by Robert Wilkinson
Let's get metaphysical! Today we explore how the evolving mind learns to go beyond its natural limitations.
This will only be introductory, since the topic is vast and would require a book to thoroughly explore the process. That said, today's offering will help all to become more effective in whatever life direction you want to explore. Training the mind to focus is all-important if we would translate our realizations into practice.
It is in the nature of the mind to be distractible. That's because the mind is bihemispheric, and uses a "sequence and selection" process as it drifts through the proverbial ten thousand things. While this leads us to interesting perspectives and realizations, it also tends to scatter our mind's ability to get and stay focused on any one or two things for the length of time it takes for us to become skilled in mastering the objects of that focus.
The mind therefore could be described as duality functioning through curiosity. However, as the Heart is the Seat of Knowledge, our minds can never truly know much of anything except a string of perceptions. The mind continually seeks knowledge but never finds it. Due to its ceaseless wanderings, our mind's natural weaknesses of indecision and distractibility come forth. It is these that must be antidoted if we would find the focus to develop our Higher Self however that is defined throughout our life.
So how to do antidote the distractibility and indecisiveness of our mind? By seeing how to use its natural functions and strengths in a more effective manner. In realizing and applying a clear vision leading to a pattern to growth, we override the drifting and lack of focus tendencies that are the mind's weaknesses.
The mind has as one of its strengths the ability to order perceptions through the "compare and contrast" function. This is valuable in teaching us critical thinking skills, and therefore develop the Divine 3rd Ray energies of "Intelligence in Action." When we master referencing the 3rd Ray energies, then we can see how to order, how to further, how to know, and how to see a way beyond the frictions born of duality.
In applying our mental strengths, we must first learn the art and science of Concentration. This allows the mind to practice being "one-pointed" so we can go deeper into the meaning of things. Concentration is necessary to order the mind in its explorations so that it can prioritize what it wants to know.
It has been said that the Consciousness first must train the mind to concentrate before it can truly meditate, and that meditation must be developed before we can contemplate the greater meaning and purpose around any manifestation, personal, interpersonal, or transpersonal. This process of learning first Concentration, then Meditation, and finally Contemplation results in the Mastery of the Mind, and allows us to see all things in a larger perspective.
There are many techniques to learn to concentrate. Try any and all of them to see which techniques work best for you. I learned to concentrate by reading Spiritual, Metaphysical, and Astrological works while shutting out all the distracting ideas and feelings of my personality.
I kept trying to get a specific focus on whatever I was exploring so that I could understand what was being said or written. I believe it is very useful to try to relax into whatever you are doing or learning while ignoring the random white noise in my environment. Focus on exactly what you're reading, how it relates to what you've read, and imagine understanding the bigger picture conveyed beyond the words.
Another useful exercise to focus our mind is learning to listen to the words we are speaking, and evaluate whether we are saying what we want to say and using the right words, or are we unfocused, unclear, or just filling the air with sounds. As you concentrate on what you're saying and why you're saying it, you'll become clearer about what you want to say and what you don't want to say. It certainly helps us clear out unhelpful affirmations!
As we develop the strengths of our mind and learn to apply them toward whatever we want to know, then the ability to meditate on that knowing becomes easier. When we learn how to reference meditating on a thing, the ability to contemplate how that thing is related to a larger field of knowing develops over time.
I have heard some assert that Meditation is somehow greater than or the same as Contemplation. This confuses the nature of how these two are related. They are different tools, useful for different purposes at different points in how we regard whatever perception or knowledge we wish to explore.
The sequence of Concentration, Meditation, and Contemplation can be seen as a form of attachment, followed by detachment, developing into pure knowing without the mind's weaknesses distorting that knowing. First we attach our focus to a thing or process, then we learn to detach from the mind's specific focus while not losing the general focus, this ultimately developing into a knowing without having to think or not think.
As a general rule, Meditation begins with a focus that excludes the perceptual mind's distractibility. Contemplation can only have a non-specific focus so that the awareness of how everything is related to everything else naturally arises. We cannot truly contemplate a thing without there being an element of meditation present.
Both Meditation and Contemplation are both beyond the lower mind's scattering tendencies, though most meditational techniques focus on not attaching to the lower mind's distractions. As we learn to still the chatter of random perceptions that draw us away from the focus on concentration, then we can more easily detach from that chatter into an awareness of the interrelationships between the object or process we originally focused on and other phenomenon in the larger field of relatedness.
While some of this is very abstract, all of it will become clearer when you revisit this material and try to apply its precepts in your life however you feel is appropriate. With practice over time, you will find yourself more easily concentrating on whatever you want to, and find meditational paths that work for you. As you develop skill in these, you will acquire and master the power to contemplate the Light/Life in all things, and see/know how all things are related within the larger Dharma of your Lovingly Wise Intelligent Consciousness.
Copyright © 2010 Robert Wilkinson
(This topic will be the subject of an upcoming class in 2011 after I can devote time to setting up a webinar.)