Tag Archives: Self Emptying

Meditation, Consciousness, Sentience, and Enlightenment

In the beginning, the universe came into existence. With the universe came the properties of time and space, and the content of energy and matter. The universe also came with a set of rules, and these rules dictated the relationship between time, space, energy, and matter. These rules are known as the laws of physics.

star-clusters-74052_960_720For a long time, all things in the universe obeyed the laws of space-time-energy-matter (STEM). Energy formed matter, matter warped time and space, matter followed the warping of time and space to form dense masses which became stars, and the matter in stars released energy according to fixed rules.

And then one day, after millions of years of interaction according to fixed rules, living creatures with consciousness emerged. These living creatures continued to obey the laws of physics in the larger sense, but they also developed an ability to utilize matter and energy, and an ability to move through space time with some freedom.

Along with consciousness came a desire to survive, and to survive consciousness needed to surreal-402830_960_720gather nutrients, expel waste, find a suitable environment in which to flourish, and to reproduce. To facilitate survival, a new set of rules emerged, the rules of attraction to pleasure, and aversion to pain (APAP). Consciousness began to identify pleasure with finding suitable nutrition and reproduction, and identifying pain with hostile environments and dealing with competing and predatory organisms.

For a vast amount of time, consciousness obeyed these APAP rules, until one day, the property of sentience or self-awareness emerged from within consciousness.

In a large sense, sentient beings continued to obey the survival laws of APAP and the physical laws of STEM. But with sentience came the willingness and ability to place the needs of others over the needs of self. With sentience a new rule emerged, the rule of love.

Still constrained by the laws of APAP, at first love limited itself to the raising of offspring, but grew to include larger units of family and community.

Some became obsessed with the rules of APAP, and taken to the extreme were trapped by attraction to pleasure in the form of addictions, and by aversion to pain in the form of phobias.

universe-1044107_960_720At some point, enlightened beings began to emerge from among the sentient beings. One enlightened being known as Buddha questioned the law of attraction, and rejected being controlled by desires. In the process he found a love that transcended the constraints of family and community and included the entire universe. He shared his newfound freedom to love without boundaries with his followers.

Another enlightened being known as Christ questioned the law of aversion, and rejected being controlled by the fear of suffering and death. In the process he found a love that transcended the constraints of family and community and included the entire universe. He shared his newfound freedom to love without boundaries with his followers.

Followers of these enlightened beings wanted to experience this newfound freedom to love solar-eclipse-151211_960_720without boundaries, and so began to investigate the longstanding rules of STEM and APAP. They developed rules and techniques for finding this new freedom, but in many cases found the rules (religions) they developed were not liberating but even more constraining.

Some followers developed contemplative techniques for letting go of APAP rules. After long hours of disciplined prayer and meditation, some actually managed to let go of the rules that had constrained sentient beings for so long. But in the absence of those rules, some found a profound sense of loss. They discovered that living without the pursuit of pleasure and the fear of pain left life empty and meaningless.

For those few who continued and persevered, beyond the dark and vast plain of emptiness, 1338259321they discovered the meaning that the enlightened beings who went on before had promised. Love without boundaries, unconditional love, love for all of the universe, love for all living consciousness, love for all sentient beings. Love beyond the constraints of family and tribe and nation. Unconditional Love for all that is, was, and will be. Love that transcends the rules of STEM and APAP.

The progression of creation has been, from the beginning, a progression of increasing complexity and freedom, from matter and energy, to conscious life, to sentient self awareness, to enlightenment. Rules were established and transcended. First the rules of physics were established and transcended by the rules of attraction and aversion. Then the rules of attraction and aversion were transcended by the freedom of unconditional love.

Contemplative practices such as centering prayer and meditation are a tool, a method for increasing freedom and joy. Whether trapped by obsession with desires in the form of addiction, or trapped by obsession with fear in the form of phobias, contemplative practices can help. For those who choose to continue contemplative practices to the release of all attractions and aversions, profound freedom and joy in the form of unconditional love is possible.

We are now opening registration for our next set of introductory meditation classes in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains.  Our next set of classes will be held Saturday February 27th.  Our location is in Sautee Georgia which is near Helen Georgia, about an hour from Gwinnett and about 1.5 hours from Metro Atlanta.

mtn_sunrisePeople who attend our classes learn skills for dealing with stress and increasing enjoyment of life and personal freedom through letting go of negative thoughts and emotions.  More advanced classes explore increasing Spirituality through Divine Communion practice, and exercising Compassion with healthy boundaries for self and others.  People who are new to meditation and people who are experienced with meditation find our classes helpful.

Our Saturday morning class from 10:30-11:30 teaches basic meditation skills including breath centered mind stabilization and mindfulness.  Our afternoon class from 1:00-2:00 will discuss the use of meditation in addiction recovery.  Our classes generally include about 20-30 minutes of instruction and discussion, and 20-30 minutes of meditation skill practice.

Registration is open from 10:00 to 10:30 AM, or visit our Workshops page and sign up on line, or call 678-358-8775.  Our rates are very reasonable, 25.00 for a class or 40.00 for signing up for two classes or bringing a friend.

See you there!

 

 

Meditation Skills to Ease Insomnia

People come to meditation for many reasons. Some people meditate to grow closer to their Higher Power, some to overcome personal obstacles, and some people meditate to improve their relationships with others.

While meditation can be useful for all of these purposes, the individual skills learned in meditation can have specific practical applications as well. One specific practical application where meditation skills can be useful is in dealing with insomnia.

Here is an example of how skills learned in the Christian Tantric Meditation book and classes can help with insomnia. The specific skills illustrated here include mind stabilization, taught in the first introductory classes, and self emptying, taught in the second set of classes:

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sheep-738678_640Tossing and turning. Racing mind. Michelle was having another sleepless night.

In the morning, all the responsibilities would still be there. Kids, husband, and her own job. Sure, the kids and the husband could take care of themselves, and they often did, but after sleepless nights she missed having the time to be with them in the mornings. She also didn’t enjoy rushing to get herself ready for work, or the dragging fatigue that lasted all day.

She thought about the meditation discipline she had started several weeks ago. She had been practicing at least twice a week, mostly in the evenings. Overall, the practice had been helpful. She found she was getting better at dealing with day to day stress and occasional anxiety, and she was enjoying her life, her family, and work relationships more. When she thought about it, she realized that her sleepless nights were less frequent, but not gone altogether. And not tonight.

Having never tried her meditation techniques for sleeping, but having nothing to lose, she thought she would give them a try.

Laying comfortably on her side, she began attending to her breathing. She noticed how her breath felt entering her nose, how it cooled her throat, how it felt expanding her lungs. She noticed how she relaxed when she exhaled, letting the air out.

Continuing to practice breath centered mind stabilization, she found she was able to relax, but as soon as she relaxed enough to let go, a random thought brought her back, preventing her from falling asleep.

She thought about her latest random thought. Something that was overdue at work. “Ah”, she thought, “this thought represents a burden in my life, I know what to do with this.”

She allowed her consciousness to occupy her core space, and allowed herself to let go of her burden. With every breath, she allowed the burden to drift away. She then returned her attention to her breathing.

Almost asleep now, another thought brought her back from the brink of sleep. An old argument with her mother. An incident from her childhood that had been a point of contention for decades. Smiling, she recognized this thought as a lingering resentment.

With every breath, she allowed her consciousness to occupy her heart space, and she still-life-861822_640consciously let go of her resentment. With every breath, she allowed the resentment to drift away.

Now more relaxed, her attention returned to her breathing, and she drifted off to sleep.

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If you are interested in learning more about mind stabilization, self emptying, and other skills that are included in Christian Tantric Meditation, consider attending a Workshop.

Our next workshops introduce mindfulness, mind stabilization, and open consciousness practices.  Please visit http://sunrisemeditation.org/workshops/ or call 678-358-8775 for more information.

There are only a few days left to register for our Christian Tantric Meditation Workshops
on Saturday October 17th in Sautee Georgia near Helen Georgia.  It looks like we’re going to have a beautiful autumn weekend in the North Georgia Mountains. This would be an ideal time to visit, take a meditation class, hike to the top of Brasstown Bald, or enjoy Octoberfest in Helen.

 

A Mid-Summer Rejuvenation

Ble Moon trimmedIts mid summer, and for those of us living in the southern United States, we can’t help but start to feel a little bit worn out. Looking in the garden, the beans and tomatoes, having produced abundantly in spite of the incessant stress of bugs and fungus, look tired.   The heat and humidity are taking their toll on our moods as well. Although we are grateful for the cooling rains and lush greenery that comes with such a humid summer, we can’t help but look forward to how nice a cool autumn breeze would feel.

Like the struggling plants, we carry on our lives and our duties as we must, but the daily routines begin to feel a bit like drudgery. We may notice that our creative energy is reduced, and like the plants in the garden, the creative fruits we produce are less abundant and lush.

It was with these thoughts in mind I recently entered into meditation. I asked myself, what can I tired_garden_1do to rejuvenate my sense of joy and creativity? As I practiced mind stabilizing breathing, I recognized a feeling that I hadn’t been aware of, sapping my energy – the feeling of guilt. I realized that I was feeling guilty for not getting up early enough in the morning, for not exercising enough, for not meditating as regularly as I would like, and for not finding time to be creative. In short, I was feeling guilty for suffering the side effects of feeling worn out.

20140605_073648_1Having recognized those feelings as part of my inner psyche, I moved into the self emptying phase of the practice with the intention of letting go of feelings of guilt. As I rested my consciousness in my mind Chakra, I let go of the desire to be perfect, to always be in control and to execute my daily disciplines flawlessly. With my mind cleared of that nagging guilt, I opened myself to the possibility of increased joy and freedom, which motivates creativity. As I rested my consciousness in my heart Chakra, I let go of the resentment had been building against myself for not being perfect, opening my heart to the possibility of love based inspiration. As I rested my consciousness in my core Chakra, I let go of the fear that my recent doldrums would be more than a temporary thing. With my core cleared, I made room for creative inspirations to take root, be nurtured and grow, until they would finally be ready to sustain a life of their own.

Finally, having cleared my mind, opened my heart, and emptied my core, I opened my entire being, allowing myself to be transparent and receptive to creativity in any form it might take.

This set the stage for the meditation stages that followed – Divine Communion and 20140606_074543_1Compassion. The creative energy that had being blocked was allowed to flow, and I forgave myself for being human, and subject to the same forces in nature that affect the plants in the garden.

So the question this brings to the table is, what may be blocking your creativity? For me it was at least partially a feeling of guilt, but there are many other possible stressors as well. Relationship issues, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of criticism are just some of the feelings that can block creativity, and with it block joy, love, and self confidence.

Christian Tantric Meditation provides a method for recognizing and letting go of the thoughts and feelings that block creativity. As Whole Beings created in the Image of God, we have the ability to accept and let go of our stressors that hold us back, and accept and participate in the Creative Joy, Love, and Peace that the Spirit makes available to all of creation, every minute of every day.

If you are interested in learning more about Christian Tantric Meditation, Atlanta area classes are being offered in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains. There is one week left to register for our next set of classes on Saturday August 8th. Registration is open now, visit our website for more information and to register on line.  The book Christian Tantric Meditation Guide is also available through Amazon.com and local bookstores.