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The Light of Consciousness
What is Consciousness?
The basic foundation of meditation is to purify and experience the true nature of the body, the thoughts and the emotions.
If even only this much happens, your life will become very blissful.
If even only this much happens, your life becomes divine.
If even only this much happens, you will become connected with the beyond.
But it will only be a meeting with the beyond, you have not yet merged with it.
You have become connected with the beyond but have not yet become one with it. You are acquainted with the divine but you are not it.
The foundation of purification will turn you towards the divine and focus your eyes on it, but it is the state of emptiness alone that will allow you to merge with the divine and become one with it.
In the beginning, at the periphery you come to know Truth, at the center you become Truth. There are three stages of emptying: at the level of the body, the mind and the emotional level.
Bodilessness is the opposite of identification with the body. You are identified with the body. You don't feel "It is my body"; on the contrary, on some level you go on feeling that 'I am the body." If the feeling that you are that body disappears, then you will become bodiless. If your identification with the body is broken, bodilessness will happen.
Lord Krishna has said, "That which fire cannot burn, which an arrow cannot pierce, which a sword cannot cut, that is-ness, that being is within us. The integrated being which fire cannot burn and an arrow cannot penetrate is within us."
The awareness of that being and the dropping of the identification with the body, the dropping of the feeling that you are the body, is bodilessness. But you will have to do something to drop the identification. You will have to learn how to drop it. And the more pure the body is, the more easy it will be to drop the identification with the body. The more the body is in a state of purity, the more quickly you can become aware that you are not the body. This is why body purity is the basis and bodilessness is its Ultimate Fruit.
How can you learn that you are not the body? You will have to experience it. If standing, sitting, sleeping and walking, you try to remember, if there is a little right-mindfulness, if there is a little awareness of the functions of the body, you will have taken the first step towards creating emptiness.
When you are walking along a path, look deeply inside yourself and you will see that there is someone in there who is not walking. You are walking, your hands and feet are moving, but there is something within you which is not walking at all, which is just watching you walk.
When you have some pain in your hand or foot, when you have hurt your foot, then look inside with awareness - are you hurt, or is it that your body is hurt and you are getting identified with the pain? When there is some pain in the body become aware if the pain is happening to you or whether you are simply witnessing the pain, whether you are a witness to the pain.
When you feel hungry, look with awareness to see if you are hungry, or your body is hungry and you are simply witnessing this. And when there is happiness, also watch and feel where this happiness is actually happening.
With all that is happening in your life, while you are standing, sitting, walking, sleeping and waking, what needs to be remembered is to be aware to make a constant effort to see where things are actually happening. Are they actually happening to you or are you just a witness?
Your habit of identification is deep. You may even start to cry while you are watching a movie or a play, you may start to laugh. When the lights in the theater come on you secretly wipe away your tears so that nobody sees them. You cried, you became identified with the movie. You became identified with the hero, the character - something painful may have happened to him, and you identified with this pain and started to cry.
A mind which thinks that whatever is happening to the body is happening to you is in misery and pain. And there is only one cause for all your misery, and that is your identification with the body. And there is also only one cause for happiness, and that is that your identification with the body breaks and you become aware that you are not the body.
For that, right-remembrance is needed. Right-remembrance of the activities of the body, right-awareness, right-observation of the activities of the body are needed. It is a process: bodilessness will happen through right-observation of the body.
It is necessary to observe the body. When you go to bed at night, it is important to be aware that your body is going to bed, not you. And in the morning when you get out of bed, it is important to be aware that your body is getting out of bed, not you. It was not you that has slept, it was only your body that slept. When you eat, be aware that your body is eating, and when you wear clothes be aware that the clothes only cover the body, not you. Then when somebody hurts you, with this awareness, you will be able to remember that the body is being hurt, not you. In this way, with constant reminders, at some point there will be an explosion and the identification will be broken.
Freedom from Thoughts
Bodilessness happens through the right-observation of the body, and freedom of thoughts happens through right-observation of your thoughts.
Become the observer of the currents of thoughts that flow through your consciousness. Just like someone sitting by the side of a river watching the river flow by, sit by the side of your mind and watch.
Or just as someone sits in the forest and watches a line of birds flying by, just sit and watch.
Or the way someone watches the rainy sky and the moving clouds, you just watch the clouds of thoughts moving in the sky of the mind.
The flying birds of thoughts, the flowing river of thoughts...in the same way, silently standing on the bank, you simply sit and watch. It is the same as if you are sitting on the bank, watching the thoughts flowing by. Don't do anything, don't interfere, don't stop them in any way. Don't repress in any way. If there is a thought coming don't stop it, if is not coming don't try to force it to come. You are simply to be an observer.
In that simple observation you will see and experience that your thoughts and you are separate - because you can see that the one who is watching the thoughts is separate from the thoughts, different from them. And as you become aware of this, a strange peace will envelop you because you will not have any more worries. You can be in the midst of all kinds of worries but the worries will not be yours. You can be in the midst of many problems but the problems will not be yours. You can be surrounded by thoughts but you will not be the thoughts.
And if you become aware that you are not your thoughts, the life of these thoughts will begin to grow weaker, they will begin to become more and more lifeless. The power of your thoughts lies in the fact that you think they are yours. When you are arguing with someone you say, "My thought is...." No thought is yours. All thoughts are different from you, separate from you. You just be a witness to them.
To what is your boat of Consciousness tied? - it is tied to your body, to your thoughts and to your emotions.
The body, the thoughts and the emotions - that is your shore. In a drunken state you can go on rowing for lifetimes, for endless lifetimes.
And after endless lifetimes when the cool breeze of awakened thinking, of some wisdom touches you, when some ray of light touches you and you wake up and look, you will find that you have wasted lifetimes rowing your boat and that you have tethered to the same shore where you started.
And then you will see the simple fact that you have forgotten to untie the boat.
Learn how to untie the boat. To row is very easy, but to untie the boat is very difficult. But where the stream of life is concerned, it is very difficult to untie the boat but to row is very easy.
Ramakrishna once said, "Untie your boat, open your sails and the winds of the divine will take you - you will not even need to row."
If you untie the boat you will see that the winds of the divine are already blowing and they will take you to faraway shores. And unless you reach the further shores you will not know what bliss is. But first you have to untie your boat.
Meditation means that you untie the boat.
If the purifications and the emptinesses can happen....then Enlightenment happens on its own. 'Samadhi' is the door to Truth, to the Self, to the Divine. For the one who awakens in Samadhi, the world disappears.
To disappear does not mean that these walls will disappear and that you will disappear. To disappear means that these walls will no longer be walls and you will no longer be you. When a leaf moves, you will not only see the leaf but also the Life Force which moves it; and when the winds blow, you will not only feel the winds but also the powers which make them blow; and then even in each and every particle of dirt you will see not only the mortal, but also the immortal. The world will disappear in the sense that the Divine will have appeared.
Samadhi is the ultimate goal of religion - of all religions. Just like a gardener, someone who sows seeds will one day find that flowers have blossomed. And someone who works hard digging in the mines will one day find diamonds and precious stones. And someone who dives into the water and goes deep will one day find he has brought up pearls.
One who has the longing and who is courageous will find his life transformed, he will make progress. To climb a mountain is not as great a challenge as to know oneself. And it is humiliation for an intelligent person who has the strength and energy to not know himself.
Every single person can have the determination to know the Truth, to know himself and to know Enlightenment. With this resolve and by using these foundations it is possible for anyone to succeed.