Stage 2 of Going Within: Meditation Beyond Concentration

by Joshua Tilghman on September 7, 2013

Deep MeditationIn our last post we discussed the benefits of concentration. This is the first stage of true meditation and in the development of the Christ within. Without the power of concentration, the mind is at the whims of the senses and external stimuli. Such a mind keeps the Christ within from ever being able to shine through the waking conscious. But once a person develops the power to concentrate on a single thought without wavering, that mind has been sharpened into a powerful tool that is finally ready to delve into true meditation and begin uniting the lower personality with the true self.

Concentration brings the mind to its most powerful ability in the natural waking state. Meditation is about crossing this boundary. It is about going beyond normal waking consciousness and experiencing the life within higher consciousness.

In John 10:29 Jesus states the following about those who know Him:

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

Jesus’ words have to do with the realization of the divine within us. Once we discover it, it can never be taken away. Meditation helps bring this KNOWING of our higher selves to us because it brings a realization of the super-consciousness (in varying amounts) into our normal, everyday, waking consciousness. It paves the path to unite the lower and higher self into a divine a blissful union. Meditation is not the final union, but rather the paving of the way to this union.

Think of this path as a bridge that allows the divine light of the upper being to cross into the lower personality, providing for its continual expansion. As the lower personality expands from this flowing of divine essence, the entire person expands to become whole.

In meditation, the stage beyond concentration, something important begins to happen: we quiet the person we are accustomed to thinking we are—the transitory personality—so that we can KNOW the abiding spiritual ego, the Christ within. The Christ within is beyond rational thought and lower emotions. Meditation is the next stage to KNOWING the Christ within because it is an activity of the will that goes beyond the mind. In concentration the mind is being used to stay focused upon one thing. In meditation the mind is no longer being used. We come to a point of “no thought.” In order to know what is beyond the transitory personality, we have to quiet the mind, the emotions, and the senses. This state of “no thought” is not about being blank. It is about an inner gnosis, an inner knowing. It is about experiencing an abiding presence that is greater than the transitory personality.

How does it work?

There are a lot of great websites and books which talk about meditation, but it is hard to find information on exactly how it works. What happens during the meditation process that enables consciousness to be expand? Theosophy is a good starting point.

Arthur E Powell has stated in his work, The Mental Body, that:

“By meditation a man’s astral and mental bodies gradually come out of chaos into order, slowly expand and gradually learn to respond to higher and higher vibrations. Each effort helps him to thin the veil that divides him from the higher world and direct knowledge…Meditation thus helps build into the bodies the higher types of matter…”

I briefly talked about varying grades of matter in part one of this series. Individual consciousness can only be centered in the type of matter it is accustomed to. The mental body must be built up to receive higher conscious energy.

By exercising thoughts and emotions daily, we are influencing our astral and mental bodies. Many times we exercise negative thoughts and emotions. For example, consider your stressful days at work. The stress that we allow our minds to get caught up in continually reinforce the centering of our individual consciousness in lower vibrational frequencies. In the 21st century, this stress can hardly be avoided unless you are blessed with unusual circumstances. However, meditation naturally provides a channel for higher conscious energy which organizes and strengthens the emotional and mental bodies.

This is possible because through the act of meditation, we are bypassing the lower personality and connecting to the direct knowledge and experience (gnosis) of the higher self. This act naturally infuses the astral and mental bodies with higher vibrational frequencies since our higher selves are naturally happy and at peace. We experience positive thoughts and emotions as aftereffects during and after meditation sessions from the overflow of higher conscious energies into the lower personality. This gives us great strength and peace for the day.

In order for meditation to truly be effective, it has to be practiced with consistency. The explanation I gave above makes this self-evident. We have to exercise to build a physical muscle, right? It is the same for higher consciousness. We have to exercise our astral and mental bodies through meditation. A natural by-product is the experience of higher thoughts and emotions beyond normal everyday waking consciousness.

Meditation is safe

Meditation is perhaps the safest way to raise consciousness. Through the daily practice of meditation, it is possible for anyone to have their conscious center be raised through different grades of astral and mental matter where higher and expanded states of consciousness are possible. I don’t recommend any means which promises to force a higher conscious state upon you by taking shortcuts.

How to Meditate?

One of the most confusing things about meditation is how to do it. I see a lot of articles on the internet that speak about the difference between concentration and meditation. But really these are two interconnected processes that have a symbiotic relationship. That’s why I appreciate Zen Meditation so much. Zen meditative practices naturally help make the transition from concentration to meditation without having to learn different types of meditation practices.

Watching the breath in Zen meditation is effective at incorporating both concentration and meditation. As your practice deepens, you will naturally move from concentration to meditation. In part one of this series I mentioned counting the breath. Counting the breath is for none other purpose than letting the mind know when it has wondered. When you become conscious of your wandering mind, you simply refocus, which in turn builds concentration. But once the limits of concentration has been reached and you have come to a point of unwavering single-mindedness, you are ready to rent the veil, and one day you will find yourself no longer needing to count. In fact, using the mind will be dropped altogether. Zen practitioners refer to this point as becoming the breath.  I see this as the point in which you are no longer using thought processes to realize where you conscious attention is; rather, you become conscious attention itself. It’s as if conscious activity merges with your breath. At this state you will be experiencing a greater aspect of yourself. We can see how this relates to what Jesus told Nicodemus in the Book of John:

“The wind bloweth where it listesh, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).

Just as Zen Meditation teaches, Jesus is telling us that those led of the Spirit are operating on a higher conscious level than the rational mind alone. This higher consciousness leads us in directions the rational mind would never consider or understand.

Closing thoughts

Reaching the state of “no-thought” has an uncanny way of revealing that you are not your current personality and body, but rather this major misconception is built up of many smaller misconceptions over your lifetime. The Christ within is the only true self. It is eternal. It is infinite potential itself. The second stage of the meditation process reveals this to you gradually the deeper you go by quieting the mind.

For those of you who are having a hard time wondering how “no-thought” meditation could be anything but a blank, passive, unconscious state, you might want to check out, Is Meditation About Making your Mind Go Blank?

In the next post we’ll look at the third stage of the overall meditation process, contemplation.

Part One / Part Two

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Shey October 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I am learning so much. I thank God for your life. I am so excited to meditate.

Reply

Joshua Tilghman October 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Shey,

Meditation is one of the oldest and best ways to further spiritual development. Blessings!

Reply

sharon February 12, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Thank you I have been using and teaching meditation in my Christian conference meetings for
the last two years. Live are changing as many people are finding the love, peace and awesome power that is within. The abundant life Jesus Talked about is within all of us, ever present. Thank you.

Reply

Joshua Tilghman February 12, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Sharon,

You are so welcome. And kudos for teaching meditation classes! So important to recognizing the Christ within. Blessings!

Reply

Megan Sullivan March 29, 2015 at 7:09 am

I totally realize how old this article is but I couldn’t sleep so I decided to read.
Wow!!! This is seriously what I have been wondering. I have just learned more than I have for Penn all week. Haha. Needless to say, I am about to try and get my true meditation on! 😉

Reply

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