About the Author
Dr. Susan Shumsky has dedicated her life to helping people take command of their lives in highly effective, powerful, positive ways. She is the best-selling author of 14 books, published by Red Wheel/New Page, Simon & Schuster, Random House Penguin, and Skyhorse. A pioneer in the human potential field, she has spent 50 years teaching thousands of people meditation, prayer, affirmation, and intuition. Her book titles include Exploring Meditation, Ascension, Instant Healing, The Power of Auras, The Power of Chakras, Awaken Your Third Eye, Awaken Your Divine Intuition, Color Your Chakras, Miracle Prayer, Divine Revelation, and Maharishi & Me.
Dr. Shumsky is a highly respected spiritual teacher, award-winning author, and founder of Divine Revelation®--a unique field-proven technology for contacting the divine presence, hearing and testing the inner voice, and receiving clear divine guidance. For 22 years, her mentor was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who was guru of the Beatles and guru of Deepak Chopra. Dr. Shumsky served on Maharishi's personal staff for 6 years. Her Website is www.drsusan.org.
Read an Excerpt
What Is A "Higher Self" Anyway?
In This Chapter:
 Asking Questions about Spiritual Development.
 Taking the "Meditation IQ Test."
 Getting Acquainted with Your Higher Self.
"I AM a radiant being of pure light."
A homemaker from Staten Island, New York came to me to learn how to meditate. Like so many of us, she was seeking an unmistakable, concrete signal to help her identify whether she was in contact with her higher self. When I led her into meditation and asked her to describe her experience, she said, "Peace." I asked her to take a few deep breaths and then repeated my question. She still answered, "Peace." This went on a few more times. Finally I asked her where this "peace" was located. She promptly replied, "It's that feeling of having a cloak around my shoulders that everyone gets when they meditate." I explained that this feeling of a cloak was her own unique experience, different from what others experience when they meditate.
This story illustrates a simple point — we all have preconceptions and misconceptions about meditation. There's always room for learning, even for experienced meditators. You might be surprised at what this book has to offer.
Others of you may be curious, yet completely unfamiliar with the territory of meditation and spiritual development. Therefore we'll begin with the basics and answer a few of your questions.
FAQ's About Spiritual Development
Q: I don't understand the concepts of meditation, enlightenment, psychic phenomena, or supernatural experiences. Can I learn about these?
A: This book provides knowledge of the basics as well as surprising information that experts in this field are unaware of. Therefore, you can gain even greater understanding than many street-wise metaphysicians.
Q: I tried meditation, but it didn't work for me. Can I learn to do it?
A: This book will help you meditate easily and effortlessly with sure-fire techniques that work even for beginners.
Q: I have no confidence in my intuition. What can I do about this?
A: Here you can learn simple, step-by-step methods to help you develop and use your intuition and ESP power.
Q: When I have inner experiences, I pretend they didn't happen.
A: With this book you can begin to understand, accept, and have confidence in your spiritual experiences.
Q: I feel overwhelmed by the maze of occult offerings in pop culture today.
A: In this book you can learn to distinguish between spiritual and mental experiences and avoid the pitfalls of psychic delusion.
Q: I feel overly sensitive to people and things around me.
A: This book offers powerful techniques to heal negative influences and prevent harm from future influences.
Q: I don't want to work at hard-to-follow disciplines.
A: This book is easy to understand, with simple-to-learn methods that require no previous experience, background, training, or knowledge.
Q: I don't like rules, regulations, cults, and organizations.
A: These methods impose no restrictions and are compatible with other forms of meditation and religious philosophies, lifestyles, and personal beliefs.
Q: I want to grow spiritually, yet I have no idea how to begin.
A: This book can inspire you to a more spiritually directed life, beginning with the basics. How far you progress on your spiritual path is entirely up to you.
Test Your Meditation IQ
Perhaps you feel that since you have studied meditation and spiritual development for decades, this book is too elementary. Even if you're an expert, this test just might stump you:
1. What is your higher self?
A. The divine within me.
B. My soul.
C. The good part of myself.
D. Myself after death.
E. Part of myself that's above my body.
F. A '60s flashback.
2. What is meditation?
A. Concentration of mind.
B. Contemplating a profound statement.
C. Quieting mind and body.
D. Going into a trance.
E. Repeating a mantra.
F. Something naughty you do with the door closed.
3. What is a mantra?
A. Any word used in meditation.
B. A meaningless sound that's chanted.
C. A name or phrase used as an invocation.
E. A prayer.
F. A secret handshake.
4. What is samadhi?
A. Stillness and equanimity of mind and body.
B. A yoga exercise.
C. An East Indian philosophy.
D. Freedom from karma.
F. Saturday in the south of France.
5. What is yoga?
A. A specific type of exercise program.
B. To yoke.
C. Getting into certain postures.
D. Eastern philosophy.
E. Breathing exercises.
F. Booboo's pal.
6. What is kundalini?
B. Mystic energy coil.
C. A sign that I'm experiencing higher consciousness.
D. Sexual orgasm.
E. An Indian goddess.
F. A pasta.
7. What is a chakra?
A. A wheel.
B. The center of the body.
C. A clairvoyant sight.
D. When it opens, I become enlightened.
E. A nerve ending.
F. That awful screeching blackboard sound.
8. What is karma?
A. Getting back what I deserve.
C. Reward or punishment for past lives.
D. Good or bad luck.
F. My mother's Ford Taurus.
9. What is dharma?
A. What I should be doing.
B. The path for more highly evolved people.
C. Ethical morality.
D. My career.
E. Following my true heart's desires.
F. An expletive.
10. What is unconscious trance mediumship?
A. Letting divine beings take over your body.
B. Letting unkown entities take over your body.
C. Demonic possession.
E. Getting higher knowledge from entities.
F. Sleeping through your trans-Atlantic ocean voyage.
11. What is an astral entity?
A. A demon.
B. A person who died.
C. An evil spirit.
D. An earthbound spirit.
E. A higher being who gives information through channeling.
F. A baseball player for the Houston team.
12. What is intuition?
B. Something women have.
C. Psychic powers.
D. Predicting the future.
F. A hospital, school, or prison.
13. What is ESP?
A. Seeing, hearing, and feeling things without the senses.
B. Getting higher knowledge.
C. Moving things telekinetically.
D. Predicting the future.
E. Having subtle sensory experiences inwardly.
F. A cable TV network.
14. Who is called a psychic?
A. A person who may or may not have ESP.
B. A person who knows the future.
C. A person with supernormal powers.
D. A person who reads cards.
E. An astrologer.
F. Someone who makes money on TV.
15. What is a guru?
A. A cult leader.
B. One who brings light to the darkness.
C. A person who should be worshipped.
D. A teacher to whom I should surrender.
E. A teacher who knows better than me what is best for me.
F. The past tense of goyim.
16. What is maya?
A. Being ensnared by a beautiful woman.
B. Being worldly.
C. Being materialistic.
D. Not knowing about enlightenment.
E. That which doesn't exist.
F. Famous African-American poetess.
17. What is reincarnation?
A. Transmigration of the soul.
B. Being born again as a lower life form.
C. My past lives.
E. Punishment for bad karma.
F. Giving me a flower that someone gave to you.
18. What is enlightenment?
A. Knowing who I really am.
B. Being a guru.
C. Being higher than other people.
D. Freedom from all responsibilities.
E. Release from the world.
F. Finally losing that ten pounds.
The answers to this quiz are 1:A, 2:C, 3:C, 4:A, 5:B, 6:B, 7:A, 8:B, 9:E, 10:B, 11:D, 12:A, 13:E, 14:A, 15:B, 16:E, 17:A, and 18:A.
 If you got 18 right, your spiritual IQ is 200. You don't need to read this book. You should write your own.
 If you got 14-17 right, you're a DOCTOR OF SPIRITUALITY. You have tremendous insight into spiritual development and your spiritual IQ is 175.
 If you got 10-13 right, you're a MASTER OF SPIRITUALITY. You know a lot, but you have a few things to learn. Your spiritual IQ is 150.
 If you got 5-9 right, you're a BACHELOR OF SPIRITUALITY. You still know a lot, but you have more to learn. Your spiritual IQ is 125.
 If you got 1-4 right, congratulations, the odds are with you. You've successfully proven that random selection works. Your spiritual IQ is 100.
Are you surprised at some of the answers on the quiz? That's because so many myths surround these words. Having some familiarity with esoteric terms is not the same as understanding them deeply. As you read Exploring Meditation, you'll acquire profound insight into these terms. Let's begin by answering the first "Meditation IQ Test" question, namely, "What is your higher self?"
FAQ's about Your Higher Self
Q: What is a "higher self," and does it have meaning for me in my busy life?
A: Jerome Ballantine, A New York fashion executive, told me recently:
"In meditation, in my inner eye I saw my higher self as a tall, radiant being in yellow robes with penetrating large brown eyes. Identifying himself as Sananda, he led me through a doorway into a vast space. With stars and galaxies all around me, I ascended into a realm of light and left time and space behind. I became infinitely expanded, and the universe became a tiny dot within me. I was filled with great happiness and peace. For a time I became one with the universe and completely forgot my body and everything else. As a result of this experience, my higher self is with me daily, granting me constant support, comfort, guidance, love, and protection."
Even busy executives can have profound experiences of their higher self. Not just isolated flash-in-the-pan phenomena, these are profound, meaningful occurrences that affect every aspect of daily life.
The higher self is a part of you that usually remains hidden from view. It's thought of as your spiritual self or the higher aspect of your being. Yet most people misunderstand it and don't realize its significance.
Q: In what way does an experience of my higher self have meaning to me?
A: Experiencing your higher self can literally transform the way you see yourself, how you relate to your environment, and how you interact with others. It can augment your career success and dramatically improve your level of self-confidence and measure of happiness.
Q: Why and how can my higher self transform my life?
A: Getting in touch with your higher self awakens hidden aspects of yourself that haven't yet been brought to conscious awareness. These higher aspects, with special properties and abilities, can exercise your mind in new ways. Like an out-ofuse muscle that has atrophied, your higher self needs to be used. Then it becomes an ally that transforms your life into something new. You become more happy, successful, radiant, beautiful, and fulfilled.
Q: How can I contact my higher self?
A: Through meditation you can connect with your higher self. By quieting your mind, you can recognize who the higher self is and what it can do for you. In this book you'll learn some practical ways to do this.
Q: How does my higher self work?
A: Your higher self works with your ego-self to carry out the process of your spiritual awakening in consciousness. You're constantly reinventing yourself into higher states of awareness every moment, opening to understandings you weren't previously aware of. Each new day brings a higher state of consciousness than the day before. You're waking up day by day, as you recognize the perfection and truth of your being.
Q: What is the purpose of my life?
A: Your life purpose is to enjoy greater happiness and express more of who you really are. Who you really are and who you think you are may be very different from each other. For you are an enlightened, spiritually awake, highly tuned, powerful being, at one with the universe and with your divine self.
Q: How can I begin to realize who I really am?
A: Your higher self will teach you who you really are once you experience it directly in meditation and communicate with it. But this must be a direct experience, not an intellectualization. Only by going direct to the source, without any intermediary, can you realize your true self.
Q: What benefits can I receive through contacting my higher self?
Contact with your higher self brings more love into your life, since you drop personality façades that previously created walls between yourself and others.
You also become more powerful and effective, since you're tapping an unlimited gold mind of power and wisdom at the center of your being.
Since the experience of the higher self is great joy and deep satisfaction, you naturally become happier and more fulfilled.
You have more energy, since you stop trying so hard to please others and relax into being more natural and true to yourself.
You develop your full mental potential when you awaken to the innate wisdom and inner knowing of your higher self.
 Less Stress.
You reduce stress and tension and increase well-being and contentment, since you become more self-contained and self-reliant.
Your health improves because as you start to identify with your higher self, you become more physically relaxed and psychologically balanced.
You feel more content when you attune to the higher self because you gain trust in the universe to provide for your needs.
 Peace of Mind.
You experience greater peace of mind, since you find what you've been seeking all your life, even if you didn't know it at the time.
Q: What is the nature of my higher self?
A: Your higher self is your true nature — the divine within. It may be completely unlike what you believe yourself to be. In fact, you may not recognize it as your self when you first encounter it. You might even think it's someone or something other than you. But in reality it's the true nature of your being — beautiful, free, loving, generous, joyous, wise, and creative — the divine in action, expressing itself as yourself.
Q: What does my higher self look like, and how does it feel?
A: Your higher self is a radiant, beautiful light-being. It has no heavy mass like your earthly physical body. It may be a myriad of beautiful colors and isn't confined to the space or even the time where your physical body is located. Deep in meditation you'll experience your higher self as a sense of happiness, fulfillment, wholeness, and profound peace.
It's multi-leveled and multi-faceted. Your higher self is not your human personality and not just your soul. It includes layer upon layer of dimensions. All aspects of the divine abide within you. At the heart of your very nature dwells the higher power (in whatever form you believe that to be), in all its multifarious forms.
You'll experience your higher self in a way that's suited to you and makes you comfortable. For example, if you happen to be Jewish, you may not want to meet Jesus during your trips to inner space. If you're Catholic, you may feel uncomfortable meeting Buddha. (But don't be too surprised if you happen to run across them at some point down the road.)
Beyond all your multidimensional aspects there's an even deeper aspect — the absolute — beyond all forms and phenomena of the material world and even beyond the celestial realm. But now we're getting ahead of ourselves. We'll explore more about this later on.
Q: Why do I need to know this stuff?
A: If you don't learn it now, it's okay. It doesn't matter. Eventually you'll come back to it in the future, either in this life or another life (whoops, yep, reincarnation). Somewhere along your path you'll have to stop the madness of living in the illusion of maya (identifying yourself as your ego) and wake up to who you really are. It's just that simple.
"The question 'Who am I?' is the one that annihilates all others."
— Ramana Maharishi
Dialing a Direct Line to Spirit
In This Chapter:
 Defining "Spirit" and "God."
 Learning to Communicate with Spirit.
 Contacting the Divine through Meditation.
"I AM perfection everywhere now."
You may be wondering, "Why should I learn to meditate? What's in it for me?" The answer is simple: There's a lot more than you could ever imagine.
Your higher self wants to know you intimately and communicate with you daily. But you may not be aware it's available to you. Perhaps you think only prophets touched with a divine magic wand can contact their higher selves. Yet you're just as capable of doing this as any great saint. Are you surprised? If so, you have company — most people believe only the "elect" are worthy to communicate with Spirit.
By practicing meditation as outlined in this book, you can contact your higher self and communicate with Spirit. While we're at it, let's define what we mean by "Spirit" or "God." (By the way, they're the same.)
What Is Spirit?
"Spirit" is an aspect of you that is divine — not limited by any religion, lifestyle, personal belief, or denomination. It's your sense of wonder when you see a beautiful rose and smell its fragrance, when you feel the warm wind caressing your face and blowing your hair, when you watch the relentless ebb and flow of the ocean's waves crashing on the shore.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Exploring Meditation"
Copyright © 2001 Susan Shumsky.
Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part I: Discovering Your Higher Self,
Chapter 1: What Is A "Higher Self" Anyway?,
Chapter 2: Dialing A Direct Line to Spirit,
Chapter 3: A User-friendly Guide to Your Self,
Part II: Discovering Meditation,
Chapter 4: Recharging Your Body, Mind, and Spirit,
Chapter 5: Meditation for the Meditatively Challenged,
Chapter 6: Travel Tips for Exploring Inner Space,
Part III: Discovering Yoga,
Chapter 7: What Is Yoga?,
Chapter 8: Better Health through Yoga Postures,
Chapter 9: Greater Power through Yogic Breathing,
Part IV: Discovering Karma and Past Lives,
Chapter 10: Dispelling Myths about Karma,
Chapter 11: Healing Your Past the Easy Way,
Chapter 12: Making Your Dreams Come True,
Part V: Discovering ESP,
Chapter 13: Opening Spiritual Sight, Sound, and Sensing,
Chapter 14: Trusting Your In-house Counselor,
Part VI: Discovering Enlightenment,
Chapter 15: Riding the Spiritual Superhighway,
Chapter 16: A Guide to Mysteries of Consciousness,
About the Author,