Contemplation for Discernment

By George A. Boyd ©2023

Two of the key tasks for disciples are (a) to develop the ability to see inner spiritual essence and recognize them, and (b) to know their own spiritual nature exactly. For this clear seeing and exact knowledge, they can extrapolate from their own axis of being to recognize these same centers in others. Once they can do this, they can act as a spiritual guide.

Contemplation of twelve different elements of spirituality expands the capacity of inner seeing and recognition, and permits disciples to clearly discern these elements in themselves and others:

  1. The ensouling entity on its own Plane
  2. Chakras of the ensouling entity’s essential form
  3. Seed atoms and chakras of the Superconscious mind’s vehicles of consciousness—in certain of these forms, one can view the nucleus of identity within them
  4. The Self at the nucleus of the personality
  5. Seed atoms and chakras of the Metaconscious and Subconscious mind’s vehicles of consciousness
  6. The ego in its seven aspects
  7. Seed atoms and chakras of the Conscious mind’s vehicles of consciousness
  8. Contemplation of the spirit in each of the twelve Domains
  9. Contemplation of a spiritual guide form
  10. Contemplation of an angel
  11. Contemplation of the spiritual essences and vehicles of consciousness of a Master
  12. Contemplation of the Universal Consciousness of the Divine on different Plane

We encourage you to use this contemplative template to study your own nature. Those who have completed one of our intermediate meditation classes—the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program—will benefit from using the Mudrashram® Correspondence Course to help you with this study.

Aim for exact knowledge and clarity for each of the octaves of being: Personal—comprising the Conscious, Subconscious, and Metaconscious mind; and the Subtle, Planetary, Transplanetary, Cosmic, and your aligned Supracosmic and Transcendental Paths that make up your Superconscious mind. You can view a basic map of these levels of the mind in the article, “The Great Continuum of Consciousness,” which can be viewed on our Open Stacks page.

On Boredom

By George A. Boyd © 2003

In boredom, the mind seeks engagement. People sometimes attempt to fulfill this need through entertainment, becoming intoxicated, going to parties, or idle past times such as playing games or gambling. The mind seeks a meaningful goal to engage, it seeks to be productively engaged.

Boredom is the first step on the pathway to productive engagement of the mind. Here are the steps:

  1. Seeking something to do (boredom)
  2. Getting an idea (excitement)
  3. Strategizing how to make it successful
  4. Developing plans to operationalize the strategy
  5. Executing the plan, making decision to do it
  6. Sustaining action towards the plan completion (commitment)
  7. Adjusting course, making contingency plans or alternate plans to handle unforeseen issues that arise (adjustment)
  8. Completing the goal or meeting a benchmark on an ongoing series of goals (success)

To avoid wasting valuable time and to engage the mind in meaningful and productive activities, we suggest that you ask yourself questions like these to engage the creative, actualizing the power of your Subconscious mind:

  1. What can I do right now to move forward on my important goals?
  2. What questions do I have right now that I can answer through research and contemplation
  3. (If you have not set goals) What key things would I like to accomplish with my life? (Use this time to formulate goals).
  4. What personal shortcoming could I work on right now to see if I can eradicate it?
  5. What could I learn right now that would enhance my ability and knowledge?
  6. What can I meditate upon that will increase my understanding and help me make progress on the spiritual path?
  7. In what activity can I now engage that will be service to other people or to God?

Since people spend much time doing activities that do not advance and actualize their dreams, driving the Subconscious mind by this means will help people to lead much more fulfilling lives.

Meditation on the Seven Levels Described in Theosophy

By George A. Boyd © 2023

Q: In Theosophy, they describe seven levels of being. How do you experience these levels?

A: You can start with doing a quick process:

Body – What am I experiencing now in my body?

Energy – What is my state of energy and vitality now?

Emotions – What are the feelings, memories, and beliefs I’m experiencing now?

Attention – What is my attention focused on right now?

Self and Will – What am I choosing to create in my life right now?

Illumined Mind – What guidance do you have for me right now?

Soul – What is my experience of the totality of my potential and actualization now?

Notice what comes up for you as you query each level.

Next, notice what activities tap into these levels. Through specific activities, you can open to these levels. For example:

Body – movement, exercise, nourishing meals

Energy – breathing, hatha yoga, martial arts

Emotions – journaling, sharing my thoughts and feelings, communication, vulnerability

Attention – mindfulness, meditation; attentional union with Self, spirit, and Soul

Self and will – goal setting, planning, clarifying and acting on values

Illumined mind – receiving guidance, dialogue with your Higher Self, communing with your guides and angels

Soul – Abiding in peace, joy, and bliss; experience of oneness

Next, notice what feelings come up as you focus on each level:

Body – This is what my body feels like right now.

Energy – This is the energy I feel right now.

Emotions – These are the emotions I feel right now.

Attention – This is the feeling of being focused, centered, and fully present.

Self and will – This is the feeling of being the Self and having the capacity to create my future.

Illumined mind – This is the feeling of rapture and peace I feel as I tap into my Illumined mind.

Soul – This is the bliss and joy I feel when I am in touch with the Soul.

You can key into these levels through monitoring your experience, noticing the activities that connect you with each level, and dropping into the feeling state of each level.

Meditations that help you tap into each level are:

Body – Movement meditation †

Energy – Breathing meditation †, Kundalini †

Emotions – Process meditation †, Emotional Vipassana †

Attention – Mindfulness †, Raja Yoga †

Self and will – Centering meditations †

Illumined Mind – Jnana Yoga †

Soul – Raja Yoga †, Mantra Yoga †, and Kundalini Yoga †

[† These are techniques we teach in our intermediate classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.]

We encourage you to become familiar with all of these levels in yourself, so you can translate Theosophical theory into experience, action, and a felt sense that will allow you to recognize it.

Types of Meditation

By George A. Boyd © 2009

There are many types of meditation. Seekers are often not aware that there are so many ways to meditate. They might have learned only one type of meditation, and were told by the teacher that initiated them that this is the “only true way to meditate.” They might have learned a single mantra, to watch their breath, or to contemplate an inner image. But they are not aware that each type of meditation directs awareness differently. For example, here are 35 different ways that people meditate:

  1. Concentration (focusing attention on an inner focal point)
  2. Fine Concentration (finely focusing attention to become minutely aware of the content of a vehicle)
  3. Contemplation (awareness of content after focusing the attention on a point)
  4. Mindfulness (awareness of content in the present time, mental monitoring of content as it arises)
  5. Absorption (in breath, sensory or energetic streams (passive) – no control over depth of immersion
  6. Following breath (active) so that one deepens into awareness to a specified level, then emerges
  7. Absorption in sensory or energetic stream using concentration (active) so that the depth of immersion in this stream is controlled
  8. Mental suggestion (suggestion with the attention; repeating a mantra with the attention)
  9. Mental listening (asking a question, listening for the answer)
  10. Mental striking or knocking (directing the attention to strike a certain center or inner door); or rotation (directing the attention to turn an inner wheel)
  11. Mental scanning (content) noticing all of the content of the awakened portion of a vehicle
  12. Mental scanning (structure) noticing the structure of the vehicle itself as form, shape, dimensions
  13. Mental scanning (background) noticing the content of the unawakened portion of the mind in which the vehicle is embedded
  14. Mental scanning (origin) noticing where the vehicle originates out of Spirit
  15. Attentional principle creation, visual (visualization)
  16. Attentional principle creation, auditory (giving a voice to an entity)
  17. Attentional principle creation, thaumaturgic (sending light or thought to an inner vehicle or to a mantra)
  18. Vocal utterance (structured, aloud) – used in chanting or singing
  19. Vocal utterance (structured, whispered) – used in prayer and mantra repetition
  20. Vocal utterance (unstructured, aloud) – used in intoning, making a sound from an inner vehicle
  21. Vocal utterance (unstructured, whispered) – used in making the breath audible
  22. Vocal attentional click – used to “push off” in direct projection
  23. Movement (structured) – used in sacred dance or martial arts
  24. Movement (unstructured) – free movement used in contact improvisation and movement meditation
  25. Movement (structured, subtle) – movement of astral body using suggestion: parts of astral body, movement of the whole astral body to a spatial or dimensional location; movement of the whole astral body in time
  26. Movement (unstructured, subtle) – movement of the astral body as generated by random sounds, falling, sudden shock, or use of anesthetic stimulant or psychedelic drugs
  27. Volitional command – directing movement or operation of the body or inner vehicle
  28. Volitional suspension – turning off the operation of the body or inner vehicle
  29. Repose in Being or Voidness (Nirvanic dwelling) holding the attention in inner voidness
  30. Dialog – inner dialog with a subpersonality, major integrating center (ego, Self) or spiritual essence (attentional principle, spirit, or Soul)
  31. Communion – inner dialog with a spiritual Guide, with the Holy Spirit, an angel, or the Divine
  32. Inspiration or channeling (active) – receiving telepathic information from a guide, the Holy Spirit, an angel, the Divine, capturing it by writing or speaking
  33. Inspiration or channeling (passive) – receiving telepathic communication from a guide, the Holy Spirit, an angel, or the Divine, and simply remembering it
  34. Being present as the fullness of Being (darshan) – revealing your inmost, eternal nature
  35. Grace-Bestowing – radiating Light or Shakti from the presence of Being (Shaktipat)

We suggest that seekers will benefit from becoming familiar with each of these other types of meditation and their uses. No more than you would use only a hammer to do a variety of household repair tasks, neither should you have only one or two meditation “tools” at your disposal to carry out inner work. It would be superior to have a wide variety of tools to permit you to do exactly what you need to do for personal and spiritual development— this is what you learn in the Mudrashram® system of Integral meditation.

In the Introduction to Meditation Program, you learn techniques 1, 3, 4, 6, 9. 29, and 30.

In the Accelerated Meditation Program, you learn techniques 1, 3, 4,6,7, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 29, and 30.

In the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation, you learn techniques 1, 2, 3, 10, 12, 12, 13, 15, 15, 19, 21, and 31.