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!
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.