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I have written before on the wondrous possibilities of mindfulness meditation, where consciousness in a very pure form can be accessed and experienced as the meditator distances herself from the thoughts and emotions seemingly generated and circulated by the brain and heart. I say ‘seemingly’ as the more one examines them by distancing oneself from them the less one is sure of their genesis and extension. That they exist and retain the power of persuasion is beyond doubt, but beyond establishing that they are the landscape in which the astral and mental bodies ‘move and have their being’ one is reluctant to be definitive. And as mindfulness meditation is primarily concerned with moving beyond their pull and experiencing the self without their entrainment, such an inquiry is virtually pointless. We may care where they come from and disappear to but not quite enough to get a shovel and dig.

Of course, there are many guided meditations one can discover and participate in, but the one I propose to outline today can track the path the spirit takes as it moves away from incarnation into that immense emptiness of the godhead, where nothing is manifest but potential while omniscience and omnipresence are mere whims of an intelligence that has no attachment to definitions like deity or divinity.  It is within that sphere of light, of knowing-but-not-doing, that we merge with the playful spiritual intelligence that some call God and some the God consciousness, and instantly understand why we chose to go down to the salt mines of incarnation and struggle in the textures of ignorance and darkness, why we chose to forget our divine origins and playact the pawns of desire and ambition.  It is there that we know the value of not-knowing, it is there where we see our former selves as we grope and gripe and grieve.  It is there where we wear that little smile of the Buddha, despite the lack of body and clothing and culture.

But let us start with sitting comfortably, in a room we can recognize and easily reach comfort.  Let us breathe and watch the breath as it moves in and out.  Let us slowly become aware of the body we bear, its aches and pains, its itch to move and need to rest.  Then let us expand that awareness to the etheric body an inch or two beyond, that envelope of energy from which we continuously and unconsciously draw sustenance, that reservoir which hosts the chakras.  Now let us expand a little more to the boundary of the astral body, that vehicle of moods and emotions that channels our feelings about this, that and the other, and lifts off every night when sleep takes its turn.  Let us live for a few moments in its emotional intelligence and partake of whatever wisdom it offers up.

Next on our expansion there is the mental body, the vehicle of thoughts, conveying us from one to the other without pause.  Let is listen to the many testimonies of thinking, those plans, justifications and defenses that continually pour through, often accompanied by those evanescent creatures of the hypnagogic state, chattering on the verge of incoherence.  From whence they emerge, so full of themselves, and where they are headed once they fade from view, is yet another mystery of the energy systems we swim in, but let us for the moment be immersed in this crowd and its collective experience, for it is a community like any other, sharing a common ground, a band of vibration.

Next to that band is another, one where the earthbound spirits that we commonly call ghosts wander.  Though they seek refuge of one kind or another, they can be almost anywhere: on the street, in a home, in a public building, in a sports facility.  The variables depend on their level of ignorance and strength of desire.  Atheism, materialism, self pity and guilt: they all come pre-packaged with levels of ignorance.  ‘There is no afterlife or if there is I don’t deserve to be there’ can sum it up.  The sufferers seek solace in families, friends, fellow religionists.  If they were addicts, – booze, drugs, gambling, sex, sports, – they can be found where those activities are pursued.  Seeking them out for contact is simpler than you might think.  Some will talk, some will plead, some will ignore.  See them for what they are and move on.  Be a social worker another time; right now we have places to go.

Let us now feel out the thoughts that appear to be ours, but are in essence universal with personal modifications.  Universal thoughts from the universal mind in which one might say we are all doing time.  But our time is soon up and we leave, expanding into the causal body, a huge balloon that could easily expand to several city blocks, so thin is its texture and so high its vibration.  Allow yourself to feel the interactions at its edges, let the imagination carry you to where you need to go and know that however vague the vibrations you find there, they are as real as any slap in the face.  All realities are relative of course, dependent on the perceiver’s level of engagement.  One can be immersed in the medium and never know it, or one can be distanced and see the outlines of the system in which your fellows farther their interests and feed their needs.

Now let us move to the non-physical spheres, where the earth is but a memory to those we might meet.  There’s the ignorant, angry, resentful dead, stumbling and grumbling in the fogs of their fears.  They shout, swear or ignore as we pass though their band of vibration.  More a rag-bag of loners than a community as such, but they do share the values of self pity, resentment and aggression.  If you can, bypass their snarl, seek their counsel and feel their world view for a few seconds.

Next we have villages full of nosy, suspicious, back-stabbing neighbours, repeating their physical existences, partly through behavioural ruts and partly through imaginative lack.  Try telling them there’s more and better elsewhere and feel their cynical denial.  If they’ve come from countries where political repression was the cultural norm, soldiers and police might well be unpleasantly present as they vampirize the fear around them.  These villages can also be shanty towns, refugee camps, rambling slums and all the variations you can imagine.

Moving on up to the next vibratory band we come to the various paradise worlds, where the beauties of meadow, mountain, forest and river complement with the architectural wonders either dotted about a stunning rural landscape or clustered together in breathtakingly beautiful towns where the happy occupants of dream homes are well served by every public amenity one can imagine.  Hereabouts many will stop to chat and will most likely see you as a visitor from the land of the living.  Enjoy their happiness, their relief, their fulfillment.  And, if the opportunity arises, listen for that pondering over the mystery of existence, that puzzling over who or what might create such a marvelous paradise, never mind sustain it indefinitely, for it is often there just below the surface.  Its quality is similar to that of someone who has just been made aware of the size and number of galaxies perceptible from our little corner of the playground.

Remember for a moment that we are all sitting meditating, and that our projections of consciousness, as small and vague and powered by imagination as they appear to be, are actually exploring these various realms.  We are projecting sparks of consciousness out from home base just as our Higher Selves/Monads project the sparks from source that become us once they settle in a fetus and issue forth as a baby.  Patterns of behaviour are replicated throughout creation.

Let us now take a moment to explore the pleasure realms.  A subset of the paradise worlds they exist to supply pleasure seekers the satisfactions they gravitate to once their fears of annihilation and punishment have subsided.  Holiday resorts in the tropics with all the usual paraphernalia.  All the food, drink, sex, sports and sunbathing you can handle.  The souls here are either continuing their passions from their last life or indulging a lack of such.  That there is no getting fat or pregnant or diseased only adds to their enjoyment.  Observe and interact if you wish.  See what most attracts you.

Beyond paradise there are heavens.  Sometimes they blend, their boundaries indistinct.  As breathtakingly beautiful, the heaven worlds are dedicated to the pursuit of religious faith.  All religions are well represented, their denominations and sects either squabbling, respecting or politely ignoring.  Seek out whomever you please, you will find that heaven dwellers are keen to share their joys and the good news that the good news is, in fact, fully realized here.  All religions have their version of the good news.  The only category of religionist that you might have trouble with are the conservative fundamentalists, who usually feel that psychic communications are of the devil and to be shunned at all costs.  Seeing them shut you out can be an educative experience however, so if you feel thus inclined I would not dissuade you.

Now let us shift to the formless energy planes, which I encourage you to experience in any way that strikes you as appropriate.  At this point on the journey you’ve ascended to such a high vibration that your body, as such, has thinned to transparency and is significantly less substantial than a ghost’s.  We are clouds of light in a sea of light.  Colours and textures are up to you.  Here we have transcended the body, the personality, practical purposes and learning curves.  The bliss of being light, without the anchors of identity and desire, has to be experienced to be believed.  So experience.

Timeless time has elapsed, so let us emerge into Higher Self/Monad.  Monads are multi-purpose and many aspected, so go with what you are expecting and you cannot go wrong. Monads are the ultimate shape-shifters and can accommodate any of your projections and expectations, especially if they are subconscious.  The completed selves of earlier incarnations are there and can be experienced as files in a data bank, books on a shelf, or residents in a hotel. They are part of you and you are part of them, and since you were all made from the same ingredients, shuffled about and endlessly rejigged by the chef, you can laugh and joust and compare notes, just like you did the last ‘time’ you were here, likely before you chose the birth you’re blooming from now.

And now we will take our leave, much like we will the next time we issue forth as a new human being bound for incarnation.  On our way down through the ever decreasing frequency of vibration, our light bodies will thicken and limits will fall into place, blinkers on our perceptions.  We will acquire mental, astral and etheric bodies, parents appropriately placed to accommodate both our and their needs, siblings, friends and associates, paths to certain goals, exit strategies should they be required and karmic burdens best suited to our plans.  Much of this will be decided in a telepathic flash, powerful enough to imprint on our soul memory.  For now, let us lower ourselves through the planes, taking in reverse, the various levels of experience we encountered on the way ‘up’.

Feel that mental body slotting into place, capping your limitless understanding and query-free knowing with concepts, thoughts and reasoning; with categories, analysis and arguments:  all modalities which will monitor your future behaviour and make that carnival chaos digestible.  Observe that astral body arriving next, with all its joys, melancholies, pleasures and anxieties, to name but a few.  Watch as it characterizes all manner of experience, rendering every interaction with a riot of colour which either reaches into the heart or ribs it in a cast iron cage.  Feel again that etheric body, that reservoir of energy which feeds the physical and mans the immune systems.  Always at your service whether you know it or not.

And now we awaken to the room we never left and see it as infinite, with our eyes afresh and our perceptions cleansed.  For this is how we navigate those rivers of light that link us to source and destination, and show us all the ports of call which connive to contradict, and maybe even usurp, our precious inner knowing.