Dear Francis, Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, it is very much appreciated. During meditation I’ve come across a situation in which I relax deeply and I have almost no bodily sensations or thoughts. Then the question arises, Who am I? And the question seems to dissolve; it feels non-sensical, as if “I” was a concept with no real referent. I have heard you explain that this could be yet another object called emptiness (I thought this might be an example because the feeling of “I” comes back after a while). At other times, I have a quite spontaneous feeling of expansion, joy and satisfaction with no particular reason; it happens sometimes in nature; and also in that case there is no particular sense of I. I have two questions: 1) There is the experience (occasionally) of the dissolution of some artificial boundaries and a great opening, but not the affirmative feeling of “I am pure consciousness; this is what I really am.” Am I getting stuck somewhere? 2) In what way can one go beyond the empty object (if that is in fact what is going on, I am not sure) during meditation? With gratitude, Eleonora
What comes out of your questions is that there is a residual sense of lack during your meditation. The experience of the true referent of I, which is absolute peace and fulfillment, is missing. The causeless joy and satisfaction that is occasionally experienced is much closer to the mark. Stick to the pure experience of this joy, wherever it takes you, without allowing any object or phenomenon to preempt it, being open to the possibility that it is a ray emanating from God’s presence within, which is also your real presence.
The experience of being stuck in empty states is frequently encountered by yogins who practice meditation on their own or without the assistance of a true Karana guru. Not to many self taught violinists ever perform in our concert halls, and possibly fewer self taught seekers ever get established in their natural state, no matter what they say or claim. We live in an age of instant gratification, but self realization requires absolute dedication and earnestness. A few fleeting visits payed to several half baked teachers, or knowledge or even understanding acquired through books or on the Web will not suffice. I know from “personal” experience that the easiest way to go beyond the empty object is the presence of a guru who is well established in the Self. There comes a moment when the seeker is ready in this emptiness. Then something the teacher says, or the tone of his voice, or a smile, or a gesture, or a bird singing in the distance may the be the final instrument of grace that resonates in the heart of the disciple and dissolves the remaining knots. Sometimes also there is not a transitional moment the mind can remember. One finds oneself immersed in this immensity, nay, lost in and found as this immensity, which is also the source from which the teaching emanates. It is difficult to convey through words the sweetness, the perfume, the absolute certainty of this experience. Any lesser experience will leave the truth seeker dissatisfied, the fundamental lack having not been removed. Following this, the establishment of the disciple in the felicity of his true nature, with the assistance of the guru, is a spontaneous unfoldment.