This post is to explain more detail about how to achieve a meditative state discussed in my article on Nine Habits of Happiness.
Before I begin I want to be clear that my methods described below are NOT the only way to achieve a meditative state. All teachers of meditation use methods they have learned to achieve this state. The fact is – There is no right or wrong way to meditate as long as we achieve the same goal of turning off our conscious thought processes and allow the subconscious to do the work we have suggested to it.
Before I offer how meditation works for me to open to the abundance I experience from Source (The Divine, God, Allah, Nature, the Universe, etc), I want to clarify what meditation is and is not for me.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of meditation is: “to engage in thought or contemplation; reflect.”
My definition is very different from Merriam-Webster, and it is necessary for you to understand these differences to understand the method I describe below. From what I have learned in a long lifetime from many wonderful teachers, both ancient and modern, is this: Meditation is when I am able to successfully clear my mind of all conscious thought for a sustained period of time. This is the opposite of reflection or contemplation.
To expand this thought further, I believe that prayer is our conscious mind forming a desire and sending it to Source THROUGH our subconscious mind. Prayer comes in many forms. Whether you start with “Heavenly Father”, or a framework you learned in your religion, or simply “wish” for something – You are forming a prayer intended to reach Source. In my opinion, prayer fits the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of meditation I shared above.
I have studied brainwaves and meditation extensively since I was in my early 20s. My understanding is that beta brain waves are generated when we are in active thought. This includes most of what we experience in a waking state when focused on communicating with others, when we are learning new information, and experience thoughts that make us feel emotions from what we see, touch, smell, taste and hear. This includes anything that draws your attention away from whatever else you may be doing.
Alpha waves are generated by our subconscious mind. This occurs when you are awake but running on “Autopilot”. This is simply a program that is running because it has become a habit. Almost 95% of the time we are running in Alpha mode when we are awake. Things like driving to a destination you have traveled many times. For example, think about driving to your job from home. As you’re driving you rarely think consciously about the route. You were likely either singing to the tunes, listening to the news, talking to a fellow passenger or on the phone, or thinking about your day ahead.
Twilight sleep state generates Theta waves, and deep sleep generates Delta waves. Effective meditation gets us into Theta mode where we can train our Subconscious to change behaviors more easily than we can with repetition alone. Dr. Joe Dispensa has written books on this topic and explains it perfectly in this 12 minute video clip.
If we connected you to an instrument called an electroencephalograph (EEG) to measure your brain waves, both Alpha and Beta waves would show up when you are awake. Conversely, Alpha, Theta and Delta would show up when you are asleep.
What my experience has taught me is that my connection to source is strongest when I stop all conscious thought and allow my subconscious to work independent of any direction from my thoughts in the moments of meditation. I try to get into Theta brain wave mode while my Conscious mind is aware and keep myself in this state so I do not fall into deep sleep (Delta mode), so that I may become aware of answers from Source.
The result of this experience has formed my definition of meditation to be: “Quieting one’s conscious mind so completely, while still awake, that it allows energy to flow between the conscious mind and Source through the subconscious mind.”
Results of Meditation
When in this state, I have learned to trust all information that pops into my conscious mind as a connection with Source through my subconscious mind. I also trust that everything in my path that follows a meditative session is exactly as it is supposed to be. In other words, I am only an observer with my conscious mind. As long as the emotions (biofeedback) are generally positive and enlightening I feel that I have been successful in my meditation.
I have learned to successfully enter a meditative state in seconds and become open to a feeling that gives me biofeedback to confirm it. You may have experienced a similar sensation I use for this biofeedback which most often comes in the form of goosebumps or gooseflesh when something happens to you that triggers deep positive emotion.
It is my belief that anyone can learn the skills to cause this positive internal biofeedback at will. Each of us can find our own methods to generate biofeedback that work for us if we are willing to try them until we have achieved the goal of letting go of all conscious thought. For beginners I recommend three things that helped me learn to let go of my conscious thoughts. Initially I used an intentional breathing technique that made me focus on my breathing for at least two minutes. When I stopped the breathing exercise and discovered my conscious mind wandering again, I repeated the breathing exercise. I also recommend you close off outside noise and interruption by going into a quiet space – You can even play sounds (without words). There are many to choose from, but are best if quiet meditation or “Spa music”. You can learn more about the specific breathing exercise by clicking the link above. The “Spa music” link will take you to the music I continue to use.
I have since learned how to simply stop my conscious “chatter” at will without the breathing exercises. I simply focus on feeling the biofeedback to get me into a meditative state – which can be as short as five seconds or as long as a minute.
The following is my personal meditation process:
I form a prayer that is carefully worded to describe my desire in specific details. I then speak the prayer aloud so that it reinforces my desire to my subconscious mind.
Next, I focus on the empty space between thoughts until feeling the biofeedback (goosebumps) and if it doesn’t happen quickly I then do the breathing exercise explained earlier and then focus my conscious mind ONLY on the space between thoughts, and work to maintain the biofeedback sensation with my full body for as long as necessary to feel my prayer has been communicated to my subconscious mind which in turn communicates it to Source.
If it is something that needs an answer, I trust the first thought that comes to me as the correct answer from Source and proceed to use that answer before I move forward.
One example is the food I eat. If it’s a new item I haven’t purchased before I usually take a moment to enter a meditative state to find out if the food I am about to purchase is good for my body or not. I hold it in my hand and ask the question, “Is this good for me?” – I then enter the state and listen for the answer – yes, or no. If it is yes I put it in my basket, and if no I put it back on the shelf. I remember those items the next time go grocery shopping so I do not have to repeat the process on the same items every time.
I have many examples I will share with you at a later time. For now, I suggest you read this entire post again and see if you can find a way to consciously bring about your own biofeedback. If you don’t get goosebumps, like I do, you can use any other mechanism that works for you. I have seen a pendulum used – swinging one way for yes and another for no; or the fingers of your hand – Index finger for yes and 2nd finger for no.
If you are unable to do it on your own, try to find a mediation class and see if the process you learn there will bring the same result I have described here.
This is only the beginning of a much broader conversation I wish to share with you about the power of meditation. As you learn this first step there are many other marvelous things it can bring to you throughout your lifetime.