Let’s start from the very basic question that almost all the seekers ask which is who is the one that is referred to as “I”. The word “I” is the most used word in the world and we human beings emphasize or prioritize it so much. While I along with my friends sit together for contemplation to dig deeper into this rabbit hole, this very basic question always arises and almost all of us ponder deeply on who in reality this “I” is. Let’s try and understand the basic tenets of spirituality before we delve into the realm of awareness as human beings are the only animals that can be self-conscious.
Have you seen people sitting silently by closing their eyes? As it is often said that meditation is something that is done or performed. Can one really meditate as per his wishes and will? What is meditation in the real sense of the word? What or who is this “I” that thinks s/he can meditate?
Meditation or Dhyaan is a state of no-mind, no thoughts. The practice one does or performs are the methods for meditation to happen, NOT the meditation itself! There are numerous methods that could be active or passive. Many people think that feel-good-experience is meditation. Dance is not meditation as long as the dancer is present, singing is not meditation as long as the singer is present. So, “I” who thinks or perceives that s/he can perform the act of meditation is the biggest idiocy and fallacy in the world. We could see that “I” is the sum total of memory, identity, intellect, and intelligence if we contemplate deeply. So, meditation happens only in the absence of the mind. Now, you might find it paradoxical and then think what use is there of the mind for meditation to happen as you see so many seekers sitting still with absolute silence claim to be meditating. The mind is only there to make a conscious initiation of witnessing- witnessing is a continuous non-judgemental observation. The mind ceases ultimately. The seer or knower within us sees and knows everything that is happening within ourselves in a conscious, unconscious, and subconscious state. Meditation is a conscious death as “I” that is held so dearly with all the attachments and identifications would be dropped. Please be reminded, “I” cannot drop “I” which is what many people are trying out for many years. Hence, the dhyana or any form of sadhana done without understanding the nature of “I” gets us nowhere. “I” is only an entrance or a passage, NOT the ultimate vehicle that you can ride on for attaining the state of enlightenment.
Let’s get on to what one can do daily or every moment.
Conscious watchfulness is the key. Be a witness- please bring your conscious mind to the activities of body and mind again and again and again as you would have millions of distractions. Be assured that you would get muddled up like a rolling iceball in the process of being self-conscious. Please come back and be conscious of the body and thoughts. There are three levels- the level of body, mind, and emotion. So, watching the activities of the body the whole time requires very strong dedication and determination. Please do it- watch the way you walk, sit, lie down, move your hands and body, etc. The conscious mind must be made to watch the bodily movements with utmost earnestness. Yes, the distractions happen, bring back to the body as and when you are conscious of the distractions. The distractions will eventually start to lessen. The second one is the watchfulness of thoughts without judging them. Let all kinds of thoughts float in the mind. Just watch them, be a watcher. Take a back seat and just watch. And, the third one is being a witness to emotions like fear, greed, jealousy, anger, etc. which is the deepest level out of these three aspects. In fact, body, mind, and emotions are hierarchical in terms of the intensity of the experience. So, please start with the body and slowly move to the next level. One can simply assess the progress of Sadhana by asking how blissful and free one really is despite the hassles and hardship of the mundane world.
The awareness which is always and ever-present eternally, which is the knower of all states is realized within us as a result of being a witness. In other words, constant witnessing brings about the fruit of awareness whereby the whole perception and experience of everything changes, a real homecoming would happen, real wakefulness from the constant dream of thoughts would happen, the recognization of “I” would happen, all the questions and seeking would drop, the identification and all the miseries created by those identifications would end, the suffering that is essentially physical and mental would come to an end as the falsehood of identities are realized, one can be spontaneously and naturally non-attached, non-judgemental and non-resistant as Master Eckhart Tolle suggested as the three tenets of an enlightened living.