How do you know what you know about spiritual truth? Is it just because spiritual experts have assured you that certain things are so? Or perhaps it is that you grew up in a community where certain understandings were commonly believed, and you came to accept these understandings, too. And then there are the current trends that have become popular — but should you accept these merely because many people do?
Where is your Felt Sense amidst all of this?
These ways of innocent acceptance were OK as your soul was growing, but now you are entering your spiritual adulthood, and you are beginning to wonder about the deeper truth — what is the source of it, and how do you find your spiritual guidepost so that you can access it yourself?
The freedom to access deeper knowing — your spiritual birthright
Something remarkable awakens within you when you have your own sense of inner knowing. You discover a deeper level of your self — a cosmic presence within you that wants you to have access to your own truth. And you begin to realize that your own essence is somehow connected with the deeper cosmic truth in the universe. So this matter of sensing your truth is an important element in your spiritual evolution.
This may bring up a question in your mind, however. How can everyone have his or her own truth, in a universe where everyone is made of the same essential divine substance? Shouldn’t there be one reality that everyone can agree upon? To understand the answer to this, let’s explore your own personal path to your deeper truth.
What happens within you when you feel that you have experienced a spiritual shift in consciousness? Your own unique body-mind-spirit has its own special experience. No one else can have this exact experience, because their personal body-mind-spirit energy, called the soul signature, is only able to have its own distinctive experiences.
You can’t have their experience, and they can’t have your experience
And so, you are back to the original question — how do you know about spiritual truth, and how do you validate your understanding of things? Actually, there is a shift that happens, and it is generally subtle. It’s important to acknowledge this, because if you are waiting for huge obvious shifts, then you’ll miss most of the experiences that you are actually having. And there is a reason for this, having to do with the typical communication style of your soul.
Your soul trusts itself, and it doesn’t feel the need to shout to your personality. Your soul is generally sharing its wisdom in a gentle style, often called the small, still voice within. You may have noticed this voice before, and you probably noticed it when you were inwardly quiet enough to be aware of it. Your subtle inner truth is less available when your mind fills itself with noise and busyness.
Why are quiet moments of prayer, meditation, and contemplation so often recommended for those on a spiritual path?
It’s not that these practices are somehow good, or noble, or spiritual in themselves. It is that these practices create the conditions for you to have deeper experiences of unity with your inner essence, and with the cosmic universe itself.
But just what is supposed to happen in those quiet moments? Well, since it is different for each person, let’s explore some experiences that you might have. And let’s discover how you might cultivate these deeper understandings and discoveries more easily.
The subtle awareness that lives quietly within each moment of your life
Have you ever had the experience that you were reading a book, or listening to a speaker, and the words said something that touched a deeper part of you? It seemed to ring true. And something may have lit up within you.
The deeper something that you sensed within you was caused by Resonance. It is like a humming tuning fork that naturally causes another tuning fork nearby to start humming too. The truth that you read or heard started resonating within you, because that truth already existed within you, in its own unique way.
How did you sense your recognition of truth? This is important for your self-understanding, because if you become familiar with your way of discovering truth, you can use that awareness more often. That would really help you, because that deeper awareness helps you discover your inner spiritual truth detector.
The subtle awareness that you are exploring here is actually a shifting of awareness. With experience, you notice it more and more easily. You come to realize that it is not dramatic at all, but instead it is quite subtle. And you come to appreciate this. But how can you define something that is so mild that it creates no dramatic attention to itself?
You are looking for a subtle shift that happens within you. It is what happens when you become more aligned. And alignment is the opposite of drama or friction. This is because alignment means that you are in harmony with yourself. And, you are in harmony with the universe.
The inner power that measures its value by how quiet it is
Why is harmony still? Why is it peaceful? To understand this, imagine a squeaky wheel. You grease the squeaky wheel, and it becomes quieter. When your body, mind, and soul are in harmony, they harmonize together peacefully. This feels smooth and relaxed. It takes place within you, but at first you won’t notice it.
You are probably looking for the big effect — the dramatic evidence for something. But you might not find it, because truth generally shares its refined secrets quietly. More likely, you will gradually become aware of the subtle inner shift, the Felt Sense. And when you do, you will discover that it was within you all along, awaiting your recognition.
The Felt Sense is your recognition that you have made a shift in consciousness. Did you assume that a shift in consciousness had to be dramatic? Sometimes, it is. But generally, it is subtle. In fact, the gentle shifts are happening in each moment.
When you explore the simplest awareness methods, such as noticing your breathing, your body-mind-spirit makes immediate shifts. These are not big shifts, and that is their power. The shifts are very subtle and gentle shifts that are taking place with each breath, yet they share profound gifts with you.
Why is it so important that you notice these small inner changes?
It’s very simple:
Your conscious recognition of a small change unites your conscious mind with the deeper parts of you, and this is a co-creative key to your spiritual evolution.
These deeper parts include your deeper intuitive mind; the heartfelt knowing within your heart; the deep knowing of your body, and the divine awareness within your soul. All that deep knowing, on so many levels of your self, awaits your conscious awareness, so that it can become available to you. This seems almost too amazing to realize, at first.
When you consciously notice the small shifts, something shifts in your mind. The recognized small shifts help your mind re-orient itself in a healthy way. Before you noticed the inner shift, your mind was mostly sensing the surface of things. With the awareness of the small shifts, your mind is tracking your subtle inner world of deeper knowing.
It is the inner world of the still, small voice. And it is the inner place where your truth is known in a language that isn’t really a language at all — the language of non-verbal intuitive feelings and understandings. When this deeper non-verbal level unites with the verbal awareness of the conscious mind, you have united your logical left brain with your intuitive right brain. You have united the polarities of yin and yang; of conscious and subconscious; of yin and yang; of human and divine.
As you track these subtle shifts, you realize that each little moment of shift awareness supports you and integrates you. It carries you forward, like a sturdy flat pathway of stones across a wide lake. If you don’t keep your attention on the stone pathway, you would have nothing solid to support you. But if you worry about it, you lose your balance.
So what is the secret to calmly keeping your attention on the Felt Sense, as you walk on the stones of deeper awareness across the lake of your daily experiences?
Meditation to bring your attention to the small meaningful experiences of this moment
Let yourself use your awareness and imagination…
1. Sweep your awareness slowly through your body.
2. Notice a place in the body that seems somewhat tight or stuck.
3. Slowly, without judgment, sweep your attention through that area.
4. A gentle shift occurs — not dramatic. Let yourself notice this, however small a shift it may be.
5. Sweep slowly some more through your body.
6. Notice slight shifts in your breathing. Acknowledge it, without making it important.
7. Now you can notice these shifts as they happen — subtle shifts in the body, and gentle shifts in your breathing.
8. Each time you notice the smallest shift, quietly notice it — without making it important.
What is it about these subtle inner shifts that is so important to your spiritual path? Each time you consciously notice a subtle change, your awareness becomes a participant in a spiritual energy conversation within you. This special kind of inner conversation is between the different parts of your self, and they are acquainting themselves with each other. When they communicate together, you can experience deeper unity with your higher potential.
But why is it so important that you do this consciously? Couldn’t you just sit in the presence of a spiritual person, and receive their blessings? That would be much easier, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, though that might feel uplifting, it doesn’t build your conscious connection with your deeper potential. The way to build that connection is through practicing conscious awareness.
Your deeper truth
Although you may be inspired when you sit in a spiritual atmosphere in a saintly place, or with saintly people, your spiritual growth requires that you develop the skill to discern your own deeper truth. You can discover your inner truth when you are able to track your own subtle Felt Shifts. That subtle shift within you, seemingly so quiet and mild, becomes more obvious to you with practice, and you find that you use it more and more often. It is like a language that you become ever more familiar with.
The subtle shifts take place from moment to moment, and they require your attention. But this is not frenetic attention, because that would be trying too hard — and forced attention produces only tension. And this is why the Felt Shift is so meaningful. It is a quiet recognition that something has changed within. And it communicates to you when you recognize a slight shift in your body, or a shift in your breathing, or a slight expansion within, as if a space is opening up.
Of course, this space opening up, significant though it is, is not dramatic at all. It is, rather, the subtlest whiff of expansion. It is a quiet recognition that something that was tense is beginning to let go. This change within, subtle though it is, signifies that you are making a deeper connection. It hints that you are becoming aligned. And that is why you alone, through your conscious attention, can accomplish your Felt Shifts. It is you, the conscious self, who needs to participate for this to work.
The language that contains no words
When you let yourself track your inner Felt Shifts, an inner knowing becomes available to you. It grants you access to your inner wellspring of profound possibilities. It is a conversation, often beyond words, between your conscious mind and your super-conscious divine essence.
But is this a true meditation? You’ve probably heard that real meditation takes place with no thought. And tracking your subtle Felt Shifts would seem to involve your attentiveness, and it may well be a form of higher thought. However, when you track your inner shifts, you are attentive — but you are not thinking in the usual way. It is a deeper form of consciousness that is quietly attentive, but beyond your usual logical mind. If you want to call it contemplation rather than meditation, that is fine.
What happens when your tracking of the subtle changes within deepens your awareness? You discover that you know more, as if a deeper dimension of reality becomes available. This knowing includes many levels of self. And that occurs because your body-mind-soul alignment lets you resonate with your deeper truth, and with universal truth. And the knowing comes to you, especially if you don’t grasp for it. This is the secret of tracking the shifts.
Tracking inner subtle changes brings you to deeper knowing, until you start to get excited about your discoveries. Once your logical mind becomes too involved, you make the shifts important. And that is a problem for you. Not that it’s bad, but just that your intense interest takes you out of the subtle state of being able to track subtle shifts. So what to do?
You’ll discover that tracking the shifts is a game. It’s a serious game, and not frivolous, yet not serious or tense, either. It is, in fact, a waking meditation that flows from moment to moment. It is a contemplative way of discovering yourself, finding your truth, and linking with your universal divine source, all at once.
Your truth emerges, moment by moment
When you discover that your path to deeper knowing is so subtle, then you become wise in your way of being. You find that where you would have previously jumped into a vigorous pursuit of trying to understand something in the usual way, you now step back from the drama of that path, and track your subtle inner changes, instead. And in so doing, you discover a deeper understanding that had previously evaded your awareness.
This frees you to know your own truth, so that the dramas and excitements of the world inflame you less, and the quiet desire to know the deeper truth invites you into a subtle inner path of discovery. It is a centered path, because it involves your being present to your body, your heart, your mind, and your soul. This way of being evolves gradually, because it can’t be forced. It involves your conscious attention, and can’t be forced upon you by another, nor can you force it with your own headstrong attention.
Let your inner knowing delight you with its subtle clarity. And let your quiet, integrated presence be a force for good — a haven of kindness, clarity, and wisdom. You can be the center of the cyclone.
This non-dramatic presence may be the secret for shifting the world, without even trying to force a change. Perhaps there is no dramatic change to make — rather, the beginnings of change may start with your own deep integrations. These inner alignments with your divine intelligence ignite a tiny, yet powerful spark of cosmic potential. This happens through the universal resonance of your integrated body-mind-soul presence.
Your integrated presence generates an exquisitely subtle momentum, like the waves that emerge from a pebble dropped into a pond. Your divinely smooth actions upon this earth plane help set the stage for manifesting heaven on earth — in ways great and small. Your subtle awareness is noticing an inner shift within you as you consider this possibility. Who knows what wondrous thoughts, actions, and realities will emerge from your subtle inner knowing in this moment?
Joel Bruce Wallach
Founder, Cosmic-Living for spiritual empowerment, tele-classes and self-paced mp3’s