In this blog, I’ll talk mainly about how Advaita changed the way I meditate and through it, my Life.
I was fascinated by spirituality since I was a kid. But nothing worked for me in that direction, or did it? I was always fascinated by the systems our ancestors had to connect to the eternal and to escape from being trapped by time. I was fascinated by Yogic practices like Raja Yoga and Pranayama for the sense of doing something challenging and its health benefits and unknown spiritual growth, I was fascinated by the concept of Karma Yoga as it bought significance to my actions, I was fascinated by Bhakthi yoga, even though not a fan, for it’s significance even though it seems irrational. I was fascinated by Kriya for its mystical experiences and magical doings.
But I couldn’t stick to any of those paths for long. Even though at this point in my life, I’ve installed various systems from all those types/paths of yoga in my life, I’ve been limited to it. And finally, something worked for me for the first time.
To be honest, I got to know clearly about Advaita only just a few months ago. I had the simple basic facts for a long time, but its true essence was somewhat fresh to me. The knowing of Brahman, the path of Jnana Yoga, the 3 states and the fourth, Om and its parts, the analogies of wave and water, Gold, and ornaments had a huge impact on my mind, it had awestruck me intellectually. But it was not until I sat and close my eyes to meditate using that knowledge that I experienced something new.
October 3rd week was the most joyous week of my Life. Yes, that’s not an exaggeration, I literally was able to distinguish myself from the mind and body. And then on, there’s a tinge of stillness 24*7, though I’m not conscious the entire time. I would say I’m conscious for 1/4th of a day. I know, all this may sound too cliche, but I’m writing this for the same reason that I’m writing my book, it’s for the reason that it could help the past me. I share this in believing this will help someone who’s like me, for whom nothing seems to be working in their spiritual path.
Before the meditation, I want you to try this. Whenever you are reading something, observe your body. As staying away from mind while reading is not possible, I don’t need to tell you to shine consciousness on the mind, it’ll already be shining. And you’ll realise that the consciousness is something other than body and mind when you observe your body while reading anything. Try it! In fact, you can try doing the same with any activity, meditation while walking is something that has worked very well for me as well!
Ok, before I say the procedure, I’ll be honest, this is not something I’ve come up with on my own, it’s been there and practiced for centuries. It’s using your mind to see that it’s not the consciousness and finally let you be the consciousness.
1: Close your eyes sitting in any comfortable position. First, observe your body, from your toe to the tip of your head, and notice that you are observing your body, you are being conscious of the body, which means you are not it, right?
2: Then, observe your energies, I use the breath to make it easy to get conscious of my energies. Feel your breath throughout your body. And then realize that you are observing your breath, inhale, and exhale but you are not it.
3: Next, observe your mind. Your thoughts. There may be any random thoughts in your mind, the thought may be of whether this meditation works for you or not, or it might be anything else, no problem, just observe. By that, you notice you’re not the mind, you are observing those thoughts and hence you are not it.
4: Observe your creative being. This is the place where you get ideas from. To be frank, by this time, I’ll be empty, I’ll have no thoughts here. And do the same here, you’re observing and hence you are not that.
5: Go even deeper to the last layer, which is the state at which you’ll be when you are in deep sleep. At this stage, I feel the stillness peeking. You observe and hence you know you’re not that.
In the final stage, let go of that last layer too. And that is the consciousness. That is what you truly are. You can call it the Brahman, Consciousness, or nothingness, or whatever.
What that meditation does is, according to Vedic texts, even according to Yogic texts, we have 5 koshas/layers namely, Annamaya kosha(body), Pranamaya Kosha(Energy), Manomaya Kosha(Mind), Vijnanamaya Kosha (Creative), Anandhamaya Kosha(Deep Sleep), that makes up who we think we are. And by noticing it and realizing we’re not that, you’ll be pointed towards what you truly are.
Sanath Kumar Naibhi