There are two types of looking. You can look at the world through thoughts; you can look at the world without thoughts, from a ‘pure being.’ When you look at the world through thoughts, then, you should be aware of the subtle pollution that exists. Thoughts come from memory and memory is the representation of an experience of the past. So from the past you see the present. Hence, pollution occurs.
Is it not natural that we look at the world through thoughts?
The moment you say, it is natural, the possibility of a higher perception does not exist. You can say, ordinarily, you look through thoughts. However, there is an extraordinary way of looking at life. Have you not observed many physically challenged people doing extraordinary things in life? That is exactly what I am inviting you to explore.
Should we therefore avoid thoughts?
No. There is a perception that happens through thoughts and there is a perception that can happen from a pure being or consciousness. Just be well versed in both these perceptions. Then you would be able to choose wisely. If you have learnt the art of looking from your being, then as required, you will see through your thoughts. As a result, you have the thoughts and the thoughts do not have you. You will notice that thoughts are not controlled by memory, but memory will guide your thoughts. Generally memory imprisons thoughts. This possibility happens if you have learnt not to be totally dependent on your thoughts.
Is there a special technique or meditation that you would advise us so as to experience a state beyond thoughts?
Just see yourself like bamboo. Bamboo is hollow inside like a flute. Whenever you are free, see yourself as an empty flute or bamboo. Your body is just like a flute empty within. Let your thoughts come and go, but do not identify with them, just be a witness. Be a passive witness and not an active witness to your thoughts. When you see a girl passing by, you participate with that perception actively; this is not the witness that I refer to but be a passive witness …. like when a dry leaf falls, you just observe. Passive looking is meditation.
Be like an empty flute. Passively observe the thoughts that come by. By practising being empty, there would be no barrier for the divine to enter you. This is a wonderful form of meditation. Meditate on nothingness. You are nothing and in that nothingness, you will experience fullness.
Can our mind be like a mirror just reflecting whatever is? Most often, our mind is like a camera; it goes on storing images. Then at the time of death, our soul cannot easily leave the body as our memories create attachments.
Just practise being a mirror, reflect what is in the present, do not unnecessarily burden your mind, by carrying memories of the past. Just be a pure mirror. Practise this and see the miracle happening in your life. You will be as light as a feather.
By Swami Sukhabodhananda