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                        Mark Macy



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Meditation: Ticket to Paradise


Mark Macy


There are lots of things* we humans can do to reserve a place in paradise after we die, meditation being one of them. Habitual meditation not only makes this world seem like a better place, but it fosters a finer spiritual vibration that pulls us, like a homing signal, to a finer place after we die

Meditation is a time-proven technique for slowing down the brain with beneficial results. The brain operates at different speeds, from very slow during a deep sleep, to very fast when we're excited. Measured in cycles per second (cps), brain activity is sometimes classified as follows:

2-4 cps – "delta" level – deep sleep

4-7 cps – "theta" level – normal sleep

8-13 cps – "alpha" level – unconscious dream state

14-25 cps – "beta" level – awake

30-50 cps – hysteria

Normally when the brain slows down to speeds less than 14 cycles per second, the conscious mind switches off and we begin to fall asleep. Physiologically speaking, meditation is simply the practiced skill of preserving a degree of conscious thought as the brain slows down; instead of "going to sleep," we enter a meditative state, and a number of healing changes take place in our bodily routines, including deep, even breathing, slowed heart rate, reduced blood pressure, increased skin resistance, lower muscle tension, decreased metabolic rate, changes in the concentration of serum levels of some body fluids, and a release of dopamine in the brain to give us a surge of joy.

So, the trick with meditation is to slow the brain down without nodding off...while staying somewhat alert. Usually all it takes is relaxing the body and clearing the mind, then the brain slows down by itself. These simple steps can be used:

  • Get comfortable in a sitting or lying position and close your eyes.
  • Starting at the toes and working slowly upward to the top of your head, concentrate on relaxing all your muscles.
  • Clear your mind of random thoughts. This is sometimes easy, sometimes difficult. It may help to count slowly, silently backwards from 50 to 1 (or from 10 to 1 over and over), or to visualize a pleasant situation like a sunset, or to repeat a relaxing phrase such as, "slow, smooth, relaxed; slow, smooth, relaxed ..."

Benefits of meditating once or twice a day include diminished stress, a more relaxed demeanor, improved intuition and insight, more reliable "hunches," a higher proportion of correct decisions, better organized thought processes, a capacity to sense when others are troubled (and why), and most important, a finer spiritual vibration that equates directly to HAPPINESS…all the result of cleared communications between the conscious and unconscious mind.

In spiritual terms, meditation lets our mind leave the physical realm to travel inward to finer realms flourishing with life richer and more real than this illusory Earth. Meditation takes us closer to the ultimate reality that is sometimes called the source, God, Allah, Yahweh, or Brahman. As we enter these finer realms, we're overtaken by bliss and inspiration. For the few meditators who reach the innermost place of perfect peace—enlightenment, moksha…they achieve a sense of oneness with all. Or, as the meditator told the hot dog vendor, "Make me one with everything." (ba-da-boom)

For me, at this point in my life, heart meditation is the ultimate spiritual practice. For centuries, mystics have called the heart the seat of the soul, and the soul an eternal spark of God. From my own experience, doing a heart meditation (moving my awareness from the head to the heart while slowing the brain) gets my conscious mind closer than otherwise possible to my true self—my soul.

In 2006 I worked with The Monroe Institute (TMI) to produce an audio "Hemi-Sync®" CD called Bridge to Paradise. The Hemi-Sync technique pioneered by TMI delivers pulsing stereo signals through an audio headset, lulling the brain into a meditative state.

On the CD, I guide listeners through a heart meditation, then on a tour of the paradise world where many of us will awaken at the end of our earthly lives—a subtle, beautiful world beyond the physical—a world that Christians and Jews call Heaven, what Muslims call Jannah, what Hindus call Pitraloka, and what Spiritualists call The Summerland. A beautiful journey!

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* Other "tickets to paradise" (besides meditation) include a love of life, good will toward others, kindness to animals, prayer, and acknowledgement of the principle: God