The concept of “meditation” is interpreted differently: most often this term is understood as the process of concentration and calming of attention. Meditative techniques allow you not to scatter attention to trifles, preserve mental and physical energy and achieve a state of pure consciousness. In this article, we will talk about how to “reset” our consciousness in such a way as to get the most out of it.
Philosophy of pure consciousness
Knowing yourself is a strange and complex process. Speaking of our own consciousness, can we always distinguish our "I", our original nature from the introduced from the outside? Actually, what is our consciousness, if not the experience reflected in it? It is difficult to find the answer to this question, because, in fact, what do we have, besides experience? Meditation on pure consciousness helps to find the answer to the question "What, in fact, am I, other than experience?" Indeed, in accordance with many philosophical teachings and religious beliefs, we are more than a specific person as a representative of society. If we discard life history, family ties, any regalia and achievements - what will remain then? Meditation allows you to meet your soul - with that spark of life that does not depend on anything, which makes your body move, and the brain makes decisions.
Stop internal dialogue
The second important aspect of meditation on pure consciousness is the stopping of internal dialogue and the attainment of silence of thoughts. Most often, we constantly scroll through our past in our heads, possible options for the development of events, including those that have not yet happened, and argue with ourselves and with internal demons. The magic of pure consciousness is that we do not spend our mental energy on maintaining this ongoing internal dialogue, but save it for more productive purposes - or we simply perceive the world here and now, without escaping attention to the past or future.
The concept of tabula rasa
The phrase “tabula rasa” came from the Latin language. The ancient Romans called tabuli special tablets for writing. The phrase “tabula rasa” literally meant a tablet with which the inscription was erased - it was used in an allegorical sense, talking about the possibility to start anew, as if from scratch. In relation to pure consciousness, the “tabula race" is used in the context of the theory that every person is born without a predisposition to a certain type of behavior - it is formed in the process of growing up and only reflects the acquired experience. Roughly speaking, each of us at the beginning of our lives is an unwritten book, the blank pages of which can be filled with anything.
Undoubtedly, the thesis that the consciousness of a newborn is a clean board is criticized. We can not ignore the factor of genetics, the inheritance of certain qualities of character from parents and even physical indicators. But an adult is fully capable of rewriting his story and returning to the consciousness of pure reason, using meditation as a tool.
Tabula race in European philosophy
In the West, the concept of “tabula rasa” is most often used, not referring to the state that can be achieved through meditation and work on one’s consciousness, but the human mind that was initially filled with nothing before gaining any experience. The idea of primary consciousness as a clean board belongs to Aristotle, who first used the expression “tabula rasa” in his treatise “On the Soul”. But this term was spread much later thanks to the 17th-century English philosopher John Locke and his treatise “Experience on the Human Mind”. He also believed that the child’s consciousness is a clean board, and the personality is formed in the process of education under the influence of circumstances and the environment.
Forget your "I"
Returning to the state of “tabula rasa” to Western consciousness may seem completely unnatural and provoke protest. In our culture, personal achievements and victories are very much appreciated, therefore a rejection of one’s own experience can be perceived as a rejection of everything achieved by one’s own labor, albeit not without mistakes.
In fact, meditation on a pure consciousness does not at all set itself the goal of depriving you of your own “I” and of eroding your personality in the Universal Absolute. On the contrary, meditation can serve as a reliable tool for maintaining and exaggerating the benefits, allowing you to spend energy more optimally.
Another thing is if you have a goal to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Most likely, you will begin to go to the other extreme - completely abandon your desires and strive for impartiality. Of course, your goals are laudable, but you should not perceive desires as something alien and deny your ego. As we remember, the forbidden fruit is sweet - the more you forbid yourself something, the more you are drawn to this.
Normal human life contains many pleasant moments - giving up our desires, we deprive ourselves of experiencing many miracles. It is important that there is harmony in everything, and your desires do not turn into crazy passion.
Pure Consciousness Meditation Technique
The reasons for resorting to such meditation can be different. Perhaps you really wanted to clear your consciousness of accumulations of accumulated experience in order to know your nature or tame your desires. Or maybe you just want the stream of thoughts in your head not to stop you from falling asleep calmly. In any case, you first need to master certain techniques to calm the mind.
The main goal in mastering a state of pure consciousness is to learn to switch to the mode of an internal observer. This observer inside you has no emotional reaction to any irritating factors from outside - he simply contemplates them and accepts them as they are, without trying to somehow influence the situation. The same applies to thoughts - your inner observer does not get involved in a dialogue with your "I", but simply tracks the appearance of thoughts. Perhaps he puts labels on these thoughts like "I already thought about it yesterday" or "but this thought came for the first time." You can even imagine that this is not about you as a person, but some kind of hypothetical character in a movie or book that you only play (which, according to Eastern philosophy, is not far from the truth). Trust your wise higher self.
Learn not to think
If you immediately try to begin meditation in order to abruptly stop thinking about anything at all, then suffer a crushing defeat in this. Thoughts will sprinkle like a large hail in the summer, and stopping them will be simply impossible. Your task is to act on the contrary and, conversely, allow thoughts to float freely in your head.
At first, it will be difficult not to react to these thoughts in any way - each of them will cause a chain of associations and feelings. You need to learn not to get involved in this stream, but to monitor it from the outside. Over time, you will notice that some thoughts come more often than usual and are formative for your consciousness. A logical step is to track the source and the reasons for their appearance and, as a result, to understand whether you are spending too much internal energy on maintaining this constant idea. Also, try to grasp the connection between the thought and the reaction to it, and then understand why you react in this way and not otherwise. If you feel that you go too deep into the jungle of your memories, then note for yourself an understanding of the internal processes and return to the original task of calming the mind.
The silence between thoughts
When you manage to catch this pause between thoughts, which is unfilled and cloudy, the magic of pure consciousness will begin. The first time it will be difficult to hold it - immediately there will be an idea that caught the inner silence and try to keep it. But it’s important not to think about how exactly you are holding it, but to remain in the action itself, in the moment “here and now”. When thoughts begin to climb into your head again, remember the inner observer and look at him with dispassionate eyes. Thoughts that have come to mind, without finding a response, will slowly begin to melt and disappear.
Gradually, you will be able to bring about a state of inner silence even without pre-configuration, being anywhere. You will be able to stay calm in the crowd, in transport, at work and at home. With surprise for yourself, you will note that such a state is extremely productive: being immersed in the process of any action, we can perform and control it much better and more accurately.
The Importance of Meditation Poses
The state of mind is largely dependent on the state of our body, and vice versa. Undoubtedly, meditation masters can keep their minds clear even in a crowded train. But beginners are encouraged to practice by adopting a comfortable and symmetrical pose in a quiet and peaceful place in order to achieve harmony between body and mind. In fact, the existence of all yoga asanas serves one purpose - to prepare the body for long meditations. A healthy body and well-being - this can be said to be a pleasant side effect. The ancient treatise of the Indian sage Patanjali even states: "Yoga is a stop of the movements of the mind." Indeed, if your body is already somewhat tired of exercise, sitting in a state of rest will be much easier. If, on the contrary, if you simply don’t find a place for yourself from the energy that is overwhelming you, then it is better to throw it out with the help of active exercises, rather than remelting it into potential energy reserves with the help of increased concentration.
All Eastern teachings emphasize the importance of the relationship between the rhythm of breathing and the activity of consciousness. The spirit breath is the connecting link between our body and our mind. By slowing down and lengthening inhalations and exhalations, one can achieve quick relaxation and removal of bodily clamps, as well as achieve concentration and inner silence.
One of the ways to master meditation on a pure consciousness is to track your breathing, focusing on how the body takes inspiration and exhalation. At some point, you will feel just the same bodily thrill from this simple action. In this state of pleasant detachment, the key to inner silence.
How to start meditating
Mastering any exercise is daily practice. Meditation is no exception. The more often you train your mind, the more your ability to abstract from the situation and clear your mind increases.
There are different methods of mastering meditation. Most often it is recommended to meditate immediately after waking up, to enter a new day with a favorable attitude, and before going to bed to clear your head of thoughts accumulated during the day. Another option is to devote meditation from ten minutes to half an hour, completing her practice of hatha yoga. There are also recommendations to plunge into a state of inner silence almost every hour, but do it just a minute. You can choose the most suitable option for yourself, but the main thing is to adhere to the regularity of execution.
Ways of meditation
In addition to the above focusing on breathing and tracking thoughts, there are other ways to achieve the void of consciousness. Often this condition is achieved by focusing on a factor, as in the example with breathing. In addition to observing breathing, it can also be contemplation of some real image or visualization of the internal picture, chanting of mantras or prayers, enumerating the rosary, performing some uniform action - even washing dishes can be akin to meditation if your mind is empty and calm.
But do not think that cleaning can replace special exercises for meditation. Even if it seems to you that sitting on the floor in a lotus position is a waste of time, just start at least five minutes a day and watch how it affects your mood.