A Way to Unity
A Way to Unity
Everybody is looking, in one way or the other, for completeness happiness and fulfillment in their lives. Whether this is through material possessions, fame, acknowledgment, or in spiritual practice; it is all done to experience fulfillment and happiness. But where does the actual experience of fulfillment and happiness happen? They happen within this framework of the body, nervous system, and mind. However, from a young age, we learn to find that outside of ourselves, and many get lost in this search in life to find happiness in material things, status, and pleasure.
Fulfillment, joy, peace, love, and unity, we look so hard for outside of ourselves, are already present within us, because these are the qualities of the source of our being. These are the qualities of pure consciousness. One can experience this when one is able to let go of what is prohibiting them from experiencing their true self. When one can connect one's awareness with that source.
For most people the mind is restless and the awareness in the realm of ideas, thoughts, and ideas about what is present. However, when one is able to still their mind and focus the awareness with “what is”, the Now, one can merge the awareness with the source of one’s consciousness. This is union the union of one’s awareness with one’s true Self. This realization is the enlightenment of one’s awareness of one’s true Self. Truth is not a story or an idea about reality, truth is reality. Truth is not a philosophy, truth can only be directly experienced.
Steps towards enlightenment.
So how can we realize this? How can we experience this, and live life in line with this infinite source of joy and bliss? First let’s take a look at why one cannot experience this profound peace, this state of bliss of pure being. For most people, the mind and emotions are constantly fluctuating. Most people realize this when they close their eyes and try to become still, and only become aware of how restlessness there is in their mind. There is so much restlessness in body and mind, thoughts jumping from one topic to the other, emotions that are constantly changing, desire, fear, agitation. There is no focus, no stillness, no peace.
One can try to experience the light of consciousness within, but all one experiences is the layers that cover up the light. Like a lamp over the years has gathered so much dust, mud, spiderwebs. All these layers of dirt gathered over the years block the light from shining out. When one looks at the lamp all he sees is that, and one cannot see the light of the lamp. The light is always there. One cannot try to make the lamp shine stronger because that is no use. Now it is about clearing what blocks the light from shining out. It is about peeling off the layers that obscure the light of life within ourselves.
To feel again the abundant light within, all [[one has to do is clean the lamp. One has to take off the layers that obscure the light. The light is always there.
It is the same like that with our internal life. One can try to become more kind more loving, more peaceful, more patient by pretending to be, or forcing to be loving or kind. All is needed is to take away one blocks that ability to do so. The quality of our true source of our true nature. Peace, love, kindness, abundance, bliss, everything we look for outside of ourselves, is ready within. For these are the qualities of our true nature. All one has to do is clear the impurities of the mind and emotional system. To peel off the layers that block the light of life within ourselves.
Being able to still these fluctuations of the mind one will become able to bring the awareness “beyond the mind” and merge the awareness with the higher Self.
Different layers of our being.
You are an aware living entity of several “layers of being”. ; a body of flesh and bones, energy, a mind, an emotional system, awareness and consciousness.
- Gross body
We all know we have a phyisical body; the vessel through which you experience life. This body is made out of matter (flesh, bones, blood, etc.). In a way, this is the soil of the earth that came together in the form that you are now through the food that you eat and the liquids you drink. Every molecule you have in this body was once soil, a plant, an animal, and billions of years a go a star. Also the water that is now flowing through your body was some weeks ago still in the ground, it has been rain, , a river, the ocean, a cloud, etc. So take a little moment to let that sink in. You are living soil and living water.
- The energy body
Without energy in the body you would be a heap of dead matter. There would be no movement, sensation and growth possible. There would be no energy with which you are able to move, think, feel, etc.
There is a constant flow of different forms of energy flowing though the whole body; chemical energy to move muscles and fuel the body’s organs. There is an entire network of electric energy that is flowing through the nervous system creating sensations, feelings and regulating the body’s functions. In the brain there are billions of neurons firing together producing thoughts, emotions and processing all sorts of life impressions.
- The mind & emotional system
This produces another body, a layer of the self which is not physical and cannot be measured. However, we are alll very aware of this: the mind & emotional system.
The mind has the functions of Imagination (Future), Memory (past), to calculate, to distinguish, to judge, to compare.
Emotions are there to create a living experience with the mind or moment.
The mind & emotional system are intimately connected. A thought produces an emotion, and emotions trigger thoughts, memories and imaginations, which in turn again produce emotions. Like that thoughts and emotions keep ping-ponging back and forward.
Your body is also connected with the mind and emotions. An emotion triggers all sorts of responses in the physical body; it changes the breath, heart-rate, relaxes or tenses the muscles, releases certain stress hormones or near transmitters like endorphines. The body can go into a deeply relaxing state, or a stressful state, just by a certain thought. In the long run, one can even make oneself sick through thought and emotions.
- The “higher self”
Everytime one has a sensation of the body, a thought or an emotion, who or what is experiencing this? If there is a thought happening, this talking inside your mind, there is also something listening. There is a part of you that experiences the emotions or the sensations on the body. This is your higher self. The self that observes this state of mind, body & emotions. When one is able to truly observe one’s own mind and emotions, one can transcend these and influence them. You are having thoughts, but you are not your thoughts. You are having the experience of emotions, but you are not your emotions. You are having the experience of a body, but you are not your body.
This “higher self” can both observe and influence the mind, body and emotion. It change the direction of the flow of life through wisdom, intellect and will-power. For example; if one feels stuck in a loop of feeling and thinking, but one recognizes this unfruitful loop and has the wisdom, intellect and will-power to see: “this is not productive, I choose to change this path by bringing my awareness to another point, like the breath for example. Or if you feel a bit lazy and have not much energy, but you “know” that it would be better for you to do a work-out, this observer that through will power can break the state of the other bodies is that higher self. Or when one has animalistic desire of behaving in a certain way, one can choose to overwrite this type of behaviour.
When this intellect/ wisdom part of the self is developed well, one can choose one’s destiny and not “be lived” by the status quo of one’s karmic states and life patterns.
- The True Self
Then lastly there is that which can observe this all. The field in which all these life experience are experienced. This goes beyond the observer and a sense of self. This is the field of consciousness in which all other layers are experienced even the “observer within”. This is the field of awareness in which creation experiences itself.
When one brings the awareness to this source which has no center point, the field of consciousness, he experiences the state of pure bliss. One experiences the truth that goes beyond the mind and explanations. The truth that all IS. God, creation, Life. The I AM.
This source of creation that is within everything and everyone, and surrounds everything and everyone. When one merges his awareness with this field in which everything is manifested and experienced, he realizes All is One.
Consciousness is the divine source of creation experiencing itself.
So there is the:
- phyisical body (flesh & bones)
- the energetic body (energy that makes body alive like the energy flowing through the nervous system and neurone firing in the brain)
- The mind & emotional system
- The “higher self” with which one observes the other layers and through intellect, wisdom and will-power make discicions.
- The True Self: Pure Consciousness
A sense of “self”. The ego ego and higher Self
There is another “layer” of the self. It is the illusion created by the mind that one is it’s possessions, the image about oneself, and the image others have about him/her. This sense of self is an illusion, a construct of the mind. One can become so identified and attached with the possessions one has, that as soon as something happens with these possessions it is experienced as if it is happening to one self. Or one finds it more important to create a certain image about oneself in other peoples minds, than to live in honesty and truth.
We live in a reality where everything is always changing. Therefor, suffering is bound to happen, because posessions will get old, break, get lost, deteriorate, etc. Or one gets so attached with the image other people have about him, that one does everything to keep that image in a positive light, even if this is not the truth.
This “false ego” is the illusion which is the root of most suffering in life.
Cultivating Awareness and concentration
Your awareness is like the looking glass through which you experience life. Your awareness can be in different places. Sometimes your awareness is present with the body, you may feel your toe when you hit it, or you feel your breath, etc. Or your awareness is with a sound you hear. And sometimes the awareness is caught up in the creations of your mind. The awareness is aborbed in thoughts that might have nothing to do with the present moment. Like a beautiful memory from the past, a worry about the future, or a great idea about life.
Freeing the awareness from the entanglement of the mind
The average person has about 60.000 thoughts per day, most of them are useless thought processes and just consume your awareness and take up mind space. Most people are not even aware of how their awareness is consumed by useless thought processes. However, ask someone to close their eyes, still the mind and meditate, they will realize how much of uncontrolled ‘noise’ there is in their mind. There is a non-stop, chaotic firing of neurons in the brain producing thoughts, memories and imaginations. Because the mind is for most people so disturbed and constantly fluctuating, the awareness is constantly bouncing from one thought to the other. There is no stability, there is no peace.
When one becomes more conscious of how the awareness is constantly shifting, and cultivates the ability to focus the awareness, one is able to observe the mind and emotions from a “higher self”perspective. From that state one can influence and cultivate the mind & emotional system.
If the awareness is sometimes “kidnapped” by a certain unuseful thought pattern, one can choose to bring the awareness back to what is here & now, to the breath for example. This is an essential skill to develop.
Bringing balance in your mind and energetic system
As mentioned before, there are different layers of being (physical, energy, mind & emotions, intellect, etc.) Every thought, emotion, and sensation in the body is a current of energy in the brain and nervous system. When you feel your hands, this is because electric signals are flowing through the nervous system. When you have a thought, imagination or memory, it is a flow of energy causing neurons to fire. All currents of energy through this energy body. For some these flows of energy are imbalanced and disturbed. There is a contant flow of unwanted sensations, excessive thinking, unbalanced emotions and tension in the mind & body. There is a constant state of duality. One must learn to bring harmony in this energy system again in order to bring peace into their lives.
Depending on how much one has developed one’s consciousness, one is able deepen one’s awareness from only physical form, to energy body, to observe one’s own mind and emotions, to becoming aware of one’s own source of consciousness.
(There is always the presence of all the manifestations of this reality. Awareness is like the looking glass through which we experience life.
In the field of consciousness, the field in which reality is existing because it is perceived, we are conscious beings. We are like the cells in a large body We cannot understand or perceive the whole body, but we can experience our connection with it and how it nurtures us. We can feel how it is part of us, just like we are part of it. )
What causes a suffering state of being?
- Past impressions/ Karma . Every action you perform has a certain impact on your energetic system. (explain more about karma)
- False identification of the self as being the possessions one has and the idea one has about him.
- False identification of action and outcome. Thinking that certain behaviour will give fullfilment when it actually does the opposite.
- Desire; when the mind is constantly saying fullfilment will happen at another moment at another place, at another circumstance.
- Illness, imbalance in the physical and/ or mental body
- Habitial loops of thinking that are engraved in the energetic system causing one to think excessively and keeping ones being in a restless state.
- Imbalance in the emotional system causing some emotions to take over the entire field of awareness like: Fear, guilt, shame, hate, grief.
- Unhealthy ways of living: too active or not active enough, laziness, wrong diet, not living in line with the heart.
Steps to expand consciousness and liberate from suffering
Here is the method to purify (clear from blockages and impurities) all layers of the self so there will be union and the attainment of inner freedom and bliss. One-ness will be realized when there is the union of awareness, the observer and creation.
It all starts with the desire, the intention to feel inner peace and union with the source. One has to recognize that the state of life and being as it is, is not serving their full potential. This desire will be the fuel for will-power to keep doing these techniques even if it might sometimes be unpleasant or the mind starts resisting. It is especially in these moments where the mind resists that a breaking free of old habit patterns can happen. It is like re-routing the energetic system from habitual flows that actually dont serve you, like in addictions, counterproductive emotional patterns and patterns of thinking. One has to free one-self from this.
There must be both the desire for union within and union without, and the desire to transcend suffering. One has to be willing to see the truth about oneself and the source of their suffering.
Also, one must seize all actions that add negativity to mind, body and spirit. When the bathroom is flooding, will you start moping the floor right away, or first turn off the tap? Like this one should first stop the source of the problem by stopping any inpure behaviour.
- Taking good care of this body, the vessel through which life is experienced. Your state of body, mind and energy system will greatly determine the quality of your life. Therefor: eating wholesome food. Take care what you put into your body and what you put into your mind. One should rest enough, but not be lazy. Sufficient exerce for mind & body.
Be consistent and determined in your practice. If you only will do these practices once a week, not much progress is going to happen. If you do the practices for self realization everyday life will change in a beautiful way.
Generosity, kindness and doing good to others will give benefits to all levels of your life
Bring your awareness to that what is greater than yourself and contemplate on nature, creation, this universe, God. Doing so helps one to shift focus from minor problems and small self to greater things in life.
Don’t do unto others what you dont want to be done unto you. Treat all life with respect.
Live in line with the truth. Lying, cheating, stealing etc. will not bring the mind peace for it will create a barrier between yourself and the truth. Live truthful so you have nothing to hide.
Every action has an effect on your energetic system. When one develops more sensitivity to this by cultivating awareness, living more healthy and training the mind, one will feel the subtlest results of every action you perform. This will be the compass that will lead one to a blissful life. This will guide you if an action is fruitful and in line with your intention (developing a life of bliss and inner peace) or counterproductive. Everyone has this compass within, but for most it is lost below the load noise of the mind and the inability to feel the subtle layer of one’s being. When you eat something, learn to feel in the hours after what this does with your energetic system. When you sy something, how does this make you feel. If you lie, you say nasty things, or if you say loving, kind and helpful things, these will have a very different effect on your subtler bodies.
Once one starts taking the later steps, this behaviour will follow naturally.
- Doing physical exercises and postures (asanas)
This body is the vessel with which you experience this life. If you have no energy, are ill or have lots of tension, you wont be able to do any of the Life Awareness practices properly.
Practices like Yoga asana, QiGong, Tai Chi, or any kind of practice in which one mindfully strengthens and stretches the body is a must to bring the body in good condition to have enough energy, to have the cardio vascular system, nervous system and enedocrine system balanced and open.
As we have seen before this body is not just flesh and bones, but also a body of energy, intimately connected with mind and emotions. When there is tension in the mind, there will be tension in the body. For example, if one has a worrying thought, it will contract muscles in the eyebrows and lips. But it will also tense up the muscles in the shoulders and other parts of the body. If the thought is very worrisome It will also release stress hormones like adrenaline which will increase the heartrate, breathrate and blood pressure.
Therefore, by doing physical exercises one influences all layers of ones being. When we cultivate the body through physical exercise, we also cultivate the energy system and mind. It also greatly helps to develop will power and break free from habit patterns of laziness and loops of thinking and feeling. It helps one to get out of the mind and back into the body and present moment.
I see a lot of people that have all sorts of tension, weakness and restlessness in the body and are not able to sit still for even 5 minutes. How can one sit in meditation and work with the breath? Therefor, the physical practice like yoga asana and QiGong is a must.
- Bringing the awareness within
One has then also learn to bring the awareness within, meaning; to become aware of all the sensations within the framework of ones own body and energy system. One has to become aware of the sublest of sensations that constantly flow through all layers of our being. To feel the subtlest sensations when one feels the skin, the fingertips, the muscles and every part of our physical body. Learn to observe it with kindness. Also one has to become aware of state of energy body. Is it restless, or calm? Is there lots of thoughts and imaginations in the mind, or is it peaceful and clear? Experiencing without judging. Taking the position of the higher self and gently smile at whatever state these layers are in. Feeling is connecting. So when one can really feel and experience these layers, one can start to connecting controled breath to these layers of the self to influence them.
- Inner cultivation through the breath
Once one can bring the awareness within and the subtle body is more open and strong one can start using the breath to activate, unblock and harmonize the subtler layers of one’s being. These breathing practices involve both strong and subtle breathing techniques. Strong breathing (hyperventilation) practices are great for the beginner that stll has a restless and untrained mind. These also help to unblock, open up and activate the whole energy system, mind and emotional system. A lot of people end up only doing strong and forceful breathing practices because it gives spectacular feelings and sensations and one feels as if being high. It may also give strong emotional release. It is not recomended to do hyperventilative breathing practices very often and it is of the utmost importance to remember that stronger breathing practices are just preparatory work and one must focus also very much on the calm, gentle and slow breathing practices. One might be in the illusion that one is meditating when one is spacing out from hyperventilation, but this is not real meditation. It is feeling high from all the chemical reactions happening in the body.
Doing too much hyperventilation practices have the following contra indications:
- It will make the mind and energy system more restless
- Because one is forcing the body to breathe in a certain way, one will increase duality within and pride, ego and self centredness will grow
- The awareness becomes unsharp
- One can burn too much of energy with this resulting in daily life feeling low energy and burned out
The breath is like the fanning of a fire to create the perfect temperature. Just like when one wants to grill vegetables on a barbeque. When the coals are ot hot enough, a lot of smoke will come off and there is not enough heat to grill the vegetables. Then one must start fanning the fire. However, when one is fanning the fire too much, the temperature and the flames become too high, burning the vegetables. Also, one will burn through the coals too fast.
Like this also, one has to sometimes use powerful breathing to release energy and get the fire going and burn impurities out. However, when overdoing this, one can overstimulate the energy system and mind resulting in “wild flames”, over activity and fluctuations in the mind. One can even burn too much resulting in sickness and burn out syndrome.
So the breath should be used to both enhance and tame the fire within. It should be done with care, kindness and patience. After strong breathing practices, slow breathing practices should always be followed. Also, it is important to set an affirmation of bringing peace, gratitude and unity within. All these practices help to focus the mind to a liser light focused awareness that will lead to the realizzation that all is part of the same totality and that totality is part of us.
The more advanced the practitioner becomes, the less forceful and more subtle the pranayama practice becomes. One starts working more on a subtler level of ones being with gentle and slow breaths, but with a full awareness and intention. Like this one starts balancing and harmonizing all layers of ones being and sharpening the mind to enter into profound states of awareness.
These practices are called Pranayama. Prana meaning the life energy. Yama to control. And Ayama to extend or lengthen. It is not only about controlling the breath. It is about expanding and lengthening ones breath to expand ones life energy and consciousness.
Centering the awareness, going deeper within and letting go
Now the awareness should be focused and sharpened. If the mind is still fluctuating a lot, one should go back to previous steps of calm pranayama practice. Meditation practice cannot be forced, meditation will happen when all systems are synchronized. Once this is established, one can let go of any control of body and breath and start focusing the awareness on “what is here & now”. One starts with the sensations of the body, like the focus on the breath. One starts to bundle the awareness to a single point. Then the awareness becomes sharp like a laser light and one can penetrate with the awareness deep within and merge the awareness with the Now, Truth, Creation, God.
When one is able to harmonize one’s energy system, still the mind, and merge the awareness with ‘What is now”, one is able to maintain a state of meditation. Now one experiences reality in its pure form, devoid of the filters and creations of the mind. This is a state of “pure being”.
Then one penetrates the awareness through the veil of the mind and truth, supreme reality, is not experienced through thought, or the creations of the mind. It becomes a direct experience, a realization of this “what is”. Becoming it by being absorbed into it. This merging the awareness with the source. In this state one not only recognies its “true nature”, one experiences what it is. We are part of creation, like creation is part of us. Therefore, when one can truly experience itself, it will experience the totality as well. This sheds the false ego, because one experiences what one truly is.
Levels of meditation
There are different levels on which the awareness can be merged.
- Stilling the mind and directly experiencing life as it is without the colouring of mind & emotions
- One is able to feel all sensations of the body in minute detail.
- One feels the body and energy body in its pure form. Experiencing it from a higher perspective. Here one is able to purify the karmic imprints it carries by shining the light of awareness onto it with eqonimity.
- One realizes that all layers of the self are manifestations of The One, the I AM, Divine Creation, in an infinite field of consciousness. There is no more identification with a construct of self
- One experiences the unity with the One in this manifestation of creation
- No construct of space & time. Even “The One” is a construct. All Is and Is Not.
Duality & Unity
Most people experience life, and live life, in a constant state of duality; being in conflict with either oneself, other people, or situations in life. There is a constant strugle with “what is” with the “truth”. Life is a constant flow of changes, and if one cannot flow with this, there is no peace in one’s life.
For many there is a constant urge to do something, go somewhere or change something. This is the life force that makes this universe and us as individuals move, create, change. But when this energy is not chaneled right it will result in overthinking, restlessness and neurotic behaviour. Also, when people feel a unease, an emptiness within, it leads to a never ending search for satisfaction.
It becomes even more problematic when one part of the mind gets in conflict with another part of the mind. We have all experienced this when thoughts keep coming up and you think; I wish I could just quiet my mind! Or when are craving to eat a bar of chocolate or a bag of crisps, and the mind says; you can have it, you deserve it, why not, just enjoy life! Then after eating it that same mind is now telling you how stupid that was and produces a feeling of guilt and shame. This is a mind in conflict with itself!
To feel peace and unity within is done through the cultivation of awareness, patience and kindness. Awareness of how those constructs and patterns of the mind appear. To see the reality of it. Kindness to not judge, not go into guilt, resentment or shame. And patience to be able to come face to face with all the emotions and mind patterns without reacting.
Once one gets in harmony with oneself this will reflect back into all aspects of life. The body, relationships, work. Everything that is within, will be manifested outside of oneself.