Meditation and thoughtless awareness

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Meditation and thoughtless awareness

The Indian scriptures describe the following four states of human awareness:

  • Jagruti: The waking state of consciousness
  • Swapna: The dreaming state of consciousness
  • Sushupti: The state of deep sleep in which the mind, the ego and the superego are still
  • Turya: The state of thoughtless awareness beyond the mind

The first three states of awareness are commonly experienced in our daily lives. The fourth state is the state of thoughtless awareness or nirvichara samadhi. This is the state in which the constant rising and falling of thoughts in the mind comes to an end. At first a gap begins to appear between the thoughts. As this gap grows the thoughts diminish and with the regular practice of meditation, the mind enters easily into thoughtless awareness. The attention becomes still like a lake without any ripples on it and a deep inner peace begins to dawn upon our awareness.

When there are no ripples on the water of a lake, its surface becomes almost invisible as it reflects the beauty of the landscape around it-the trees and the sky and clouds. In the same way, the still mind reflects the beauty of the creation and melts into the bliss and the peace of the divine.

In the state of thoughtless awareness we think neither of the past nor of the future. We are entirely in the present moment, in the state of being and do not waste the precious moments of life thinking about times that are finished forever or yet to come. We start to enjoy our Self, our spirit, our own inner beauty and the the beauty of creation. We start to enjoy being. We are able to enjoy the singing of birds and the scent of flowers at a much deeper level as we are no longer bombarded by the meaningless mental chatter that assails our awareness and pollutes our attention, distracting us from the simple joys of our existence.

Great saints of India such as Shri Adi Shankarcharya have described the wandering of the mind as the ocean of illusion. A constant wave of thoughts that cover the spirit
and bring us confusion and misery.

Living in the moment

Is it possible for humans to live in the present moment? Yes, it is, and most of us encounter living examples of it regularly! [1]

meditation-vibrationObserve closely the next small child you encounter. They have no worried lines on their faces, are almost always playing and enjoying themselves, and rarely complain about bills, jobs, chores, etc. If one happens to have an unpleasant experience it is quickly forgotten and life goes on. They are naturally balanced, living-in-thepresent, stress-free beings. Who has seen a toddler hold a grudge, worry about the next meal or even think about what they did yesterday or will do tomorrow? They are so focused on the present moment that they are entirely spontaneous, unpretentious and usually very happy. They are in a constant state of effortless meditation. [1]

Living in the moment is not, however, a regression to immaturity. It is an evolutionary step in which we return to our childlike innocence and simplicity but in full awareness of ourselves, our place in society and our moral role and responsibility. [1]

How does one tap into and sustain a connection with the present moment? How does one escape the brainstorm of mental stress that we all experience? We would all agree that more research needs to be done to try to understand how the “sahaja yoga effect“ occurs. Does it work via the autonomic nervous system?  Is it really the result of an energy that exists within each of us called kundalini? Is it possible to examine the most ancient of traditions with modern science? The Meditation Research Program at the Royal Hospital for Women will continue to delve into these important questions. Suffice to say for now that sahaja yoga meditation appears to offer a method by which each of us can tame the brainstorm, realise a state of peace and tranquillity and begin to heal our body, mind and spirit. [1]

[1] Meditation Research Programme, The Natural Therapies Unit, Royal Hospital for Women

Next: Meditation types

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17 comment(s) so far, want to say something now?


  • axinia
    Oct 13, 2009
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    Thoughtless awareness. The state I often refer to and regard as the source of amazing states of my being like joy, bliss, easiness of existence and love.

    Thoughtless awarenesshas been described by Buddha and the Sufi’s of North Africa as also by Saints in India such as Eknath and Gyanadeva.

    This state is a higher state of awareness which bisects the past and the future. Usually human beings are most of the time unable to enter the present because the mind is either thinking about the future (Ego) or the past (Superego). Interestingly, we are only in a present when we watch something in admiration, or enjoy some action to its full measure (like a child).

    In the state of thoughtless awareness we are free to think about whatever we want but we don’t have unwanted thoughts in our mind at all, we have complete control over our mind. Our mind becomes very relaxed yet completely focused on any tasks we need to perform in our daily lives.

    Form a regular point of view it is actually almost impossible to reach that state: how to have NO THOUGHTS? And still be aware? Be alert? Be efficient?
    The trick is that it is indeed possible and relatively easy to achieve BUT NOT WITH THE HELP OF THE MIND! To tell you the truth, most of the meditation/self-help/yoga techniques make me laugh as there you learn to control your mind with the help of your mind. Isn`t it absurd?

    My experience tells that Self-realisation enables one to enter into the new dimension (physically perceptible!) where one can easily do beyond the mind. With me it work this way: I feel the cool breeze over my head which relaxes the scalp and then somehow the brain. It is absolutely real because I can not force it and sometimes I do not feel it/ or feel warm – and even if I want very much to have it the other way, I just can not influence that. It is just there – or it is not. It is like the 7th sense!

    When I feel it clearly it is incredibly enjoyable (like drinking the divine nectar) and at this moment I just can not think. I am aware of the surroundings but the power of joy and love is stronger. And if I am lucky to enjoy this pure state for 5 minutes than I feel like charged with tremendous powers and billions Watt of Love…

    Of course we need to think to perform our jobs, to achieve something in life, but that thinking is of a different nature to the incessant rambling of the mind.

    I wish from the bottom of my heart that as many people as possible could experience that absolutely outrageous state of being. Then we would definitely have far less stupid ideas floating ín the air and causing wars, hatred, envy, lust and greed.

    And one more thing: in the state of thoughtless awareness you are brain-wash resistant! Like in a fortress: still, powerful and truly free…

    Reply

    Chandenie(Suriname)
    January 25th, 2012

    Jai shree matajie i am chandenie a yogini from suriname. this is in south america. I like your experience. but you see i have a problem . i am doing sahaja yyoga for almost 3 years now and it is hard to reach this state of thoughtless awareness. what did you do to reach this state? Can you please tell me because i really need to reduce my stress! because i se what your experiences are with this state i also want to eperience it all..

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  • Dinesh Patil
    Dec 8, 2009
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    Thoughtless awareness. As you said in artical it is right because i am enjoying that state in my life. My friend is saying how can you work hours and hours without taking any pain and i am always saying i am not doing any work, if you are in thoughtless awareness then divine is doing all the work.One thing i have to mention here this thoughts makes human tired than work. I am daily working 14 to 16 hours but i am sleeping only 2 hours and this is enough to refresh my body. This is true experience in my life.

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  • bani
    Jan 4, 2010
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    I got my realisation in 2004 but I am nt reaching to a optimum level of metiation,Please guide me to over come to the difficulties.

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  • Gautama
    Jan 5, 2010
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    Hi Bani, going into thoughtless awareness is really the essence of meditation, and when your kundalini rises, your meditation really begins.

    The challenges that you might be facing in getting into thoughtless awareness can be different from person to person, but here are a few suggestions:

    1) When you are meditating, make sure you are comfortable and relaxed. Also see that your environment will not disturb or distract your attention. Meditating in the nature where it is peaceful can help a lot.

    2) Raise your kundalini and your attention to the top of your head or just above. If you need to, you can touch the center of the palm of your hand to the top of your head, in the center. This can help to draw your attention and your kundalini to the top of your head. Do this slowly, with your complete attention.

    3) You can also ask the kundalini energy inside yourself to rise up. This is to express openly your desire. Do it slowly and with your attention clear and undistracted.

    These are some basic steps. If you take a few moments to also introspect inside and just watch yourself, you can learn what might be preventing you from going thoughtless, and then remedy that.

    Some people also find that meditating to music or even singing and playing music itself can help to go beyond thinking and into a thoughtless state. In the beginning being thoughtless may only happen for a few moments, or minutes, like gaps between the arrival and take-off of airplanes on a runway, but gradually through practice of the meditation you can easily start to slip into thoughtless awareness for much longer times.

    Please feel free to to write with any more questions and for personal assistance to [email protected] or post a message on this forum here: http://www.onlinemeditation.org/forum

    Warm wishes,
    Gautama

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    Paul
    May 28th, 2012

    Thank you that’s really helpful.

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  • anita
    May 9, 2011
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    Of late, i’ve been feeling very isolated, find difficulty in communicating in general,poor cncentration and quite lethargic.any solutions as to how to get out of this situation?

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  • Nitin
    Dec 24, 2011
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    suffering from the stage of mental illusions and feeling that noone is there to help me out . m totally lost. what should i do .. please help me out.. m gonna mad if condition persist

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  • Sulakshana
    Sep 21, 2012
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    The state of thoughtless awareness was explained so well —- but getting into it daily is difficult for beginners Like me..sometime we get and sometime not….but i want to enjoii it regul

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  • renuka
    Feb 21, 2013
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    i am trying and trying but failed .meditation is far from me how it would be possible for me i am searching the process .do you help me?

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    R Ratan
    June 8th, 2013

    Renuka
    visit the sahajayoga wbesite and you contact your nearest sahajayoga centre , to achieve the meditation state .

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  • Amith
    May 25, 2013
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    Foot Soak really helps to clense and helps to concentrate. Turya state last for several seconds when i meditate.

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  • Prof. Shankar Bhusari
    Jul 28, 2013
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    Thoughtless state of mind or say mindfulness meditation are not performed or it is not practiced. You will be in a state of thoughtless when you discard your past and future. It come to your behavior, soon you begin to tell you that you have no past and you do not know future.

    Prof. Bhusari

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  • ROHIT SLANKI
    Aug 3, 2013
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    How can a person reach to the state of thoughtless mind? Even if a person is living in present his thoughts can not be controlled.

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  • Luca Samson
    Sep 22, 2013
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    Thoughtless Awareness, what a great way to put it. I often find it easy to acheive this state just through concentrating on my breathing and ‘watching’ as thoughts go through my head, I don’t interact with these thoughts, I simply observe and understand them.

    Cheers

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  • Lola
    Jan 16, 2014
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    Is it possible to reach the stage of thoughtless awareness without any effort ??

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    Erwan
    March 20th, 2014

    Dear Lola,

    the best thing with Sahaja Yoga is the ability to reach thoughtlessness without any effort! That is exactly why it is meant to be for all, it is an effortless meditation. It may happen that the first couple of meditations will be hard to get thoughtless but the more you`ll progress, the better it will get!

    Best.
    Erwan

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  • akhila
    Mar 2, 2014
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    I am studying BE. I always thinking about something which is good or bad. I will be keep on thinking about any incident … so that I am loosing my present time. I have to overcome these condition . please help me….

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    Erwan Lesigne
    March 20th, 2014

    Dear Akhila,

    the moment your enter in thoughtless awareness, all bad things go away and only remain the good ones. In order to become thoughtless, you have to practice Sahaja Yoga meditation everyday. If you do meditate on a daily basis from now on, you`ll see some improvement which you`ll enjoy :)

    Warm wishes,
    Erwan

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  • Sharmila Gupta
    May 30, 2014
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    Hi,

    Please immediate reply it your no any reply .
    I am almost 10 messages sending u.
    please explain it.
    i am waiting for your reply.
    please 1 reply sending me.
    pleasessssssssssssssssss

    Reply

    Erwan
    June 10th, 2014

    Dear Sharmila,

    you just need to sit down in meditation and relax :), and you also need to attend the nearest center to your place which is free of charge. You can proceed with the 10 meditations classes http://www.onlinemeditation.org/ for a starter and then continue with the center if possible.

    We can only advise you from here, all you need is to meditate :)

    Kind regards,
    Erwan

    Reply

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  • Wayne
    Jun 18, 2014
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    Dear Erwan~

    I’m a 75 year old man, trying to learn how to live at peace in the ending part of a lifespan. Seems to me maybe meditation is something that will help remove the stress of coping. For me at this point, the past becomes dominant…….memories, good and bad, dominate the mind and living in what is today seems futile. A state of thoughtless awareness through meditation sounds like something I’d like to try to experience, to put me at peace with it all. I am going to take advantage of the 10 Sahaja Yoga meditation classes and see where it takes me.

    Wayne
    Carmel California

    Reply

    Erwan
    June 19th, 2014

    Dear Wayne,

    meditation is definitely going to help you out with all that, finding the inner balance helps you remain in the present and therefore let go of thoughts from past and future. And to finally be at peace inside yourself!

    Go ahead with the classes, it is a very good start, try also if you can to attend a collective class nearby to learn collectively too.
    http://www.sahajameditation.com/find-classes/

    Warm regards,
    Erwan

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  • Reo
    Jul 29, 2014
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    I was a man groping in the dark, and suddenly the Grace fell on me through Sahaja Meditation; hence the bliss, the haven of rest, a born-again.

    Reply

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