Take a Step Back to Being – How to Find and Abide in ‘I-AM’

July 28, 2011

In this article, I will try and address what ‘I AM’ is and what it means to remain in the sense of ‘I AM’. We have known of many great Masters who have talked about it in the past and from them we have learnt that the ‘I AM’ is essentially a sense of ‘being’ – not being this or being that, but just plain being.

Yet, as a teacher, I have found many seekers who are struggling to know or understand what this means. Even the most dedicated of seekers sometimes take many years to finally locate their sense of being and to remain stabilized there, although it isn’t so difficult to find it earlier on itself. My attempt in this article is to address that seeker, no matter what state of consciousness he presently believes himself to be in, beginner or advanced.

Please bear in mind that my attempt to write this is neither to change anything in you, nor to provide any such system where you can transform into becoming something else. That would be a sin to do so. You are already what you are. You are pure uninterrupted joyous Consciousness always, now and forever, and nothing can change that. My reason to give talks or to write is only to make sure that you ‘see’ this fact. Unfortunately, I don’t find many who realize this.

The path is not about becoming something else. Haven’t we already become so many things? We play so many roles and characters all the time. If we observe deeply, we can see that the ‘I’ has become so many things. I become a woman, a son, a lover, a husband, a mother, an employee, and if all that isn’t enough to kill me already, then I become a spiritual seeker following some spiritual path, identifying myself as a kriya yogi, advaitin, bhaktin or reiki healer. We identify with so many identities – so much becomingness.

Also, the path is neither about knowing more, nor about accumulating knowledge, for we know way too much already. We say, “I know how to dance, sing, work on computers, crack a business deal; I know how to work effortlessly for hours, to sit endlessly practicing meditation; I know the various ancient scriptures, the Gita, the Bible… ” So much knowingness! It is also not about feelings. We feel so many things all the time. We say, “I feel sad, happy, joyous, wonderful, jealous, sick … almost all the time.”

Nor is it about possessing anything. We say, “This is mine, that is mine, my house, my body, my car, my children, my job, my spiritual state…” and if we didn’t have these, then it becomes, “my problem, my illness, my depressions, my failures, my frustrations, etc.” What possessions!

Therefore, the path is neither about becoming, nor about gaining knowledge or feeling or possessing anything, even though that is all we are doing all the time, isn’t it?

Let us look more intensely at the above statements and we will see that there is one little word which remains constant all the time while everything else around it has changed. That word is ‘I’. We use it all the time but we remain oblivious of it. The reason is – we have hardly paid any attention to it.

The ‘I’ remains hidden from our gaze while we get busy with everything else that this ‘I’ holds. We become more interested in living in fragments and we feel we understand all of that perfectly. We think we know our job, spouse, children, parents; we know our practice, religion, pain, joy, emotions; our business, problems…, and everything that emerges from the ‘I’. But this is a delusion. We can never be in control of a fragmented life.

There is just so much inner conflict which is born out of trying to understand a broken life and our attempts to do so have failed repeatedly, leaving us completely drained. This will exhaust and sap our energy. Instead, if we would rather be attentive to the ‘I’ on which hangs the complete network ahead of it then this problem will be resolved. Much will be put into place.

The acting principle of ‘I’ is commonly referred to as ‘I AM’ or simple ‘being’. This ‘I AM’ is what stands completely alone, without any attributes, and to it, everything else (fragments) is added. This is the ‘I AM’ we need to know closely. We only need bring our attention to that which precedes such a fragmentation. What is prior to such a division taking place?

It is the ‘I AM’. After all, can any of this fragmentation take place without me being there first? ‘Being’ or ‘I AM’ is necessary for anything else to manifest ahead. It is a precondition, isn’t it? Even this entire universe cannot remain without ‘you’ being first. The ‘I AM’ or Being is primary to everything. So can I know my being – prior to all the add-ons, not just as a mental concept but as a real experience in practical life? Yes!

All I do is take one step back from where I feel my entire life pulsates and moves. I just take that one little step back. That’s all! And I find myself in and as my being. That is my true center.

I take just one step back from every emotion, thought, perception, feeling, knowledge, various meditative experiences and I am at that center.

Right at this very moment you can truly feel that center, which is your pure being. Close you eyes and simply feel your sense of being pulsating in your heart or at the third eye or anywhere within and you will be centered in your being right away, untouched by anything – free of everything. The calmness and peace you will feel will be almost immediate and profound.

This, of course, is just a glimpse because the mind will not let you remain in that center for long. It will interfere and disrupt your peace. But then all you have to do is to take a step back from that movement of your mind and you will be back into that center again. You can do the same while working through a difficult job, a bad phase in life or while going through any stressful situation. Can you not just take a step back and feel what it is like to be there?

With repeated practice you will find yourself completely oblivious of what the mind, emotions and stories do. And you will find yourself stabilized in that center – unmoved and untouched by anything. Everything will seem to happen on the surface and nothing will disturb the one-pointedness of your meditative introspection, which will allow deeper inquiry to take place.

Once you stabilize in that state of ‘I AM’ you don’t hold onto anything or seek anything. Joy and bliss, which are qualities of pure being (I AM), will hold and captivate you. Then there will no more be any wavering from that center.

One step back may seem like a technique initially, but eventually with practice it brings its own ending.

To conclude, I would say that if you want to be of this world with all its suffering and false promises, then take a step forward and embrace it. But, then be ready for the roller coaster ride it brings with all its highs and lows. And if you truly want to be happy, joyous and wish to walk in this world as if you completely own it, then just take a step back. The choice is yours.

Ignore the Thrower, Catch the Ball – Managing the Balls of Emotion

Taken from a talk December 25, 2012

Rajivji (R): This is a ball, right? Come on Shreekanth (S).

[Rajiv throws the ball at Shreekanth who catches it.]

Now, I threw this ball at him. Who were you looking at? The ball? When I throw the ball to you, what were you looking at?

Shreekanth: I just seemed to react instinctively.

R: Absolutely, so that was instinct; reacting to it. But, your eyes could see that the ball is coming towards you. And instinctively your hands came together – that’s looking! I was not there in the picture; it was the ball and you and the ball coming towards you.

This is generally what doesn’t happen with emotions – you look at the person and not at what’s coming towards you. Say, if a person’s situation is like this – that he creates anger within you. Instantly your attention goes towards the person. (in Hindi): “That person did something to me so I got angry.” So you are looking at the person who is throwing the ball but not at the ball which comes and hits you. So that’s why it hits you point blank on your face and you don’t know what to do! And there are so many balls coming from all directions. Like this… they keep coming … but you are not looking at the ball!

So, the first thing is to change your vision. Change your vision! Try to look at what comes towards you. First, remove the object that throws the ball at you. Remove him from the picture totally, and instantly you come to know that what is more real is the ball, that emotion – that is more real than the object (person) who has thrown that ball at you! But instinctively we always accuse, we go to the story or we go to that person, but we never look at what is happening within ourselves. In fact we are very uncomfortable when that comes to us – “Because of him I have got this” – it’s normally like this. We love to blame others for what arises within us.
But say, I remove the person from there, instinctively, like you did; you felt the ball is coming to you, stretched out your hands and you looked at it. It is instinct, because you have been holding balls for a lot of time so instinct is very much in place, right? But, earlier, when you started off as a small kid, it was not like that. When you are a baby, you are taught – “Here, catch the ball.”

But over a period of time – now you are a young man of 30 years and now you’ve developed the habit of catching balls very easily. But it was not like that earlier when you were small. So you have to start young which means that I have to start looking how it comes to me. Without looking at the person; without looking at the object that has actually thrown the ball, I look only at the particular ball of emotion that comes to me.

Now what happens when I look at it? I have to catch it. Then it becomes instinct. Then as you said, “Instinctively I was able to catch it, I did not look at anything”, that’s what happens here. Instinctively you are able to catch the emotion once you’ve developed that kind of proficiency, efficiency, practice; you’re able to do it. So then you catch the emotion the moment it arises. It may not be easy working on it. Okay, I’m feeling a sense of anger within myself, boiling inside of me and I am able to watch the movement. The object is gone; the only thing is that emotion which arises within me.

Now what happens? I don’t move from the centre. I am able to hold it. I am able to hold on to that uncomfortable feeling or emotion. It is uncomfortable, I agree; it’s not easy. In my body some things are happening; I can feel it, but hello! Let me just feel it completely, let me see what it is! And I look at it completely in the totality; I don’t label it; I don’t say it’s bad or good. It is what it is. I just look at it completely in the totality, from all angles. I feel it completely!

What happens? It dawns on me that it’s not so bad. Even though it’s uncomfortable to start with, there is a settling, a grounding; a stillness is perceived in that also – a state of poise, a state of stillness, peace is felt when that is happening – when the movement is taking place. The reason is that you have completely accepted and felt the emotion right from its point of origin to its end. When you feel it that deep, accept it and welcome it then that uncomfortable feeling becomes a part of your body; it becomes organic. How can you then run away from something which has become you? It is no more foreign to you. IT BECOMES YOU. It melts, dissolves and crystallizes into you revealing a centre prior to it.

So initially you will see that there is an arising of a particular emotion, it goes to a peak and then it falls; arises, goes to a peak, falls. And then? It arises and falls and
then just for a little bit. And then it dissolves into you when you completely feel it as a part of you. You can then intuit or perceive that the arising, the fall and the dissolving is all taking place on a centre prior to these movements. This is your still, blissful state of Awareness where you will now find yourself to be.

What has made that possible? It was only your observation – just the look of it. It is because we are looking at who’s responsible for this, we miss looking at what actually is within ourselves. In fact you should bless the person who gives you this opportunity because he gives you a door to really understand what is going on within you, you real true Self. So bless him! Every time someone gives you the opportunity, just look and smile, good. Do that much, forget about him and start looking at what’s happening within you, what’s really transpiring within you. Don’t run away from it; you can’t run away from it for long. Don’t suppress it for it’s no good. You need to really understand the movement and once you understand the movement of it, you’ll know that we exist prior to that! Because Awareness, you as Awareness existed when the entire movement was taking place! Now your centre has changed from that emotion to an Awareness which is prior to it – still, loving, settled, peaceful – and you go there; and everything is falling on that still Awareness.

And this habit of looking in the waking state – of my thought, of my emotion, and then recognizing an Awareness prior to that is what constitutes Self Inquiry – the looking – and then recognizing this Awareness, it starts to become more and more profound, more and more powerful and then it goes into your deep sleep states and then you see that even those states are arising and falling on that Awareness.

~ Rajiv Kapur

How to Drop the Ego

Transcribed & edited from a talk given at the Lonavla Retreat on February 18, 2012

R (Rajivji): Thank you for being here and sharing with me – joy – that we all are.

I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that we are already the Self! There is nothing to do.

And the bad news is that we don’t realize it. There is one thing that keeps us away from Self Realization and that is – ego or ahankar – I am this or I am that …

So, the ego keeps us away from what we already are. Every spiritual aspirant or seeker reads this very often – that it is the ego which is the main culprit. He visits Masters and even they say, “Drop the ego”. When the ego is dropped, the Self rises.

Hence, every seeker is anxious to drop the ego. And most questions from a seeker are about this – “How do I drop the ego?”

The ego cannot be dropped! Why can’t the ego be dropped?

Who is dropping the ego? Who wants to drop the ego? Or rather, who is trying to drop the ego?

There is a story I thought about which I want to tell you. There was a very rich but miserly merchant who would not part with his money. He was very ill and was going to die. So he tried everything that he could to get better – all kinds of medicines and methods – but nothing worked. Someone told him to visit a sage with miraculous powers, who could cure him of his disease. So this man goes to the sage and tells him that he wants to get cured of this illness so that he can live longer. The sage says that it is possible.
The man asks, “Tell me what I should do? What medicines should I have? What pujas should I perform? I am ready to do any pujas and can do anything, just relieve me of my suffering so that I can prolong my life.”

The sage replies, “You don’t have to do anything, you can get relief right now.”

“How?”

The sage answers, “I see a diamond ring on your finger. There is a well next to my house, my kutiya, just drop this diamond ring into the well. It is very simple, I promise you.”

So the man goes off to do this with so much reverence and thinks that he will be fine now. When he walks towards the well, because of his miserly tendencies, he starts thinking – “Is he making a fool out of me? Maybe if I drop the ring in the well someone will secretly fish it out of the well and take it, who knows?” He says, “But, let me try. After all, I’ve come all the way to see him and it is such a long journey. He must be a Jnani, a yogi, he is known to be a great person. Let me do it and see what happens.”

So he goes to the well. He removes his ring and as he releases it with one hand, the other hand quickly catches it before it goes down into the well. The man thinks, “Are you sure you want to do this?” But reconsiders – “No, no, I must drop it. If I have to live I must have complete faith in this sage otherwise it will not work. I must let go of this diamond ring.”

Again, one hand releases the ring and the other hand catches hold of it as it falls. So this goes on and on.

The question is, who is the one who is dropping the ring? Fear – the fear that he is going to die.

And who is the one who is catching hold of it? Greed. The doubt and the greed that makes him hold on to it.

The greed and the fear are components of the mind. So I say – you cannot drop the ego! Every time you try to drop it, the mind reinforces the ego again. It is nothing but the movement of the mind to drop the ego.

The mind is a master of camouflage, a master of disguise. Sri Ramana gave a very good example. The mind is disguised as a policeman, but actually he is the King of thieves and the ego is his servant. The main person is the policeman, the mind – he is the master of ego; he is the father of the ego. Is he not the father of the ego?

What is ego? When do you first feel that you have ego? When do you first get the feeling of ‘I’?

P (Participant): When you wake up in the morning.

R: Absolutely. When you wake up from your sleep, the I-ness comes. Before I- ness comes, the mind has appeared. When the mind is not there, the world is not there, there is no ‘I’. In deep sleep do you have any knowledge of ‘I’? No. Except that there is a blank and there is happiness. There is deep rest in deep sleep. But the moment you get up in the morning the identification starts, and the identification is brought about by the mind. The mind appears first. When the identity appears that ‘I am so and so’, with that the world also appears to you.

So I say – forget about the ego, forget about dropping the ego! Catch the master – the mind – because, if you catch the mind, if you catch the gang leader, small time thieves are not going to do anything.

So my next question is – what is mind? What is your first awareness of mind?

P1: Space.

P2: Thoughts.

R: Thoughts. Space comes later. The mind is the various thoughts you identify with – ‘I am going to office’, ‘I am going to work’, ‘My boss always harasses me’, ‘Now this is going to happen’… These are various thoughts you entertain and you identify with them and that has become the mind. So the first awareness of mind is of thoughts.

So, can I understand thought? Can I try and observe and understand thought? Thought is the first component of the mind. What happens when you see thought? So far you were identified with thoughts and you were going with the movement of thoughts and that has become the mind; that has become ‘you’. The thoughts are dictating you and you have become the mind.
When you start to observe or witness thoughts, you find yourself before thoughts. You say, ‘I am the witnesser of thought’. Your centre has gone prior to thought.

As I look at the thought, even when I am in the middle of thought, there is no thought! The mere looking at thought is no-thought. Think about it. Anytime if there is an identification with thought, just look at the thought. It stops in the middle of the thought-sentence.

So then what happens? I have become the witness of my thought: I-thought. And then: I-gap-thought. I witness a gap in the thoughts. There will be a gap and then the thought. It is not that thoughts are going to end. Thoughts will keep coming, they are meant to come. You are not stopping thought, just looking at thought, being a witnesser of thought.

So now there is: thought-gap-thought … thought- gap-thought … thought–gap– thought … thought —gap— thought … thought —– gap —— thought.

Something is becoming bigger than thought. The space is getting bigger than the thought. The interval between two thoughts is getting longer and longer.

So I achieve this in two ways – one by voluntarily stopping the thought; I will it. I stop the thought and I feel a gap which is also called space. It is the same thing.

Or, I simply look at thought; I witness the thought at regular intervals. Still it is going to be space or a gap between thoughts.

A time will come when the gap will be longer than the thoughts. But that does not mean that the thoughts will stop. What will happen is that the space is NOT a gap will be realized. It is NOT a space between two thoughts. Actually, it is the background of thoughts. It is not a gap. It appears as a gap first, but later on, the space becomes the background, a still awareness. And there is only going to be this gap, huge space and on that these little tiny thoughts will appear and disappear, almost like waves in an ocean. So what is realized as a gap becomes bigger and bigger, and then there is a realization – that this is not a gap, this is space, a background space on which all thoughts are falling and rising, falling and rising.

So, I can look at my thoughts or stop my thoughts and I can recognize that background space right here, and look. I can do it right here if I have an expansive view of everything that is here at this very moment, which means, bringing many objects you see at this moment, in your present state of awareness; not one or two, but many objects. Look with a long shot. It is like swallowing all objects in that space. There is that stillness and in that still space everything is rising and falling. I have only to recognize that again and again, that’s all.

I just relax myself in that still state of awareness, in that space. I find myself one with it. Slowly that space grows. The certitude, the recognition of that space is so profound that all I see is space – even though it is from my senses. All my five senses are only seeing space; all my five senses are only melting into space.

And may I ask you what separates you and me, right here – space! A part of space touches me, a part of space touches you. And that space is the bond of love between you and me, between each of you. And where there is love, there is no ego. Remember, if something touches you – space, and that space touches me, we are that. All of us are connected, all objects are connected, through space, and I find myself in you and you find yourself in me and may I ask you what that is? Love. So I become one with you through space; it connects both of us. I become one with everything through space – mountains, rivers, chairs, tables, sinner or saint, woman or man, doesn’t matter. I am connected.

And when I become everything, where is my I-ness? The ego has not been dropped. It is automatically gone, because I have recognized something prior to it – the recognition of space which connects me to everyone.

Now, when I close my eyes, there is no space as I saw it before. There is space, but not the brightly lit space that I can see with open eyes. I don’t see objects when I close my eyes; the objects have disappeared. Everything disappears when I close my eyes. What I see is a black void. Blankness, that’s all. But the same stillness is still available there, not in the form of brightly lit space, but in the form of a dark void, a dark, blank void. The brightness is gone, objects have gone, everything is gone, and there is nothing. When I turn my senses inside which were projecting outside as love, inside they have become a blank, zero, nothing, a void.

Now, I see all my thoughts there again when I close my eyes. I see the stories that I have invented, I see my emotions, all the images that come and go, but again I recognize that one space that I saw outside of me has taken the form of a void inside of me. It is still falling on a still awareness; the only thing is that it has changed its appearance.

Let’s say you have a mirror and there is dust accumulated on it. The reflection is not good due to the dust and I can’t see what’s in it clearly. So I take a cloth and
wipe it. Now the reflection is very clear, the object is seen, it is beautiful. Christy looks beautiful in the mirror, everyone looks beautiful in the mirror. While there is light, the reflection is perfect. While there is bright light, because of the smooth, shiny surface of the mirror, the image is very beautiful.

But, let’s say at night, there is no light, there is absolute darkness. There is no image in the mirror, the images have gone. But can you say that the mirror is tainted? No, it is still shiny and clear, but it just doesn’t have the light to reflect, but, it is the same mirror. The dust is gone.

Similarly, when you close your eyes and see blankness, the inside awareness of the mirror is intact. It is shiny, clear, untainted. It is ready to reflect when there is light. ‘Ready to reflect’ means that the moment there is the waking state, it is ready to show a clear image of love. And when it is in a state of void, beyond the waking state, it may be dark, but it is still clear, shiny and smooth.

That is your mind. The only thing missing are the images, that’s all. But awareness is intact. It has not gone. And when I go deep enough, I feel the stillness, the same stillness, carried to my waking and to my dream and deep sleep states, I realize that I am that blankness, that nothingness. I am nothing.

So, when I am nothing, where is the ego? Is there an ego? When I am something, then there is ego. When I open my eyes, I am everything, so no ego, because I am everything. My individual identity is not there, I am you and you and the oceans and the mountains, I am everything. I find my centre in everything when I open my eyes – through space. And when I close my eyes, I find that I am nothing. So my life goes from everything to nothing. Where is the ego then? There is no ego. Between these two my life revolves – from everything to nothing.

Love is … when there is love, the ego is not there, both cannot be there. If you want to know your progress, there is only one barometer – is there love in your heart? No matter how much you are suffering, no matter who is causing you suffering, forget about it, is there love in your heart or not? If there is love, there is no ego. Both cannot be there together.

I remember a doha (a couplet) by Kabir. He says:

“Jab main tha, tab Hari nahin. Ab Hari hai, to main nahin. Prem gali ati sankari. Is mein do na samahi.”

This means:

“When I was, God was not. If God is, then I am not. The street of love is very narrow. Two cannot pass at the same time.”

Only Love can pass. Prem gali… The street of Love is very narrow. Only one can walk through and that is the path of Love.

Many of you are full of love. I see that – so much love. When it goes to such uncontainable levels that you cannot contain it, there is no room for ego to come in; because all you’ll find is Love, the fragrance of Love, through you.

~Rajiv Kapur

Guided Meditation on ‘I-AM’

Taken from Satsang April 2012

Today I will provide some insight into the ‘I AM’ meditation, how to approach it and how to make it effective in formal sitting meditation.

The first thing to understand is to be very clear about the goal of ‘I AM’ meditation. The goal is to retire the entire life force or prana back into the source from where it has arisen. It is the heart from where the entire universe manifests. One way is to keep holding on to the sense of I AM, and if attention goes to any thought or object then to ask the question, “To whom has this arisen?” and this leads us directly to the source. Slowly, but surely, the entire manifested life force will eventually finds its way back into the point of origin through such repeated enquiry.

Another way is to make use of will power to withdraw the life force away from all the senses, thoughts and direct them upwards into the third eye at a point between the eyebrows. Bringing them together at that point will reenergize our brain cells for deeper states of consciousness. It is not necessary to make use of breath or pranayama for that. Just a simple command and use of will power will help to withdraw attention from our senses and center that to the third eye.

The second step of this guided meditation is to silence the brain itself. Energized brain cells keep thoughts away and so excess energy is then made available, which was earlier dissipated and wasted in various thought forms. Gradually the brain starts to remain in a state of suspended animation and the entire energy is then redirected downwards into the Spiritual heart through will.

Having explained the theory, let’s start with the practice.

Keep your shoulders relaxed, face soft and posture upright. Mentally scrutinize your entire body. See if any body part is tensed. Through will, command that body part to relax. Don’t be in a hurry. Take some time to completely relax yourself. See if your breath is slow and peaceful. Allow your breath to follow a good steady rhythm.
Now, mentally affirm to yourself that you will direct your entire life force at a single point between the eyebrows. Suck your eyes a bit inwards and you will instantly feel a slight tension at a point between the eyebrows. Through will, you are directing life force away from the senses and placing them at that point. Every time your mind travels to some thought or other object pull your eyes slightly within and focus attention at the third eye. Take care not to strain your eyes too much. Be gentle.

Now look within your head. What does it contain? What do you see inside your head? Pull your eyeballs within and take a good look inside. Perhaps you will see some images or maybe space or maybe thoughts. Whatever you see, just command it to freeze. Imagine that whatever you are seeing is transforming into a hard block of ice. Any image, thought form, dream, and even the black space is becoming a big block of ice. Hold on to that image of rocky ice. In between release your attention. Don’t strain. Your entire brain is covered with hard ice and there is no space now for thoughts or images to appear. There is no space for even space to be there. Thoughts are now appearing outside your brain as they don’t find any space to move inside your brain. The fluidity with which thoughts, images, dreams and even space appeared is now completely restricted. You feel stupid and completely dumb. You can hear me but you can’t process anything within. The brain becomes a hard rock and transforms into a condensed form of concentrated bliss. That bliss pours on from your brain and into your eyes. You have become utterly useless, want to know nothing and do nothing. You find nothing more liberating than this.

Now, due to the intensity, heat is generated and the ice is slowly melting into liquid. The liquid dips slowly into your heart and accumulates there. It transforms into ambrosia. You consume that sweet nectar and that sends all the cells of your body into a dance in cosmic union with the beloved Divine. The brain becomes incapable of any movement of thought while the heart opens up to the Divine nectar of blissful Love.

~ Rajiv Kapur

Consciousness and Awakening

Transcribed from a talk in October 2011

 What is the relationship between Consciousness and Awakening? When we define Consciousness the general acceptable definition is that it is a state of being aware. The awareness of my thoughts, my emotions, my dreams, my desires and my aspirations, they all make me feel that I am conscious. The various experiences, the scaffoldings the knowledge, the knowingness, the name and form that I inherit from this world interpreted through the medium of my mind again reconfirms my being a conscious being.

So whatever is projected by my mind through its relationship with this world is defined by most as Consciousness. Such a definition may be popular but is not necessarily true because it assumes that Consciousness is dependent on the existence of this mind and the world that we live in. But it is not so. In sleep the mind is held in abeyance and is suspended, yet we can remain perfectly conscious. It is a different thing that we have forgotten that part on waking up from sleep. The absence of memory doesn’t mean that there is an absence of consciousness, yet we conclude that we are unconscious in sleep. It is an incorrect assumption. If we can observe more deeply and are open to exploring deeper than what our minds perceive or tell us we can remain conscious even when the mind is absent.

So, if we want to know Consciousness in its totality we must first reject, completely reject this popular and most acceptable definition and be able to explore deeper than what this waking state lays in front of me. The waking state is NOT the totality but only a small fragment of the term Consciousness. When you transcend the waking state part of Consciousness a whole new reality emerges. That reality is called awakening. This is the relationship between the two.

To awaken means to know the totality of Consciousness which you can know only when you experience your deep sleep and beyond state. Most don’t awaken from sleep, they simply arise. They only arise from bed. Therefore to truly awaken, get to know what real Consciousness is, which means get to know the reality which remains hidden in the darkness you perceive when you fall into slumber. Meditation is the only way to do that.

~ Rajiv Kapur

Awakening is Just a Recognition Away

Today’s spirituality has almost become a market place. So many teachers have so many things to offer. A seeker is confused due to so many offerings. What has he to do? There are so many conceptual teachings available today which may all be good and valid but often contradict each other. It is not unusual for a seeker to try out something new as soon as he feels he is not “getting” anywhere with the earlier practice. There is an element of anxiety to “get it all done” as soon as possible.

Such anxiousness, panic and greed to “reach” has blinded us so much that we fail to see that every moment offers us an awakening already. Every moment of recognition of still awareness is a moment into awakening. Every delay of such recognition is to deny awakening. So on the one hand we have the habit-enforced state of forgetfulness while on the other we have a remembrance of our true state.

When the senses move towards the movement of the mind it is a state of forgetfulness (of my true ever blissful nature) and when the senses move towards recognizing that still awareness which is ever present, it is a state of remembrance and awakening. In simple words the journey towards such recognition away from habit-enforced forgetfulness, sums up the entire pursuit of Self-realization. Really, it is just about taking that one step into recognition for forgetfulness to disappear.

This first results in the disconnection of the senses from mind-related movement. The relationship between senses and mind breaks as the senses start to acknowledge a background state of still and joyous awareness. The senses prefer to stay there and start disregarding the commands given by the mind. As this deepens, the senses and the pranas shaktis (life force) start to melt into each other and with this emerges an inner sixth sense (INTUITION). It is this sixth sense which perceives the SELF. Masters who say that the SELF cannot be known are obviously not wrong. What they mean to say is that the SELF cannot be known like an ordinary knowing – through our 5 senses (which can only provide knowledge of the world). The SELF is perceived and known as the ever new joy through this intuitive sixth sense.

~ Rajiv Kapur

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