If you have a skeptical mind and have been spending most of your life relying on your thinking, it might seem like an insurmountable task to have the direct experience of consciousness. Even if you have been meditating for a long time, chances are that you’ve been doing it from inside the mind.
Here’s the good news. I was extremely heady, analytical, AND skeptical, and I managed to get my mind on board with accessing consciousness. I needed to understand the why and the how and then break it down into very practical steps. In this episode of the Uncover YOU podcast, I talk you through the steps needed to have that longed-for experience beyond the mind. I also share about my own journey of getting there.
Listen to episode 45, on how I got my mind on board with accessing consciousness:
10 weeks with impactful and simple weekly practices, that step-by-step take you into the experience of consciousness. So that you can meet with all parts of yourself with loving awareness and heal old emotional wounds.
A summary of what I talk about in this episode:
My first peek behind the veil
When I started the Self Mastery work to change what I had finally identified as my mind’s program of beliefs, I was a big-time skeptic. I had found a way to change my thoughts and emotions that made sense to my mind, and I was all onboard, but I needed the why and how. If it became too woo-woo; if someone started talking about universal love and heart openings, I would dismiss it as crazy talk, something not based in reality.
I did however connect deeply to the Self Mastery work and I could see how our mind was made up of stories and meaning we had given to the world around us. How sub-personalities, or characters, had formed the unconscious beliefs from past events, and that I was shifting in and out of their different perspectives. I was living in their worlds.
The more I learned observing them and their patterns the question grew: If I’m not them and they are not who I am – then who am I?
Around 5 months after I started the work I was spending some time at my dad’s house in the Swedish countryside. It was a warm summer’s day and I was relaxing on a blanket in the grass, reading The Mastery of Love by Miguel Ruiz. I enjoyed the book and how it gave me a clear picture of the self-love and the joy that was possible for me if I continued to observe and change the programming of my mind.
All of a sudden I got a feeling of vertigo, like I was standing on the edge of great depth and was pulled towards the empty space. My body was responding like it was floating in darkness and didn’t know up or down. The thought that came to mind was: There’s more. As in: there’s more than what my mind can perceive or is aware of.
I felt like I had peeked beyond a veil that I hadn’t known was there before. That my hand had reached out, felt it and pulled it aside. Behind it was a vast, unknown landscape that now was seen but that my mind didn’t know what to think about because the experience was outside of its borders.
What came next was a mix of reactions and stories from the mind. It felt it was tricked to visit somewhere it didn’t want to go. It was losing a sense of control. There was uncertainty and even anger.
At this point, I was already signed up and paid to go to the Power Journey to Teotihuacán in Mexico and I got a sense that there would be more opportunities to explore this place behind the veil, whatever it was. I had mixed emotions. One part was excited, like a light inside had been turned on. A light that I had forgotten about but that had been waiting inside for the right moment. A whole bunch of other parts of me was completely terrified about what this would mean and what would happen.
If you’ve listened to episodes 16 and 17 on Dreaming, you know that I did have a lot of experiences beyond the thinking mind on that first power journey to Teo.
After that experience I had a whole other platform to keep changing the program of beliefs from. I had a sense of who I was beyond my ego-mind and old conditioning. Who I was couldn’t be answered by the mind but it could be experienced.
Breaking down the steps
I got passionate about experiencing more of my true self on a daily basis and learned about different meditation techniques, went to workshops, trainings and intensives with teachers from around the world. What was very clear to me was the power in the combination: unidentifying with the parts of your mind (that we learn in the self mastery work) while accessing what I started calling consciousness or I AM or awareness, for lack of better words.
A lot of people I met on my journeys were going for the experience of consciousness but didn’t know how to step out of the perspectives of the mind that kept pulling them back into their mind.
I started mapping what I was doing and how when I had the experience of myself as consciousness when I was meditating and I realized something huge:
We can methodically fine-tune the instrument of our perception to become aware of ourself as consciousness.
The experience of consciousness inside of yourself didn’t only happen by chance or for a few lucky people after 40 years of meditating in a cave, there was actually a muscle to go exercise to have that experience.
And the more you practiced the more the experience would deepen and grow and would take you to new stages of perception.
I was thrilled and went deeper into my explorations and mapping of the steps, like a scientist. I could see the impact it could have on people who much like myself needed a clear path to follow that their mind could be on board with.
This is how the meditation journey Beyond the Mind saw the light of the day. A group of people moved through the practices for the first time in January 2020 and since then many hundreds have moved through the practices.
The first time I was a little hesitant to clearly share the intent with the course and I focused on the benefits for the brain and changing your brainwave state. Over time I got more comfortable stating my real intention: to deepen your meditation practice and practice the muscles needed for the direct experience of yourself as consciousness.
The steps to accessing consciousness
What I found in my explorations, and how the Beyond the Mind course is set up, is that these steps are crucial if you want to experience the frequency of consciousness:
1) A deeper understanding and embodiment of relaxation
As I talk about in episode 43 on brainwave states, you can’t access higher states of consciousness from a stressed brain. To be able to regulate your nervous system out of survival state and find a relaxed alpha brainwave state is crucial. This in itself can be a whole journey!
2) Get a hold over your attention
If you’ve done the Self Mastery Course 1 you know that your attention is a force on its own. To start having control of it and move it around between different experiences, internally and externally, will set you up for the next steps.
3) Sensing instead of thinking
Now it’s time to start turning your attention to the experience of sensing and finding how that is different from thinking. We are so used to identifying and hanging out in our thinking mind, so this is a way to start venturing outside of the mind with your attention.
4) Shift the quality of your attention
When we’re focused on thoughts, objects, pain, problems, a work task, a Friends episode on HBO… we’re usually in a narrow focus. This is just one state that your attention can be in. To experience consciousness, you need to learn how you open your focus to take in space and other less dense experiences of life.