It’s easy to fall for the trap of thinking yourself to be highly attained if you’re able to experience altered states of consciousness in meditation. The ability to change vibration makes you able to tune into different dimensions.
The experience is ecstatic, and I was in this trap for many years. It feels like a medicine; it calms. Coming out of such meditation makes you look forward to the next one. You feel powerful and happy.
Yet it’s the same old running after pleasure in a spiritual garb. If you take the road of altered states, it’s the same as if you took magic mushrooms or smoked weed. It’s not that this kind of meditation helps you get liberated but it only enhances the illusion that we find ourselves in.
And that’s fine for people who aren’t looking to get liberated. This falls into the same category of gaining spiritual powers. It simply enhances this current existence.
That’s why liberated beings like Buddha or Nisargadatta Maharaj warned about this state. They told to ignore all the visual phenomena during meditation, even the most divine ones. We are supposed to stay conscious rather than being lost in other-worldly dimensions.
Looking forward to the next meditation to experience altered states of consciousness is the same as looking for the next smoke. The only way to use herbal substances for them to help in liberation is to use them in small amounts so that they slow down thoughts. This allows you to enjoy the thought-free states for longer which takes you closer to your true nature.
There’s danger, however, of becoming addicted to such substances so they should be used with great caution. Two weeks ago I took two puffs of marijuana as my mind was racing due to doing many life assessments. It helped me to relax much quicker, but I haven’t used it since because I would only take such external aids as a last resort.
The real purpose of meditation is to take you beyond thought, but getting lost in other dimensions is staying in the same thought-generated illusion. Focus on those moments in between thoughts and relax into them. Real meditation is establishing yourself in that space between thoughts, when you are fully conscious.
Nisargadatta Maharaj teaches that although it may feel boring to stay thought-free, a lot is going on if you allow yourself to enjoy that state of total peace. Your pure consciousness is fixing your mind – it’s becoming untainted, which will allow you to get a better look at your real self.
The mind is very inventive. It perceives gaps free from thoughts as the attempts to kill it. So it gives the sweetest experiences of altered states of consciousness in the hope that its trick isn’t found out and it’s total domination of the person is allowed to continue. It also makes a person sleepy during meditation so that he or she can get lost in the world of dreams created by the mind.
It’s exciting to see different worlds but eventually even these non-physical experiences become repetitive and you understand their true nature. They too are traps, like this world is. Nisargadatta Maharaj teaches that when you lose all interest in this world as well as others, that’s when these illusions will no longer obstruct your true being, and it will shine in all its glory.