The essence of spiritual exploration is learning to fold your attention inward instead of outward. — Guru Tua
The inward journey is the experience of higher states of consciousness. These states exist beyond, waking, dreaming, and sleeping. It is a journey into the transcendent. Hence, an experience of awareness and existence outside of time. When you are ready, it may also include a journey into other realms and landscapes. This is the Shamanic Journey. — Guru Tua
Learning How to Fold Your Attention Inward
This is the process that makes all internal techniques possible. This is the fundamental skill on which all types of meditation are based. There are some basic tricks that help you focus attention. When we close our eyes, our natural tendency is to fall asleep. So, we must use one of two basic techniques to keep this from happening.
First, we can sit up. When the spine is erect, we have more of a tendency to remain awake and alert. Another method we can use when laying down is to engage the mind with sound and imagination. This second strategy is the essence of the Shaman Journey, or what some call Guided Meditation. This is nothing more than the rebranding of the Shamanic Journey to make it more marketable in the West.
The two techniques above are what allow you to fold your attention inward while minimizing the interference of the active mind. Another complementary process is mindfulness meditation. This is a process with a seated and moving component. All of these techniques will expand your awareness.
This concept also applies to many forms of moving meditation. For instance, Tai Chi is a form of moving meditation where we learn to move energy from the internal to the external. It is a way of expanding observational awareness. When done correctly, we fold our attention inward to bring internal energy through the body. When we engage in moving meditation, we tend to focus all attention outward. So, we are not grounded or connected. To make sure we are connected, there are some things we can do.
First, bring your attention to your breath. When we focus on our breath, it moves our attention inward. You don’t want to alter the breath, just observe it. Now, observe the body. Once you can observe what’s going on with your physical body and your normally automatic actions of the breath, you can take it down another level.
The final step involves the visualization of energy. Picture your spine being filled with energy. And then radiate this energy to all parts of your body. While you are doing this keep observing the body and breath. This is how you fold your attention inward while moving.
We hope you found this article helpful, maybe even thought-provoking. You will find more interesting posts on our blog page. Use the “search” option on the blog page to find articles by key terms, topics, or category.
Does spiritual exploration interest you? If so, we offer both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. We use a blended learning process to get the best learning outcomes. This blended approach aligns with what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia