The Wisdom That Leads to Samadhi
What we are going to describe has been called ‘The Secret Of Secrets’, the esoteric wisdom that leads to samadhi. Samadhi is the goal of all spirituality, its union with the source. The truth of who or what you are, the truth that transcends the limited mind, cannot be seen by means of the limited mind. The still point cannot be reached by means of movement. If you want to realize the still point beyond thinking, let go of all interest in thoughts and sensations, all preferences, all phenomena generated by the mind and senses, and rest in naked awareness.
There are two fundamental dimensions to existence in this moment. There’s that which is changing and that which is unchanging. Thoughts and sensations are a field of constantly changing phenomena. What is unchanging is the awareness of that field of change. We are usually so caught up in the field of change, fixated on its objects, that we ignored the dimension of awareness. So we start our investigation by becoming aware of awareness, conscious of Consciousness.
The challenge with resting in awareness for long periods of time, is that most people have not cultivated the concentration and equanimity to stay in awareness. We are addicted to comfort and the limited mind will want to escape from this exercise, it will find it profoundly uncomfortable and will create every type of hindrance or distraction. There are two primary knots that bind us to ego identification. The body is attached to comfort and the mind wants to know. If we continue to seek the comfort of the body and continue to seek knowing with the mind, we will never move beyond the limited mind and body. We will remain like a herd animal, a creature that craves pleasure and avoids pain, endlessly responding to stimulus, endlessly doing, and unaware of the dimension of being.
To be aware, to be fully attentive to what is happening, without the mediation of egoic conditioning, without concepts, without controlling, manipulating or distortion, without the filtering of the limited mind, is to be present without choosing. Present without choosing and therefore without a chooser. Every time the mind moves without your willing, even the tiniest movement, it is due to filtering through the conditioning of the self-structure. The path leads to cessation of the entire whirlpool of mind. To realizing all levels of self as empty.
How do I drop all doing, how do I drop mind activity?
Listen closely, this is the paradox. The limited egoic mind hears that question and wants to know how, but that limited mind can’t do it. The mind will always fail in any attempt to realize stillness, because the mind is movement. The mind itself is movement, it is an endless process of doing. We have to make the shift from doing to being. The you that you think you are is a process a constant movement, a collection of patterns.
That YOU has to die. The pathological pattern of you has to end for Samadhi to be realized. Let that sink in. Spiritual teachers have given the instruction to reach Samadhi. Be still and know. Be still and know the True Self. Primordial Awareness beyond name and form. Be still and know that you are God.
What exactly do they mean? What is it that becomes still?
Obviously no one’s physical body can become absolutely still, existing within time and space. Because time-space itself is movement. Time space is mind, the Universe is big mind or Logos. The first Hermetic principle is that The All is mind, the Universe is mental.
If the Universe is mind and mind is movement, how can I be still and know?
How can you be still on a globe spinning a thousand miles per hour around its axis, spinning 67 000 miles per hour around the Sun, moving 500 000 miles per hour around the Galaxy, and millions more through the Universe?
Your heart is beating, cells are moving inside, food digesting, the brain producing brain waves. Your blood is pumping, energy is moving, how can we be still?
When the spiritual Masters say be still and know, they must be talking about something else, something Beyond time and space, something beyond the physical and mental. What is meant by stillness is something that we have no word for in our modern language system. The Sanskrit language, the language of the yogis, has more precise terms which point to the non-dual. The term shunyata is often translated as ‘voidness’, stillness or emptiness. It is what is used in connection with anata or no-self, the realization of Buddha nature. Stillness is maybe the closest English word, but it is inadequate to describe something that is not of this dualistic world.
What is actually realized is the Primordial Consciousness, which is beyond stillness and movement, beyond time. It is eternal, the ground of your being, the essential nature of reality that does not change. Actually it is beyond change and the changeless. When our true nature is realized it becomes obvious that stillness and movement are a duality created by the mind, silence and noise are a duality created by the mind. Everything is already inherent within that primordial stillness, the movement of the world is identical to stillness. Be still and know, be in motion and know. It is all emptiness dancing.
This is not something philosophical, but an entirely different way of interfacing with the world. Actually it’s about dropping the interface, dropping the reducing valve which is the self-structure, and experiencing your true nature unmediated by the limited mind. The so-called outer world is transcended by realizing stillness, which when realized, includes that which it transcends. The duality of stillness and movement collapses.
Realizing samadhi, this great awakening is just the beginning of the path. Patanjali says that the entire endeavor of yoga is aimed at the cessation of the whirlpool of the mind. Chitta vritti nirodha. You could say it is the cessation of karma, the cessation of deep unconscious patterns on many different levels. When we realize our true nature, we temporarily cease our identification and reaction to the mind. It’s like pulling the plug on a fan. When we pulled the plug on a fan, the inertia of the fan’s blades keeps it going as long as we don’t plug the fan back in, it will eventually come to stillness.
Karma is simply the tendency for energy to follow established pathways. When Consciousness slips back into pattern, it’s like plugging in the fan. Energy follows Consciousness. Energy goes back into the old patterns. Another way of describing it, is through the law of inertia. A mind in motion stays in motion, unless acted upon by an outside force. In the matrix of the conditioned mind that we call the Universe, energy and thought cycle through fractal labyrinths that exist on a Continuum, for micro to macro levels, branching and exploring endlessly.
All spiritual practice is an intervention, an outside force, a Consciousness which diverts energy from flowing in the conditioned pathways. You have to be willing to change your life.
Someone can do all the meditation in the world, but if they go back to their same old patterns, their same old routine, then the wiring remains in place. Our unconscious motivations must be excavated and faced. If through great perseverance and determination, we managed to not plug in the fan, then there is an actual cessation of the vritties. A profound silence that is born within the self-structure.
Every time we identify with and react to some preference produced by the mind, we plug the fan back in. The longer we remain in awareness, the more of the Samskaras are purified. The more the fan slows down, and the human vessel becomes more permeable to awareness, the more we become empty of self.