I have thought my whole life through That I am born as this one called you. Now I’m told I was never born How can that be my new dawn?
The body seems so true and real The senses are the feeling’s meal. To be the one before birth has come The one who sleeps and is never spun. This seems to the mind impossible and false Yet when I close my eyes, what is that source?
Why don’t I say that is me? No thought, no sense, just pure and free. That space is the Me before birth and after death So why not remain forever and make that stretch?
Then all is clear and all is free I am that which is Eternity.
From Mindfulness to Knowingness Meditation By Shree (Sherrie Wade)
Mindfulness Meditation has become a widely used method of meditation. It is wonderful that so many people are valuing and practicing meditation in schools, health centers, yoga classes, etc. Meditation is the best method to bring about a state of ease, relaxation, peace, joy, happiness, and fulfillment in one’s life. The first step, to be mindful is very important because for most people their attention is moving outward through the senses towards all the things and forms to find fulfillment in life. Most people are not mindful of their attention that is always focused on that which is transitory and changing and can only bring temporary peace and satisfaction.
This first step of the practice of meditation according to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is called pratyahar, the inner turning of attention. Rather than turning the attention outward to all the experiences and things you turn the attention inward by closing your eyes and observing or being mindful. Being mindful will also show you that there is you, that you, is the knower of the mind. This is the next step towards improved success in meditation. The key to remaining peaceful and happy in your life is the very sense of your Pure Knowingness. Knowing that you are the watcher, you are the knower of your mind and thinking, and then turning your attention to the Knower.
Right now, when we close our eyes, we become aware that there is a certain space or screen in front of our closed eyes. This screen may appear dark or to have some color or light in it. Just like you can watch a movie or television screen, you can watch the screen of your awareness. Even when there are pictures on the movie screen the pure screen is always there behind the pictures even though you don’t see it anymore. In the same way, the pure screen is always there at the back of your thinking. When you close your eyes you can know it, as you are the one who is knowing. Thoughts may come, may go, or they may stay on that screen. Some thoughts are helpful, or useful, and some are upsetting and create uneasiness, but you can be mindful and just watch them. You can watch them come, you can watch them go, and you can watch when they stay. You can also notice when you react to them and when you become identified with them and when you treat them as real and important. Some thoughts are necessary and constructive, but others are destructive and cause fear, worry, pain, and suffering.
Knowingness is really the key to your meditation because through your knowingness you come to know the Knower. The Knower is the one who is watching, the one who is observing. As soon as you come to know the Knower you can become aware that the Knower is unchanging. Your knower is always there just like the screen behind the movie. The thoughts change, the feelings change, the mind changes, the body changes, the situations change, and life keeps changing as you grow older. You change every day from the waking state to the sleep state, to the deep sleep state, to the dream state, and then back to the waking state. All of these states of consciousness are changing but you, the Knowingness state, or the clear screen is what never changes. That is the one who is just watching and knowing. So now we are making a noticeable shift to put the attention on the one who is knowing, through your Pure Knowingness.
This can be practiced through a few different methods. Watching the breath going in and out and watching the pauses between each breath, after the inhalation before the exhalation, and after the exhalation before the next inhalation. These are some of the methods because in that pause or space you, the Knower, remains. There is no identification with any thought or feeling in that pause. It’s just you, Pure. We are moving the attention toward purity, towards Knowingness, or towards the true Self or being that you are.
If you prefer, you can use the mantra as it makes it easier to meditate. Since you may often be caught in your thinking, a mantra helps by bringing in only one thought to focus on. Ma means mind, tra means to release. Repeating a mantra releases you from all the various, different thoughts that are going through your mind. If there is the thought, “I didn’t do that right,” you feel bad. If there is a thought, “I excelled at that,” you feel good. You have become identified with your thinking. To become free from your thinking or de-identified, you can know yourself as the watcher or the knower of the thinking. Thoughts often come without your invitation so you cannot stop them from coming. But, instead, you can know yourself as the knower of your thinking. When a thought comes “I did not do that right” you can act on it if you like, you can change what you did wrong, but you are not worried about it, you are not involved with it. Because you now know that right and wrong are not the qualities of you, the very Knowingness. The Knowingness that you are is always free from right or wrong, good, or bad. Then your decisions come from Pure Knowingness and not from the limited experiences within your mind. Through this mastery, by coming to know the Knower, you still function in the same way doing everything that is good to do. You can fulfill any desires that you wish but you are not bound by whether they are completed or not. You know that you already are that peace, love, and joy that is unchanging as you are the Knower and you are not limited by your mind, your feelings, or your thinking.
The mantra that was given to me by my meditation teacher is amaram hum madhuram hum. The meaning is, I am pure, free, and forever, the immortal blissful Knower. Amaram hum madhuram hum. You can repeat it silently to yourself, amaram hum, madhuram hum, amaram hum, madhuram hum. If you forget the words or if it becomes too tiring to repeat, you can just repeat am hum, am hum. Or you can use any mantra that you prefer. The purpose of the mantra is to keep your attention on one thought, a peaceful thought, rather than many agitating thoughts that can go through your mind. Those thoughts, however, may still come but it’s Ok. No problem to the meditator if thoughts come because you can keep repeating a higher thought, amaram hum, madhuram hum. But again, the key to this meditation is to know the Knower who can repeat amaram hum madhuramhum, who is repeating amaram hum madhuramhum. That Knower is You pure, free, and forever. You can take your time in practicing after reading this or listen to one of the audios to know how to pronounce it correctly. Then use it whenever you like to keep knowing the Knower, amaram hum madhuramhum, amaram hum madhuramhum. Pure, free, and forever, you are!
The world is how it is. What is, is! Often people try to search for a cause. They may think, “Why does he act like that? Why did she say that? How can he think that way? How can they see or feel that way?” On the level of thoughts and emotions, these combinations are endless as to how to understand another person. Most people can’t even understand or know their own mind and emotions so how on earth can they understand someone else’s. We learn about karma which says that every action creates another reaction and in science, we learn that when you put certain elements together you will always have the same effects. When you put together the elements of H2O you will always make water. From this, it seems that every effect or reaction comes from some action or cause. However, when we reflect on from where has everything arisen, we come to a dead end. There is no way to truly know what the cause of the universe is, what the cause of life is, and in the same way what the true cause of the actions of others are. We can assume or imagine but that is all based on what our past experiences are or on our past knowledge, learning, and thinking.
When you begin the practice of meditation you come to know the causeless cause. The background space that you become aware of in meditation has no cause. It is unchanging so it was always there and always will be there. From this inner knowing of this space or Pure Consciousness, you remain free from having to know a cause to everything that is happening in your life. You are free from the mind’s ruminations about how it all happened. Now you are resting in your own Being. That Being is the very love and freedom itself and it is uninvolved from the dream of the individual life process. The best way to understand this is when you are dreaming and then wake up you know that it was only a dream. Whatever happened in your dream was an illusion, a delusion, or fantasy. It was unreal as now you woke up to the waking state which is now the reality for you. So why now do you think that the waking state is the only true reality? In meditation, you are free from your mind and emotions as you were in deep sleep. From this, you can be aware that the waking state is also like an illusion, a delusion, or a dream because it is changing. Yet, the human being believes this deception of the waking state and appears to forget its source. The causeless cause of your existence. From this awareness, you can change your expectations and bring your focus to that which is unchanging. Then, you no longer have to only try to keep making the world work according to your preferences. You can accept that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but you remain the same. You the Self are free from all the changes.
2. The world is not fair.
Everyone wishes for a fair share. That there should be justice in the world, in your family, in your work environment in your relationships. However, if we honestly take a look at life, we can realize that it is not always fair or the same for everyone. Why are some people born mega-rich and others dirt poor? Why don’t the mega-rich just give some food and shelter to the poor and then there would be no poverty? Seems only fair! But the truth is there is no ultimate fairness in the world. There is no absolute fairness in life and living. There is no total fairness in relationships. No matter how hard people try to make everything fair it just doesn’t always play out that way. When you understand that the world and life are not always fair then and only then can you accept what is. What is, is! Then you don’t waste a lot of your precious time and energy struggling with the thoughts of injustice by thinking that total fairness exists. Yes, you do your best to strive to always be fair, but you don’t expect others or things will always be fair. Even when you first learn that the world is all One and we are all One Being you may believe that means that we are all the same. Yes, we are all the same on the level of our True Nature, but we are all different on the level of our human nature. Oneness doesn’t mean sameness. You smell the fragrance of the beautiful rose, but you don’t put your nose on the thorns. Knowing Oneness, you also know that the thorns will prick you so you avoid being hurt by them when possible and you try to remain with that which will come out smelling like a rose.
3. Things often don’t make sense.
The mind likes to understand things and make good sense of them. But, if there is no real cause and effect, if there is no ultimate fairness life can’t make total sense. We like to think that things make sense as it allows the mind and emotions to rest for some time thinking that we have figured it all out. But the mind can and will never figure it all out as there is no ultimate cause and effect. When you accept the causeless cause then you accept what is. Through meditation, you de-identify from the world and its happenings as you know it is just like a show or dream. Being de-identified you are uninvolved. This doesn’t mean that you don’t play your part to its fullness. You still do everything you can with your body and mind to live the healthiest and happiest that you can be and provide the most for your loved ones and friends. However, you no longer believe that you will someday gain the ability to know things and understand everything and do all the right things and then you will be perfect. The only cause of suffering is ignorance of your true Self. Your true Self needs no sense. Your true Self is the only perfection that there is. It is free of sense and no sense, free of the mind, and free of emotions. When I say free it doesn’t mean that it excludes anything such as the mind or emotions. Instead, now it uses them with mastery. This is true freedom that is not dependent on figuring things out with the mind or in only understanding things with the mind. I once heard it said that understanding is the booby prize. This means that understanding is not the solution for a happy and peaceful life. In fact, the mind which understands is the very problem of why you are unhappy or peaceless. It is only in meditation when you transcend the mind and emotions, then you can move with the Pure Space and not only with the mind. Meditation unfolds the development of a higher mind which leads you towards the truth of your own Self, rather than towards the understanding that is limited to the lower mind. Through this transcendence and subsequent transformation, you come to know the Knower of the mind and emotions which is your true Self that is unchanging and doesn’t need cause, fairness, or sense in order to remain free from the changing things, ideas, and happenings. It can now rest and flow with your true nature, which is eternal, pure, and free! Then your decisions in life will be made from this higher power and not only from a limited, imperfect, or lower mind.
It is my wish that knowing these three points: no ultimate cause, no ultimate fairness, and no complete sense, that you will start to be free of these limited constructs and deceptions and know your True Being that you forever are. The Knower that you are is forever free as it is the true freedom that you are seeking that can allow you to remain happy and peaceful.
Someone asked a question by first stating that she knows that her old method of dealing with life doesn’t work and she knows the importance of using this new method that she has learned. She said that she is confused sometimes as to whether she is still using the old method without being aware of it.
Swami-ji went into a detailed talk, an extremely clear explanation as to what the old method is and how all human beings are bound by this system. For every human being, there are three things.
It starts with a desire, any desire. Every human being desires something because they feel that they are lacking something. Then they make efforts to satisfy their desire.
Once the desire is realized then the person will say: “This is mine. This is my car. This is my house. This is my husband or wife,” etc.
It should remain with me. The attachment is created and one says this should now always stay with me and continue to be mine.
This is the old method as it is based on feeling lack and then satisfying the desire. Once the desire is satisfied one experiences peace and a sense of fulfillment. Now you are experiencing the bliss that comes when you no longer desiring anything. This is your own true nature.
However, when this is based on the fulfillment of a desire it will change because a new desire will always come about as the person again feels unfulfilled.
Swami-ji expressed: “This is the ego ingrained in every human being just by having a form, a human body.” Now we see why it is so hard to get out of this old method. All beings are functioning in this way. Even an ant desires to find food and shelter. Human beings want to acquire, achieve, and possess all the comforts. This is because the purpose of a human being has not been known to him. He has a sense of lack, so when he gets a desire fulfilled he feels satisfied and at peace. For one person this might be getting the right job, for another a new car or house, for another a new relationship, tasty food, travel, a new baby or even a pet. One keeps being convinced that satisfaction will come through getting the desire fulfilled. As a result of their action, they will feel satisfied because a desire is no longer present in their mind or thoughts. The purity of their own pure consciousness remains.
Swami-ji says: “The knowledge has not been given that satisfaction comes when all is removed from the head. The desire is finished and now one is at peace.” Otherwise, it is temporary peace, because you believe it came through getting something. Then desire comes again and you are back where you started, feeling unfulfilled and then desiring something else.
THE NEW METHOD
As human beings get satisfaction when the lack is removed, we have to know the new way of removing this lack. Each person is striving to get the lack removed but doesn’t know that “the satisfaction is YOU. ” Whenever you are caught in desire, you are unsatisfied. Whenever you are left alone you are fine. If you have an intense desire to work and earn you will work hard and get the result and you will be free. This whole mechanism is set up to keep you bound. You will only feel a temporary sense of freedom, which is changing. You, the pure being, is unchanging. The new method is to begin with this.: You are already fulfilled. You are already complete. The same space of peace that you experienced when the desire was fulfilled, but only temporarily is always available to you. You can only have this when you have the knowledge of it.
Swami-ji expresses: “Space was you and then you were born and became bound to the body.”
THE WAY OUT – PRACTICE FOR THIS WEEK
Unfold the sense, which was in the beginning. Repeat and understand that which I call me is FREE.
Rather than using the old method of getting things to be free know that you are already free.
Know that your liberation is knowing YOU, as you are, the pure space, which is always Free.
You are free when you are asleep. There is no desire at that time, yet everything is working perfectly. Bring this awareness into the waking state
Meditate on pure space and identify yourself as that, then you are liberated. We have all been working on this for a long time and knowing how this faulty system works. It is important to bring in this awareness on a daily basis and watch how the old method keeps functioning. Keep bringing in this new method.
I enjoyed this aspect of the knowledge because we can see how caught the human being is just from birth and why it seems so hard to unravel this mechanism in order to know the truth. Yet, isn’t this new method so much easier and more effective?
If you start from wholeness and completeness then everything else is a bonus and a great joy. There is never a sense of loss because you are not needing or desiring for your fulfillment and not being fooled by the mistaken perception that only the attainment of your desire will fulfill you.
A woman who had just arrived at the meditation center said that although she was feeling elated and happy she was also experiencing some anxiety and terror. She inquired how to overcome these painful emotions.
How does the mind creates these emotions, seemingly out of nowhere; there is no real imminent danger, yet the human being experiences these emotions. Oftentimes, these feelings are not useful and create suffering. An imagined danger most often does not manifest and even if it does there is most likely not much that can be done. Holding on to feelings of fear and worry for extended periods of time drains energy and does not effectively deal with future situations. If there is something that can be done then consider and make your decisions, then do it. If not, why keep allowing yourself to believe these feelings?
You are already well on your way by focusing your awareness on the way your mind functions by dwelling on and believing in pain and suffering. By being in touch with the observer of the mind this allows awareness of your emotions. You have discovered the way out. How? You have separated your Knower from that which is known. You have become aware that you are the observer of your mind—not the thoughts and feelings. As Swami-ji expresses, “The observer is free yet it has assumed to be a body. It is identified.”
Consider the concept of “identification.” When you are asleep there is no terror nor anxiety. What is different in deep sleep? In sleep, you are not identified with your mind—you are asleep to the mind. However, you are still alive and breathing and your bodily functions are perfectly automatic.
Question: What do you want to do as a human being? If you want to get rid of fear or terror, then purify your system. Change the destructive manner in which your system functions and suffering will transform and in many ways will fall away.
When you bring in the mantra, I am immortal, I am blissful, amaram hum madhuram hum, you become de-identified with your mind—attending the mantra rather than your thoughts. This highest awareness gained through focusing on the mantra acknowledges that you are pure, free, and forever—you are not your thoughts. This allows de-identification with the mind and thoughts. You become aware that you are not the body, just like you know you are not a table nor someone else’s body. Then, the body can experience emotions but you, the Knower, the pure being remains free.
This is not easy work and not for everyone, it is for those with an intense desire to be free from suffering. This is the permanent way out. Meditate on the Knower who is eternal and forever free. Then, perfect discrimination and detachment unfolds, called by the Sage Patanjali—vivek and vairaagya. Vivek (discrimination) is the knowledge that I am never born and never die. Vairaagya (detachment) is the knowledge that even though the things, forms, and diverse experiences in the world bring about some enjoyment—as everything comes from the source that is all bliss—the unchanging bliss is only ever-present at the source of all thoughts and actions. Therefore, when you take the time to read this knowledge and meditate on it, you bring about a total sense of satisfaction—not dependence on anything else to provide you with bliss. The knowing that the bliss contained in form is ever-changing and that inner bliss remains constant can be experienced directly through practice.
Another woman asked Swami-ji about the sadness she experiences as she practices. She now knows that what she believed to be true and what she had desired in her life before, does not bring her the true happiness she seeks.
Why is this practice creating sadness?
If a person believes he or she is only a body and a mind with thoughts, the nature of the mind is that it looks outside itself for joy and personal satisfaction. When the Self or Pure Being realizes the mind and thoughts have been incorrect, the mind often feels saddened. It is like losing a relationship with someone very dear—your very own mind.
Swami-ji said, “When the Self obeys the mind then the mind feels pleased. When Self is separated from the mind then the mind feels sad and the Self feels liberated.”
Through the power of listening to the knowledge (shravan), the knowing of your true Self awakens—that which has always been liberated. Temporal sadness of the mind can never touch you. Those who practice amaram hum madhuram hum become free.
Swami-ji also answered her by saying, “Then you come to know that your mind is not you, so you do not give consideration to your mind.” Just as you take good care of your house or your car—though you know it is not you—use your body and mind like a tool, taking good care of it but not letting it take control of you, the Self, who is always free from the body and the mind.
PRACTICE FOR THIS WEEK
Notice if your mind moves into thoughts that create a sense of anxiety and fear and remind yourself that you are the Knower or Observer of those thoughts and feelings. Then repeat the mantra instead of those thoughts and notice what happens. When thoughts come back, repeat the mantra again. Make a note of how many times this happens throughout the week and send an email with your observations and findings.
Observe if sadness comes to you. Any sense of loss may create sadness. Who is sad? Tell yourself that it is your mind and thoughts that create sadness and not You, the Knower of the mind and thoughts. Repeat this to yourself when You observe that the mind feels sad:
Who is it that is sad? It is only a thought in my mind or feeling in my body, it is not Me, the Self, the Knower. The Self is forever, pure, and free.