What is meditation?
Meditation is a state of no-mind. Meditation is a state of pure consciousness with no content. Ordinarily, your consciousness is too full of rubbish, just like a mirror covered with dust. The mind is a constant traffic: thoughts are moving, desires are moving, memories are moving, ambitions are moving – it is a constant traffic! Day in, day out. Even when you are asleep the mind is functioning, it is dreaming. It is still thinking; it is still in worries and anxieties. It is preparing for the next day; an underground preparation is going on.
This is the state of no meditation. Just the opposite is meditation. When there is no traffic and thinking has ceased, no thoughts move, no desire stirs, you are utterly silent – that silence is meditation. And in that silence truth is known, and never otherwise.
Meditation is a state of no-mind.
And you cannot find meditation through the mind, because mind will perpetuate itself. You can find meditation only by putting the mind aside, by being cool, indifferent, unidentified with the mind; by seeing the mind pass, but not getting identified with it, not thinking that I am it.
Meditation is the awareness that “I am not the mind.” When the awareness goes deeper and deeper in you, slowly, slowly, a few moments arrive – moments of silence, moments of pure space, moments of transparency, moments when nothing stirs in you and everything is still. In those still moments you will know who you are, and you will know the mystery of this existence.
And once you have tasted those few dewdrops of nectar, great longing will arise in you to go deeper and deeper into it. Irresistible longing will arise in you, a great thirst. You will become afire!
That’s what sannyas is all about. When you have tasted a few moments of silence, of joy, of meditativeness, you will like this state to become your constant state, a continuum. The desire to make meditation your whole lifestyle is what sannyas is all about.
And if a few moments are possible, then there is no problem. Slowly, slowly, more and more moments will be coming. As you become skillful, as you learn the knack of not getting involved in the mind, as you learn the art of remaining aloof, away from the mind, as you learn the science of creating a distance between you and your own thoughts, more and more meditation will be showering on you. And the more it showers, the more it transforms you.
A day comes, a day of great blessings, when meditation becomes your natural state. Mind is something unnatural; it never becomes your natural state. But meditation is a natural state – which we have lost. It is a paradise lost, but the paradise can be regained. Look into the child’s eyes, look and you will see tremendous silence, innocence. Each child comes with a meditative state, but he has to be initiated into the ways of the society – he has to be taught how to think, how to calculate, how to reason, how to argue; he has to be taught words, language, concepts. And, slowly, slowly, he loses contact with his own innocence. He becomes contaminated, polluted by the society. He becomes an efficient mechanism; he is no more a man.
All that is needed is to regain that space once more. You have known it before, so when for the first time you know meditation, you will be surprised – because a great feeling will arise in you as if you have known it before. And that feeling is true: you have known it before. You have forgotten. The diamond is lost in piles of rubbish. But if you can uncover it, you will find the diamond again – it is yours.
It cannot really be lost: it can only be forgotten. We are born as meditators, then we learn the ways of the mind. But our real nature remains hidden somewhere deep down like an undercurrent. Any day, a little digging, and you will find the source still flowing, the source of fresh waters. And the greatest joy in life is to find it.
Excerpt from Philosophia Perennis, V. 2, Discourse #5, Q2
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