We all need a constant, enduring sense of awareness to reach the most profound level of our unconscious self – this is, of course, not easy to achieve. The reason being – what we wilfully experience as the divine is discernibly limited to our unconscious self, including the inner and outer limits of our thoughts and feelings
Mindful meditation is the practice of intentionally focusing your attention on the present-moment – and accepting it without judgment. It relates to open receptivity and awareness of all stimulation, too.
It helps you not only to make up for lost time by performing more efficiently, but you will also see problems as they are –not what you have, till now, imagined them to be.
Not that mindfulness will take you on a great journey where difficult situations just disappear at the drop of a 'thought'.
Rather, it is a state of being that provides you with the basic essentials to dealing with difficulties in a positive manner. As Jon Kabat-Zinn observes, "Meditation is the only intentional, systematic human activity which at bottom is about not trying to improve yourself, or get anywhere else, but simply to realise where you already are".
We all need a constant, enduring sense of awareness to reach the most profound level of our unconscious self – this is, of course, not easy to achieve as it may sound.
The reason being – what we wilfully experience, or understand, as the divine is discernibly limited to our unconscious self, including the inner and outer limits of our thoughts and feelings from deep within and from the inside out.
What is also noteworthy is far beyond a specific point – we ought to submit to the 'divine in us' to take the next step.
Once this happens, we surpass the routine and attain a lasting state of conscious awareness –one that is in complete sync with the cosmos, or the universe.
Our subsequent step is predictable. As the divine takes the initiative, it helps us to overcome most challenges, or difficulties, of everyday life through our own sense of conscious-awareness.
The emergence of such a state occurs through transformation – where the divine element expands.
To know it from the inside out is challenging, because transformation does not illustrate itself in a form we'd, perforce, know or comprehend. One dramatic mode of knowing what is what, as it is, is through self-awareness.
When the self gets enhanced and becomes truly divine, you get a feeling that the 'divinised' self is all there to feel and emote.
It is not that one should be prepared to 'separate' the chaff –of the self –from the divine grain, miss the plot and fail in the process, while transcending the familiar.
Well, if one were extremely amenable and humble to the point of being oneself, it would all appear like a 'big leap' forward for the 'divine in us'– a state of breath-taking spiritual experience. This i something you'd describe vividly and also just as articulately – as you'd want to – while breaking new ground and attaining spiritual fulfilment, or wisdom.
This whole idea corresponds to the unitive state, or elevated consciousness.
This is embedded in our extraordinary, or enduring, self.
It relates to a precise form of self-experience which envelops just about everything, except for what is called the 'egoic' state.
Let us attempt to separate the particle from the element.
Picture this: the self, or consciousness, as a sheet of paper cut into a circular shape.
This represents the self. It gives the egoic state no space, because its centre 'bonds' with the divine.
This is where the door of consciousness opens to what may be referred to as the divine empty centre– beyond which there is nothing beyond nothingness.
You may think that the metaphor is more than a tad complex.
Well, the fact is, it is not as composite as one would envisage.
In this, the unitive state, we may have no foreboding of the extremes; we embrace every challenge that is thrown at us.
The reason being the unitive state permits us to experience the deferral of our deepest feelings, thanks to its 'immediacy' to the divine centre.
Besides, when the challenge is not overpowering, the unitive state compels us to seek and meet challenges that are latent.
This state does not, in any way, seek emotional protectionism – it soothes the pangs, if any, of our distress.
It courses like a rivulet into the divine centre and merges with it.
This leads us to a state of delight– unlike the egoic state, which often takes refuge in emotional pain, or anguish.
Anything and everything that we experience of the self happens in the unitive state – with or without our understanding.
This does not, of course, symbolise the 'true self', because the true self is the mysterious connection that exists between the divine and the phenomenal, or unique, self. The true self is that facet of perception that stands somewhere 'in-between' the divine and our wholesome self.
It does not tell us the 'what' of things; it tells what that is 'that'in all things.
To go back to the classy metaphor– the spherical sheet of paper with its divine empty centre.
There is something that we should now look for – through our mind's eye– the true self, enveloping our inner threshold. When we keep our mind's vision fully open and listen to the lilting call of our inner voice, we may slowly feel it 'tapping' our 'resident' unconsciousness space and connecting our entire being to our divine consciousness.
This is nothing but a conscious philosophical paradigm –of thinking about the unitive centre as a fixed glow, the overwhelming flame of compassion, or love, which encircles the entire cosmos, or the universe.
This is also the lofty truth – yet, what needs to be emphasised is the divine is not as ambiguous as is the popular opinion, thanks to the fuzzy impression that it creates in our mind. This brings us to yet another definitive truth.
That the divine 'mindful' soul is not only vibrant energy, it is also a celestial constituent that allows us to experience the infinite tempo of our (un)conscious self.
Nidamboor is a wellness physician, independent researcher and author
A version of this article appears in the print on June 17, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.