Intermediate Meditation

We find ourselves in the world. We’re born here. We don’t know why. We look around and we see life. We feel it. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it’s pleasurable. Sometimes it’s boring. Sometimes it’s exciting. Sometimes it’s frightening. Sometimes it’s beautiful beyond comprehension.

Our bodies grow and develop. Our mind develops. We have experiences. And then something more happens for some people, and they begin to develop spiritually. It’s an ache at first, a longing, a feeling for another time, another place, another condition. We want more. Or less.

We can feel the earth on a sunny day, feel the heat on a rainy day, the wetness, the wind. In the city, we hear the traffic, the noises; in the country, the sounds of the forest. We can make love, make money, go to work, feel fatigue, be excited. These are the things people do. One day melts into the next. And all you have for the days that you’ve gone through are memories, for the days that have not yet occurred, anticipations.

All that truly exists is this moment. This moment you’re experiencing now.

Yoga is a science. It’s the science of consciousness. It suggests that there’s more, or less—that outside of what you experience there are other realms, other dimensions that go on forever. They’re just beyond the portals of your vision. There are dimensions of light, perfect light, on the other side of sense experience and mental experience. There are dimensions of ecstasy, worlds where time does not exist, and there’s nirvana, the central nexus from which all this comes, the creator, enlightenment.

Meditation is traveling. It’s a journey. It’s a process by which we go from here to there with our minds. We see that the mind is infinite. It’s not relegated to the brain or to thought or to emotion. It’s made up of an endless series of realities that stretch on into infinity. You can come to know these realities. You can experience them directly yourself. This is the essence of Buddhism. And this process is the gaining of self-knowledge, of the awareness of life or its many awarenesses.

I’m a teacher of meditation. I’ve been teaching meditation for a while—many, many lifetimes. I’m also a student of meditation. There’s always something new to learn. And I’ve observed a very interesting thing—that most people who meditate don’t meditate. They think they’re meditating, but they’re not really meditating.

Meditation is concentration in the beginning. It’s a focus. Then, in the intermediate stage, it’s an opening, a deepening of one’s awareness but with a focus towards the planes of light. In intermediate meditation, you’re touching light more deeply than in introductory meditation. In advanced meditation, you become light. You transcend self, ego, time, space, dimensionality. You merge with the clear light of reality, you enter samadhi, and you go beyond this world.

Your ideas, your feelings, your needs, your wants, your loves, your hates, your ups, your downs—you go beyond it all and you become God. You become nirvana. You become enlightenment, for a while, for a timeless time. You merge with the ecstasy of the clear light of reality. And it changes you. It remakes you. It reforms you. It shifts you, and then you’re that.

Your awareness returns to the world brighter, different, less solidified. And repeating this process endlessly or in many years and many lifetimes eventually will culminate in the experience of enlightenment where you will always be in a state of light, a condition of limitless awareness. And it goes on forever. As Bilbo tells us in his story in The Hobbit, his little song he sings, the road leads on forever. That’s the good news. There’s no end to enlightenment. There’s no end to incarnation. There’s no end to infinity.

And then there’s the world of pain and discouragement and frustration that most people live in, where they watch their bodies age and their hopes fade, and the things they believe and love are destroyed. There are moments. Good moments. But there are a lot of bad moments, if we’re going to be real about what human life is for most people.

People who meditate seek good moments forever. They know that there are other worlds beyond this world. They feel it. It’s true. It’s not imagination because it’s something that you can experience directly when you sit to meditate. I experience those worlds when I meditate, and I teach others to experience them. But as I said before—it’s amazing—I’ve observed that a lot of people who profess to meditate don’t meditate. They sit, they engage themselves in some kind of concentrative practice, but it’s not what I would call meditation because they allow too many impressions into their mind. So our topic is intermediate meditation.

In introductory meditation, you learn to focus on the three chakras—the navel chakra, the chest chakra and the third eye, between the eyebrows and a little above. These are the three primary doorways that take in the three primary meridians of power, balance and wisdom. You learn to sit for 15 minutes, half an hour or 45 minutes, maybe even an hour, and focus in turn on these three chakras. If you’re a student of mine, of course, you meditate to music that I’ve composed, and it’s played by some of my students in our group, Zazen. Music that comes out of higher dimensions, that’s extremely pure, and if you focus on it during meditation, it will make the mind quiet. And it ensures that you will touch worlds of light and brightness, that you’ll be headed in the right direction, as opposed to the wrong direction. It also acts as an auric block—the energy in it—to block out the billions and billions of auras from the people who live on this planet, so that you can just sit in your own aura and then direct your mind to infinity and move from this world to infinity, experience the ecstasy of infinity and come back, better for your journey, more conscious, happier, wiser, hopefully sillier.

Now that’s meditation as I’ve come to know it; as it was taught to me by my teachers over many, many lives, and as I teach it. It’s always the same, yet it’s always new. But the process involves stopping thought—first slowing it down, detaching yourself from it, but eventually stopping thought and then directing yourself towards light.

This is the key—directing yourself towards light, not towards other people, not towards places, things, but towards light. What is light? What is this light I talk of? Light is awareness—awareness without mental modifications. If you can stop your thoughts and allow nothing else into your mind, you will experience light. If you stop your thoughts just for five minutes, you’ll experience a very deep light. That light is on the other side of the sense perceptions—seeing, tasting, smelling, touching, feeling. Just on the other side of sense perceptions is a beautiful, perfect light. It’s so close to us. It’s always around us, yet we’re relatively unaware of it because we’re distracted by the images of life, by the world of physicality.

There’s nothing wrong with the world of physicality. There’s nothing wrong with existence. It’s perfect. But it’s terribly transient. Your body—its cells, its longings, its wants—are terribly transient. These things don’t last very long, and very often they leave a great deal of pain and frustration in their wake.

Enlightenment is the alternative—to enter into a condition of perfect light, to have complete peace and stillness in your mind, to not be frustrated when things don’t go your way, to go a different way, different than the people of this world. People of this world, who knows where they’re going? Every day, they’re going someplace else.

I see them driving cars, winding down the streets. I don’t know where these people think they’re going. They’re all going to the local funeral home, that’s about it. And between where they are today and this local funeral home, they’re going to have experiences which are going to be forgotten really fast. I love it.

There’s a sign—I’m sure you’ve seen something similar on the highway—near where I live, and it’s from my local funeral home, and it says the name of the funeral home, then it says in huge letters, “Slow down! Enjoy Life!” Now really, that’s the essence of it. Then it says, you know, local funeral home.

That’s it, isn’t it? Slow down. Enjoy life. Chill out. You know, it’s tough to slow down if your mind is going a million miles a second. It’s tough to slow down if you think what these people do here matters. I mean, you need a form of government; you need a place to live, you need something to eat, you need some entertainment, yeah, OK. But what else do you need? What these people do here is obviously not working. They’re unhappy. They sit in their commuter traffic hour after hour, or they make the earth a toxic waste dump. They’ve got lots of theories, lots of books, lots of sciences—I’ve read a lot of those books. And you know most of them are pretty unhappy.

There’s an alternative. And it’s an old alternative. It’s not for everybody. It’s only for people who are smart. Limited market. It’s enlightenment—to become aware that there’s more to life than television, to stretch your mind and touch infinity, to feel eternity around you. Not as an idea, not as a nice intellectualization, but to really feel it; not to be a religious fanatic who’s strung out on some weird idea of salvation to the exclusion of common sense—I’m not talking about that.

The real religious experience is the experience of life, but to experience life, not as an ideation, not as a bunch of thoughts that are whipping around in your head and explosive emotions that are out of control, desires that are endless and unrealistic, frustrations that just don’t matter. If we really come down to it, what’s the purpose of life? To be happy. What else could it be? And happiness does not come from other people. It doesn’t come from places. It doesn’t come from things. It’s inside your own mind. All happiness is inside your own mind. Chances are, you have not discovered that yet. That’s an interesting phrase, but chances are, you haven’t experienced it.

Intermediate meditation is about experiencing the happiness that’s inside your mind. If you’re sitting, practicing meditation on a daily basis and you are not experiencing a greater happiness every day, then you’re certainly not meditating.

It’s not hard to do, to be happy. It’s not hard to experience that happiness, but you must meditate correctly. And as I said before, I observe many people who say they’re meditating, but I sure don’t see them meditating. They sit and they touch a lot of people, places and things psychically, but they sure don’t meditate.

To understand what I mean by this, let’s consider what meditation is and is not. When you sit to meditate, you become very psychic. You’re focusing on the navel center, chest center, third eye, something like that. You’re listening to perhaps music. Or you might be doing a different type of meditation, another type, that another teacher might teach—you know, focusing on the breath, focusing on posture; the eyes might be open, focusing on a yantra.

I mean, there are different ways to meditate. They’re all leading to the same place. They’re all ways of focusing your attention, withdrawing it from the senses so instead of looking through your physical eyes or through these things, you’re bringing your awareness into one place and then you’re directing it towards unlimited light, towards the planes of light. There are other planes, there are planes that are not light, there are planes that are shadowy. But that’s not our interest in meditation. We want brightness. We want ecstasy, brilliance beyond comprehension, to merge with that ecstasy of life and to go into the stillness and dissolve the ego; to be the totality, to be all things. Not just to gain power over things—how infantile. If you even care about things, that means they have power over you.

Not only to be at peace, but to be a bright field of light—intelligent, endless light—that which makes the universe. That’s what we are. But you’ve got to get to that deeper part of yourself, to that deeper part of life. So the mind must be made calm and still like a lake without any ripples, and then it’s aimed at the sky, at the brightness, at infinity, at that infinitude of being that stretches out endlessly in every direction forever.

Intermediate meditation is sitting, the way I teach it, focusing on a chakra, let’s say an hour meditation session—20 minutes on the navel center, 20 minutes on the chest center, 20 minutes on the third eye. Just 60 minutes—but each of those 60 minutes divided into the three 20-minute units must be directed towards light. Because when you meditate, particularly once you’ve been doing it for a while, your meditation is a very powerful time. Very powerful. And you’re very psychic. When thought slows down, when you’re focusing on these chakras, you become very psychic. And it is most important during that period of time from one minute to the next not to allow your attention, your mind, to wander towards anything but four primary areas of focus.

You can focus on the chakra to the exclusion of everything else. You can focus on your teacher to the exclusion of anything else, if you have an enlightened teacher. You can focus on music, if you’re listening to enlightened music, to the exclusion of everything else, or you can focus on light to the exclusion of everything else.

Let me give you a little template here of what I mean. If you’re sitting to meditate—now let’s say the first third of the meditation, you’re going to spend focused on the area of the navel, the power center, to bring up raw power. The second section, you’re going to bring it up to the chest center, focus there, and that raw power will transmute when it gets up there into love, into an ecstasy of oneness. And then we’re going to go up to the third eye, and once it’s been transmuted, and bring it up higher on the chakra scale into wisdom, into knowledge, into pure and perfect seeing of worlds of light and experiencing. That’s our plan.

Let’s start down in the navel center. You’ve got 20 minutes—15 minutes or 10 if you’re just meditating for 30 minutes or 45 minutes—but let’s say you’re doing the hour. You’re down there for 20 minutes in the world of power. Now for that 20 minutes, you have to keep your mind on light. If your mind does not focus on light, then whatever it focuses on, because you’re in a highly psychic state, you’re going to take through your aura in a way that you would normally take almost nothing through your aura.

Normally your aura is like an immune system. It keeps things out. But in meditation, that immune system is removed, consciously. We want it removed. Because not only does it block out things that are negative, but it also blocks out things that are positive. We’re going to consciously move it to the side for a period of time and then, of course, during that period of time, by having a complete focus on light, brightness, spiritual oneness, God, infinity, eternity. You know, silly things. By doing that, then we are going to bring that into our aura. We are going to touch it psychically, and it’s going to touch us. We’re going to merge with it. We have to move the protective aura aside for a time to do that. Then, at the end of meditation, the protective aura will be even stronger because we’re energized, and it will block out everything negative. And we’ve filled ourselves up with so much light, that we’re set. We’re satisfied, so to speak. We’ve come back from our journey, and now we’ve closed the door.

It’s not—you know, some people have a kind of paranoid feeling. They say, “Well, when you meditate, if you’re outside of your body, can something get in your body?” No, this is nonsense. I’m talking about keeping your awareness pure. You don’t leave the body—that’s a way of talking. You become a little less aware of the physical side of your being because you become more aware of the spiritual side of your being. Nothing’s going to get in. You’re there. But in an intensified period of focus, when your mind is locking onto something, it’s most important that it only lock onto something bright, beautiful and perfect.

Now when a lot of people meditate, what they do is, the whole time they’re there, they’re thinking about other people, sometimes even psychically talking to them, telepathically. This is a terrible mistake. If you do this, stop. Or if you’re new to meditation, make sure you never start. Because during the period of meditation, when you drop that auric immune system shield, if you focus on another person, if you feel different people, you take their energy in your body completely. You completely absorb their energy, and you experience a kind of a psychic overload. All their thoughts, their desires, their impressions, their restlessness, their unhappiness, their confusions—all enter you. If you were to think of 10 or 15 people in a row, even for a few moments each, during meditation, you’re in such a psychic state, it’s so powerful, that each of those person’s minds will enter your mind, and you’ll just be completely gummed up psychically.

In other words, in meditation, what you’re trying to do is simply get rid of your own junk. You’re trying to move all the confusion out of your mind, all of the heaviness, the emotional upsets, the impressions that you’ve picked up since your last meditation. It’s kind of like taking a shower, where you’re just going to wash all the dirt off that you’ve picked up since your last shower and be clean. Then from there, we can move into the world of light.

In meditation, if you start picking up other people’s impressions while you’re meditating, then instead of clearing yourself, you’re just going to completely glom yourself up to the point where there’s going to be no meditation. You’re going to end the period of meditation in a much lower state—lower vibratory state—than when you started. Now a lot of people do that, and they get very dissociated because they sit and they think of other people. Or they focus on things that vibrate very slowly, during meditation. And because you’re in such a highly sensitized state during meditation, because you’re so open, then you just make yourself really sick, psychically.

The way to avoid this is to have things to focus on during meditation. And as I said, there are four things you can really focus on that are very healthy. You might come up with something else, but these are four that are for sure. You can focus on a chakra, to the exclusion of everything else. You can focus on your teacher to the exclusion of everything else, if you have an enlightened teacher. You can focus on enlightened music or you can focus on light itself.

Now let’s get basic. The first 20 minutes of your meditation session, if you’re meditating for an hour, sit down, put on a meditation album. I have three meditation albums at the moment. The Enlightenment album is for morning meditation, Canyons of Light is for evening meditation and Samadhi can be used for morning or evening.

Let’s say it’s morning and you have the Enlightenment album on. You just got up, took a shower, drank some tea or coffee, if you need that to wake up—if not, water or juice will do. You’re feeling pretty good, a little tired. Sit down, sit in a cross-legged position, sit up nice and straight. Focus on the navel center.

Now this is intermediate meditation, so you’re used to doing this. You’ve been doing this for a few months or maybe even a year. It’s no longer a big deal to sit down, focus on the navel, the chest center, the third eye. You’ve gotten used to that. You’ve met me, perhaps, an enlightened teacher, or maybe some other teachers, so you’ve experienced to a certain extent the feelings of meditation. If you’ve been with some enlightened teachers while they’ve meditated, just being with them, their aura expands you, and you’ve gotten a sense of what meditation is—that feeling of timelessness, of perfect beauty, of endless awareness.

You plop on down, meditate—sit on down, meditate—close your eyes, focus on the navel center. You’ve got 20 minutes; the music is on. Now, the key issue is, what are you going to do during that 20 minutes as you focus? OK, well great, what is focus? That means that you’re going to bring your attention to the area of the navel or a couple of inches below. You’re going to feel that area. Not just casually, or vaguely, but you have to hold your mind there. It’s like doing pushups. I mean, it’s a complete focus. You’re going to hold your mind on the area of the navel to the exclusion of everything else. There’s a chakra, an energy center there, and it doesn’t activate unless you’re focusing intensively.

You focus your attention around the navel area. You feel that spot. Visualize it. Do whatever it takes. Once you’re there, just keep focusing. When thoughts come in and out of your mind, you pay no attention. Pictures, thoughts of people, feelings, you don’t pay any attention. You just stay right on that spot! You can probably only focus on that spot for two or three minutes at a time, unless you’re a very strong meditator. It’s hard to keep your focus there.

Now when I say “focus,” I mean to the exclusion of everything else. It’s so intense that there are no thoughts. There are no feelings. You’re not aware of anything else. Usually you can only do that in short bursts in the beginning, the beginning being the first, you know, few hundred incarnations of practice.

What do you do?

Well, most people might—if they focus intensively to begin with—after a few minutes they’ll relax, they’ll stop, and their mind will drift. Now they’re in a highly charged psychic state and they’re going to absorb whatever they think of, and it’s going to screw up their meditation. There are alternatives. You’re sitting, listening to enlightened music. So after focusing as hard as you can on the navel center, and when you simply can’t do it any more, accept that, don’t fake it. Now, shift your focus. Keep a general feeling of the navel center, that is to say, kind of feel that area of your body—always keep part of your attention there during the first 20 minutes. But now focus on the music.

Now when I say focus on the music, I don’t mean listen to it as if it’s a song on the radio that you sort of hear, sort of don’t, while you think of other things—your mind drifts, you imagine people, you imagine places, you imagine things, you think about tomorrow, you remember yesterday—all that sort of nonsense. Don’t do that. Absolutely not. Bring your attention to the music. Listen to every note. Go into every feeling. Focus on it so you don’t hear anything else. Now you’re doing a hearing, a listening meditation. Focus completely till there’s nothing but that pure and perfect sound.

Now that you’ve done that as long as you can, maybe three, four minutes, maybe one song—but you listen to it perfectly—when you’re doing that psychically, just like with a chakra, you’re entering the chakra, you’re entering this music. This music is composed in other dimensions. That’s where I go to compose it. Then it’s brought here into this world from the planes of light. And it’s played by some of my students. Then I go through the music that they’ve played—with my aura—and wash out anything impure aurically, so there’s only light in the music. It’s perfect music on an auric level.

Focus on the music. Go into it. Meaning, feel where it’s coming from and travel with it. Travel to those emotive places that are described in musical alliteration through the songs. When you can’t do that anymore, be real about it. Now you’ve saturated yourself that way, now focus on, perhaps, your teacher, if you have a teacher who’s enlightened, a teacher who is no longer in the body, but they were enlightened—Ramakrishna, somebody like that. Or if I’m your teacher, you think of your teacher. Now you have to be careful when you do this because the teacher’s aura is very powerful. But first you have to make sure you’re even connecting with the teacher’s aura.

If, for example, you’ve only seen your teacher with hundreds of other people around and you’ve never had a moment with them, a private moment, you might be making a mistake. Because when you sit with a lot of people and your teacher is present, you might not be feeling much of the teacher’s aura; you may be feeling simply the auras and impressions of all the people who were there to see the teacher. You may begin to associate that with how the teacher feels, but maybe that’s not the case. You have to get a sense of what it feels like. Now, listening to me on this tape, if you listen very intensely, you can feel the emptiness, the perfect emptiness of my mind. There are no thoughts. There are no impressions. There’s only light, the light of enlightenment. It’s perfect. It’s pure. It’s pristine. It’s endless.

I meditate and have meditated very, very hard so that there’s nothing but light. There’s no human confusion. There’s only perfect light. Now feel that as we pause for a moment—for a moment, I will meditate here—and feel this light.

(Silent pause.)

Now, that’s the emptiness. That’s the light. It comes in endless forms. If you have had a personal experience with me as a teacher, a moment when we were alone, and you’ve felt that perfect light, or you were out in the desert or whatever, but it’s a moment that definitely is not associated with other people’s minds, then you can focus on that, or you can focus on just a moment like we just had together. In other words, it’s a tuning fork. It’s a mantra. It’s a key. It’s a template to other universes. But it has to be pure.

Some people see teachers, and they associate the feelings of the other students who are present with the teacher. And so when they sit to meditate and they imagine their teacher, they’re really imagining all those people who were there, and psychically they connect, at the moment they imagine them, with all those hundreds of minds wherever they happen to be today. They pull all that stuff in, and they get completely dissociated and they don’t key to the teacher at all. So if you’re going to focus on a teacher, it has to be done properly. You have to be focused very much on the teacher and not peripheral vibrations that might have been around them, or it will totally screw up your meditation.

There is always a sense of being alone, a beautiful aloneness to meditating. Not a loneliness, but a beautiful aloneness. You’re sitting in the middle of infinity or some far-flung corner, and you are merging with it. It’s an alone feeling. You can’t have other people there. If other people come to you psychically in meditation, push them away. Don’t see their faces. Don’t think of their minds. Push them away with your power. It has to be alone.

Only alone can you go into eternity. Only alone can you feel that transcendental light. Only alone will it purify you and perfect you. It is not a shared experience because if it’s shared, you’re down in duality. You’re not up there. You’re down in the world of bonding realities where there are multiple minds and multiple forms and multiple confusions. And that is not meditation.

Meditation is a pure experience. By pure, we mean undiluted. It is not something that you can share with others. It is something that you experience alone. You by yourself were born into this world. You may have come through your mother’s body, but you have nothing to do with her other than that. Your spirit is ageless, timeless and immortal. That spirit may have taken physical form and come through a physical body, but you come into the world alone and when you die, you will die alone, even if you die in the company of another person, if you both died together. Yet each in your own mind you are alone, and you will leave this world alone and go to the next world alone.

We are alone. It is our condition as perceivers. We can experience others, and others are a reflection of the universal mind, yes, and that’s fun, of course. But the period of meditation is a time when we go back to the source. We go back to what we were before we were born. We go back into essence. We have lots of time in substance. But we need to renew ourselves. We need to regain our purpose, to discover who we are. These aren’t things you can express in words. They’re feelings, knowings, intuitions that you can experience when you meditate. Meditation is quite a complicated thing. It’s a return to the source. We’re going back into the light, into the perfection, into the unborn, uncreated state. And as long as we can sustain ourselves in that state, we will be renewed, transformed. All our pain will be taken away, our frustration, all of the aggregates that we pick up in the human plane, in this, you know, dimensional reality, will be washed away, and we will be spirit, pure spirit, pure light, pure love, pure ecstasy. Then we can come back into this world and address the tasks of our life brightly and happily.

Our work, our play, school, relationships—wherever our karma takes us—we can live fully because we’re not confused. We know that we’re infinite spirit. We know that we can’t die. We can go through the experience of death, but we see in meditation that our experiences are endless, that we’re an endless, eternal spirit. Not as a thought or an idea you read in a book. You had the experience yourself. Every day.

And as you get better at meditating, you have that experience more strongly, more profoundly and it changes everything for you. But you have to stay to the center, if this is the sort of thing you like. You’ve got to go for it. Or you can drift. You can meditate once in a while and just have a lot of other experiences. Then you’re in what we call the samsara, the world of illusions, the world of human experiences—the emotions, the feelings, the passions, the loves, the hates, you know, all that good stuff. You’re in that world and you’re moving around in it. But you will not be in the transcendental reality. That is to say, you’re in the world of time and space and dimensionality, and you must accept the conditions of that world. You have no choice.

On the other hand, if you meditate, you can experience that world, but you can experience the other world and the far-flung eternities and dimensions, and you’re not stuck in any one of them. If the physical world gets to be problematic, you can easily slip off into worlds of brightness and spirit and reinterpret your experiences in the physical world and not know suffering and pain from them. You decide.

You don’t have to meditate. It’s not necessary. You don’t have to practice self-discovery and Buddhism. It’s not necessary. You can just go live. You should only experience ecstasy when you meditate, and you should only practice self-discovery if you have really had it with the human world. If you feel that there’s a bright, beautiful world out there with nothing but wonderful experiences every day, you don’t need to meditate, I guess you’re there. Either that, or you need a good psychiatrist.

On the other hand, if you’re like most of us who have lived a little bit, maybe you’re a little wiser and you realize that life is complicated. It has its good moments, it has its bad moments, it has its ups, it has its downs, its ins and its outs. And there’s usually a lot more pain than pleasure and a lot more unhappiness than happiness. Otherwise, you’ve been watching too many TV commercials and too many sitcoms. Get real. Life is heavy. It’s difficult. It’s complex, even for the wise. Examine your experience of the incarnation so far and realistically add up the moments of happiness and unhappiness, and you tell me. Oh somewhat vaguely nobly born, you tell me, what has it been like for you?

People who are drawn to meditation have had lots of incarnations in the world of experience, and we know the score. We know that experience is great, but it’s not enough. We have gone around the loop enough times. You know, it’s like relationships. You start a relationship with someone and everything is wonderful in the beginning and then it’s not. You might work it out. It might have more moments that are positive than negative. But only people who haven’t had relationships think that they’re just always wonderful and, you know, carefree. We’re in the world of Stayfree MiniPads where everything is perfect all the time. I’m afraid not.

Grow up. Get a life. Life is pain, and anybody who tells you something other than that is trying to sell you something. Absolutely. Life in the physical world. But then there’s ecstasy, the ecstasy of enlightenment. But if you’re going to experience that and it’s not just going to be a phrase, you’ve got to work during meditation. So, back to the navel center!

In the navel center, you’re focusing on the chakra as long as you can, and then maybe focusing on music as long as you can, then the teacher—but the teacher in a pure way, not just the feelings of hundreds of people who might have been there when you saw your teacher. Because whatever you focus on during meditation, you psychically actually travel to and touch. It’s not just a thought. You might think of a person in your normal waking consciousness and not necessarily touch them very deeply. But in meditation, when you think of somebody, you actually go into their aura at that moment and you pull it into your aura. That’s the issue. It’s most important to keep your meditation pristine, unalloyed.

Now after you focus on the teacher as long as you can, well, then try pure light. Just feel or imagine an infinite field of white, bright, perfect light or any color you choose, and just go into it. Hold the image in your mind very strongly. Then once you can’t do that anymore, if your time for that chakra is not up, go back to the chakra. In other words, have a number of things you can move your mind to, each of which is bright and perfect, that connects you with light—not human aura or anything lesser—during the experience of meditation.

It’s not enough to just say, “Well, I’m going to sit down and focus on a chakra for 20 minutes. And then the next chakra, and then the next chakra, and that’s an hour of meditation.” You’re not going to meditate. You’re going to drift all over the place in a highly empowered state and touch many, many auras and pick up a lot of negativity. You must have a number of focuses, or call them shields, if you will, during the experience of meditation. Because you’re in an empowered state, and let’s be realistic—unless you have total control over the mind, the mind wanders. But you can’t let it wander.

So every time your mind moves toward something, don’t be uptight, don’t be afraid, just, you know, that you’re going to get sick or something, or pick up too much aura—that’ll only happen if you don’t then move the mind. And of course, the fun part is you’re developing a new neural track. You get better at this. It becomes a habituation, a habit. And good habits are as hard to break as bad habits.

Try and break a good habit sometime. It’s not easy—if you have some good habits. If you have good posture, try and slouch. It doesn’t come naturally. If you have good habits, you know, they’re your friends. And you can develop a positive good habit, which is called meditation—meditating properly. And it’ll take about a week or two to get the track laid well. And if you’ve been doing it incorrectly for years, then it will take a month or two to redo it.

The real issue is to use the full power of your concentration. If you find that you’re drifting and drifting, and you can’t do an hour meditation, then just do a half an hour meditation. But it has to be done intensively. Better to do the hour, if you can. I think you can, if you do it in small, incremental modules. That’s the method that I think is preferred. As I’ve suggested, now that we’ve moved up to the heart, you know, the chest chakra, perhaps what you’ll do here is start with the chakra, focus on it as long as you can, as hard as you can. And of course, you pick up energy doing this—makes everything brighter. Now focus on the music for a few minutes. Now focus on your teacher for a few minutes. Now focus on light. Then go back to the chakra—or in any order your prefer.

Focus on something bright and beautiful. But you must keep your mind occupied at every moment with that which is bright and beautiful. If you do, then there will be nothing else. There won’t be people, places or things, the future or the past in your mind.

You can’t just sit in emptiness. Even the enlightened don’t sit in emptiness. We call it emptiness, but we move our mind into a world of light. Meditation is not emptiness. That’s a way of trying to talk about something that is impossible to put into words. It’s not that it’s empty; it’s a world of fullness, if anything. Meditation, in other words, is not really thinking of nothing. In the beginning, it’s just replacement thinking. Instead of having the usual negative things that kind of wander around in your mind, or limited things, certainly—people, places, things, you know, past, future, emotion, in most cases—you are replacing those things with very bright images. Now those bright images—when you’re in an empowered state, in a highly psychic state—are not just images. They’re doorways.

Whatever you focus on, you become. That’s the key line, you know. Meditation is the bow and concentration is the arrow. Whatever you focus on, you become, particularly during that highly charged state when you let go of that auric immune shield intentionally because you want to go beyond it into pure brightness, into pure light. But you must be very, very careful not to allow other images to come into your mind. Just fwak them right out. It’s like playing a great video game. Every time another image comes in your mind, just push it out. Don’t focus on it a lot when you push it out, or you’ll connect with it.

The way you push it out is by refocusing onto something bright. And this is the good habit you will develop. You’re sitting there meditating, and every moment you’re focusing on either a chakra, the music, light, or your teacher or something else that will connect you with the dimensions of light. And every time something else comes in your mind for a moment—you think of a person, an experience, whatever it is—you consciously must pull your mind back from that image by substituting an image of brightness. If you try to sit in emptiness, you’re creating a vacuum. It’ll be filled by something. It’ll be filled by thoughts and images from your memory or just things that you’re feeling psychically. Uh-uh. You have to substitute something and refocus.

Meditation, in other words, is a refocusing—in the intermediate stage—on symbols. And through these symbols, you will come to know your own mind. It’s not emptiness. We’re using symbols, doorways to step from here to there—from one world to another, from darkness to light, from death to immortality.

Think of meditation then, on the intermediate level, as a substitution. We’re substituting a bright thought for a dark thought, a happy moment for a sad moment, an infinite feeling for a finite feeling, a cosmic awareness for a mundane awareness. And what you’re doing is learning to retrain your mind. For one hour, or half an hour, 45 minutes, when you sit to meditate, you’re retraining the way your mind works. You’ve never trained it; it just sort of happened growing up. Now you’re actually training the mind to focus on brightness to the exclusion of all other things.

If you do this during the period of meditation, then it will more readily occur the rest of the time—when you’re not sitting in a postured meditation—as you go through the day and the evening. You’re setting up a template, a good habit. When you first get up, and hopefully again in the evening, you do another equal period of meditation, and you’re pulling up power and energy to allow yourself to do all kinds of things and use more of the mind and be in multiple dimensions and all that good stuff. Of course.

But what you’re doing is re-routing the way you perceive. You’re taking a limited perception—which is the sense world and the mental world and the emotional world, which is what most people have—and you’re expanding your perceptual ranges so that you can perceive more ranges, greater ranges, all of the time, not just during the period of meditation. And of course, you will experience the normal ranges of perceptions, actually with a lot more clarity and depth because your mind will be clear and sharp and it will have a lot of energy and all the junk will be out of it. Your physical tasking will be tighter and brighter. And of course, you’ll be happy.

So what have we learned thus far? In other words, hopefully we’re redefining, or perhaps defining meditation for you for the first time. What have we learned? We’ve learned, essentially, that meditation—intermediate meditation—is a refocusing, a retraining of the mind. To just think that you’re going to do what you did in introductory meditation for a longer period of time is incorrect. You’re not just going to plop yourself down to meditate and focus on a chakra, meaning once in a while you’ll focus on it, most of the time you’ll drift all over the place. That’s introductory meditation. You’re just getting used to sitting, focusing; sometimes you feel some energy; sometimes you don’t.

What we have learned is that intermediate meditation is the use of symbols, not abstractions. A symbol is something alive. It’s a connector. It’s a hyphen between one reality and another. We’re in one room. We have to go to another room. We need a doorway to go through. We open the door. We pass through, and we’re in another reality. These symbols are doorways to other realities. Focusing on an enlightened teacher is a doorway. It’s not a person. We’re focusing on the light that passes through them. But our mind is holding the physical image of the person. As we hold that image, our psyche is connecting with the light within them, then we are moving not to them but through them into that field of light, into the planes of light that stretch on forever, and eventually to nirvana.

The chakra is a doorway. When you hold on the navel center, it’s the chakra leading you to the planes of power. When you focus on the chest center, it’s leading you to the planes of emotive feeling, of spiritual oneness, of ecstasy and happiness. When you’re focusing on the third eye, you’re going to the planes of knowledge and vision. These are doorways that lead you to these other dimensions. But you have to focus on them completely to the exclusion of everything else. You can’t just vaguely hold onto them. Nothing will happen. Or worse yet, you will empower yourself to a degree, become highly clairvoyant, and then, if you allow other images—particularly of people, places and things—to pass through your mind during that state, you will pull in all those other auras, and you will be much more confused and much more dissociated than you were prior to your meditation experience.

Intermediate meditation is learning to use the mind in a new way. And eventually we will develop a habit, a good habit that we will use not only during the period of meditation but 24 hours a day. The answer is not to try and sit in emptiness and just have the good intention that you’re going to hold your mind in a perfect state. Nonsense. Get real. Get a life. That’s not going to happen.

Good intentions are not enough. You have to know what you’re doing. You need the techniques. By having a number of symbols, doorways that you can focus on from one moment to the next, there will never be a gap during the period of meditation. At times you may go through the doorways and enter into light. Then there’s only light in the mind, there’s no thought, there’s no images, there’s no psychic connection with other people, places, things, times, or all that sort of stuff—beings, whatever. So then, naturally, that’s fine.

If you’re in light, the only time you then have to refocus is when the light fades, gravity pulls you back to the mind and suddenly the images are coming up of the world again. So then, jam ahead. Focus on another symbol. You will find that these symbols work better and better and are easier to focus on as you meditate each day.

The key to meditation is focus, on the intermediate level. Not just focus, as a vague abstraction, but focus, or focusing, on specific symbols. The symbols are the chakras, an enlightened teacher, enlightened music or light. Now, there are other alternatives. Sometimes you focus on a yantra with the eyes open. You know, but then again, it’s the same thing. You can’t be sitting there focusing on the yantra or colored pebble or whatever it may be, vaguely, vaguely looking at it and allowing your mind to drift. If you’re using the visual sight to still the mind, you must focus to the exclusion of everything else.

I like the music better because the music—in particular the meditation albums—is designed to meditate to. If you focus on a yantra, it is a geometric representation of other vortexes of energy, but still, it’s a bunch of lines. You know, it’s not charged the way the music is. Music is more engulfing. We’re dealing with the rhythms, substructures, tonalities. A visual focus is OK, and I recommended it until we had the music. The music is superior, definitely, to the visual focus.

That’s why I now recommend that you close your eyes during meditation, if you’re using one of the meditation albums. And I’ve put so much energy into each song, so much bright, brilliant, beautiful energy, and the compositions of course are all based around other dimensions. Each composition references a particular plane of light, that by focusing on the music to the exclusion of everything else, you’ll just pull beautiful bright light and go through the music into that light as far as you can. And you’ll go a little further each time. Then, when you can’t hold on to the music, focus on the teacher in a private way, if you have an enlightened teacher or know one.

It’s sort of like the feeling that’s between us now. Focus on that energy that’s coming through my voice or on any enlightened teacher—be they embodied or disembodied—but not on a bunch of their students or not on one of their students who teaches. Bad mistake. Only on the enlightened. And again, we’re not staying with them; we’re going through them into the light itself. Or focus on just light. You can imagine light, feel it. Hold it in your mind, though. It can’t be vague because then your mind is drifting. It’s through substitution that we meditate.

Advanced meditation, which we might talk about another time—it’s pretty hard to talk about—is different. It’s not substitution. It’s transmutation. It’s another step, another staging—that’s samadhi and the supraconscious. But intermediate meditation will do you, I think, quite well for a while. My recommendation is to know the symbols of your mind and through those symbols to become fully conscious and fully aware, to focus on the chakras while you meditate, to use all three in each meditation. Because you’ll be bringing the kundalini up from the root chakra to the crown center. By just focusing on those three, that’ll take care of it for you.

Spend a third of your time starting with the navel center, a third of your time on the chest center, a third of your time on the third eye. But during those periods of time, which should be equal, hopefully you’ll be listening to enlightened music which will block out the incredible number of vibrations on an overpopulated planet—that you would otherwise be picking up—because you’re in a highly psychic state when you meditate. The music will act as an aura block. It will help. It won’t do it all. Then you should start each part of the session by focusing on the chakra.

If we’re doing the navel center, focus on the chakra as intensely as you can for as long as you can. Then, when the mind tires and you just can’t do it, be real about it. Keep a vague feeling of that area throughout that period of that chakra meditation, and now switch to the music. Focus on the music for as long as you can. When you just can’t do it, now focus on your teacher. Then focus on light. Then go back to the chakra again. Or in any order. You can mix it up. But for that entire period of that chakra, always have a symbol in your mind that you’re focused on. Whenever a person’s face, an image, a memory, an anticipation comes in your mind, fwak it out. Push it out by returning your mind to the symbol, by returning your mind to light, to the music, to the teacher, a bright moment with the teacher, a pure moment, a beautiful moment of transcendence, or the chakra.

In other words, substitute. Don’t just sit there and push the thought out, because then another thought will just come in. Or you’ll focus on that thought as you push it out. Instead, move your mind to the symbol. Eventually this gets easier, with practice. Then move to the next chakra when it’s time, and the last chakra.

What we’re really keying to or looking at is the time you spend sitting there. We’re looking more specifically into the moment-to-moment experience while you’re focusing on a chakra. It’s not enough just to say, “Sit and focus on a chakra.” That’s introductory meditation. Now we’re making sure that it’s “quality time,” as they say in the 90’s.

And keep your sense of humor. Stay funny. And decide if you even want to do any of this. Maybe you don’t need to do this. This is a lot of work. It creates ecstasy, liberation and a fine life, sure. But maybe this isn’t your moment. Maybe you should just go and do something else. But if you do feel that pull to the eternal, and you can’t stay away from it, then it is most important that you meditate properly. Otherwise meditation will do you a disservice. It’ll confuse you more than clarify you. It’ll bring tremendous impurity in you, if you’re allowing your mind to wander during the empowered experience. Keep your mind centered on that which leads to light. Intensively. That’s intermediate meditation. Accept no substitutes—and overall, have a nice incarnation.