Going to Higher States of Awareness in Meditation


I am doing daily meditation practice but I see little light some times and sometimes I see some images front of me and it’s hard to figure out the images. For example today I saw one newborn baby and right after that I saw dead body. I am really curious to know the meaning of the images. Is it sign for something?

Sometimes after my meditation I feel I was not here for a while and sometimes I feel I fell sleep. I don’t know everything happening with me is real or it’s just my imagination.

—Meenu, India


Dear Meenu,

Generally speaking, images such as you describe do not carry a significant message. They are either formed from and shown to you from the subconscious mind, or, can be, sometimes, seeing into the astral world. But I wouldn’t assume that they are astral images, based on your description. Most likely they are subconscious images being projected onto the screen of your inner sight.

In both cases, however, such fleeting and random images do not carry a specific significance. If they do, then that significance would be conveyed to you telepathically or intuitively. Even astral images are usually but testimony to one’s developing astral “sight,” and not much more. Patanjali, in the Yoga Sutras, suggests we use such images as focal points for meditative concentration. This helps us to get used to seeing “in the dark,” meaning into a subtler realm and thus attuning the astral senses to the subtler vibrations of that world.

From time to time one can blessed with the image of the guru, a saint, or deceased loved one and so on. But this is a different topic than your questions.

If one comes out of meditation not knowing where you went or feeling that you have fallen asleep, you can confidently assume you either did fall asleep or at least became subconscious for a while. I share with students taking meditation classes with me that “If you don’t know where you went, you didn’t go ‘there.'” (Meaning that you didn’t enter superconsciousness.)

This is because superconscious states are HIGHER states of awareness and even if your awareness isn’t, at such times, focused on the body, your surroundings, and the five physical senses, you feel MORE ALIVE and CONSCIOUS than ever before. There is a continuity of consciousness both into and out of such states. Thus there is no sense of having lost consciousness at any time (except, perhaps with respect to one’s outer surroundings… but this is higher state than most newer meditators achieve and speak about). An experience of superconsciousness leaves one refreshed, energized and inspired!

Either way, there is no great cause for concern, except for “falling into” the habit of becoming subconscious during meditation. That is a very real issue for some meditators. Use your techniques such as hatha yoga and/or energization exercises, chanting, pranayam and so on to help stay conscious. The upward position of the eyes is crucial to staying in a meditative state. Squeeze the eyes shut and open several times to help with sleepiness.

Carry on your meditations with calm observation. Try not to analyze images or inner experiences so much as to first observe them, and then, if feeling safe, to concentrate one-pointedly upon them, and finally, if feeling inspired offer yourself to merge into light, of joy, calmness, etc. Be alert always for the coming “of the Lord” as light, joy, peace and so on. And when this happens, give yourself wholeheartedly to the experience until “knowing, knower, known” become One!

Nayaswami Hriman