Physician/new-thought writer Larry Dossey once said in an interview with Kelly Howell on a Theater of the Mind podcast, “The body loves meditation.” By all measures he’s right—lower blood pressure, stress reduction, sounder sleep, accelerated development, greater equanimity, enhanced empathy, and deeper self-awareness. In fact, the ultimate goal of most meditative traditions is to live every waking and sleeping moment in mindful awareness. The world overflows with fun, effective meditation practices. One cool modern approach is from my friends Eric and Patti at www.alpha-i.net. Check them out. People love their program and their enthusiasm.
If you like to meditate, here’s one you might enjoy.I do a lot of meditations, and one of my favorites travels through four different states of consciousness—gross, subtle, causal, and nondual. I learned these states from my friend, Ken Wilber (Integral Psychology’s originator), and we’re mostly on the same page with what they are, though I don’t think he’d entirely agree with some of my definitions:
- Gross consciousness—feeling everything in you, around you, and in the universe, including your own body, constantly arising in the present moment out of nothingness.
- Subtle consciousness—experiencing all objects (from tiny grains of sand, to towering mountains, to clouds across the sky) as precious, unique expressions of spirit arising.
- Causal consciousness—relaxing into complete nothingness, emptiness (Śūnyatā” in Sanskrit). Myamoto Musashi called this emptiness the “void,” and ended his famous warrior text, A Book of Five Rings, with: “In the void is virtue and no evil. Wisdom has existence. Principle has existence. The Way has existence. Spirit is nothingness.”
- Non-Dual consciousness—feeling the cosmos as totally full, present, unique, and connected, flowing constantly from absolute nothingness.