POSTCARD #28 Delhi: Thinking about things in the darkness. Stories come and go, pondering over this and that, and the awareness of being caught up in the thinking thing gets included in the meanderings – searching for a way out. If I start thinking about how to stop thinking, the mind gets busy looking for a solution; finding something and comparing it with other reasons why I can’t stop thinking. Thinking has its own momentum, takes time to slow down; that’s the nature of the vehicle I’m driving. Letting it all fizzle out until it can go no further and everything evaporates for a moment.
In that instant there’s no thinking and the mind is alerted… an empty space opens up; a great mirror showing Mind looking at itself – the awareness of being aware. Silence and emptiness, held on ‘pause’. There’s the desire to be actively thinking, and I see the invitation to be involved with thought but pay no heed, it’s just part of what the software does.
The breath coming from the nostrils, so faint and light it stirs only the tiniest thing; a single strand of hair. No other sensory input the mind needs to be engaged with; no sense object activates the chain of events and all that remains is the mind’s cognitive function. There’s a curiosity about this: The ‘self’ is a sensory experience; the experiencer is an experience – there is only experienc-ing. What is it? Consciousness is the sensory organ of the the universe. By seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching, the universe experiences itself. [See below: Note 2.]
A wave of thoughts comes rushing in, stays for a moment and goes out again, as if in another reality. I see it as an observer watching from some hidden place. Then the observer disappears and only the awareness itself is left there. Another wave of thoughts comes rushing in, forms appear and disappear and in their place, a sequence of obscured mental events, each one linking with the next; small bursts of electronic energy explode then it’s quiet, and again more explosions, like a fireworks display, arising and falling away. Fainter and fainter. Some time later sleep comes and the whole world disappears…
“… stopping the mind, stopping the flow of thoughts that are proliferating, stopping the flow of moods that get drawn into either attraction or aversion. We return to a clear center, to awareness.” [Ajahn Passano, on Becoming And Stopping.]