Sundering of a Straw-Rope
August 12, 2012 § Leave a comment
To date, the focus of August Meditation has been on recognizing the illusory nature of the ego and the emptiness of thought. The actual practice has been to calm the mind and gently focus the awareness on the rising and falling thoughts while affirming they are not real, not true, not self, but just thoughts.
Recognizing what we thought was real has no more substance than a dream has brought a degree of emotional and mental stability but the effort has also brought even more thoughts into awareness. In effect the meditation has been marred because it was necessary to identify or become cognizant of the thoughts to see their illusory nature. The next step is to abandon this cognizing faculty of the mind and to abandon the cognizer, that is, the sense there is a “you” knowing the thoughts.
Letting go of the cognizing faculty and the cognizer is initiated in the same way the meditator sought to see the illusory nature of thoughts, that is, by seeing the thought as separate from the observer. This was initially done through an intellectual affirmation that you are not your thoughts, then through the actual recognition of this separation of the subject and the object in meditation. The extent of this recognition need not have been complete in order for the benefits to be felt.
Abandoning the cognizing faculty and the cognizer follows a similar process of identifying the mental process of recognizing and classifying thoughts, and the sense that there is a “you” that knows this information. This may sound complex but it is only so in trying to describe it in words. The actual identification is more akin to an awareness that “I know this.”
Having made this identification the next part of the process is to simply be aware of it. When this awareness matures the same separation of the object and the subject that took place with the awareness that “you are not your thoughts” will arise as “you are not the cognition or the cognizer”. However, for this recognition to be different from the first, and not be just another cognition that produces more thoughts, it is necessary to have an indomitable resolve to maintain undistracted awareness.
Undistracted, one-pointed awareness is the key factor in this stage of mediation. It breaks or severs the connection between the awareness and all mental functioning and exertion. These functions do not cease, but the mind does rest in a passive tranquil state because the awareness is no longer attracted to or repulsed by any thought.
If the description of this meditation is too daunting just consider it as maintaining undistracted awareness or sustained awareness of awareness. Done properly this will focus the awareness away from all objects and processes leading you a step closer to the Goal.