I was reflecting on my “Who am I?” meditation, which I undertook in somewhat of skeptical manner, after re-re-re-reading Ramana Maharshi’s collected works of his teachings and “Be as you are”.
So I started with the question “Who am I?” in all earnestness, without really understanding what it meant and entailed. And for a while, every thought that arose, I’d respond to with “Who am I?”…
With time, I found that the “Who am I?” question doesn’t find any answer. There is only silence. And then I noticed that the mind starts to settle in the heart center or the point ~ 18-24″ above the crown point.
And further more, I sensed a presence in the heart center. An “emptiness” that was luminous. Whenever the mind tried to “see” what it was, the mind just kept getting shot out of it, like if you try to take two like poles of a magnet towards each other, one (which is held more tightly shoots the other out). Eventually the mind just becomes still. I understood that trying to “see” with the mind, what that Presence is, was an exercise in futility (and ended up giving me a headache). So, I just let the mind be, and accepted that the center in the heart is unknowable (in the way one’s mind knows it – I cannot discern shape, form, etc of it). It was totally empty. Yet it was luminosity itself.
Eventually there was nothing to be done but just rest in that luminous awareness in the heart center.
It turns out that the mind, ego, etc are essentially rising out of that luminous awareness itself. And therefore they too are empty. They don’t have any fundamental reality. The mind is a stream of thoughts. Ego is a story confabulated on the basis of countless thoughts (objects) – a fictional personality.
In the face of the empty luminosity of the Heart Center, they don’t really exist as separate entities. They rise out of the heart center and fall back into it.
Subsequently, the story/narrative changed. There was this understanding that the story of my life is just a story. Also, that all the things that I considered to be “important” before were also part of this same story. As long as I stayed as the character (the sometimes hero, sometimes villain, and sometimes both at the same time) in the story, they made sense. Once I became the one who is just the witness, none of it mattered.
The Mind doesn’t stop. The Ego doesn’t drop. They don’t really exist anyway. That is the realization. This has always been with me. It is just so simple a fact that it is hidden in plain sight. We look here and there, searching desperately, but ultimately all we can be, is that which we always are.
We can’t control anything. The entity who tries to control anything is a fictional character.
These type of understandings start to arise. Sometimes many at once, and sometimes a little at a time.
More posts by this author:
- I am what you are
- The Heart heals the Head
- Most people misunderstand what Atman means
- Being Effortless in Meditation
- Dao series: Not too much, not too little – How much effort is enough effort?
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Dwai is an old soul. He likes to meditate, practice Taijiquan (Tai Chi), play music and write articles and blogs about all the topics that interest him.