Extending Perception

Some spiritual teachers worked hard to reach the state from which they teach, doing their practice in a tradition such as Zen, Buddhism or Sufism; they may well recommend their traditions, or a seeker may just gravitate automatically to the tradition of their teacher. Other teachers become enlightened or even liberated spontaneously – what a blessing; so they can speak from that state, but may not be so adept at telling you how to reach it.

There is a word in German ‘Selbsterfahrung’, which is generally translated poorly to English as self-awareness or self-perception, which does not do the word justice. What it transports to a native German speaker is a practice, or better, practices, often done in evening or weekend groups, with the intention of perceiving yourself, and more, at unaccustomed levels. For example, you may practice noticing the feelings and stories in various parts of the body, or beyond that in the energy fields of your being, known generally as Aura and Chakras. Such practice training may also (and should!) go beyond your individual self, to perceiving said phenomena in others, most often practised as exercises for two people or small groups.

But such practice rapidly goes beyond the confines of the seminar room, and encourages you for example to feel the character of different trees (yup, they have character and they differ, just like humans). The British Spiritualist tradition teaches how to contact the deceased; Channelling teaches you how to come into contact with, and receive information from, beings on (hopefully) higher levels of existence. Tantra teaches us to melt with another being, be it an intimate partner or the qualities of a divinity.

[Truncated – the book contains 3 more paragraphs.]

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