Where is your true center located? It seems like a simple question, except that different cultures locate your center in various places in the body. For Taoists, it is in the navel or lower abdominal area. For Christian and Sufi mystics, it is in the heart. Ancient yoga teachings in India may emphasize that keeping your focus in your third eye will keep you centered. Although these teachings all express the concern that if you place your center in the location other than where they suggest, you will become unbalanced, don’t worry. There is a principle that will unite all these teachings into one…
Your true center is within the vertical column of divine presence, also known as your central channel. You could think of it as your spiritual spine. Before you existed in this body, your soul’s energy body existed. And beyond this lifetime, your soul’s energy body will continue to live. This means that when you feel into your vertical column of divine presence, you touch the living eternity that is your essential nature. This begins to give you a hint about the location of your true center.
Now does this mean that your central energy channel is itself your true center? Although the central channel is where you look for your center, the central channel is not itself the true center. This is because your center is not actually a place at all. Your center is better understood as a process — a way of placing your attention within. Although you might read metaphysical books that endlessly describe spiritual matters, if you want to have an actual experience with your true center, this involves gently placing your attention, and letting yourself become familiar with your inner essence that you gradually discover there.
Although your central energy channel is not your physical body, your subtle body is in the same location as your physical body. Perhaps you are wondering how your subtle energy body could be in the same location as your physical body. Wouldn’t one body displace the other? Actually, your subtle energy body co-exists with your physical body, because each is on a different frequency, or vibration. The subtle body is lighter in density, and easily co-exists with the physical body.
So the key is to place your attention in your central energy channel, which is located in the spine. However, your awareness goes deeper than the physical spine, and this is the secret to inner awareness. But what could be deeper than the spine? The deeper dimension of your central energy channel is infinitely vast. And as this topic is difficult to describe, it is often left out of teachings. But when you understand what to do, you can have your own valid mystical experience.
So how do you access a vast dimension, located within your spine? You place your attention there, you quiet your inner dialog, and you gently imagine that your attention is going deeper. At first, it seems that you are accessing a space of darkness or nothingness. That is just the surface of your experience. Gently bring your attention deeper. This is how you discover the inner vastness. You go deeper, and then deeper again. And this may bring up several questions…
1. If you go deep, will you become unaware of the physical plane, or become somehow ungrounded?
This is a sensible question, because your spiritual journey is only of value if you are safely integrated. And so you maintain awareness of your physical body, in present time, while doing your spiritual explorations. But, you may wonder, what about those teachings that suggest that you should be “one pointed” in your spiritual focus? Such teachings risk ungroundness, because they emphasize the intensity produced by one-pointed attention. Do not risk overload — stay integrated with your body in present time. Recognize that you can be appropriately focused in your inner energy experience, while also being appropriately stabilized in your physical body.
2. If you go deeper, how do you know just how deep to go?
This is something you discover yourself, through your safely grounded inner explorations. In general, you go deeper into the depth of your inner light one step at a time. You maintain awareness of your body in present time. You do not space out, you do not leave your body, and you continue to have mindful awareness of your basic processes such as breathing, heartbeat, and awareness of your surroundings. It is better to have a high quality grounded experience, than an intense ungrounded experience.
3. Is there a final deep place within where you can discover your deepest truth?
The deeper you go within your heart, within your mind, and within your abdomen, the deeper the level of truth that you can access. The depth is more important than the location — rather than the currently popular teaching that the heart automatically holds the deepest truth. The secret to discovering your truth involves your going deeper, because unless you do this, you are only at the surface of the heart, and that is as unsteady as the surface of the mind.
But as to the question of a final deep place of ultimate truth, there is no one place or one level within you that is a deepest place of truth. But relax, because you can definitely find useful insights about your deeper truth at every inner level of your being. As you discover each aspect of the truth, at every inner level you explore, you can gradually feel more and more in touch with meaningful truth that can serve your highest good. When you realize that each deeper level of inner discovery brings you spiritually valid and empowering realizations, this replaces the old idea of one final ultimate truth.
Of course, your recognition that your inner discovery goes ever deeper, and never ends, can be somewhat overwhelming at first, because your logical mind may have convinced you that you would someday find an ultimate place, or have an ultimate experience. Such ideas are comforting notions to the logical mind, because then it still feels in control of your spiritual process. When you discover that your enlightenment is ever evolving, then you may need to let go of some false comforts and inappropriate limits that your logical mind has been indulging in.
If you let go of the notion of a final state of enlightenment, then you would also have to let go of the idea that there are certain people who are enlightened. After all, if enlightenment is not a thing, but rather an ever-evolving process, then you can only say that someone is very accomplished within an ever-infinite spectrum of awareness. However, it wouldn’t be correct to claim that a person has attained a final status of enlightenment. At best, they are simply more experienced in states of subtle awareness than you may be.
You will, of course, meet people, and read books, each claiming that a particular person they believe in is definitely enlightened, and the appropriate response to this claim is to politely agree. This is because those who insist on final states of spiritual perfection are less inclined to make their own spiritual discoveries. And so, you can allow people to believe what they believe, because that is what their soul is ready for at this time. Many people have not experienced the deeper levels of their own essence, and so they get their information from sources that are created to bring structured — although, limited — understanding to the spiritual experience.
This is why it is more convenient for many people to believe in such a thing as special enlightened masters. To believe in such a thing frees them from having to do the inner work of discovering their own inner infinite levels of spiritual depth. And it pleases their logical minds, so that they need never experience the potentially overwhelming sense of awe that their own infinite depth would inspire. It is not a loss, though, that many souls are not ready, because souls are ready for their own spiritual awakenings only when they are equal to that information. Deeper truth is a higher vibration, and souls are only gradually able to progress through their incarnations, so that when they are ready, they can resonate with the deeper realizations.
And so your inner vast domain invites you within. But how do you communicate with such vastness? This is the wonderful thing, because as vast as your consciousness is, it is also kind and wise. And so when you speak with your inner infinite realm, just place your attention there, breathe, relax into it, and let yourself feel that experience. Let yourself speak, if you like, and ask the simplest questions. Did you expect your soul to thunder at you, as if it were on a throne throwing lightening bolts? Infinite wisdom lets your soul speak as simply to you as you need. And so you can prepare to be amazed, not by something overwhelming, but by something so simple that you can actually experience it with ease and grace.
Suppose you have your inner experiences, and you wish to speak about them? Ask yourself, how would you describe, in a definite way that the logical mind would understand, these mystical and infinitely layered processes of spiritual reality…
– a process of enlightenment that has no end…
– a cosmic reality that reflects the infinite divine consciousness, and yet is within you, speaking simply to you…
– an inner world that is even more vast than the outer universe, shining within your own being…
– a spiritual center, located deeper than the doorway of your body, yet transcending the boundaries of your body?
Actually, there is little to say about any of these things, because it is only through your own willingness to experience your inner vast self that you can make the discoveries. It is a curious thing that although you will have the knowingness that your experience brings you, when you attempt to describe it, you may find that your words will only have meaning to those equally willing to make the essential inner journey themselves.
And this is the situation with mystics. Their words are misinterpreted by those who are themselves unwilling to have the experiences, as simple as those experiences can be to attain. So, by all means, explore your true center. But if you start talking about, don’t let naïve people form a religion around you, and don’t indulge in a special attitude. Although your inner experiences are very meaningful, such experiences are attainable by anyone willing to have them. And each person, though their experience will have something in common with other people’s experience, will have their own entirely unique experience. That’s important, because it means that your insights — and their insights — may all be important, but all these experiences are not the ultimate truth.
These realizations bring you to the eternal paradox of mystical experiences. You can’t have someone else’s experience, and they can’t have yours. You can talk about it, and you can meditate with people and share on a subtle non-verbal level, but ultimately, they are having their experience with universal truth, and you are having yours. That’s ok, though, because when you access your inner truth, and other people access their own inner truth, the synergy of these awakened experiences creates a mutually uplifting resonance. This spiritually awakened subtle harmony gently cultivates higher consciousness on the planet.
Now you know that your true center is within, and that you can experience it layer by layer. You recognize that the only way to get there is to have your own mindful experience, and so you are free to make your spiritual discoveries. May you have your realizations with ease and grace, and may each moment within your true center lead you to the next, even deeper moment of subtle recognition. And may you find that your ever-deeper center reveals the next layer of the truth to you, in the appropriate way, with every breath you take.