Inner experiences are of another kind compared to the way we experience the physical world. The physical senses no longer dominate (though still there) and the inner senses take over.
It really helps to identify this going in.
The inner dimension doesn’t have the limits and demarcations of the outer world. It’s broader, wider, deeper. It continues to unfold. When you come to a wall in the physical world, you stop. Not in the inner world.
Thus the need to go in knowingly. And also understanding that once there, you don’t cede operational control. It’s still your experience.
Take meditation for instance. Once the eyes close, the body settles, and the mind calms there can be a tendency to get swept away. There’s a place for that too, to let the experience take over. The best approach is to also know that you have the absolute ability to modulate your meditation. To fine tune your interiorization so that there are targeted, clear, conscious experiences that yield insight.
This isn’t talked about much in meditation communities. People who are eager to meditate begin and their meditation sessions leave them cloudy about what is happening.
The whole body of an individual’s meditation practice over time will have a positive impact. But why stay unclear as one goes along, or not be clearer? Waiting for accumulated meditation sit time, to break through to us isn’t necessary and may even discourage sitting.
The simple solution is knowing that meditation or any inner experience is not a time to get lost in. There’s a choice not to continue blind.
If you start a car, put it in gear and hit the gas pedal it will go. But if you don’t steer and control it with the brakes and steering wheel, you won’t be at all happy with the end result.
The human body and psyche are equipped to modulate meditation and other inner experiences. The inner dimension is navigable! And it’s best to navigate it, rather than being the passenger only.
That’s not to say that there are no occasions to let go into experiences. We learn about the various states and resources that are available to us during meditation or a healing session. It’s fine to flow with some of these states or resources when they spontaneously open, as they tend to do.
It seems meditation presents paradoxes. It’s relaxing but there’s also awareness. It can be deep but one remains conscious. It’s dark behind closed eyes but there can be experiences of light. You may start distressed yet be calm when done.
Meditation has many effects and benefits, but it’s main purpose is to expand our consciousness. The states and resources which may spontaneously appear are a sense of serenity, greater love, understanding, inner power, clarity, connection among others. Or we may find ourselves in the midst of a personally meaningful opening that takes on a life of its own.
In both of these cases there’s a payoff. Even if you go so deep every once in a while, that you’re uncertain when finished it can be helpful. It shows how your mind and consciousness works, and how much more there is to you.
Deeper states and personally meaningful experiences that come along are fine as long as there’s purpose to them and they enrich you. If you’re the passenger too much and the sitting doesn’t have meaning or insight, it’s time to modulate your meditation. It’s time to take the seat of meditation back from the experience that’s taken over.
The same holds for all inner experiences. In a healing session, if a memory takes over it may be worth seeing where it goes, just long enough to determine if it’s random or significant. In daily life too, we have moments of rumination or clarity. Something connects and makes sense. These are valuable. Endless chains of thoughts aren’t so helpful.
No matter which setting inner experiences occur, we’re equipped with the necessary wherewithal to make the final decision about how long to engage and if it’s worthwhile.
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Teacher of Reiki Classes in the original tradition and Japanese teachings of Mikao Usui (Sensei) in South Florida. Meditation, Healing, and Spirituality training and services.