Within each one of us, there is a seed of spirit, a pure energy waiting to be discovered. This energy is part of the Source, the cosmic consciousness that has been there since our birth (or before birth if you believe in reincarnation). This energy is also part of your individual Higher Self, a bridge between you and the universe. This seed of spirit is not hidden, but it does need to be cultivated and built upon for it to come to its full potential.
Meditation is a powerful gateway for connecting with your Higher Self, and a mindfulness practice focused on nurturing that connection can cause immediate, noticeable changes in your perception of the world. How do we know that we’ve begun establishing a connection with our Higher Selves during meditation? Here are four signs you might notice:
1. Your Brain Waves Change, Causing Your Mind to Work in Tandem With Your Heart
Our brains produce different brain waves according to our emotional and physical state. Brain waves with different frequencies are always present, but one type will become dominant depending on our activity in the moment. Beta frequencies are associated with everyday activities such as talking, reading, and working. On the other hand, alpha waves are associated with relaxation, gentle thoughts, and meditation. So when you meditate, you’re actually causing a measurable change in the way your brain operates by producing more alpha waves.
In fact, contemporary neuroscientists have discovered that during particularly deep meditation states, the brain is capable of producing entirely new types of brain waves called theta and gamma waves. Gamma waves have been associated with the expansion of consciousness and the unfolding of spirituality. These deeper meditative states also correspond with an area in the brain scientists have termed the “higher brain center”.
At Higher Self Yoga, we refer to this area as the physical location of the higher mind. The higher mind uses the rational brain but is not governed by it, and works in harmony with the heart. The higher mind and the heart are connected to the seat of wisdom, and can apply this wisdom to the individual. This is the heart-mind synthesis that we strive to develop, a necessary step to achieving our full spiritual potential and becoming one with our Higher Selves.
The heart-mind synthesis is imperative to establishing a connection to our Higher Selves because the heart and the mind balance each other’s energies. Without the heart, the mind lacks the grace of compassion and understanding needed to connect and be understood by others. Without the use of the wise mind, the heart lacks critical balance and analysis, which can easily result in different and inappropriate conclusions and actions.
What does this mean for meditation? The higher mind is capable of identifying our lower characteristics, like greed or an obsession with power. Not only can your higher mind make these characteristics clear to you, it can also show you how to let these lower energies go by not acting on them.
In other words, establishing a connection with the Higher Self during meditation actively changes the way your brain processes thoughts, stimulates your higher mind, and establishes the heart-mind connection, giving you the wisdom to identify and release the lower characteristics holding you back from a fulfilling life. Working out and transforming our lower nature is necessary because you are in fact making physical space in your consciousness for the Higher Self energy and wisdom to come in. This is the work of spirituality and self-awareness as we know it, which allows us to access higher realms of inner and outer cosmic spiritual energies and knowledge.
Connecting the heart and higher mind is a powerful effect of Higher Self meditation.
2. Things “Fall Away”
When you are in deep, theta- and gamma-wave meditation, you are in contact with your Higher Self, and higher spiritual energies of the cosmos. Your thoughts, anxieties, and the troubles of the day start to melt away. You might even feel as though you’re “in the zone”, a trance-like state of focused relaxation many athletes have described during some of their best sports performances.
In this state of meditation, you feel the gentle hum of energy and nothing else. This cathartic release of our overactive minds is what has been described in many cultures as a spiritual experience, a higher state of consciousness. In my experience, it is a sensation of silent emptiness best described as a feeling of total freedom. It is a state of openness, grace, and humility. You are touching the god within, and it feels amazing.
3. You “Hear” or “See” Words and Images
In a deeper meditative state, you are an empty vessel open to receiving images and words from your Higher Self and from the cosmos. According to Roberto Assagioli M.D., the father of psychosynthesis, 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.
Dr. Assagioli was one of the first modern scientists to describe Higher Self energy as a state of higher spiritual consciousness, something he himself experienced during his imprisonment. It is similar to what the fourteenth-century poet Dante experienced during his permanent exile with a death sentence hanging over his head. He illustrated this inner journey in his Divine Comedy: from the climbing out of the Inferno of our lower nature, through the transformation (Purgatorio) and getting in touch with one’s inner wisdom, the Higher Self, and finally to the states of higher consciousness (Paradiso).
In this meditative state, I would often hear words or even see images with my inner senses of hearing and seeing exactly as Dr. Assagioli described. Oftentimes, these were answers to questions I had brought to my meditation. In some cases, they would even point me in the right direction I needed to further investigate.
Energies descend down into images, and images descend down into words. – Dr. Assagioli
4. You’re Inspired To Make Major Life Changes
When I was unhappy with my work, I was thinking of changing my job and undertaking new professional directions. Thinking about it did not help and I felt lost and more desperate looking for a change. During a powerful meditation session, I “saw” images of medical photography, which led me to investigate this field. Seeing that in itself felt very exciting as it gave me hope and a direction to follow.
Feeling inspired and curious, I took a trip to a bookstore and looked up anything I could find on the subject of different imaging techniques used in medicine or sciences, which in turn led me to investigate medicine and biology itself as career options. Eventually, I settled on a doctorate in experimental medicine. In retrospect, the reason I saw medical photography in my meditation was that at the time I was in fact doing professional photography and was considering this as a professional option to pursue. Interestingly, my Higher Self knew me better than I knew myself. I needed the combination of both artistic and intellectual activity in my career to satisfy both sides of my personality. Needless to say, that single meditation session where I connected with my Higher Self completely changed the trajectory of my life.
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Committing to the Process
These changes will not happen overnight or in one meditation. For me, it was a process of many meditations seeking answers, strengthening my heart–mind connection to my Higher Self, and accepting some ideas while rejecting others. Using my rational mind helped a lot in devising the right action plan that made the most logical sense, but in the end, it was my Higher Self that led me to the right decisions and I took the right actions to fulfill my destiny.
The more you work with your Higher Self, the more you will recognize this energy and wisdom when it comes to you. With practice, you will instinctively recognize in your body the shift in energy when communicating with your Higher Self. This state of that energy experience is one of overwhelming joy as you are touching your seed of spirit, a higher cosmic energy, and your inner wisdom. After some time the Higher Self becomes part of you, your awareness, and even your intuition. Knowledge of right action and human interactions using more of your heart energies becomes almost second nature. It is a feeling of freedom and joy, but getting there requires work.
Working with the Higher Self can give you the courage to tackle the biggest obstacles in your life.
A Word of Caution
It’s important to remember that whatever information you receive in meditation, you must check with your rational mind to make sure it is not your lower nature influencing your thinking.
I’ll be talking more about lower nature in my next post, but for now, simply understand that our lower nature can be very strong and influence all aspects of our lives. Just as we strive for higher wisdom, it is important to work on and understand our lower nature characteristics which, if left unresolved, will trap us in false understanding and keep us from forging a genuine connection with our Higher Self. As Dante described purgatory in his Divine Comedy: Our hell of suffering is our own lower nature. In order to transform them, we need to bring them to the surface of our awareness and choose not to act on them.
This work of transforming your lower nature is not only invaluable, but also necessary to create space for positive energies to come in. Working together with the Higher Self coach, a spiritual guide, or a professional therapist, can speed up the process. Personally, I found using a therapist enjoyable, because it allowed me to examine issues in my life that I could not even see, let alone understand! As a consequence, I learned a lot about myself that I was able to put into action.