Findings on the road to self transformation-What you Have is Not who you Are.
Finding 16: What you Have is NOT who you Are.
Sometimes like just now, while meditating you might have a sudden connection with your deeper self. You hear your breath and feel its depth of meaning.
You, for a fraction of a second feel life flowing in you.
It’s a very sacred moment. Time stops. i hope you get to feel it.
All that you hear is your own breath and its profundity bellowing in and out of you. And you doing nothing to control it.
You feel for a fraction the infinite energy in you directing your life. And you feel at peace that she resides in you. That feeling…even if for a fleeting moment…is who you essentially are. The you that truly matters.
The rest …everything else in life is what you Have. Not who you are.
You have traits of good and evil. In the depths of your being you have warmth and love and longing and you also have lust and deceit and deception. You have guilt and gratitude. You have greed and forgiveness. You have hate and harmony. You have hubris and you have humility. It’s all in you.
Because you are human. You have a body . You have muscles and bones and atoms and electrons. You have labels and titles. You have a personality. You have possessions. You have thoughts. You have dreams. You have desires. You have hopes and griefs. You have highs and lows. You have …You have…
But it’s not who you are. What you have is not who you are.
I learnt that and I want to share how I learnt it and from who in this finding and how it was such an exciting journey.
So the next existential question I dared to ask was — if I am not my ego then who am I ?
This is when I came under the You Tube guidance of the non Dualist Vedanta teacher Swami Sarvapriyananda who introduced me to the truth of Turiya (meaning `Fourth’ in Sanskrit)
I want to explain this a bit more as I have understood it from listening and following the lectures of Swami Sarvapriyananda on Youtube.
I highly recommend that you listen to him. I found him one of the modern saints of Hinduism who has an engineering and MBA education and yet has chosen a spiritual path for himself. He is extremely articulate in English and fluent in Sanskrit- the original script of the hindu vedantic scriptures.
Swami Sarvapriyananda see this journey as a gradual process that can be realised through meditation as a regular practice. He quotes Swami Vivekananda often …
“We need to tune the subject to the absolute”- Swami Vivekananda
Right now almost all of us are tuned to the body and mind. Thus we feel limited within the constraints of this human body. But when Swami Vivekananda asks us to tune our subject to the absolute he is asking us to look beyond our human shell and pay attention to what lies beyond/ within.
According to his teachings as Swami ji says we need to train ourselves to reframe our lives and tune into the frequency of the absolute. Meaning we need to shift the frame of reference of the I that we call I . Thus being able to see who the real I is .
According to him it’s a process of going deeper into oneself. Like descending into a pool of silence.
Step by step and sinking to the bottom until you come face to face with your true self. To do this one must do 2 things.
First recognise each step as a clear transient experience and then realise it and move deeper.
He asks us to first `catch hold of the physical’ and connect it to the `subtle’ — Start with the breath. Focus on the breath.
Observe its movement with your mind. Notice that they come and go. On their own. Not needing your thoughts to move them. You don’t control any of them. They rise and fall. Notice their transience. Notice that each breath is temporary.
Then notice sounds, any sound , does not have to be a chant or a mantra or a song, just all sounds around you and in you. Observe they too just come and go. Then become aware that the sounds are arising and disappearing in your mind. Sound is only real in your mind. Even this you have no control over.
Then become aware of your thoughts in your mind. You are moving from the physical forms of your being to the more subtle forms. When you start to observe your thoughts you notice that they rise and fade. Again you have no control over their origin and their dissolution.
Just observe them rising and then fading in your mind . You don’t know where they come from. They are thoughts that have emotions attached to them. You can have a thought and if it has a happy emotion connected to it we feel happy…or sad…or angry. The same goes for thoughts that make us feel fear and doubt and shame …on the lower side of the vibrations spectrum. But all of these thoughts are just that thoughts …they rise and fade like the breath, or the sounds if you can observe them and not get attached and identified to their emotional sticky nature.
Notice and realise that all the things you have observed so far , breath, sensation, sound, thoughts, emotion are all Objects . They are Objects because you can observe them.
Now look deeper …where do these `objects’ arise and fall ? They arise and fade in a space.
An empty space full of nothing…that Swami ji calls Awareness. It’s an experience that can be felt. It’s a feeling of peace and calm and stillness that rises to the surface of our experience that until now was hidden under the noise of our external humdrum of `objects’.
This space of awareness cannot be objectified. It is the pure subject. This is one space in our lives that never changes. It remains eternally alive and constant.
This awareness is unchanging. When you come in touch with this experience of the space of awareness is who we actually are. That is our essential nature. It’s this state of stillness that is who you are. Now according to Swami Ji you are in tune with the absolute.
We overlay all objects of life on this Awareness.
a. Objects will always rise and fall around you , they will pass you as fleeting forms. You can play with them and enjoy them and experience them but they will no more attach themselves to you.
b. Thus these objects can’t enhance or deplete you. This realisation sets you free from suffering.
c. You have now dissolved into the peaceful ocean of consciousness from where you experience the world. Absorbed in them yet unidentified to them. They don’t define who you are anymore.
d. This is the state of bliss we must practice to stay in everyday.
This Awareness does not need anything. The skill is to find this stillness again and again and rest in it and discover your true nature. You are that.
This profound realisation is encoded in the sacred Saskrit sentence `Tat tvam Asi’ in the Chandogya Upanishad.
‘The meaning of this saying is that the Self- in its original, pure primordial state- is wholly or partially identifiable or identical with the Ultimate Reality that is the ground and origin of all phenomenon.’ — as mentioned in the Wikipedia
He goes further and gives a wonderful interpretation of the word `AUM’ to make this process real and simple to practice.
According to him in Vedic meditation the sound `AUM’ is a way to realise this difference between what we have with who we are.
A-Is a sound that refers to the Physical world of objects and material things in the world.
U- Is a sound that refers to the subtle objects that include Sounds/sensation/ thoughts)
M- And M is a sound that refers to the dream objects and deep sleep.
And after that sound comes silence which is the fourth state.
The sound of AUM and the silence after it together summaries this profound learning.
AUM refers to our three states of being a subject. But the silence is the Fourth state refers to the one that is watching the above 3 states — therefore the real subject and also the real eternal you (Turiya- meaning Fourth in Sanskrit). The first three are not you. The practice of meditation is to train the mind to see it again and again. In the best and the worst moments of our lives as the only experience that one must live in.
You come to accept that the mystery of consciousness is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced.