If we reach a new stage in our meditation practice, we really can’t talk about it. If we do, the person we talk to (our mom, for example) might say, “That’s nice, honey.” Our partner, with whom we may have a competition, might feel threatened that we are “getting ahead” of them on our quest, and tell us that if we’re so special why don’t we pick up our damn socks once in a while.

It’s also unlikely that anything we experience in meditation is “real” in the sense of “reaching a new stage.” From the outside, it could be said that what we felt as a new level was our subconscious mind tricking us in some way. Even, as in my case, when the new stage was an experience of passing through a sphere where every dream I ever had and every memory I ever stored was accessible to me, immediately, all at once, an outsider to the scene can dismiss it as a smokescreen, as a devious ploy to distract my attention from meditating and shift it to the feeling of “reaching a new stage,” an act of the guardian of the threshold of awareness, like the thousand-headed monster of myth, that keeps popping into our path to make us stumble.

And this could be the truth, I admit. The safeguards and protections we have built into our psyche to keep us from gaining control of our own systems are formidable and impressive. If we do ever achieve total awareness, whatever that means, it would be short lived if it happened to mean that we were also now in control of regulating our temperature and manufacturing blood. Thanks, but no thanks.

But the feeling of “reaching a new stage” was excellent, and not in a prideful way. It was “clean.” I felt I was lifting “above” my everyday self, and was just at the height (or distance) where my current self (born sixty-one years ago and not yet dead) was not where I was centered. I actually saw (felt, imagined) light everywhere, truly sublime light. I later conjectured that if this is a normal, human possibility, people from the past may have felt themselves near to “god” in such a state. I believed I was leaving my current self and approaching my permanent self.

Placing meanings on what one experiences while meditating probably does not serve any worthy purpose, nor would sharing these contrivances. But the consistent feeling of health, of greater and great cleanliness of soul, if one may use the expression, is a draw that increases our dedication to the practice. Writing about this may encourage you. I am now in my fourth decade of regular meditation and am thankful I started when I did (age 24). I hardly can think of anything more gratifying than a clean consciousness.

writer, beekeeper, technician, anti-fascist Reasoningwithanoptimist.net

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