Your mind has a natural ability to be quiet. When it becomes quiet, you are in touch with your genius. Albert Einstein said the ideas that led him to the theory of relativity came during moments of quiet reflection. Mozart heard sonatas and symphonies resonating through the silent reaches of his mind. All he had to do was write them down. We know that Isaac Newton came up with laws of motion and gravity while relaxing under an apple tree. Whether he actually got hit in the head by that apple or not, no one knows, but there is no doubt that his quiet mind yielded a treasure of knowledge. We could cite more examples, but you get the point. Silent mind has great creativity. But this is not all. Silent mind is peaceful, blissful and healthy, and radiates these qualities out through the person to the surroundings. People who know how to cultivate quiet mind not only are in touch with their inner creativity, they also radiate a youthfulness and optimism that effects everyone nearby. They have "good vibrations."
Earlier we spoke of consciousness (awareness -- the observer), and the objective world (the observed). The essential nature of our consciousness is blissful silence. It is what is behind the mind, what is experienced when the mind becomes still. It is an infinite storehouse of the qualities just mentioned, the realm of what we know as God, always right here within ourselves. This is why it is proclaimed in the Psalms, "Be still and know I am God." To access the divine all we have to do is know how to be still.
Meditation is the process of systematically allowing the mind to become still for specific periods of time each day. In doing this daily over weeks, months and years, quietness, consciousness, gradually becomes more evident when the mind is active while we are not meditating, and worldly life is enriched. Through meditation, the relationship between consciousness and the world gradually changes. This is a process of yoga, the joining. It is the first step. Once blissful silence is coming on in daily experience, many other things can be done to enhance and expand it. But first we have to establish a base in consciousness, awaken the silent inner seed of who we are, so to speak.
It was mentioned that your mind has a natural ability to become quiet. In the deep meditation method we will practice here, we will harness that natural ability. In fact, all of the practices which will be taught here (and there are quite a few), we will be harnessing your natural abilities. The idea is to show you how to utilize the gifts you have already. We will just be adding special levers here and there to activate your natural abilities. The rest will be up to you. If you apply what you learn, and keep at it, one day you will know that you are a perpetual bliss machine, capable of experience far beyond the imaginings of the mind. Oh yes, you really are. Meditation is the first step.
Thoughts are coming up in the mind from the minute we wake up in the morning until the minute we fall asleep at night, and then more are coming during dreaming. Yet we say the mind has a natural ability to be quiet. How?
We will use a thought to do it. Not just any thought. A special thought called a "mantra." We will use a particular method of thinking this mantra that allows the mind to do what it can easily do if given the opportunity, settle down.
Actually, any thought can be used to meditate, as been amply demonstrated by researchers over the past thirty years. But we'd like to use a particular thought, one that has certain vibratory qualities, one that produces a certain effect in the nervous system. It is also one we can enhance as our practice advances, but more about that later. The mantra we will begin with here is:
We will not be focusing on the meaning of I AM during meditation. No doubt it has sacred meaning in the Judeo/Christian tradition in particular, and also bears similarity to the sacred sounds of other traditions. It is the sound we are interested in, not the meaning. It is the sound we will be using, within. We are after the profound vibratory quality of the sound when it is used effectively deep inside the mind and nervous system. Perhaps these profound effects inside the human being are the reason why I AM has been revered for centuries. What we will be doing is focusing on the correct utilization of the mantra in the practice of meditation. Then we will have the best results.
Here is how we will use it:
Find a quiet, comfortable place where you can sit, preferably with back support. We want to remove unnecessary distractions. Just sit and relax somewhere where you can close your eyes for twenty minutes without interruptions.
Once you have gotten comfortable, slowly close your eyes. You will notice thoughts, streams of thoughts. That is fine. Just observe them without minding them. After about a minute, gently introduce the thought …I AM… and begin to repeat it easily and effortlessly in your mind. If your mind wanders off into other thoughts, you will eventually realize this has happened. Don't be concerned about it. It is natural. When you realize you are not repeating the mantra, gently go back to it. This is all you have to do. Easily repeat the mantra silently inside. When you realize you are not thinking it, then easily come back to it. The goal is not to stay on it. The goal is to follow the simple procedure of thinking the mantra, losing it, and coming back to it when you find you have lost it. Do not resist if the mantra tends to become less distinct. Thinking the mantra does not have to be with clear pronunciation. I AM can be experienced at many levels in your mind and nervous system. When you come back to it, come back to a level that is comfortable, not straining for either a clear or fuzzy pronunciation.
Do this procedure for twenty minutes, and, then, with your eyes closed, take a few minutes to rest before you get up.
This practice is to be done twice each day, before you start your day and before you begin your evening activities. It is best done before meals, as digestion can interfere with the process of meditation. Make a commitment to yourself to do it for a few months. Give it some time to work. You will be amazed at the results, and then you will want to keep going forward to more and more.
That's enough for now.
In the following lessons, we will go into more detail about the process and consequences of meditation. After that we will begin to work with another natural ability we each have, our ability to use the breath to move silence in us with endless ecstasy.
See lesson 106 for a Q&A on mantra and breathing in meditation.
The guru is in you.
Note: For detailed instructions on deep meditation, see the AYP Deep Meditation book.