The 5 Levels of Mind
Former monk Rajan Shankara talks about the 5 levels of mind and how we can access higher states of consciousness. Raj left the world at 19 years old to become a monk and study his mind, find out what meaning and purpose was, and if meditation could take him to higher states of consciousness. He trained in the one of the world's foremost meditation institutions for over a decade and studied theology, philosophy and psychology.
The Conscious Mind
What everyone experiences all the time, your direct experience of reality. It is the first filter of your mind that reality goes through. It is the front door and main floor in the house that is our mind. Its greatest ability it to collect and categorise data. It brings in data, establishes judgement or personal meaning, then it becomes catalogued and stored in the subconscious.
What you take in through your daily life becomes a storehouse of experiences and we recall the experience as needed. When we live fully and presently the way we perceive reality changes.
The Subconscious Mind
Like the basement of the house. All the data collected from the conscious mind are stored in the subconscious for use at a later time. When our mind is working effectively we are able to pull from various parts of the subconscious in interesting ways. Wisdom is simply the timely application of knowledge and that knowledge is there in the subconscious. Everything we read, learn, do, if engaged in with presence can be more easily recalled as needed.
The basement of the basement. When multiple experiences overlap each other, they create a new structure or rule of what you know to be your experience. For example, if you accidentally spill coffee on your shirt a few times on the way to a meeting. If this happens a few times, you might develop an anxiety around coffee or work meetings or both. Your mind creates a new rule or concept of the experience. So even though an event hasn’t happened it may cause anxiety or trauma. By developing mindfulness, when we react negatively to a situation we can go in to the subconscious and think about what experiences lead to the creation of that new rule.
The Superconcious and sub-superconscious
The superconscious mind is our intuition. When we are present, focused and the other areas of our mind are working well, we can access this. You feel positive, see more opportunity and flow through life. It requires the work of going through the past traumas and experiences and creating new rules. This gives you a greater understanding of yourself, others and how you treat yourself and relate to the world.
Meditation is practicing being in higher states of consciousness. It’s the wilful entering of more refined states of your mind. The practice will lead you to access those states of mind more regularly. Helping yourself become more of who you are allows you to be more helpful to others. In developing your practice and remembering the feeling of being in this higher state, it allows you to more easily access higher states of mind more easily.
More about Rajan
After 12 enlightening years, Rajan Shankara left the monastery with his guru's blessings. Rajan's wish was to teach others what he has learned about the mind, meditation, the ego, and soul. He is currently helping NASA with project coordination in Advanced Air Mobility; guiding private clients in advanced meditation and performance coaching; marketing his first published book; and enjoying his freedom with his partner Helena and their daughter Maya in California.
His podcast, Man in the Making, now has thousands of listeners from all over the world.
Rajan has a book Everything is Your Fault, where he explains his life and teachings. You can be a part of Rajan's Book Club—a dedicated community of readers supporting Rajan's mission of helping people take charge of their life through responsibility.
Help support the nonprofit ZenMind Academy, Rajan's mission to help young people receive positive youth development through zen teachings.