Revisiting Sitting in the Power - part three
In the previous blog I suggested that the practice of Sitting in the Power is made from a number of constituient parts all orginating from different meditation practices working together to benefit the individuals mediumistic unfoldment. In this edition I’ll suggest why I find this of particular interest and how the benefits of Sitting in the Power align with findings from research conducted with nineteen of the world most renowned mediums.
It is well documented in scientific and medical literature that meditations can under certain conditions improve the ability of an individual to focus and concentrate, with a limited number of studies showing that meditation improves the selective attention ability within those diagnosed with conditions such as Attention Deficit Disorders. Interestingly in the last edition we also noted how Sitting in the Power also seems to include components that encourage the training of these abilities so to improve the individuals control of these components.
During the research conducted with nineteen mediums, questions were asked to explore the role that certain high-level cognitive processes may have in the demonstration of mediumship. These cognitive processes are termed under the umbella of ‘Executive Functions’, and there is a wealth of literature discussing their usage within daily life, with the elderly and with students in the education settings. These executive functions include processes that involve the individuals ability to maintain focus while inhibiting distractions, being able to selectively attend to certain tasks and switch between tasks.
From the responses provided by the mediums, there could be seen a lot of similarities between how the mediums, in some cases unknowingly use certain cognitive processes to initiate, maintain and give a spirit communication. For example, for a successful demonstration the medium needs to not only unfold their mediumistic awareness, but also the ability to selectively take their awareness to the ‘spirit world’, while preventing their awareness from jumping to other thoughts or distractions. Working mediums, will have plenty of examples to tell of how a distraction within the church or centre that they are serving caused them to momentarily lose their mediumistic connection. These distractions need not be only external distractions, but also distractions from their own thoughts interrupting the communication. Tutors of mediumship more commonly see this type of distraction in inexperienced exponents who allow their conscious thoughts colour the interpretation of the spirit communication. Likewise, there are many examples of how mediums have had no awareness of any distractions in the external environment because they lost themselves in the communication, by being so focused upon the spirit world.
These are all examples of executive functions being used by the medium.
A further example can be seen with mediums needing the ability to be able to switch their attention when necessary. For example, a medium while demonstrating will be aware of the spirit world but also at times need to switch their attention to the recipient, perhaps to ensure they understand what is being said or to ensure the recipients emotional well-being. In doing so, the medium is said to ‘hold the communicator’ whilst checking in with the recipient, and again is demonstrating an important executive ‘multitasking ability’.
Though the research did not explore the faculty of trance mediumship, it is perhaps not too far a stretch to suggest that these executive functions may also contribute to its unfoldment. Particularly, during the early days of the unfoldment of trance ,the ability to inhibit distractions and maintain focus, would be of significant importance.
Interestingly, one could suggest that if these executive functions are necessary in the successful demonstration of mediumship, and these function may also contribute to the unfoldment of trance mediumship. Then perhaps the one thing that differentiates a medium (perception) with that of a trance medium, is not their mediumistic unfoldment but their executive function ability. But that discussion is probably for another day!
The aim of this short series was to encourage you to start seeing Sitting in the Power as a practice that is more than assisting with the unfoldment of mediumistic abilities. But, by design could also benefit the training of specific cognitive functions that according to research are suggested to be necessary to be able to convey and demonstrate the spirit communication to a recipient. In total Sitting in the Power is a valuable practice and tool for exponents and experienced mediums alike.
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