There are many states of consciousness that a yogi can aspire to in meditation. One very powerful one is the bodiless state. This state has nothing to do with actually dying, or a near death experience (NDE), although the feeling is quite similar to a NDE, but it is more like a light and weightless state of consciousness. This is a state of being beyond the pull of the physical sensations of the body. You could say it was a bit like being a spaceman out in space, with that feeling of being unlimited and beyond.
Since we spend so long in the body, it only makes sense that from time to time, we wonder what it would be like to be detached and away from the pull of the body. When we sleep we have the experience of the consciousness of the soul being free and not being trapped in the body. It is this sense of detachment that enables the body to rest and repair, and without sleep the body would become sick. Silence and sleep are healing for both the mind and the body.
If one is not totally spiritual, the best way one can describe this is perhaps to imagine that a lion was chasing after you and you had to run for your life! In that moment, you would not give a damn whether you were looking good, or about the weight or size of your body, or your health or lack of it, the quality of your knees and feet, the titles and medals the body has received. You would simply want to get out of there as fast as possible and all that would not matter in the slightest!
You would be totally beyond it all in a second, for the mere reason that you had to save your skin in that moment. Because you are certainly not interested in saving the labels and id’s. Saving your life in this sense means saving your soul! So indeed, it is ironic, that we try to save the soul by trying to save the body! But when we understand that we are spiritual beings then we know that the soul never dies.
It is not just fear that makes us bodiless!! Or in worldly language paralyses us. It can be joy too. If for example you know you are going on some exciting adventure trip you would wake up early in the morning to get ready to head off in time. Whereas for work… Ahh… Umm… not so eager for that!! Excitement and joy and a sense of purpose also makes us bodiless, meaning we forget all the ailments and limitations of the body. It is as though our mind has shifted into another zone of consciousness.
The bodiless state means to go beyond all forms of impressions of the body. At that time there is nothing of this body or the world that I am taking pleasure from. So if I am beautiful, it doesn’t matter. If I am rich, that also doesn’t mean much. If I am educated and talented, then again, it’s of no use. I am purely and solely interested in the soul and the experience of the light. I do not even take pleasure from the fact that I am a wise soul or that I have been a practicing yogi for so long.
The bodiless state is not dependent on any past experience. It is a current and live experience of the soul. Not based on any past achievement or desirous of future ones. It is to be experienced in the here and now.
The bodiless state is a taste of what is to come after death of the body. This is why it is so important for us to practice being soul conscious and bodiless as a stage of meditation. The bodiless state is one of weightlessness, not physically but more of the mind, that is, the physical body stops pulling on the mind and we experience that lightness. Not light-headed, but light as being beyond any burden.
What is death at the end of the day? That state of physical dis-connection between the soul and the body. If we have practiced and we rehearsed several times, then the fear is over. This is how we create a new habit. In the same manner, as we learn to keep going up and beyond, we become free. Free from fears and worries and concerns about what the final moment may bring. It is a bit like sitting an exam paper at school. We become stressed out just by the thought of that exam! But if we have some practice runs, we call them mocks, then that takes away our fears because now that experience is familiar for when we have to sit that exam. So we are prepared.
The bodiless experience is a very sweet one. Not something of the Dracula or Frankenstein type! In this state, the soul has a clear picture of itself. Very much like looking into a clean and perfect mirror. All one can see is the total beauty and splendour of the soul with the fragrance of virtues.
The depth of the experience will depend on how keen you really are and how willing you are to let go of all the strings that hold you down here! Yes, we would call these the strings of attachment, of which there are many tying us down.
Meditation really is the key to this experience. Bringing a space of silence to the mind, giving the mind an opportunity for some down time away from activity and the thoughts of action. It is totally a ‘being’ state.
So what is that bodiless experience like? What can we do to prepare ourselves for this experience?
1) Sit in a comfortable and quiet place and give yourself some space and a good amount of uninterrupted time.
2) Be sure that you have set everything aside, especially those distractions, before taking this time for yourself. E.g. put that phone away! Inform those who live with you that you will be busy the next 30 minutes. Get a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign for your door.
3) Create a mental and physical space in which you can experience you true internal state of… just ‘being’.
4) Take some deep breathes, create a regular and smooth rhythm with your breathing.
5) Create a powerful thought in the conscious state of affirmations, practice “I am” — “I am love”, “I am peace”, “I am joy”, “I am light”. Relax and allow your mind to float up above to a higher dimension of consciousness.
6) Feel the consciousness of the soul rising…
7) Experience the lightness of mind and the lightness of being… there is no pull of the body at all.
8) It feels like removing some heavy clothing – our body is like a dress, a costume through which we experience the physical world. Let the thoughts about it go by.
9) You find yourself in a timeless zone… there is the feeling of being unlimited… safe and secure… at peace…
10) You experience that you… simply are…
It’s Time… to experience inner freedom by becoming bodiless. Go beyond. Become Light. Just Be.
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK