What Motivates People to Meditate

By George A. Boyd © 2013

Q: What motivates some people to meditate, when others are content to simply live their lives in their waking state of awareness?

A: There are a variety of motivating factors that lead people to seek an altered state of consciousness. These include:

  1. They seek to escape from misery and pain – The dissociative effects of meditation are well known. Those who engage in meditation with this motivation gravitate towards cultic groups that advocate remaining constantly in an altered state of awareness. Others with this motivation will attempt to deaden their pain and escape their misery through using drugs and alcohol, instead of utilizing meditation or hypnosis.
  2. They seek to gain magical powers, so others may regard them as special, respect them, or fear them – This group is often attracted to Kundalini Yoga, Raja Yoga, and Kriya Yoga traditions, which recount tales of their advanced initiates performing miracles or demonstrating magical powers. Similar miracle tales attract seekers with this drive to the Occult and Magical traditions, the Spiritualist and Psychic schools, the “I AM Movement” groups, and the Tibetan Buddhist lineage of Milarepa.
  3. They seek to become famous – These seekers want renown as a great sage or saint, to have a noble reputation, to have many followers who worship them and contribute great wealth to them, and to accrue honorary titles that attest to their greatness and majesty.
  4. They seek to be of service – They are inspired to use their spiritual knowledge and abilities to help others; they have altruistic and compassionate motives. These may seek out service oriented religious traditions and the Karma Yoga Path.
  5. They want to become pure and holy – These seek to develop saintly virtues, holiness, and purity so they may please God, and draw nigh to Him. These ones are attracted to Sant Mat, Meher Baba, and Bhakti Yoga traditions, where their love for God is primary and they surrender all to their Divine Beloved.
  6. They seek to be enlightened – These are looking for wisdom, discernment, and illumination. This group is drawn to the Jnana Yoga traditions, and the Buddhist Paths. Coaching, Process Meditation, and New Age groups, who train their followers to focus their attention on the wave of the present time on the Akashic Ether, and to move through that portal into union and identification with the Divine Atom within the Soul may also appeal to this group of seekers.
  7. They seek to transform, so they may ascend to spiritual Mastery and Liberation – These seekers focus on traditions that offer transformation of their spiritual essence, so they may make progress on the Path, and to gain Mastery and Liberation. Mantra Yoga and Guru Kripa traditions that promise spiritual transformation are a magnet for this type of seeker, as are Nada Yoga traditions of the Transcendental Sphere, and Mudrashram®.

We suggest that unfulfilled personal needs often contaminate motivations one to three, and these may generate ongoing hindrances for those who aim to complete their spiritual journey. The pure motivations of selfless service, love and devotion, the quest for wisdom, and spiritual transformation and progress activate the immortal principles within a human being, whereas egoic impulses often color the other three motivations.

We note that not all players in the spiritual arena are benign, or are based on altruistic motives, so the seeker must be vigilant. For example, there are groups that:

  • Exploit others and form cults, live off the donations of others, and entrap and enslave others—these can deceive seekers with motivations one to seven.
  • Act out motives of revenge and hatred, such as hate groups or terrorist groups, which can draw in those who are driven by motivations one to three.
  • Focus on sexual pleasure or use drugs to get high, which can also waylay those with motivations one and two.

It is important that you recognize what are your motivations for entering the spiritual Path. If your motivations are pure and uncontaminated with egoic agendas, you are setting up the best conditions for authentic and lasting spiritual progress.

We further encourage you to educate yourself about the potential pitfalls of different techniques that can alter your awareness and concomitantly generate perceptual and energetic anomalies, and about the cultic and terrorist groups that can entrap you. We discuss these issues in greater depth in our book, Religions, Cults, and Terrorism: What they Heck Are We Doing?

Steps of the Journey in Mudrashram

By George A. Boyd © 2017

Q: People have asked us to clarify what is the Mudrashram® Path, and where does it ultimately lead? Can you give us a step-by-step narrative of what happens on the Mudrashram® Path, and where it takes you?

A: Mudrashram® is unique in that we do not take you to “our Path,” but rather, unfold you on your Path. This process begins with identifying where you are on this inner journey, and what is your cutting edge of spirituality, with a Basic Soul Reading.

Mudrashram® teaches that your spiritual journey has seven steps:

  1. Completion of the Subtle Realm, liberation of the Soul Spark
  2. Completion of the Planetary Realm, either by liberation of the Soul, or establishment of the Soul in its crown of purpose, and building a bridge to liberation with the White Lotus of Immortality
  3. Completion of the Transplanetary Realm, either by liberation of the Monad, or building a bridge to liberation with the White Lotus of Immortality, when the Monad remains in its ground state linked with the Soul or established in a crown of purpose in the Transplanetary Realm
  4. Completion of the Cosmic Sphere through liberation of the Astral Soul, either through dropping its vehicles (Dharmakaya) or retaining its vehicles (Sambhogakaya). Those who elect to become members of the Cosmic Hierarchy (Nirmanakaya) stop their upward progress at this level.
  5. Completion of the Supracosmic Sphere through liberation of your Supracosmic Soul.
  6. Completion of the Transcendental Path aligned with the axis of being through liberation of the ensouling entity and spirit on that Path. This aligned Path, with rare exceptions, is one of five Transcendental Paths, T1 to T5. [Note: Instead of writing out Transcendental Path 1, we use the abbreviation T1.]
  7. Ascension on the Bridge Path to Multiplane Mastery. This is comprised of four major stages: the Form of the Disciple, the Mahatma Stage, the Lineage Holder Stage, and Multiplane Mastery.

Attainment of the Multiplane Master stage enables the Initiate to clear the karma from every Ray Path in the Cosmic through the Subtle, every additional Path of the Supracosmic Sphere other than the Paths that were opened, and the remaining Paths among T1 to T5 that were not opened. Further advancement beyond the first stage of Multiplane Mastery includes returning to the origin of the Bridge Path, and subsequent liberation on T6 and T7, leading to the Infinite Stage. This constitutes full completion of all spiritual potentials.

You can begin this journey with us by taking the Introduction to Meditation Course, if you have no experience or proficiency with meditation. Those of you who have a background with meditation can start this journey in earnest with one of our intermediate courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Course in Meditation, or the by-mail or online Accelerated Meditation Program, where you learn how to accelerate the spiritual evolution of your Soul, free your spirit, and travel in full consciousness and learn to operate on the inner Planes, plus much more.

What Transformation Do You Offer in Mudrashram

By George A. Boyd © 2017

Q: Let me ask you Oprah Winfrey’s question: “What transformation do you offer?”

A: We offer five types of transformation in Mudrashram®.

  1. Soul transformation – We teach others to speed up their spiritual evolution and to unfold their Soul. They do this through using a transformational mantra and Light Immersion that we teach them.
  2. Individual spirit transformation – We teach others to awaken their spiritual heart and travel in the channels of the Nada until the spirit returns to its Divine Source. They achieve this through practicing Nada Yoga.
  3. Spiritual form transformation – We teach others how to activate each of their vehicles of consciousness and to bring their intellectual, creative, spiritual potentials into full expression. They learn how to do this though meditating on the forms as they tune up in synchrony with the unfoldment of the Soul using Raja Yoga, and raising the Kundalini into union with the Soul.
  4. Perceptual transformation – We teach others to shift their attention to activate their three immortal principles—attentional principle, spirit, and Soul—and how to move attention into the states of Enlightenment and Gnosis.
  5. Transformation through empowerment and skill acquisition – In addition to teaching others to work on themselves spiritually to accelerate spiritual evolution, bring about spiritual salvation, and actualize their spiritual potentials, we also teach them practical skills to work on their personality. We show them a variety of techniques to access the Subconscious, Metaconscious, and Superconscious mind. These methods assist them to actualize their goals, overcome their obstacles, and to rehabilitate their ability to be effective and achieve results.

While the first four types are experienced immediately, and progressively unfold your spiritual potentials with each new meditation that targets that aspect of being, the fifth type is ongoing and developmental.

For example, if you want to achieve your goals, there are several steps to translate them into action:

  1. Inventory – You find out what you truly want through inner process and introspection.
  2. Identify priorities – You ascertain which of your desires are essential for you to live a full and meaningful life. You recognize your key desires that make your life worthwhile, and label them as “A” priority.
  3. Path – You determine what actions you will need to take to make these core desires become real. You clearly define this as a goal you wish to achieve.
  4. Plan – You break down the actions into a step-by-step plan.
  5. Action – You work on the first step and make incremental progress towards your goal.
  6. Ongoing feedback – You notice what hinders your forward progress towards your goal, and find solutions to overcome those hindrances, and implement them. You focus on what is working and continue to make progress in that aspect of your plan. You continue to monitor what is and what is not working.
  7. Attainment – You finish the last step and attain what you have wanted to be, have, do, or experience. This successful achievement of one of your goals allows you to operate on a new plateau for this area of your life.

We discuss this process of goal setting and achievement in greater depth in our book, The Practical Applications of Meditation in Daily Life and Education.

For overcoming obstacles, there are similarly steps to work on each issue that hinders your forward progress and achievement of success. We noted in step six of goal achievement that you need to identify what holds you back or what you encounter that is difficult. For each obstacle, there are a variety of methods you can use to engage with it and resolve it.

  1. Identify the issue – Get clear as to what exactly your issue entails. Is it a lack of belief? Resources? Support? Lack of knowledge? Is it external or internal?
  2. Interact with the issue – For internal problems that are getting in the way, dialog with the issue as it is personified in your mind as a subpersonality. Use dialog and inquiry methods like the Rainbow Technique that we teach to find out more about the issue.
  3. Process the issue – You trace where this issue originated using process meditation, which we teach. You uncover what emotions, beliefs, perceptions, or choices hold it in place, again through process meditation, or through one of our evocative methods called the Mandala method, which allows you to gain insight into the layers of your issue.
  4. Go to the core – Focus your attention upon the issue and experience what it is like to be this part of you. Focus on its shape or form, its core feeling, and location in your body. Use the Rainbow Technique to uncover its core essence—what it is really.
  5. Transcend the issue – Lift your attention into the wave of the present time, and contemplate this issue from the perspective of your enlightened Soul. Process and release the issue as it arises into this enlightened state of awareness.
  6. Re-choose and re-create – From the Soul’s perspective of empowerment, choose a new outcome, scenario, belief, or possibility. Use reframing, affirmation, faith, and affirmation—view it in a new way that enables you to change.
  7. Dissolve and integrate the issue through transformation – When you complete your inner work with the issue, you experience transformation and integration. Genuine personal transformation dissolves the issue, so its pattern ceases to operate, and a new, more positive pattern replaces it: you change. The latent abilities, wisdom, and strengths that were buried in the issue become reintegrated into the Self, and you can function in new ways: you integrate the issue.

We teach these methods to work with personal issues in our intermediate courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation, and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.

To be effective and achieve results, you undergo the process of learning and developing a skill to the point of mastery. This developmental process has several steps:

  1. You begin to learn the skill – You learn the theory about the skill. You practice the skill. You make mistakes, and correct them.
  2. Habit formation – You practice the skill until you can do it automatically: it becomes a habit.
  3. Innovation – You find ways to improve your performance of the skill. You use inquiry (what if) and experimentation to see if you can do it better. You may seek the assistance of a coach or mentor to help you improve your results at this stage.
  4. Gain insight – You discover the core components of the skill, and enhance your ability to utilize the skill, so that you excel and achieve peak performance in it.
  5. Mentor others – using the insights you have gained, you teach others how to use the skill. You might teach a class or write a book at this stage. You become an expert.
  6. Challenge yourself – Continue to set higher benchmarks and work until you can achieve them.
  7. Become a master of the skill – At this stage, you clear the channel of this ability to your Soul. Once this occurs, your Soul can express its gifts and genius through you, and you become an instrument of the Soul’s purpose.

You develop proficiency and mastery of skills through long practice, obtaining mentoring and coaching, and the process of continually motivating yourself to extend this ability. You achieve this mastery by focusing your attention upon this skill track and exploring whether you can do it better, what are the key elements of the skill, and continually aspiring to discover what greater demonstration of this skill is possible.

In Mudrashram®, we assist our students to gain mastery of meditation, but this basic framework applies to any skill that is a core part of your career and your life’s mission. We help our students gain mastery of meditation through training them in introductory, intermediate, and advanced meditation classes, supplemented with books, webinars, and additional courses to help them gain the deepest insight and proficiency in meditation—this ultimately readies them to teach and initiate others.

Breaking through the Bubble of Belief

By George A. Boyd © 2016

Q: How would you break out of the bubble of belief to directly experience the Soul and God?

A: Belief in God appears to pass through seven stages:

  1. Initial belief (faith) – At this stage, believers affirm the existence of God based on convincing personal criteria.
  2. Relational belief – At this stage, they affirm that they are related to God, e.g., a child of God, a disciple of Christ or other spiritual Master.
  3. Doctrinal belief – At this stage, they construct a belief system about God, the creation of the Universe, and humanity’s relationship with the Divine based on the study of scripture and the teachings of clergy. These may include beliefs about what will happen in the future of mankind, what will happen after death, and what God requires of humanity.
  4. Moral belief – At this stage, they construct a set of standards and values based on interpretation of scriptures and teaching and inculcation of clergy to guide their personal behavior.
  5. Authoritarian belief – At this stage, they hold a conviction that the truths espoused in the scriptures and religious organization to which they belong are true for everyone, and must be implemented in the family, the workplace, and the society in which they live.
  6. Missionary belief – At this stage, they gain a conviction that they must being the message to others to save their Souls and guide them to the one true Path. They may engage in active proselytization or evangelism at this stage.
  7. Integrated belief – After many years of professing the belief system and practicing its tenets, these beliefs remake their personality, and dictate their behavior, their values, their world view, and their relationships with those who are in the religious group and those who outside of it.

There are three barriers to move out of the bubble of belief into direct experience.

  1. Existential terror – Believers fear that if their beliefs are abandoned, their life would have no meaning; they would lose their sense of identity; and they would have an infinite number of other options for choosing their life anew once they let go of the certainty of their safe harbor of belief.
  2. Ontological terror – They fear they will lose their soul; they will go to hell or transmigration after death; and they will risk the opprobrium or censure of their religious group for their apostasy.
  3. Psychological terror – They fear having to face the deep-seated anxiety, shame, self-hatred, or inner conflicts for which the religious belief system provided a solution, and insulated them from facing these dysphoric emotions.

Once believers face and work their existential fear, they discover the attentional principle, the principle of immortal consciousness.

Once they resolve their ontological terror, they encounter the Soul—the principle of immortal being—as it is.

Once they penetrate and release their psychological terror, they uncover their spiritual heart, the principle of immortal love.

These three immortal principles comprise the “third eye,” “brain,” and “heart” paths of spiritual development. Raja Yoga activates the third eye path. Transformational mantra unfolds the Soul upon the brain path. Nada Yoga awakens the spiritual heart and frees it to open the inner channels through which the spirit travels back to God. [We teach all three methods in our intermediate meditation classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and on-line Accelerated Meditation Program.]

You can only consciously tread these three paths when you transcend the limitation of these environing structures of belief, which have their corresponding “eye,” “brain,” and “heart.”

The “eye” of belief is the perception that is created when belief filters reality. This must be transcended through awakening the third eye, the attentional principle.

The “brain” of belief constructs a theoretical story or rationale that explains human identity, the creation of the universe, and specifies how people should behave towards one another and the Divine. The here and now experience of eternity and the wordless presence of the Soul supplants this.

The “heart” of belief that imbues religious convictions with passion and urgency and that powerfully energizes the cord of faith must be relinquished to discover the pure and innocent spirit within.

Most never unlock this inner door that opens Pandora’s box—where they must face these three layers of terror—so they remain trapped in the prison of their beliefs. It is a telling observation that perhaps only one to three percent of those who are part of a religious belief system are able to move beyond it into direct experience.

Mudrashram® has its students directly move beyond belief into essence through directly focusing their attention on the three immortal essences—attentional principle, Soul, and spirit—and activating them. This enables them to have direct experience beyond the shell of belief. In time, they are able to dismantle those beliefs that are not founded on the bedrock of Core Realization, and that they cannot verify through direct experience.

Discovering God through direct experience means that these three immortal essences travel into the Presence of the Divine as It is, and know It directly. Mudrashram® gives the aspirant the keys to the direct experience of these immortal essences and the Divine when the core techniques of Integral meditation are practiced regularly and correctly.

The Abandonment of Money

By George A. Boyd ©2017

Q: In several spiritual traditions, they encourage adopting the monastic path of poverty and idealize the saint’s disregard for money. Can you speak to the motivations of monastics and saints for adopting these attitudes?

A: When spiritual seekers become completely absorbed in their spiritual life, the foundations of material life—career, money, and relationship—are often willingly sacrificed on their altar of devotion to God. Through intense cultivation of their inner life, they learn to tolerate not having money. Moreover, they no longer desire a relationship, a family, or a career, choosing instead to focus fully on their spiritual development and to move closer to the Presence of God.

What are some of the motivations for this abandonment of money?

  1. Saints are so absorbed in their inner experience that their outer experience is unimportant to them.
  2. God is the most important thing to saints: they may often see the outer world as a distraction or an illusion. They may see what goes on in the outer world as not relevant to the core values of their lives.
  3. Saints have gratitude and equanimity for whatever befalls them, as they see it comes from God’s Will and Providence.
  4. Saints believe God will provide for them, and look to God for sustenance, instead of their own efforts.
  5. Saints may be so uplifted into ecstatic spiritual consciousness that working a complex, modern job, with its stress, its multiple demands, and highly distracted environment is something they are no longer capable of doing.
  6. Some saints wish to preserve their energy so they can commune with God, and might feel working a job for the sake of earning money depletes their energy and interferes with their spiritual communion with the Divine.
  7. On some traditions, saints take a vow of poverty or have renounced accepting gifts during their monastic ordination, so they may see pursuing or even accepting money is a violation of the rule by which they are expected to live.

Abandoning money is an extreme position, but saints readily embrace this, because drawing closer to God is the most important thing to them. Perhaps no more than one percent of seekers have this overriding passion to entirely devote their lives to prayer, meditation, and the service of God—but we note that it is from this small group of the most dedicated seekers that many spiritual groups draw their priests and clergy.

The Mudrashram® system of Integral meditation holds that it is important to be able to function fully in the personality—having the ability to work, have a relationship, and raise a family—meanwhile making steady progress towards spiritual Mastery and Liberation. For some rare individuals, a monastic avocation is appropriate, but for most people, a life balanced between spirituality, and discharging the duties of student, worker, parent, and citizen enables them greater fulfillment, even if their rate of spiritual development and acquisition of holy virtues may be slower than that of saints.