Mindfulness — Pathway to Divine Consciousness
The practice of Mindfulness is getting a lot of attention these days from many non-spiritual avenues: medical based stress reduction efforts, corporate wellness programs, creativity workshops, and more. In these new and very welcome pathways, some of the benefits of Mindfulness are embraced (stress reduction, better mental focus, more attunement to the emotions of oneself and others), but the more spiritual underpinnings of Mindfulness are left out.
The same thing ultimately happened with the wider acceptance of meditation in the West. Meditation and Mindfulness are close and intertwined siblings and one relies on the other to realize full manifestation of itself. Meditation as an independent form however came into mainstream thought much earlier. In modern times, it was re-introduced to the West from the East in the 1960’s and some of its spiritual underpinnings came with it. However, over time, in order to drive more widespread adoption, the spiritual component was de-emphasized and only relatively recently are we returning to it in some circles. The Mindfulness movement is following the same path, and is now in the phase where more widespread adoption is desired.
In some ways we can think of Meditation as being an enabler of Mindfulness, in other words a tool to strengthen your mind to be highly present in your moment to moment awareness. Our meditation practice develops the capacity to calm the mind, slow down the train of thought, purposely focus our power of observation, and allow a deeper connection to the interconnected reality we all share. In fact, those with advanced Mindfulness abilities could be thought of as being in a semi-meditative state throughout their waking day. These individuals have learned to quiet their mind chatter, to be quiet observers of their world, and to allow a strong connection to develop to Source Energy to guide and inspire their purposeful thoughts and actions. Mindfulness in this context goes beyond just stress reduction (though you certainly achieve a great deal of calm), or heightened mental focus, it in fact takes you into a much deeper connection with every aspect of your existence. It is a keen driver of higher states of consciousness. When you release yourself from your thoughts and expand your awareness by tapping into the much more powerful set of knowledge and wisdom of Universal or Divine Consciousness, then by definition your own consciousness will rise.
Pathway to Divine Consciousness
In a previous post — The (re)-Discovery of the Human Energy Field — I spoke about how science and technology are validating the existence of the human Aura, Chakras, and Energy Meridians. More and more we are confirming that our bodily existence is driven by Energy and Information. But what is the Source of our Energy? The ancient wisdom cultures stated that Qi and Prana ( pervasive energy fields) were all around us. They were the ‘ether’ in the air so to speak. These cultures also believed that the energy and light from the sun was critical to our health. The companyNES Health (covered in the Human Energy Field post), has validated both concepts — the driving of the human energy field from all-pervasive Source Energy and Sun Light.
So it would reason that anything that distorts our connection to this Source Energy, would weaken our Human Energy Field and significantly affect our physical and mental health. If Qi and Prana are all pervasive, then everything in our physical world is interacting with and being nourished by these fields, including ourselves. However, unlike other natural organic forms (a tree for example) or other biological life (animals say), we have advanced level cognitive capabilities. We can think. And, our thoughts themselves have a lot of Energy. We are creators in every sense of the word. But, if Source Energy is the driver of all physical creation, then our thoughts and emotions can either be aligned with Source Energy or they can distort it. If Source Energy is what drives our human Energy Field and provides all the information for the 100,000 cellular actions per second that take place in our bodies, then distorting that energy has grave consequences for human physical and mental function.
In this way then, having a meditation and mindfulness practice, will help you connect more smoothly to Source Energy, even if you don’t recognize the Spiritual implications. You will lower your mind chatter, lower the noise within your human energy field, and achieve a much more robust connection to Source. But we can go much farther if we open ourselves up to the true nature of reality.
That opening up requires surrender — surrendering of our desire to be in charge, to be in control, and to acknowledge that the Source itself — call it Big Mind, The Universe, God, The Divine, whatever is more comfortable for you — is conducting this energetic based reality we are a part of. Further, the Source since it is driving our Human Energy Field, is in fact then participating in this physical reality with us. The Source is sending energy and information and is asking us to receive it and take its lead in what to do in our physical manifestation. The information comes as inspiration, life purpose, and life direction. We then co-create with the Source by manifesting those ideas into the physical plane in the creative manner we choose.
Now, if we distort our connection to the Source Energy or choose to disconnect, then we float in the universe on our own. We are left using the rational brain’s ability to understand what it can within limited human-level knowledge and consciousness. It’s like limiting your research on a topic to whatever files you have on the local hard drive of your computer versus searching on the internet. We can certainly get some things done even with that handicap, but as all great artists and creatives know, the truly great work is when you tap into the intuitive heart and connect with an unlimited source of information, wisdom, and possibilities that is beyond the material plane.
The Mind Receives, the Mind Creates
So being mindful, quiet, attentive, and listening within ourselves, and connecting to our heart-based intuition — brings in the Light, the highest, cleanest signal of Source Energy. And what do we think that Source / God is broadcasting? Why, Love, of course. (see the background on why this is — Seeing the Oneness of our Reality). If our thoughts are aligned with Love Energy, then our Human Body Field prospers. When our thoughts are filled with fear, anger, anxiety, competition, and hate, then we essentially distort, dilute, and block Source Energy from reaching us effectively. The HeartMath Institute has actually measured the physiological effects of having thoughts and emotions centered around love, compassion, and kindness and reported the results in their publication The Energetic Heart:
We have found that the clear rhythmic patterns in beat-to-beat heart rate variability are distinctly altered when different emotions are experienced. These changes in electromagnetic, sound pressure, and blood pressure waves produced by cardiac rhythmic activity are ‘felt’ in every cell in the body, further supporting the heart’s role as a global synchronizing signal. Moreover, evidence suggests that of the bodily organs, the heart may play a particularly important role in emotional experience. Research in the relatively new field of neurocardiology has confirmed that the heart is a sensory organ and acts as a sophisticated information encoding and processing center that enables it to learn, remember, and make independent functional decisions that do not involve the cerebral cortex. Additionally, numerous experiments have demonstrated that patterns of cardiac afferent neurological input to the brain not only affect autonomic regulatory centers, but also influence higher brain centers involved in perception and emotional processing…Sustained positive emotions such as appreciation, love, or compassion, are associated with highly ordered or coherent patterns in the heart rhythms.”
Emotions are reflected in heart rhythm patterns — Source: HeartMath InstituteReal-time heart rate variability (heart-rhythm) pattern of an individual making an intentional shift from a self-induced state of frustration to a genuine feeling of of appreciation.
In other words, the brain is taking emotions and and processing them as information that is fed to major regulatory centers of the body and drives some higher level brain activity itself. So, if we quiet our minds and focus on positive emotions, we are directly affecting our physiology and brain processes in a very positive way. The heart functions as a critical information processor within the human body. But is it picking up “other information” outside the body as well and also feeding that into our physiology?
The heart generates the largest electromagnetic field in the body. The electrical field as measured in an electrocardiogram (ECG) is about 60 times greater in amplitude than the brain waves recorded in an electroencephalogram (EEG). The magnetic component of the heart’s field, which is around 5,000 times stronger than produced by the brain, is not impeded by tissues and can be measured several feet away from the body with Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID)-based magnetometers.
The Power of the Present Moment
So the heart’s powerful electromagnetic field is in a good position to connect with Prana and Qi, the Source Energy. The information it receives there it feeds into the body’s physiological centers and in fact, every cell. It would then reason that if Prana or Qi is Universal Source Energy (the pure undiluted Energy and Information meant to regulate our minds and bodies), that a strong, clear, and smooth heart rhythm would generate the strongest electromagnetic field. Which would then ensure the best connection to Source. If that information is then meant to be sent to the brain for processing and distribution to other body centers, then a mind that is calm will be in a better position to receive that vital information. Thus, we then have a key benefit of Mindfulness and Meditation practice that goes much beyond stress reduction. It goes into the realm of body, mind, and spirit optimization. Tuning our mental receivers into the Present Moment — where you step out of linear time into the only thing that ever exists (the Now), is the key. When instead y0u tune the mind to fearful thoughts of the past or future, you have changed the station from Source Energy to something that doesn’t exist. You’ve become disconnected at that very moment.
When however we start to use Mindfulness to tune into Source Energy in the Present Moment, then we begin to revisit its Eastern origins and the Bridge it provides to Divine Consciousness. Buddhist scholar Alan Wallace spoke of this in a 2008 interview for the Buddhist publication, Tricycle:
In Mahayana Buddhism, right mindfulness is…the intention to achieve perfect enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. Without such a view and motivation, it is said the practice of mindfulness and all related forms of meditation will not lead to Buddhahood…Meditations for the cultivation of the four sublime virtues of lovingkindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity are all practiced with mindfulness…Generally speaking, right mindfulness is introspection involving clear comprehension. It must be guided by right view, motivated by right intention, grounded in ethics, and be cultivated with right effort.
Or, as Buddhist scholar Andrew Olendzki says so well in his book, Unlimiting Mind, when minfulness and wisdom are cultivated together, then we realize the true goal of the practice:
Wisdom, understood as seeing things as they are, is the crucial transformative principle in the Buddhist tradition. Just as you can practice meditation without manifesting mindfulness, so too can you practice mindfulness all you want without cultivating wisdom. If mindfulness is not conjoined with insight (another word for wisdom), it will not in itself bring about a significant change in your understanding. As with the arising of mindfulness, so also for the arising of wisdom: it cannot be forced by the will or engineered by the technology of meditation. Yet the conditions that support the emergence of wisdom can be patiently and consistently cultivated, moment after mindful moment, until it unfolds as of its own accord, like the lotus bursting out above the water of the moon flashing suddenly behind a cloud.