The Art of being Reflective: Dropping the Mind

One of the easiest ways to enter into the state of meditation, therefore, is listening to what is, and experi­encing the qualities of sound.

Curiously enough, sound is a sense that bores us less easily than sight. When you hear it, just listen to the ran­dom sounds that you know are going on in the room, or in the street. Listen as if you were listening to music, without trying to identify its source, to name it, or to put any label on it at all. Just enjoy whatever sound may be going on, whether it is outside or in the area where you are sitting. That is part of the ritual: just listen.

We can go on from that listening to making sound ourselves while also listening to it. But instead of mak­ing sound, we will get ‘the knack of letting it happen through us.

We have become so conditioned to immediately reducing every experience into a thought. We never allow any experience to remain just a pure experience, even for a few moments.

You come across a beautiful roseflower in the garden. The moment you see it, almost instantly you say inside, “How beautiful!” You can’t let that beauty sink in. The thought of beauty becomes a barrier. The moment you say, “How beautiful!” you have already started comparing it with other roses that you have seen in the past. You have started comparing with all that you have heard about roses. You are no longer seeing this rose. You are missing its suchness. You have gone into the past. You are searching in your memory: how many roses you have seen before, “and this is the best one.” But this rose is no longer there in your awareness. Your awareness has become very clouded. So much smoke has come from the past, so much dust has arisen; your mirror is no longer reflecting the beauty. You are not now-here.

Allow the rose and its fragrance and its beauty and its dance in the wind and the sun to penetrate you. Don’t bring your mind in. There is no need to say that this is beautiful. If it is, there is no need to say it; if it is not, then it is false to say it. Either it is or it is not. Creating a thought about it in any way is creating ripples in your consciousness. It is like throwing a pebble into a silent lake. Just a moment ago it was reflecting the moon so beautifully, and the stars, and your pebble has created ripples, and the moon and the stars have all become distorted.

That’s what happens whenever a thought arises in you: your consciousness is disturbed, starts wavering. Waves start arising in you. Now you are not capable of reflecting that which is.

You will have to learn this new art of seeing things without judging, of seeing things without verbalizing, of seeing things without evaluating. See the rose, see the bird on the wing, see the night full stars, see the river passing by, see the traffic. Listen to the songs of the birds or a train passing by. Start learning a new art of just being reflective, not bringing any thought in, not saying anything at all.

Try not to bring the mind into small things .

When you look at a flower– simply look. Don’t verbalize the thoughts by saying ‘ its beautiful’, ‘ugly’. Don’t say anything.

Don’t bring in words, don’t verbalise. Simply look. The mind will feel uncomfortable, uneasy. The mind would like to say something. You simply say to the mind ‘Be silent, let me see, I will just look’. In the beginning it will be difficult, but start with things in which you are not too involved. It will be difficult to look at your wife
without bringing words in. You are too involved, too emotionally attached. Angry or in love – but too involved.

Look at things which are neutral – a rock, a flower, a tree, the sun rising, a bird in flight, a cloud moving in the sky. Just look at things with which you are not much involved, from which you can remain detached, with which you can remain indifferent. Start from neutral things and only then move towards emotionally loaded situations.

It will take a little time—old habits die hard—but one day it happens. If you persist, if you are patient enough, if you go on and working at cleaning your inner world, one day it happens. And the benediction of that day is immense. In fact, that day you are born anew. You start seeing the same world with new eyes because your eyes are so clear, your mirror reflects so deeply, so totally, without distortion, that trees—the same trees that you have seen before thousands of times—are far more green than they have ever been. And their greenness is no ordinary greenness. It is luminous, is radiating light.

It will take a little while to drop this mind. It has dominated you for so long that it is difficult in the beginning to suddenly disassociate yourself from it. It clings. It can’t leave its power over you so easily. Hence it goes on coming in from the back door.

When stillness is really true there is no mind to say anything about it. When witnessing is true you are simply a witness. You don’t think, “I am witnessing.” There is no “I,” there is no thinking, there is only the witness, because all thinking, and the “I”—they have all become  contents, objects of your witnessing. And witnessing itself cannot be its own object. No mirror can reflect itself. Your eyes cannot see themselves. Your witness cannot witness itself, that’s impossible.

You will have to be very, very careful, watchful. It is a razor’s edge. One has to be very cautious because if you fall, you fall into a deep abyss. The ordinary people cannot fall; they have nowhere to fall to—they are already at the bottom. But as you start moving higher, the possibility of falling down grows every day. When you reach the Everest of your consciousness, just a little slip, just a little wrong step, and you will go rolling down into a deep abyss.

The greater the meditation, the more is the danger of losing it—naturally; only a rich man can be robbed, not a poor man.


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