Four meditation superpowers – why meditation matters

One of the questions I get from time to time is “Why should I meditate?” or “How did meditation change your life?”. In other words: “Why meditation?”.

In response, I could speak about the over 70 benefits of meditation on your health, mind, emotional life, and performance. Sometimes that helps, but I often feel it doesn’t really communicate the real value of this practice. Personally, I didn’t start meditating because I was seeking any of those benefits – they were just very nice side effects.

Personally, I didn’t start meditating because I was seeking any of those benefits – they were just very nice side effects. At the same time, I cannot answer that question by mentioning the spiritual value of meditation, because not everyone is spiritually inclined.

Why Meditation Matters

The real point that meditation addresses, and that makes it quite relevant and universal, is this:

You have a mind, but you are not the boss of your mind.

Often, your mind is the boss of you.

Your mind is your most valuable asset. What’s going on in your mind can make you happy or miserable, successful or broken, energetic or lifeless. In short, the quality of your mind determines the quality of your life.

So, then, what is the value of meditation? It helps you to know your mind, and master your mind (gradually). And this affects everything else, in all spheres of your life.

Let me now dive in and be really specific. I’ll cover fours main “skills” that meditation will give you. These are so great that I actually prefer to call them “superpowers” .

1. Zooming In

why meditation - zooming inThe first skill that you gain from meditation is improving your ability to focus. Focusing means that you can zoom in your attention on anything, and sustain it there, ignoring distractions. The length of time you can sustain your attention increases with practice.

It’s quite evident how the ability to focus is essential in all spheres of life: career, education, finances, and performance (be it in work, sports, or art). We live in times of continuous distraction – our attention span keeps getting shorter. We lack focus because so many things are auditioning for our attention, and as a result our mind easily gets dispersed everywhere.

There are also many other expressions of focusing in daily life. Focusing allows you to:

  • Be more present in your daily activities, rather than getting lost in your mind
  • Be a better listener and communicator, because you become more present
  • Not fall into the trap of multitasking, enabling you to become more time and energy efficient
  • Enjoy more deeply the blessings of your life, however small (a good meal, time with your family, your favorite hobby, etc.)
  • When there are competing voices in your head (such as the voice of fear and the voice of confidence) you can zoom in and focus on the voice that is most empowering to you.

In meditation, we are training this skill every time we zoom in our attention into the object of our focus (breath, mantra, etc.).

2. Zooming Out

why meditation - zooming outIf zooming in gives you focus, zooming out gives you perspective. It’s the ability to not get sucked into mental and emotional stuff. It’s the ability to see with clarity and serenity.

Oftentimes we don’t want to zoom into something, but we just can’t help it. Emotions are usually the driving force for this. They can get sticky and messy pretty quickly.

  • Maybe it’s a traumatic incident from your past, or an addictive emotional pattern such as victimization or negative self-talk.
  • Perhaps everything is going well with your day, until someone says something that triggers you to fall down a rabbit hole of confusion, anger, and doubt.
  • Or maybe it’s just your thoughts bullying you into interpreting things through the lenses of fear and pessimism.

In situations like these, zooming out comes in handy. It frees your mind, allowing you to see the bigger picture.

It won’t stop those pesky thoughts and feelings – but it will make them be more like a cup of salt thrown into the ocean, rather than a cup of salt thrown into a small bucket.

In meditation, we train zooming out every time we realize that we’ve gotten sucked into a stream of thoughts, and reclaim our attention by removing it from that thought-funnel.

3. Pausing

meditation pauseThis is the skill that most people associate with meditation.

When we live in an unconscious, automated way, we become the product of our environment. We react, rather than respond. In this mode, we are acting on the loudest impulse in our heads. We’re reproducing our past conditioning.

Living a creative and fulfilling life requires just the opposite. It means to be intelligently present in the moment, acting fresh. For that, the ability to pause is essential.

Pausing gives you the space to:

  • Prevent your from acting on anger or other destructive impulses that ruin relationships and lives. (In a way we can say that when pausing is absent, regret takes its place.)
  • Break bad habits
  • Find clarity about what’s really going on
  • Make wiser decisions based on the needs of the moment
  • Re-align your actions in life to your core values
  • Think less, worry less, and be more

Reacting without thinking is easy – it’s the path of least resistance. Pausing is harder – it’s a skill that needs to be trained, a virtue to be developed.

In meditation, we train pausing every time we notice that we’re distracted, and we interrupt that stream of thoughts. It’s a condition for you to be able to zoom out.

4. Changing The Channel

meditation change channelsThe powers of pausing, zooming out, and zooming in come together as the ability to “change channels”.

Think of your mental world as a TV with several channels. Some of them are informative, entertaining, or useful. Others are full of bad shows, even though you might find them addictive.

The problem is that this TV doesn’t obey you all the time. It randomly pops up shows from channels you dislike, and doesn’t even allow you to mute them. Sometimes you try to change the channel, but after five seconds you find yourself back to the old channel.

The more you develop the abilities to pause, zoom out, and zoom in, the more you fine tune your remote control. As a result, your favorite channels get more screen time, and the crappy ones end up being discontinued due to lack of attention.

The formula for changing the channel is:

  1. Notice that a unhelpful channel has come up. It could be fear, anxiety, self-hatred, etc. Sometimes labeling the feeling can be helpful.
  2. Pause it. Breathe in and take a step back. Don’t fight with it, but rather realize that you don’t really need to be watching it.
  3. Zoom out. See the bigger picture – your consciousness is larger than this thought/emotion. Let the thought be there, but realize that you don’t need to zoom into it.
  4. Switch channels, and then powerfully zoom into a more helpful or enjoyable channel.

(See another version of this exercise here.)

This is changing channels. It is a natural exercise of control over your attention – reclaiming the power to decide where it should be focused on. It is not repression, and doesn’t involve any self-violence.

In meditation this ability is trained every time we gently return our attention back to our chosen object (breath, mantra, etc.). So basically hundreds of times! 😉

5. A New Baseline (Bonus)

new baselineWhat is your baseline emotion(s)? By that I mean, what are the feelings that are always there in the background of your mind during most of your day?

For many people it is anxiety, depression, fear, self-pity, or greed. Or perhaps an intangible sense of dissatisfaction with oneself and one’s life.

Meditation helps you become aware of your baseline emotions, and slowly uproot their causes, or at least “change channels” before you get all sucked in.

For me, my baseline emotion was a sense of restlessness and a hunger for something. After years of training, that cooled down. Now my baseline emotion is peace, contentment and a solid sense of unfuckwithability.

Having said that, it is misleading to say that meditation alone will accomplish this. For most of us, it is meditation coupled with continuous self-reflection, contemplation, and radical self-honesty. Studying spiritual texts or personal growth literature can also help; and so can therapy, deep relationships, and making real changes in your life.

Feelings come and go. Yet our baseline emotions seem to persist for much longer, and define what is our level of wellbeing. So for me it seems like a good idea to put some love into upgrading it.

Parting Thoughts

So these, dear reader, are some of the reasons why meditation is valuable. These skills are all forms of mastery over your attention, over your mind.

You don’t get these “superpowers” quickly, though. They are muscles that develop with consistent practice. But know that every time you meditate, you are taking solid steps in increasing these natural superpowers.

I’d love to hear from you. How have you been applying these meditation skills in your life? Which superpowers do you want from meditation? Please leave a comment.

Do you need some help choosing a meditation technique and establishing a solid practice? Check out my course, Master Your Mind, which will guide you to develop your skills through 5 different meditations, week by week:

Meditation-Techniques-Course-700

  • Paul

    Hi Giovanni,
    I always enjoy reading your blog 🙂
    You are one of the persons who aid me as inspiration and motivation. In this past year I invested a lot of time in my practice and the changes are awesome to say the least. Thank you for our little meeting in Sydney. I hope you stay healthy and fit, and keep up the great work! 🙂

    Paul

  • JR

    As always, your article on the 4 main “superpowers” of meditation bring together a vast array of insight into a well-summarized post. Sadly, many expect meditation to bring forth immediate tangible benefits that are felt right away. However, when under this frame of mind, the exact opposite occurs creating frustration, feeling of wasting time, or worse, self-criticism. Notice how a child attempting a new skill, such as roller skating, begins with good intentions yet immediately fails in repeat attempts, only to despair and give up entirely in frustration and criticism. Yet with a patient teacher, the child learns patience and with time, begins to roller skate with ease and transitions from failure to success. Similarly, we need patience in meditation. Soon enough with practice comes the residual happiness and “superpowers” as illuminated by Giovanni. Thank you for this wonderful post and keep them coming, they are undoubtedly an inspiration for many in the quest of calm.

  • Hi Giovanni,

    Always straight to the point like in every article. JR below is right. You can’t get the results overnight. It’s a long time process like with everything else. Studies, work, starting your own business, going to the gym and losing weight. People need to be more patient, don’t expect miracles in few days, and it will help them to achieve what they want.

    Keep a great job!

  • dave

    Namaste Giovanni,

    Mastery over attention appears a Buddhist goal which has daily benefits in the outer life however the signs of spiritual development include: witnessing (levels thereof), bliss (concentrated, continuous and non-localized joy), partial/full kundalini awakening, mental quietude, creative insights, excellent health, etc.
    Four stages leading up to enlightenment: pure body/nervous system (hindu) or (entering the stream/buddhist): 2) pure subtle body (when thine eye becomes single thy whole body is filled with light) 3: pure causal body and 4: pure supracausal/blue pearl body. Each has a different focal point of thought and various benefits.
    Three types of meditation: open monitoring, focused attention and automatic self-transcending.
    Enlightenment is universal bliss consciousness.
    Minimum requirement for purification leading toward the Goal: kundalini/hatha yoga, powerful cleansing ayurvedic or western herbs and samadhi-oriented meditation.
    Any meditation that does not allow the mind to reach the four stages of meditation/samadhi is Not Deep Meditation. Deep meditation triggers purification necessary to spiritual progress.
    When you enter sleep you let go which allows the mind to go into the subconscious (dreaming) and unconscious (deep sleep). Meditation is the one time to go beyond the surface of the mind through the sub and unconscious levels and finally merging into pure consciousness (deepest level). Any effort in meditation will keep the mind at the higher level preventing transcendence. See writings of Ajahn Brahm and techniques of TM, kriya yoga and siddha yoga.

    Go Deep,
    Dave

    • Mike Thompson

      Dave,

      One thing you had said got me The devil is in the details. I believe this is what you are getting caught up in. Anyhow lots of love to you both and Giovanni, great article, very mich enjoyed the simplicity of it.

      Peace my friends
      -Michael

  • dave

    Namaste,

    Actually consciousness is our most valuable asset where the mind or awareness are but extensions thereof. According to a well-known mystic once the mind merges permanently into consciousness then your enlightened. Its true that the content of the mind affects the quality of life but so does health of the body and expanded awareness all of which are benefits of regular meditation. Also would not equate the mind with awareness as awareness exists beyond the mind so for those who have witnessed during deep sleep or dreaming can attest to. Note: it is an ongoing controversy as to whether awareness is a product of the brains activity or separate from such support.?
    Of course one can cultivate greater control over the mind or awareness by practicing mindfulness without any need for meditation. The benefits described above refer to quality of life or to have a fulfilling life but the highest benefit of long-term meditation is a life in fulfillment!. The real superpowers would be: bliss, witnessing, greater creativity, excellent health, psychic abilities, sidhies, equanimity, etc.
    To avoid or minimize suffering simply practice the following besides regular meditation:
    1. ego-detachment : detach (let go) from desires or outcomes that cause states of suffering.
    2. ego-definition: improve your ego image/definition to create more positivity ex. shame based ideas. also don’t take your ego (self-image) and reactions thereof so seriously/personally. ex. laugh at yourself
    3. mindfulness: avoid identification with negative feelings (like zooming out) or problems as this can intensify the suffering.
    4. proactive positive thinking: solve problems as they arise, correct negative thoughts, address health issues/practice prevention, etc.

    Be in bliss,
    Dave.

    • Hi Dave,

      Different traditions give different meanings to terms like mind, consciousness, awareness, etc. There is no need to develop master over consciousness or awareness, but master over mind will allow one to dwell in the pure nature of consciousness without disturbance.

      When talking to different audiences one may emphasize different benefits of the practice. This article is meant to be very broad in its message. Talking about siddhis and bliss would connect strongly to some people, but in general would be in disservice to this broader approach.

      At the end of the day, all people are seeking well-being (whatever name or form they give to that). Meditation helps one develop/discover that, by having a greater mastery over one’s mind, which is often the only obstacle in experiencing the innate happiness of simply being.

      The four practices that you mention all require some level of self-awareness and self-control. Meditation helps you develop those.

    • Dave

      Hi Giovanni,

      Good discussion.

      >There is no need to develop master over consciousness or awareness, but
      master over mind will allow one to dwell in the pure nature of consciousness
      without disturbance.
      >These skills are all forms of mastery over your attention, over your
      mind….

      Actually mastery over attention or mind (see above) can be had from academic
      concentration or practicing mindfulness during the day outside of meditation.
      Controlling or directing awareness will not lead one into pure consciousness unless
      you can provide a contemporary mystic that has become enlightened in this way
      and he explains how that was done? Manipulating awareness will strengthen the
      application of awareness much like exercising muscles will provide greater
      strength and abilities but that’s about all. I have yet to find one Buddhist monk
      who has become enlightened with mindfulness oriented meditation. Both the dalai
      lama and thich nat hahn do not claim to be enlightened. However I can point to
      hindu mystics who by all appearances have attained as much.

      >When talking to different audiences one may emphasize different benefits
      of the practice. This article is meant to be very broad in its message. Talking
      about siddhis and bliss would connect strongly to some people, but in general
      would be in disservice to this broader approach.

      Actually without emphasizing all potential benefits does a disservice to
      meditation practices in general or in the broad sense. Focusing on the immediate,
      limited benefits is not sufficiently broad. Focusing on all benefits give a
      more complete picture of the true potential of meditation and let the readers
      have a clearer sense and decide how far to proceed down the path whether than
      to stop/slow down after reaching the so-called superbenefits.

      >At the end of the day, all people are seeking well-being (whatever name
      or form they give to that). Meditation helps one develop/discover that, by
      having a greater mastery over one’s mind, which is often the only obstacle in
      experiencing the innate happiness of simply being.

      Therapy or self help groups can allow one to have greater mastery or
      understanding of one’s mind and thereby enjoy more happiness in life. Ultimately
      people are seeking total fulfillment or a life
      in fulfillment and will not stop until reaching that goal. Samadhi-oriented meditation
      results in purification leading one into bliss and higher stages/levels of enlightenment. Remember there are 72,000 nadis/or more which are energy channels and without purification you may experience some being but the dirty mirror will not give a pure reflection of your total Being. So called innate happiness is not bliss and furthermore represents a more mentally balanced or higher mental functioning state. The goal of meditation is enlightenment (pure bliss) not some just some innate happiness.

      >The four practices that you mention all require some level of
      self-awareness and self-control. Meditation helps you develop those.

      This is both true and false. Those methods are designed to facilitate
      greater understanding and self improvement outside of meditation. Those who
      have deep addictions, mental illness, highly dysfunctional and intense shame
      issues need much more than meditation. Without knowledge of your
      issues/emotions than meditation may help but take a very long time and in fact
      one’s issues can interfere with good meditations.

    • You said: “Actually mastery over attention or mind (see above) can be had from academic concentration or practicing mindfulness during the day outside of meditation.”

      COMMENT: these two activities will help, but they will not give you those “4 superpowers” to the same extent.

      You said: “Controlling or directing awareness will not lead one into pure consciousness unless you can provide a contemporary mystic that has become enlightened in this way and he explains how that was done?”

      COMMENT: Several schools of Buddhism and Yoga place great emphasis in purifying the mind. Buddhism speaks of destroying the poisons of the mind. Yoga and hindu schools speak of making the mind Sattvic, and overcoming Tamas and Rajas. The mastery of the mind is all over the traditional teachings, from the Yoga Sutras to the Dhammapada to the Bhagavad Gita.

      You said: “Focusing on all benefits give a more complete picture of the true potential of meditation and let the readers have a clearer sense and decide how far to proceed down the path”

      COMMENT: This is not true. Do you run a blog or a similar wide-ranging platform? If so you will know that sometimes adding a single word like “psychic powers” is enough to have 20% of your readers close that page. Those readers might then develop an aversion to meditation, without any good reason, due to their worldview.

      You said: “The goal of meditation is enlightenment (pure bliss) not some just some innate happiness.”

      COMMENT: You are picking on words. Pure bliss and innate happiness – all different terms for the same reality: that your true being is pure ananda.

      You said: “Those who have deep addictions, mental illness, highly dysfunctional and intense shame issues need much more than meditation. Without knowledge of your issues/emotions than meditation may help but take a very long time and in fact one’s issues can interfere with good meditations.”

      COMMENT: I agree. And I made it clear that meditation is not enough in the point 5 of this post.

    • Dave

      Me: “Controlling or directing awareness will not lead one into pure
      consciousness unless you can provide a contemporary mystic that has become
      enlightened in this way and he explains how that was done?”

      > Several schools of Buddhism and Yoga place great emphasis in purifying
      the mind. Buddhism speaks of destroying the poisons of the mind. Yoga and hindu
      schools speak of making the mind Sattvic, and overcoming Tamas and Rajas. The mastery of the mind is all over the traditional teachings, from the Yoga Sutrasto the Dhammapada to the Bhagavad Gita.

      Good points but as before it is important to make a distinction between the
      mind and awareness or consciousness. The eightfold path leads one toward
      Nirvana or Enlightenment and includes moral and mental improvements while the
      Gunas while emphasizing Sattvic are meant to be transcended to lead toward
      oneness with Atman or Brahman. Working with the poisons improves the quality or depth of Buddhist meditations. If your type of meditation necessitates greater
      mastery of mind than that is the correct approach. However there are
      Samadhi-oriented types that easily transcend to the Source and then over time
      one realizes the old adage: Water the Root to Enjoy the Fruit. One may spend
      their life trying to achieve Mental Mastery and never reach Nirvana let alone
      Bliss. Incidentally, you don’t need to become Enlightened to realize Bliss!.
      The Devil is in the details. In the direction of refinement: body, mind,
      intellect, ego and pure consciousness/Being.

      A partial quote from a well-known mystic on Buddha: “…He advocated
      meditation in order to purify the field of thought through direct contact with
      Being and bring about the state of right action in society. Lord Buddha’s
      message was complete because He incorporated the fields of Being, thinking, and
      doing in His theme of revival. …“The teaching of right action without due
      emphasis on the primary necessity of realization of Being is like building a
      wall without a foundation. It sways with the wind and collapses before long.
      Within three or four hundred years all real connection between the essential
      teachings of Lord Buddha and the daily life of His followers had disappeared.
      Insight into the principle of the integrated life was again lost. Having
      forgotten the prime importance of realizing Being, society became immersed once
      more in the superficialities of life.” If the Mind or Body is emphasized minus
      Samadhi/transcendence then would not expect Self realization in this lifetime.

      Me: “Focusing on all benefits give a more complete picture of the true
      potential of meditation and let the readers have a clearer sense and decide how
      far to proceed down the path”

      >This is not true. Do you run a blog or a similar wide-ranging platform?
      If so you will know that sometimes adding a single word like “psychic
      powers” is enough to have 20% of your readers close that page. Those
      readers might then develop an aversion to meditation, without any good reason,
      due to their worldview.

      My approach was as a commenter so perhaps we are writing past one another. I’m not aware of any limit or restrictions on my comments as they were solicited
      but if otherwise let me know. I’m a writer in the field of mysticism so endeavor
      to stay close to the original mystical jargon but now understand how you were
      using ‘broad’ and ‘disservice’. Never liked the lack of definitions in Buddhist
      writing and have distinguished between passive mindfulness (zooming out,
      pausing) and active mindfulness (zooming in, changing channels). I like the
      liberty of blogging and also your more refined distinctions between the four
      types which modern folks can relate to. As a side note using the example of
      someone who would like to become a better Jewel Thief could use those four
      powers to become more successful in their chosen trade. Those 4 abilities do
      not preclude the importance of morality or character.

      > You are picking on words. Pure bliss and innate happiness – all
      different terms for the same reality: that your true being is pure ananda.

      Agree as far as our nature is Sat, chit and Ananda. True Being is not Mind and I distinguish between happiness, joy and Bliss. Bliss is
      continuous joy so I read innate happiness to be innate joy. I don’t think this distinction would drive away any readers. :). There are levels of
      the mind with joy in the heart chakra triggering happiness in the body while
      bliss triggers joy. Bottom line: we live in a quantum mechanical universe and there are levels of reality and our mind/body is no exception.

    • Hi Dave,

      Interesting points. I won’t have time to zoom into all of them, but I’d just like to comment on 3.

      (1) You said “However there are Samadhi-oriented types that easily transcend to the Source”.

      This is a controversial point, but I’ll give you my position in a nutshell: this is just spiritual advertisement that some groups (like TM) use. In my years of study and practice in eastern spirituality I have found that these ideas are often misleading.

      True Samadhi, as traditionally definied, takes a lot of work to arrive at. Shortcuts will take you to something that feels like Samadhi, but it’s not really it – at least not fully.

      And bliss is not the same as enlightened. I often feel bliss when I meditate, yet enlightenment is something else, much far beyond.

      (2) You and everyone are welcome to speak your mind in the comments. I simply was explaining why I chose to use a more broad language in this post (and throughout my blog). In some cases, trying to be as complete and traditional as possible will simply be a disservice to my ultimate goal: making true meditation more widely practiced.

      (3) I agree that these 4 skills could be use for any sort of goals. Also agree that morality and the development of virtues is very important. I covered this a bit in the following articles:
      http://liveanddare.com/yoga-for-life
      http://liveanddare.com/what-is-spirituality/

  • Life is a Dream

    Giovanni,
    What are your views on how marijuana affects meditation? I’ve smoked marijuana for a couple years, but recently have been getting less and less pleasure from smoking. I’ve started meditated instead, which i really think I benefit from. However, whenever I smoke, I lose all motivation and ability to meditate. Do you think it’s necessary to completely give up drugs before starting a daily meditation practice? Is there any place for psychedelic substances in spirituality? Or are they too much of a hindrance? Look forward to hearing your thoughts, thanks for your amazing blog.

    • I have no experience with marijuana, so I can’t speak from experience. However, I think you already have the answer, since you said that smoking marijuana kills your motivation and ability to concentrate.

      At the moment for you there is a habit of smoking marijuana, which may be a bit hard to break. So I wouldn’t say that you shouldn’t meditate until you stop it. Create your meditation habit, grow it, and little by little let it take the place of the smoking habit. The more peace and satisfaction you derive from meditation, the less you will feel inclined to smoke.

      Psychedelics, from what I’ve heard, is less of a hindrance. For some people it has actually been an eye opening experience, and an door to spirituality; but I’m skeptical about how far that can take you. Again, I can’t speak from experience.

    • Gretis Li

      Giovanni,

      Unfortunately, I did not take your excellent advice (I’m Life is a Dream) and did the opposite of what you told me. For the past couple months I have been binge smoking weed to the point that it took over my life. Just today I realized how bad it has become and how negatively drugs have been affecting me. I haven’t been taking care of my body, I’m failing my college classes, I haven’t meditated in 2 months, and I just feel awful and disgusted with myself. How do I turn things around Giovanni? I want to start a daily meditation practice and quit weed permanently but I’ve tried it before and I’ve always relapsed. I’m scared to death that I’ve messed up my life beyond repair 🙁 Do you have any advice for me?

    • You can still fix this, so don’t get despaired my friend!

      What I would recommend is making it as hard as possible for you to smoke weed. Throw away whatever of it you have left. Cut out relationship with all people that smoke weed (at least for a while). Delete/block the contacts of people that either encourage you to smoke, or get you the pot. Also change your environment, if needed.

      If you do all that, and make a strong decision to yourself, then you can do it. It’s a great start.

      On top of it, start one or two other things in your life, that can help you “feel good” and avoid stress and boredom. It may be sport, playing an instrument, a new relationship, meditation, reading – whatever works for you.

      You can do this.

    • Gretis Li

      Thank you

  • wbsurfver

    Giovanni,

    I have been doing all kinds of meditations for many years .. I have studied kabbalah books for a long time and also consider going to church a type of bhakti .. I studied bhagvad gita extensively at one time as well as alot of yogananda, dalai lama, and thich nhat han stuff .. When I am at church I sometimes just meditate in the back

    I recently read the swami rama books as well as “In the 11th hour”. I have “Living with the himalayan masters” as an audio book and listen to that alot

    I meditate fairly regularly but not every day. Sometimes when I am on vacation I may meditate for an hour and a half and then again later in the evening ..

    I have found that if I send money to the salvation army, then I often have an easier time of reaching a deep meditation state ..

    One problem I sometimes have is when I am in meditation I see giant bugs or spiders and it disturbs me so I stop meditating. Sometimes I use exorcism like mantras that I got ideas from from some christian books to try to cast out these mental modifications .. Sometimes there are actual spiders in my house or at my camp up in the woods. If they are too big I have to try to catch them and move them outside but this only happens maybe once every year or two

    I have a busy life with many hobbies and finding time to meditate is not always easy as well as getting motivated at times ..

    I just found your blog here after hearing you on conspiranormal

    • When disturbing images show up in meditation, simply watch them, without judging and without getting involved. They will pass. I don’t think you need any special mantras for that.

    • wbsurfver

      yes, I sometimes do those types of Buddhist meditations where I just observe that I am in a bad mood etc .. breath in, my emotional state is negative etc ..

      I was up in the woods for a week recently, I was able to meditate alot, but sometimes when I tried to meditate I just felt alone, that was my state of mind several times. I had the book with me “At the Eleventh Hour” about the life of Swami Rama. When I read the book I did not feel alone, so reading the book became like part of my meditation and I was able to finish the whole book. At the end Swami Rama said he was going back to his master Bengali Baba because the Baba was in Samadi but it was getting monotonous so Swami Rama would go back to him to break up the monotony. Either he was just saying that or if Samadhi gets monotonous that implies boredom but how can bliss be boring or does it get to be ? .. I find that odd a little to think on .. I would think monotony leads to boredom and eventually a feeling of dissatisfaction and if there is a sense of dissatisfaction then a feeling of bliss would dissipate

      You must now about the case of the prince who came back to life. This is in the “Living with Himalayan masters” boo”, there is alot about that whole case, it seems well documented in history:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhawal_case

    • I think what Swami Rama means is that his masters Samadhi was boring for him (Swami Rama), who was feeling alone. Not for the master. I have never anyone say that Samadhi is boring – quite the opposite, it is described as the most amazing and blissful thing possible.

      And yes, I read Living With the Himalayan Masters and I’m aware of that amazing story.

    • wbsurfver

      well, it’s interesting .. some stuff on tantra is as well. I realized recently that there is a tantric temple in India where animal sacrifices still occur. This seems to be a very popular temple. The bible has many places in the old testament where animal sacrifices occur. Though most animal sacrifices ended after the time of Christ or Buddha or a little before that. You can sort of rationalize perhaps why animal sacrifices make sense and people probably eat more meat today than they ever did in ancient times .. still, it’s a curious thing in a way

      I do a mantra sometimes that I guess might have tantric elements. With regards to looks of women who are attractive, I sometimes like the manrta: “Perhaps looks are not always as important as they seem”. I have to do the mantra as a suggestion because if I state it as an absolute such as “looks are not important”, my mind seems to more likely want to reject it.

      Anyway, the passage that I was thinking about is on the very last page of “At the eleventh hour” it says right before swami rama leaves his body:

      “My master is the creator of my destiny. He decides when I come and when I go. Now he needs someone there to disturb the monotony of his samadhi. I must go.”

      This also reminds me of what swami kriyananda said that some masters are so closely tied together that in reality they seem to be twin souls or perhaps the same being only appearing as two through the power of maya

    • Tantra unfortunately still has some “left hand” lineages, which is the reason why a Tantra got a lot of bad rep in India’s spiritual scene some centuries ago. It’s a pity that the practices you mention still continue.

      I’m also puzzled by what you mentioned Swami Rama said.