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Four Portals to Enlightenment: A Guided Meditation Workshop
In this transformative practice session, Craig explores four meditation techniques—true gateways to awakened awareness—that he teaches in his courses. Throughout the workshop, Craig will explore the benefits and subtle differences between brief and extended meditation periods, including the potency of one-minute meditations. Join Craig for this special workshop and venture through four unique doorways of meditation into a deeper understanding of the self and the universe.

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In This Episode…

“Meditation isn’t something we generate. It’s not something we make happen. It’s something we make room for. It’s something we open to. When you really get this, meditation will be the easiest thing you’ve ever done.” —Craig Hamilton

Welcome to our latest podcast episode, “Four Portals to Enlightenment: A Guided Meditation Workshop.” In this transformative practice session, Craig explores four meditation techniques—true gateways to awakened awareness—that he teaches in his courses.

We recommend that you prepare by finding a quiet space where you can fully immerse yourself in each guided meditation without interruption.

Over the course of an hour, we’ll engage in “direct awakening” practices aimed at providing you with immediate experiences of your true nature beyond the mind.

Throughout the workshop, Craig will explore the benefits and subtle differences between brief and extended meditation periods, including the potency of one-minute meditations.

From relinquishing control to exploring the boundless expanse beyond the mind, you’ll be invited to dive into the profound depths of enlightened consciousness.

Join Craig for this special guided meditation workshop and venture through four unique doorways of meditation into a deeper understanding of the self and the universe.

If you’re interested in exploring more of Craig’s approach to meditation, you’re invited to tune in to a 90-minute online workshop Craig will be hosting called Meditation 2.0 – The Miracle of Direct Awakening. Register for free at: FreeMeditationWorkshop.com

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Episode 14 Four Portals to Enlightenment: A Guided Meditation Workshop

Hi everyone and welcome! For this episode, I want to do something a bit different than we’ve done for the other episodes. I’m going to guide you through four different approaches to meditation, so you can have an experience of the kind of meditation I teach. You can think of it as a guided meditation workshop.

A Guided Meditation Workshop

As you may know, I’ve developed an approach to meditation that I call The Practice of Direct Awakening. Each of the practices I’ll be sharing today is what I would call a “direct awakening” practice, meaning that it is designed to open you to awakened consciousness during the meditation. This episode is going to essentially be a meditation workshop so I encourage you to listen when you can sit in a quiet place and give all of your attention to the practices I’ll be guiding you through.

We’re now going to move into doing some of these practices. A few quick suggestions as we do: I want to invite you to relate to each practice as an experiment. In other words, you don’t know how to do this, and nobody else does, even I don’t know how to do this.

Each time you do the practice, I encourage you to come to it with an open, innocent, experimental orientation. And be easy with yourself around this. Don’t be worried about doing it right and don’t try to figure out whether or not you’re doing it right. Just keep working with it, exploring it with curiosity, interest, openness, and without critical self-judgment and just see.

We’re going to do a few different things, and some of them might open something up for you, while others might not. It’s okay. It’s a brief training, and we’re covering a lot of ground.

With that, we’re gonna jump in. So, I invite you to now find yourself a relaxed, comfortable meditation posture.

Allow yourself to settle into your meditation posture.

1. The Practice of Allowing

The first practice we’re going to explore is “The Practice of Allowing”—of allowing everything to be exactly the way it is and letting things be as they are.

But before we do a longer version of it, I want to invite you to try it just for 30 seconds. We’re just going to do a 30-second meditation on letting things be.

For that 30 seconds, you’re going to let everything be as it is. Just let everything be for this half a minute.

Begin the timer now.

Next, we’re going to try doing it for a full minute.

Begin the timer now.

How was that?

Chances are, doing it for a shorter time was a little easier. Doing it for a little longer, questions start to come up: “Am I doing it right? What does it mean to let everything be?”

You’re going to be able to do this next one for a longer open-ended period, and I’m going to provide a little more guidance below to help clarify what it is.

Just in this moment, allow this moment to happen in whatever way it’s happening. You’re letting yourself feel however you feel. You’re letting your mind do whatever it’s doing. You’re not resisting or rejecting anything in your experience.

We spend our entire lives trying to make something happen, trying to get somewhere, trying to accomplish something, trying to experience something, trying to awaken to something, trying to become someone.

Allow Everything To Be As It Is

Just let all of that go, all of the becoming, all of the trying, all of the striving, all of the struggling.

Just allow this moment to be as it is. Allow yourself to be as you are, and that includes everything about you and everything about this moment. Just let it be.

Letting things be means allowing things to change. Each new moment of experience is different from the previous one. Sometimes your mind is quiet, other times thoughts flutter up, sometimes you feel peaceful, other times you feel some tension.

Letting things be is not holding on to a particular state of feeling peaceful. Letting things be means letting each moment flow into the next and letting it all be exactly as it is… No need to change anything.

Allow yourself now to just sit and let everything be as it is for several minutes.

Now, I invite you to gently let go of our first practice.

That practice may have revealed itself to you a little bit or a lot or not at all. Whatever did happen, don’t worry about it, it was just a brief practice.

Your Ego Has Nowhere To Go

Can you see how—and this is important—if you were to continue letting things be, to take a stand in allowing everything to be and not try to change anything and not try to become anything—not resisting and not rejecting anything—how, if you can take a stand in that for long enough, regularly enough, eventually your ego has nowhere to go?

It has no way to participate.

And then a wide open space opens up, creating the room for the only part of you that could possibly embrace letting things be, which is your own awakened self. There would be no other option, and that’s really the fundamental opportunity of doing this practice.

2. The Practice of Innocence

So, we’re now going to move to our second practice, “The Practice of Innocence,” which means the practice of letting go of the need to know.

If you look at how we go through our lives, we’re always making meaning, always trying to interpret and evaluate what’s happening. In other words, we’re trying to figure out what things mean and we’re trying to figure out whether they’re good or bad or somewhere in between.

The process of trying to know makes a lot of sense in life. But when it comes to making room for awakened consciousness, we can step out of the whole compulsive pattern of grasping onto the mind and participating in the mind’s attempt to know reality. We can step into innocence, into not knowing, and into the infinite space it opens up.

So, we’re again going to start with a 30-second meditation.

When you start the timer, you’re going to give up your mind, you’re going to not try to know anything, just don’t know anything for half a minute and let yourself sit in the unknown and unknowing.

Begin the timer now… and read on after it stops.

The Freedom of Having No Idea

So, again, we’re not getting involved with the mind, which is always yammering away about everything it knows and is trying to know. We step out of that stream and we don’t know, so regardless of whatever the mind throws up, we say, “I don’t know—no idea.”

We’re resting in the freedom of having no idea.

Go ahead and begin another round on the timer, this time for one minute… And read on after it stops.

The profound spontaneous wisdom that is the hallmark of enlightenment only arises from this unknowing and innocence. Our willingness to let go of the known—to not grasp for certainty—makes room for our wisdom beyond the mind.

Give yourself the freedom to not need to know anything, and realize you don’t really know anything. Maybe that’s going too far, but you don’t “know” anything in the way that your ego wants to.

Deep down we are innocent. We aren’t really certain about so many of the things we try to be so sure of. Reality is a great unknown. There is so much more that we don’t know than what we do know.

Allow yourself to rest in the mystery of unknowing, not needing to know anything. You’re just here, present, with no idea.

Realize That You Are Not The Mind

You may notice that your mind continues to generate thoughts—thoughts which take the form of knowing something or trying to know something. Realize you are not the mind. You are not the one generating those thoughts. They are arising on their own without being generated by you and therefore you do not have to engage in the mind. You do not have to engage with thought.

Thoughts arise in the vast sky of consciousness and you just let them pass through, like clouds flowing across the blue open sky.

Your position in relation to everything the mind presents is, “I have no idea if that’s true, and I have no interest in figuring it out. No idea, no interest. I’m more interested in the unknown, in the mystery.”

Allow yourself now to just sit and let everything be as it is for several minutes.

Now, go ahead and gently let go of this practice.

Take one minute to stretch, stand up, and move your body. Not in a big way but enough to shake off any discomfort or stiffness. You’ve been sitting for a while and you have two more practices to go, so just give yourself one minute to get up, take care of your body, and adjust.

As you let that last practice go, you can continue to be innocent and allowing. See how the two practices you’ve done work together: letting things be and not needing to know anything, not getting involved with the mind.

By the way, one thing I haven’t yet pointed out is that if you fully do any one of these practices, you will spontaneously do all of them automatically, because these practices are simply the natural dispositions of awakened consciousness.

If you do it fully, you are stepping into awakened consciousness and, therefore, all of the other practices—which are naturally derived from awakening—will be there happening. If you do one, you do them all. And yet each of these is a different doorway into awakened consciousness. Some will work better for some of us than others. That’s why I’m sharinga lot of different ways to approach it.

3. The Practice of Becoming Aware of Awareness Itself

Now settle back into your seat and take your meditation posture again.

For this practice, we’re not going to do two short ones and a long one because it’s a different type of practice. In this practice, you are becoming aware of awareness itself or consciousness itself.

One simple way of understanding awakened consciousness is that it’s consciousness that is awake to itself.

Normally in human life, our consciousness or our awareness is only aware of things: we’re aware of the world around us, we’re aware of the thoughts in our mind, the feelings in our heart, the sensations in our body. We’re aware of content, phenomena, and things.

Awakened consciousness is still aware of the things you see and the sounds you hear, but it’s also aware of itself. It’s consciousness that has discovered consciousness. And that is a profound discovery—the discovery of the experiencer, the discovery of the one who is aware.

To begin this practice, I invite you to become aware of your body and all of your bodily sensations that you can feel right now: the pressure of the cushion against your seat, the feeling of the floor or whatever is against your feet, the breath going in and out, clothing against your skin, any discomfort or pain, and any pleasant feelings.

Next, become aware of your emotions. You don’t have to name them, but just notice how you feel emotionally, what feelings are present, and the feeling quality of this moment. And become aware of thought and what’s coming up in your mind moment to moment.

If your eyes are open, notice what’s in your visual field without looking around. But just be aware of what you can see.

Become Aware of That Which Is Aware

And now, I invite you to become aware of that which is aware of all of those objects of consciousness—become aware of the awareness of all of these things.

Notice that this awareness is not located in a particular place. There is an awareness that is registering the sounds around you and it’s not somewhere in your head. And if you’re aware of somewhere in your head, notice what is aware of that place.

Now, what is aware of that place that’s aware of that?

Bring your attention to the context in which everything arises, instead of focusing on this or that event or thing. Notice the context in which those things appear or those events are occurring, which is consciousness itself, awareness itself, always here and not locatable.

Object Awareness vs Attending To What Is Aware of Objects

We’re going to work with this now a little more specifically.

I invite you to become very aware of the movement of breath and give your full attention to the breath going in and out, however you experience it. You are not trying to breathe slowly or differently, but just pay close attention to the movement of the breath, coming in, going out, and then the brief pause before the next in-breath. Just follow that breath very closely through all three parts of that movement.

Next, shift your attention to the awareness of the breath. Instead of focusing on the breath, focus on the awareness of the breath moving. So the breath is still moving in the background—you’re still aware of it—but you’re noticing the awareness of it.

Now bring your attention back to the breath directly, only paying attention to the breath moving through its cycle… and now bring your attention back to the awareness of the breath moving through its cycle.

If your eyes are closed, open your eyes, and with your eyes open, just look at something in the space around you—just one thing, like a piece of furniture or the wall or the floor. But just look at it and take a moment to really closely observe it and notice all of its characteristics: what it’s made of, its shape, what the surface looks like, its color. Really observe it intently for a moment, as though you were describing it.

Now become aware of the awareness of that object. Bring your attention to the experiencer, to the part of you that is aware of that, to the awareness of it. You’re still aware of it, you’re still looking at it, but now you’re bringing your attention to the awareness, not to the thing itself.

Now allow your gaze to rest in one place, or you can close your eyes again if you were meditating with eyes closed, and I invite you to just rest in awareness itself.

Thoughts still arise, sensations are present, the sounds around you are still here, but give your attention to awareness, to consciousness, to that which is experiencing all of those things but is not itself a thing and cannot be found anywhere.

Now, I want to invite you to let go of this practice.

I’m going to share one more brief practice below. This one will be very easy, I promise. Some people find the previous one easy, some find it impossible, and that’s okay. It can be a very technical and challenging practice.

But can you get a sense of how that could open a door for a deeper reality to emerge? If you were to consistently take the position of sitting in meditation and removing your attention from any object and learning how to bring your attention to awareness or consciousness itself? That’s the possibility of the practice we just did.

Practice #4: Let Meditation Happen On Its Own

For this last meditation, you’re going to simply allow meditation to happen without doing anything to make it happen. There is a meditation that is always already occurring. There is a part of you that is always in meditation.

What is meditation? It’s letting things be, it’s not needing to know, it’s not grasping after the mind, it’s not trying to get somewhere, it’s not chasing after feelings.

It’s awareness of awareness. It’s our own natural state. Meditation is awakened consciousness, simply being itself. There is a part of us that is always in meditation, that is always outside of time and change and becoming. Meditation is always already happening.

So for this meditation, I want to invite you to allow meditation to meditate you. Allow yourself to simply be here and available for the meditation that’s already going on.

Just let meditation happen in whatever way it does. Don’t try to do anything at all in the name of meditation, just be here.

You Don’t Make Meditation Happen, It’s Happening Already

Meditation isn’t something we generate. It’s not something you make happen. Rather, it’s something you make room for. It’s something you open to. If there’s anything to practice in this last practice, it’s being available for what’s already occurring, which doesn’t even mean trying to feel anything in particular.

Let this be easy. Let meditation be the easiest thing you’ve ever done. You just did a lot of specific practices. They have a momentum in your consciousness. Now just let the momentum carry you.

That doesn’t mean you have to feel a special blissful and peaceful feeling, it just means: let the meditation happen in whatever way it does.

I’m going to briefly revisit each of the practices you did today. Take a minute to just let everything be again and allow this moment to be as it is. No need to change anything.

Let this workshop be whatever it has been without judgment and without wanting it to have been different. Just let it be what it was, and let this moment as you’re nearing the end be as it is and let yourself be as you are.

Next, take a moment to let go of any need to know and rest in the unknown, in the freedom of having no idea and not needing any idea.

And now become aware of awareness. Give your attention to the awareness of this moment as it’s arising in your own consciousness, which is not found anywhere but is always right here, aware.

And again, just allow the meditation that’s already occurring to carry you along, with no need to make any effort at all. Just be.

And now gently let go of the practice.

A New Way of Being

My hope is that during this guided meditation workshop one of these experiments today gave you a taste of the spiritual freedom you’re seeking. But whether or not you had any kind of profound experience is not really the point. Meditation is less about having a powerful experience while you practice than it is about learning a new way of relating to our experience, a new way of being with our minds, our feelings, and our lives.

And I want to invite you as you go through the rest of your day and also this week, to notice if there are any impacts from this workshop on your day. Because we often experience the power of the practice showing up at another time where we notice our consciousness is much freer.

We notice we’re less reactive and more present. There are many different manifestations of it. I’m not inviting you to try to bring meditation into your life. I’m inviting you to notice the ways that the practices you did impact the rest of your life.

And if you did have a deep experience of this, that’s wonderful. And I’m sure you’ll want to stay with that throughout your day.

FREE MEDITATION WORKSHOP

Meditation was invented when humans still believed the world was flat. Is it time for an update to this ancient practice? In this free 90-minute workshop, you’ll experience a revolutionary new meditation process that gives you direct access to awakened consciousness.

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