1 - Observation of the body
Concentrate on physical sensations. Feel the pressure of the seated body resting on different points on hard surfaces. Fell the rhytm of breathing, the feeling of the air which penetrates the lungs and goes out through the nose. Become aware of the presence of the air aroud you, feel it in your face. Pay attention to your blood circulation. Perceive the warmth of its inner movement. Become aware in a general way o this vody's life. Feel this peaceful lofe which
quivers softly. Realize that you are the quiet observer of this life, and that consequently, you are distinct from what perceive. Feel that you are the silent witness of this body's lige, which is seated.
Who practices this regularly, will get the feeling of a very deep calm which grows little by little. At the same time, the feelong of being the observer and not the observed body itself, will become more and more intense.
This is just the threshold of the way. It is a very easy beginning. Evrybody can do it, and also, with this practice, one begins to go beyond the surface of one's existence.
2 - Observation of the feelings
Review the feelings which link you to other people, places, things, memories or plans. Do that quietly, without pending a lot of time on each evocation of feelings. It i enough to identify the whole of your sentimental ties to see that inside you there is a sentimental current that potentially attaches you to this or that person, to this or that hope, to this or that memory, to this or that possession. See one by one your sentimental ties, because doing that, you will be able, little by little, to
discern your affective structure.
Recall ???????? the origin ?????? evolution of ????? of your sentimental attachment.
Observe in this way, positive as well as negative ties. If a feeling of rancor or frustation links you to an event or person, look at it as an indifferent spectator. Verify objectively its presence. Look at it with attentive curiosity, without any value judgement. Look at it as you look at a strange insect walking in the grass.
Contemplating one by one all your sentimental potentialites , understand that they create some phenomena which are produced spontaneously, without your intervention.
Hate, love, disappointement, combativeness, sadness or happiness, arise in you as clouds and lightning arise in the sky. They don't ask your permission to do so. They come, they go, they develop independently from your will. Verify that. Verify that your Reality lies behind all sentimental turmoils or harmonies.
Your capacity for profundity can only grow step by step, when you give up haste. What is acquired in silent immobility is progessively reflected in your ??????? and activities.
3 - Observation of the thoughts
Close your eyes and contemplate whatever happens inside you.
See the thoughts come and go. See attentively how they follow one another. How new ones come and join them. No effort from your mind is required. You stay there, quietly attentive, observing the mind's movements. If your observation suspends those arabesques, you remain contemplator of the void that appears. If you become aware of a multitude of thougts, look at them passively. The thought : "I observe the thoughts" can also be observed.
So, stay like that, passive, very attentive and realize that : "That thinks in you".
Feel that you are distinct from the mind's movement.
There are thoughts, and there is you.
This practice is up to you, it requires time and perserverance.
4 - Observation of the whole man
Observation of the Man must be accomplished daily. It would be good, if possible, to keep every day, a period of time in which, in silence, quietly seated and immobile, you make a long observation of thoughts and feelings.
Independently from this practice, it is particularity important to integrate this observation into your daily life. You can observe the Man in a general way, in all circumstances. Observe him walking, speaking, working. Observe happiness and sadness, disappointment, hurry or combativeness which come and later go. It is a question of training. Many are the results deriving from this practice.
Through observation, comes self-knowledge, through knowledge of self, a knowledge which reaches infinity beyond the Man.
This knowledge belongs only to those who work with perseverance to make it arise in them. The others satisfy themselves with a verbal spirituality with which they ornament their ego.
5 - Moral consciousness
Observation is presence to oneself. In it, moral conscousness grows. The understanding of what is good or bad, what is beautifuly or mediocre, what we should do and what we shouldn't do, arises spontaneously, giving an adequate answer to every situation. Here there is no question of adopting any code of behaviour imposed by any outside authority, because in this way only repression and dissatisfaction will come to you. We must become creators of our own moral values. It is a question of sensitivity. The more you
perceive that something that you usually do is negative, the less happy you are doing it.
Individual improvement derives from becoming aware. Understand it and live it.
With this practice, you will perceive that the more intense your awareness, the more negative elements of your behaviour (which in fact are semi-unconscious attitudes) will become paralyzed and later, definitely uprooded. You will reach a state of total spontaneity from which the reasoning mind is absent.
There are no more plans, anguish or stypid worries. The extreme simplicity of life appears to you. Because life is very simple when the mind's complications are dissolved. Step by step, you are lucid, ready, adapted to Reality.
6 - Desidentification
The more you advance in the art of observation, the stronger the feeling of being something else than what you observe, will be. You are the subject who observes. Body, feelings and thoughts are the objects of your observations.
Understanding this intellectually, will take you nowhere. What will bring about deep transformation is, to actually live this understanding, from day to day, from instant to instant.
In so doing your way of understanding existence will undergo a deep change. Before, when you said "I" you meant body, feeling, thoughts. You meant "my body, my feelings, my thoughts". But now, you perceive more and more intensely that this identification to body, feelings and thoughts was erroneous. You are neither body nor feelings nor thoughts.
You are witness-conscousness. In this way, little by little, you disidentify yourself from the Man.
This disidentification turns all your values upside down. You lose everything that once you thought you owned. It is an initiatory death.
From then on, you own nothing and you experience the renoucement and the poverty of spirit which precede the knowledge of Immensity.
7 - Detachment
As a result of the pratice of clear observation, detachment will come. You realize that everything in you that desires, fears or regreats, is outside you. They are simple perceptions that you contemplate as a silent witness.
You do this when ever attachment manifests itself and, is this way, little by little, you establish total detachment in yourself. No painful renoucement is required. It is quietly and silently becoming aware which brings liberation from all psychological sufferings. All psychological sufferings are a consequence of attachment. Nothing is pemanent, therefore, any attachment to persons, things, plans or to the past, brings suffering. Only he who is not attached goes through the existence with a calm and
Very often attachment is confused whith ascetism. Yet, then are two veri different things ; the detachment we are referring to has nothing to do with any kind of ascetism. You can enjoy everything in this life without being attached to anything. Enjoyment is perception. What is means is not to be identified with body or mind and always remain the observer. It does not mean not to feel any desire but, what is means is to observe with objectivity satisfying or not satisfying the desires produced by the
personality. Doing that, you do not develop any physical or emotional isensitivity but, because you are developing awareness, you stop identifying yourself with a human being, you become an unaffected witness of life's vicissitudes.
This is the perspective of detachment for those who stay in the worl, who do not go to a forest or to a monastery and who carry on their spiritual quest while at the same time having a family and professional activity.
Obtaining detachment requires daily work, in order to achieve a constant and later spontaneous discrimination between you and perceptions.
Each step on this path brings about an increase of your inner freedom.
8 - Witness consciousness
If you have been practicing observation assiduously, you know by experience that you perceive a Man but that you are not this Man. Then the question "Who am I ?" arises. It is no use answering this question with a ready-made intellectual theory. You must repeatedly ask yourself that question and listen to the inner response. Only then, you will experience the pure "I".
The one who is identified attaches the feeling of "I" to body or mind. But, if you are not identified you can feel the pure consciousness "I". "I am pure consciouness". Such is the answer for those who know how to ask and how to listen.
About this witness-consciouness which perceives the human being and the world, there is nothing the mind can say. Because this consciousness is devoid of any content. We cannot think about it, but we can perceive it.
Quietly seated, close your eyes and hear the noise which comes to you. After that, pay attention to bodily feelings and to thoughts. After remaining in this way, attentive to physical and mental perceptions you will clearly perceive that you are independent from these perceptions : you are the witness.
So, in this moment, bring your attention to consciousness itself. Then you perceive that there is silence, void, immobile space. Concentrating on this perception you enter this void and this silence without beginning or end. You realize that the spectator thoughts has weither form no limit. This spectator is yourself and you experience your absence of limits and the reality of your eternal void.
Do not try to reject physical or psychic perceptions, just become aware of what is behind them. Perceptions exist only on the surface of consciousness and you should learn to perceive its depths.
Depths and surface do not exclude each other : then are jointly present all the time.
To discover that depth and gradually immerse oneself in it, requires a regular practice of meditation.
9 - Being as...
This pure consciouness that you are is the consciousness of what ?
This question cannot be answered by any philosophical theory. What is required is, by a series of trials and through and extreme refinement of your sensitivity to feel that, beyond any perception or thought, there is the fact of being and that this fact is a conscious fact. In this very instant you exist. Intensify your feeling of existing.
Feel "I am", "I exist" and perceive that this feeling contains immensity and void. This fact of existing is free from all perceptions and all thoughts. In every instant this fact of existing immutably abides in you. Make the experience of this indescribable reality. Close your eyes. Forget the world. Forget even the memory of the world. Imagine that you do not perceive your body any more and verify that you continue to exist.
Imagine now that you stop thinking and verify that you still exist. Perceive your pure existence. Ignore everything and enter the knowledge of that is nameless.
10 - Deep Sleep
When you are in a state of deep, dreamless sleep, you go on existing. What remains of you ? Only the fact of existing. There is no physical perception, no mental perception or mental consciousness, there is only the Consciousness of the Being without content.
Recall the last time you were in deep sleep. What were you then ? Try to feel it. To feel in you the pure Being is to feel something that in this very instant you have in common vith deep sleep.
Understand that the fact of Existing underlies the states of wakefulness, sleep with dreams and sleep without dreams : these are just different shows.
If you ignore all external and internal perceptions, you immediately find again in yourself the consciouness without content which was your state of consciousness during your last period of deep sleep. Your real identity is the immutable consciousness which abides behind all kinds of perceptions and is in you from all eternity. Man is but a particular kind of perception.
11 - Immanence
All things which exist have in common the fact of being. This is obvious when said, but it must be experienced. Is this fact of being, common to all things, unique or manifald ?
Multiplicity rests upon separation and distinction. What is multiple and distinct are the perceptions of the forms of existence. The fact of being is all perceptions and all forms of existences.
Therefore nothing separates your being form your neighbour's or a chair's or a table's. What distinguishes has to do with the forms of existenc, but not with the Being, which is a unique and universal Reality.
Look attentively at the first thing that comes under your eyes, then eliminate all the characterististics which permit to identify the material appearence of what is contemplated. What is left ? The informal void.
Through meditation upon immanence we understant that in any human being as in everything which exists, lies the same fact of being. Hence communion with the world is a living reality. You become able to feel your conscience play with the body of a child, fly with a bird and abide in a tree.
While contemplating a man, an animal, a plant or a mineral, you can feel that the same and unique consciousness which is in yourself abides in what ever uou are contemplating. Then, in your state of pure consciousness, you penetrate the whole universe.
12 - Transcendental Identification
When you knowthat your real nature is the fact of being, what do birth and death mean to you ? Only the beginning and the end of some perceptions moving across the field of your conscience. To live on the level of the Being means to know that birth and death do not concern you. They are only shows and you are the spectator. You existed before the human being was born and you will exist after it disappears. Before this world appeared and after its destruction.
Post-mortem life and possible reincarnations don't concern you. Indeed, you have never been incarnated. Only the one who thinks he is a human being can believe that he was born, dies or is reincarnated, that he goes to paradise or hell.
You are out of space and time. To become eternal is to become aware of your eternity. Becoming aware of it is living it.
You are the Being and you participate in his Transcendence.
It is the illusion of identification to man which throws a veil on your Reality. It is within it that death, suppering, limitation and separation exist. Realize that you are pure Being and pure consciousness. Stop identifying to man and identify to the infiniti. Repeat mentally "this I am" while identifying with the incommensurate.
13 - Innefability
Transcendental and immanent at the same time, time less pure consciousness (time being linked to the forms of existence), full of happiness and beatitude. The Being as such is what certain traditions have called God. This is God devoid of any anthropomorphism (physical or psychological).
That God is pure being is statest in the Bible "I am he who is".
The Being, unique and absolute, has been called Brahman in India, Tao in the chinese tradition, Nirvana by the Buddhists.
Any one who has doubts about the unity of all religions at their essential and esoteric level, must undertake a detailed comparative study about them. This unity will then become obvious. Beyond that, only to realize in practice what stydy has shown.
We have always been the Being. It is by becoming aware of our eternal union with God that we will it effective.
He who has achieved spiritual realization says with Christ : "The Father and I, we are one" (John 10-30) - "I am in the Father and the Father is in me" (John 14-11) - The Father who is in me accomplishes the works" (John 14-10) - This experience of unity is the pinacle of the christian message : "I live, but it is not me anymore, it is Christ who lives in me (Paul galates 4-7).
"The soul becomes God through participation in His nature and in His attributes" (San Juan de la cruz - living flame of love-str, 3) "The human being, image of God, becomes God through deification, he fully enjoys abondoning everything that belongs to him by nature… because the grace of the Spirit triumphs in him and because obviously God acts in him" (Ambigua-greck Patrologie 91-10 76-BCO. This is possible because : "God's kingdom is inside you" (Luke
"God's depths are my depths and my depths are God's (Master Eckart sermon in hoc apparuit caritas dei in nobis). "Where the creature ends God begins and God only asks you to leave yourself, and let God be God in you" (Master Eckart - idem).
All mystics and all widsdoms aim at this transcendental union towards which it is the Maieutic's purpose to lead.
Thus, in the hebraic tradition of the Cabala, the purpose of redemption is to realize the unity between the transcendence and the immanence of God, between Schchina and Kaddosh Barouch-hou : "Each act, each accomplishment of a law brings about a fragment of this unification. To proclaim the Unity of God-The Jews call that to Unify God. Because this unity is to the extent that it becomes, it is "becoming unity". And this coming into being is in the soul and the hands of man". (Franz
Rosenzweig - The star of Redemption) and Moses Cordovero said : "Everything which exists is wrapped in His substance. He envelops all beings.
He and everything are one. Things are neither separate nor multiple or outwardly visible. As substance they are present in his sephiroth and thus He is everything, nothing exists outside of Him " (Shiour coma-40).
In the teachings or the moslem sutis we find the same experience of Unity : "Without Him as active principle and without us as receptacles of His act, nothing would exist. Indeed I adore Him and God is our Master. But, I am Himself. Be at the same time God in your essence and creature in your form, and you will be by God the dispenser of His mercy. (Mhyi-d-din-ibn'Arabi - The prophet's wisdom). "The essence of souls is one and thus is it also about bodies". - (Abul Hasan"Ali
Musaffar Sibti) - "My soul is nothing but yourself, my belief is that you are me !"
In the Vedas, the spiritually realized wiseman expresses himself in this way : "I am the one Who is immanent in all" (Atma Sakishatkara-4) "Everything that is seen or heard in the Universe, inside as well as outside is penetrated by me" (Idem-11) - "I am neither the spirit nor the intellect nor the thought or the sense of "I". I am neither space nor the earth nor fire nor air. I am pure intelligence and happiness. I am Siva, I am Siva" - (Shankara-six stages
about Nirvana) - "I am eternal consciousness, dissociated from the mind and the senses" (Hastamalaka strotra-7) - "I am neither the vital breath nor the mind, but pure Being" (Shankara - Atma - Buddha 33) "What remains eternal, pure, always free alone, always in Beatitude, without duality, Being-Consciouness. Beatitude, this very Brahman is myself" (Shankara - idem-36).
For Buddhism the Nirvana is that pure transcendence about which any formulation is inadequate, "Don't try to measure with words what is immeasurable, anymore than to plunge the string of thought into the impenetrable : He who ask is wrong, he who answers is wrong" (Buddha, The triple basket).
This transcendence is beyond all categories even those relating to the existence or non-existence of life's forms. (Buddha defined the Nirvana in this way : "The non-composed (…) difficult to see, unshakable, non-curved, immoral, pure, refuge, island, fort, support, protection, the one who does not transmigrate, the non-inflamed, non-burnt, omnipresent, very pure, subtle, paceful the one whitout affliction, the one who has not come to existence" (Samyukta-agama-sutra 890), and in the
vedantic tradition we find the following statement : "The transcendental is the Supreme, and He is also the Nirvana (Atma Sakshatkara-19).
The Nirvana is the indescribable and ineffable God of the negative theology. Nirvana and Samsara (Cosmos) are one. What is annihilated in the Nirvana is the individuality and the identified modes of consciouness.
To realize the transcendence of the Nirvana is to find our nature of Buddha : To learn Zen is to find ourselves, to find ourselves is to forget ourselves, to find our nature of Buddha, our original nature". (Master Dogen). - "Silence is our deep nature. Silent, the eternal consciouness continues before our birth, beyond our death". (Master Taisen Deshimaru - Za-zen The practice of Zen) "Even if our spirit is small, it countains the unlimited (Master Seiko), "In their essence
my body and my spirit are universal. You also in your essence are universal. Thus I exist in you and exist in me, in my body and in my spirit" (Master Taisen Deshimaru, the Gobaki's history za-zen. The practice of zen).
The possibility to realize the transcendence is found in all authentic traditions. Thus we read in the Tao to King : "The Tao is (…) as a gulf out of which all things come" (4) - " The Tao itself does not act, however everything is done by him" (37) - "The Tao is the secret and common foundation of all beings" (62) - "Who is celestial will be one with the Tao" (16).
We could add more and more examples of the unity of all traditions because as the Rg-Veda says : "The Truth is one but the Sages have given it different names".
14 - Non-Action
To remain conscious of the Being is to remain Awake. Firs you must discover awakening and then work through inner recalling to establish a state of permanent awakening which will remain unalterable in all circumstances. This is the basis of the initiating discipline. Its daily accomplishment will lead to spiritual realization.
Being awake while one is active means to concentrate on what is being accomplished. When you are absorbed in what you are doing the notion of pleasant or unpleasant activity disappears you are what you are doing, and you experience inner silence peace, energy. You realize that emptinessand fullness interpenetrate. The more perfect the concentration on the action, the more useless thoughts are excluded, at the same time, the easier it becomes to perceive in the background of the mind the eternal void
of your transcendence.
In this way, little by little you verify that at all times while the human being carries out any activity, you remain inactive, immobile in your unalterable peace.
15 - Phenomenal Appearance
For the human being, the world is an objective reality, because he has the same degree of reality as all that surrounds him. But, for the conscience, it is just a dream.
Look around you and realize that you do not know anything but your percptions. This "external" world is just a set of coherent perceptions without deep reality. It is a mirage, an hallucination. Do not just understand this, live it, feel it. Your outlook toward things will completely change.
Remember briefly that all the perceptions that from the beginning of your life have joined one another until they produced what you perceive now. Realize that it is nothing but a dream, of which each day is but an episode.
Once you have achieved this feeling of dream, try to maintain it in loge. Experience lige from day to day, from minute to minute, as an hallucinatory dream. By doing this, you achieve total detachment. Indeed, to what can one become attached when one sees the world as a phantasm which goes by ?
All illusions and you are thrown into a void. It is in this perception that there is total freedom and independance, for witness-consciouness is not related to the web of temporal existence. Evil, horror, suffering exist only when consciousness, through identification, is reduced to human dimensions. So live on the level of your true nature, timelees conscience become free.
The Being creates the world by thinking it. What you perceive is just a fragment of this immense meditation. Who is aware that he exists as pure being, contemplates the on-going creation of the world. He sees that the universe is a dream built on a void.
From the depths of the formless, the cosmic Thought springs up and engenders the phenomenal movement. Then, in the unique Transcendental conscience appears a multiplicity of localized perception focuses of which the human being is an example.
The world appears to you as the Eternal's game. This very game which from day to day is yours.
16 - Wonder
With closed eyes, enter the void and the silence of the Being. Acced into the incommensurable, stay there, and enjoy its taste. Then, think of the world again. Raise up in you the desire, the curiosity of seing again its strange appearance, and slowly open your eyes. Look then at what is in front of you with intense consciensness. You are dazzled by thousands of forms and colours. You come from the total absence of everything and the beauty of the worl strikes you.
It is the wonderful meeting of the opposites : full and empty, colorful and colorless limited and inlimited, temporal and intemporal. Life and its phenomenal phantasmasmagoria becomes a perpetual delight and ecstasy.
You love the world as man loves woman.
Who knows that, has unending joy.
17 - Unity with the all
Experience shows that you cannot be dissociated from what your are perceiving, in this very instant. Since Reality is one : The supreme Reality, called God, is formless void in its non-manifested transcendence, and engenders everything that exists in its manifestation.
Understand and feel that you are at one and the same time the timeless conscience present in every form of life, and the multiplicity of perceptions whose universal web makes up the hallucinatory dream of the Cosmos. To live that is to recognize oneself in everything.
From the, the human being that you are, not in a limitative sense, is included in your total reality. Nothing and nobody is separate from you. Everything echoes in you, and you are everything.
Unity with the All is experienced.
18 - Devotion
The initiatic quest for leads to the knowledge of God in whom you see the unique and eternal Being, from which you cannot be dissociated. You have two faces, you are Him on the level of the essence, and you are the human being on the level of manifestation.
That is why devotion and knowledge do not exclude each other.
Devotion leads to knowledge, and knowledge can be accompanied by devotion.
Remaining present in the human being, raise your feelings towards the informat presence of the Divine.
It is a pure prayer of love which does not ask for anything and which finds its reward in its own movement. When, day after day a love realition ship established itself between God and his servant, human life is illuminated.
19 - Surrender
A dialectic is established between Essence and manifestation, between God and the human being. Life is no longer felt as the fruit of blind chance. You perceive that through every event God is teaching and training us. The meaning of life then appears clearly to you. Life's trials are no longer "back luch" but tests through which God allows us to reinforce your dertermination and relinquishment. You say "let his will be donne" and you and is done know that in everything his will.
Remaining in a state of surrender and inner receptivity towards God, man is inspired and guided by the Divine Grace.
Surrendering is pasisve towards that which fate, expression of the Divine will, imposes up you.
Surrending is active towards the accomphishment of the works dictated by moral conscience. Through moral conscience, God enspires you and as a man, makes you an instrument of His will at work in the world.
20 - Blossoming Of The Heart
All perfection potentially lies in the void of ghe "non manifested". This is why, through mystical union, man becomes the receptacle and the place where divine qualities manifest themselves.
The more you remain innerly melted in the Transcendental Being, the more love fills you. It is an uninterrupted flow of love which pours over you and towards creation.
Learn to open the doors of your heart. Look carefully at a man while keeping your mind empty and receptive. Without any mental reaction or judgment. You will develop a deep understanding of his personality. In this understanding, the perception of beauty. In this understanding, compassion for what is negative. With this understanding, love.
Change your way of looking at people, and love will become for you as natural as breathing. This suvtle art is indispensable if we want universal love to be no longer just a word but a living Reality.
When there is attention, lucidity, and mental silence, love springs up. It is a pure source which expresses itself for the pleasure of loving, expecting nothing in return. Such is the secret of love. Life is transfigured in daily love of things, plants, animals, human beings and the whole of nature.
We must work systematically to introduce lobe within each day.
21 - Love
The unique and eternal Being manifests Himself under the form of women, men, children, old people, friends… It is Him and only Him whom you should love, through the individualities with whom you raintain privileged relationships.
When you love but the Eternal your feelings cease to fix and engulf themselves into this or that individuality. You will still love, but it will no longer be possible for you to be separated from the object of your love. Your love will be universal, without any stingy attachment. A free and strong love which apprehends the Eternal through the tempory forms of life. Learn to love the Unique behind the appearances of the multiple.
22 - Sacralisation Of Man
We must perceive that the conscience is independant from the body, but also we should illuminate this body by bringing conscience down into it. The presence of conscience in the body produces harmony between the vegetative and the cerebral "I", vitalization and bodily joy.
The more conscience descends into the body, the more it awakes deep energetic zones and cosmic dynamism in it.
In this very instant, experience that conscience can impregnate the whole of the body. It can diffuse in it and become present in all its limbs. To do this regularly is to feel the body become dynamic. The body, with which we no longer confuse ourselves, is for us a place of beatitude. From day to day, bodily life becomes an enjoyment and a feast.
To eat, wash, walk become grandiose acts, sources of fulfilment, sacred acts, extasies of cosmic communion.