a spiritual discipline becomes a habit that repeatedly brings you back to higher consciousness and opens up a channel to God.
With the hectic pace and demands of modern life, many people feel stressed and over-worked. It often feels like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done. Our stress and tiredness make us unhappy, impatient and frustrated. It can even affect our health. We are often so busy we feel there is no time to stop and meditate! But meditation actually gives you more time by making your mind calmer and more focused. A simple ten or fifteen minute breathing meditation as explained below can help you to overcome your stress and find some inner peace and balance.
Meditation can also help us to understand our own mind. We can learn how to transform our mind from negative to positive, from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy. Overcoming negative minds and cultivating constructive thoughts is the purpose of the transforming meditations found in the Buddhist tradition. This is a profound spiritual practice you can enjoy throughout the day, not just while seated in meditation.
The first stage of meditation is to stop distractions and make our mind clearer and more lucid. This can be accomplished by practicing a simple breathing meditation. We choose a quiet place to meditate and sit in a comfortable position. We can sit in the traditional cross-legged posture or in any other position that is comfortable. If we wish, we can sit in a chair. The most important thing is to keep our back straight to prevent our mind from becoming sluggish or sleepy.
We sit with our eyes partially closed and turn our attention to our breathing. We breathe naturally, preferably through the nostrils, without attempting to control our breath, and we try to become aware of the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. This sensation is our object of meditation. We should try to concentrate on it to the exclusion of everything else.
At first, our mind will be very busy, and we might even feel that the meditation is making our mind busier; but in reality we are just becoming more aware of how busy our mind actually is. There will be a great temptation to follow the different thoughts as they arise, but we should resist this and remain focused single-pointedly on the sensation of the breath. If we discover that our mind has wandered and is following our thoughts, we should immediately return it to the breath. We should repeat this as many times as necessary until the mind settles on the breath.
Chanting Meditation is a technique where one drowns out their internal chatting and achieves control over the chatty mind. There are two basic forms, one that uses lyrics and one that repeats the same sound over and over again. The second form is mantra meditation. Both forms of meditation are about making the mind one-pointed through the repetition of a sound vibration. What happens when you repeat these chants is that your mind starts to become absorbed by the sound-vibration of your chant or mantra. In the beginning we repeat the chant verbally, physically, but then once our clarity increases we can repeat the mantra only mentally without the use of any physical sound vibration.
For beginners the mind will chatter, but with just a little practice, the mind will become quiet. Doing meditation for several weeks daily can allow you to control your mind, and your mind will no longer talk garbage, but remain quiet until something worth saying is heard from the mind.
By chanting you will exclude all thought and only the chant remains. This process will lift your consciousness to a higher level and will train the mind to become more focused and one-pointed in life. This process will clean out a lot of the dualities and distortions present within the mind and its connection to the senses.
We have suggested that the Little Green Man lives in another dimension. This implies that other little men might live in this dimension too. If we consider that each person is in another dimension, we wonder if it might be the same dimension. Or perhaps we all have separate dimensions or the one dimension is isolated so that each of us has their own territory.
An important question is how is this dimension measured, in feet or meters?
I suggest the dimension is love. When one finds their soul mate or someone who is very close, synchronous thoughts can occur. Some people reported that "I just thought of you and picked up the phone and there you were."
When someone you love dearly, hugs you and you hug them, there is a oneness and a feeling of being joined.
When there is a lack of love, one feels distant from the person.
Another way of feeling close is when someone teaches with much wisdom. The insight can be so strong, that energy seems to flow from teacher to student.
God and the Spiritual Dimension
Feeling very close to God, there is an exchange of energy, where God enters the body, and a sense of pureness is felt. In this spiritual dimension, could it be that God and a person actually overlap and touch?
Even considering this, it feels beautiful. Is this why churches have communion?
If we say God is everywhere, perhaps more exactly, it is that the pathway to God, the connection to God is the very fiber of the Spiritual Dimension and the aspect of God can be felt everywhere.
The Heart Cave
The spiritual dimension may be plural and there are at least three spiritual dimensions. In this case we have possible volumes.
One volume might be in the form of what I call a heart cave. This cave is in our heart, build by spiritual practice. As one is exposed to love and spirit the cave becomes stronger. It resonates to the vibrations of spiritual words, heavenly music, meditation, prayer, faith, and love. Each soul has a different sized and shaped heart cave, thus we have many different beliefs concerning religion.
The heart cave is populated with what the believer takes into their heart. It could be pictures of the saints, a cross, a star, or something that seems to give luck. This cave is emotional, not scientific. It reflections emotions and resonates mystically.
Passion and The Brain Mind Interface
Although the brain has billions of cells we have one thought at a time. What is truly important to the brain is condensed into a single thought and experience. We can have more than one emotion at a time, but it is impossible to listen to two or more thoughts at a time.
When we get a message from the brain the feeling rises and then falls when something is done about it. Hunger goes away when we eat. The food is the remedy and it negates the desire.
When it comes to more complex desires such as wanting alcohol, drugs, sex, and thrills, and other things than can get us into trouble, there is a force that limits our passions into an appropriate range.
This force presses down to keep passions in check. It also presses upward to make ordinary life more passionate.
The region in between the boundaries of theses two forces can resonate to music and this is the heart cave.
Copyright © 2005 -2013 by George Norwood
Revision 12, March 28, 2013