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The Physical Harmony Point

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So far in this series, we’ve covered two meditations that can “reset” your breathing and hearing awareness-es.  Today, we’ll learn more about resets in general, and the two types of scanning that can be useful.  This will prepare us for next time, when we’ll learn a new meditation that can reset your remaining bodily sensations.

The Physical Harmony Point

The Physical Harmony Point is that place where you are scanning all of your bodily sensations, but perceiving nothing.  Think of it as minor version of The Harmony Point, one that only applies to the physical realm.  As this highlights, every realm has its own Harmony Point, all subsets of “The Harmony Point.”

And each realm has subsets of its own.  For example, the result of our breathing meditation is a Breathing Harmony Point, the result of our hearing meditation is a Hearing Harmony Point, and the result of using the MindVizor is a Seeing Harmony Point.

Sequential Scanning

Our hearing meditation uses a scanning approach that’s “based on the intensity of the distraction.”  While this works great for hearing, sometimes it can be helpful to use the “sequential order” scanning approach instead.  This is especially true for things that have fallen out of awareness, and are now accepted as normal.

These are the attention-seekers we ignore because they’ve been there for so long.  In the physical realm, they show up as chronic pain, limited mobility, and distorted posture.  In the mental and emotional realms, they show up as emotional pain, confusion, irrational thoughts and reactive behavior.  Either way, these are typically the result of scars and disease.

In our next meditation, we’ll use sequential scanning to find these hidden attention-seekers in the physical realm, bring them into awareness, then reset them.  And because these techniques work across realms, in future editions, we’ll learn how to apply these same techniques to the mental and emotional realms.

Resetting Physical Attention Seekers

To reset our breathing, we expanded and contracted our breath beyond everyday experience, then let it return to its natural state.  To reset our physical attention-seekers, we’re going to do the same thing to individual points on our body, in a sequential progression.  Instead of simple expansion and contraction, however, we will move our body across 3 axis:

6 Degrees of Body Movement
6 Degrees of Body Movement

Scar Tissue and Disease

Inevitably, as you progress through certain body movements, you will encounter some pain and distress.  These are usually signs of scar tissue or disease.  When targeting the Physical Harmony Point, you’ll just want to become aware of those pains, and how they are affected through movements around that point of awareness.  (in future editions, we’ll cover pain specific meditations)

Yoga and Meditation

Historically, yoga has been used to attain the meditative state know as “Samadhi.”  We call it The Harmony Point.  Newer flavors of yoga have lost this connection, and instead stress other things like heat, or hanging, etc.  Next time, we’ll bring these trends together, as we cover a yoga-based meditation that can help you attain the Physical Harmony Point …

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The Silence, The Quiet, and The Harmony Point

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Many meditative traditions use terms like “The Silence” or “The Quiet” to describe that special brain state that can lead to transcendent experiences.  Because these terms can have inconsistent meanings and applications, we prefer the term “The Harmony Point,” and use it exclusively in our map of consciousness.

Today, we’ll explore this in more detail, and illustrate why this is important.

The Silence vs. The Quiet

By common definition, silence is the complete absence of sound.  While this may be desirable for meditative purposes, it’s somewhat hard to achieve in practice.  You don’t always have a cave, cathedral, or floatation tank around when you need one.  And even when you find yourself in the quietest place, you’ll suddenly notice sounds you simply can’t avoid:  the sound of your breathing, the beating of your heart, the subtlest of background noises.

The Silence as it is typically described, however, matches another state that’s more accurately known as The Quiet.  That is the state of consciousness where, when listening as hard as you can, you aren’t hearing anything new.  It can be achieved through this simple hearing meditation:

A Hearing Meditation

  • Enter a meditative posture
  • Complete a short breathing meditation
  • With eyes closed, listen for something occurring in your surroundings.
  • Acknowledge the sound, then listen for something else occurring in your surroundings.
  • Repeat this process, until all sounds in your environment have been heard and acknowledged.
  • Keep focused on listening, even when you aren’t hearing anything new.

You have just entered The Quiet.  It is that place where all hearing attention-seekers have been quieted, and you are at peace, listening but hearing nothing.

The Harmony Point

What The Quiet is to sound, The Harmony Point is to everything in your awareness.  Instead of just listening for sounds, you scan every sense in your body, every thought in your head, and every emotion in your heart.  It is that place where all attention-seekers –across all realms– have been stilled.  You are at peace, scanning everything but perceiving nothing.

While it may seem overwhelming to attain, we have already covered everything needed to get there.  The breathing and hearing meditations have taught you how to use Single Point Awareness (SPA) and Scanning to find and silence attention seekers.  All that remains is to apply these concepts in a systematic way, and you’ll be on your way to attaining The Harmony Point.

Until next time …

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Meditation Made Easy

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After comparing many world traditions, we now have a simple map of consciousness with just two targeted brain states.  While each tradition has its own terminology, these states can generically be called a “focused” state, and the “silence” state.  In our map, we call them Single Point Awareness (SPA) and The Harmony Point (THP) respectively.

Last time, we covered a simple breathing technique that anyone can use to easily reach SPA.  Today, we’ll put it all together into a simple approach to meditation that is easy to do, and produces fast and noticeable results.

Before we do, let’s define meditation:

Meditation is a practice that helps you become more aware of your body, mind and spirit.  It is also a practice that helps you attain “the silence,” the place where higher states of consciousness become more accessible.

Meditation Made Easy

Think of meditation as a series of mental workouts that allow you to take control of your mind.  Harmony Point Meditation is a systematic approach that uses Single Point Awareness (SPA) to gain control over the distractions that are competing for your attention.  We call these distractions “attention seekers,” and we call this systematic approach “scanning.”

Scanning

Scanning is simply the process of moving your Single Point Awareness (SPA) from one attention seeker to the next in an orderly way, and resetting each of them as you go.  The two main ways of scanning are 1) in a sequential order, or 2) based on the intensity of the distraction.

This process of scanning and resetting attention seekers is consistent across all realms.  In other words, once you learn how to use SPA to reset your breathing, it can be used to reset the rest of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual distractions as well.

Harmony Point Meditation

  1. Enter into SPA with your breathing, and reset it.
  2. Scan for bodily attention seekers, and reset them using SPA.
  3. Scan for mental attention seekers, and reset them using SPA.
  4. Scan for emotional attention seekers, and reset them using SPA.
  5. Scan for spiritual attention seekers, and reset them using SPA.
  6. Enter The Harmony Point (THP).

Now, there are too many attention seekers to go through them all every time you meditate.  Instead, spend a fixed amount of time within each realm.  For example, start with breathing, then spend 5 minutes per realm, ending your session attempting to achieve the “silence” (THP).  Then, every time you meditate, you can pursue a different set of attention seekers within each realm.

Using this approach, you’ll quickly gain control over all of your thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions.  And with practice, you’ll gain access to THP as well.

Harmony Point Yoga

Just like our simple breathing meditation is an easy way to learn SPA, Harmony Point Yoga is an easy way to learn scanning.  In this case, we use standard yoga poses and special transitions to focus in on a series of body parts, and reset them along the way.

Next time, we’ll explore these concepts in more detail, and explain how they are related to mindfulness.

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Getting to The Harmony Point

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After comparing many world traditions, from ancient to modern, spiritual to religious, mystical to scientific, we now have a simple map of consciousness with just two, interim destinations:

  • The Harmony Point (THP) – where you are one with the universe (all attention seekers are quieted)
  • Single Point Awareness (SPA) – where you are totally immersed in a single object of your attention (all attention seekers are quieted, except one).

Of these two targeted brain states, The Harmony Point is usually considered the ultimate destination, and the more powerful of the two.  It’s also harder to reach directly, because you have to be able to control all of your attention seekers, across all realms of awareness (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, etc.).  That’s why many traditions begin with some version of Single Point Awareness …Navigating Higher Brain StatesAs you can see above, there really isn’t that much difference between THP and SPA.  And once you get to one of these states, you can easily get to the other.  Since it’s easier to focus on one attention seeker rather than quieting all them, many traditions start with low intensity SPA approaches.

Transcendental Meditation is a good example of this.  Focusing on something like a mantra quiets all of the other attention seekers, until your mind gets bored and stops focusing all together — leaving you at The Harmony Point.

Getting to THP Directly

Getting to The Harmony Point directly is harder, and traditions that pursue this often have elaborate rituals and indoctrination that can take a long time.  An easier approach is to systematically use Single Point Awareness to “reset” each attention seeker …

Imagine that one of the green lines represents your breathing. Most of the time, that line is not very big.  Unless you’re having difficulty breathing, it’s probably not even part of your normal awareness.  But you can choose to become aware of it. You can choose to focus in on it to the exclusion of all others:

A Breathing Meditation

  • Enter into a meditative position, and focus your attention on your breath.  How quickly are you breathing?  How deep are your breaths?
  • Now focus on taking slower, deeper breaths.  Long slow breath in, long slow breath out …
  • Once this is comfortable, add expansive breathing (when you reach your natural limit for inhaling or exhaling, extend your breath just a bit further).  Long slow breath in, breath in a little more, long slow breath out, breath out a little more ….
  • Next, add rhythmic breathing (where the transition from inhaling to exhaling is continuous, the way babies breath) and/or other variations as desired.
  • When you are done taking your breath through all of these motions, allow your breath to return to its natural state.
  • Feel this, recognize this, remember this.  This is now your new normal breathing.

You have just entered into Single Point Awareness with your breath, and become more aware of the normal range and optimal condition of your breathing.  In effect, you have just focused in on one green line, stretched and compressed it, then allowed it to return to its natural position.  You have just “reset” one attention seeker.

This simple meditation is a metaphor for taking control over all of your “awarenesses.”   You see, this process of resetting works for all green lines — it works for all attention seekers.  Next time, we’ll explore how to reset attention seekers by realm, starting with the physical, then mental, emotional, and spiritual.

Until then …

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Mapping Higher Consciousness

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This series of articles show common approaches to higher states of consciousness, and how they are related to transcendence.   To summarize, most world traditions target two brain states that help people with their inner journey.  Here they are, presented graphically in this Map of Transcendence …

Map of Transcendence
So, what are these brain states, and how do we get there?

Normal ConsciousnessNormal Consciousness

In ordinary consciousness, there are many things competing for our attention.  We have five senses, telling us what we are seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling.  We have thoughts about our family, work and other obligations.  We have emotions …

From this list and more, our awareness typically jumps from one “attention seeker” to another, resulting in a stream of consciousness that we experience as “normal.”

The Harmony Point (THP)The Harmony Point (THP)

The opposite of normal consciousness is The Harmony Point.  It’s where all of the competing attention seekers are quieted, making higher states of consciousness more easily accessible.  (Notice that each green line represents a different attention seeker, which can be of a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual nature.)

So how does someone attain THP?  Many traditions approach it directly, through meditation, prayer, and/or other ritual.  An example from my Catholic tradition is centering prayer.  Other traditions approach it indirectly, often by targeting the other common brain state …

Single Point Awareness (SPA)Single Point Awareness (SPA)

Single Point Awareness is THP plus a single point of focus for your awareness.  This focused awareness can occur with any of the green lines, meaning that it can be of a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual nature.

SPA can also vary by intensity (how big the line is).  Many  traditions, for example, teach low intensity approaches like staring at a candle or mirror, focusing on your breath, chanting, rocking, or spinning.  Initially, focusing on something boring quiets all of the other attention seekers.  Eventually, your mind gets bored and stops focusing all together, leaving all attention seekers quieted (aka The Harmony Point).

SPA can also be more intense, resulting in higher states of consciousness.  Arguably, most human progress occurs within this type of Single Point Awareness.   Our most celebrated sports heroes, our most famous artists, musicians, writers, and scientists, and our most respected spiritual and emotional leaders, report that SPA-like conditions led to their most significant achievements.

TranscendenceTranscendence

The most intense form of SPA is Transcendence.  That’s when SPA “breaks through” to something outside of normal awareness.  Some say it’s a connection to source, or to God, or to the Akashic records.  Whatever it is, it’s unusual, profound, and life changing.

In closing, it’s important to recognize that these higher brain states can occur at any time, with or without preparation.  However, those who pursue a regular meditation practice are more likely to attain these states, and benefit as a result.

Until next time …