Establishing a Foundation, Building the Foundation – Counting Breaths
by fb Pedro Fardilha Barbeira
This will be the first of a series of post i may or may not complete during the following days/weeks/months.
Since I see to many people constantly asking purely theoretical questions regarding stuff like bible characters, energetic assumptions and history matters, I thought it'd be cool if i shared some information that would help move the practice from the mental plane to all the three planes of existance at once. The goal of the series is helping guide all kinds of seekers from this list into a more productive, grounded and practical spiritual lifestyle. This will be mainly based on the Eastern Philosophies of Buddhism, Zen and Taoism, although the concepts are transversal to any kind of cultivation. It will be more focused on theoretical information than actual practical application, although the "theory of practical application" will also be contemplated.
I'm, by no means, a guru, a master or an expert, nor do I claim this to be the only way. I don't even claim this to be the best way. The posts will be based on my personal cultivation Journey and experiences, coupled with insights obtained both through practice and study/investigation.
Establishing a Foundation:
Action is the anchorpoint of manifestation.
There are three states of existance: physical, mental and spiritual.
Anchoring action in one plane will lead to manifestation in said plane.
Although the planes interwine, manifestation doesn't.
These four "axioms"(?) were key into my understanding of what a spiritual lifestyle is all about. There was a period where i felt stagnated. I knew I wasnt there yet, but i felt I had hit a threshold. After some contemplation and some chilling out by the river, I finally understood: i was only focused in one plane of existance, and had explored and cleared that plane of existance to its maximum individual capacity. I wasn't progressing further because i needed to balance all three planes into an harmonious development.
To me, and to most seekers I see on the internet, this plane is the mental one. Fueled by the Philosopher Paradigm, so present in the Western world, and using "Philosophy" as a safe haven to arbor our spiritual questions in an early stage where we still somewhat doubt this side of reality, we end up falling in the Philosopher's trap: we think think think, think a little further, and do nothing but thinking. We get a ton of information online, we start using our intuition and critical thinking to filter and digest it, we start getting our first insights and downloads, we follow our own threads, and eventually we find ourselves detached from reality: our internal, mental state doesn't manifest in the way we understand it should. Attached to a pattern, we keep digging, and eventually we hit a wall: there are no more threads to dig, there are no more experiences to clear, there is nowhere else to go. We start wondering why, and eventually we feel stagnated.
The human mind functions mainly at the mental plane. Self talk, self narrative, self this and that: we live from the mental plane. We trick ourselves into believeing the phyisical plane influences our mental plane, and we hope the spiritual plane eventually seeps through and gives us light, but the truth is we live in the mental plane. The Middle Plane. Therefore, this is the plane we end up digging up first. That's why so many gurus have unwholesome attitudes and actions. That's why so many people online have a high and mighty speech, but end up being easily triggered and behaving like "sleepers". That's why our life stagnates and we feel we've hit a threshold.
There are two more planes, however: the phyisical plane, which ecompasses everything you do in real life, from your behaviours to your interactions, all the time, and the spiritual plane, which encompasses the soul lessons you're supposed to learn during this lifetime. Each plane has its own karmas and causality chains. Regarding the spiritual plane, we can't really change anything about it. But, regarding the phyisical one, we can change plenty.
So, how do we escape this philosophers trap? There are many ways, but i think the most powerful one is actually dedicating time in our day for formal meditation. Most people don't do this. Most people engage in active meditation, which is amazing and very important, but don't engage in formal meditation. There's a lot of power in simply sitting on a cushion or the hard floor and taking away 15 minutes from your whatever (relax, work, break, series, whatever) time and actually meditate. Not only do we allocate more focus to the practice itself, we force ourselves to deal with both mental and physical disconfort. Which not only make the practice harder, therefore deeper, but also give us a great anchor for concentration: since your mind is automatically dragged to that pain in your hip, why not focus on it and analize it? Since your mind is so preocupied with the anxiety born from sitting still and breathing, why not step back and contemplate that anxiety, to understand why you're feeling it? This disconfort also helps with mental chatter: physical pain will turn off the mental chatter - no time to be worrying about what Karen said last night when your hip is being ripped appart right? - and mental disconfort will make it ciclical - "why am i doing this? im just here breathing. i could be working out but im here breathing. i cant even stop thinking about thinking about breathing". I think you get the point
But we're talking about establishing a foundation, so, before we sit, we should know what we're gonna do when we sit. Despite the mainstream information on meditation - "Sit confortably and breathe into your lower belly. Feel feelings of peace and light pouring from the sky" - which is very nice if you're doing Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and don't plan on gettint serious with it, there are several thousand cultivation techniques we can employ. Each temple usually has a bunch of "their own", couple with a bunch of general ones. Traditional Buddhism alone has 3 main branches - Tibetan, Mahayana and Theravada - along with the, more recent Zen, which branch out on a myriad of different schools and doctrines. Taoism has several texts, from the works of Confucianism to the writtings of the I Ching and Tao Te Ching, Hinduism has its hardcore Yogic and Ascetic practices, Abrahamic branches have their scriptures and Kabbalah, and Shamanism, the oldest one, has the several mind altering substances that stimulate different states of consciousness. However, we're talking Foundation, so lets hit it at the root: samadhi.
Despite all names it can take, from Flow to Shamanic Trance, Samadhi is the same. You know it. You've tasted it in all the big moments of your life. The first time you truly saw your lover, and time froze for a few seconds in that eye contact, that time you almost had a car crash and suddendly you were extremely focused and managed to avoid it at the last second. When your kid was about to fall down the stairs and you moved without thinking to grab their arm in a split second. When you entered that school championship crucial game and could feel your heart beat and gravity pulling you down. When you were playing a video game and so deeply into it you couldn't even notice a couple hours already passed by. A lot of times, these memories come to us from a third-person prespective. These moments, when it seems like we're seing in HD, when we can feel each breath coming in as strongly as we can feel the clothes in our body, when our mind is clear from anything but the present moment, these moments are Samadhi.
Cultivating a constant state of Samadhi is the first goal any seeker should take. You can't cultivate anything without having a strong samadhi foundation to step on. Samadhi is concentration. Pure concentration. Concentration without goal. Concentration for the sake of concentration. Concentration so strong, time and space dilate to give way to it. Concentration so pure that the only thing thats important is the present moment of concentration. The state of Samadhi is a state of excelence, and should be worked until that's the normal state of functioning. When any action you take without samadhi feels unwholesome and incomplete, that's when you're ready to build on it. Errors made in a state of samadhi don't feel like errors, feel like achievements or learning. Achievements made in a state of Samadhi don't feel like peaks in performance, feel like everyday occurences. This is how you calm the ego and attain balance. This is how you attain excelence that doesn't feel like excelence, because this excelence isn't related to our impossible standards of perfectionism, but to a genuine follow of our true selves in any possible action.
Because of this, I feel the best way to start is with Vipassana meditation. Vipassana, or Mindfulness, or Insight meditation, focus solely on attaining and sustaining samadhi. The best way to do it is, of course, through formal meditation. But don't let that stop you. Once you feel it, you can recall it. Once you feel it, you'll know when you're with it. Try to keep it going throughout your day. While you eat, while you work, while you walk, while you talk. It's hard, but it's worth it. This active, on-going state of samadhi is what will provide insight. Insight into your mind, your actions, your behaviours, your reactions, your intentions. Insight into what's holding you back and, subsequently, into what's holding other people back. Through Vipassana you'll untangle your ego, deal with your past, your traumas, your attachments and desires, and cultivate a focused and crystalline mind, filled with compassion, sympathethic joy, lovingkindness and equanimity - the Four Noble States of the Buddhist tradition.
Once you've attained this crystalline mind, not only will you be very close to enlightment, but you'll also be ready to start cultivating psychic abilities, healing abilities, and all sorts of magickal stuff - the real question is, will you still want it? But you can only attain this crystalline mine after you can sustain a state of focused concentration. That's Level One. So start now, take 10 minutes off your day and sit. Breathe slowly. Focus on what you're feeling. If your thinking gets in the way, focus on passively listening instead of actively discoursing. Keep deatched, keep contemplative. Stay a witness to your own mind. Once the chatter goes away, feel your body. Does it hurt? If so, where? What's it's form? Is it a sting, a pull, a gash? Is the pain still or is it moving in a zone? Or maybe you feel very happy and relaxed. Watch that feeling. Where does it originate? Is it warm, fuzzy, bright? Can you expand it or contract it?
You can apply this process of analysis to EVERY sensation, thought and feeling you might experience. From the most positive to the most negative. As your insight on the various mental, emotional and physical states deepens, so will your samadhi. Eventually, you'll be able to sustain samadhi even when you're angry, horny or hungry - the most mind altering states, in my opinion, because they're related to protection, reproduction and survival, your most primitive functions. Once you've reached that state, you're ready to start cultivating. Once you can sustain samadhi throughout our days and experiences, the separation between the physical plane and the mental plane will tighten, untill it dissolves into one. And, when it does, the spiritual plane will steadily follow.
I hope this post provides a kick in the pants and enough information to kickstart your practice into a real practice, and not just a philosofical experiment. With Samadhi, your whole life wll improve, even if it stays the same, because, with Samadhi, no experience will be a lesser experience. Even something as banal as walking down the street to get a coffee will become a moment of extreme beauty, awe and inspiration. Because every moment lived fully is worth ten thousand moments lived half-heartedly. In my next post, "Building the Foundation", I'll share some meditations and cultivations you can experiment and work with, both to deepen your samadhi and to develop certain mental states. This will still be a Foundation-based post, although it'll be less focused on setting a mind state and more on what to do while on that state.
In the first post, as a recap, I talked about the three planes of existance, the Philosopher’s Trap, and how to establish a Foundation for meditation practice, based on the principles of Vipassana (Mindfulness/Insight), in order to develop Samadhi (concentration), and how to sustain that state throughout your day. Through this practice, you’ll start to notice what’s holding you back internally, from ego reactions to emotional traumas byproducts, while developing a calm, serene and focused mind – the ideal soil to cultivate the kinds of mental atributed that will soothe your ego and take you a step closer from “everyday Joe” to your definition of what an enlightened being is.
After you’ve attained and managed to sustain Samadhi for a nice period of time – I’d say, your whole day, and around 30 minutes of focused Samadhi during formal meditation or any other activity where you can practice it (art, music, dancing, working out, whatever) – you’re ready to start building on top of that basis in order to develop yourself. During the whole process of mindful awareness, it’s very common to run into a lot of turbulence: stuff from the past comes up and unravels a whole thread of problems, traumas and behaviours we must adress, stuff from the presente takes us away from the state and we feel irritated and unfocused, stuff from the future drags our attention into day dreaming and expectation building. All this is normal, all this is healthy, all these are amazing oportunities to deepen your practice. Let your mind digest the thoughts from the past without interfering, usually there are golden nuggets hidden beneathe all the sludge. Let the present throw you off, that’s the best way to strengthen your ability to jump back on. Let the future play out on your mind, that’s the best place to let go from those expectations and ground your feet in the Now.
After this wonderful, yet somewhat chaotic stage, you’ll find yourself with little mental chatter. Your spacial awareness will probably broaden – you can hold more elements of your surroundings in your awareness at any given time. Your focus will improve, you’ll commit to each task, from brushing your teeth to the most complex task you’re handling, with a newfound tranquility and focus. You’ll become less reactive, and your ability to understand others will increase exponentially. Stuff that used to bother you will no longer even scratch the surface. You might even get somewhat addicted to overcoming stuff that pushes your buttons and start actively looking for situations and ocurrences that make you anxious, irritated, sad or whatever, just to get another chance to transmute that situation and find a little more about yourself – this is called exiting your confort zone and, if done properly, is extremely healthy. You’ll feel more presente, more energetic, more positive. That’s cool, its sign its working. But dont stop there.
As your mental chatter ceases, you’ll start seeing your mind like a limb. If you’re resting and dont need to move your left arm, it’ll probably not move on its own. The tamed mind is the same. Since your mental chatter is off, you’ll probably only think whenever you have to think about something. At this point is where many people stop growing. It’s here that we start unlocking our psychic potentials. Anything, from channeling (divination) to telepathy, to energetic manipulation, whatever you can dream off, starts form here. But forget about that for now. You’ll have plenty time to worry about it once you’ve reached. It's ok to explore and experiment, but dont forget that shooting lasers from your ass isn't the goal of the spiritual path. It's a byproduct, and the main reason there are plenty practicioners and so little masters.
So, how do you use your new limb? Well, thoughts are vibration and, just like music sets a mood, they set the tone of our mental frequency. New Age is onto this, that’s why the power of positivity trend is raging so hard. Indeed, the more positive thoughts we think, the more positive we become – although, without the established Foundation, all this will go to the can whenever life wants to fuck around with us. As your mastery deepens, you’ll notice that each time you think about something, a different emotional reaction will happen. If you think of your pet, you’ll probably feel warm and fuzzy. If you think of your ex, you’ll probably feel somewhat blue. If you think about food, you’ll feel hungry. You get the drift. This isn’t something you’re supposed to supress, although that’s probably the first reaction. “I still get pissed and feel broken when I think when Karen cheated on me last year. I must suck at mindfulness because this still affects me”. Sounds familiar? This is wrong. You don’t suck because you have emotional reactions to the memories of your experience. Just means you’re a healthy human that can feel and live life fully.
Here’s where the actual cultivation starts. In the last post, I mentioned the Four Sublime States (called them “Noble” coz I mixed it with the Four Noble Truths, but they’re really the Four Sublime States). These are Loving-kindness, Sympathethic Joy, Compassion and Equanimity. You’re probably thinking “yeah bro i already feel all those easily lol what’s your point?” Well, my point is that, through mental train, you can strengthen these states, from a “feel” into a “mood”, into an emotion so powerfull it fills your whole being and those around you – something very common in the Masters, because they actually know what they’re doing. So, how do we do this? Well, at the bottom of the post I’ll share the PDF to a short book about these Four States, with specific descriptions and meditations to work on each of those.
Remember how the Samadhi practice started? You probably started by acknowledging the feeling of Samadhi. Then you started looking for it both during formal practice and throughout your day. Then you got used to it, and managed to call it back. Then you focused on sustaining it through different situations. That was cultivating Samadhi. Now you gotta do the same process with the Four States, with a slight difference: You get to skip the hard steps. Since your mind is now clear from chatter and focused, you can simply recall a memory or think about something that makes you feel that way – say, think of your puppy to feel that fuzzy warmth of loving kindness – and get used to that feeling. Analyze it just like you did with all other feelings. Welcome it, let it fill you, let it expand. Once you’re aquainted with the feeling to the point where you can easily recall it, it’s just a matter of applying the practices of the book – directing it to yourself, then to a person you respect, like a master or teacher, then someone you love, then a friend, then an aquaintance, then somone that feels indiferente, somone you dont like, someone you hate and, lastly, all living beings on the planet. I still recommend reading the book, for deeper information from experts.
The practice of these states will sculpt your mind into the crystal mind we should all strive to attain. Not only that, they’ll also deepen your samadhi, they’ll probably finish the process of mental declutering we started with Vipassana. This is not the only cultivation you can work on once you’ve attained a decent mastery of Samadhi. There are the Jhanas (the Absorptions) which use focus to attain mystical e metaphyisical mental states, there are the Taoists alchemical cultivations, there is Impermanence, there is the Tibetan practice (know very little of this one), there are the Chakras, and there are pleeeeenty other stuff you can cultivate once this stage is attained. However, I believe that the Four Sublime States are the best to start with, and also the most importante ones. These states will deeply change your behaviour. They will make you a better person, a more loving person, and that’s what the world needs. Mastering these Four States will bring the most change to your daily life. Maybe you won’t leave your body or have tremendous mystical experiences of impermanence and formless form, but you will become happier and more loving. They will also dissolve your ego and making your action whole and noble at any given time, which will make magick and all other psychic practices safer to work with. Through these Four States, you’ll effortlessly become the type of person that everyone loves. I think that’s worth putting the crazier stuff on hold.
From the Four Sublime States, I belive the most crucial one is Equanimity. Equanimity is hard to describe, and I can barely verbalize it, but, basicly, its the ability to welcome both positive and negative experiences in a detached and wholefull way. That key-feeling of Mindfulness, that allows you to deal with trauma from a dettached place, and that made the neighbour’s barking dog much less annoying, that’s Equanimity. This is very importante, beause the more you master this state, the less you’ll oscilatte between the several mental states that compose your psyche. Imagine arguing with someone and, even after you’ve filled your cup and started venting out agression, you’re still mantaining rationality and a hold of yourself. That’s equanimity. Imagine feeling sadness freely, without fear, resentment or fighting back, and finding confort in that sadness, because it’s as much part of life as happyness, and, like everything, will soon fade away and give birth to another. Thats equanimity (with a little impermanence). Equanimity i salso a little different from the other three states. Lovingkindness, Sympathethic Joy and Compassion are interwined and, by cultivating one, you’re also cultivating the other ones, because they’re very similar feelings. Equanimity, however, is slightly different. While still interwined with the states, it’s a little harder o attain – that’s why you direct positive feelings to people you dont care about and people you dont like, its kind of a preparation exercise for Equanimity cultivation – BUT, it’s a Key state that you must master in order to proceed – specially if you want to get into psychic stuff farther down the road.
I hope the post was interesting and shed some light on the next steps to take after Samadhi is something confortable and familiar. The link’s down bellow.
Building the Foundation
Being one of the core practices of Zen Buddhism, breath counting is a skill any meditator should develop. Not only it helps with calming mental chatter and focusing the mind on one single task, it also trains the mind to be able to sustain concentration on simple tasks. If awareness of breathing is our Level 1 in concentration practices, breath counting would be Level 2.
The act of counting while meditating is very widespread. Some practices, like Time Dilatation Meditation, use counting as a way to slow down the breathing and, subsequently, the heartbeat and mind, and many Mindfullness Based Stress Reduction techniques use the act of counting breaths to calm the mind and help fight off states of anxiety, heavy stress, anger, despair, or any other overwhelmingly strong mental state the person might find themselves in. Zen Buddhists use it as a way to train their focus. They count the breaths and, when they find their minds wandering, or when suddendly they realize they forgot to count, start from scratch, and keep counting. This is somewhat similar from letting go of the internal chatter and day dreaming during the active meditations throughout our day, with the difference that, instead of focusing the awareness on experiencing the presente moment, you direct it into a specific task. Curiously, this practice is also very good to practice internal visualization.
If you take some time to analyze how we actually experience reality, from a meditative standpoint, you’ll gather a bunch of insights about both the mind’s internal working and how it correlates to the body. We have two main spaces in the mind: the discursive space and the visual space. They can work individually or together: sometimes we get mental imaging, sometimes we get mental chatter, sometimes we get both – when reading a book and mentally seeing the scenes we’re reading about, for example. Than, we have the sensual body, where we experience information collected by our sensory organs – taste, smells, bodily sensations, hot/cold, sounds, etc – and emotions – although we believe emotions are mental constructs, they’re actually bodily occurences. Next time you feel strong emotions, try to feel where they’re happening in your mind-body. You’ll most certainly realize they’re happening in the body, and interacting with the mind, instead of the other way around. From an inexperienced standpoint, we live under the ruling of the mind. We need the mind to tell us we’re cold, we need it to tell us we’re feeling sad, we need it to tell us we’re hungry or that the sunrise is very beautifull. As we progress and tame our minds, a paradigm shift will take place: we’ll start feeling our skin is cold, we’ll start feeling that our heart weights and our body feels weak from sadness, we’ll feel our stomach empty and growling and we’ll just contemplate the sunrise as it unfolds. This is why ascetics can do those amazing feats of fasting or staying awake for days without having their samadhi states wavering: they’ve managed to gain some space from the immediate bodily need and their self, which enables them to exert self-discipline about those states.
This mind-body relationships are usually tangled, and takes time and practice to untangle and separate them. Without going through this proccess, true internal mastery will never be attained. It’s no good to be a super high and equanimous being if, when triggered by a less wholesome state, you fall right back to the untrained and reactive self of unskilfull behaviour. However, after learning about the different spaces of phenomenal experience, untangling them, and gaining insight on how they correlate and influence one another, we’ll start having much more room to improve ourselves. Using a broken heater alegory, an inexperienced individual will only see a broken heater, but na electrician will be able to open it up and understand why it’s broken: maybe the heating resistance broke, or the power cable got slightly cut. The electrician will be able to fix it. This is the same for our internal events. If we have the insight and train ourselves to understand the different parts of our being, we’ll be able to quickly figure out where the negative/unwholesome events are happening, and adress the problem with precision, instead of beating around the bush untill we find what we were looking for.
While separating bodily emotion from bodily sensation isn’t very difficult – the characteristics of sadness are much different from the characteristics of cold – separating mental spaces is quite harder. Usually the image feeds the dircursive thought, and vice-versa. Worse than that, these events happen not only in the conscious mind, but also in the unconscious, which is much harder to access. It’s very common to have an internal discourse about na image that’s occuring in the unconscious mind, or vice versa. It’s just as common to have those two elements switch places continuously. This generates a slippery slope that, in most cases, will increase exponentially what we’re feeling, either by exagerating the good or the bad in any situation. Surely we can all recall experiences where something slighly annoying happened, and then that slighly annoyance triggered a downward spiral where we questioned even the reason of our existance. And we can also recall the opposite: when he hit a bullseye and suddendly feel like we can take the whole world by ourselves. This type of polar oscillation is extremely unhealthy – the people where this oscillation is very strong are usually called bipolar – and is one of the main causes of both suffering and instability. By gaining insight into our mind-body, and separating the several componentes that constitute our experience, we start becoming able to control these generative cycles, making our lows much lower, and our high much more grounded.
Counting breaths can be a very powerfull tool for the separation of mental spaces. You can count breaths by either engaging your discursive mind – thinking “one, two, three…” – or by engaging your visual mind – imagining the numbers in your head, or imagining a counter. However, you’ll find that, no matter which space you choose to work with, the other space will also be activated. Even if you don’t want it to. This is because, in a meditative state, you’re in a more in-between place, regarding your conscious/subconscious, therefore will be able to access what’s happening in both those planes at the same time: if you have images in your counscious, you’ll “hear” the counting in your unconscious, if you’re counting in your conscious, you’ll “see” the numbers instead. We can either see this as a setback, or as a stepping stone.
Many of us have problems with visualization. It’s a skill that not everyone develops, and, while imagining something in your head isn’t hard at all, actually being able to see it internally might be. We can use this practice to develop this ability. Even if we can’t imagine the numbers flowing in front of our eyes, we can coun’t them discursively untill we start seeing them. Once we can do that, we can simply stimulate that side instead, and work on quieting the voice that follows the image by counting. This will strengthen your focus, and will also disassociate your internal imaging from your internal discourse. This means that, next time you start having negative thoughts, the spiraling will become much less powerfull. Maybe you won’t be able to quiet them at once, but you’ll probably notice that the usual spiraling won’t extend itself to other areas of your experience, and that you’re much more aware of the spiraling itself. Maybe it’ll even happen that, while you’re engaged in a negative narrative, your mind will start bringing forth memories of situations that negate that narrative: while thinking “no one likes me”, you’ll remember a recent situation where you felt loved and appretiated. Not only will this soothe you, it will also give you the option of chosing betweem staying in negative narrative or going into a more positive mental place.
As you master the counting through internal visualization, you’ll probably notice that it will become more and more automatic. Sometimes you won’t even need to intentionally change the number, it’ll just change itself. This means that the skill is becoming ingrained in your repertoire. When this happens just stay meditative and contemplate the numbers. If you start thinking, let go of that and keep paying attention to the numbers. As with qi breathing, you can either keep the counting at the center of your awareness, or let it flow on the side, and use the newly released mental space to cultivate some other thing. Don’t try to multitask by spreading your focus equally through everything that’s going on. Instead, just be mindfull. Give any activity the minimum ammount of attention it needs to stay active in your consciousness, and focus everything else on the practice you’re working on. This will develop your spacial awareness, your ability to keep track of several elements at the same time without losing focus, your ability to focus itself, and will make your consciousness expand. At times, it might even feel like you’re jugling a bunch of mental objects in your awareness, which is not only na amazing feeling, but also a sign that you’re going from an apparently steady multi-object perception into a more refined state of rapidly shifting single-object focus – starting to feel the frames instead of the apparently moving image.
Breath counting is a nice practice to start any meditation with – 20/30 breaths as a “warm up”, to get you in the zone – and a nice way to get yourself grounded through anxiety, anger, sadness, or any other unwholesome state. Switching your focus from the present situation into counting and feeling your breath might provide the mental space, prespective and dettachment you need to actually handle that situation from a equanimous, skillfull standpoint. If you enjoy it, you can even use it to give your practice a little of that goal-oriented side we enjoy so much in our society, by setting a “number of breaths goal” and striving to attain that count – remember, if you lose count or lose your focus, you gotta start from 0. However be carefull if you do this, because meditation isn’t a goal-oriented practice, and it should never become such. Meditation is one of those things where the reward of the practice is the practice itself. There’s nothing wrong with giving it a little “achievement” to keep you going and motivated, but don’t let it become the central point of your practice.
" The Logos-Wisdom is the principle of all Divine and Esoteric Revelations. She has the characteristics of being the indwelling revealer of God. She IS the active principle and the transmitter of all Divine knowledge as well the cosmological cause of all creation. "
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Think for yourself and do not quickly accept ideas. Test all things; hold fast what is good. (1 Thes. 5:21)
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