The practice of meditation has 3 phases – closing down the outer mind, waking up the inner mind, then entering the Beyond.
The 2nd phase itself has 3 hidden sub-phases – waking up on the Deep Body, Deep Emotional and Deep Mental levels.
The first phase of closing down the outer superficial mind is similar to going to sleep. First activity in the outer world is minimised, we quieten the thoughts, calm the emotions and relax the body – intention is withdrawn. At that stage we still quietly experience the outer world through the external senses. We then disconnect the superficial mind from the external senses, we forget the physical world – awareness is withdrawn, our motor neurons and sensory neurons are de-energised. Only the processing inter-neurons, the thinking aspects of our superficial mind, remain activated – brain consciousness disconnected from its external sensory and motor arms. At this stage we have not yet awoken the inner mind. This state feels unusual because the superficial mind is either actively connected to the outer world with awareness and intention or passes quickly and unnoticed though this disconnected state at night while going to sleep.
Step 1: Take 3 full deep breaths. Each out breath let the mind close down as if going to sleep. The tensions of the body melt away. As the superficial-mind closes down further, the troubles of outer life are forgotten. Pass through the quiet watchful state and continue deeper (don't be tempted to rest in that quiet 'mindful' state).
Step 2: Outer awareness fades away as a dreamy state begins to appear. Immediately concentrate in the hands and feet looking for sensations of tingling, fullness and warmth. (The tingling, fullness and warmth appear due to the energetic stimulation of the pain, pressure and heat sensors). Continue breathing deeply. Each out breath go deeper and intensify the fullness and warmth allowing it to grow into the arms and legs, then into the chest, neck and head, then down through the trunk to rest in and around the base of the trunk, the perineum (Base Centre).
Step 3: Next allow a cloud of light to form in and around the perineum. Intensify the light as the mind gently sinks deeper. At this stage the superficial-mind has been closed down and the Deep Mind has begun to awaken. In this deep condition visualising light will help to connect into the reality of the body's energy field, (whereas in a superficially quiet state visualisation may only lead to an imaginary disconnection from reality).
Ramanamaharshi: "Intellect (superficial mind) is of no use at all for seeing within, for turning towards the Self. For that it has to be killed or extinguished, or in other words it has to merge in the source from which it sprang."