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Experiencing The Pure Mind

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  • GraceWatcher@aol.com
    While journeying from the state of a troubled and weak mind to an all-pervading silence we have to clear many a mental cobweb. Troubled sometimes by a
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5, 2007
      While journeying from the state of a troubled and weak mind to an all-pervading silence we have to clear many a mental cobweb. Troubled sometimes by a plethora of thoughts, even after earnest effort, some would ask Ramana in despair whether at all it is possible to break the thought-barrier. I would encourage saying 'Yes. Many have done so because they believed they could. Why not you?' Again there is the danger of listlessness at the seeming lack of progress - yet another facet of the mind's weakness. 

      When some one talked of the need for years of practice, there is no question of time. Prevent this thought, this very moment'. When doubt and despair dominate, the strengthening remembrance of the inherent peace and quietness of the mind is the best antidote.

      There are periods during practice when the mind is quiet and undisturbed by thought. This quietness is of course very pleasant and enjoyable, but it is also the time for greater vigilance. For, one could well be misled by this stilling of thought and assume that the mind has come under control. Actually it is more in the nature of a lull before a storm. The latent tendencies which give rise to thoughts have not yet been eradicated at this stage. They are only asleep and would be back to frenzy the mind.

      The temporary thought subsidence, even assuming that it lasts for a thousand years, would really be of no avail because one has not yet reached the mind's source. This apart, essentially the mere absence of thoughts is only negative and cannot be equated to a permanent freedom from the back and forth movement of the mind. 

      I would therefore advise that one should 'revive consciousness and reactivate the mind. This is to be done by enquiring within as to who is experiencing this stillness? Such questioning has the double advantage of not only preventing the intrusion of thoughts but also helps in keeping the thinker wide aware for continuing the self-enquiry.

      In fact it is so important to get past this 'false quietude that whenever I have noticed an earnest seeker falling off to sleep while meditating, I would advise a companion to 'take him out to the woods or for a walk along the lake.' Here it is important to remember that the waking state is the only available time for effective pursuit of self-enquiry and should not be frittered away particularly under the false belief that one is meditating and progressing.
      I would also point out the dangers of the practices which lead to the stupefaction of the mind. Certain techniques of meditation like seeing the light between the eye-brows, fixing the attention between eye-brows and so on, dazzle the mind and silence it. I specially advised an early and long standing seeker, Echammal, to give up such a practice as it is important to be wide awake throughout one's meditation. Anything which dullens the mind that needs to be sharp and alert is a set-back to be warded off with intelligence.

      Having cleared the road-blocks one has to look to positive means and practical ways of experiencing the pure mind. Each day there are times when the mind is quiet and in a state of equilibrium. When this mental mood would come it is difficult to predict. However, it is clear that when one sets apart time for meditation even thought the meditation session itself might be a royal battle, sometime later totally unexpectedly, a distinct calmness prevails. This period should be made the best use of and not allowed to pass by. It can even be said that the work on hand can be put aside to profit from the peace and quietness that prevails. As for the work left unfinished it would be better done later when the mind's silence would continue as an under-current and make the mind fully efficient.

      Each day offers us an opportunity for being in touch with the pure mind, the mind that is thought-free. However, we let the opportunity go by Why? It is because of our lack of acquaintance with the times when the mind is pure. When one gets to know such periods and learns to hold on to them, experience of the mind, which is silent yet, vibrant comes about. The first of these periods is what one may term as the thought-gap time. The mind is sometimes compared to a leech that would not leave on object before it catches hold of another, or a caterpillar that leaves its hold after it grips another leaf. The idea in these analogies is that thought movement is continuous and without break.

      Thought movement is like that of an alternating current, where there is break but the break being so brief it goes unnoticed by the very speed of the movement. There is need to be aware of this interval between thoughts.

      Draw repeated and pointed attention to the twilight time, which is immediately after sleep and before one is wide awake. The sense of individuality is yet to appear and consequently the other thoughts are not there. It is not sleep because there is consciousness. It is also not waking because the 'I'-thought has not yet surfaced. At this time the mind is pure and is not different from the consciousness, which it reflects.

      The mind is to become aware of this transitional period so that it may not go unnoticed. Total attention is necessary since this state usually 'lasts for a minute'. Some practitioners of the way have given some practical tips for this purpose.

      One can experiment and find out with the aid of these tips.

      Generally the last thought before one goes to sleep is the first thought on waking up. Therefore, one should have a strong desire before sleeping to experience immediately on waking the pure mind. Then, as one wakes up and before individuality grips, one can experience it. Also it is necessary to break the habit of 'proceeding headlong into the morning routine'. This time is to be prolonged without lapsing back into sleep or allowing thought intrusions'. A touch with consciousness thus kindled and kept up has its benefits throughout the waking time. It becomes easier to switch on the inward movement which leads one back from this intermittent experience of the silent mind to abide steadily in it.

      From the Desk of GraceWatcher of Sakin'el
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