by Roy Eugene Davis
When the waves of consciousness cease or are transcended by concentrated meditation, consciousness is one with the supreme Self.
— Lahiri Mahasaya (1828-1895)
Samadhi [oneness] is realized [experienced and known for what it is] when ﬂuctuations in the meditator’s awareness are stilled. The seer [the perceiver] then abides in its essence of being. When not established in awareness of being, the seer is inclined to identify with changes and transformations that occur in the mind and awareness [and with objective events and circumstances].
— Patanjali’s Yoga-Sutras 1:2,3,4
The way to be Self-realized is to remove attention from conditions which conﬁne your awareness. You can do this by using your powers of discernment to know the difference between you as the observer and what is observed, and by meditating until your mind is completely calm and your awareness is clear. Until thoughts and subconscious inclinations are no longer forceful when you are meditating, their inﬂuences may cause you to have a variety of subjective perceptions: of light; mildly pleasant or ecstatic sensations; subtle sound frequencies heard; expansion of consciousness; identiﬁcation with what you are contemplating; or a sense of relating to or communing with a Larger Reality.
1) Light may be inwardly seen because of activation of brain centers or stimulation of optic nerves. Let your attention be attracted to it; then go beyond it. If you see a tunnel of light, go through it to the ﬁeld of pure awareness beyond it.
2) Mild or extremely pleasurable sensations may be felt when you are mentally peaceful and emotionally calm. Ecstatic sensations may be caused by ﬂows of prana (life force) in the body. Joyousness unrelated to the senses or to movements of life force may be present when you are Self-aware. Experience pleasurable sensations without allowing them to preoccupy your attention or considering them to be the ultimate stage of meditation practice.
3) Subtle sound frequencies that may be heard may be environmental sounds that are ampliﬁed in your ear canals or emanations of sounds from the chakras in the spine and head. You can use sounds that are heard as mantras to focus your attention. Listen for very subtle sounds behind the ﬁrst sounds that are heard. Continue until the sound is pure and constant. Somewhat merge with the sound, then go beyond it while contemplating pure consciousness as the aim.
4) If you are aware that your consciousness is expanding, let it occur while observing the experience.
5) If you become so absorbed in contemplating light, sound, or another object of perception that you feel that you are identified with it, explore the experience while aspiring to awaken to the stage where you are Self-knowing without being identified with an object of perception.
6) If you have a sense of communion with a Larger Reality, explore that experience while aspiring to comprehend the allness of that Reality and your relationship to it.
When meditating, disregard dream-like visual perceptions that are obviously produced by subconscious inﬂuences, moods, or random mental processes. Devoid of signiﬁcance, they are distractions that interfere with contemplation of higher realities.
If, during or after meditation practice, you have what seem to be insights or a sense of inner guidance, after your practice session examine them in the light of reason and common sense to discern if they are of real value. Don’t presume them to be valid just because “they came to you while you meditated.”
If it seems that you hear voices that impart information, know that they originate in your own mind or are fantasies. Music that may seem to be heard is also mind-produced. Your meditative aim should be to transcend subjective phenomena and be Self- and God-realized.
-Roy Eugene Davis