(This is the second and concluding part of the series ‘Settledness, meditation and expansion of consciousness’ from last week)
So settledness is the key. When you meditate, you must feel settled. Or putting it another way: if the meditation is done correctly, you will automatically feel settled.
Now settledness does not mean inactivity; in fact, it is activity at a dimension we have never conceived of before. When you have a subject to study, a business venture to work upon and a conversation with your child, your mind should be steady on them. At the same time, your mind should also be steady on any other thing that you need to attend to. The steadiness should be there.
It is not that when you are fully attentive to one thing, you are less attentive to another. One does not rob your mind of capacity for the other.
It depends on how you develop your capacity to expand your consciousness. As you progress, you will not feel that you are thinking or contemplating, as it just becomes a part of your nature. It is like developing any other capacity. For example, when little children have to add 2+2, a lot of thinking is involved, but as a teenager you can have a complex equation in your mind and work on it, no longer needing to think. You are able to contemplate. When you advance a little more, you are neither thinking nor contemplating, as the answer comes just like that.
The nature of the soul is movement and thinking, and in the early stages of a spiritual practice, you learn to focus and think clearly. Later on comes expansion, which means you develop 360-degree consciousness. Still later, when you reach the higher realms of human consciousness, it is as if you are everywhere at the same time. Consciousness is of a nature where you have gone beyond expansion and that is why there is stillness, which happens when things are moving extremely fast.
So let’s look at it from the perspective of infinite movement versus perfect stillness. What is infinite movement? We can understand this by considering the physics of movement. If you go from Detroit to New York by car, you will go at a certain speed; let’s say, you take 8 or 9 hours. If you take a flight, you will arrive there in an hour and fifteen minutes. If you take one of those old supersonic flights, by the time they announce you are taking off, you are already landing. If you fly at the speed of tachyon particles*1, you can be in New York and Detroit at the same time. Now why is this relevant to infinite movement?
When we go beyond certain frequencies in Nature, it seems as if there is nothing happening because of the enormity of the speed with which things are moving. You can think of it like a child’s spinning top. When it is spinning the fastest and is perfectly balanced, it looks as if it is not moving at all.
As we move inwards towards our center, something similar happens; we become subtler. As we become subtler and subtler, the frequency within also changes. The transformation follows the progression from matter to energy to Absolute. In such a profound state of being, it appears as if nothing is happening inside. But actually so much is happening at the same time! The 360-degree awareness is so rapid that it is almost real time.
For example, even before another person speaks, you have felt what they are going to say, understood and responded. Nothing is holding your mind, or you can say that your mind is able to settle on everything simultaneously. You can be absolutely settled on your spirituality and you are also settled on your business decisions without becoming either disturbed or elated about them. There may be a hundred things that you are planning in your life, but if you have the ability to move from one to another at lightning speed, why worry?
The idea of all yogic practises is to make the mind still and steady so that it can resonate with the stillness of the soul. So all our efforts towards the eight steps of Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga – yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi – are for the single purpose of creating stillness in the mind.
The outer stillness of the mind is then able to match the inner stillness of the soul. Everything is integrated.
This is the state known as sahaj samadhi and to achieve this state is why we meditate.
*1 Purported to travel faster than the speed of light
Kamlesh D Patel is the fourth spiritual guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation. He travels extensively and is at home with people from all backgrounds and walks of life, giving special attention to the youth of today.