I have heard it said that you cannot cause awakening to happen. Most often those who say this are ascribing in some way an agency beyond yourself when trying to push this idea. They do this I think because they do not understand the inner workings of awakening themselves. “It comes from the grace of the creator” one insists.

I will agree that it seems mysterious, and as humans we tend to want to fill in that gap of understanding with something that sounds good, that sounds like it makes sense. It could be only when you have released a certain amount of karma, or eating in the right way, or following a prescribed path or belief system. These, though, are all coincidental elements since what we are talking about amounts to a light switch situated in consciousness and your physiology (the brain and nervous system), that gets switched on when the conditions are right. I know how simple that sounds, but despite the explanations from august teachers and Hindu saints, the reality is that all of this is incredibly simple. Our ignorance about it makes it appear complicated. I know it is hard to believe that something so elusive could be so simple but I will offer an explanation by way of a myth told in India to illustrate the point. The gods and goddesses were talking one day about how to hide the keys to understanding the universe from humans. One goddess suggested that they hide the keys in a deep underwater cavern where it couldn’t be found. Another god suggested hiding it in a cave on a high mountain top. Another said, “Why not hide it in the heart of humans, they will never think to look there!” And that is what they did. The answer to all of this is much closer than we ever thought possible.

I have said before and I will say it again that when I awakened I was very lucky that I was not held by a belief system. This helped me to very closely examine with little bias or expectation about what was happening to me. The reason why this was so helpful was that had I been engaged in trying to awaken by reading books written about or by people who had already awakened, I would have very likely been trapped in a system that ascribed causes to a phenomenon that may in fact have been a case of missatribution. To give you an example, I will cite Ramana Maharshi, who was one of the great men of the last century who attained enlightenment. He explained to his followers that he ascribed his condition to a “pure diet” which involved being vegetarian. He went on to explain that this diet made it easier for him to allow the knots to be released that stood in the way of his new state.

If you study closely teachers like this you will find a lot of very important information, and most of it is very much spot-on. When it comes to what made it work for them, though, you tend to see them passing along what it is they felt did it for them. This is to be expected, but the old saw of “proximity isn’t causation” is operative here. For example, someone attains enlightenment while bathing in the Ganges, or the Jordan river, for instance. This fuels countless people to immerse themselves because the great teacher did so, thinking there was something to it. There was something to it, which had more to do with getting that one person to a place where they were able to bring about the necessary state of mind critical to awakening. In yoga for instance, you have to master many postures if you are to become enlightened. The eyes must be focused in just the right way, tongue on the roof of the mouth, for instance. There are endless prescriptions, and many are mentioned because they were present at the scene when someone, who becomes a teacher, awakened.

I am here to tell you that I did none of the prescribed things often mentioned as critical to awakening. In fact, today, many people are showing that there is something deeper to all of this as thousands, perhaps millions now, are awakening in greater numbers than ever before. Most, not all, did not have a practice, teacher, or guru of any kind prior to awakening. What’s more, I observed in my own awakening and those who I have been interviewing in preperation for a book on the subject, that the lack of a system actually played to peoples’ favor when they began to awaken. When you don’t have someone to rely on, you rely on your own inner resources, which in these cases were not informed by a system of belief to “guide” them. I will also say that having information from those familiar with the phenomenon can be helpful, there is also the risk that the experienced individual can pass along their own beliefs about the subject which can be swallowed hook line and sinker by the innexperienced person. This has bred numerous ideas based on little to no real evidence for why they are true. As is often the case, proximity being seized upon as causality can wind up distorting understanding in little and big ways. The idea that once you awaken you are suddenly endowed with superior inner knowledge, while partly true, can be entirely trumped by the willingness on the part of the awakened to buy into notions or beliefs that simply do not hold water. Those beliefs can powerfully misdirect a person’s awareness. Buyer beware. It is much better in my experience to observe closely what us happening to you, like a scientist, resisting the desire to ascribe a meaning to what is happening to you. If you do, and keep your mind open to all possibilities, I have found that the pieces fall into place not by way of belief, but through repeated experience, which is a superior method to simply theorizing, as this can lead to grasping for a cause that may have only a coincidental role in the process. Be ready to rethink what it is that you think is happening at any time in the process because understanding often becomes prey to belief, often resulting in a perceptual cul-de-sac.

Someone once said that providing techniques for awakening is like giving a loaded gun to a child. I think in truth, we should enter the world awake and not go through this odd process of awakening. Species not from Earth have been there for a very long time, they do not go through awakening like we do. Imagine how different that is. I am not entirely convinced that awakening is all that natural but may in fact be the result of a cognitive barrier placed there in each person through a physiological effect. It looks like the problem isn’t that awakening is so dangerous but that humans show every sign of having a perceptual curtain drawn that has, incidentally, resulted in our accumulation of stored emotion to the point that humans are neurotic. Kundalini is a cure, but you do need to be ready for what comes. If you are an overly mental person, this experience could make life very difficult for you before things get better. In the old days you learned from a teacher, you had to seek them out (you had to be pretty serious about it), and they required you to have a practice, which is important for learning a degree of control of mind before awakening. I do not subscribe to the idea of kundalini being dangerous. If you are unhappy, ill at ease, unable to concentrate, and are taking mood enhancing drugs, now is not the time to awaken kundalini. Kundalini is not an escape, but a kind of accounting and cleansing. It is intense, it can push you to your limits, and isn’t for everyone. You must be able to be honest with yourself, you see.

There was a time when I felt telling people how to awaken was not a wise move because of how difficult awakening can sometimes be for people. However, I have found that now, more than ever, we are in a place where there is more information available about awakening, and the hardest part is feeling like you might just be losing your mind, especially in cases where people, like myself, didn’t think to themselves, “I think I want to try to awaken” and not know what is happening to them. It helps a lot to have someone tell you, for example, that something you are going through at the time is perfectly normal. The fear of losing your mind can cause more problems than losing it itself.

Today I have only one main caution to people interested in awakening, and it is this: if you are a very rational person who needs to have everything in your life under control, you should rethink trying to trigger this experience. If you lack imagination and emotional flexibility, rethink going further. The reason for this is because those who are faced with the forces of awakening are now dealing with a part of consciousness that transcends the rational and works as well as it does due to it’s nonrational character. This can be incredibly difficult for a rational person, someone that the Zen master Taisen Deshimuru described as “mental” as poor candidates for cosmic mind. Taisen observed that monks who were overly mental had a very hard time with the experience. In my own life I knew a few people like this and it limited their growth and healing in the awakening process. The rational mindset hides from view the subsumed emotional energy that awakening can help to transmute. If awakening was a logical process this might not matter but awakening is very much about becoming aquainted with the parts of the self that have a deep capacity for feeling, and by having emotional baggage or energy standing in the way only limits the self, hobbles it, in this process.

If you are one of these people, I recommend learning to first cultivate a sense of surrender and letting go of the need to always know what is happening and the desire to control the outcome. In many ways it is like having someone bigger than you, more powerful than you are, stepping into your inner life and beginning to make changes to your life whether you like it or not.

This process doesn’t get easier until you learn the art of surrender, true surrender, where you put your life in the hands of this powerful force that is in your consciousness. Only then can the clearing process move along smoothly (Note to Self: this is going to happen).

It is helpful to practice how to reach deep states of surrender. Are you okay with not knowing? There is an interesting practice in Christianity that involves handing it over to God. When people do this, they can let go of needing to attend to how something turns out. You don’t need to be a Christian to cultivate this type of trust in a higher power that everything is going to work out. It serves to keep the rational non-feeling part of the mind out of the picture. This is an important prerequisite.

One important path into this is through meditation. Not just any meditation, but a type of meditation that will allow the go-to state most people still in slumber use to be side-stepped. To do this looks like you aren’t doing anything, and this is why most people don’t get anywhere with meditation in regards to waking up. What I think is helpful is to fill in this gap with the awareness that this is the case so that you can keep on the right path. What you are doing is allowing the knee-jerk state to go quiet. This isn’t easy, but through practice, you can incrementally train yourself to quiet the mind, that part that when you are trying to silence the mind, it just keeps on moving: “I need to settle this issue with my boss because it’s causing problems……I need to make sure I get half and half tomorrow…what’s that red spot on my leg?….Oh gosh, I’m meditating, I better get back to it…” It goes on and on.

One very useful method for quieting the part of the mind that chatters, what us called “monkey mind” is to give the mind something to focus on, giving it something to do. I used this method because my mind was all-a-chatter in the beginning and I had used meditation for decades, and despite being shown how to quiet the mind in the early 1990’s by an early guide experience, no amount of regular meditation got the job done. The method I am going to show you can serve to create a bridge to a quiter state of mind. Once you begin to do this, the other side, the quieter, silenced, part of your mind can begin to come forward. When that happens it acts like a catalytic force, which is the union of opposites that makes awakening possible. Think of it this way: you have two wires in your consciousness with corresponding wires that exist in your neurophysiology that connects the two hemispheres together in a “new” way. This union creates a new synthesis of mind that gives rise to a third state that is greater than the sum of its parts. These two seeming opposites in consciousness and in our physiology are aligned or connected in a way that has nit happened before in most people. This “silent second” part of mind has to be given the opportunity to come forward. This technique might work for you since it occupies the loud chattery part of mind long enough to begin to allow this quiter part to come forward, to begin to work with the part of mind that has reflexively been front and center for most people’s lives.

It’s helpful for me to explain that trying to make this happen will get in the way of it happening. What you are dealing with is a force that drives the universe and all of consciousness. You don’t make this work, it works regardless of what you do, you open your awareness to it in this body of yours in the here and now. The more your rational mind gets out of the way, the better. What I am going to show you is like your opening a door. Your job will be to allow, to facilitate this new arrangement. So quiet your mind and your expectations. This amounts to a union of opposites in mind, which is like an inner marriage. Your system knows how to deal with this new energy in consciousness if you remain in or cultivate a state of surrender.

The technique is simple. You want to calm your mind as best as you can. Start by breathing in the way that will instantly begin to signal to your body that you are relaxed. This method of breathing is a slow deliberate breath in and out that should be slowed so that you count five seconds to take in a full breath after which you hold that breath for three seconds before exhaling the breath in a long slow exhale lasting just as long as your inhale and holding your inhale for three seconds. If you do this over a period of at least several minutes, it will do a lot to calm your body and quiet your mind. It is an important first step before beginning meditation.

The Technique

First get comfortable. You can do this sitting, lounging, or even lying down. Since I did not meditate regularly, I found that I used my conditioned response to wanting to fall asleep to work in my favor by meditating before going to sleep. My mind calmed down the fastest, but I did need to be careful not to fall asleep. Monks often will begin meditation early in the morning when they have already slept but are still in a quiet state. Whatever you do long enough will create the conditioning for your body and mind to follow, and depending on who you are and what turn of mind that you have, it can take shorter or longer depending on a host of factors.

Second, place your hands together. Have you ever wondered why so many cultures clasp hands together in a prayerful position? Is it just possible that we have been subconsciously aware of what this position does for helping to bring our energy body into concordance with itself? Once you do this, place your awareness on the where your hands come together. This posture creates a flow of energy through the body that is directly helpful in reaching a certain state. Imagine yourself very small, so small in fact that you can sit in the whirls of your fingers like they are sand dunes or small crevices. Watch as you see subtle energy moving from one hand to the other. You can make this into a production if you want to by imagining these things. It will keep your mind occupied, too. You can also sit and simply place your attention on where your hands meet and then don’t think of anything else. After a while your will find that your mind has drifted, so just bring your attention back to your hands. Visualize them while your eyes are closed as placed together and feel how they feel placed in a prayer-like position. Do this for up to forty minutes each time. The point is to allow your mind to go blank. The point is also to keep your mind occupied with this one very simple act. If you find yourself thinking about the grocery list, simply bring your mind back to where it was and clear your mind. You want to keep the chattering part of your mind quiet. You can also control your breathing so that it is long and slow, and this will send signals to relax your body more and more.

You will want to do this exercise for about forty days for forty minutes each day. You want to do it each day for this length of time in order to give it time to work, and to see if you have the capacity to reach the silent state where this fruit can be found.

Anything that comes up should be observed and allowed to happen. Sometimes some people will feel like they are dreaming. Sometimes the mind is so used to being busy that it will create things that will keep up the activity to which it is accustomed. Sometimes the body will start to itch, too. That is itself one way that the body keeps itself to its accustomed level of physical activity. What you are doing is learning to draw this activity down and it may take some time and some discipline to do this, but the body and mind can be trained gradually. Place your attention back on your hands and focus on where your hands touch.

When you are very relaxed and are near the end of your meditation, tell yourself that you will let go of all the things that stand in your way of progressing. You can focus on something that always seems to trigger you in your life that you would like to see gone and give yourself the suggestion that you are going to very soon just let this issue go. Forgive others who you feel have hurt you, and see how you feel relieved by doing so, as if a weight has been lifted off your body and your heart. See yourself as no longer burdened with many of the cares that tend to weight you down. Forgive those who have trespassed against you just as you as forgiveness for your own trespass. Feel how good it feels to do this, the relief that it brings. Feel how it changes how you feel in your body, the freedom that it brings.

One added practice that can help in bringing your mind into a state of unity is a technology developed by the Monroe Institute called Hemisync. This technique uses different frequencies of sound in each ear so that the two hemispheres match the difference between the two frequencies in order to keep the brain “synced.” Robert Monroe observed that both hemispheres create two different frequencies most of the time, and by using sound he found you could cause the two hemispheres to come into unity putting out the same brain waves. This tech can be used to do all kinds of things, depending on which frequency range that the hemisync program is set up to help your brain to produce. You can use hemisync programs for learning, and you can also use it for deep relaxation and inner work. The program that I am going to provide you with which is available free on the web as of the time of this writing can be used for helping to train your two hemispheres to come into synchronization faster and easier. The link is at the bottom of the page.

You can begin to use this program for some of your meditations. It is largely unguided, but there is a preparation provided that you may want to use for the beginning of some of your meditations. This takes up about twelve minutes of the program and it involves placing your troubles in a lock box so you can proceed with the program unencumbered. By the 12th minute, you have nothing but the sound. It is important to use headphones since one sound goes into the left ear and one sound goes into the right ear, and this does make a big difference in your results.

As you do the meditation if you feel like you are having something coming up, step out of its way and let it come, remain in an observational mode. If you feel like feeling emotion helps it to pass, then let that emotion flow, but come back to the meditation again.

After a period of time, which could be a week or more, you may find that you begin to enter into a state where the mind is quiet and you begin to feel a seemingly blank state, almost like that part of sleep where you aren’t quite dreaming yet, where you have awareness but your thoughts are very still. From time to time you might find that you black or blank out a little. This is in fact not a bad thing. You want the mind to drift into this state some, and it is marked by a feeling of presence but not of activity. You might even feel like you. begin to feel another state of mind where if you bring your rational thinking mind into it such as “what was that that just happened?” whatever what was happening will stop immediately. This is the same action where in a dream or as you are just beginning to dream after you fall asleep, sometimes you become self conscious again and wonder what was just happening, which takes you immediately out of what seemed like a floating trance-like state and back into “normal” awareness again. This floating nothing-like state will seem like nothing, but this is precisely the place you want to be, to get used to being. The biggest challenge is not to watch whatever happens in this state with your normal waking self. You want to observe but you don’t want to come back into self-consciousness, or normal ego-mind.

You are turning your awareness inward so that you are also turning what energy you normally bleed out through your attention with the world of your senses and your mind. You are circulating that energy into your awareness and back into your body. Your awareness is made up of energy and now this raw energy you are keeping in a loop so it builds in capacity over time. All the while you are keeping your attention on your hands and nothing else. Anything else that comes up, learn slowly how to let these things rise and fall and pay them no attention. Over time you will get better at this, so be patient with the process. The point here is to enter into a deeper and deeper state of stillness because what lies beneath needs this stillness to be felt by you. If something comes up like a pain in your body you can simply observe this and ask the energy in your mind and body to allow the pain to unravel by not resisting it anymore. You don’t need to know how this will be done, just imagine that there is a part of you that knows how to deal with it perfectly so you can not attend to it. Feel your energy, and be present with it during this exercise.

As you progress through this exercise and you find that you are having some success with it, you can fold into your practice a quick five or six minute inventory of your body, starting with your feet and letting them relax and release the stress of the day, slowly moving up your legs and into the trunk of your body, up to your chest, your arms, your neck and head. You can imagine a warm fluid flowing through your body which instantly relaxes each part that it flows through, and you can imagine that this fluid, like water, washes away any issues that may have been stored there. You can feel how this fluid washes away anything that is there and carries is up and out the top of your head. You can use breathing of the kind that I described to you to help facilitate this effect. Let anything that happens happen and always observe, knowing that you are protected and safe in this exercise. The simplest way to this is to just feel your energy while giving yourself permission to not have to attend to anything else. You can train your mind to reach a very simple place that is necessary for getting down into the substratum of your being.

Throughout your day you can also place your hands together to have a moment of being mindful of this state, and you can even do this by placing one finger together with the other finger from the other hand if you want, thinking how it brings you back to a mindful state as you wait in the grocery store line or sitting at a light or at a desk.

If this practice works for you and you have questions, you are welcome to ask me anything that you would like. Once you have progressed through this first round of the exercise, there are others which I can provide you when you reach the right state. But for now, begin working on this method to see how it works for you. Remember, there is no magic bullet for any of this. Most practices are designed with certain goals in mind, but these goals are best kept away from your thoughts as you do the exercise. This is so simple an exercise that it can seem boring at first, but after you give it some time to work, you will find that you will begin to experience a shift, almost imperceptible at first. It will seem almost as though you have gone into a kind of dream state, and this is fine. Additionally, if you fall asleep, that is fine also. Each day as you practice this method, try anew to not fall asleep while doing the exercise. The universe, which is made up of intelligent energy, will take note of what you are doing and will conspire to help you. It may not always seem that this is so, but big things come from small things and all of this can take some time. The very fact that you are reading this is itself a big step in the right direction.

Most of your success will depend upon you. Awakening is a very personal process and what works for one person may not work for another. In some cases, you might need more practice, in others other techniques added to the meditation at the right time can have positive effects. You are always welcome to contact me directly for suggestions based on what you find and are experiencing. When the time is right there is another exercise that can assist in your progress which I can pass on to you. This was given to me during meditation to do by an inner voice, but I have since found that it was once used in ancient times with the progress to awakening. For now, let the practice as I have given it be your first guide, and let me know how you are progressing and what you find.

This is the hemisync program (use with headphones): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze2jcwu4ddA