Welcome to mind training, stage three of six. For more information on Antar Mouna, read the first, second and third installation of this series on the Tantric technique to prepare the mind for meditation, which translates to “Inner Silence”:
In part 3, we explored the second stage of this practice, and now we’re moving on to the third stage. Remember, it’s recommended that each stage is practiced for a minimum of 30 days, though it can be practiced as long as needed.
STAGE THREE: CONSCIOUS CREATION AND DISPOSAL OF THOUGHTS
In stage three of Antar Mouna we voluntarily create any thought, and then concentrate on that thought for some time. While concentrating on this thought, use vivid and detailed imagination, and then after a while, let it go. I like to escort the thought out of my mind with an exhale out through the mouth. The exhale part of the breath cycle is the most effective in aiding the release of impressions in the mind as well as tension or pain in the physical body. It’s easier to begin this stage by focusing on lower vibratory thoughts such as anger, jealousy, or fear. This may seem strange, however, our minds have become accustomed to, and even comfortable with, these lower thoughts. Once we strengthen the mind’s ability to concentrate, we find ourselves naturally focusing on higher vibratory thoughts such as peace, compassion and love. Because this stage focuses on the cultivation of thoughts, it’s important to reject any spontaneous thoughts.
The consciously created thought acts as bait to attract and catch other thoughts related which hang out in the subconscious mind. This means we have to hold the cultivated thought in the mind for a while. When the other thoughts surface, maintain the focus on the original thought. So, instead of leaving the first thought and progressing onto the next in a wandering tangent sort of way, compile them into one big thought bundle. Drawing subconscious thoughts to the surface is a deeper form of mental hygiene. Once we see what our consciously created thought attracts, we are lessening the power of those subconscious thoughts, because they have been brought to the surface. They’re not hiding anymore. To see is to have the ability to transform.
The cultivated thought can be an idea, a memory or something we want to manifest. The particularly “sticky” thoughts, the one’s that tend to cycle over and over in the mind are good ones to work with. There’s a reason they’re repeating in the mind. They have subconscious thoughts attached to them, weighing them down, and preventing their full processing and release. This stage of Antar Mouna is a useful tool to practice manifestation. For example, if we want to attain a new job, we can create a positive thought surrounding the acquisition of the job. On the flip side, if we need to let go of a responsibility, we can create a thought of separation from the responsibility, such as thinking of shifting that duty to another person.
BENEFITS OF STAGE THREE:
- Strengthens focus and concentration. By consciously cultivating a thought and imagining it in detail, we are encouraging a strong sense of concentration. With the refusal to entertain spontaneous thoughts, we are honing our skills of unwavering attention.
- Memory retrieval. With vivid construction of a thought, we are constantly utilizing stored information from previous experience. Remember the children’s game Memory? It’s like that. We are flipping over the matching subconscious cards to link to the thought at the forefront of the mind.
- Attraction of subconscious thoughts. This is the like the spring cleaning of the mind (only hopefully we do this more than once every spring!) This form of deep mental hygiene gets into all the nooks and cranny’s of the subconscious. Whenever we create space in the body or mind, and in this case, the release of the subconscious thought is creating space, fresh prana, the vital energy of life, can flow in. Whenever we release, light fills the space.
- Manifestation. We are responsible for creating the reality we want to live in!
Take as much time as needed to hold the conscious thought in the mind. If we move through the thoughts too quickly, they won’t have time to entice the subconscious associated thoughts, and we will end up feeling agitated or vata deranged. We know it’s time to move on, to release the thought bundle with an exhale, when subconscious thoughts stop surfacing, or we get bored with the thought and the mind wanders without responding to the guidance of refocusing. This stage is fascinating! The stuff that pops up into the conscious mind can be surprising, and immensely beneficial in understanding our habits and patterns. Each stage prepares us for the next, and in moving onto the next stage, if something feels off, or it feels too challenging, go back the previous stage and work with that a bit more.
May we find the patience and courage necessary to accompany us on the journey of Self-inquiry. And may this journey guide us from the darkness to the Light!