The search for knowledge and the desire to understand my life’s purpose and meaning led me to the practice and study of Higher Self Yoga. In the course of my studies, I became particularly fascinated by Higher Self meditation and the energies that I experienced during my practice. These inner energies and knowledge are not hidden from us, but they do need to be uncovered through the process of meditation and by connecting to one’s Higher Self. I found this new experiential knowledge to be scientifically credible, life-changing, and invaluable.
It is in this spirit of giving back that I offer my personal insights about the practical and spiritual benefits of establishing a connection to your Higher Self. To guide you, I’ve outlined my own meditation practice that helped me immensely when I first started on my journey. I’ve also provided the mountaintop guided meditation that is the quintessential guided meditation experience, as well as a history of that meditation and the philosophy behind it.
Note: When I refer to energy, consciousness, or self-awareness, in most instances, they are synonymous with each other. Directing self-awareness, thought or consciousness, is directing energy, and vice versa. As you direct your thoughts and meditations towards your Higher Self, you are energizing that intention into actualizing self-awareness of your Higher Self. For further illustration of these Higher Self energies, refer to this diagram.
Meditation and the Higher Self
Why do we strive to connect with our Higher Selves? Meditation and communicating with your Higher Self brings the excitement of discovery as you study and experience new energies, and it opens pathways towards new and life-changing possibilities. The process of communicating with our Higher Selves is a creative one that allows access to new knowledge and a deeper understanding of oneself, and it often brings about an element of surprise, as you will frequently learn something new and unexpected.
This knowledge also brings about greater understanding and acceptance of our singular existence, integrating it into the much larger context of humanity and cosmic infinity itself. What exists beyond visible everyday life is a much different reality that consists of different fields of energy that unify all physical and mental life. In that experience, the energy of the individual self merges with other energies resulting in the experience of oneness or unity, which has been described and validated by neuroscience.
The separation between oneself and ‘other’ is lessened and therefore the experience of merging into one unified energy field becomes possible, as will be fully described in the subsequent chapter on oneness. This awareness results in a shift of consciousness that allows one to comprehend a different view of reality, and experience oneself and the world in new and beneficial ways. This new knowledge cultivates greater self-awareness that benefits physical and emotional well-being and life satisfaction for oneself as well as for others.
Connecting with your Higher Self is a feeling of union, light, and freedom.
Beyond the metaphysical/spiritual experiences, being one with your Higher Self energy results in enormous and immediate practical benefits as it brings clarity to everyday life, including a range of decisions from choosing the right relationships to negotiating the best business decisions (and that includes salary and position advancement negotiations). When you become one with your Higher Self, you are living and acting in the consciousness of the Higher Self wisdom. This aspect alone makes your life easier and more satisfying, and therefore, at least for me, worth pursuing this connection to my inner wisdom that expands my self-awareness.
How can we discover the Higher Self?
It is only the strength of your desire for uncovering inner wisdom that will open the door to your Higher Self and lead to experiencing the energies of higher consciousness. The best way to reach that end is through consistent meditation practice and by forming a connection to your Higher Self. In the end, connecting to Higher Self is an experiential and a personal journey.
The Higher Self holds wisdom that spans the spectrum from mundane yet practical insights to a sublime spiritual understanding of energies that hold all of physical and mental life together. This knowledge can be used in all types of decisions. It’s useful both for everyday life, and also to help you grow spiritually and find your life’s path. However, these two benefits are not mutually exclusive, and combining practical know-how together with spiritual wisdom can give you the balanced expression of the individuality that you are seeking.
In the hope to help you start your own Higher Self meditation practice, I will describe some elements of my personal practice that helped me along the way.
My Meditation Practice
My meditation practice is specifically designed to establish connection and dialogue with your Higher Self. The goal is to gain the benefits of that connection, along with the inner wisdom described above and in my previous post where I answered common questions about the Higher Self.
How do you start? As a beginner, I started by not knowing anything about meditation, so my practice began when a good friend of mine suggested I try it together with him as he was meditating on a regular basis. He simply made me feel at ease sitting in a comfortable chair with eyes closed, and instructing me to turn my attention inwards for as long as it felt effortless. He went on encouraging me to simply try to relax and just acknowledge any thoughts coming in, without holding on to them. It was simple enough, and I found it relaxing and comfortable. That was my first exposure to meditation and from here on I developed my own practice that worked best for me.
When is the best time to meditate? In addition to daytime practice, I would often meditate later in the evening, sometimes before going to sleep, when it was darker and quieter outside and I was tired from days’ work and therefore my mind was not busy with thoughts of the day. When tired, it was easier for me to ‘let go’, and be open for the energies of my Higher Self to come in. At other times I would meditate in a group with other seekers, and you too may find it beneficial if you mix your practice between the group and solitary meditation. Through experimentation, you will find the way that is best for you.
How do you sit? The actual physical form, for example, sitting cross-legged or in a chair, is not important except that you need to feel comfortable.
What do you focus on? I use a candle as a point of focus. Filling your meditation space with objects representing beauty is also beneficial as it sets the mind-heart energy towards spiritual union with your best Self – the Higher Self. I have used a fresh flower, plant, or a picture of nature that brings beauty to me. In addition, you may want to use a meaningful statuette, a picture of sacred art, or a picture of a person that has meaning for you. The higher mindsets the focus and intention, and the heart lets you feel the beauty of that intention and connection. The heart-mind synthesis used in this way allows for a more complete feeling of union between higher knowledge and beauty.
Your First Meditation
When you meditate you are purposefully directing your consciousness towards a new reality beyond the self that is directed towards the wisdom of your Higher Self – the living center of your inner wisdom. New feelings arise within and energies change that can be described in words as surprise, awareness, love, lightness, freedom, and unity or oneness, among many other descriptions. But in the end, no words can describe this state. Only the experience itself will do it justice, and once you have that knowledge, nobody can take it away from you.
You don’t need to sit cross-legged when you meditate. A comfortable chair will do just fine!
Some practitioners find it useful to start with a short centering relaxation which helps to create conditions for experiences of higher energies. To this extent, I use two very short practices from the text Transpersonal Development: Cultivating the Human Resources of Peace, Wisdom, Purpose and Oneness, by Bonney and Richard Schaub. I find these brief meditations extremely useful as I try to relax, center, and loosen my body and mind. (These also work well when you are having a hard time falling asleep and when your brain is overactive.)
Place two hands on top of each other on your belly.
Follow your breath – notice the rising and falling of your belly.
Continue for about 30 seconds – following and noticing your breath and rising and falling of your belly.
Say your name followed by – let go. Example: Mario let go, Mario let go, and so on. You may use this as a mantra, repeating it for about 30 seconds.
After you feel that you achieved calmness and feel relaxed, proceed to the longer mountain meditation to meet your Higher Self.
The Mountain Meditation
This meditation is designed to get you in touch with your Higher Self. I use my higher mind to set intention and focus, and then gently shift my awareness (energy) to my heart center in feeling beauty, warmth, and positive energy towards my Higher Self, gently asking that it shows itself to me. Once you achieve that connection, moving forward, you may use any meditation practice you feel comfortable with as you have established a connection to your Higher Self.
The Higher Self Yoga mountain exercise provided here has been adapted from the teachings of psychosynthesis that was originally adapted from Dante’s Divine Comedy, as described in detail, below. The meditation is presented here in two formats: in a short, animated video for ease of visualization, as well as a longer MP3 recorded voice that is intended for you to follow as a guide if you like, during actual meditation.
Full Guided Meditation
Dante’s Mountain Climb
The quintessential meditation practice for meeting your Higher Self was actually described hundreds of years ago by Dante in his Paradiso section of The Divine Comedy. While scholars tend to focus on the vivid imagery of hell in Inferno, it is merely the first part of a three-part story describing the ascension of human consciousness from the depths of misery in Hell, to the work of transformation in Purgatory, and then finally to the mountaintop of enlightenment. The mountain climb undertaken by Dante’s protagonist, known only as The Pilgrim or the seeker, is a beautiful spiritual metaphor that encapsulates the experiences of your Higher Self and that of higher energies.
This famous illustration of Dante’s Divine Comedy shows the ascent up the mountain from Purgatorio to Paradise.
The climb up the mountain starts after Purgatory where the Pilgrim, with the guidance and wisdom of his guide Virgil, has transformed most of his lower nature fears and obstacles by choosing not to act on them. In terms of the spiritual metaphor, Purgatory is the stage of transformation where you actively work to overcome fear patterns that trap your consciousness. This transformation is necessary because all of your unresolved fears, desires, and emotions cloud the wisdom coming from your Higher Self, and they need to be resolved as you begin ascending the mountain.
This transformative stage of your fears is the polarity model, where you choose not to act out on your fears and instead you choose the opposite course of benevolent feelings and action. For example, if feelings of greed creep up, say maybe because of fear of lack of money, then you substitute feelings of generosity and abundance. Another example might be the feeling of unforgiveness or anger in which case you would practice the feeling of compassion towards that person. That in essence is the polarity model, which is the work of personal transformation. You are transforming lower nature fears into its polar opposites. You are choosing not to act on the fears, but instead, act on polar opposites that are positive and benevolent characteristics. It is only after this stage that physical and mental space in your heart and mind becomes available for the energy of higher consciousness to come into your awareness, but the work of transformation continues as one moves upward.
Coming out of Purgatory, the Pilgrim’s Higher Self energies start becoming available to him, and it is in his inner mind that he sees and connects to his Higher Self in the form of his guide – Beatrice. From this point forward, the Pilgrim is in fact alone, and he alone has to do the work of climbing to the ultimate union with his Higher Self. And yet, the Pilgrim still maintains a dialogue in his inner mind with his Higher Self, Beatrice, and she continues to aid him in his ascent by describing the obstacles ahead.
Climbing the mountain becomes easier as he transforms more and more of his negative patterns, and soon the Pilgrim begins to feel physically lighter and freer. It is when he reaches the top of the mountain that he finally becomes one with his Higher Self and different levels of energies, self-awareness, and consciousness become available to him. However, Pilgrim’s ego is still present and he wants to understand and control the experience. Thankfully, Beatrice (his Higher Self) tells him to stop thinking and to simply feel and experience the energies. As the journey concludes, Pilgrim and Beatrice are in union, walking, and meditating while bathed in light.
This experience of union, light, and freedom is what I strive for in my meditations – the ultimate union with my Higher Self.
For me, connecting with my Higher Self is an experience of shifting of energy – self-awareness within my body. It does not happen often but when it does – it is an amazing experience, and it differs for different practitioners. People experience Higher Self in different forms, as a physical wise being, beam of light, energy, or an angel. The form does not matter. My own experience is perceptible to me because when it happens, I feel with my senses an actual shift in energy that I can best describe as where my body goes from the perception of life around me into a realm of total silence. When that happens, I know that I am in contact with the energy of my Higher Self and I just sit and try to stay intently “open” for as long as it lasts. Sometimes there is only a feeling of ultimate stillness and quiet, and at other times words and feelings come down to me as I experience them with my inner senses.
Roberto Assagioli M.D., the father of psychosynthesis, described this sensation in a way that resonates with my own experiences: “energies descend down into images, and images descend down into words”. When you are communicating with your Higher Self energy, you may see images or hear words not with your eyes and ears, but with your inner senses of seeing and hearing. When this experience happens to you – and it will happen – you will notice and understand its meaning. These experiences are individual and vary, and so it is good to have a physical guide to help process and discuss these new observations.
The Value of a Guide
Dante’s (c. 1265 – 1321) Divine Comedy is the first secular Western lineage description of linking inner work on lower and higher energies, and as Dante noted of his own journey – anyone can go on this journey and the process of discovery is in the experience itself. And as in all journeys, having a knowledgeable guide to show you the way can be extremely valuable, and therefore it is no accident that the Pilgrim in Dante’s Divine Comedy has two guides: Virgil and Beatrice. Likewise, I found that help from a coach, mentor, or spiritual guide is absolutely invaluable.
Me and Nanette
I was lucky in that Nanette Hucknall, the founder of Higher Self Yoga, has personally helped and guided me to connect with my Higher Self energies. It is the experience from people that have traveled the same path that can help to guide you on this journey. At times, it can be beneficial to meditate with a group of like-minded seekers. If a group is striving towards the same goal, that energy is amplified and meditation becomes easier. It can also be beneficial to share and compare your experiences with others in the same practice.
On the other hand, I also very much like and enjoy meditating alone in the privacy of my home. At times I find meditation to be a very personal and solitary experience – it can feel like a very sacred moment not to be shared. Sometimes I like to meditate in solitude in union with my Higher Self energy, which can be an extraordinary experience.
Starting Your Own Journey
Dr. Assagioli (1888 – 1974), the father of Psychosynthesis, understood the importance of Dante’s work on Higher Self and the mountain climb to higher energies. He developed the first Western spiritual transformative psychology practice of psychosynthesis, which teaches its students how to work psychologically with different energies. We at Higher Self Yoga take a similar approach, and we pride ourselves on being one of the first Western practices that synthesize many traditional Eastern spiritual teachings with the transformative work on lower-self fear patterns, resulting in greater self-awareness and experiences of Higher Self consciousness.
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Did you try the mountain meditation? How did it feel?
Tell us in the comments below!