Drukama RadioTM Episode 24 – The Real Process of Meditation
Today Daishi speaks with Mari about the real process of meditation. What are the stages a practitioner must go through when learning how to meditate? How can we learn to relax enough to access other states of awareness?
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Episode 24 Extract
The Real Process of Meditation
“Once we understand the very systematic practical means of sitting (meditation), it changes everything. It allows us to get to the raw energy; once we are able to solidify that long enough we can get to do some magical things with that energy and affect our lives in ways we really could never imagine.
The first stage obviously is learning how to sit correctly, to have the right posture. Then, breathing is next. We are basically tricking the nervous system to think that we are going into a sleep or deeply relaxed state. Once the breathing apparatus is used then we have to learn how to withdraw the senses and basically that’s the next stage in the process whereby we learn how to take our senses – touching, tasting, smelling, tactile senses – and turn them inward. That is also a stage in the process and it has to be taught and understood…”
~ Daishi Nagiyah
Drukama™ podcast extract – EP24
Full Transcript of This Episode
Mari: This is Mari and I am your co-host for today. We have a great topic to talk about and that is the Real Meditative Process. I am very grateful and honored to have Daishi on today to talk about this, and offer some insight into this very important and foundational topic.
Before we get started though there is an announcement that I need to make. We are having to switch a different iTunes account. So, everyone that is currently subscribed through the iTunes, or who uses a podcast app that uses iTunes, you will have to re-subscribe to our new Drukama radio account. It will be still be called by the same name. And we do hope to have it active around July 13th, but it could take a little longer, so if in doubt, you can find always find us on podomatic.
Now, this episode will be the last one released through the old account, however everything that is on the old account will be accessible through the new account. Nothing will be lost at all. If you ever do have a problem finding us, you can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information.
So, with that taken care of, Daishi how are you today?
Daishi: I’m doing great. Thanks for having me again, I look forward to our discussion.
Mari: So do I. So, about our topic today, the Real Meditative Process, I love that title because there is so much out there about meditation. There are so many different ways to sit in meditation that it can become quite confusing to many people. There is relaxation meditation, brainwave meditation with binaural beats, guided meditations. I’ve done so many that I remember clearly at one point in my path, I sat down and was very confused as to what meditation actually was, and how does it benefit my spiritual path, my spiritual growth? How do I do it? So can you tell us in more detail.
What you mean by the “Real Meditative Process”, and how it relates to the Drukama Path?
Daishi: Absolutely, it’s a good topic and it’s probably one of the most challenging aspects and the most often asked question I think I’ve gotten over last 15-20 years which is really “What is the meditative process?” “Am I doing it right?” “Do I understand it?” And you know most of the time I find that as you explained just a moment ago there is either too little, or there is too much information. And really the meditative is process is very simple once we understand what it is we’re doing and why we’re doing it. Most people I’ve talked to say, “I sit in meditation, and I’m sort of just in this kind of emptiness where mind-stream comes up and goes away and I’m sitting around waiting for something to happen over some time, nothing happens so I get kind of discouraged.” And again, this is because there is this lack of definitive understanding of this as a practical process and it has to be put together in a very specific kind of format. If we were to look at it in the most simplistic way, there are stages of meditation that we need to go through practically speaking. We go from one stage or step, to another in progression. You know I’m going to make this really basic because I’ll assume that a lot of the practitioners who are spiritual seekers out there don’t have a huge meditative background. So, I’m going to make this as simplistic as possible. But the first idea is that we need to understand why we are meditating and what the point is, okay?
Before we get into the practical stuff, what are we doing this for? And there are number of benefits; physiologically, mentally and emotionally that drive from a regular meditative practice. Those are beautiful and wonderful, and they help us become more focused at work and they help us have better relationships and communicate better and all of these wonderful things that assist us in the physical world. Anybody who meditates is going to find the health benefits, beneficial in our world. But for our methods, for our reasoning, for our objective, we want to go a little deeper and understand meditative process in a more spiritual way. We want to evolve, and we want to understand ourselves and the nature of reality in a deeper way. In order to do that, we have to go a little further than just better mental health, better emotional health, better physical health. And the process itself again simply looks something like this; we have the basic need to lower the brainwave, so there are various levels of brainwave activity. We have Beta, Alpha, Delta, Theta and a very low level of Gamma. And these are the brainwave levels that we experience and that change our perception of reality as they oscillate between Beta and Alpha and down to Theta and down to Delta and these are different states we have in our waking daily routine and our nighttime sleeping and dreaming and REM routines.
We oscillate between these brainwave states and Beta the highest would be considered kind of like that rapid fight or flight state where we are incredibly busy and we are on the go or we feel stressed or we are rushing or maybe we are feeling danger, we have some type of anxiety etc. As we come down from Beta and we go into Alpha and Alpha is more aware state but it’s more relaxed and its attentive, focused and calming as we go down lower into mid and low-alpha. As we get into the more reductive states of relaxation and calming and deeper meditative states then we pass the threshold and into Theta where we usually find sleep and day-dreamy states and so on and so forth and then into the Delta where we go deep REM and unconscious dreaming and so on. So now that said, part of the meditative path is for us to deliberately lower that brainwave activity so that we begin to perceive a subtler realm reality. We begin to open up the perceptiveness of our internal faculties and we begin to perceive things in a subtler way.
We can kind of liken this to a fist and in the middle of the fist is a pearl, and that pearl is like our soul right and in the fist is our mind-body. And when we are in beta and high alpha, the fist is tightly wrapped around pearl and then we can’t really see through the fingers and the hand and we are sort of covered with stresses and anxieties that are going on in the outside world. But as soon as we relax that brain body and the fist starts open up like a flower and blossom. Suddenly the pearl can be exposed to a whole new realm of reality without the filters of the fingers, right? It sort of releases and allows us to see things in a new way. If we can stay aware while that process is happening, we can experience as it opens up the subtler realm of reality.
In order to do that, there are several things in the process of meditation that we have to take into consideration and first and foremost is how to breathe correctly. Let’s assume that we already established the seated position that’s comfortable for us because most westerners have trouble just sitting in a lotus or half lotus posture which is a typical meditative posture. Let’s assume we have a zazen bench or a backjack, or some type of zafu, or some way to sit that’s comfortable for us and we have gone past the obstacle of the body and now we are working the next stage which is breathing. Breathing is really important because the way we breathe and we teach these techniques in great detail but the process by which we breathe triggers the way that nervous system operates and that is really important in meditation because once we dictate how the nervous system operates within, we dictate how the body relaxes, how the emotional responses relaxes, and how most importantly the thought-stream or mind-stream comes down and relaxes.
When we learn to breathe in specific kinds of ways we begin to understand that we can alter the amount volume in quantity of mind or thought stream so that it relaxes down and the physical body so that the muscles and tendons and the ligaments and the organs and everything start to calm down as well. Once that all starts to calm down, we begin to have access to lowering that brainwave activity. The first stage is obviously learning how to sit correctly, to have the right posture, how to sit, then breathing is next or basically tricking the nervous to think that we are going into a sleep or deeply relaxed state. Once breathing apparatus is used then we learn how to withdraw the senses and basically that’s the next stage in the process whereby we learn how to take our senses to touching, tasting, smelling, tactile senses and turn them inward. That is also a stage in a process and it has to be taught and understood. I turn off the outside looking or outside projecting senses and they turn around and go inward. First the body relaxes the mind relaxes in the right body posture then we induce deeper relaxation through correct breathing methods, then we induce the reversal of the senses through a special process and then we learn how to make our single pointed focus deeply engrained into an anchor, and that’s again another stage, and this is really important because if the awareness or the cognition is wandering around, it’s very easy for us to lose awareness and get drifted off into sleep or daydreaming state.
So, the next stage is that we learn is how to really focus on an anchor, typically internal, it can be external we learn how to sharpen the tool of single pointed focus, through that next stage, once that happens and we can lock in and hold onto our anchor, whatever that anchor may be, then we find that we can drift down. Now, at this point we are actually in a meditative process. We’ve done all the preliminary parts to get us into a lower brainwave while consciously awake and holding that conscious wakefulness. Now this point in the preliminary practices we have to learn to stage or step through lower and lower brainwaves states. What that means basically is that adjustments, and we call that tightening or loosening. So that we don’t what’s called stray. And tightening or loosening is basically adjusting each stage to a deeper relaxation.
So, essentially as I’m relaxing and going from mid-alpha to low-alpha, my anchor, whatever point I’m concentrating on is going to become subtler, more ephemeral and harder for me to hold onto. In other words, I’m going to get more day-dreamy and loosey goosey in that meditation and I’m going to have to adjust by tightening and loosening my grip on that anchor, whatever that may be – usually an internal channel or energy channel or breath itself or whatever it is that I’m using the anchor to. But it’s going to become subtler obviously as the brainwave goes down obviously my body is going to it more and my brain going into more of this sleep state. And when that happens, I loosen the density of the anchor I’m holding onto, it’s more ephemeral. So I make adjustments, once I feel stabilized and I’m not straying out or losing consciousness into day-dreamyness, I then reconnect, drop-down a little bit further in relaxation and then again I’m going to have to re-stabilize.
As I continue to do this inevitably what happens is I reach a threshold point where I open up into the sensation of the subtle energies of the body and the first indicator, is that I start to feel typically the electric, depending on if it’s magnetic or if it’s electric, it will be warm or electrical feelings or sensations and different undulations of energy in the body. Once this happens I know I’ve entered into this subtleness of the experience of meditation. Now, where I go from here begins to be more advanced. Because at this point we want to then activate sort of the inner subtler energies deeper and deeper, then drive them to do certain things to help me eradicate karmas and habit patterns and all these things. But essentially all of that preliminary practice is really that the way that we learn how to get down deep enough while maintaining awareness so that the brain/body is shut down almost entirely and we can enter a state where we have access to the subtle energies of the body and then learn how to utilize them for the sake of exploration and alteration of the way they work within us.
Mari: Wow. That was amazing, and I think that these steps that you point out are missing in so many teachings around meditation and they skip right through these things that are so important; the sitting, the breathing, the turning inward and subtly going through all those different brainwaves and going down to where we can turn and inward still maintain wakeful aware perception. And when we do reach that state of an aware perception and we’re down and we’re starting to perceive the subtler realms of reality, those can actually start coming in as you’re going through the breathing, and before you get into the withdrawal of the senses. There is a lot of confusion on what to do when things start popping up like third eye activation or sounds or body senses that start coming out that can kind of then pop you back up into a higher brainwave state.
What should one do when that starts happening before they’re able to get down to actually holding onto an anchor?
Daishi: That’s a great question. We do go over this obviously in really great detail on that week by week teaching at the site itself and so I’ll try to cover it quickly here because we’re trying to pack obviously what could be weeks of teachings into 13 minutes so it’s a little tough but I’ll do my best but I want to jump back to the first point you made which is you don’t find this in many mystical teachings and meditative teachings and I want to make it clear this is not new information. I’m not providing some new way of doing it or not providing some you know fantastic change on the old way. This is the old way this has been around forever. I’m just reiterating it. I’m just sort of putting it back out there because it’s been lost and forgotten a little bit.
There are still great teachers out there that are teaching this method of getting deeper into meditation step by step into a practical means. But for the most part you’re right generally speaking this is lost. So again, the preliminary process of meditation has been with us since the start it’s just been lacking for quite a while and we need to come back to it and look at the benefits of it because it is vitally important if you don’t have those steps and don’t understand them clearly you are never going to get into the right state. You’re just going to sit in a high state of brain activity nervous system activity and your mind is going to go a little crazy. Maybe it’ll calm down every once in a while and you’ll have this profound state that you call emptiness but that’s really not what we’re aiming for. We’re aiming for very deep states of ecstasy and bliss that are affected and we affect the energies of the body. In order to do that there has to be a solid foundation built. Jumping to the latter part of your point your question everything we’re doing prior to this meditative process is understanding that there are mental aggregates that are working behind the scene.
Now I’m not going to go into all of the mental aggregates and how they affect us through the senses and all of that but there is a body of phenomenon happening in the mind that’s constantly trying to take our attention or draw us toward empowering it, whether some thought or a judgment about, you know, how bad how evil your neighbor is or people construct to see lights and start to see visions and start to see various kinds of video and picture scenes in their minds eye. Geometries can come and especially feelings of blissfulness and tingly, you know, energy running through the channels can become prevalent. You can suddenly notice things you never notice before because you simply weren’t paying attention at that depth of level. For a lot of practitioners, it can become overwhelming that the third eye and the energies of the light can become a huge distraction and all of these things serve a purpose of distracting us and seeing if we’re able to get past the phenomenon and hold on to our original intention which is to continue to deepen into a certain level of practice. Once we learn how to do that and we settle down into the right state from there we can operate at a highly-tuned rate of efficiency and we can get to work for lack of a better word on the actual process of clearing away the habit energy that we call Karma.
The kind of synaptic process that’s habitually formed in the mind. Especially the egoic kind of commentary machine that egoic identity that keeps commentating and discriminating and conceptualizing and causing judgments and discernments not necessarily to kill that but to remove our attachment to it so that we can see clearly without that filter causing a disruption in our perception, so when those things come up and they will if you learn how to meditate correctly and through these correct stages you will experience them and when you do the proper way of handling them is to see through them, to see them for what they are. They’re a temporal or transient phenomenon. They come and they go and to understand that being caught up in them and letting them drive us away into an unconscious state is exactly what we don’t want to have happen.
Mari: Just to add to that each of these steps in the process the learning to sit, the learning to breathe, withdrawing the senses, finding your anchor and single pointed focus there is such depth behind all of those steps such learning that it is a beautiful process to go through each of those and perfect them. So perfect the sitting, then perfect the breathing and I have found such benefit in the teachings to go through each of those in each of those brings their own gifts as well.
Daishi: Each of those stages definitely will influence you in tremendous ways physiologically at first no question. So, once you just learned how to sit and breathe correctly you’re already going to start changes in a positive way to your physiological being right. Because you’re learning how to get out of your chest breathing and your shortened breath and so just a deep rhythmic breathing diaphragm drawing, and all of the ways that we learn how to extend our breath, and to calm our breath, is going to get us out of what we find today mostly a sympathetic nervous system attack syndrome, or mostly “I have a lot of anxiety and tensions toward our situations in life” and just that sitting and breathing affects that in a huge way.
You’re going to find that you’re just more relaxed you’re going to find that you look at situations in a completely different way and then as we go forward, and you start to learn how to sense withdraw, and you start to learn how to mitigate the brain wave oscillation, and calm yourself down at will, then this small amount of time, I couldn’t touch on the massive benefits that has on your mental clarity and perception – the way that you view and judge situations, the sharpness of your mind when it comes to challenges and problem-solving and relationships in your life, the way that you stop judging things so quickly because the ignorance is being wiped away of the defense that goes toward mostly that egoic identity constantly and so there are benefits. Every single step as you say carries weight in terms of very big benefit in life. Again, I want everyone to have a beautiful happy life and be more loving and compassion that would that’s absolutely the key but in terms of sitting those to me are ancillary side effects and those are beautiful side effects. We want it to get down to a level where we can adjust the raw energies of the body because that’s where all the magic happens.
So most of the path is learning to sharpen the tools that we need in order to go through that meditative process enter into the deepest possible states and then learn “okay now that I have access to this fire inside right, I have access to this deep pranic energy and I have access to how it’s moving and the various elements are forming and shaping within me.” What can I do with them, and how can they adjust and change the way that I live my life, and how I perceive my own being and all the beings around me? And that’s really what it’s about on this plane and all planes of reality up through the structure of creation and beyond which is the liberating factor. When we understand foundation and we really understand how to move toward a really productive and practical way of sitting and not just some kind of loosely philosophical kind of “we are all one” kind of way which is a beautiful idea. I get all that, but it has to be practicality once we understand the very systematic practical means of sitting it changes everything.
It allows us to get to the raw energy once we’re able to solidify that long enough we can get to do some magical things with that energy and affect our lives in ways you really could never imagine. So it’s really important that it’s learned right it’s learn from the start the right way step by step, and if it’s done the right way step by step then it’s a quick path. If it’s kind of ,you know, you get little bits of information here and there kind of throw them all together, and do what you can you kind of make a big soup filled with everything in the kitchen, you’re going to end up with muddy water and it’s going to be really difficult. It’s going to be challenging. It’s going to make the path that lasts quite a long time. You’re never going to really get to great attainments in terms of the levels that you need to get to in order to realize and so because those things aren’t happening most people just get frustrated and think “well this isn’t for me” or “it wasn’t meant for me” or “I’m just not good at it.” Every single person on the earth can do this. Everybody can be good at it simply just having the right kind of instruction
Mari: Absolutely and I think that that is a great place to end for today and I just want to say that I am so thankful for the school, for the teachings and thank you so much for being here. Are there any updates or announcements that you would like to make on the opening of the teaching center, or any other information?
Daishi: Well, first you are welcome, and you know it’s not just me there’s a number of teachers at the site there are all amazingly beautiful and wise and they’re going to be there to help people as well.
I just happen to be the spokesperson at the moment and it’s really going to be a place where over 52 weeks you get a week-by-week personal guide to help you adjust to each of your meditations as you go forward each of your waking state meditations and learning what the path really is what it’s about how to accomplish it, how to get things from it, as you go stage by stage. I don’t think there’s anything like it on the web so it’s going to be very interesting. You do that from the privacy of your own home and you can be part of all the amazing bonus material plus the entire family of practitioners that are already there from around the world. So, it’s a really beautiful space to be in and if you want to learn the practical intense and authentic methods of achieving and profound changes in your spiritual life that’s the place where I would suggest you to go and hang out.
Mari: Thank you so much for joining us today Daishi. It’s really always such an honor to hear you speak and we are so grateful that you take the time to impart some loving energy and beautiful wisdom our way.
Daishi: Well let me say I love it if we can brighten somebody’s day or fix somebody’s life whether it’s here in the world or whether it’s spiritually. I’m all in and I’ll do anything I can to provide that. But there are others in the group who also feel that way there are also beautiful souls they also want to help people achieve a better life a happier life, less fear, less anxiety, and just sort of enjoy themselves more. I think we need to take life less seriously. I think we need to understand ourselves and have more fun with each other and stop all the debating, and all the hatred, and all the envy and strife, and all the negativity that’s happening. I think it’s time we’ve run that down. I think we’ve done enough for that I think we’ve experienced enough for that as a human race. I think it’s time for us to understand ourselves better and realize “why am I so judgmental?” “Why am I so angry?” “Why am I so hateful?” “Why am I so fearful?” “Why am I so unworthy?” You know all these things that we feel about ourselves and others. Time to wash that away and start to become clear and start to become really connected to each other and start to really build a world community that can appreciate each other and have a much better experience here on Earth, rather than what we have now. So, it’s not just me it’s everybody involved in this project. I’m looking forward to see a blooming here when it opens. So, I appreciate you having this show too and I hope to do another one with you soon.
Mari: Thank you Daishi. Absolutely washing that away and us becoming the absolutely loving brothers and sisters the family that we truly are. So thank you all for listening and joining us today and if you have any questions or comments about the teachings, teaching center, anything feel free to send us an email to email@example.com and we will catch you next time.