Shifting the Coordinator
The "Shifting the Coordinator" meditation technique by Matthew Webb.
For me, spiritual practices are never so much a matter of following strict regimens, as they are an opportunity for exploration and discovery. In meditation for instance, it was difficult for me to apply fixed procedures according to a. set regimen. The procedures themselves always seem to get in the way. Ideology becomes its own trap. This is why my preference has always been self guidance and flexible technique.
Intent in this regard is very critical. All spiritual practices are only as effective as the Intent with which they are employed. With this knowledge, one may simply use intent and a knowledge of basic principles, (natural laws) while employing very few procedures at all, and make maximum inner progress. Through applied principles and intention then, I have been able to make inner progress toward greater clarity, self realization and higher vibration.
I see all spiritual techniques as simply tools designed for given ends. When they themselves become the most important subject of focus, it is then that they lose their effectiveness. It is the inner results of practice which are important, not tradition, technique or theory. Many practices of meditation advocate certain postures, combined with breathing techniques. Others suggest given visualizations, the movement of chi in the body, the repeating of certain mantras, or focusing on given objects or phrases, for specific periods of time. I was personally never very enthusiastic about these regimens, because I felt the regimen itself was an unnatural distraction from the goals of inner transformation. Simplicity always seems much more preferable. Obviously, some people gain benefit from traditional methods, but I have never been one of them. I would rather focus on the goal of inner progress rather than the means for its attainment, year after year.
So in my practices of meditation, I've tried at least a dozen traditional approaches, found them wanting, and decided to explore on my own, using intuition and feeling as a guide to new vistas. Feeling itself in fact proved to be the most simple, direct and effective "entry point" into deeper states of consciousness.
In most systems of spiritual practice, one of the major goals to be achieved is to go beyond the habit of continuous thoughts, (words) in the mind. There is no doubt that this is a valid endeavor, since thoughts and words are the bane of the modern mind. Psychology would still have us believe we ARE OUR THOUGHTS, when in fact they do not and cannot represent the essential Being within. Thoughts are something we do not something we are, which is why we should never identify with habitual thought patterns.
In many spiritual systems, the mind is most often seen as a thing to be subdued. It is treated much like an unruly animal, one that is to be disciplined repeatedly, in order to train it to do spiritual feats. The mind to me however, is an ally in spiritual growth. The mind is not in itself to blame for modern ills; these are the result of its wrong use. The mind is not something to subdue or to ignore, but to expand, so that it can work in conjunction with the body and soul. This conscious body-mind-soul trinity is exactly the kind of holistic approach that has worked best for me, since I like to clearly understand as well as experience. My early meditations began with candle and mirror staring. This proved useful, but not ultimately so. Better still was, (and is) the focusing of the mind first on feelings in the body, and then awareness itself. Of particular merit is focusing upon feeling/awareness within the head, (6 th and 7 th chakra region), and ultimately, upon the entire body as a whole. The body thus becomes the focus of meditation, and feelings the guide to higher states of consciousness.
I recommend the following meditation:
Focus your awareness on the feelings in the middle of the forehead, (this is the frontal lobe of the brain) in a sphere centered there which is no bigger than a tennis ball. Take notice of all the subtle feelings in that area. Do this for at least five minutes or until you feel your awareness is firmly and comfortably centered in that area. Note every aspect of how you feel, what your energy is doing, and in what manner your awareness is focused. Many of these impressions within the forehead will be subtle, but never the less important.
Now shift your point of focus to the back of the head, (the occipital lobe of the brain) to a point that is also the size of a tennis ball. Do this for about five minutes, or until your feel your awareness is firmly and comfortably centered in that area. Note every aspect of how you feel, what your energy is doing, and in what manner your awareness is focused. Notice the subtle differences, (of feeling, energy and mindstate) between holding your focus in the forehead region, and that of the back of the head. Compare these now by shifting your focus back and forth between the two points, and see all the subtle details of the shift. In so doing you are causing your brain and body to function differently at will.
Next, focus your attention first on the right temple area, then the left, and then both simultaneously. As before, note every aspect of how you feel, what your energy is doing, and in what manner your awareness is focused. Notice that when your focus on both your temple areas at once a line of awareness, energy and feeling is formed between them.
I call these meditations, for lack of a better term, "Shifting the Coordinator". The shifting part of this exercise is self explanatory, but the term "coordinator" needs clarification. The "coordinator" in this case is merely that area of the brain which is the most active. You can always scan the inside of your head with your awareness, to determine which area currently has the most feeling and intensity. In so doing you have located the coordinating area of the brain for that moment. Note how this area shifts around on its own, and sometimes just through the act of focusing upon it. There is always one such area that is most active in the brain at any given time.
In most cases, we enhance the type and location of activity in our brains, by virtue of certain daily activities. The scientist enhances rational thought and pinpoint focus through experimentation, (thereby stimulating frontal lobe function) while the artist enhances visualization, holistic understanding and intuition, (which enhances occipital lobe function. Try noticing the difference of feeling in your head, after drawing a picture, reading a fiction novel, after you have just had a dream, and balancing your checkbook. All of these activities stimulate certain regions of the brain, and this fact can be clearly felt by turning your awareness within.
This "coordinator" area of strongest activity, is a kind of "pace setter" for the rest of the brain. It establishes the current mode of brain and body function. When the most activity in the brain is centered in the frontal lobe of the forehead region for instance, the mode that is set is one of greater pinpoint clarity, analytical acuity, and logic. When it is centered in the occipital region at the back of the head, the mindstate that results leans toward holistic understanding, intuition, visualization, "daydreaming" etc. By "shifting the coordinator" or area of greatest activity to other parts of the brain, (as in the meditations above) such as the temples or elsewhere, our mind-body functions shift correspondingly. An emphasis of focus upon each area of the brain, results in a wide variety of mind-states, spiritual perceptions and mental functions.
My experience has shown me that wherever awareness is consistently and quietly focused anywhere in the body, energy and heightened sensation immediately accumulates around that region. An important fact to remember is that awareness is focused according to intent. If one intends their awareness to center itself on the forehead, temples, or the back of the head, then this is where energy immediately goes. The body's energy instantly and progressively responds to focused awareness, by accumulating at the point of focus. The longer the meditative focus on a given region of the body, and the more unwavering the focus, (no thoughts or distractions) the more intensely our energy will accumulate, and even linger in that region. The universal principle of consciousness being demonstrated here is that; "Energy follows awareness, which is in turn directed by intent". This principle of natural law has enormous self healing potentials. Any point of injury or pain can be focused upon. This increases energy, (chi flow) at the point of focus, and intensifies the degree of awareness there. One then has an enhanced opportunity to Intend an accelerated healing process through a variety of methods. These include visualization, the replacement of pain or fear with a feeling of higher vibration, and "talking to the cells", (raising the morale of the cell group so effected). It also has a great potential for raising one's consciousness at will, as the meditator will soon discover.
Next, try focusing on that sphere in the forehead region once again. While doing this, focus also on the sphere at the back of the head. Hold both of these simultaneously with your focus for some time. Carefully notice any differences made in feeling, energy level and state of consciousness as this meditation proceeds. When thoughts enter the mind, simply return to a feeling and awareness focus of these areas. Now try focusing on both temples, in conjunction with the front sphere of the forehead region.. Notice how a triangle of awareness is immediately formed between these three points. Try this also with the spot at the back of the head, and notice how another triangle of consciousness is formed there. The principle of natural law demonstrated here is that "Any two (or more) points of awareness, which are focused upon simultaneously, are immediately placed in closer alignment, (unity-resonance) with one another". What this implies in the case of a frontal and occipital, (forehead and back of head) simultaneous focus, is that these two areas of the brain are made more unified with one another. Interestingly, all the areas of the brain in between these two points are also stimulated, creating the sensation of a "line" or "tunnel" of enhanced clarity between the two. Through this simple method, practiced just 15 minutes a day, The occipital and frontal lobes of the brain are brought into closer and closer harmony. This acts to increase manifest intelligence, wisdom, clarity, vital energy peacefulness and depth of perception. Logic and clarity are made more accessible to holistic intuitiveness, and holistic intuitiveness is made more available to logic and clarity. In other words, these two areas of the brain and their corresponding mental functions, are brought into closer and closer harmony through such meditational practices. The same is true when using the focus of the temples simultaneously, where the two hemispheres of the brain are also brought into closer
harmony. This also applies to the triangle of consciousness formed by the temples and frontal region, (or occipital region). When three such spots are focused upon simultaneously, all three are brought into closer alignment and cooperation. By focusing on all four spots at once, (temples, occipital and frontal) a diamond of consciousness is immediately felt, and which increases over the duration and repetition of the meditation(s). Experiment with the benefits of this practice, and take careful notes of its resulting influence on your daily life.
Notice also that when any two, (or more) points anywhere in the body are focused upon in this way, they are brought into greater cooperation. Try focusing on the forehead sphere (third eye) and the heart simultaneously. Notice how a connection between them is soon enhanced, allowing a greater alignment of love and clarity as a unified state of consciousness. Love is added to clarity, and clarity to love in this way, with practice. Any of the chakras can be so aligned with one another, and experimentation along these lines unlocks a great deal of inner wisdom.
Such a focus can even be extended between two or more people. Try focusing your awareness on the third eye while staring into the eyes of another person who is doing the very same thing. Intend that you connect with each other with your clarity. Feel a "tunnel" of awareness pass between your third eyes, as well as the physical eyes.. With practice, clarity can be shared and mutually enhanced this way. Through the same technique and a focus on the heart, love can also be intentionally shared and built up at will, as can any other quality, via any other chakra.
Ideally, the experienced meditator will want to focus their awareness not just on one area of the body or even many regions at once. They will prefer instead to focus on the entire body at once with their awareness. This unifies the body's consciousness throughout, and in subtle detail. The result of such meditation is enhanced cellular cooperation and intelligence, and therefore greater health, intelligence and wisdom. Also of importance is the fact that when such a focus is centered or "coordinated" by the forehead region, (clarity, third eye) the entire body-mind begins to gain clarity at its direction. When love in the heart coordinates the body this way, love changes its overall state to increasing and cumulative degrees. The same can be done with pleasure from the first chakra, willfulness from the third chakra, enhanced communication and symbolic understanding from the fifth chakra, and soul-connection from the seventh chakra
I suggest experimentation along these lines!
Copyright © Matthew Webb. Reprinted with the kind permission of The World Mind Society.