Meditation: A Practical Guide

Meditation is older than the hills, but it goes in and out of being a popular fad. Today it’s decidedly “in” which is why you’ll find yourself tripping over endless meditation guides, apps, and fans if you delve into the vast world of self-help methods.

So is meditation really as fabulous as it’s made out to be? Not necessarily. If you do it wrong, you can actually make yourself worse. If you do it right, you can reap some benefits. But before you can do it wrong or right, you need to learn what the meditation teachers can’t teach you because they don’t understand it themselves: you need to learn about the mechanics of meditation. By that I mean that you need to understand how your four elements experience your attempts to force them all to cooperate with your efforts to meditate. My goal in this post is to help you gain the understanding you need in order to benefit from meditating…and that includes knowing when not to go there.

Now first let’s clarify what we’re talking about. When someone says “I meditated today,” the term is so vague, that the most you can assume is that the person was probably sitting still somewhere with their eyes closed, attempting some kind of focused thinking exercise. But what exactly they were thinking about, and what they accomplished (if anything) remains unclear. So we’re basically using a fancy term for “doing a focused thinking exercise.” Of course some people would say the goal of meditation is to not think, but to “clear your mind”…we’ll get into that jargon later on.

Now in real life, you have four elements who are all awake and active as you get ready to meditate. None of them “stop thinking”…ever. So the first issue we need to debunk about meditation is that it’s some effective way to temporarily “turn off” some internal aspect of yourself. Of all of your elements, your conscious is the only one that is capable of being completely shutdown, and that only happens for brief periods when you are asleep. Since meditation is something we do when we are awake, you need to realize that you’re awake on four different levels whenever you sit down to meditate.

A Soul-Driven Activity

Meditation is a soul driven activity, meaning that your soul is the one doing all of the directing when you sit there telling yourself to relax and “clear your mind.” There’s no way to meditate without your soul taking the lead, so if you’ve been thinking of this as a strictly psychological or mental activity, it’s time to correct your perspective. Your soul is always involved, and this brings us to a very important step in preparing to meditate: choosing a specific goal.

You have three basic choices when it comes to how you want to meditate. Your soul can either choose to work on its relationship with your body, it can work on its relationship with your subconscious, or it can try to work on developing its relationship with a supernatural entity. All of three of these goals can be very beneficial if they are pursued correctly, so I’m now going to discuss each one in turn.

Your Body’s View of Meditation

When you sit down to meditate, your body is very awake, and it’s being its usual brilliant, multi-tasking self. While you’re trying to “enter the zone,” your body is continuously collecting data about your environment using its array of amazing physical senses. As quickly as it collects data, it relays that data to your subconscious for analysis. Your body is also performing a bunch of routine tasks, which might include working on digesting the little snack you had before you decided to “become one” with the universe or some other target.

From your body’s perspective, it has a never-ending list of tasks that it has to work on, and it certainly doesn’t have to time to just zone out with you. What you call “relaxing,” your body calls “getting out my other chore list.” You see, there are many maintenance tasks that your body doesn’t have time to tackle while you’re rushing around being physically active. When you suddenly decide to sit down and become still for awhile, you suddenly reduce how many commands you are firing at your body (grab that cup, cross this room, pick up that phone, type out this text). This frees up resources for your body to start working on the other chores that start piling up when you are physically active.

So if meditation lightens the body’s load, it must be a welcome activity, right? Not necessarily. For starters, there’s the physical position you get into. Many meditation enthusiasts try to get you to park your bottom on some hard surface with your legs folded together in front of you. Many bodies find the classic “cross-legged” position to be very uncomfortable and awkward to maintain. Where is the back support? Where is the cushion? What’s with folding your knees at such uncomfortable angles? Unless you’re among the minority of folks whose core muscles aren’t in sad shape due to our modern day addiction to hunching forward for many hours of the day, your body is probably not physically equipped to keep your torso in an upright position for very long without ouch happening.

Here’s the thing about your body saying ouch: you need to listen and respond respectfully. Don’t just act like a jerk by telling your body to shut up and deal with the pain. For meditation to be beneficial, you need to go about it in a way that doesn’t make any one of your elements feel bullied or shunned.

Your body is an amazing, adaptable machine that can learn to do all kinds of new activities if you give it half a chance. But when you never have a reason to sit cross-legged in your normal routine, then you expect your body to suddenly cooperate with your efforts to get in a position it isn’t used to and then hold that position for some long period of time, well, what do you expect? Your body isn’t going to like it, and when your body doesn’t like something, it complains to your subconscious. Since your subconscious is probably also having a rotten experience with your meditation efforts due to your soul trying to ignore everything it says, it will likely side with your body and start nagging your soul to stop being a pill about your body wanting to change its position. Here is when you will find it impossible to focus on that peaceful void you’re trying to visualize, because thoughts about how physically uncomfortable you are keep disrupting your concentration.

I recently tried a meditation app from the Google Play store (of which there are many), just to sample what passes for a good “guided meditation” these days. Right away I blew off the whole sitting cross-legged thing, because I knew that wasn’t going to work for me. To have any hope of benefitting from meditation, you need to begin your session with a position that is comfortable to your body. Forget about what the “yogi masters” say. They don’t know diddly about what your body is dealing with right now. And bear in mind that the folks who love yoga are constantly promoting body abuse by forcing themselves to contort into all kinds of detrimental physical positions. Don’t let someone else tell you what your body is supposed to like. Instead, listen to the feedback your body is giving you and respond respectfully. Some bodies want to meditate sitting in a soft comfy chair. Others would like to be lying on a bed. Others would like trying it while they’re getting a nice warm soak in the bathtub. Forget about these “one size fits all” meditation poses because one size never fits all. Your goal needs to be finding a position in which your own body feels comfortable and safe, because until you meet both of those requirements, you can forget about your body relaxing.

Now once I got into a position that my body found comfy, I pressed on with my guided meditation session. I was told to breathe in a certain pattern…over and over. Then I was told to focus on how I was breathing. Then I was told to notice any bodily sensations I was experiencing. When I got to that part, I thought “Okay, this is good, maybe he’s going to teach people to respect their bodies.” But, no, I was told to take note of the physical feedback, but then ignore it. Hm.

Isn’t it frustrating to be ignored? Especially when you’re trying to communicate something important? Well, this is how your body (and all of your other elements) feel when you ignore what they are trying to say to you during your meditation sessions. Why does “getting in the zone” have to mean “tell everyone to shut up”? If you want to benefit from meditating, you need to take a different approach than this guff about “hear the thought…now let it drift past you…”

Body Focused Meditation

Earlier I said it was important to choose a goal before you begin to meditate. Essentially this means answering the question: “Which of my elements do I want to focus on helping: my body, my soul, or my subconscious?” Let’s say you want to do a session that is focused on helping your body. From a therapeutic perspective, there are two goals to choose from here. One is to help your body relax out of a tense, anxious state. A second goal is to help your soul become more aware of what your body’s current concerns are. Both of these goals are positive, but you need to be realistic about how much you can accomplish with the first one.

Relaxing Your Body

Here is where all of the hype about breathing comes in. If you breathe in certain rhythmic patterns, your body will feel calmer…temporarily. But realize that much of your body’s anxiety and stress is a reaction to it sensing how stressed your soul and/or subconscious are. When this is the case, focused breathing exercises are akin to waving a colourful toy in front of a crying baby. You’re hoping that the distraction will change his mood. In many cases, this works…temporarily. But when you stop being distracting, the baby can easily start fussing again.

Now focused breathing is more beneficial than the toy thing because you are actually filling your lungs with oxygen, which is providing your body with an essential resource. Your body really likes oxygen. Your body is also easy very to distract for short periods of time. But your body is also in constant communication with your subconscious, and if your subconscious is feeling stressed, it won’t take long before your body senses that stress and goes back to feeling anxious as well. This means you shouldn’t expect this particular meditation goal to have a significant impact on your health. While it’s certainly nice to give your body a short break from stress, it’s not realistic to expect the relief to last for very long when you’re not working on the cause of your body’s stress.

Increase the Soul-Body Connection

In certain cases, this goal can be extremely beneficial to helping you improve your health. To understand why, you need to understand that your soul’s default strategy is to ignore most of what your body says. There are two reasons for this. The first is that your soul can’t understand your body’s language. Each of your elements has their own “native tongue.” Your body communicates using wordless, imageless, impulses which only your subconscious can directly translate. Even your conscious is in the dark about what your body is saying until your subconscious provides a translation.

Your subconscious has been equipped by God to do a stellar job of taking care of your body’s needs. Since your subconscious is so well-fitted for the task of monitoring your body, your soul simply doesn’t feel a need to get very involved. It’s only when your body starts doing things that your soul doesn’t like that your soul reacts, and those reactions are usually quite hostile. But in the day to day, your soul is often taking a “whatever” attitude towards your body, and this can have negative consequences for your overall health.

The more your elements learn to respect and care about each other, the better you’ll function. When you meditate for the purpose of improving your soul’s relationship with your body, the goal is to focus on your body and invite it to express any of its current needs and concerns. When you do this kind of exercise, your subconscious will automatically get involved as the translator so that your soul can understand what your body is saying.

If you’d like to experience how this kind of body talk works, try this:

Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. (Closing your eyes reduces how much sensory feedback your body is collecting, which helps all of your elements focus more on the meditation.)

Now, using your thought voice, ask your body “How do you feel? Are you comfortable right now?” Wait for your body to respond. If it responds, you will likely notice your attention suddenly being focused on various parts of your body. For example, you might suddenly become aware that your ankle bones are grinding against each other. Or you might realize that your knee feels strained. Or you might feel your right ear itching. A sudden awareness of these things is created by your body giving feedback to your subconscious and your subconscious relaying that information to your soul.

Your subconscious prefers to communicate without words, so when it is talking, you’ll often experience images flashing into your mind along with or instead of words. For example, you might suddenly see an image of the belt you’re wearing flash into your mind as you realize that said belt is digging into your gut. Becoming aware of feedback like this is a positive thing, because it means your soul is practicing listening to your body, instead of just ignoring it. This is the kind of feedback that you’re usually taught to brush aside as a negative distraction in meditation sessions, but that’s hardly practicing good communication, is it? Instead of fluffing off your body’s feedback, listen to it, then respond respectfully. Take off that stupid belt. Scratch your ear. Adjust your legs so they stop feeling like they’re grinding and straining.

When you’re trying to help yourself recover from some kind of trauma, it can be helpful to use this kind of meditation to ask your body how it felt about whatever happened to you. Inviting your body to express its personal distress over what happened to you in the past can help your soul gain a deeper understanding of how those events have affected you.

Bodies don’t like being threatened or injured. They also don’t like many of the trauma coping methods that souls and subconsciouses come up with when they are feeling stressed. To put it simply, bodies really get shafted when either of your two alpha elements becomes stressed.

Because Rachel has a psychological fear of appearing overweight to others, she takes laxatives every time she eats something. This practice is brutal on her body, which is constantly being forced into exhausting muscle convulsions while having critical nutrients ripped away from it.

Because Ben’s soul feels so horrible about his wife leaving him, he has become addicted to cutting himself in places that he can easily hide from view. Ben’s body hasn’t committed any crime, yet it’s the one being tortured on a regular basis just because Ben’s soul is feeling upset.

These are just two of countless examples I could give in which the body ends up being attacked and abused by the soul or subconscious (see Self-Harming: Understanding Your Body’s Dilemma). If you’re currently caught up in some kind of self-abuse, taking the time to really listen to your body and understand its perspective of your current behaviours can be a very helpful step in your recovery. As your soul becomes more aware of how your body is being treated on a daily basis, it can develop more respect and compassion for your body’s point of view. Developing respect and compassion are critical to learning how to treat your body better.

Targeting Your Subconsicous

Let’s now move on to a second kind of meditation. This time your soul’s goal is to focus on communicating with your subconscious. There are two highly beneficial goals to choose from here. The first is to improve the bond between your two alpha elements. The second is to help your subconscious correct some of its false beliefs.

IMPROVING THE BOND

Unless you intentionally work on keeping a positive dynamic between your soul and subconscious, a hostile dynamic will develop by default. This is because your soul and your subconscious are designed by God to focus on different priorities, and over time, this naturally results in increasing division and tension. It’s rather like you trying to assemble a complicated machine with someone who thinks very differently than you do. While you want to get started with Step 1 in the assembly manual, your partner wants to lay out all of the pieces, group them, and count them, to make sure they are all there. While you want to use a traditional screw driver, he wants to use a ratchet tool. After clashing with each other over every little detail, you end up feeling very exasperated and annoyed. In the same way, your soul builds up a lot of general resentment towards your subconscious when it feels like your subconscious is constantly getting in its way.

By the time people ask me for help with some form of psychological trauma, there is usually a pretty acrid dynamic between their souls and subconsciouses. Their souls often feel disgusted and confused by the kinds of thoughts their minds are producing, and their minds are often acting defensive and secretive because they are fed up with being lectured and criticized.

If you are currently feeling disgusted, repulsed, confused and/or ashamed due to some of your own thoughts and behaviours, you are a good candidate to try this kind of meditation.

After getting into a position that is comfortable for your body, close your eyes and focus on trying to communicate sincere respect and concern to your subconscious. Remember that it is your soul that leads meditation exercises, so even though it feels like you’re using your mind to form your thoughts, it’s really your soul that is doing the talking. You want to start this kind of exercise by inviting your subconscious to vent about its current distresses. A critical key here is to decide ahead of time that you are going to respond with compassion, not criticism, regardless of what your mind shares. Remember that the goal here is to improve the bond between these two elements–a bond that is probably already under a great deal of strain. You’re not going to get anywhere positive by lecturing your mind about morals or talking down to it as if it is some bumpkin that has no reason for doing the things that it does.

Your subconscious is an extremely intelligent creature who always has very logical reasons for doing what it does. There is no such thing as a “dumb” mind, so if you’ve fallen into a habit of viewing yourself as a being unintelligent or mentally “slow”, now is the time to toss those negative stereotypes out with the rubbish. If your subconscious was truly “slow”, you’d be dead due to its failure to perform many of the vital tasks that keep you alive and functioning. Every subconscious operates at lightning speed, performing a gazillion extremely complex tasks and analyses every single day, so there is no justification for your soul talking down to your mind like it’s some immature dolt. Your mind is far more intelligent, reasonable, creative, strategic, and loyal than your soul realizes. Helping your soul learn to develop a deeper appreciation of its partner element is one of the goals of this exercise, and to do that, you need to emphasize inviting your mind to talk, and respectfully listening to what it says.

After our laxative addicted friend Rachel receives an alarming medical report, she decides that she needs to do something to try and improve her physical health. First, she tries some meditation exercises that focus on improving the communication between her soul and body. During those sessions, Rachel’s soul gains a deeper appreciation of how much her body is suffering due to her current behaviours, yet she still feels a deep terror of gaining weight. So after listening to her body, she decides to turn the focus onto her subconscious. Over a series of several meditation sessions, she asks her subconscious why it is so afraid of gaining weight. At first, her subconscious refuses to engage. This is a common problem when souls and minds have developed a lot of hostility between them. When your mind is refusing to talk to you, the best thing to do is to keep your sessions brief and to just keep trying. Also keep your tone gentle. Don’t start nagging and threatening. If you start realizing that your soul has fallen into a habit of frequently criticizing your mind, acknowledge that and apologize. By owning up to the fact that it’s been acting like a mean bully, your soul will have a better chance of convincing your mind to try talking to it again. This is the approach Rachel tries, and after several attempts, her mind finally starts to share its perspective of weight gain. Here is when she realizes that her subconscious strongly associates gaining weight with severe pain and rejection. Rachel’s mother has always been extremely critical of her daughter’s anatomy. Over the years, she’s made many deeply wounding comments that have caused Rachel to feel ugly and worthless due to her inability to reach her mother’s “ideal” weight. It was only through abusing her body for years that Rachel has managed to become skeletal enough to gain her mother’s approval. But as she talks with her mind, Rachel realizes that even now her mother is far from being affectionate towards her. Instead, it seems she is constantly dropping hints about how quickly she’ll withdraw her approval if Rachel doesn’t maintain her current size.

It’s only by really listening to her mind that Rachel is going to gain the insights she needs to help her mind change its traumatic beliefs about weight. If Rachel wants to save her physical health, which is currently in very bad shape, she needs to really step up her efforts to address the root cause of her aversion to food. In cases like Rachel’s, merely forcing the body to consume calories won’t be effective. The subconscious has such a powerful influence over the body that it can and will sabotage efforts to heal the body if it feels threatened by those efforts. The only way Rachel is going to be able to develop a healthy relationship with food is to help her mind stop feeling so terrified of gaining weight. Using mockery, shame, or force will only make the problem worse, and Rachel’s doctor has made it clear she is running out of time. So now that she has coaxed her mind into talking to her and now that her soul is learning how to treat her mind with respect and compassion, it’s time to move on to a different meditation goal.

Correcting Harmful Beliefs

In this kind of meditation, you are once again focusing on your subconscious, only this time you’re not just trying to listen; you’re trying to help. God designed all of your elements to work together in life, and to help each other overcome any obstacles that arise. When minds get stalled in life, they often need their partner souls to step in and help them get unstuck by offering a new perspective. In Rachel’s case, her mind is so terrified of losing her mother’s approval that it has become stalled in some very detrimental behaviours.

In cases of self-inflicted starvation, it’s never the body that votes for purging needed nutrients out of its system. These directives always come from either the soul or the subconscious. In Rachel’s case, her subconscious is the one coercing her body into taking laxatives every time she eats. Her subconscious is doing this in a sincere attempt to protect Rachel from the devastation of having her mother verbally attack and emotionally shun her. The problem is that Rachel’s need for her mother has been blown way out of proportion–so much so that her subconscious has developed a false belief that Rachel can’t thrive without her mother’s affection. Here is where Rachel’s soul has a critical role to play. Her subconscious needs help to correct its warped perspective of Rachel’s needs. Her subconscious also needs help with setting realistic expectations about Rachel’s mother.

In cases like Rachel’s, where a parent is pressuring a child to live up to an unhealthy and/or impossible standard before they will offer approval, the parent is being abusive as a way of trying to cope with their own internal distress. Since we can’t force other people to work on their issues, Rachel has no way of getting her mother to stop being abusive towards her. In her current internal state, Rachel’s mother is not capable of offering her daughter a functional relationship. Instead, Rachel’s mother will always find a reason to pick on her daughter and no matter what Rachel does, it will never be “good enough.” To help her own mind calm down, Rachel needs to realize that her mother has her own internal baggage which Rachel is not responsible for fixing. Rachel also needs to realize that if her mother chooses to remain stalled in life, there’s nothing Rachel can do about that. She can’t make her mother morph into a functional person. All she can do is limit her exposure to her mother, so that her mother will have less opportunities to abuse her.

When we are trying to recover from trauma that is being fed by an abusive relationship dynamic, giving up on that relationship is an important step in the recovery process. To save her own health, Rachel’s soul needs to help her subconscious realize that her mother is an unsafe, abusive person who may never improve. Rachel needs to help her subconscious let go of the dream of having a mother who will accept her as she is, because that’s just not available. To thrive in life, we need to set realistic goals, and this is something that your subconscious does want to do, but sometimes it loses sight of what realistic is.

To improve her health, Rachel begins an intense meditation schedule. Several times a day, she focuses on speaking gently to her mind about her mother, encouraging her mind to let go of that relationship, and to start viewing her mother’s opinions about an “acceptable” weight as the meaningless things that they are. Rachel also points out the bad shape her body is in, and gently urges her mind to turn its focus onto helping her body recover before it is too late. Between meditation sessions, Rachel attempts to eat tiny amounts of food without taking any laxatives. She keeps the amounts very small to avoid triggering panic in her mind. Meanwhile, as her mind mulls over what her soul keeps saying, it starts becoming receptive to the idea that maybe it really could manage in life without her mother.

As Rachel’s soul continues to dialogue with her mind, her mind’s perspectives begin to shift. It starts realizing that Rachel’s mother has never been possible to please. It starts to see the value of finally giving up on ever gaining that woman’s approval, and thereby feeling a lot less exhausted in the day to day. As Rachel’s mind shifts its beliefs, Rachel finds that she is able to start increasing how much she can eat at a time without triggering panic. Meanwhile, her mind and soul are now acting like friends instead of enemies and her internal stress levels are starting to lower.

Rachel’s story demonstrates the great value meditation can have as a therapeutic tool if it is set up correctly. As you can see, beneficial meditation requires a lot more than sitting still, breathing rhythmically, and intentionally ignoring anything your elements try to say. To really get value out of your meditation sessions, you need to go into them with a specific purpose in mind. You also need to focus on maintaining a positive dynamic between your elements, and that means listening attentively and responding respectfully to what your elements share.

Soul Focused Meditation

At last we come to the most popular form of meditation: the kind in which your soul pursues it’s own goals, often with very little regard for how its efforts will affect your other elements. Groups that promote soul focused meditation often simultaneously promote a very negative view of the body and/or mind by encouraging you to view these other elements as being a hindrance to your soul’s efforts to advance and evolve. Yet if you want to benefit from soul focused meditation efforts, you need to avoid embracing a negative view of your other elements. Your body, conscious, and subconscious are all providing your soul with invaluable help every day. Without your body, which is an amazing machine that was specifically designed for life on Earth, your soul could not interact with this physical world or anything in it. Without your subconscious, your soul would not be able to interpret all of the sights, sounds, and textures that your body’s senses are constantly collecting. Without your conscious, your soul would not be able to communicate with other humans. Bear this in mind the next time you come across some instruction about meditation that encourages your soul to devalue its partner elements. God didn’t throw in a bunch of useless junk when He created you. Every detail of your design has purpose and value, and folks who teach you otherwise probably aren’t in a position to offer you good advice.

Now when your soul wants to meditate for its own benefit, it has two main goals that it can choose from. The first is to try to deepen its own understanding or adjust some of its beliefs. The second is to develop relationships with specific supernatural entities. The interesting part is that these two agendas are impossible to separate.

It’s vital to understand that your soul is designed to be a very responsive creature. This means that most of what your soul thinks and does are actually responses to communications that is receiving from other parties. For example, your soul doesn’t just suddenly decide all on its own that it would be a good thing to mature. A sudden desire to “spiritually develop” is always a response to an external third party giving your soul a nudge in that direction. How do you know that it’s not your subconscious telling your soul to develop? Because your subconscious simply doesn’t care about this sort of thing. Your subconscious was designed to care about many things, and while it does want your soul to feel calm and happy, it doesn’t understand soul mechanics enough to know what your soul needs to develop. That information comes from supernatural entities who would like to influence your soul’s development for their own reasons. There are two interested parties. One is the Being who created you. I refer to that Being as God in my material. Then there are demons. Demons were created by the same God that created you, but they are very different than humans and they have different abilities and priorities.

While God is encouraging your soul to pursue goals that He knows will actually help you in the long-term, demons work hard to encourage your soul to embrace goals and beliefs that will harm you and prevent your soul from maturing. Unfortunately, a lot of popular meditation guidance is encouraging your soul to pursue harmful spiritual goals, meaning the kinds of goals that demons would love to see you embrace. Common examples here are meditating for the purpose of unlocking Divine wisdom, gaining supernatural powers, awakening your own “divine” nature, seeing into the future, spying on other people from an “astral plane”, trying to access an “astral plane,” trying to separate your soul from your body, trying to communicate directly with other souls, trying to time travel, and trying to travel to other dimensions. All of these goals are both useless and harmful. They are useless because they are impossible to achieve–ridiculously impossible, which is why you are absolutely wasting your time and energy trying to do any of these things. Oh, but so many people on the internet insist that they are accomplishing many of these things, so am I calling all of those people liars? Well, yes. But let me be clear: many of them honestly believe their own claims, so many of them aren’t trying to deceive you. Yet they are still lying in the sense that they aren’t actually doing the things they claim to be doing.

DEFINING REALITY

It is quite impossible for you to “project” your soul out of your body and send it flying about on its own. Yet it is very possible for demons to feed your subconscious a bunch of sensual data that will make you feel convinced that your soul has indeed visited some kind of “astral plane.” Here’s an unsettling fact about humans: we are incapable of telling the difference between reality and the illusion of reality if the illusion is done well enough. This is due to the way we interpret reality. For example, when your body sees a chair, it does not recognize what it is seeing. The visual data that your eyes collect means nothing to your body until your subconscious interprets that data. First your body collects the visual data of a chair. Then it relays that information to your subconscious. Your subconscious compares the incoming data with data that it has stored in its massive memory archives. Based on the matches it finds, it concludes that you are looking at a chair. It then shares this conclusion with your other elements. It is at that moment that the chair feels “real” to you. But is it?

A major weak point in this system is that your subconscious can’t identify the origin of the data it receives. When data streams in, it analyses it, forms a conclusion, and its conclusions shape your definition of “reality.” The chair you’re looking at only becomes real to you once your subconscious identifies it. But suppose the “chair data” didn’t come from your body, but from demons who are trying to mess with you? Demons are capable of feeding data directly to your subconscious which seems like normal body data. When demons feed you false “chair data”, your subconscious processes it the same way that it does normal body data. It also forms the same conclusion: that there is a chair sitting on the floor in front of you. Once your subconscious makes this conclusion, the chair becomes real to you. You actually feel like you see it with your eyes, when you’re really seeing an image that your subconscious has formed based on the data it received–false data that demons have invented just to mess with you.

None of us “see” with our physical eyes. Our eyes collect visual data, but that data is a disorganized mess. What you “see” when you look around a room are images that your subconscious has created from the data that your body collected. It is because you’re always seeing interpretations of the data–not the raw data–that you can easily see things that aren’t there.

You see a large spider on your carpet and you immediately feel alarmed until you move closer and realize it’s just a piece of lint. What happened here is your subconscious revised its final image once it received more visual data. You really did see a spider at first, because that was the image your subconscious first created. When you moved closer, your body was able to collect additional data, and after that new data is processed, the spider image gets replaced by the image of lint. The spider image was false, the lint image was correct…or so you assume. But if your subconscious were to suddenly revise the image a second time, you’d realize that the lint image was wrong as well.

The fact that we are all seeing and hearing interpretations of data, not actual data, is why we are so prone to making mistakes. You think you hear someone calling your name when no one really did. You think you see your friend up ahead, but it turns out to be someone else. Because you don’t recognize the uneven ground in front of you in time, you stumble and almost fall down. Humans are always misinterpreting the world around them, and the only reason we’re not freaking out about this is because most of us don’t realize how far off we are. More importantly, we don’t realize how easy it is for supernatural entities to feed us false data and con us into thinking we are having experiences that we’re not really having.

When people experience their souls flying about in other dimensions, when people see ghosts, and when people hear the thoughts of others, these experiences can feel absolutely real to them. What they don’t understand is that these “experiences” are being formed by their subconsciouses interpreting false data. The data is very real–their minds are actually receiving material to work with. But the data is deceptive, meaning it is designed to make people form false conclusions about things they’ve experienced.

Now when it comes to ghosts, there are many different methods demons use to cause people to see specific images. Ghosts are never what they appear to be. It’s not really a dead human who is floating about in your hallway. The image is functioning like a stage prop that demons have specifically designed to manipulate you. Sometimes they create an actual image in front of you, sometimes they just feed false data directly to your mind so that you think you see an image in front of you. Which method demons use depend on how many people they want to “see” their apparition. If you are with a group of people, yet you are the only one who sees an upsetting image that is in everyone’s line of sight, demons probably fed you the data directly. If everyone in the group sees the same thing, demons probably created an external image so that everyone could simultaneously see it and process it. Ghost sightings are always demon cons, but they are a lot more strategic than people realize, and it is very common for demons to only allow select members of a group to “see” the images they create (for a deeper understanding of ghost mechanics, see my book on demon cons).

Now before you assume that all hallucinations come from demons, it’s not that simple. Hallucinations can have many different causes, and sometimes your own subconscious is the one producing the false data that causes you to feel totally confused about what is and isn’t real. To learn more about the mechanics of this kind of self-deception, see Understanding False Memories: Why Your Mind Makes Stuff Up and Are Panic Attacks Caused By Demons?.

The critical point I want you to understand here is that you are extremely vulnerable to being deceived by supernatural beings. Since demons want to spiritually harm you, it benefits them to feed your subconscious all kinds of false data that your soul will then be influenced by.

Listen to people who think astral projection is real and you’ll find that their “evidence” is entirely based on sensory data. Jim is certain that his soul flew over San Francisco last night because he saw the city laid out below him. Obviously he couldn’t have seen it from that angle unless he was actually flying above it like a bird, right? Wrong. The major problem with the soul trips people go on is that the human soul is not capable of collecting sensory data. Your soul doesn’t have eyes and ears like your body does, so the only way that Jim could have really seen the city below him was if his body was flying through the air, using its physical eyes to collect visual data. Yet Jim knows he was lying peacefully on his bed the whole time that his soul was flying about, supposedly collecting data that it is incapable of collecting. If Jim had a better understanding of the human design, he would realize that he was being conned. The experience his soul had was filled with images that only his subconscious could have interpreted for him, and his subconscious would have needed fresh data to come up with those images. Since Jim was lying in bed with his eyes closed the whole time, where did all of that sensory data come from? It came from demons, who love the whole “cast your soul out of your body” routine because it encourages your soul to focus on the wrong priorities. While you’re busy practicing your soul casting abilities and having fun spying on people, you’re rejecting the limitations that your Creator has put on you. Once we start exaggerating our own abilities, we refuse to acknowledge how dependent we are on our Maker. Once we downplay our need for God, we reject the idea of submitting to Him, and this is a fabulous score for demons.

If you go through life trying to dominate, defy, and/or ignore your own Creator, you’re going to end up on the wrong side of His patience when He finally pulls your soul out of this world. If God decides that you’ve squandered your time here by embracing the wrong soul attitudes, He’ll make sure the next chapter of your existence is a lot less pleasant than this one was. There are severe consequences for making dumb soul choices while you are in this world, and demons want you to experience the worst consequences you possibly can because they love the idea of you being as miserable as they are.

Being Cautious with Meditation

You need to understand the principles I just explained in order to gain a proper appreciation for how vulnerable your soul is to being led astray through its meditation efforts. When you sit down to meditate for the purpose of advancing your soul in some way, you immediately attract the attention of supernatural creatures who are very interested in coaxing your soul to obsess over the wrong goals. Since most spiritual meditation guides are going to encourage your soul to focus on goals that range from stupid to dangerous, it is vital that you become extremely selective about who you are going to rely on to guide your meditation efforts. Trying to do a form of spiritual meditation without any guidance is not smart, because as I explained earlier, your soul is a very responsive creature. This means that by the time you think to yourself, “Gee, it would be good to work on developing my soul,” you are already responding to a prompting that you’re receiving from a supernatural entity.

Your soul does not become interested in maturing on its own. It only becomes interested in developing itself when it receives a prompting from a supernatural being. There are only two beings who will provide you with this kind of nudge: your Creator, or a demon. While there are many other kinds of supernatural beings in existence (such as angels), they do not get involved in trying to direct your soul. Yes, I know the meditation world abounds with people who claim to have all kinds of supernatural guides which they describe in very different ways. But let’s cut through the drama and get down to the truth: there are millions of costumes being used by supernatural beings, yet inside the costumes there are only two options for who is actually trying to influence your soul. You’re either hearing from the Being who created you, or you’re hearing from demons. Period.

To make wise spiritual choices, you need to learn to see costumes for what they are. A floating orb of light. A beautiful angelic looking being. A guy who looks like a clone of the main actor in the “Jesus” movie you just watched. A sparkling unicorn. A cute little fairy. Some mythical looking creature with a bunch of extra limbs. The appearance is irrelevant, and so is the name or title that the being associates with itself. “I’m your spirit guide.” Bull. You decide who your spirit guide is, you don’t let some entity assign themselves that role in your life. If you want to avoid having some pretty hideous soul problems, be smart and decide up front that the only being you are going to rely on for spiritual guidance is the One who created you.

“But I’m not religious, and I don’t even believe in God.” One of the most arrogant theories humans embrace is that other beings can’t exist until they personally acknowledge them. It doesn’t matter one iota whether you personally acknowledge God or not. His existence does not depend on your “faith” in Him, so if you’re tempted to use this kind of excuse for not seeking your Creator during spiritual meditations, I’m going to give you some tough love and say get over yourself. You are a limited created speck. You’re hardly in a position to decide what can and can’t exist. But while you’re busy thinking you are far more awesome than you are, there are a ton of malicious supernatural entities who love the fact that you’re sitting around pretending that they aren’t real because that makes you so much easier for them to mess with. Your soul is a responsive creature, and it is constantly responding to a whole host of beings that you don’t personally acknowledge. Denying the reality of supernatural beings doesn’t protect you from their influence anymore than denying the reality of lava will keep you from being scalded if you try and swim in a pool of the stuff. There are a lot of areas in life that you can afford to be ridiculous in without too much harm coming to you. Spiritual development isn’t one of those areas.

Due to the fact that supernatural beings are already involved by the time your soul even considers the idea of advancing itself, you need to forget about the idea of attempting solo meditation. You might be the only being you can see when you sit down to meditate, but you won’t be the only being who is there. Since you will always have company when you attempt spiritual meditation, you need to be very intentional about identifying which of your uninvited guests you’re going to listen to. If God has already introduced Himself to you, then ask Him to guide your session. If you haven’t personally met your Creator yet, you can still ask Him to guide your session. Simply focus on the concept of your Creator and ask Him to guide you. (And by the way, God doesn’t have a gender, so it really doesn’t matter what kind of pronouns you use when you talk to Him.) Also ask your Creator to help you be receptive to anything that He wants to teach you, because God is the only One who can help you spiritually develop.

Spiritual development isn’t like going to the gym and pumping iron whenever you feel like you want to bulk up your muscle mass. You can’t mature your soul on your own. You require guidance. This is because spiritual maturity occurs as your soul digests and responds to information that only God can teach you. Sure, a bunch of humans in this world are pumping out spiritual guidance in the form of videos, blogs, and books. But their material will be useless to you until God allows your soul to understand it.

Imagine that you’re trying to learn a skill that you can only learn by studying a set of instructional drawings. In the drawings, you see figures doing the activity you’re trying to learn how to do, and by studying each drawing, you slowly gain and understanding of how to approach that activity. Since this is a complex skill, there are thousands of drawings you need to study to gain an in-depth understanding of the subject. But now suppose that as you pull out a new drawing to study, someone suddenly covers your eyes with a blindfold. Now you can’t see the drawing, and that means you can’t make progress in your studies. To move forward, you need to have that blindfold removed.

The bizarre situation I just described illustrates how a spiritual education is gained. In this metaphor, the drawings illustrate various spiritual principles and God is the One who suddenly blindfolds you. God blindfolds you as a means of controlling the pace and order that you are learning in. The world is full of spiritual teachers who are constantly thrusting drawings in your face–drawings that they feel are important for you to study right now. But God has His own idea of which concepts will benefit you the most right now, and when someone tries to teach you a subject that God feels you’re not ready for, He will intentionally prevent your soul from understanding what is being taught.

God comes up with a unique teaching plan for every soul He makes. How He structures your lesson plan depends on who He made you to be. God doesn’t mass produce us like cookies that are all being stamped out using the same mould. He creates our souls with different personalities and different kinds of potential. It’s not a case of some of us being “better” than others. It’s more like God loves variety and He doesn’t want His relationship with you to be a clone of His relationship with billions of other souls. God likes having different dynamics with His creatures. Because He creates us to be different from each other, He then uses different methods to nurture us. Your soul will learn best if God uses certain methods of teaching–methods that will differ a bit from the methods He uses to teach me. The point is that this whole “spiritual development” thing is a far more planned out, precise, and personalized experience than you realize.

When God designed you, He made a billion decisions about what kind of personality your soul would have, and what kind of dynamic it would most enjoy having with Him in the future. When God starts whispering to your soul that its time for you to start focusing on your own spiritual development, He already has a very detailed plan in mind for how He is going to introduce you to new spiritual concepts. Since you can’t learn what you need to learn apart from God, and since He is the only One who actually understands what your soul’s potential is and what is best for it, you trying to spiritually develop without involving God is a joke.

Now let’s be honest: have you ever come across instruction about spiritual meditation that explains the concepts I just did? Spiritual meditation instructors don’t teach you about the importance of choosing the right spiritual guide, nor do they teach you that your Creator is the only spiritual guide worth listening to. This is the problem with the meditation guidance you find online: people are misleading you on a subject that is extremely serious. They are teaching you that if you just sit around counting breaths, ignoring your other elements, and chanting certain mantras, you’ll magically evolve. Well, no, you won’t. To benefit from spiritual meditation, you need to view as an opportunity to study and learn from a very specific Teacher. Simply sitting around telling yourself how wonderful you are isn’t going to get you anywhere. Developing your soul is an entirely different concept than pumping up your own ego by telling yourself that you’re some amazing being who is destined for great things. You actually have no idea what you’re destined for because you didn’t create yourself. Only your Creator can give you an accurate answer to the questions “Why am I here? What is the purpose of my existence?” These are very important questions, and your soul was designed with a deep need to get some satisfying answers. God put that need in your soul, and He is the only One who can satisfy it.

If you’re not religious, that’s great, because it means you don’t already have a head full of wrong ideas about who God is and how He operates. If you are religious, you’ll need to be receptive to God pointing out a lot of errors in your spiritual beliefs. There is no religion that gets everything right. Every religion puts out a mix of truth and lies, and only God can help you sift through the mess and figure out what to keep and what to toss. The point is that regardless of what your background is, you are perfectly capable of asking your Creator to be your spiritual guide in life. Remember: if you aren’t intentionally about choosing your guide, demons will try to seize that role in your life. So there’s no room for being a lazy sack and just surrendering your soul to the first being to show up. You can be sure that something will show up at some point and try to entice you into submitting to it as your guide. Such encounters are always touted as exciting breakthroughs among meditation enthusiasts, when in reality, they are often cases of souls very foolishly deciding to latch onto some demonic creature who is wearing a pretty costume. Don’t be so quick to be impressed by testimonies in which someone gushes on and on about how warm and fuzzy they felt when they interacted with The Light or The Spirit or The One. Emotional surges and tingling sensations have no spiritual value whatsoever. True spiritual progress is made by gaining instruction from your Creator and then responding to that information wisely instead of foolishly. God will help your soul make fantastic progress if you are intentional about relying on Him and Him alone to teach you. This means focusing specifically on God whenever you sit down to do spiritual meditation. It also means asking Him what He thinks about spiritual teaching that other people offer you, and that includes this article. The sooner you develop a habit of always checking with God before you just accept something as true, the better off you’ll be.

The Benefits of Spiritual Meditation

Your relationship with your Creator is the most important relationship you’ll ever have. Spiritual meditation is about turning your focus onto that relationship and spending some time focusing on you and your Maker. To get the most out of these experiences, don’t spend the whole time bossing God about. Just be with Him. If He wants to say something, He will. If you want to say something to Him, then do. But also be open to the idea of just relaxing in His Presence for awhile, because that can be very refreshing to your soul.

God is always with you and He is always involved in your life, so it’s not like you have to meditate before you can deepen the bond. As is the case with any spiritual activity, you should wait for God to prompt you before you try spiritual meditation. This means you wait for it to sound like an appealing idea; you don’t force yourself to try to sit still and not fidget when your mind is whirling with a bunch other things you’d rather be doing. Meditation is a type of spiritual ritual and all rituals have limited value. They benefit you the most when you follow God’s leading on when to do them. So don’t meditate just because you want to be trendy or join some silly fad. Most of the folks who are raving about meditation are going about it all wrong and they are not actually gaining the benefits that they claim they are. Don’t imitate these fools, because they are not worthy of being your spiritual guides in life. There is only one spiritual guide you should be listening to. Ask your Creator to help you become all that He wants you to be.