Meditation can be used as a means to observe; observe the sensations within our bodies and the thoughts that enter our minds. It is a method of taking a look at the internal activity, and watching the ‘traffic’ of thinking that occurs there. It allows us to be the temporary canvas onto which our thoughts and sensations are painted. Meditation can also be seen as a means of providing a ‘playground’ in which thoughts and sensations can be supervised while they ‘play’.
Picture a typical day in the life of me:
Wake up, get ready and plan for work, plan the travel, worry about time, spend time working, planning and thinking in order to earning a living, plan the journey home, maybe do an activity, worry about bills, plan a meal and hit the sack. Repeat.
All in all, a pretty mentally busy day – poor old mind!
When we observe our thoughts, we may come to realise that these processes, and their associated thoughts, are not our true essence and do not define us. They are not who we really are at a deeper level. Yet we spend a huge amount of time and energy following the processes involved in playing a role. Most of the ongoing ‘mental chatter’ never really stops or connects us to ourselves.
Just having the ability to observe our thoughts, takes us a step closer and to a deeper layer of our identity; the core of our being always resides in the deepest possible part. This ability to observe may point us in the direction of understanding who we truly are.
Underneath our thoughts, in this deeper layer, we are the OBSERVER of thought, not the observed. What this suggests, is that when we are constantly thinking….we are not ‘touching base’ with Source or our true selves. Meditating can provide this relief.
Sure…this may not be of interest to some (or even maybe most!)… but for me, personally, I like to know which ingredients are necessary when cooking up a tasty meal … metaphorically speaking! 🙂
Effectively, when we think about anything at all, we are not being who we really are. Anything that we think about, as crude as it may sound, is not our purest self; is not really us. This might include our beliefs on a matter; our perspective on an individual or an opinion on the housing market. They are just processes. Originating from our minds; our thoughts are more comparable to useful tools; a counsel for a King or Queen; or just a mere glimpse into the capabilities of our source. We must therefore learn to unidentify with our minds to find out who we are. (Eckhart Tolle talks a lot about this!)
Similarly, no aspect of our bodies make us who we are. A limb does not make us who we are, neither does an organ. We HAVE a body, but our bodies are not our essence. If we suffer from paralysis of the entire body, do we lose the essence of who we are? …No. In this respect, understanding (let alone being) our true selves may seem quite a conundrum!
To know who you are, the origins must lie deeper than where we initially expected them to be (i.e. our thoughts). WHO is the one observing the thoughts in the first place? We must transcend the activity of our minds to find out. We can not, simply, THINK our way into knowing. That’s the secret!
If, WHO WE ARE, in its purest essence, is a seed…
our MINDS can be compared to the roots, in search of nutrients and stability…
and our BODIES are the blossoming flowers…
… All three are essential and necessary component parts of life, in this case, the plant. Science has allowed us to understand the functions of our bodies in great depth, but how much do we know about our minds? Or even our SOURCE?
The curious part of me is keen to discuss what the ‘seed’ in this example, is all about!
To me, it appears that our essence and our minds (the seed and the roots) directly affect our bodies’ (the flowers) ability to blossom and flourish. Furthermore, the ‘seed’ is always flawless, it is only in our ability to nourish and nurture it, that the quality of the ‘fruit’ is determined …… (You may want to read that one again!!)
If nothing that we own makes us who we are, not even our thoughts or our bodies, then who are we? If the deepest layer of ourselves we only have the capacity to observe and be aware, are we really that different from eachother? This is considered to be the duality created by the mind… i.e. that we are separated by our thoughts and our things. In reality though, in our ability to be aware, we are very deeply connected.
This background awareness is what has sourced every living aspect of this planet. It is the source of the Universal Intelligence – which we discussed in an older article.
Prior to any process occurring, awareness is necessary. It is always the initial step. Following on from this, comes the intelligence, then come the mechanics and the physical form. This awareness is ingrained into every living being and is the process behind every act that we (or it) carries out.
Let’s put it this way:
You want to make a cup of tea, for instance…. first comes the awareness that you are thirsty, then comes the minds’ role in thinking through any necessary processes, then comes the act of making the tea, and finally comes the cup of tea in all its glory!
It all stems from that instinctual, initial awareness
It is only when we are preoccupied, in our thoughts for instance, that we may not hear the ‘messages’ from our deeper awareness/consciousness/source/soul or whatever you like to call it!
… In the above example, if the mental chatter is very noisy, we may miss the… “I am thirsty. Please fetch me a drink!”
This awareness is what connects us to each other. Any other separation we perceive is purely from the mind. Every life form that exists, requires awareness to thrive; the awareness when feeling hungry, the awareness in a plant when it requires sunlight, the awareness of the planet to maintain balance. Our uniqueness comes not from our individual thoughts and possessions, but more from the ability to tap into our awareness and become at ONE with our essence and our true selves. It is, in this ability, that we are all ONE.
“To the mind that is still, the whole Universe surrenders”
– Lao Tzu
Check out some useful guided meditations here: