and quick return to Self in meditation
Question: I was sitting with eyes closed and just wanted to find out what it was that I was experiencing. There was not much, but what I felt was a resistance. I knew I was aware, but there was a tension that was not going away. It was a feeling of not being free. I wanted to let go, but its not possible.
Jan: OK, here's what you mention:
3. someone who claims the awareness.
All three are present in you and working at different levels of consciousness. In itself awareness is pure, but if there is someone who claims ownership of the awareness, then there will inevitably be resistance to letting go.
Q: There was someone experiencing this. It is all mind, so this sitting with closed eyes is doing no good.
J: As I said before: Sitting with closed eyes can do tremendous good and sitting with closed eyes can be nothing but sitting with closed eyes. It depends on what is caused to take place while the eyes are closed. Some things can easier take place when eyes are closed than when they are open.
Q: When meditating I am not expecting anything to happen at all.
J: Yes, but never the less something happens. And the key is not so much what happens as it is what causes it to happen. This cause is prior to the conscious happening and is in itself something that happens. You sit and meditate and may be resting in pure being, but then suddenly you become conscious that you're off in thoughts or feelings and you are identified with the ego or the mind.
Q: Yes, this is how it is. When it happens I stay with awareness of what is going on.
J: There is not much point in staying with anything you get lost in, for it will never help you get closer to Self. In order to get free of the stuff you get caught in, you should ignore the stuff and instead turn your attention to the original sense of I-ness. At times you are in deep meditation and are resting in pure being for a while, then there is a slip or lack awareness and soon you become aware that you are caught in thoughts and you really have no clue how that happened. What you in that situation should do to get to the root of the problem is first of all NOT to pay any attention to the stuff you get caught, but rather turn your attention to the basic I-ness prior to all the stuff in consciousness and prior to the sense of experiencing it and being caught in it. You deal with mind-stuff from now on till the sun burns out and you never reach any end to it. The only way out of it is to turn your full attention to the I-ness prior to experience and therefore prior to getting lost.
Q: What do you mean with "I-ness"? Do you mean me? Or the I AM?
J: I mean the fundamental first sense of being a subject, of being a mind, of being somebody. This first sense is prior to personality, that is why I call it "I-ness" and not "you". On the other hand it is still within duality, so it is not Self. This first sense is also prior to observation.
Q: Is this the "I AM"?
J: "I AM" is a tricky expression. Many use it to denote Pure Nothingness-Being, the Ultimate Self. But that is not a good expression, as far as I see it, for in the expression "I AM" there is an I that considers itself to BE. But in Self realization, you have gone beyond this illusion and realize the I simply is nothing more than a construct in consciousness, a phenomena, a consciousness-body you have incarnated into just like the physical body. And eventually the I will vanish just like the body will.
Q: But I thought I had to get enlightened by going from not-Being because I was caught up in dreams and thoughts, and and that I would become more and more serene until finally I was in a state of I AM. And that this was enlightenment.
J: No, on the contrary. In enlightenment you have freed yourself of any sense of I and you certainly have not evolved into an enlightened I. You can say there is "AM" (nothingness-Beingness), but you can not say there is an I that is or owns or experiences that AM-ness. Now, language bids us to use phrases like "I AM", but it will have one meaning from the enlightened perspective and an other from the unenlightened. And I have seen the phrase cause confusion in seekers because it makes them believe that they as persons have to evolve to a serene point where their individuality simply is. This latter is a complete fallacy: it will never happen, because it is not in the nature of the I to simply just BE; hence "I AM" is complete nonsense. "AM" in "I AM" implies a stable and unchanging state of serene, peaceful presence that has overcome the "I". Well, this will never ever happen. It is not in the nature of the I to simply BE. It is the nature of the I to change and to interact with what changes around it. The "I" will never, ever get enlightened. "I AM" denoting the ultimate serenity of Pure Being is a contradiction of terms and therefore nonsense.
Q: But I am not enlightened now, that is for sure, and I long to get enlightened. If I can't get enlightened, I must say you confirm my initial remarks that meditating with eyes closed is a waste of time.
J: If you meditate in order to get your I transformed into Pure Being, then you are wasting your time. On that premise the best you can ever expect to get is some ecstasies that will pass.
Q: Okay, so what should take place during meditation? You said something was caused to take place.
J: Yes. Now, "causes" will never take you to Self. They take you out of Self and into mind. When meditating you suddenly discover you are off in mind-stuff and you have no idea how that happen. It happened because something was caused to happen in your consciousness and only later did you apply your awareness to it and then only saw the mind stuff. You never saw the original thing that caused the distraction. I say it is "caused" to take place, because it is not of your volition or under your control yet. It just happens and only after it has happen do you realize you are in a different space them the goal-space of Pure being.
Q: Yes, this is what it is like.
J: What you are currently doing, and what most people do in this situation, is to continue with the flow of awareness -- but you forget that you are now wasting your awareness on useless stuff. So what you should do is stop wasting awareness on mind stuff, feelings and so forth. In this situation only very few can jump right back to absorption in the Self, so what I recommend is to practice awareness of the primal "I-ness". This is not a clearly defined complex of likes and dislikes, thoughts and feelings. It is the first vague sense of being and individual, a subject, a point of consciousness relating to objects around it. This is "I-ness". It is not a structured or defined "I" in any sense. It is a very, very simple sense of being somebody. Untrained awareness always wants an object, so it can not rest in the unmanifest for long. Therefore you should practice awareness of the subtlest and most primitive, basic or simple sense of being someone. Not on any of the manifestations of this someone, that lies on levels above and which this basic someone identifies itself with. You have to become aware of the sense of someoneness, or I-ness, prior to identities.
Q: But isn't this I-ness within duality? Shouldn't we go for the real stuff: the Self, The Absolute? Why meditate on our basic duality and primal ignorance?
J: Because you, and most people, can't meditate on Pure Being, The Self, The Absolute. They can have glimpses of suddenly plopping into Self, but they will quickly become so agitated about it, that they are out of it within seconds. And the distance between the Self and the level they bounce back to is so great, that it will usually be very hard to get into oneness with Self again. So the trick is to practice awareness of the closest relative level of your consciousness in order that you, when you bounce out of oneness with Self, will not drift further into distractions than to a point from where you can very easily plop back into oneness with Self. Practicing this will shorten your sadhana tremendously.