- LISTEN TO THE GUIDED MEDITATION - SEE VIDEO BELOW -
Concurrence meditation can be experienced as a visual trance like experience for many people. Some see it as an exercise in affirmation, while others see it as a reaffirming their place in the world. No matter how we look at this method of meditation it can definitely help us gain a deeper level of understanding of our present situation in life. I speak highly of it and often recommend Concurrence Meditation only from the perspective of how it has worked for me in my life.
Many years ago when I was going through difficult period, I started to use this technique not knowing anything about this type of meditation, just that I knew it was somehow helping and made me feel better about my current situation. I would practice this meditation technique every morning and in the evening, in addition to my already established practice of insight meditation and formal mindfulness meditation practice. As soon as I did my first practice with this meditation I immediately noticed that there was something to it because of the genuine feeling of lightness that it provided. I also felt that it was not just me trying to work out a problem by meditating on it, but rather that there was something universal going on, that there was clarity and direction in the situation. It wasn’t long after I started that my situation was soon resolved. Later I began to use Concurrence Meditation as an inquiry practice as outlined below. I suggest for one to do this practice as an addition to one’s already established mindfulness and/or concentration based practices and not as a substitute.
It is important for one to commune with the immediate reality daily. Present moment awareness and the clarity found in mindfulness-based practices provide a great deal of answers for daily life in its own right. When used along with Concurrence meditation the mix becomes very a powerful method for one to see the truth or the reality of what is actually going on within the mind and body.
The word Concurrence means: A situation in which two or more things happen at the same time. Concurrence meditation has three distinct areas that can enhance one’s life and help clear ones thoughts on any given situation in one practice. One area is in regard to the questions that are being asked and where these questions are coming from. Another area is found in the answers to these questions and where they are coming from. Last but not least, journaling is a part of this practice and the reviewing of the journal.
What separates this practice from the others is that there is physical writing involved here, but never during the actual meditation itself, it is done before and after the actual practice.
Concurrence meditation is very similar to self-hypnosis in that there is a repetition of method that can be looked at as a preliminary or induction into the practice itself. It helps to break up Concurrence meditation into different five areas:
Guided Video at: http://youtu.be/-21zQeX_-VE
1. Intention - Setup / Preliminaries
The intention or what could be called the “set up” is a time to get a few things in order like the time, the place, finding the cushions and the normal accessories that can help with comfort. We must also gather and pencil and tablet of some sort for the process.
Before we actually start the meditation, we use this pencil and paper to write down three questions, three questions that we feel we would like to ask the wisest being (person, source, consciousness) that we've ever encountered in our life. These are questions that we would ask if we knew for certain that this being could, without biased hesitation, give us the answers that the universe wants to provide for us. We must understand that the answers to these questions are not from a book or something that somebody has previously heard from someone else, but actually come from such a depth that cannot be defined in words. In this meditation we are going to be asking questions directly to a visualized and seemingly conscious being.
The purpose of writing out the questions on paper before the meditation starts is to use them as a safety net. When we are in a meditation, we are not to do any unnecessary movement of mind or body, because after all, that is what meditation is all about. But if we come to the portion of our meditation where we are to ask the sage or teacher life-altering questions and there is a blankness of thought, there can be an overwhelming feeling of having just wasted a golden opportunity. By writing down questions prior to the meditation, one can relax and simply know that they can mentally or even physically refer to this list, and thus have an instant reference to the desired questions.
By writing our questions down prior to our meditation, our questions are preplanned but they should not be looked at as being etched in stone. We should feel free to ask any question we wish to ask once the process has started, but can also use the pre-written questions as our safety net if we should draw a blank. Some people even open their eyes and look at their page of pre written questions during the meditation. This is not recommended, but sometimes it is done, much better than being stuck without having any questions to answer this wise being that is sitting directly in front of you.
2. Induction – (Done within the Meditation)
The meditation itself is guided at first. If not listening to it live, you can use a recording found at MeditationlearningCenter.com. Once you get the idea of the meditation and how it works you won't need the guiding any longer and will be able to do it anywhere at any time without the need of any aid.
The very first part of the meditation is what is called induction in Hypnosis. This is a guidance that is provided in the early stages of the main presentation. It's like a formal introduction, but in the case of Concurrence Meditation, it is a repetitive visualization that induces a state of relaxation and calm. It's a part of the meditation itself, but it's preliminary to the work that we're doing. If there were anything ritualistic about this practice this would be it, as this is a time of finding yourself in very familiar territory. You start in a place you are familiar with; you make your way down a path that you have traveled many times before, much like going to school or work on the same road every day. You then make your way to a clearing and this is where the magic happens.
3. The Questioning-and-Answering – (Done within the Meditation)
The most prominent part of the meditation itself is the question and answering that is done during the meditation. This is the reason that we originally wrote down the three questions before we started. We're not just throwing questions out into thin air, but asking the presence of a visual being. The key is to have this representation of the being we are communing with to not be in the likeness of somebody personal to you. When the being is visualized or the presence is felt, it should be undistinguishable as far as the features. Whether it's a bearded man or a person with a robe over their head or a shaman that keeps his or her head lowered, all are fine representations. The murkier the vision or the presence is, the better. What is meant by “murky” is that there is not a clear vision of the being’s features-the less personable in this area the better. The reason for this is because of our typical attachment towards visual objects including people, places and things. If we see this being with all their fine details, they will likely represent somebody in our past. There is even the chance that they could be something that we could end up seeking for in the future if we do this practice frequently. This is a being that is not your direct friend but somebody that encompasses love for all and a universal knowledge. The being, whether it is a man or woman, encompasses the truth of life itself, the Dharma, all of life’s answers, knowledge that is beyond words.
It's best to focus on the meditation practice its self, particularly the questions and the answers and little more. Everything else is an aspect of that. Everything else falls into the background of the questioning and answering.
4. The Journey Back - The Grounding – (Done Within the Meditation)
After the question and answering there is grounding. Very much like climbing a ladder, when we get to the top, we don't want to just jump off the ladder, we want to slowly make our way back down the ladder and feel grounded. In this analogy we're actually going down and making our way back to where we came. Listening to the guiding you can get a sense of how this works. We make her way to the teacher we work with the teacher, we see the teacher leave and then we leave the area and make our way back to where we started the meditation. In other words, we don't want to ask our questions and get answers and just run off on our teacher or sage. We must take our time leaving the same way we took to get there. This is similar to what is called ahypnopompic state in Hypnosis, the state where a person is leaving a hypnotic trance.
5. The Journaling Process
After the meditation itself, it's important to sit in contemplation for a few moments and journal. This journaling is actually writing down the date and any find details related to the questions and answers, but particularly writing down the answers we received from our questioning of the sage/being we just visited. We don't write these answers down while in meditation because it would bring us out of the meditation itself. So in the final process of the meditation, we write down the answers below the questions originally written. Now if there was no answer or no spoken answer, we have to regard this as the answer itself. Wordless, stillness could be the answer to a question such as, "Should I be with Mark or John? Which person is better for me?” The answer could be found in the silences itself. Sometimes words are not needed to get the message across.
Enjoy this meditation. Use a tablet and keep track of you journaling. Refer to it as often as you can. You will find it to be incredibly interesting after you have done this practice for a while. You will be able to use the journal as an invaluable tool by looking back and seeing for yourself and how your train of thought/process of your mind was working at a particular time based on the questions asked as well as the answers given. All of this can tell the story of your life.