One of the best ways to become conscious and aware of “what is,” I have found while taking a warm bath.
Sitting there, relaxing to feel at ease and enjoying the experience is the first step.
Second step, turn down all lights. If possible everything should be pitch black.
Nothing to see.
At this point, a fear or darkness may arrive. That is OK. Just become aware of it.
Not moving in the warm water, means that there is nothing to hear, then, there is nothing to smell or taste. It is at that point of “shutting down” all senses, when there is consciousness and then our mind will reveal to ourselves.
Any thought the mind experiences at that point is a belief.
Without seeing our bodies, without having eyes to see; how do I look like?
My response is a belief. Then, I realize that what the eyes “see” is just a perception.
If I decide to touch my body and caress it, all sorts of beliefs will arrive: This part is “clean,” this one is “dirty,” this one is “sinful,” this one is not. My memories from what “I knew” have arrived.
All of that are just beliefs at that point.
There is nothing wrong with beliefs until we believe that our beliefs are the “truth;” at that point we become rigid to the changing experience of living life.
To select a possibility as the “truth,” means to live the world of possibilities through a dogma.
The World and life only reflect ourselves… our beliefs.
Everyone has their own experiences in life. That could be labeled as the “truth” of the moment. It may change later.
Observe that someone else may have a different experience.
The point of the “bathtub meditation” is to realize that we can only perceive according to our consciousness. Our beliefs will shape up that consciousness.
A religion or a science or a philosophy claiming the “truth,” is unaware that a perception is merely a way to look at life.
That perception denotes a state of consciousness.
There are no “right questions” nor “right answers.”
What we are able to understand does not mean “truth” but rather shows our state of consciousness.
For example: If sitting in that bathtub without senses, I ask myself “who am i?” then, I will know that it is the “wrong” question for without senses there is no way to know that I am separated from “what is.”
Thus, senses allow us to enjoy the experience of being an individual, however; senses are not the benchmark of “reality.”
To label our senses as “bad” or an “illusion” is to deny ourselves the experience, the flavor that they could offer. I may want to integrate the flavor of the senses into my consciousness rather than deny it.
If we become aware of our beliefs in life, we have created the openness necessary to accept someone else’s view without labeling it as ” childish,” “stupid,” “wrong,” etc.
It is at that point, when our consciousness expands.
Meditation as I see it today, is the opportunity to open my consciousness by becoming aware of my own beliefs which will narrow down my experience of life. A warm and relaxing bath may be the sacred, peaceful space to offer the greatest opportunity for that. 🙂
ahnanda, thanks for the clarification. You are saying your individual I is different than your Totality, opposites. But doesn’t Totality include individuality? Otherwise it wouldn’t be called Totality or Oneness, right? For me, my best answer is both intellectual and non intellectual, I use both at the same time, just as I am both divided and unified at the same time. I guess I have a unique perspective. Check out a recent post I wrote about the subject
here. Thanks again, Aaron
“Who am I?” implies a perception of separation. That is what we call “individuality.” “I am separated from the Totality.”
In the bathtub example, as we shutdown all senses and beliefs; the “concept” of individuality does not exist for there is no boundary for separation.
That is how we can understand ” Totality” or “Oneness” without using its “opposite” word : individuality.
Definitely, the experience in the bathtub will give you the best answer, which is a non-intellectual one.
All the best, Aaron. 🙂
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Wow, very well written – clear and meaningful to me. Thank you! One point I don’t fully understand is why did you say asking the question “who am I?” is asking the “wrong” question? Would you please explain that a little more to me? Thanks, Aaron.