Conscious Expansion – From “I” to Infinite

Spiritual awakening brings about the direct experience of universal consciousness. You experience the limitless and infinite ocean of consciousness and realize that you are everywhere, and everything including the clouds and the tress are a part of you. I first experienced this state in 2005, when I was meditating in Mirik, a small mountain town in the Himalayas. 

Some time back a seeker asked me if they could experience this expansive state of infinite consciousness, without spending years in meditation like I had done. Is it possible to experience this incredible state? As she was asking me about this, there was a sudden flash of insight, which revealed a method of directly perceiving this state.

This step-by-step contemplative meditation will help you in realizing this aspect of your own infinite consciousness. If you follow the steps below, you should be able to experience unity consciousness, the incredible experience of being one with everything.

Step 1: Point of reference shift

This step requires that we change our habitual point of reference of the “I” from inside our mind and body. Through habit and conditioning, we feel we are inside our bodies and see the world from this fixed location, usually from inside our heads. We look out from this “center” and everything outside appears to be separate from us. This is the only reality for us. Breaking this habitual mode of watching and perceiving is the first step. For this step, we shift our point of reference from inside our bodies to outside. This reversal of perception aligns with what the reality truly is.

Method

Sit in a relaxed position. Take a few deep breaths to center yourself. It is easier to perform this with your eyes closed. You will notice that even when you have your eyes closed, you can still perceive the empty space in front of you. Though you cannot see, you can feel the space in front of you. For example, you know that there is a wall in front of you, and between you and the wall there is empty space. Become aware of this space which is outside of you.

Now try to imagine that you are looking at yourself from the outside, from the space in front of you. So, your conscious presence, this “I”, is now outside in this space in front of you. You can imagine yourself a few feet in front of your body. The usual mode of perceiving has now shifted to a point in space in front of you. You are now observing not from inside your body, but from outside your body.

Initially it might be difficult to reverse the habitual perception. But with practice you will be able to hold on to this reverse perception.  Once you are comfortable doing this, you need to “feel” that you are perceiving yourself from a point outside your body.  So instead of a visual imagination, you consciously feel this shift of perception. Once you are comfortable doing this, you can move to the next step

Step 2: Expanding the consciousness

So now you can feel and experience yourself as an observer from outside of your body, but you are still a point in space. Now we expand this point to include the entire space of which you are aware. Initially, it might be helpful to feel this expansion filling up everything that you can see around you.

Method

As before, imagine that you are looking at yourself from outside your body. Feel yourself as the observer shifted outside. Now feel that the observer is expanding and slowly encompassing the entire space around you. You are the entire space and everything that is included in the space, including your body mind. Generally, if you can perceive the space around you, you can intuitively feel and “become” the expansive nature of the space.

Step 3: Merging

Once you are able to feel the expansive space outside of you, merge the conscious presence inside to the consciousness presence we feel around us. Simultaneously focus your attention on the observer inside and then to the feeling of being or aliveness outside your body. Feel them as one, as one wave of consciousness. If done correctly, you should be able to feel this aliveness everywhere: inside you, outside you, in space, in the clouds, in the mountains. Know that this consciousness, which habitually identifies with a body mind, is now freed from the confines of being an individual – it is everywhere. 

Even though this process is broken down into three steps, when it happened to me, it happened in a single spontaneous movement of expansion of becoming one with whatever is.

Stabilizing in this spaciousness

By making conscious and regular efforts to shift your point of reference, you begin to break down the conditioning that binds you to a limited view of yourself. 

Once you get a taste of this incredible experience of oneness, of your consciousness being infinite and not restricted to your body, you will find a new found freedom in your everyday life. The experience can be for a few seconds, or can last for days. But this will give you a glimpse of what is possible, of what your true nature is. The next step is stabilizing in this spacious consciousness.

This isn’t the final state of realization, but a huge step forward in getting direct insights into pure consciousness.