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From Mind to Energy - An Oriental Meditation Primer


by Danilo D'Antonio

We are usually so engaged with our thoughts that we don’t notice they live in an “environment” which is much wider than themselves. Like the words written on this sheet, thoughts seem to float on a sea, on an ocean which is very little known. Psychology doesn’t help us very much because it is concerned only with the mind, considered like a group of thoughts, and it leaves out all the rest, if there is really something else to be considered.

Let’s try to gain more insight.

Let’s sit in a peaceful place and observe ourselves.

Immediately many thoughts come into our head. It doesn’t matter. Let’s wait some minutes. Sooner or later we notice that there is something between a thought and another one, a space, an empty space, a lack of thought. If we wait a little longer, that space become larger and then we can begin to look into it.

We are in a condition similar to to that in which we are when we espect to perceive something. At first we are a little strained. It is a little difficult to live such an unusual situation. We are used to having everything under control while in this case we have to put ourselves in the condition of simple observers.

But slowly we become familiar with this practice and feel more and more at our ease. We slide into a deeper and deeper relaxation so that we have to be careful not to fall asleep. The immediate purpose is just staying in a condition of relaxed waking. This is the ideal condition in which to examine a subject which this time will not be something external to us but ourselves. The observer turns his attention to himself. It is the only way to get to know ourselves better.

A few minutes of this exercise every day are very useful to separate us a little from our usual thoughts and it lets us enjoy more peace and balance. Since our thoughts feel observed, they stop being so tyrannical with us, come back under our control and fight no longer against us. They appear to us for that they are: a simple, partial, limited expression of our being.

Everybody knows you obtain great results only with loving daily care and so it is even in this case.

If we continue observing what we are, our thoughts, our emotions, our sensations, we discover unsuspected things that are more and more important. We find out that thoughts, emotions, sensations are strictly interconnected so that they are a whole. We find out that our breath itself, in its rhythm, in its depth, is strictly connected to them. The same thing happens to the little movements of our body, to our whole posture. We discover that minor external events, the roar of a motorbyke, a fly that flies away, change our being. We find out that the same environmental situation is lived in a different way according to our interior feelings.

As days go by offering us more and more experiences in those minutes we devote to ouselves, we enjoy perceptions, insights, little and great enlightenments that are a source of happiness and good humour. Thoughts still come into our head even if with less insistence and suddenly, while we still observe us, we make one of the most beautiful discoveries of our life.

Whatever thought crosses our mind, it doesn’t seem to us so important and absolute as before. We don’t identify ourselves with any thought any longer but, on the contrary, we can even understand why that voice is arising in ourselves. We remember having heard that idea from somebody or having read it in a book or having drawn it from other preceding ideas which however have an origin external to our “EGO”. However much we strive, we don’t manage to find anything that is really original and only ours.

All the thoughts we have examined make us say: “I am not this thought, this thought is not mine.” Suddenly we feel free from all our convinctions. Opinions, ideals, judgements on which we have based our life, perhaps spoiling it a little bit, no longer appear to us as something intimate, something absolutely personal but, on the contrary, they seem to depend completely on the external world.

A deep cheerfulness pervades us: now we are free to think as we like in this precise moment, free from any prejudice or preconceived ideas. We find it amusing to think like our enemy and are surprised not to consider him as an enemy any longer: ah! if he new it is not him the one to think what he thinks!

Of course now we should wonder: if “he” doesn’t think, who is “he”? Or, rather, who am “I”?

Now it is easy to become sad and to feel a little confused. “If all I have thought until now is not my thought, now I will have to start again from the beginning but on what base? What are the real right patterns of behaviour, the real right ideas?”

Good, now the moment has arrived to stop and think about what happened.

Till when we have lived without observing us, we have had ideals, opinions, judgements that seemed to us to be right because they were arising from our deepest and impenetrable being. It was just this central core which used to express itself in the first person and used to say: “I...”. Practicing the observer’s meditation, our EGO has explored itself and ... it hasn’t found itself!

Now you can well understand that before giving a new course to this EGO, to ourselves, it is necessary to understand what a thought is, what is that express itself in a thought.

Let’s start again then with our inner exploration, setting aside questions we are now still unpredared for.

We have already become better at letting our thoughts go on without affecting us. We are able to enjoy that mental emptiness and the sensation of peace and joy that accompany it. Just in this condition we can observe that emptiness well. We notice that it is pure perception. An ocean of perception. We “feel” infinite signals from the environment and from ourselves. We feel lights, colours, sounds, odours, tastes, temperatures, weight, vibrations, appetite and satiety, moisture, gurglins, tremors, desires, memories, images, thoughts ... At some point thinking appears to us just like one of the infinite forms that a perception can take.

We understand. We are much more than thoughts. Our being is pure perception. Perception and nothing else. Consciousness, in its simplest and deepest meaning.

We understand that for a long time, too much time, we have attached importance to our thoughts only, giving them an indiscussed, absolute value. Now, on the contrary, we smile because we have experienced personally how a heartburn can cause a bad thought while phisical well-being gives rise to cheerful thoughts. We experience the opposite too, that is, bad thoughts provoke to us tension and malaise while good thoughts cause pleasure and well-being.

Our trust in rationality wavers more and more but now we don’t care about it. A deep change takes place in ourselves. The mind (thoughts, concepts, judgements) is leaving the command to whom it belongs by right. To the Consciousness.

Let’s stop for a moment.

At the beginning of our research we were full of certainties and convintions. We had an EGO, some ideals, a mind. As we went on, all this vanished, disappeared. Now we have only consciousness, perception an ocean of sensations. But we don’t know what to do with them! This adventure seems to become menacing and we are a little afraid. But since we have arrived up to this point, we had better go on. Every exploration needs sound optimism and this is the case.

Let’s start again with our sitting, at least the state of peace in wich we are when we do them will depel our doubts.

Again we observe ourselves, we go back to the realm of Consciousness. This time thoughts interest us very little. Now we are curious about our discovery and we want to know more about it.

We notice that every minor event such as a movement, a breath, a thought, has infinite causes and infinite effects. Similarly also every minor change in the environment, something that moves, temperature, moisture, lights or anything else have effects on us. We cannot help noticing that all that exists is an infinite group of phenomena of cause and effect. Everything, such as a drop of rain, a living being, a stone, a newspaper, a car, a sneeze, an idea, everything is a cause of infinite effects and effect of infinite causes.

We feel, we experience it really, that infinite group of phenomena of causes and effects which constitutes our being, continues uninterruptedly out of us and mix intimately with the infinite phenomena of causes and effects in the Universe. We feel a deep sense of interdipendence, of belonging to the whole world. We understand that this world is a unique, infinite living system where all interacts, all comunicates with all, all is conscious of all.

We understand more and more deeply how those choises which seemed to belong only to our mind, are in reality an expression of the World we belong to.

Our verbal expression itself, the language, we trusted blindly up to a few days ago, seems to be inadequate to express what we feel.

Now intuitions follow one another so that we ourselves slacken our research. We are no longer in a hurry. Now we have a vague idea how things go on. We glimpse the laws that govern the World and we feel that we will know and live them better and better. The trust with which we have nourished our mind, receiving in exchange only continous doubt and perplexities, now pours with enthusiasm into our Consciousness.

Now everything is clear. The reality appears to us to be really infinite, wonderful, to be fully discovered. The days that before appeared to us to be all the same now, on the contrary, are jewels of singleness. We have no more references with which we can define life as beautiful or bad but every moment is very important because it is unique, unrepeatable, infinitly rich. Even problems that seemed without way out now have thousands of solutions.

Now we really realize what we didn’t see before.

Some time ago (it seems that thousands of years have gone by) we wondered what to do, what to think as our mind was limited. The question makes no sense now. Things seem to work well by themselves. The whole system appears to us to be a mechanism able to take care of itself. Also our life show the ability to put itself in order. It is easy to understand now that rationality is nothing but the visible top of that iceberg nearly completely hidden which is the consciousness. The consciousness works and the mind takes the merit of it. At least so it happened before, now it is no longer like that.

Now a great universal law appears to us in all its splendour. Everything that is enlightened from the consciousness is nourished and develops. Consciousness is a lens that enlarges everything is put under it.

If we pay attention to evil, evil will increase.

If we pay attention to good, it will be good that will increase.

The whole matter is so simple that it seems nearly impossible to us. However, we feel and experience that that is all.

Good, shall we sum up?

Today scientists say there is nothing but Energy. Everything is Energy. Everything that exists is Energy.

Does it makes any difference if we use the word Consciousness instead of the word Energy?