Meditation has 3 phases - closing down the outer mind, waking up the inner mind, then entering the Beyond
The 2nd phase itself has 3 hidden sub-phases – waking up on the Deep Body, Deep Emotional and Deep Mental levels. The first phase of closing down the outer superficial mind is similar to going to sleep. First activity in the outer world is minimised, we quieten the thoughts, calm the emotions and relax the body – intention is withdrawn. At that stage we still quietly experience the outer world through the external senses. We then disconnect the superficial mind from the external senses, we forget the physical world – awareness is withdrawn, our motor neurons and sensory neurons are de-energised. Only the processing inter-neurons, the thinking aspects of our superficial mind, remain activated – brain consciousness disconnected from its external sensory and motor arms. At this stage we have not yet awoken on the deeper levels. This state feels unusual because the superficial mind is either actively connected to the outer world with awareness and intention or passes quickly and unnoticed though this disconnected state at night while going to sleep.
Ramanamaharshi: "There are different kinds of silence. In the pursuit of inner silence one should not enter laya [temporary suspension of mental faculties]. If you remain in this [trance like] state no benefit will come to you. A complete absence of thoughts does not mean that one is experiencing the true silence of the Self."
Personal Energy Sphere – The Personal Energy Field (Large Dantien) is centred in the chest and extends to arms-length in all directions. It has 3 levels – the Lower Dantien centred on the abdomen, the Middle Dantien centred on the chest and the Upper Dantien centred on the head. All personal refinement takes place within this sphere which is the unique space in which all movements of the body, energy and Mind fully coexist. After long and correct training, at a high level, all forces from outer life on the 3 levels are received and neutralised within this sphere of our own Deep Mind.
Close Down to Wake Up 关闭 - 唤醒
To begin the process take 3 full deep breaths. Each out breath let the mind close down as if going to sleep. The tensions of the body melt away. Then the superficial-mind closes down further. The troubles of outer life are forgotten. The mind passes through the quiet watchful state and continues deeper (Don't be tempted to rest in that quiet state). While the mind continues deeper, outer awareness fades away.
As the dreamy state first begins to appear, concentrate in the hands and feet looking for sensations of tingling, fullness and warmth. Continue breathing deeply. Each out breath go deeper and intensify the fullness and warmth allowing it to grow into the arms and legs, then into the chest, then down through the trunk to rest in and around the base of the trunk, the perineum (Base Centre).
Next allow a cloud of light to form in and around the perineum. Intensify the light as the mind gently sinks deeper. At this stage the superficial-mind has been closed down and the Deep Mind has begun to awaken. The tingling, fullness and warmth appear due to the energetic stimulation of the pain, pressure and heat sensors. In this deep condition visualising light will help to connect into the reality of the body's energy field, (whereas in a superficially quiet state visualisation may only lead to an imaginary disconnection from reality).
Meditation in a Wider Sense
Meditation in general, is concentration of the mind – either through pondering on some deep aspect of outer life, through introspection of the inner workings of oneself within the 3 levels of the Deep Mind Sphere, or through a directed aspiration beyond the Deep Mind towards the True Self. Meditation may be practiced while fully involved in outer life, while lightly involved in outer life or while momentarily withdrawn from outer life. It begins when a proportion of the mind is turned back towards its source. Though meditation will later encompass the 3 aspects of the mind - consciousness, intention and intelligence - initially a division is created within consciousness so that while one part of the mind continues to act (producing thoughts, feelings or movements) an independent part of the mind is free to watch these manifestations.
It is crucial at this initial stage not to simply horizontally split off a part of the quietly watching superficial conscious, but to create a vertical split between the superficial-mind and something a little deeper. The truly natural way deeper is exactly the process of going to sleep - the superficial-mind reduces its activity, then an internal sense of the body grows, followed by immersion in the dream state culminating in disappearance into deep sleep. All true, balanced teachings, understanding this, initially concentrate the separated watching part of the mind back towards the deep body sensations which draws this part deeper - rather than the common mistake of allowing it to look back out through the external senses creating the quiet watchful horizontal split which in itself cannot lead to anything deeper and if strengthened will lock a person in their head and block all further progress (being really, if practiced to an extreme, the first step towards psychological imbalance).
Ramanamaharshi: "Intellect (superficial mind) is of no use at all for seeing within, for turning towards the Self. For that it has to be killed or extinguished, or in other words it has to merge in the source from which it sprang."
Universal Mistake – Today and throughout history, the universal, even natural mistake, is to take the quiet mind as the basis of meditation. It arises when people, who have not gone through decades of training with a good teacher (who has themself previously passed through decades of true training), take it on themselves to teach what they 'believe they know' is meditation. Though this was warned against by the Buddha and every genuine teacher since, still whole systems are devised, teachings promoted and books published, which are based on the brain state of no-thinking. As the old Yogi Mounimaharaj of Rajasthan said: "All realised beings say the same thing - but who listens to them?" No-thinking is not No-mind (Empty-mind, Buddha mind, Deep Mind). When the Deep Mind appears, it is independent of whether the thinking mind is quiet or remains fully active. It is also independent of outer emotional arousal or physical movement. The true test of the development of the Deep Mind is its ability to remain fully functioning as the outer activity of thoughts, feelings and movements within yourself and those around you, press in upon you. Only long training under a true teacher will lead to this.
Ramanamaharshi: "Setting apart time for meditation is only for the spiritual beginner. A person who is advancing enjoys the deeper state whether they are busy or at rest. While their hands are in society, their deeper self remains aloof."