Shudhbodh The way of Awareness

Unless one has a basic level of awareness, one cannot deep-dive into intensive meditation practices. We have accumulated layers of sankharas in this lifetime and over many previous lifetimes and thus these sankharas or patterns are bound to hamper our meditation. It becomes all the more important for a person to understand the art of meditating and for that he needs a basic level of unhindered-awareness and if one doesn’t achieve some level of awareness, his meditative practices aren’t going to bear fruits! Therefore, some people practice “pre-meditation” to attain awareness before starting their actual meditation.

Let’s talk about a few techniques which one can put to use before meditating! (Fundamentally speaking, one should take up any path or method because the end goal of every method is the same; a heightened awareness. We are just going to discuss a few techniques in this series of articles.)

Our body has five basic senses or gyan-indriyan and as the name suggests, these sense organs help us perceive the world or acquire knowledge regarding the world that surround us. But these sense organs themselves become the very reason for inducing hedonistic tendencies in very unhealthy proportions and this in turn results in accumulation of bad sankharas which get deposited on the pure consciousness. It should be made clear at this stage that living a live full of luxuries is not wrong at all! What is wrong is to become a slave to the luxuries instead of mastering them.

The first sense is “Chakshu” or the eye. It is related to the “fire” element and its field is “Sight”. Before beginning to meditate, it is very important to perfect our sense of sight. It should not get distracted easily by whatever it encounters. We experience the visual aspects of the world via eye only and our spiritual journey to a very large extent is dependent on the eyes. The moment we see something our mind latches onto in and triggers feelings for the subject and the feelings range from very unpleasant to very pleasant. This gives rise to negative or positive perceptions, also there is a very strong urge to abhor or love (and thereby enjoy) the subject. If we see the things the way they are and not let ourselves be swayed by the perceptions thus generated, and if we inspect the true nature of these perceptions; likes and dislikes and witness the transitory nature of the same then these perceptions and strong attachments to the subjects disappear and what’s left is the sankharas which keeps us annexed to the cycle of life and death. Kindly note that both good and bad sankharas keep us united with the endless cycle of life and death! And these can be dealt with later on by certain spiritual practices. But, for now, let’s take our very first steps in the world of spirituality and work on our sense of sight and perfect it to lessen the burden of mental defilements.

In the next article, we will explore the next gyan-Indri: “Ear” or “the auditory” sense. Before that, let’s put into practice what we have learnt till this point as taking concrete practical steps on one aspect at a time is the foundation of any good spiritual regime.

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!


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