When our attention falls on a thought, that thought gets energised and activated. It becomes like a living being and in return it blesses us with knowledge. One of the thoughts that is highly fit for meditation is called the thought of I.
In the whole ocean of consciousness, there are numerous waves of thoughts. The thought of sky is a wave. So are the thoughts of air, fire, water and earth.
They are waves in consciousness. Among them, we have thoughts of human beings. The Patanjali Yoga Sutra describes thought as Drishyam or the seen. It has a purpose, the book says. It says the thought is made up of the subtle aspect of the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and space. It has got three qualities of stability, movement and inertia. Its role in our life is to give experience of a thing, being or situation and also to serve as an anvil for our expression in the world.
The thought is a wave in our consciousness. When we sit for meditation, there is a certain quietness of mind. In that quietness, the number of thoughts are reduced. When the number of thoughts considerably reduce, we can be sometimes left with only one thought of I am. Of the two words, Am is the reality of existence. I is a notion.
When the name of the individual referred to by the thought and word I and the form of that individual that corresponds the I are mentally negated, then what is left is only the essential nature of existence.
What is this existence we talk about all the while? Can it be experienced in me? Yes very much. All one has to do is sit quietly and take a deep breath—inhale. The breath touches a space. Feel that space. That is the place where we point out to ourselves and say I or My.
That is the place where we put our hand to our heart and take a pledge or oath. That is the space where one experiences reality, existence or the truth which is indeed present everywhere.
Once the experience of the space within happens on inhalation, the next best thing to do is exhale. What to do after that?
The same thing—inhale and exhale with awareness, love, gratitude and confidence. Life goes on as a flow of awareness. All situations fall in place. We seem to be surrounded by beautiful people and there is love and gratitude all around.
The culmination of all our spiritual practices including yoga is to reduce the quantity of thoughts in our mind.
The quality of thoughts are sublimated and transformed through devotion at the altar of our dedication and eventually, the truth of existence becomes very evident in that quietude.
The author is Acharya, Chinmaya Mission, Tiruchi (www.sharanyachaitanya. blogspot.in)