Recognition and meditation are your most precious innate abilities. There is nothing you cannot bring into your experience by these means; they are your gateway tools. Cherish them, value them, and most importantly: utilize them. They will set you free.Bentinho Massaro
Teachers are storytellers whose stories make you aware of the existence of a gate that is said to lead into perfect Beauty. Their instruction is the roadmap showing you the exact location of this gate. The choice to apply this knowledge and to walk through the gate is yours to make.
The only way to make teachings truly yours—experiential instead of intellectual—is to actually experience what is being pointed to.
Remember, this is still an introductory lesson, as well as being a bit of a technical one, but understanding and applying this lesson’s contents will assist you in any and all future lessons.
In Lesson 3, things start to get more experientially interesting and expansive! Consider Lesson 2 as setting the foundation. It can be boring, but it will benefit you later on.
The Importance of Direct Experience
The terms “recognition” and “meditation” point to your innate ability to recognize, in various ways, the fact that you exist.
If you could pour your dedication and practice—your heart—into only one tool or ability, I recommend that you pour it into mastering the arts of recognition and meditation. These are the tools that will lead you into the direct experience of what you’re looking for, rather than filling your mind with concepts about what you’re looking for.
Take each pointer and utilize its power to propel you, until the dryness of the pointer is transcended and replaced with the oasis of direct experience.Bentinho Massaro
Ultimately, you don’t want a pointer. You want tools that will give you direct, experiential access to truth. Only that will set you free and satisfy the core of your being. Nothing else will do. If you seek such direct experience, Recognition and Meditation are your gateway tools.
The Art of Recognition
Whenever recognition is suggested as a practice in Trinfinity Academy, it refers to taking 2 to 5 seconds away from your thinking mind and naturally recognizing the space of the Here and Now itself—which becomes obvious when you choose to remain uninterested in thoughts for a brief moment.
In just 2 to 5 seconds of complete dedication to ignoring thoughts and instead noticing/recognizing the aliveness that is already here, a great deal can be accomplished towards Self-Realization, especially if these moments are repeated throughout the flow of your day.
I recommend 12 or more moments of recognition each day. In total, this means a minimum of 24 to 60 seconds per day that I encourage you to spend on honoring your existence—on recognizing the simple but brilliant truth of Now, seated right here, beyond the realm of the busy thinking mind. Not too much to ask for, right?
Recognition is your best friend in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Practice it while following your joy, while occupying yourself with activities of all kinds, while dealing with deadlines, and so on.
It doesn’t require you to be proficient at stopping thoughts, it doesn’t require you to cancel your appointments, and it doesn’t require you to make major sacrifices. In fact, it doesn’t require you to change yourself in any way!
The art of recognition simply requires that you sincerely relax your attention from all mental activity for a brief, but profound 2 to 5 seconds—a minimum of 12 times per day—to help you realize that you always already exist, with or without thoughts.
Here’s How it Works
Why don’t you practice with me, now?
Simply take a deep breath, then sigh/exhale, and withdraw your consciousness from the suggestions being fed to you by your mind’s constant stream of thoughts and words.
Basically, you decide you want a break from your own inner chatter for a few seconds and, instead, you want to see clearly into the space that suddenly opens up—that space that has remained unaffected by all the thoughts and activities of your day.
In that moment of determined relaxation from your thoughts (however long it lasts), you will be resting in your natural state of awareness-of-being.
It is in this naturally restful place of being centered here and now, that the innate spaciousness, ease, silence, presence, vastness, and aliveness of your true being starts to become apparent.
When applied with dedication, this is all there really is to Enlightenment. Direct recognition of what is always already here is a short cut—only needed because, in the quest for enlightenment, we’ve invented so many winding roads to get us to where we already are! Where we truly are, in essence, is natural and obvious: we are already here, right now.
You can apply a moment of recognition at any time; this is what makes it such an appealing and modern-day-friendly option. It really does become your best friend, and for many, this method is the favorite to pour their dedication and practice into. It blends well with the lifestyle most of us have created: active and occupied with “things.”
Just make it a habit to take a break from focusing on things, and instead rest your attention on the clear sense of being here now—awake, alive, and free. And give yourself permission to enjoy it!
Your natural state is free, and its ease can be deeply enjoyed, if you so choose.
The Art of Meditation
Meditation is the self-gift of taking a more extended and intentional chunk of time out of your day to connect with the silence within, to explore the clarity of awareness and the presence of Now, and to become more attuned to your existence beyond the realm of thoughts, concepts, and words.
Meditation is the art of fully offering yourself space to unwind, a gentle retreat from everyday life, so you can move more fully into your own rhythm and center on being.
Meditation usually consists of nothing more than short moments of recognition, one after the other, for a period of time set aside for this purpose only. In other words, you give yourself the gift of ceremony—of spending time with nothing but your own Self.
Note: Ceremonial and durational aspects aside, meditation and recognition are essentially the same act, each being applied in a different setting and with a somewhat different attitude.
The very act of sitting down for 10 to 30 minutes to explore the Self inspires your consciousness to take more frequent moments of recognition during the meditation time frame.
When you get distracted from the recognition of awake Beingness and your attention is drawn back to the “world of things,” the intentional meditation setting quickly reminds you of your intention to recognize your Self: your body’s position, the environment, the time period, and your attitude all naturally remind you of your desire to recognize I-AM.
Outside of this meditation setting, “the world” you are aware of in your “normal” state of consciousness usually consists of things that do not remind you to recognize your essence beyond thoughts and emotions. In fact, they usually remind us of more things to attend to within the world of mental chatter.
Both recognition and meditation facilitate withdrawing your consciousness from the world created in your own mind by words and concepts, and allow your attention to merge within its essence. Both ways allow you to rest in recognition of the obvious presence of your existence: your Life beyond thoughts.
In a moment of pure Here-and-Now recognition, the idea and sense of there being “a world out there” vanishes—even if just for 2 to 5 seconds. As a result, we taste a real ease, a homecoming of sorts, even joy—as well as centeredness, truthfulness, and clarity. But when our attention shifts back to awareness of “the world,” it often creates a feeling of loss of ease, especially to the untrained practitioner.
Create a Conducive Setting
In the practice of meditation, we selectively control the things that make up “our world,” such as the intention to set aside time, the sitting position we assume, and perhaps various artifacts that resonate with us and symbolize Self-Realization to us (a Buddha statue, incense, harmonizing music, etc.) in a way that helps us remember again and again our intention to recognize what’s always already here: Beingness.
Note: You don’t have to use such symbols, or even a special meditation space, but some people find them helpful as reminders of their intention to explore the primordial qualities of their true being.
The meditation setting increases the chances of your attention naturally repeating the art of recognition more frequently within a shorter period of time. This allows the clarity to build upon itself and take root in different, and sometimes deeper, ways than it does when we recognize Presence in the middle of, say, a business meeting.
In many, many ways there has been the dedication to devotion of the beloved One. There has been time set aside to tabernacle with the Creator, to come in from the desert of everyday life into the oasis of grace and mercy; to enter the tent of prayer and to rest in silence with the Beloved, blind to the world, open to the spirit.Q’uo
It’s really only the ambiance, or intentionality, that differentiates the art of meditation from the art of recognition. The heart of these two practices is the same: meditation is nothing more than being dedicated to applying the gateway tool of recognition repeatedly within a certain time frame—more frequently than your regular life, at least currently, inspires you to do.
And although meditation practice is typically performed in a rather motionless sitting or lying down position, with some practice you’ll find you can “conjure up” the same centeredness experienced during meditation, pretty much anywhere and at any time, by repeatedly returning to the recognition of the Now that’s always here.
To summarize: Recognition practice will help you see more clearly in everyday moments by creating little spark-like openings in the cloudy sky of your mind. Over time, this practice will allow the sun to shine continuously in your open sky, with full conviction. Meditation practice will help you to discover this more profoundly, more immediately, and with fewer perceived distractions.
How Do I Meditate?
If you are really new to spiritual awakening, you may not have studied the art of meditation before. So, although meditation is a very flexible practice, and there is no right or wrong way to do it, I will give you a simple template to start from. As always, feel free to dismiss or tweak it according to what works best for you.
As a general template, I recommend a sitting position for meditation because it tends to keep one more alert.
1. Find a comfortable position.
Sit down in a comfortable chair, preferably with a straight back that supports the spine. Personally, I prefer not to use the chair back, but instead keep my spine straight with good posture. Alternatively, you can sit on a meditation cushion on the floor and cross your legs in whatever manner makes you most comfortable in the upright position.
Is a straight spinal cord absolutely necessary? It is moderately helpful, but not crucial. It tends to allow for a better flow of the subtle and physical energies that help relax, align, and balance your body and its energy centers, but it doesn’t change Presence or your ability to recognize it.
2. Take a few cleansing breaths.
Once you find a comfortable, upright position, take 3 to 7 deep, relaxing, slow breaths.
Tip: I find it immensely relaxing, and even blissful to my body and its energy system, if I breathe in deeper than I normally would, sucking in extra air at the end and holding it for 5 to 15 seconds.
Then, I use my tongue to slow down the exhalation, so that I don’t have to control it with my diaphragm muscle—allowing me to relax my chest and abdomen muscles more fully.
To use this technique, simply relax the muscles around your lungs completely upon the exhalation, but place your tongue against the top of your mouth or the back of your top row of teeth. The exhalation will most likely make a hissing sound. That’s fine. You can experiment with different mouth and tongue positions. You can also partially close your throat, instead of using your tongue. Each technique offers slightly different energetic effects on the body, which you will notice.
3. State your intention for this meditation.
For about 30 seconds, remind yourself—out loud if you wish—of your intention for this sitting. I find that saying it out loud can sometimes be tremendously powerful in creating a single-mindedness around the intention and its execution.
The intention for your meditation can be anything; it completely depends on what your unique desire for this meditation is. However, I will give you an example that goes well with the goals of this first course of the Enlightenment teaching.
You could say to yourself (internally and/or out loud) something like this:
It is my intention, for the next 15 minutes, to relax deeply into my true Self. It is my intention to withdraw my interest from useless mental chatter, and to instead observe it as it floats by and remain unaffected by it—I’m more interested in Presence than I am interested in thoughts.It is my intention and joy to place my attention on the obvious presence of the Here-and-Now, on my existence itself—the fact that I exist.When I get distracted by thoughts, I will simply choose—with no judgment whatsoever and in my own good time—to return to a spark-like moment of recognizing that I AM, already free, here and now—and enjoy that moment of clear presence when it occurs.
This intention, and the time set aside for it to blossom, is enough in itself to facilitate a genuine meditation.
Additionally—especially if you don’t have a meditation room—you might place an item in front of you that reminds you to recognize the truth of your Being beyond thoughts. This item can be as simple as a post-it note saying: “Hey Sexy, thank you for being aware of me. Now, please notice that you exist, more than you notice me!”
Keep it fresh and light-hearted; inserting humor into your practices is a great way to avoid cycles of self-judgment. It doesn’t matter whether this item is a funny note or a picture of your deceased and beloved guru; what matters is that it has a strong inspirational quality for you or that it is very pragmatic and literal in pointing you back to your Self.
As a side note to this, feel free to place little reminders around your house, in your car, on your phone, on your computer, and at your work place. These reminders can be subtle and, quite frankly, you can make anything into a reminder if you choose to program yourself to respond to the item in that way.
These reminders will aid you in triggering a genuine moment of recognition for 2 to 5 seconds, 12 times or more throughout the day.
How to Meditate – In Short
Get comfortably seated.Take a few relaxing breaths.Clearly state/view the intention for the meditation focus.
Then simply keep returning your attention to the intended recognition for the intended duration of your meditation.
In general, for regular meditations I recommend a duration of around 20 minutes, and 40 to 60 minutes if the intention is that of being a one-time “break through” meditation.
Recognition or Meditation—Which Practice is Best for Me?
Why not at least try both for a couple of weeks and see which one works best? Maybe they both benefit you greatly.
It is my experience that each one complements and deepens the other.
Some people find the Art of Recognition more useful on a constant basis; others prefer the Art of Meditation. Whichever appeals to you most in that moment is the one to pour your dedication and practice into at that time. Get a feeling for both.
In general, I tailor my teachings predominantly around the art of the 2 to 5 second relaxation/recognition exercise, because it’s so universally applicable and user-friendly. I feel there’s a greater chance that people will actually use it to integrate the teachings into their everyday life. I recommend that you practice this simplest of all gateway tools at least 12 times per day.
In fact, I encourage you to make this simple exercise your new best friend—no matter what—while also utilizing the meditation gateway tool whenever it particularly resonates for you to do so, or when you wish to unwind more deeply or explore new territory.
I have found that the discoveries I make in meditation carry over into my everyday experience more powerfully and contribute to those spark-like moments of clear recognition, adding new dimensions to them.
The simple science behind it all is this: each moment of recognition is like digging deeper into an already existing hole that you’re making in the ground. With repeated shovelfuls (recognition 12 times per day) you reach greater depths; but in between, a bit of dirt may slide back into the hole, because you are so occupied with other things. But ultimately, your hole will reach deep into the Earth.
The cumulative impact of repeated recognitions can also be likened to starting a fire with a flint stone: each moment of clear recognition is like a strike of sparks added to the kindling. The immature flame may initially decrease a little in power while waiting for the next strike of the flint and its shower of sparks, but ultimately, the many sparks combined in repetition together create a self-sustaining fire that will keep itself burning naturally.
When there is a sincere yearning, a deep longing, to meditate (not just the feeling that you have to meditate), less dirt seems to slide back into the dug-up hole between each recognition; the flame recedes less between each stroke of sparks, because the moments of recognition are closer together and more carefully attended to.
So, within a shorter period of “time” one can potentially dig deeper and burn brighter in meditation than by means of single moments of recognition spaced out throughout the day.
Meditation can also offer experiences of greater contrast to your “normal” daily operating mode. One may therefore feel “suddenly more enlightened,” or changed. This is great, but it can also lead to periodic confusion about your “spiritual progress,” due to the ups and downs that these contrasting states can seemingly create.
This is less likely to happen when moments of recognition are strung together organically throughout the day, allowing for a more gradual blending of the heightened clarity into your everyday default mode of being—with perhaps less contrast or “difference in enlightenment” being experienced.
Role of Gateway Tools in Your Self-Realization Journey
Both tools are very helpful, and each has its unique benefits. When combined, they are exceptionally powerful tools for rapid acceleration, transformation, confirmation, and realization—as long as you don’t force them.
Yes, be dedicated, but keep it as light-hearted, enjoyable, and free flowing as you can.
Yes, inspire yourself to keep recognizing the deeper truth of your Being, and let the world of appearances and ideas become unimportant for a moment, but at the same time, don’t feel like you have to “get somewhere” you’re not already fundamentally at.
All of this being said, I’ve never been consistent with meditation myself, partly because very soon I didn’t see the need—since what we’re looking for is always already here. So why meditate?
Well, even though what we’re seeking is always already here, our goal here is to discover this as fully as we can, to embody this to a great extent, so that the truth of Existence can cleanse our vision, balance out our life, and heighten our vibrational state of being.
Using the gateway tools will take us to unimaginable heights of conscious awareness of the fact that we already are the omnipresent perfection and beauty that we’re looking for.
So yes, structurally speaking, we are already enlightened, aware, conscious, and existent, and we can never truly become more or less of what we are. And yet, experientially, there is a process of never ending exploration and deepening into this truth. This is where dedication/practice and recognition/meditation become such invaluable tools.
The truth doesn’t require us to change in order to be worthy of it, but if we desire greater clarity of heart and mind regarding what is already ours, if we wish to vibrate more fully in alignment with the vibration of truth, freedom, bliss, and unconditional love, then we have to apply some dedication/application to the arts of recognition/meditation. Otherwise, the realization of what’s always already here simply remains too shallow to reach the deep wells of true inner satisfaction, and too intellectual to fuel the bright fire of clarity.
So, my goal with Trinfinity Academy is to show you how to dig deep—until you reach the fountain of life, the fountain of joy, the fountain of unconditional love. I’m here to show you how to fuel your fire until everything you experience starts to count as firewood, feeding the flames until your fire is self-sustaining—burning naturally by itself.
At some point in your practice of recognition and meditation, everything that appears to you starts adding to—not distracting from—your recognition, your meditation, your Self-Realization.
Recognition is the art of noticing one’s vast existence beyond the realm of thoughts, for brief moments, several times a day, integrated into everyday life.
Meditation is the art of gracing oneself with a period of time/space with no other intention than to repeatedly recognize what’s always already here: Infinite Existence.
Try out both, experiment with the different approaches provided to you in this lesson; each approach offers a slightly different way to the same realization.
Applying the Gateway Tools allows you to transcend intellectual understanding and enhance it with the direct experience that the information was merely a pointer to in the first place.
The arts of Recognition and Meditation will assist you in many ways, and will be applicable to all the different realizations I will share with you during the course of your stay here at Trinfinity Academy. That is why I introduce these tools so early on in the process; they can be applied to practically any realization or embodiment.
Read this lesson’s text at least once more before starting your next lesson.Try out the 10 to 30 minute (up to you!) meditation at least once, as explained in this lesson. Use the sample intention as a statement to yourself, once you’re sitting comfortably and have taken some relaxing and centering breaths.Continue to recognize the presence of Presence for 2 to 5 seconds whenever you remember throughout your day (at least 12 times a day).Take some notes, either mental or written, on how your experience with the 2 to 5 second moments of recognition relates and compares to your experience with meditation. What do you notice?