– Sri Chinmoy
We meditate to enter into, bring forward and enjoy the spiritual qualities of our heart – peace, love, light, joy, oneness. To gain access to our spiritual heart, we have first to calm and quieten our mind. To calm our mind, we must reduce our flow of thoughts. To enter the deepest meditation, we must go beyond the mind’s domain altogether, where no thought can reach.
Our observing, analysing, reasoning, deducing mind sets us above and beyond, and liberates us from the largely instinctive animal consciousness. Our mental capacities and achievements, especially through sciences and technology have helped mankind achieve considerable mastery of our finite universe. The rational, organising mind is mankind’s greatest accomplishment in the finite realms – until rising spiritual aspiration suggests the possibilities of transcending the finite and embracing the infinite – thenceforth, our mighty asset becomes our limiting liability.
Until we have transcended our mind and thought-attachment, we follow René Descartes – “I think, therefore I am.” We feel we are our thoughts and thinking process, our ideas, conclusions, beliefs, ideals and prejudices. To go beyond the mind and relinquish thoughts, requires letting go of our very concept of who and what we are. This is not easy, and cannot be achieved overnight.
There are two approaches to subduing thoughts in meditation:
a) – challenge thoughts and chase them away; or
b) – ignore thoughts altogether, taking refuge in the spiritual heart where thoughts have no existence and no purchase.
In coming episodes of “Meditation Matters”, we will explore ways and means to pursue both these pathways: concentration exercises to challenge and expel thoughts from the mind, alongside ways to enter directly those rarer atmospheres wherein thoughts are rendered redundant and simply expire.