We are mental beings, because we see the world through our mind; any experience, any object, produces automatically thoughts, reactions, memories, and concepts about the world. Even we make concepts about ourselves: I’m tall, I’m clever, I’m an engineer, etc etc. Our concepts model our world, and also determine our actions.
Some concepts presented to us by others, like the ones the reader are reading here and now, may produce in us a sort of resonance, they “sound as true“: something within us recognize the true in them, but they not are fully integrated in our mind because are foreign thoughts, like theoretical concepts that we are not fully realized. We can say we have the intuition that such foreign thoughts may be true, because they produce in us the feeling they must be true. So, there are our own concepts about the world that we fully accept (even when such concepts are inexact o totally wrong!), integrated with our mind at deep level, and there are other concepts that arrives to us from other minds that we also accept but are not deep accepted, integrated. Two different ways of model the world. Both of them can be more or less exact, real knowledge, and also can be more or less false, but accepted (of course, false accepted concepts is more ignorance than knowledge).
There is a third way of knowledge about the world: direct experience; here, no concepts are made, instead, we fully live a situation, we perceive it fully awake, fully present and with full awareness, so such experiences are evident, undeniable for us. Sometimes, we don’t fully understand such experiences, in the sense of to be able to relate it with our previous concepts, or make a conceptual framework for model the experience; but even without intellectual understanding, we can’t deny the reality of the experience because, simply, we live it. For example, we can be astonished looking at a sunrise, the mind simply stops their thinking, and we simply are there, living the moment, being one with the scene; no need for model the experience, for thinking about the colors of the sky, or about the rotation of Earth around the Sun that ultimately produces the sunrise, such thoughts are not necessary, even they can produce the lost of the feeling, the disconnection of the feeling, so better don’t think and simply enjoy the experience.
All of the three ways of knowledge are valuable, and every one can reinforce the others. In reflective meditation, we look deeply at something with the aim of fully understand and realize it. For example, we can meditate about the feelings lived in the sunrise, not thinking about but look at the feeling, searching their source, with a deep look and the solid will of discover, looking for answers. Maybe is not a way for everybody, but only for those who have the urgent need to really understand themselves and the world around them: the big questions, the “why?” about life. Is the way of Vidya Yoga, the Yoga of wisdom, truth and knowledge; remember “yoga” means “union“, and “vidya” means “knowledge” (by the way avidya means ignorance, the normal state of humankind), so Vidya Yoga means union with knowledge, and this is a precise definition: by practice patient and constant reflection about our experiences, with time, our mind progressively “touch” the knowledge, and then “melts” with them. We and full knowledge become one. Here, “full knowledge” means we have the experience and also the understanding of the experience.