“Meditation should become part of yourself. Then the mind will gradually get purified and the formless
Consciousness will become revealed.
In this way you will understand your true nature.”
“A Visual Journey”, Nisargadatta Maharaj,
Inner Directions Publishing, Carlsbad,
California, 2003, pg. 99
<![if !supportLists]> 1. <![endif]> The aim of meditation
<![if !supportLists]> 2. <![endif]> The approach to meditation
<![if !supportLists]> i. <![endif]> Exploration
<![if !supportLists]> ii. <![endif]> Surrendering
<![if !supportLists]> iii. <![endif]> Meditation technique
<![if !supportLists]> 3. <![endif]> The flows of meditation
<![if !supportLists]> i. <![endif]> Purification
<![if !supportLists]> ii. <![endif]> Becoming aware
<![if !supportLists]> iii. <![endif]> Unification
<![if !supportLists]> 4. <![endif]> Recommended meditations
<![if !supportLists]> 5. <![endif]> Meditations in practice (practitioner’s experiences)
Meditation is a process in which we intentionally instigate and direct our vibrational, energetic and material (physical) flows. During this process, our mind is a primary instrument in the function of Consciousness. Through consciously utilising it we are able to influence the main flows of meditation.
CONSCIOUSNESS – VIBRATION-ENERGY – MATTER
Practically speaking, meditation or a meditation technique is based on the following principles:
- relaxation: stilling of the psycho-physical processes (emotions, thoughts and the physical body) at least to the level that’s necessary for a continuous unobstructed flow of meditation (which on the other hand does not mean the total motionlessness of the body),
- concentration: directing one’s attention to the objects of meditation (this can be a point on the wall, “third eye”, another person, etc.) or even better onto the subject of meditation, the one’s own essence (God, Reality, Absolute, Self, I-AM-ness…),
- visualisation: when meditating on a certain object, we also visualise it (for example, the dot on the wall, the “third eye”, another person…), although if the object of meditation, so to speak, is the subject itself (i.e. “that which sees”), then there is no visualisation, as our true essence can not be visualised. And finally,
- activation: initiating the vibrational-energetic and material flows in oneself or in another mentally (by means of mental effort), which is meant to bring about a state that is “free of disturbances” – our natural state.
We spoke in detail about application of the said principles and meditation techniques in our previous books and we referred to them as primarily the practical activities. Here, we will only point out some general principles in one’s approach to meditation, from which it will be possible to set off on one’s own path through their practical application and in the way that best reflects one’s own needs and tendencies. These principles are:
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> The aim of meditation
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> The approach to meditating
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> The flows of meditation and
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> The recommendations for meditating.
1. THE AIM OF MEDITATION
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> What is this body?
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> What is this mind?
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> What am I doing here?
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> What is the purpose of life?
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> Who is thinking?...
… as well as the affirmations:
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> I am this body.
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> I am not born accidentally and I have a task.
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> I am the mind.
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> I am the Consciousness.
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> I am the body, the mind and the Consciousness…
… are all spontaneous expressions of the urge towards self-realise. They seek and ultimately find their answer through a process of uncovering the knowledge.
Meditation is a natural process, it is something we are born with; it belongs to an essential aspect of our being – it’s in our nature. Just as innate it is to human beings to feed, drink, grow, develop and so on, it is as equally innate to us to ask questions and seek the answers to those questions.
Meditation (when seen in its wider context as a process of thinking and directing thoughts and emotions) is a natural process of individualization of Consciousness, or rather a spontaneous expression of our essence, God (Reality, Absolute, Self, I-AM-ness) within us – our own I.
In order for us to find the truth, the easiest and the only possible way to reach it is through our own experience – meditation techniques (as a general category) present an age old, tried and tested method for exactly this purpose.
Meditation essentially has two goals:
<![if !supportLists]> 1. <![endif]> to enable one to reach the answer to the question: who am I?, or rather – what is my true identity?
<![if !supportLists]> 2. <![endif]> To offer proof as to the validity of the answer received.
Almost every person throughout history, has at least once if not many times, wandered about themselves, which clearly indicates that no one really knew/knows who they were/are. Even if/when an answer would be reached through whichever means and sources, one could never be totally sure if it is the right answer and so one would have to return to the original question and so, the search would carry on. The reason for this is because no one gives enough importance to that, which is essential in ourselves. Instead, the priority is given to its manifestations, primarily to the physical body and the mind, by identifying with them.
Meditation offers one an opportunity to awaken to and realise one’s own essence and to “reach” the source of the physical body and the mind, then that of one’s individual Consciousness and ultimately, the very source of the Infinite Consciousness.
Still, the problem of one’s identity and the question of Truth can not be solved in its entirety through meditation, but it is possible to reach a state (a level) where meditation is no longer necessary. The realisation that we are neither these physical bodies with a mind and a consciousness, nor even the Consciousness itself, extinguishes one’s need for meditation and hallmarks self-realisation as the state of Being in which one constantly differentiates Reality from illusion.
Self-realisation, as the ultimate purpose of meditation, is a state in which we have the knowledge of being one with God and in which we can only be our own goal and creation. Therefore, the final certainty (“proof”) that we get is in self-Knowledge itself, where one finally looses one’s identity: the memory disappears, and since there is no one to remember – we are our own proof.
The concept that the path to Him and the goal of reaching Him are found through meditation is simply an explanation of the mind, a mental construct that has arisen from a feeling of separateness between man and God. To be free from this idea of separateness, which incorporates the freeing from attachment to the “false self” through meditation, and finally to be free from the meditation itself – is the removal of ignorance.
“The death of false “self” is not an easy task. In comparison, bringing someone back from the dead is child’s play." <![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]>
2. the approach to meditation
Approaches to meditation can vary to a greater or a lesser degree. These variations are thus defined according to what each individual approach gives priority to. Generally speaking, there are three main ones:
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> the path of devotion, or the path of love, is the path of devotion to an ideal, an example, a person (teacher) and ultimately to God, during which one develops almost a personal relationship in one’s strife towards this union (for example the approaches of various religions, bhakti yoga, etc.),
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> the path of knowledge, or the path of wisdom, is the path of putting various subjects, such as space, time, universe, birth, life, death, reincarnation, incarnation, eternity, infinity, etc., under intense scrutiny, thus reaching the insights one needs (for example: the philosophers, theologians, gyana yogis, etc.),
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> the path of action, or the path of keeping being active (in relation to the need of the present moment), is the path related to various rituals, operations, science, selfless service of some sort and so on (good examples here are tai chi, kabala, scientific research, karma yoga, etc.).
Of course, none of the approaches above are exclusive onto themselves and each one contains within it the other two. For example, the path of devotion can not happen without the right sort of knowledge and the right type of action, nor can the path of knowledge unfold and flow toward its ultimate destination without a certain kind of devotion combined with an appropriate sort of action and likewise, the path of action falls hopelessly short of its goal without the right knowledge and a type of devotion particular to its needs. At the heart of all these “paths” is being in the state of flow.
This is why one’s approach to meditation must incorporate all three: knowledge, love and action. It can be said that meditation is a compound of two main elements:
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> exploration, and
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> surrender.
Exploration emerges as a spontaneous expression of an urge to self-realise. It manifests through questions such as: Who am I?, Where do I come from?, etc. In essence, it is a matter of exploring oneself in an attempt to find answers to these questions.
Since one knows from one’s own experience (with one’s mind) that one simply is – “I am” (we can not deny ourselves), one naturally searches for the meaning of this fact, who is this “I” or “I am”? We‘ve already explained earlier that this “I” or “I am” is the very basis of the all-pervading, total experience that starts with the very moment of conception.
“I” or “I am” is inseparable from one’s mind – it appears and disappears with it simultaneously. Since mind has a natural tendency to enrich itself during one’s life through a continuous generation of experiences (which can be recognised through multiplication of emotions and thoughts), this leads most people to an ever-increased identification with their physical bodies and their thoughts and emotions (i.e. mind itself). This process continues until one’s mind starts forming a concept of one’s essence as being the same as one’s Consciousness. This emergence of a “new” concept marks a start of the transformation of one’s perception of oneself from:
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> merely being a physical form, to the appearance of the “world of matter” or rather of the coarse world,
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> being one’s mind alone, to the emergence of the world of vibrations-energies, or rather of the subtle world that’s based on the emotions and thoughts, and
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> being Consciousness, at which point nothing definable actually emerges (no “world of Consciousness” as such), because such a perception is “beyond the mind”, hence it can not be described with the tools of the mind.
Until one’s mind becomes firmly directed towards one’s self-realisation and gets fully established in it, one will continue to be assailed by ideas, processes, images and words on which one will meditate; this will either lead one’s mind to being swept away in the wake of thoughts and emotions as they start to appear, or towards one’s getting sleepy and drowsy. Directing of the mind leads enables one to acquire the ability to calm one’s mind and to not let it wander. However, until the practitioner becomes proficient in this, as soon as they start their meditation they will begin to generate various distracting thoughts, which will distance them from those related to self-realisation (several similar and connected ones, although it can also be just a single one). Luckily, in time, one masters this process of channeling and bringing one’s thoughts down to just a few similar ones, and finally onto just one, through a continuous practice of meditation. It is necessary to meditate frequently and regularly as long as that meditative state doesn’t become the norm and continues uninterrupted throughout the day.
This process of exploration (or better yet – the self-exploration), as a spontaneous (natural) process of meditating on the said questions: “Who am I? … Where do I come from? …”, eliminates all the extraneous contents of the mind and leads to the source. “Who am I?” frees us from a learned idea that keeps us in a continuous state of oppression – the idea that we are (only) this physical body and the mind. An inquiry: “Where do I come from?”, is an addition to the previous meditation and helps the mind to consciously direct itself and follow through to its very source.
Surrendering emerges as a spontaneous manifestation of an urge to self-realise through an act of trust (faith), in which we surrender to “something” or “someone”.
Surrendering itself leads towards elimination of the superfluous contents of the mind. At the same time, it doesn’t mean that emotions and thoughts are absent or eliminated, but rather the contrary: it is their bringing into one’s awareness, or better still – their harmonising with one’s Genetic code. Also, surrendering doesn’t mean a loss of concentration-attention. Instead, it is the very bringing into one’s awareness a process of ”observing” the creation–duration–cessation of emotions and thoughts. At first this process of concentration is made with some effort. However, this would in time completely disappear and instead become effortless. Surrendering will gradually bring about a state that is free of emotions and thoughts not in harmony with the Genetic code.
Here is a thing: for us to think there must be a beginning and an end in meditation, or that in it we shall receive some definitive answers is actually totally illogical. If we are to discover something about the state “before the beginning” or “after the end” of oneself in meditation and then expect to be able to transfer that something is to another person by means of a verbal description or by some other way of defining it, we’d be making a big mistake – it is simply not possible. This is because that, which we can find out and which we refer to as “transferable” knowledge unfolds in time and space, i.e. in the mind, and as such it represents only the so called – relative knowledge.
When, for example, we ask ourselves a question who am I?, the answers we receive are most often relating to the results of our looking into our past, meaning the learned concepts passed on to us from our parents and peers, or those we’ve arrived at through our own experiences – I am this physical body, this mind, this Consciousness, or I am a human being, right until the concept of I am God (Reality, Absolute, Self, I-AM-ness). Through surrender the same answers start to arrive again – I am this physical body, mind, Consciousness and so on, or – I am a human being, etc. All these answers are certainly not unimportant and as such can represent a process that leads to the Source of Truth – but only if we remain detached from all mentally definable knowledge.
In meditation it’s possible to get all kinds of knowledge and what’s more it can arrive instantaneously – “here” and “now”. But we must not forget that it is only a relative knowledge – meaning a knowledge limited by time and space and so possible to be passed on to others. On the other hand, an absolute knowledge can not be passed on to anyone else, because “we” are that knowledge, a knowledge that has no subject (no “I” nor “we”) hence there is no one to pass (it) to anyone else.
Certainly that along side such enquiry one also needs to have a certain level of understanding, but this too is not enough. We need to think that we are that Knowledge, or rather God, but only when even this very thought disappears – only then we truly are It, or better still – we are in a state we’ve always been in, the God-state. On the other hand, through surrendering and devotion we merge fully with God. We finally reach (although we never actually left it in the first place) the God-state only then, when emotions of love are fully and totally harmonised with the Genetic code of Consciousness and as such they disappear, just as the very subject that had originally created them has now also disappeared.
It can be said that the approach to meditation can be that through questioning and wondering we realise what is destructive, and so we become able to channel and eliminate such contents (i.e. the destructive emotions and thoughts). In other words we become more and more able to recognise what is constructive and to stimulate it through surrendering. And still, in the end we must relinquish both – the search and the surrendering, and through spontaneous merging of an individual and Divine Consciousnesses become one with God.
2.3. Meditation technique
Most of the meditation techniques are based on a premise that there is the subject that meditates (i.e. the practitioner) and the given/chosen object of meditation.
The subject of meditation is an individual, regardless of whether we define him or her as the Consciousness, mind, or both together. The bottom line is that the subject, whom we recognise as a particular person existing in time and space, is a manifestation of God.
The object of meditation is someone or something on which this subject meditates, or rather directs their attention to. These can be:
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> Outer, representing all that is not concerned directly with one’s essence, such as the processes in oneself (nervous system, immune system, etc.), humanity, universe and so on.
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> Inner, directed at the essence within and indescribable by the use of words – for the same reason we will have to settle for “God within”.
At the beginning phases of one’s practice, when the subject and the object are still separated, it is ok to use techniques for directing one’s attention towards external objects as they help to channel one’s energetic-vibrational processes leading to calming of one’s mind.
However, in the next phase one must understand that the subject and the object are one and the same, and that by continuing to meditate on the object, be it a concrete manifestation or an abstract concept, one perpetuates this experience of separateness or better still of duality, thus further unsettling the natural state of Oneness. In this phase one leaves behind the process of meditation that assumes the separateness between the one who meditates and the object of one’s meditation.
All that is needed is to turn the emotions and thoughts towards the inside, towards that which we are in our essence. The external objects finally disappear (themselves being no more than the projections of our mind), leaving the observer (witness) and the observed – to become one.
In fact, the mind is neither capable of renouncing nor of transforming itself. But when one searches for the source of mind through asking who am I?, or some other similar question, the mind transforms spontaneously. Equally, when one meditates through assertions such as “I am God”, “I am Reality”, “I am” and so on, the mind also transforms spontaneously, through surrendering.
In both cases (or rather approaches) the state of duality of the “subject-object” relationship transforms into a state of non-duality trough a meditative process. More generally speaking, it is in this chasm between the subject and an object that all the problems of man as an individual lie, and likewise of the humanity as being but one’s own projection.
The progress in meditation shows through the disappearance of the emotions, thoughts and experiences, which disrupt self-realisation (although there is no unit of measure for this). Progress can, to a degree, be recognised through the following two characteristics:
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> we increasingly think of those we meet as being the Divine manifestations,
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> we “see” ourselves in others, and vice versa.
At first these are simply mental affirmations, only to later become the processes “beyond the mind” that unfold spontaneously.
The most efficient form of meditation is when processes in meditation transfer and continue in the so-called waking state as well as in one’s dreams. Through self-searching, surrendering and a combination of these, all one’s activities in meditation will spontaneously follow the process of meditation. Then the processes in the so-called waking state as well as in dreams will unfold by themselves until an uninterrupted state of Being is reached – our natural state in which there is no need for meditation. At first this state surfaces in the pauses between two emotions, or two thoughts, or two experiences, only to later become permanent.
It’s necessary at this point to utter a word of caution: when it comes to the frequent occurrences of the so-called “ecstatic experiences” (experiencing an appearance of light, out of body perception, etc.), they represent a very subtle link to the mind and so one can develop a strong attachment to them. Having said that, if we manage to steer clear of falling into a trap of developing an appetite for such experiences, they can prove to be quite useful, as with their help the mind can be transformed in a relatively short time bringing us in the state of serenity (the serenity of mind) and a so called awakened dreaming (the mind engaged through awareness). <![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]>
3. The flows of meditation
What we refer to by “flows of meditation” are the processes that take place inside a practitioners during meditation, which are:
Purification – becoming aware – unification
The said processes are not separate, but rather connected into a whole and as such they unfold simultaneously, in order to ultimately result in a singular process – the process of maturing of Consciousness.
Purification essentially refers to the purification of the mind. It is because a purification of the body through fasting, various physical exercises (hatha yoga asanas and other related postural and movement based systems, breathing techniques, etc.), fito-therapy and so on, are only supplementary activities if not followed by the purification of the mind. Even the various notions of refraining from/giving up certain foods, drinks, sex and so on, are all worthless if not backed by the “renouncing-channeling” in the mind itself. Renunciation can only be in relation to “I”, and not in removing the external objects alone.
We often hear of the importance of the specific positions and movements in meditation (while performing the religious rituals, practicing certain aspects of yoga, tai chi…). However, as good as these systems may be, it all this must be done with a healthy degree of freedom and spontaneity as the very tendency to execute these positions and movements “as precisely as possible” can actually lead away from the originally intended meditative purpose – due to “the excessive attachment to the body”. It’s necessary to take up such a position (or perform a move in such a way) as will make it easiest to meditate, which means that one is able to sit, walk, etc. Many teachers say that the best is to be in “the position of the Self (I-Am-ness)”, and yet it is not possible to actually define it.
for many people, purification of the mind means its elimination, or more specifically – elimination of the ego, often identified as smothering of all desires and eradication of thoughts. We have already mentioned earlier in this text that we are not in favor of an elimination of mind as such, but instead we are for its awakening (making aware), which in the end of the process leads to a spontaneous emission of emotions and thoughts – emotions and thoughts that in turn remain in harmony with the Genetic code of Consciousness. Besides, the simplest processes exist when we are addressing God (Reality, Absolute, Self, I-Am-ness); they in themselves lead to the correct channeling of our emotions and thoughts.
As God is our essence, it would seem that we are addressing ourselves – it’s the very process of turning inward. This should be understood as the concentration-direction towards the Divine manifestations, and it ends in the process of directing the emotions and thoughts without concentrating any further on someone or something. The whole point is in making our mind “busy”, but not to loose ourselves in its endless labyrinth. Even though it would appear that we are addressing ourselves, it is actually a channeling of the mind through its engagement and direction.
The meditations will be even more effective if the prayers that are used in meditation are made as simple as possible. For example, a prayer: I pray to God to show me who am I?, will be more effective if simply put as: Who am I?, since it does not engage the mind as much. In both cases we are addressing God, i.e. ourselves, but in the latter the mind is engaged less.
It is very important that the experiences or reactions that emerge as a result of such an enquiry do not turn into thinking. Another example would be, if we get an answer I am God (or I am Reality), just as if we didn’t get any answer at all, we must guard against the game of mind, which will always pull towards its own preservation. This game follows the principle of forming further new questions, such as: why has this answer come now?, or why hasn’t any answer come to me yet?, or else they might lead us into thinking about the answers to the original questions, or even about some particular phenomenon experienced during a meditation, such as the feeling of weightlessness, of being outside the physical body or the vision of light, etc.
Therefore, in order that the process of purification carries on without interruption, it should be understood that any questions, answers or experiences that may appear during meditation won’t present an obstacle to the process of purification as long as we are able to accept them without judgment or attachment, that is if we don’t think about them. Having any sort of expectation in our meditation, will result in our attaching to the goal and so missing the whole purpose of meditation.
“As long as someone craves liberation, they can be sure to remain in chains.” <![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]>
Considering that during meditation there is a spontaneous influx of emotions, thoughts and experiences, it is necessary to try some of the following (we could call them “remedies” against the loss of concentration and of the state of flow):
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> Whenever other thoughts or experiences appear, it would be good to direct our thoughts towards God (Absolute, Reality, Self, I-AM-ness) trough a continual repetition of – I am God, I am Reality, and so on, as in this way the mind will get channeled in the right direction.
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> We can keep our mind busy through giving it a task to solve – what is mind?, and simply let the process unfold so that after some time the excess emotions, thoughts and experiences (perceptions) will get channeled.
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> If we were to direct our attention onto the question – to whom do these emotions, thoughts and perceptions arise?, the mind will calm spontaneously, on its own.
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> By meditating on only one thought, be it in a form of a question – who am I?, or an affirmation – I am God, I am Reality… over a longer period. Such a thought will take over and will channel all other, extraneous thoughts.
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> By directing our attention on our breathing, or more simply on just observing our breath (regardless of the system used: yoga, tai chi, etc.), which will reduce the number of thoughts.
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> By visualising (with the eyes shut) the tip of our nose or our “third eye” from inside-out, which will also lead to the reduction of the number of thoughts and to their channeling.
It should be noted that the methods popularly used for increasing the concentration-attention such as fixing the gaze on the candle flame, a point on the wall, turning all of one’s attention towards an image (of a saint, guru, teacher…) or onto a symbol (triangle, square, circle, cross…), while being at the same time methods of purification, they can only be of use as such in the beginning and for a limited period only they can give positive results, but no lasting effect.
As long as there are questions, answers and experiences, it means that the purification is still happening, and so one needs to carry on with one’s meditations. A practitioner should meditate without any intention (a goal) and with all their attention turned towards the process itself.
3.2. Becoming aware
Through the process of purification, the mind slowly becomes a constructive factor in meditation, i.e. an instrument of Consciousness in the function of becoming aware. The mind doesn’t disappear, but rather it becomes calm, emotions and thoughts appear, remain a while and disappear, and the individual Consciousness gradually emerges as the “observer” or the “witness”, and so we realise ourselves as that “observer/witness”.
In this process of observing emotions and thoughts, one can sometimes even “hear” the subtlest of sounds, not belonging to the normal hearing range (for example, when you cover your ears, you can not hear the sound, but you could pick up the subtle vibrations that can not be described in words). We should not attempt to repeat that “sound” willfully, nor should we insist on remembering it, as this can engage the mind excessively. Other experiences can also take place, such as an appearance of light, or a perception of colourlessness, none of which should be given importance to, since they too will eventually simply vanish through the process of “observation”.
All of the above we can colourfully sum up as a gradual reduction of light, as if controlled by a regulator.
Observe your emotions and thoughts and also observe how you observe them!
A meditation further unfolds through a so-called experience of emptiness and an experience of silence. This emptiness connected to silence surfaces at first occasionally, but then ever more frequently and for longer periods. The process mostly unfolds in two phases:
- “Emptiness of mind” is the first step during which the mind acknowledges an occasional “emptiness” and “silence”, i.e. it notices the absence of any emotions, thoughts or experiences. It is clear that the very acknowledgement with the mind is an act of instigation-engagement, which means that the “emptiness” and the “silence” get broken at moments by the engagement of the mind.
- “Emptiness of the emptiness” is the second step that arises spontaneously when the very notions of “emptiness” and “silence” disappear, or rather when there is no mental acknowledgement of emotions, thoughts or experiences. These periods of “emptiness of the emptiness” in time become more frequent and longer lasting, and they can not be defined with the mind, since the mind is then completely subdued and registers nothing (it’s in the “neutral” gear). It can be said that one “has the Consciousness” of that state, but not the memory.
It is not possible to define or measure, in order that the process of awakening unfolds smoothly, how long and how often one needs to be in the state of “emptiness of the emptiness”. These periods of absence of emotions, thoughts and experiences are actually not periods at all, because in this state time is not a factor. A mere spark of such a state is sufficient for the process of awakening to ignite and begin its unfoldment. <![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]>
One should bear in mind that the absence of mind does not mean its total “submergence” in God (Reality, Absolute, Self, I-AM-ness). Even though during deep sleep the mind does “submerge”, the Life Energy does not. Therefore, to become aware of emptiness is a step forward in an attempt to overcome this temporary elimination of the mind, so that once we “come back”, our mind remains (even for a moment) serene and engaged through awareness.
Every God-seeker will sooner or later come across the “emptiness”, the “silence”, the “emptiness of the mind” and the “emptiness of the emptiness”. Usually after such experiences they make a decision whether they will take the path of:
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> renunciation, heading for some sort of seclusion – a desert, or a monastery…, spending time in prayer or some other form of meditation, in an attempt to maintain and prolong the state of “emptiness” and “silence”, which ultimately means withdrawing from the mundane life, or
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> “the game of life”, in which they take an active role, transmitting their experiences from meditations to others, primarily through their very existence, but also through their activities.
Both decisions are constructive and both lead to the same end – the Truth.
A gradual entry into a state beyond influence of the mind brings about a unification of the individual and Infinite Consciousness. The process that started with the knowledge: “I am not a physical body”, and continued on to the: “I am not my emotions and thoughts”, finally ends where it had started, in Consciousness – with the knowledge “I am not Consciousness”. This knowledge includes:
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> the realisation that any experience is possible through Consciousness, and
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> that everything emerges from and dissolves in Consciousness, or rather that the process that is unfolding starts off as an individual Consciousness (a concrete process) somewhere in the Infinite Consciousness (Infinity, Infinite process, without a beginning or an end), it runs its course in Consciousness and finally ends there.
In this sense – Consciousness is a general factor of manifestation.
Unification brings about a state of bliss (it can be closely described as “fulfillment”), which again is only a mental concept aiming to describe something that can not be described with the tools of mind. Therefore anyone who speaks of bliss, as being their state-experience, most certainly has no knowledge of what it really is and hence merely lives in the illusion of bliss, which in such cases is most commonly paralleled with the calmness of the mind.
The true bliss assumes a state that is beyond the concepts of conscious and unconscious, in which there is no subject, and therefore no memory of blissfulness, since there is no “one” to remember. Bliss is a state without a subject – a state free from any subjective experience or knowledge.
In realising the Divine essence through its individual manifestation, man realises that there is no individual essence as such, and through such a loss of individuality man survives in God, in itself assuming a total absence of individuality.
By realising that our essence is in fact God, we transcend that very knowledge into ignorance again (here, the term “blissful ignorance” gets a whole new, or perhaps its original meaning!) because by dissolving in God we free ourselves form the constraints of the notion that we are, or have ever been, separate from Him.
Unification is an illusion, as there is no one to unify with anyone else.
Through meditation one gradually realises that all processes are merely plays of Consciousness. Senses, mind, intellect, etc, – they are all games of Consciousness, and as such all are illusory – and it is this illusion that we realise through meditation. It is possible to understand mentally various processes that unfold during meditation, but it is necessary to go further, by identifying with that which we do understand, and so be one with the processes of meditation.
“After you realise that with which you realise all this (the world), turn your mind inward and then you shall clearly see (i.e. realise) the luminosity of the Self.” <![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]>
Through practicing meditation, all gained knowledge (which can only ever be relative, as it is of the mind) departs into “ignorance” and that is the final result that can be reached through meditation.
It is impossible to become “perfect” through meditation, as nothing manifested by its very nature can be perfect. However, through unification it is possible to attain a kind of flawlessness in which there neither is, nor has ever been a beginning or an end.
At the end of the meditation process, the realisation happens directly. From then on no proof is any longer required, even if it would be possible to provide one, or indeed, if there was anyone who could provide it, or anyone whom it could be provided to. Once realised, the state of God (Reality, Absolute, Self, I-AM-ness), in which even for a moment there is no individuality (or even better - a state in which time and space are absent), can never again be lost. In this way we realise the freedom from any type of bondage-slavery-attachment – we realise our true nature. And yet, as there is no slavery (without individuality there is no one to be enslaved) there is also no liberation – freedom from all bondage is man’s natural state.
In one’s life realising God through self-realisation happens automatically, so that He is “seen” in all as One. In this way one’s own self-realisation also reflects as a self-realisation of all beings.
“In fact there are no others who need to be helped. Because, a self-realised person sees only the Self.” <![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]>
4. Recommended meditations
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> “Observe” with your eyes shut your physical body.
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> “Observe” the mind (the process of appearance, duration and disappearance of your emotions and thoughts).
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> Acknowledge with your mind the “emptiness” – the moments when there is no emotions and thoughts.
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> “Observe” yourself “observing” the mind.
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> “Observe” yourself “observing” the moments of absence of emotions, thoughts and experiences – “observing the emptiness”.
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> Unify with the “process of observing” (unification of individual and Infinite Consciousness).
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> “Dive” into the state without individuality – without memory.
Investigate yourself (through self-search, self-questioning, descending inward…) regardless of what sort of concept you may have about the process; even better if there is no concept at all. Exploration is best practiced through questions such as:
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> Who am I?
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> Where do I come from?
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> What is the source of all creation?
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> Who is asking these questions?
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> What is Reality?
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> What is illusion?
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> What is my true nature?, and so on.
Chose one of the questions, ask yourself it and then surrender… All of the above can be called on, or similar ones, although we’d like to point out that it is best to chose one and stick with it for some time, not only in one sitting (several tens of minutes) but also in your practice over several days, months and even years.
Surrender regardless of what sort of concept you may have about the process; even better if there is no concept at all. Surrendering is best practiced through affirmations:
- “I am God”
- “I am Absolute”
- “I am Reality”
- “I am the Self”
- “I am that I-AM”
- “I am the one that is”
- “I am”, etc.
Say or better still think of one of the above affirmations and then surrender to it… All of the above can be called on, or similar ones, although it is the best to chose one and to stick with it for some time, not only in one sitting (several tens of minutes) but also over several days, months and even years.
Observation, exploration and surrender are good to combine at the beginning stages, and then it will all channel through surrendering (a state of flow) towards an overall simplification so that it becomes one sentence or even one thought. In this way a possibility for the mind to remain in the source will continue to grow.
The best meditations are those where you yourself choose one sentence or one thought.
Emotions and thoughts can come and go, but if you use the questioning and affirmations continually, the attention will not be swayed, since the mind is being collected in one thought.
“Do I have to show you the way in your own house? It is in you.” <![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]>
D) The dynamics of meditation
The dynamics of meditation is a term we use when we refer to the processes that are linked with meditating during the day:
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> In a so-called “waking” state: observation, exploration and surrendering will bring about a spontaneous self-awareness, which will result in “serenity of the mind” and with the “mind engaged through awareness”.
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> Immediately before sleep: put yourself to sleep with one of the above affirmations – “I am God”, “I am Reality”,…
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> Sleeping and dreaming: at first channel yourself with one of the direct prayers: “I pray to God to awaken my sleeping”, “I pray to God to awaken my dreaming”…, and later, the awakened sleeping (“I am asleep, and I know that I am sleeping”) and awakened dreaming (the so-called lucid dreams – “I am in a dream and I know that I am dreaming”) will unfold by themselves and without meditation. The dreaming will vanish spontaneously.
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> In deep sleep: the mind remains, but subdued, almost as if it is not there; you do nothing meditation-wise. Here, there is no knowledge of time, space and life’s processes. The remaining knowledge (awareness) is that of: the so-called unconscious, the infinite emptiness, the individual and Infinite Consciousness, Oneness and the continuity of Consciousness throughout the three states – the “waking state”, during sleep and in a “dream state”.
In time, the processes of the so-called waking state, sleep and dream state harmonise, and the differences between them eventually disappear. In this way:
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> at first, the deep sleep, sleeping and dreaming merge into a state that closely resembles that of being in a half-asleep (“snooze”) state – a state in-between the dreaming and the waking reality. Then to this merging…
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> …is added the so-called waking state, only so that finally the whole process to ends in…
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> …an unobstructed, unbroken, continuous state of Being.
Through the process of meditation, while earnest seeking, one’s own essence “surfaces” spontaneously, and so does all else in the manifested world, by which the very need of meditation finally vanishes.
Happiness – regardless of how we may define it, is our spontaneous nature.
5. Meditations in practice
Many years of work and collaboration with meditation practitioners, or better still their own experiences in working on themselves, point to certain tendencies. In this chapter we shall present their main aspects, in hope that they will serve as practical pointers for others when using these meditations. The two main categories of approach to one’s practice are:
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> self-search: “Who am I?”
<![if !supportLists]> - <![endif]> devotion: “I am God (Reality, Absolute, Self, I-AM-ness, I am that “I am”, I am THAT)”.
1. During the first several months, and perhaps even the first year, the practitioners have mostly been combining the self-search with the devotional practice (the so-called statements or affirmations) with the process of observing, in such a way that there was a constant questioning (or a thought): “Who am I?”
They’d wait for some time (mostly for several minutes) and if the answer wouldn’t “arrive” of its own, they would conclude by mentally forming a phrase or thinking: “I am God”, “I am Absolute”, “I am Reality”, and so on; the main common point here is that they would have each chosen just one of the above affirmations and stuck to that one – either God, or Absolute, or Reality…
2. After several months to a year, the practitioners would have chosen one of the two forms: the self-search or the affirmations, and would remain with their choice.
Nearly 70% of practitioners chose self-search and the remaining 30% had opted for one of the given affirmations.
During this period most of them, from time to time, had also used another special form of questioning:
“Am I this body, or am I not the body, or am I neither one nor the other?”
“Am I this mind, or am I not this mind, or am I neither one nor the other?”
“Am I this awareness, or am I not this awareness, or am I neither one nor the other?”, etc.
Directing their attention in this way had resulted in elimination of the extraneous emotions and thoughts and in the experience of there being this “one self” that is observing the physical body and the mind as mere manifestations. In the later stages, that “one self” at moments had also started to disappear.
3. During their practice most of the meditators have experienced difficulties in successfully surrendering and/or keeping their attention/concentration on their chosen meditation due to volume and/or type of thoughts and emotions or else due to a sudden attack of sleepiness (like a light semi-conscious snooze).
Various methods have been utilised for regaining their concentration and state of surrendering. Here are the most common ones:
a) following the breath
- through various yogic breathing methods, some with and others without visualisation
- of the tip of the nose
- of the “third eye” from inside the head (as if one is looking from the brain towards one’s “third eye”)
- of the so-called spiritual heart (roughly the area of the fourth chakra)
- of the top of the head (roughly the place of the seventh chakra)
- Who is it that’s loosing concentration?
- To whom are these thoughts happening?
- Where do I come from?
For example: we are meditating on “Who am I?”...; as we experience the loss of concentration-surrendering, one of the breathing techniques, or the visualisations, or the thoughts is utilised for about 1-2 minutes; then back to: Who am I?... We carry on like this as many times as we lose the concentration-surrendering.
The same approach applies if using one of the affirmations.
4. By meditating in this way most practitioners have managed to bring themselves into shorter or longer periods of the flow state – i.e. the state of complete identification with the process of meditation. Bringing oneself into this state could not in itself lead to the “state without memory”, but it would have removed the obstacles to its spontaneous occurrence.
Dušan Đurović, 19th May 2009.