Article by Carol E. McMahon, Ph.D.
Better than your Guru? No joke is intended. Read this and you’ll know how to meditate better than Gurus past and present. You’ll be free of the problem that limits success in all forms of meditation: mind’s uncontrollable wandering. Even Gurus are plagued by drifting and dreaming; time spent wandering when they’d hoped for attention. Now an easy solution makes success a sure thing. The solution is “feedback.” Here’s how it works and how to use it.
Why Meditation Needs Feedback.
Attention is the key to success in meditation. Attention makes meditation work. When you sit down to meditate however, even with the best intentions, the mind wanders. Attention is hard to hold on to, but why? The answer holds the solution
Why is attention so hard to hold on to? It’s because you lose attention without knowing you are losing it. In meditation, attention slips away unseen. To a research psychologist with an interest in skill learning, the solution is obvious: meditation needs feedback.
The Feedback Solution.
In meditation, your aim is attention, but if you can’t see your target you can’t correct your aim. Meditation is like shooting darts blindfolded. To excel in meditation (as in darts), you need to see what you are doing. You need a way to monitor attention. You need feedback.
Where can you find feedback? Amazingly, it’s been right before our eyes all along, unrecognized.
Where To Find Feedback? Right Before Your Eyes
I found feedback by accident while meditating with my eyes open. My attention was focused on a spot on the floor when I noticed a small halo of light flickering round it. I knew the light was feedback — visual proof of attention – the key to self-guidance and guaranteed success. It works like this.
“Seeing The Light:” Precision Guidance From Feedback. The light I saw had been seen before. (It’s seen with Zen’s “open gaze” – it’s reported at enlightenment.) Its origin (and usefulness) however, was never before recogniz ed. We m issed the fact that this light is brought about by attention itself.
A sensation of light is produced when focused attention holds the eyes still. The steady gaze holds the image in the same place on the eyes’ retinas. Retinal fatigue follows, and with it visual distortion in the form of light. As long as you attend, you see the light. When your mind wanders however, your eyes wander and the light disappears. In this way it signals attention and alerts you when you wander off. Its feedback gives you precision self-guidance.
If you focus on the light you sustain attention. I did so, and in under an hour I experienced the breakthrough so hard to achieve with traditional methods. Meditation with feedback is a whole new ballgame. In place of wandering in circles there’s a straight line to success.
‘A Whole New Ballgame:’ The Feedback Advantage.
With traditional methods, mind’s wandering severely limits success. You can expect slow, or even no practice skill development. (It’s possible to get even less effective with practice.) Slow, unreliably progress is standard, and there’s no guarantee of return on invested time. Feedback solves these problems with ease. Here’s the how-to.
The Feedback Method How-To.
Focusing discs specially designed to facilitate feedback are available online at http://www.StraightLineMeditation.com. (A spot on the floor will do in a pinch.) Simply focus with a gentle gaze on the bull’s eye. Visual distortion (the sensation of light) will appear, signaling attention. Shift your attention to the light. When your mind wanders, your eyes will wander and the light will vanish. That’s your signal to re-focus on the bull’s eye. (Don’t follow the old advice: “Go into the light.” The light is feedback, your anchor for attention. Hold on) Hold on to feedback and you hold on to attention. Feedback guarantees it.
Meditating in Circles versus Straight Line Meditation. Traditional meditation wanders. When you stop wandering you cover ground fast. Feedbac k guides you straight to your goal, taking you further, faster than any prior method. You’ll find detailed instruction for all practice levels and self-tests to guide you in STRAIGHT LINE MEDITATION: HOW TO RESTORE AWARENESS AND WHY YOU NEED TO, by Carol E. McMahon, Ph.D. with Master Deac Cataldo. See the light. Your Guru will be awed. More at http://www.TheBestWayToMeditate.com.
About the Author
As a National Science Foundation Trainee, Carol earned a Doctorate in psychology from Penn State University. Her book WHERE MEDICINE FAILS (paperback 2009), was a driving force in the holistic health movement. Carol is author of STRAIGHT LINE MEDITATION with martial arts Master Deac Cataldo. Her book is available free of charge to retreat center and prison libraries. More at: http://www.StraightLineMeditation.com and http://www.TheBestWayToMeditate.com
Terence McKenna: What’s to be done?
A quite dynamic video with Terence this time. I’ve been using videos instead of stills this time. The video is about how to navigate without letting ideologies confuse you in your worldview. Enjoy
Video Rating: 4 / 5