Have you thought much about how a radio works? In a very basic sense (I am admittedly no engineer), you turn it on, set it to a certain number (frequency), and you are tuned in to a certain radio station. You can set it to another number, and a different radio station will come through. The radio itself is a receiver for what you want to hear, rather than the productions being created by the radio. You hear what you set the radio's frequency to. Flip through the numbers of the radio, and you'll hear that there are many possible stations for the radio to be tuned to. These radio station possibilities are invisible to us unless we use the medium of the radio to tune into them. As I sit here typing these words in silence, I am only privy to the possibilities riding along these radio waves by way of my imagination, since I am not currently using a radio to pull those waves into an audible experience to my human ears. Those radio waves are there in the air surrounding me, nonetheless. I need only get myself the medium of a radio to prove it.
This analogy of tuning a radio serves us in meditation, because in meditation we are able to attune ourselves to higher frequencies. There are many things we can attune ourselves to in meditation, be it our own higher consciousness/Higher Self, a divine figure or symbol of God, a saint, or a higher intelligent energy. Whatever resonates within us (and this can vary within an individual throughout time) which helps us reach higher, beyond our limited consciousness, is a good focus for attunement.
When we attune ourselves to something higher, we are aligning our consciousness with that higher consciousness for the purpose of drawing our consciousness toward it. Like a radio wave, we know this higher consciousness is available to us at all times, but we need to create the medium with which to receive it. The receiver (the radio) is our own mind, but we need to be still and focused enough to be able to tune ourselves to the frequency.
We focus on that object of attunement, and through our concentration we are creating an energetic magnet between our consciousness and this higher consciousness. Over time, we can energetically feel this connection in meditation. In the beginning, we may need to just stay open and play around with it to get a feel for it, but we may not be able to perceive very easily if much is happening. One approach could be if you have a figure which represents the Divine - what God looks like to you, or a saint - you picture that as clearly as you can in your mind. For me, this often looks like Paramhansa Yogananda. See that form, and picture a tunnel of energy connecting your eyes to theirs or your spiritual eye to their spiritual eye. Feel yourself drawing the consciousness of that form. You can do this also with your eyes open focusing on a photo of a great saint. (It is recommended to use a photo rather than a painting.) Stare at the eyes of the saint, and feel the consciousness of the saint coming through your eyes and into your nervous system. You may even be able to feel that you are drinking in waves through your eyes, descending down through the brain and into the body.
Like so much in life, meditation and its varied practices get better and easier with experience. It can be hard to explain exactly how to do things when you are working with energy, but if you just have a general notion of what you are wanting to do and you go forth with sincere effort, you will begin to understand and perceive. Asking that higher consciousness for assistance and keeping yourself open and receptive also helps very much.
One of the great benefits of meditation is that ability to raise our consciousness, and this can be an effective way to take that further. Through attunement we are deepening our connection with something greater than ourselves. We can feel the effect of this while we are practicing attunement, and we can also feel it subtly impacting our lives outside of meditation. Over time, we notice that outside of meditation our thoughts and actions have changed and are truly more similar to that higher consciousness with which we have been working on connecting. A grand prospect, and a true one!
I am an Ananda® certified meditation teacher. I am passionate about meditation and embrace a yogic lifestyle for greater wellness physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
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