Note: For the complete lessons,
with additions, see the AYP
Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living Books.
Lesson 368 -
The Solar Centering Enhancement
Date: November 11, 2009
New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
We'd now like to introduce a technique that can be used as an integral part
of our deep meditation practice, without increasing our time of sitting. It
is called the solar centering enhancement.
Since the beginning, we have picked up the mantra without any particular
intention to physically locate it in the body. This has been the
instruction. While this has been the case, we know that we may be inclined
to repeat the mantra mentally somewhere wherever we happen to have
localized our thinking in the moment. For many, this is often in the region
of the head. If not there, then perhaps somewhere else. It is something we
do unconsciously, and this is good practice with the
procedure for deep meditation we have. We have not wanted to distract
from the procedure of easily picking up the mantra whenever we realize we
have gone off it. As soon as we divide the mind by doing something else, the
effectiveness of our meditation practice will suffer. This has been a point
made often in relation to incorporating other practices into our deep
meditation session. Divided attention is a divided and less effective
However, there is a trade-off in terms of locating
the mantra. By not locating the mantra when we think it, we gain in having a
practice focused on the simple procedure for refining the mantra
in deep inner silence. At the same time we may be unconsciously
locating the mantra in the head or elsewhere, creating a slight angle in the
body that may not be noticed. This angle of
physically locating the mantra is in addition to the specific vibrational
effects of the sound quality of the mantra when picked up in awareness, as
we discussed in Lesson 59, and in other lessons where
we have covered mantra enhancements.
Here we are making a distinction between the sound quality of the mantra
resonating in our nervous system, versus where in the body we may happen to
be thinking the mantra. It is for addressing the latter part of this that
the solar centering enhancement is being offered.
We call this an "enhancement" because it is to improve our meditation
practice. This does not mean we have been doing anything wrong. In fact, we
may choose not to add this enhancement at this time. Like
for mantra enhancements, the solar centering enhancement should only
be considered by those who are stable in their meditation practice, whether
it be with the I AM (AYAM) mantra or any mantra enhancement that has been
added previously. In other words, the solar centering enhancement can be
incorporated with any mantra we are using, assuming we are well-established
with it. This would be after months or years with our practice, not days or
weeks. The solar centering enhancement can also be used with
the breath meditation practice
we discussed in the previous lesson for over-sensitive meditators.
The solar centering technique is as follows:
When we easily pick up the mantra, we favor locating it at the solar plexus.
This is the area just below the sternum (breastbone) and about three fingers
width inside. That is the area about half way between the navel and the
center of the breastbone, between the two sides of the rib cage. We just
easily repeat the mantra there. When we realize we have drifted off the
mantra, or the location of it at the solar plexus, we just easily favor the
mantra at this location at whatever level of
faintness or fuzziness (refinement) we may be at
with the mantra and location at that time.
All of the other characteristics of deep meditation remain the same
the natural refinement of the mantra to stillness, the coming and going of
thoughts, physical sensations, etc. Everything is the same, except we pick
up the mantra favoring this location in the body.
With this additional aspect of meditation procedure,
we may notice several things occurring:
- An obvious shift in physical location from where we have been thinking
the mantra, away from the head or other place where we may have had an
unconscious habit to locate it. This does not affect the vibrational
qualities of the mantra throughout the nervous system, which will still
resonate as a tuning fork does when near another tuning fork of the same
- A possible reduction in head pressure or
other symptoms we may have experienced when
unconsciously locating the mantra elsewhere in the body.
- An initial increase in sensitivity in the heart and solar plexus
region. This is purification and opening, and can manifest as emotion,
vibration or the sensation of heat in this area. If any of these symptoms
become excessive, we should first follow the procedure in
Lesson 15 for handling strong sensations during deep
meditation. If this does not dissolve excessive symptoms of purification,
then we should self-pace the use of the solar centering enhancement, as
needed. It does not mean we have to reduce overall meditation time if
self-pacing the use of solar centering is sufficient to restore balance.
- For those experiencing ecstatic conductivity in the nervous system,
sensations in the solar plexus region can be used to locate the mantra.
This may be experienced as a physical sensation, radiating energy or
light, or expansive empty space. Due to the proximity to the heart, it is
common to experience symptoms of expansion and spaciousness, which may be
combined with the energetic symptoms of the solar region. This is the
joining of emptiness with energy, the joining of the metaphorical
shiva and shakti principles in this central region of the body. It
produces a radiation of the joining that can illuminate the entire body,
and beyond. At the same time, there is a centering effect.
So this practice may be experienced in
both ways radiating and centering. The place we will notice the
practical results of this will be in daily activity, which is the true
measure of any practice we are doing. If we find more inner stability
and outpouring divine love in daily activity, we will know our
practice is good.
As mentioned above, the solar centering enhancement can also be used with
breath meditation. In that case, we easily favor the energy impulse of
breath at the solar plexus. This is obviously a more advanced application of
attention in breath meditation, and not for beginners. The same goes for
mantra meditation. It is not recommended to use this enhancement until our
meditation procedure is deeply ingrained and stabilized. We should regard it
as similar to taking on a mantra enhancement.
It is fine to undertake the solar centering enhancement at any stage of
mantra, but we should be stable with the mantra we are
using, whether it be I AM (AYAM), or any of the
Whenever we do undertake the solar centering enhancement,
we should consistently favor the location of the solar plexus with the
mantra. If the favored location drifts upward to the heart or downward to
the navel (or elsewhere), we just easily bring the location of our mantra
back to the solar plexus. No doubt some will be tempted to try the mantra in
other locations. Remember that the consistency of our practice over the long
term is the key to best results. So, as with any practice, it is suggested
to avoid jumping around between alternatives. To the extent these are not
covered in the lessons, the results cannot be predicted and it will be the
The question may arise, if this is a centering technique, can it be of help
to over-sensitive meditators? And if this is an
energy radiating technique, can it be of help to under-sensitive meditators?
We do not yet know the answer to either of these questions. In time we will
find out. This technique is being presented as an enhancement for everyone
to consider at the appropriate time on the path. It may
or may not be appropriate for under-sensitive or over-sensitive
meditators. It is a technique I have used with excellent results for many
years, discontinuing it only during the formative stages of presenting the
AYP system of practices, so as to be on the same page with everyone. During
these years, your practice has been my practice.
Now is a good time to bring the solar centering enhancement into the AYP
system, given the experiences we find across the
broad spectrum of practitioners, and the possibilities
for enhanced progress with balance. It is a technique that requires a
certain level of maturity in the practitioner. For the
first time, we are introducing a nuance in the central procedure of deep
meditation. It is not done lightly. In offering
the solar centering enhancement, we are also looking at the entire
community of meditators in relation to the steady rise of world
consciousness (see Lesson 365). So this lesson is for
both individuals and the community as a whole, with the intention of
providing a useful step forward in both inner
stability and divine radiance for all
It is hoped that the trade-off in benefits for well-established meditators
will be found worthwhile. As with all practices, the
solar centering enhancement should only be taken on when we sense that the
time is right. It is a function of our bhakti, balanced with practical
application. As always, the advice is to continue self-pacing
practices as necessary to maintain good progress with comfort and safety.
The guru is in you.
Note: For detailed instructions on deep meditation
procedure, see the
Deep Meditation book.