Do you desire to learn how to achieve a deeper meditative state and achieve an altered state of consciousness? Then continue reading for valuable insights into the art of meditation.
Delving deeper into the spiritual aspect of your being can trigger an expansive learning experience.
People who seek such experiences often turn towards psychedelic or dissociative substances. Although drugs may offer a relatively easy way to achieve such a profound experience, the purest form of an altered state of consciousness can only be achieved through meditative practices.
These altered states can vary from person to person and offer an incredible experience in terms of exploration and comprehension of the nature of perception.
In this article, we will take a look at some meditative practices to help you achieve an altered state of consciousness.
Anyone can achieve an altered state of consciousness by enabling their brain waves to expand beyond the bounds of the normal waking experience.
Lucid dreaming and out-of-body experiences are some of the more popularized forms of altered consciousness. Such experiences allow a person to understand their own existence and offer an excellent platform to grow and achieve self-awareness and involution.
Before we proceed, let’s take a brief look at the rules associated with meditation.
Firstly, just like meditation, its rules too are also quite equivocal. One won’t be able to find definitive answers to the questions they might have.
For example, what to do when your meditation stops resembling meditation, or what if you believe you are meditating, but in actuality just napping in a semi-conscious state?
Well, let’s start by taking a look at the age old meditation maxim: “there is no such distinction as bad or good meditation.”
Even if your meditation is sub-par, it is still meditation and the only true undesirable form of meditation is not meditating at all.
It’s quite similar to exercising, which is good for our physical being — there is an effective and ineffective way to perform the same exercise. You would benefit from your efforts and the degree of benefit would depend on the quality of your meditation or exercise.
But let’s not get lost in the semantic of meditational morals. So, as long as you are meditating, you will continue to grow and maybe even perfect it in the future.
The Meditative Process
One of the reasons why you might be unable to achieve deep meditation, could be due to your lack of intensity or a result of you not completely understanding the complexity associated with the process of meditation.
According to the Buddhist tradition, laziness is one of the five hindrances to meditation.
The two main functions our mind performs are knowing and doing. The process of meditation effectively calms the doing aspect of our mind, which allows us to achieve a state of tranquility as we maintain our knowing.
If we become lazy, we might carelessly and unconsciously calm both the doing and knowing aspect of the mind, which leads to a completely blanked out state.
Let’s suppose your meditation involves breathing practices, which is essentially focusing on each of your breaths — the most basic form of meditation.
There are three ways you can spend each second in a meditative state:
- Either you focus on an element or object such as your breath
- Focus on another element, such as a memory or a thought
- And lastly, you neither focus nor let your mind wander — instead, you maintain a completely blank state of mind, this is also called no-mind meditation
Your objective while meditating is to completely focus on your breathing pattern. The more you focus solely on your breaths, the deeper or clearer your meditative state will feel.
If you focus on your thoughts or are unable to control your mind, then your meditation will be distracted, and at most, you will achieve simple bodily relaxation.
Lastly, if you maintain a completely blanked out state, then your meditative state will be calm, but clouded. This form of meditation is used to achieve greater levels of concentration.
Do you realize that we are severely addicted to thinking, an aspect that can hamper our concentration level?
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced meditator, your primary objective in the first few minutes of meditation aimed at achieving a deep meditative state, would be to gently:
- Reduce the frequency of your mind wandering off to a memory or thought
- Improve your concentration on each and every controlled breath you take
- Increase the duration of focus spent on your breathing patterns without letting your mind wander
- Lastly, prevent your mind from entering the blank state
It’s important to realize that there is no absolute way to meditate and all forms of meditation are meditation. The form you choose should be aligned with your desired goals.
The process I have explained above is dedicated to help you achieve a deeper form of meditation to ultimately achieve an altered state of consciousness.
As most beginners start to achieve maximum levels of concentration on their breathing pattern, eventually start to relax, which allows their mind to wander. Hence, the lack of intensity, which obstructs a person’s desire to achieve a deeper form of meditative state.
In such a case, simply re-allocate your attention and don’t get frustrated. Maintaining absolute control over your mind requires sustained training, which cannot be achieved without a few slip ups.
If you seek to experience the majesty of an altered state of mind and its implications on deep internal transformation and transcendence, then continue practicing the method I have explained.
Very soon, you will experience the true beauty of deep meditation and, from there, you will be a step closer to achieving an altered state of consciousness.