I talked in my previous blog about my interest in spirituality and my failed attempts at meditation. I also talked about having read books after books trying to know, find and learn – to the extent that all books started saying exactly the same thing to me after a point. And yet I remember nothing from those books. There is nothing that I can quote or summarize.
And that, might just be the whole point. Remembering nothing. Unlearning. Someday eventually reaching the point where I know absolutely nothing and can only experience. Removing all layers of conditioning and masked truths accumulated over years and births. So that I can finally see myself. Myself – a book I hardly had time to read, a place I sadly had little time to travel to. But the problem is that the mere idea of this nothing seems unsettling. The mind always wants something. Even in the split second of blankness as I try to think of my next sentence to type here, I take a break to check Facebook quickly. Look at some pictures, see my emotions running from one extreme to the other at happenings from around the world, and “like” a few things. Facebook has even managed to make “liking” as a god damn activity for us to “do”, rather than an emotion that you feel spontaneously. You tell people that you “liked” their pictures. Even to your spouse sitting on the couch next to you. Feeling is not enough. Doing something is always required, otherwise it doesn’t count. And it always has to count.
In this world full of ambition and fear of losing out, who has the bloody time to do or be nothing? The mind can’t be stopped from being anything anyway, right? Whenever I used to sit down to pray, I could never clear my head. The moment I shut my eyes, I would start seeing something that I would never even see otherwise – the most bizarre things ever – like an Arnold Schwarzenegger riding an elephant like a Maharaja or something. It was as if my mind was bullying me, telling me that I could never win over it. Frustrated, I would always give up. The mind just never shut the hell up. So many of me talking to each other inside incessantly. What is then the difference between me and a lunatic who talks to himself out loud in public? I do the same on the inside, just that people don’t come to know of it. Well, mostly.
The mind always wants to exist in the past analyzing things, or in the future planning for things. Like an ever moving swing, never at rest, never in the present. Trying to control it, I was like a dog trying to chase its tail. And this very trying or doing is what always failed me. Because meditation is all about doing nothing. It is all about watching, letting things happen, letting thoughts flow, not judging, not associating, passively stepping aside. So it isn’t even about doing meditation. But being meditative.
In our world crammed up with so many things, it is actually the nothing that is the essence of it all. An atom is 99.99% empty space. The atom that is the building block of just about everything around us – this keyboard that I am typing on, the screen I am staring at, the knuckles I crack while thinking. Even this word document I am writing on is made up of both – the black inked words and the white space behind those. The words won’t exist without that space. And yet it is so easy to forget that space, that nothing, that silence. When someone told me as a child that I was fat and hence ugly, it created such a turmoil in my mind. So much noise. Instead of having faith in the pleasant silence of my being behind it, I trusted this noise in my mind more. Because the noise was tangible, and the silence of nothingness wasn’t. Even though it is the silence in the background that has been with me and kept me going all through.
When my son comes running to me after school, I drop everything around me to get on my knees and squeeze him. I don’t make myself do it. It happens. Time stops. I go beyond the mind. Eyes close. It is as if I lose every bit of myself into this nothingness. To just be. There is no noise, no object required. Just plain old nothing. I take a break. From the world. From myself. To dissolve. It happens when you kiss someone passionately. When you engross yourself in something that is so totally you. Writing, music or dancing for me, for example.
So the mind then doesn’t need to be stopped. It can’t be stopped. It is like a bicycle that needs pedaling all the time otherwise the rider will fall. The break from this mind is what is required. The break from an over obsession of a perceived reality. The break from myself. It is not a break from work to go on a beach holiday where I am still planning, packing, going, buying, eating, clicking, sharing pics, waiting for someone to “like”. It is about the non-doing in doing everything I do, to experience the white space of bliss every moment.
That will be a lifelong holiday.
(Pic courtesy: www.friendshipcircle.org)