Monday is AUM-day; in search of meditation.
We have been exploring different ways of using OM to focus our minds and enter higher meditation. We have seen six 'methods', or approaches, to OM-focus. The final methodology in this series is upon consciousness itself.
The four parts of AUM+turiiya also refer to the levels of conscious, unconscious and subconscious, as well as the consciousness state which permeates these.
- The "A" sound refers to the conscious level of mental functioning. Waking state = current awareness.
- The "U" part refers to the unconscious level of mind. Dream state mind. Consciousness is present, but current awareness is not.
- The "M" refers to the subconscious level, the storage place of mind. Deep sleep. The repository of all our individual experience.
- The Silence after these three, refers to the pure consciousness, which permeates the conscious, unconscious, and subconscious levels of awareness.
|"Trying to sleep is not sleeping. we try to sleep as long as we are not asleep.|
Once we have reached sleep, all tryings and struggles end.
Thus, contemplation ends when we reach the 'state of meditation'."
HH Pujya Gurudev Swam Chinmayananda
As before, use the AUM chanting but this time, make the following your focus;
- When vibrating in "A", be aware of the conscious level of mind. How? It is waking, awareness, the very fact that you are following through on this action makes you 'conscious'. Draw back and observe this awareness. As you do, you will naturally progress with the mantra into...
- The "U"; be aware, as best you can, that your mind is presently functioning at an unconscious level as well. It never stops working. It is the CPU, if you will. Do you have those moments when working at your computer when you become aware of the fact it is always 'moving under the hood'? The conscious bit is the RAM - random access memory. The active part cannot work if cluttered up with ALL the programming though, so it flits at enormous speed into the 'vaults' of memory to bring out the relevant bytes which put together a cohesive function - the 'program' currently running. Without all the background coding though, there would be a crash! In "U" contemplation, you are expanding your mind to be able to encompass the full code and not just the currently running one. Now you begin to move into...
- The "M",the latent part of the mind. Here is found all the innumerable memories of people, places, objects and daily paraphernalia, stored as 'information bytes'. Until it is needed, it just sits there, dormant. It is without form. It is ethereal. The disk on the computer is not the data as such, merely a place for the data to rest… likewise our brain, and even the mind of which we are becoming aware, are not these impressions. The impressions, called in Sanskrit as vaasanas, are our interface with the immutable, All-Pervading Consciousness. Be aware of this place which has an immense stillness, as you progress towards...
- Turiiya, the consciousness which permeates all of the other three levels. It so much a part of our being, our functioning, our existence, that we are as unaware of it as we are of the blood and fluids moving within our bodies. If we pay close attention, we can feel the pulse within us. Expanding ourselves in AUM meditation, we can draw back from our individual levels of awareness, we can truly begin to see the entire 'picture'. We experience (only as our individual ego-selves, for the Greater Self does not 'experience') the bliss of profound silence. Eventually, this silence expands to being the awareness of the other three states; we actually 'see' ourselves and how the entire world connects. We are able to shed our ego-selves and merge with True Self. It is at this stage that one is called a 'True Seer' (द्रष्टा /dr-shtaa), in that all of the other levels of mind are witnessed from this vantage point.
By the time you are at the level of properly applying this particular practice, you will quite naturally be integrating all seven levels we have been discussing. It is always to be advocated, however, keep it simple! Do not be mesmerised or terrorised by the concepts given here. The first, most basic practice, of loud chanting and simple letter-focus will of themselves bring much peace to your being. These higher levels of meditation will only make the fullest sense if you are applying other practices of Advaita Vedanta. Fullest integration and revelation comes about through application of karma (activity), bhakti (dedication) and gyaan (gaining Knowledge).
This is not a competition. Do not compare yourself to others in regards to contemplation and meditation. Begin at the beginning and keep your steps steady. Wherever you are on your journey is where the Lord/Self wishes you to be... do not forget to enjoy each moment along the way.
Next week we shall return to 'sea level' again for a while!