Monday, July 18, 2011

Yours in the One Heart, Asatar

I got an interesting question recently:
"Hi Asatar, I enjoy reading your wonderful email posts. One thing I would like your opinion on. How is guided meditation similar to hypnosis? When I guide others in meditating I have several times heard someone say they thought it was like hypnosis or they were asking if it was similar. How would you respond to that?" --CS
Great question, CS!
In Puran and Susanna's book "Living from the Heart", there is a great diagram on p. 55 and discussion that goes into some detail on the differences between different states of consciousness, such as daydreams, lucid dreaming, trance and meditation.
Under hypnosis, a person enters a trance state, and though people differ in their experience of the trance state, typically there is some limited memory of what happened in that state, but very little inner awareness, little to no awareness of surroundings, nor is there control over the images one receives, as these are the product of hypnotic suggestion, where another person essentially controls the experience through the voluntary weakening of the conscious mind.
What we are looking for with Heart Rhythm Meditation is quite different.
We want a great deal of inner awareness, focused on the heart; while the awareness of your surroundings will naturally be somewhat less (because normally you meditate with your eyes closed and your body still), it is still very high, as you are aware of sounds, sensations in your body, and the feelings which come from the outer world. For example, you would probably sense it if someone were to enter the room while you were meditating, even if you could not see or hear the person, because you would become aware of the person's atmosphere.
When a person guides another in meditation, there is always the chance that this can become a form of hypnotic suggestion. What prevents this from happening is when the leader of the meditation focuses on that which is truly happening within your body and heart, directing your attention to your own inner experience. Your heart really is beating; you really are breathing in and out.
The more deep and rich your inner experience becomes, the more you can control your inner state, which carries over into the dream world, and other states of consciousness.
We do not seek to weaken our minds in meditation; we seek to energize our hearts. When your heart is full of energy, your emotional, mental, and physical body come into harmony, strengthening each as it helps each part of you work properly.
Yours in the One Heart,

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