An interesting experiment to understand the consciousness within
I told you in the previous page (What is Meditation), Meditation deals with contacting the ‘consciousness’ within us, which by its very nature is peaceful, calm and rejuvenating.
In order to understand mediation, it is important to know this ‘consciousness’.
In the spiritual language, this consciousness is known as ‘self’ . From now onward I will refer this consciousness as ‘Self’
Here is a very interesting experiment to know the presence of this consciousness (self) in you. You can do this experiment right now. In the next 10 minutes you’ll experience the presence of self in you.
A practical test :
Just choose a word , any word. It may be anything.
You can choose the name of a God or a saint or any ordinary name- Anything of your choice- Krishna, Ram, Jesus Christ, Allah, Aum, George Bush, Obama, Saddam, Osama, America, love, hate anything!!! Your imagination is the limit.
Have you chosen the word? OK now what you have to do is this:
“you have to repeat this word exactly 40 times silently in your mind (with your eyes closed and without using any external means for counting) and no thought should come in your mind during repetition”
You have to repeat exactly 40 times, no less no more. If during repetition, you forget counting, repeat it again. It is irrelevant whether you repeat it exactly 40 times in 1st attempt or in 2nd , 3rd or nth attempt. Main thing is that you should repeat it exactly 40 times in your mind.
Be careful: Counting should be in your mind . No external means (not even fingers of your hands) should be used for counting. Count silently with your eyes closed and don’t allow any thoughts to come in your mind while counting,
Rest assured: This is NOT a test of your concentration. There is no right or wrong way of doing this.
When you finish it, come back and I will ask you some questions. So stop reading further and do what has been instructed. Next Para is relevant only to those who’ll try this test. Just do it now.
Have you done it ? OK . Welcome back !
So you have repeated a word exactly 40 times in your mind and no (or some) thought/s came in your mind during repetition. Right?
Please choose among the following options the one that suits you most:
(1) I repeat the word exactly 40 times silently in my mind and during repetition no thought came in my mind.
(2) I repeat the word exactly 40 times but some thought came in my mind during repetition.
(3) I repeat the word exactly 40 times but could not do it in first attempt as some thoughts pop up in mind and I lost counting. So I restarted counting and finished in the 2nd, 3rd , ____th attempt (write your attempt)
(4) In my 2nd, 3rd, .nth counting attempt, no thought came in my mind.
(5) In my 2nd, 3rd, .nth counting attempt some thoughts came in my mind, but I did not forget counting and repeat exactly 40 times.
(6) I could not repeat exactly 40 times in any of my attempts because every time I start repeating, thoughts kept coming in mind and I forget counting.
Have you chosen your option, the one which suits you. I hope you have chosen.
Now irrespective of which option you have chosen, I ask you:
How can you say so that the option you have selected suits you? How do you know?
In the answer of this question, lies the presence of self in you.
Just tell me : How can you say that the option you selected is suitable for you ?
Suppose you have selected the option no. (1), i.e. you are the one who repeat the word silently exactly 40 times and no thought came in your mind during repetition. Just tell me how can you say so. How do you know that some thought came or didn’t come? After all your mind was engaged in repeating a word exactly 40 times, then who was there in you watching the flow of thought , who was there watching your mind as it repeats the word ? Who is there who knows that some thought came or not came . It must not be your body (as there is no participation of it in the test), it must not be your mind as it was busy repeating a word exactly 40 times. So what it is ?
You may say – ‘Well I was watching. I was aware, careful that no thought come in my mind. I was observing the flow of thoughts and I can say with confidence that while I was repeating the word, no/some thought/s came in my mind.
Who was watching ? your body ? your mind ? or you ?
If you were watching the flow of thought while your mind repeated a word, you should be different from your body and mind. Right ?
Irrespective of what is the option among the above six that you have chosen, one thing is certain.
There was someone in you who was carefully watching the whole repetition and who in the end gave you the report regarding your performance i.e. whether any thought came in your mind or not. This inner knower is self.
The one who makes you aware of the existence of any thought or image and of exactly what it is, is nothing but the self, the witness. inside and outside, no matter what happens, no matter what you do, the self sees everything.
To know that knower i.e. self is true meditation.
Have you got a taste of this self through the above test ? I hope you experienced its presence in you. Now let me tell you why this self, the so called third aspect of our existence is the central theme of meditation and is considered as the soul of meditation.
Self : The supreme consciousness
The whole universe is nothing but pure consciousness. Scientific researches have taken us up to the point where we can convincingly say that at the quantum level it is just the play of energy that is going on in the entire universe. (everything has a mass and thus can be converted into energy. Remember the famous Einstein equation
E = MC2 )
However the spiritual world is of the view that in the ultimate analysis, in a more deeper level (something still beyond even the reach of quantum physics ) everything in the whole universe is pure consciousness (known also as supreme consciousness or God ). And it is just the play of this consciousness that is going on. The whole universe is a manifestation of this supreme consciousness.
Everybody who is a part of this universe (which includes everything on our planet including you ) is made up of this supreme consciousness. Self, is nothing but a part of this supreme consciousness in its purest form.
What is self? It is the pure awareness of “I am”, the original “I’ consciousness which has been within us ever since we come into this world. Even though that ‘I’ exist in the woman, it is not a woman, even though it exist in a man, it is not a man. That ‘I’ is without form, colour or any other attribute. We have superimposed different notions onto it- notions like “I am a man / woman/ an American/an Indian”. But when we wipe them all away that “I” is nothing but pure consciousness.
Meditation is nothing but an systematic art of realizing this self.
Now let us make our knowledge of meditation thorough and complete