Meditation and contemplation of the ultimate subject

In mental silence, I closely observe my surroundings.
I see no separation, but union, continuity, of all that surrounds me.
Even my own body is also part of the environment, it is one with it.
And my emotions are integrated with my body, so also part of the environment.
And my thoughts come from my brain, part of the body, so also part of the environment.
There is only one reality that embraces everything. Even myself. All.
This perception is called non-dual perception.

In that state you can not feel loneliness. How could you feel it?
Is impossible, because you feel one with everything.

Then I deepen my attention.
I bring it to the bottom of my mind, a calm mind, without thoughts, but awake, watching
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Then I deepen my attention.
I bring it to the bottom of my mind, that now is a very calm mind, without thoughts, but awake, watching.
And then, I perceive a presence, tenuous, but clearly.
This presence is called the ultimate subject, or the deep self, or the higher self.
It is distinct from the psychological self, for it is only detected in the absence of thoughts.

Only such ultimate subject, the one who observes, feels separated from the observed.
But that subject is nothing in particular.
It is not body, it is not emotions, it is not thoughts. Is nothing.
All this stuff is external to the ultimate subject.
And yet, the subject is someone. It feels as someone, but without any attribute.

Focusing the attention to that subject, with the mind in deep calm, I experience a presence, and a peace. I experience a sort of absolute stability. The ultimate subject is beyond all phenomenal experience, it feels unalterable.

When the mind, in deep contemplation of the ultimate subject, clearly feels the subject, we are in the state called realization of self, or self-realization. It is also called centering, because attention is placed in the center of the field of consciousness, in the subject who experiences the field.

From the center of the field of consciousness the mind is in a state of equanimity, peaceful, and I experiencing peace and bliss.
There are no problems to solve. There is a watch on life, the flow of life, a non-dual life that embraces all. There is acceptance of reality as it is. Such state is named mindfulness state.

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What is “realization”? Types of realization. Meditation for realization.

Meditation is an activity that allows us to train the mind to see the world and ourselves with another perspective. It can be used for practical purposes, such as better sleeping or more efficient, and also to realize aspects of existence that are not obvious, but real. This realization of the non-obvious, the subtle, is what is meant by “realization.”


There are several types of realization, depending on which aspect of reality we focus our mind. Next we see a script of meditation that takes us to the different realizations (the realization of several subtle aspects). We can not pretend to get all the realizations in a few minutes, of course, this script just wants to show a possible way, and by the way defines what each type of realization means. Each person has a tendency to develop some specific aspect, but in fact we can, and it is convenient to do so, to work with all aspects. At first all we can hope to feel is an intuition of truth, something that resonates to us as real, but still distant; with practice, is seen more and more clearly, the mind is opening to new ways of seeing, to subtle knowledge, until finally the knowledge is “fully” realized.

Meditation on the realizations

  •  When the ego is active, love can only express itself as “I want.”
    I love you  because you make me feel good” is what the ego expresses.
    And if you stop being pleasant for that person, you fail their ego, you lose your utility for him. Then that ego says, “I do not love you anymore,” even saying “I hate you because you have failed me.”
  • When the ego is inactive, love shines on its own.
  • Love without ego is constant, demands nothing, does not seek to be useful.
  • If you remain calm with the ego inactive, and watch closely, you will feel your own love, shining in you.
  • The moment the ego reactivates itself, it loses that wonderful sensation, because the ego is incapable of realizing it, he is always waiting to get everything through something or someone, it never gives anything of itself.
  • If you immerse yourself in that feeling of inner love, you will see that it expands, which seems to encompass everything.
  • You will look around and everything will look bright, beautiful, because beauty and love both belong to the same plane, are aspects of the same thing.
  • This state is called the realization of love.

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  • When the ego is inactive, the mind becomes calm, ceases to seek, it relaxes.
  • If in that state you look attentively you feel the peace of a calm mind.
  • If you look more deeply, you perceive that someone is observing that peace, someone subtle, is not the ego, is not a thought, nor is it material, seems to be nothing, it is purely conscious presence.
  • This state is called the realization of your deep being, or realization of the Self in you, or simply, self-realization.

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  • Keeping the ego inactive, with the mind in deep calm, watch your surroundings closely.
  • You will feel one with everything. The separation between you and the world is a thing of the ego. It is relative, and ultimately false.
  • By observing both the world and yourself, with the relaxed mind, your consciousness is simultaneously containing your environment and yourself, your body, your emotions, your mind, everything is in your consciousness, forming a unity.
  • This state is called realization of non-duality.

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  • Meditating on the functioning of your body, a very complex biological machine, with innumerable cells, living beings cooperating with each other to keep you alive, we see the diversity of life creating an unity of life, you.
  • Breathing, feeling life in you, looking at the life around you, with the calm mind, you feel that all life is one, you are a focus in an ocean of life.
  • This state is called the realization of the unity of life.

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  • Looking, with the calm mind, how the world works out there, so complex, how everything seems to work alone, with mathematical exactitude, governed by natural laws, the whole cosmos functions like a precision clock, you feel there is an intelligence there, subtle, immense, that is in everything.
  • That same intelligence keeps you alive, second to second.
  • Your own personal mind is part of that intelligence,  it is an individual focus of that cosmic intelligence.
  • This state is called the realization of the unity of mind, or realization of the Universal Mind, “the Universe is a creation of the Mind.”

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  • Observing from the relaxed, open, centered mind, the Love that expands and is in everything, the unity of Life, the unity of the Mind, the non-duality of Consciousness, and your very profound being, encompassing all these aspects of reality with your consciousness, you experience a state of total oneness with Love, with Life, with Existence and with Mind.
  • This state is called the realization of the Self.

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Contemplative attitude

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Short contemplation

You are walking in the countryside, thinking of your things, paying little attention to surroundings; then, distractedly, you look away and watch a wonderful landscape, it was there for a long, but you didn’t notice it yet. In this moment, your mind stop, no thoughts, no worries, you only contemplate the panorama, and for a short time, you experience a silent and peace mind, a  mind only observing without any intellectual motion. However such state is not lasting, your mind is not trained for to keep silent, and after a moment the thoughts return. But for a moment, you was contemplating.

Escaping

Sometimes our mind exhaust us with tones of worries, remembers, pending tasks, and other stuff. in that times we want to escape to another place, hoping the distance from our habitual environment also be a distance from our habitual thoughts; sometimes it works, up to a point, sometimes not, because we took our mind with us wherever we go. Anyway, for a lot of people the only way to rest from their own mind is escaping to another physical place, or doing something distracting, like watch a movie, talk with friends, etc. All of this escaping ways are short, they are short relieves.

Lasting contemplation

At the beginning of the Christmas holidays I felt the need of escaping: after months of hard, continuous work, days of shopping, endless queues, family meals … come near. I really desired be calm, not all of these Christmas stuff, but, how can tell it to my family? It was impossible. Suddenly the idea came into my mind: wait a second …

you are looking for the state of contemplation, through escaping far away, to a calm and peaceful place, but you can adopt the contemplative attitude right here and now, no need to physically escape, instead, escape from your thoughts now!   

An attitude is a mental disposition, also a mental state related to such disposition. A trained mind can be directed to a mental disposition at will. So, then, I put my attention behind, behind my thoughts, in the center of the mind, an action to which every experienced meditator is accustomed, having done it daily for years: centering the attention in the middle of the  field of consciousness. I wrote about this meditation ability time ago in this blog: Centeredness of attention

The result was I found myself contemplating all my field of consciousness, thoughts included, also external things. The dis-identification of my own thoughts, a natural result produced by the centering of attention, brought me the peace I was looking for.

Ant it really works well … I was able to pass throughout all the “holidays” very peacefully, like I was alone in a far mountains watching a spectacular sunset. Have been the best Christmas I remember in many years. Obviously, the next challenge is keep such state even at work; hope I’ll be successful.

The canvas of the mind

Canvas and figures

Imagine we have in front of us a white canvas and a marker pen, and we feel the need, the impulse of drawing …hello1

If we are, or with training, we become a good experienced drawers, we have no limits in our artist expression … from simple forms up to complex ones:

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Our mind tends to attend preferentially to the draws, the objects on the canvas, not on the canvas itself; but clearly all the figures need a canvas, a base, for be drawn, for exist: without the canvas base nothing can be drawn, this is clear. Are the figures more “real” than the canvas? Of course not, because canvas also exists, and furthermore, is a prerequisite for the existence of any drawing, so in some way, canvas seems more real than the figures. Because canvas have no form, our mind tends to ignore it.

Canvas of the mind and thoughts

Similarly, any thought arising in the mind can be seen as a figure, an object, created on a canvas. What is such canvas of the mind? We can notice it paying attention, and meditation is an excellent tool for train our inner attention. I only can recommend what I’ve tried for myself, but is not the only way: doing mantra meditation, that is, repeating slowly a word or a short phrase, at least twenty minutes every day … when we are able to pay full attention to the mantra, then we can try the next level of the training, paying  attention to the silence between words, expanding it (so we need to repeat more slowly the mantra), since the pause between the words be so vivid and clear than the words itself; that mental silence is the canvas of the mind.

As a paper, the canvas of the mind contains infinite possibilities, all kind of thoughts can arise from it. Paying more and more attention to the canvas it acquires more reality for us; eventually, with enough time, the feeling of a quiet ground will be noticed even without any mantra or meditation technique, it will be felt between the daily routine, giving us a feel of solid peace beyond any life circumstance. Why? because attention focused on anything get the thing into our consciousness, so putting together our  consciousness and a stable, non limited inner mental space gives us a expanded new perspective  of ourselves and about the external world. Is not difficult achieve such state, is enough with some weeks of daily training for be able to notice it, and some months for stabilize it. The benefits are important: we carry with us an imperturbable inner peace, with no limits, with no conditions, and in this crazy world such peace is inestimable.

 

Identification of the person with ideas, thoughts, opinions

The problem of identification with personal ideas

There is an automatic process that occurs very often among us is: I discover an idea that can be self-make or created by others and accepted by me, which I see as correct, as some; then that idea is attached, built, mixed with my personality, my sense of self. It is a natural process of the human psyche, in fact the ego itself is a mixture of intertwined together ideas, so this process is part of the creation and maintenance of ego.

The problem is that ideas, however good they may seem, are always partial, contain a partial truth, a point of view. But our ego needs to feel stable, seeks to be; basing their existence on partial ideas, he gets into trouble, as any external event that denies the accepted idea will produce a feeling of destruction of the structure of the ego, which feels like self-destruction due to identification mechanism. This is an exact process, so as it happens.

Perhaps it will seem to exaggerate, but the problem posed is, or may be, serious or very serious; depending on the level of identification that we have, how well or how badly structured that is our psyche, and external events, denial of ideas that have integrated into our sense of self it can be from merely a temporary discomfort to a catastrophe, well for us, or for anyone who it has been guilty of denying our beliefs.

This is clearly seen when one has formed an idea of how life should be: for I have a good job, good friends, a stable family, etc. If that idea becomes integrated with our sense of being, and so it does not get to even partially fulfilled, we feel denied, unsuccessful, and we fall into depression, one of the most widespread diseases in developed societies. In contrast, in countries that maintain permanent armed conflict, where life is very hard, is virtually unknown psychic depression; people who have to survive day to day do not plan anything, do not think of idyllic lives, and therefore can not identify with these ideas, that all they would do is add more suffering to which they have.

Also clearly it is seen in the process of identification with ideologies; in this case there is a structured set of ideas, rather dogmatic body, but remain partial, and are accepted and integrated deeply into the personality. Consider for instance religions, and also in, economic, moral or political ideologies. And think how many misfortunes, conflicts, wars and horrors we have suffered and still are suffering, due to the blind application of ideologies. In the extreme case, the identification is so strong that any individual who does not agree with the ideology is seen as a danger, as an enemy of our very existence, as someone who must be converted or destroyed. Therefore it is a very serious issue.

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Crusaders (“Christian warriors”) against Mongols in the religious wars of X-XII centuries

 

Fixing the issue

Why does it happen this identification? It is an expression of natural law: biological evolution has created complex beings, formed by billions of individual cells, which tend to be self-conscious, to be “somebody”. In the present course of our evolution, identification is with the mind rather than the body. There is a natural demand for be somebody, but who? It is this tendency to satisfy the demand to be someone that brings us to build an ego from ideas: I am so and so, I’m an engineer, I’m agnostic, I am … In fact we are nothing of all that, we should say: now I have a name, a profession, a belief … but are variable, if you ask me in ten years may have changed all that.

If when I meet with an idea, rather than accept it and incorporate it into my being, I meditate on the truth itself, my intuition of truth, which that idea is just one way, one aspect, then my view will be wide and I can accept other different ideas, and in the event that the original idea is diminished or denied will not affect my sense of being, I will not need to defend it, nor do I feel offended or lowered. There will not be any discomfort, resentment, frustration.

And this attitude will have a second effect, as important or more than the first: in doing so, I’ll discover as a being that is beyond ideas, however good they may seem. I will not confuse me with things, with states, with ideologies. I will realize that I am independent of all that, I simply am, no more. And no longer we suffer or will suffer more, by partial ideas. The same ego is weakened, it will not disappear, but lose strength, and can no longer take control, rather it will control us, and we will use it as a means of expression of our being.

I can not stop repeating the importance of this dis-identification: if formal education to include in their programs the development of this vision, so to be free, not tied to ideology, and did well, believing in what he does, putting the necessary resources, imagine the reader the social transformation that we would see in just a few years. The effect it would have on the conflicts we now have worldwide. It would be revolutionary. We will be peaceful beings.

Paloma Pau

The way of knowledge

Desires and knowledge

According to the ancient Vedas, we have a soul, and such soul has four distinct desires. The first is dharma, the desire to fully become who we were meant to be, the longing to achieve our highest state of well-being to fulfill our destiny. The second desire is artha, the desire for the material means (money, health) necessary for fulfill our dharma. The third desire is kama, the longing for pleasure in any and all forms. The fourth is moksha, the desire to be free from the burdens of the world, experiencing spirit, to achieve lasting peace and a state beyond the reach of the other three desires.

The more separated from the whole we feel, the more egoistic will be our desires. Our knowledge of the world depends on our mind (manas), and also the fulfilment of our desires; when the mind is exclusively dedicated to fulfil egoistic desires, the knowledge is lower, indeed is ignorance. One of the schools of classical Yoga, Jnana Yoga, aims to develop higher, true knowledge. Is the way suitable for intellectual people. In ordinary people mind is so dedicated to fulfil selfish desires than become entangled with them, making a mess named kama-manas, “desire-mind”.

A short tale

Once upon a time, in the Indian part of Punjab region,  there was a young promising teacher of University, doing his post-doctoral stage: Harmanpreet, who was both a very clever man but also a follower of ancient traditions, he meditated every morning for half an hour and also use to read spiritual books. Moreover, he had a mystic temperament, he can feel joy deeply and also he can feel sorrow very deeply, more deeply than the average person, because they was more sensitive and clever. Harmanpreet was also an amorous man, that is, strongly disposed to romantic love, considered for him the highest form of love while we are in the world. He had fallen in love sometimes since their adolescence, but nothing serious.

It was the first year in  the University for Advita, a girl belonging to the low Indian caste named Shudras. Her family was a very conservative one, but also they had a strong ambition, a will of become respected in spite of their caste; the father was a respected engineering, and he wanted all their sons and also daughters had also a career, and a good job. In the Hindu tradition Advita was starting to be marriageable, so their parents started to think about, despite she was not interested at all in such subject, she was only nineteen years old.

It happens that Advita felt attracted by Harmanpreet, one or her teachers; he was so polite and clever … Soon she look for him in Facebook and ask him friendship. Harmanpreet wondered a bit, is not usual such event, a student asking friendship with a teacher, but at last he accepted. Next night, after dinner, while Harmanpreet was working on his laptop, Advita opened a chat with him, and ask him about some academic topics, starting a chat that prolonged for two hours; the two young talked about music, travels, movies, etc etc. When chat was over, Harmanpreet felt a smooth excitation, a sense of happiness, it was a very nice chat. Next weeks such chats became common, strengthening the new friendship. Slowly, almost unwittingly, such chats became the most desired times of the day. In classroom both kept their composure, they  greet with a smile, no more.

At last Harmanpreet noticed he was deeply in love with Advita, a love strong and deeper than any other he was experienced before, so he started to make plans: he imagined being presented to her parents, who sure would be happy because he was a promising teacher, also imagined a very happy, joyful life. But when the young teacher opened their heart to Advita, problems started: their parents never will let her marry with somebody that was not their own choice, arranged with the family; even more, both young was of different castes: Harmanpreet was a brahmin, the higher caste, while Advita was a Shudra, low caste. Advita’s parents was against mixed caste marriages. Being Advita  educated in obedience and respect, also considering family the most important thing it the life, any dating with Harmanpreet was closed.

So Advita started to avoid Harmanpreet, chats was over, even she didn’t greet him at class, ignoring him, although she also loved him. When Harmanpreet accepted such way, ignoring her, then the girl felt stupid herself, and looked for him with her best sonrisa, trying to keep the friendship, then Harmanpreet regained hope, trying to go further, causing the reaction of Advita, who moved away again. Such cycle happened and happened, causing a lot of suffering to Harmanpreet, who even felt ill, feverishly.

He started to meditate in the situation, reflecting, even contemplating the situation, looking for relief. While meditating, he stopped their mind from wandering, and contemplating the facts from a mindfulness state. One day he was contemplating the fact: “when I try to get close to her, following my strong desire for her, she go further, and when we relax my desire, waiting nothing, then she returns, giving me their friendship“; suddenly he had an insight, “selfish desire for her is not love, on the contrary, my desire prevents her love”  and at the same time, he noticed a strange feeling of let go, something released from him. At that very moment the longing for a romantic love was dissolved  for the insight, because he realized passionate love was not the higher kind of love, indeed, the higher love is the unattached one, when we are able to give without expect anything in return: True Love is what remains when the selfish passion ends. And Harmanpreet ceased to suffering, entering in a peaceful loving state.

The desire that Harmanpreet felt was very strong indeed, covering the four Vedic desires: he experienced dharma, the longing to achieve their highest state of well-being and fulfill their destiny, thinking Advita was the way for achieve it; also he experienced artha, the desire for the material means, thinking about Advita as it; evidently he also experienced kama, the longing for pleasure, and until a certain point also experienced moksha, the desire to experiencing spirit, to achieve lasting peace, imagining he will feel the higher kind of love through Advita. After the insight, such desires became highly purified. Harmanpreet now only wants the best for Advita, also the best for all the people around; he himself had pure Love in their heart, waiting any chance for share it with anybody, without  expectations. Such state is blissful. Harmanpreet is now a  Jnana yogi, he has higher knowledge about life and love.