MULTI-DIMENSIONAL MEDITATION (MDM)
Ed Hirsch [email protected]
The human being is
multileveled, or multidimensional. As multidimensional beings, we are
multidimensional expressions of Being. We are a multifaceted presence, and we
have what we might call an instinctive drive to be alive and functional on all
levels. As all of them are expressions of One Presence, the unity of our life
comes from all of them being permeable and open to Presence, and to each other.
That is, each level can become open and surrendered to Presence, as well as an
open expression of Presence.
Thus within One Presence,
we can speak of two paths, the Ascending or transcending path, and the
Descending or manifesting path. The former is a return to Source, to Ground,
whatever it might be called; this corresponds to a sense of release or devotion
to What IS. The latter is an expansive movement, an urge toward progression,
manifestation, expression, evolution, creativity. These are not to be confounded
as opposing death and life instincts, or passivity vs. activity—although of
course they can occur in various imbalanced modes. Source calls to us. The way
of surrender is predicated, not on some "should," but on the
fundamental Truth of Being. Whatever is, its Ground of truth is its "isness"
or "suchness," that is, its Being. When we are not distracted or
preoccupied, we can become aware of that, we rest in That. Its very obviousness
calls out to us, or reveals itself to us, and there is a natural desire or
movement to return to Source.
So too, there is a natural
movement to expression. While this movement into the world can distract us from
Source, can entangle us in preoccupations that take us away from who we really
are, I think that to inherently regard this movement as self-centered or as an
evil movement away from Source is a mistake. For essentially, the impulse to
create, express, and expand arises from Source, and is an inherent part of our
nature. The way Upward polarizes or synergizes with the way Downward as a
Yin/Yang relationship, within the unity of "Tao" or Being. Without
both of these, life is incomplete. We are not here to merely negate life and
disappear into Source, and we are also not here to merely affirm life without
knowing and being alive to its Source, our essential Nature.
We might call the Ascending
a more "Eastern" approach, and the Descending a more
"Western" approach. However we name them, the point here is that we
need to develop a greater sense of the whole, as polarities of a greater unity.
Each level of life involves three modes 1) abiding in, and experiencing, that
mode, in itself; 2) going inward into its essence, which opens up into the next
and subtler level; and 3) moving outward into an expressive, manifesting mode.
For example, physically, we can rest and relax in the body without doing
anything; we can sense inward into the body and open into the subtler realm of
aliveness energy; and we can use the body, move the body, express through the
body, in the world. Most of us are focused on the physical level of life, the
outer form and appearance of life. We might be more or less emotionally and
mentally attuned, but the physical serves as a "bottom line" of
consensus reality. Even these three levels are often conflicted amongst each
other, and lack any harmony arising from their common unity in a deeper reality
of Being. Some people are anti-intellectual, or anti-emotional, even
anti-physical or anti-spiritual, often in reaction to imbalances they have
experienced. However, I feel that these only bring more imbalance, or are
limiting solutions to the larger possibilities of life.
By going inside of
ourselves, we also contact the different planes or levels of the world or
reality. That is, whatever level of our own nature we experience, we can
experience the world from this level. Each experience brings a realization about
the nature of the world or reality. Going within, we contact the universal
truths of all humanity, and rather than separating or isolating us, we feel more
one with the whole. I experience this holistic or multidimensional meditation as
a way of Being in the heart. The heart is a good holistic symbol, for it
variously means the physical organ so central to our living, the emotional
center that we feel in the chest, the sense of the innermost meaning or
"heart" of the matter, and the intuitive or spiritual essence.
None of this is stated
dogmatically, even though we references can be made to many wisdom traditions
that speak of such levels of reality and of the human being. Nor is the practice
that follows given in the spirit of tradition that must be followed to the
letter. Experience for yourself, and creatively shape according to what proves
true for you. This theoretical section is my way of articulating what seems
natural to me, rather than a way of trying to convince others through clever
arguments. The practice also is not given as a way of trying to manufacture
something that is not already present. It is offered as a way towards
consciously participating in a process that is already built into the universe
In the following
meditation, we move "upward" from the grounded to the transcendent,
and then "downward" into life. The point is to surrender into the
Essential, and then, centered there, flow out dynamically and creatively from
Source. Move from level to level at your own pace. You are not really going
anywhere, but simply deepening into the Presence that is always right here. Find
a suitable posture and environment where you can be relaxed and alert. You might
wish to play suitable music, for example, but the main focus will be on the
internal environment, which is with you wherever you are.
1. Body (Physical) Close
your eyes and relax your body, as you deeply sense and breathe. Just enjoy the
body in itself, not needing to do anything with it. Experience the physical
reality of your body. Take time to sense and breathe into the organic world of
muscle, bone, blood vessels, nerves, and so on, even down to the cells and their
innumerable chemical processes. Experience the physical reality and presence of
the world, the universe.
2. Energy (Energetic) As
you relax into the body, you might become aware of sensations or energies.
Experience the body as energy; directly experience the reality and presence of
energy—life as energy. Release the body fully into the felt sense of aliveness
energy, what we might call the "etheric" level or "etheric
presence." With each inhale, sense into the energy; with each exhale,
release or surrender into that presence. Feel that every cell of the body is
surrendering and opening to the aliveness as open energy field. You might even
have the sense that the physical is simply a material condensation of the
etheric. Feel all physical obstructions loosening and relaxing to a sense of
all-pervading and radiant ease, health, and vitality, beyond the borders of the
physical body. Relax and feel into the plane of Energy, the "etheric."
Enjoy its presence for as long as you like.
3. Feeling (Emotional) As
you relax into this sense of relaxed, radiant wellness or wellbeing, you might
become aware of a basic feeling pervading this field of energy. It emerges from
the sense of reverence, of harmony and unity of the field, a deeply felt
energetic connection with life. Allow the felt sense of aliveness to totally
surrender to the pervading emotional presence of deep feeling, of felt
connection, of love. Feel the aliveness energy permeated by the warmth of such
feeling. You might find that centering in the chest or heart center deepens or
grounds your experience, which becomes all-pervasive. On each inhale, feel more
deeply into this realm (sometimes called the "aura"); on each exhale,
release more deeply into it. Feel the presence of wellbeing, of love, as the
inner reality of the energy field.
4. Awareness (Mental) As
you go deeper into this feeling presence, you might become aware that it is an
expression of an all-pervading field of consciousness. Every form, sensation, or
feeling is an experience, and every experience is a content within a field of
awareness or consciousness. As awareness relaxes into its experience, it becomes
aware of the presence of awareness itself. Become aware of your field of
experience as permeated by consciousness, as its inner and subtler nature. On
each inhale, become more deeply aware of this presence; on each exhale,
surrender and release more deeply into it. You might it helpful to center or
ground the experience of awareness, or witnessing, by abiding in the center of
the head, even though the field of awareness is pervasive.
(Essential) As you relax into this field of consciousness, you might become
aware of the presence of the Knower of this field of awareness, the
"I" that is aware or witnessing. On each inhale, experience this
inmost sense of yourself, your "I am"; on each exhale, surrender your
awareness into this Self presence. You might find it helpful to contact the Self
in the point of your heart center.
6. Being (Spiritual) Become
aware of the Ground of Being as the Being of which you are an individuation. You
are a focalization of That. You might experience this as the vast Space of which
"you" are a point of focus. That point is not some "thing"
separate from Space. The point is empty; experience the Emptiness as the
innermost reality of the point, and you will open to Space. You are you, and yet
you are not other than Being. Feel the sense of "I am" surrendering
into its ground of I Amness, of Being. Rest in That, feel that everything is
totally surrendered into That.
7. Void (Transcendent) This
is the realm of NonBeing, the Reality beyond all realities and levels. It IS,
but we cannot say what it is, for it is beyond all qualities and categories. We
can say that Space, Time, Mind, and Self all arise out of That, which is the
Ground of all of that. None of these are things, none is a thing in itself, but
is simply a mode or dimension of this Emptiness. If Being is the One Thing, then
this is No-Thingness. Release into This (which is also "Not This"),
utterly and unconditionally, as a way of acknowledging "its" utter and
This is the way "upward." We do not end there, for the Source that everything surrenders into, is itself the Creative Fount from which all flows. So now we complete this meditation by bringing Source "down" into each level of our being. Feel it flowing out through the individuality, the awareness, the feeling, the life energy, the body. Experience it as a process of progressive incarnation, "descending" through the levels of Being, as an expression of a primal Will. On an inhale, feel the descent; on an exhale, experience a fuller incarnation or presence in that level. Finally, experience yourself fully embodied Spirit, fully "in" but not "of" the world. Experience yourself fully (or as fully as you can be) present spiritually, mentally, emotionally, energetically, and physically. All the levels, from the "highest" to the "lowest," or the "subtlest" to the "densest," are all present, Here and Now. Sense, breathe, feel, imagine, be aware in the heart center, as a holistic human being, in tune with all the levels of Being. Live from that, as that.