In the first article of this series, which I didn’t know was to be a series :), I made an energetic entry to the topic, but did not elaborate intellectually on it for those who desire to understand what I am talking about more at an intellectual level.
Some understanding is there within me, and now it is becoming bones and flesh, more and more.
First of all.. who are we really? And who is that that has problems to solve? Who we are really is.. eternal formless consciousness.. And the one who is trying to solve problems is a personality (or more than that an ego) construct that we have been creating within ourselves and have been identified with.
We, as the singular consciousness that encompasses everything, have identified as persons in this lifetime. We have an ego structure within ourselves that we have identified with and this ego structure gives us a separate sense of self, not necessarily associated with a single human lifetime. Part of it is surely associated with our current lifetime. But I feel that the ego is a mental construct, and can even continue when the person dies. I theoretically believe, it continues to exist at an energetic level even when there isn’t a physical person when we are not alive as body and flesh. The ego will continue existing if we are choosing to maintain it. (Update on 24/12/2016: Chapter 43 of the Book Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda contains important information related to this; however I recommend you to read the book from the start, at your own pace. It is a profound book that may require time to process. The book is available for free reading online at this link.)
The purpose of this article for me is to share Love with you, and currently Love is flowing through me and manifesting as a contemplative and informative article shaped by my personality. I wish to help you better understand life, and support you in your path towards spiritual truths. Your true guidance is within you, and you can consider me as a support that you are opting to focus on temporarily. While writing this article, I am growing too as a person. So this is an effort to facilitate mutual growth, I am basically bringing energy for this for all of us. And you can too if you so desire..
So we get born into this world. And many of us don’t even remember what happens in our first couple of years. We have desires within us, and according to these desires, our life starts its path. We have experiences, and we get shaped by our environment and the people around us as we begin to develop a sense of personality. We develop an intellectual capacity, most of us learn to speak. Many of us learn to read and write.
And here we are, going through the school of life. Our knowledge begins to grow as we pass through childhood into adolescence. We get an education, a combination of formally through institutions and informally from our relatives and acquaintances.
Our knowledge continues to increase and somewhere along the way we begin to get categorized as adults by the society, as our body passes through adolescence and matures.
An average person in our times will have an ego through which he experiences life and continues his path of growth.
And when life is experienced through the ego structure, from a sense of separation from who we really are, the eternal formless consciousness, we will have desires that guide us towards self realization and we will (almost certainly) pass through temporary states of mind where we feel incomplete and strive to remove this incompleteness through various efforts. These are the problems we are trying to solve in life.
So how to solve ALL of these problems? Basically, if we realize ourselves as the singular consciousness that encompasses everything, and are able to remain all the time at this state, problems will disappear. I theoretically believe this is the case, but haven’t reached that level yet. From my experience, even before that, one can experience an increasing peace within and freedom from problems if one strives to be more and more of this consciousness within their experience.
How? Most of us have an ego right? It has a momentum. Observe your mind for a bit.. Be aware. Watch whatever is coming to your awareness. Thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, they will come and go. We can identify with these thoughts and feelings and they will usually be related to the person that the world told us that we are and that we have believed and developed within ourselves. It is a personality construct we have created using the mental, emotional and sense related material we have gathered from this world.
So when we learn to become the observer, the awareness which is aware of all these experiences, we start to accumulate knowledge from a different perspective. A perspective where we are not identified with the ego structure. As we accumulate this knowledge, our ego structure begins to change as well, reflecting our new knowledge. As we keep staying as awareness, the ego structure that believes itself to be separate from life begins to weaken, first it starts to understand that it is a creation encompassed by this awareness, then as we continue staying in awareness, the ego structure starts to lose its momentum. This is the stage where I am at. I am aware of the ego structure as a wave upon the silence of awareness. The more I stay as awareness, the more the silence/peace of this awareness grows in my experience and I am seeing the ego structure as a composite energetic wave upon this silence.
So, to be able to reach the state where we experience ourselves as the awareness that is aware of life itself and is in creative relationship with it, we need to learn how to stay as this awareness.
This is where different techniques help people at different stages. I am also challenged at this point in this article because this topic requires deep experience of a realized spiritual teacher.
My knowledge is that, for those who have really active minds, concentration practices will help to build the skill of staying focused on one activity. A person who is deeply identified with the ego will benefit from learning to stay focused on one object because this skill of relatively more sustained focus can then be used to further develop.
At this point I suggest reading these two articles on meditation written by my teacher. These will grow your knowledge on what I am talking about. After you finish the articles, you can continue below the links to receive the remaining knowledge I will give.
The articles explain breath meditation, awareness focusing on awareness meditation and Spiritual Heart meditation. Surrendering in awareness meditation is also explained.
For really active minds, breath meditation is a good starting point, but my experience on breath meditation is limited. As it is written in the above articles, breath meditation will teach you the state of awareness as you progress.
The important thing here is, once you can recognize the awareness state, you can stay as this awareness state by focusing on it. Breath meditation for active minds will teach this awareness state to the people who practice it.
After you can recognize the awareness state, you can still continue breath meditation, or just focus on the awareness itself as your meditation practice.
The Spiritual Heart meditation is what I have been practicing the most. I have been staying as the awareness, and trying to deepen my focus on the Spiritual Heart mainly throughout the last few years as my meditation practice. Breath meditation happens sometimes spontaneously during my meditation.
So basically, we need to learn to stay as our true self, and stay focused on this and desire this as our knowledge of this grows. The more we continue on this path, the more we will realize ourselves as the one consciousness. And at this state, there are no problems. Until we are fully at this state, there may be problems within our minds, but if we can stay as the awareness, they will cease to seem as problems and our life will unfold as we learn to live in our natural state. The term natural state was used by another teacher of mine and his wife from who I learned as well. Akahi and Camila.
The benefit of the Spiritual Heart meditation is, it gives you the experience of unconditional Love, and enables you to stay as awareness because it fulfills you, and heals you. This Love is basically is the power that creates you, or this Love is you from another perspective.
In my experience, the experience of being the awareness, the experience of this unconditional Love are becoming the same. But I am a student on the road, not a fully realized master yet..
So, it is up to you how to proceed based upon the knowledge in this article.
I wish you the best.