John 6: 35, 48 I am the bread of life
John 8: 12, 9:5 I am the light of the world
John 8: 58 Before Abraham was, I am
John 10:9 I am the door
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd
John 11:25 I am the resurrection and the life
John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life
John 15:1 I am the true vine
Ring a bell – diiiing….
You hear a sound. And then the sound gradually fades away – until there is no sound anymore:
- When there is sound – we say that we hear something.
- But when there is no sound – we say that we don’t hear.
But is this right?
Ring the bell again – diiing…
We hear a sound, and then the sound gradually fades away again. Now if we listen carefully this time, when the sound fades away, what does it fade away into? It fades away into silence. We actually “hear” the silence.
- When there is sound – we say that we hear
- But when there is no sound – we say that we don’t hear – but this is not true.
When there is no sound – we still hear – we actually “hear” the silence. Our hearing nature, the ability to hear does not lapse for an instant whether there is sound or no sound. It is ever present and does not depend upon the auditory phenomena of sound – whatever appears in front of it – it just hears whether it be sound or silence.
Sound vs silence is an example of the duality of phenomena – in this case, the duality of auditory phenomena.
If we apply the same principle to the eyes:
- When there is light – we say that we can see.
- When there is no light – we say that we can’t see – but is that right? No. Because we are actually seeing the darkness.
Light and dark are just the duality of visual phenomena that appears before our eyes.
The key point here is that light and dark, sound and silence are still sensory objects:
- Sound vs silence are “objects” of our hearing but not “that which hears”
- Light and dark are “objects” of our seeing but not “that which sees”
Back to the example of sound, when we meditate, it’s nice to meditate in a nice quiet place because there is no sound for us to grasp at and pull our minds this way and that way (like music or conversations). And with a quiet place, there’s more silence that we can open up to.
But don’t think that this quiet place is actual skill in meditation as yet because all it is, is just the lack of sound. Silence is still an “object” of our hearing. Once the sound comes back, your mind will be as disturbed as it ever was.
So in quiet places, we have already let go of sound.
To go further we should also let go of silence. So don’t be trying to grasp the silence – that’ll frustrate you like heck because it has no form to be grasped – it’s like trying to grasp empty space.
So we’ve got to let go of sound AND we’ve got to let go of the silence as well. Detach from the sound and detach from the silence.
Let go of grasping at any “object” of our perceptions, so that our attention can return to “that which is aware” of those objects.
Being a self means that we are both subject and object; observer and observed. We are a subject in the sense that we are so separated from everything as to be able to look at it and act upon it. We are object in the sense that we so belongs to the world, that we are an intimate part of the process. But each factor determines the other; observer and that which is observed.
We spontaneously observe and investigate our experience free from the grip of authority; be they some teacher’s words or one’s preconceived ideas. We meditate by looking, listening, touching, tasting, talking, walking, standing, in all movements and in all activities. For example, when one is able to look or listen with great attentiveness, clarity, and without a single thought, one can then experience the flow of awareness that is without any reactivity, reasoning, and sense of self.
If there were myself acting as the hearer apart from the hearing, then "I am" would be separated from "myself" which has no corresponding reality. For "I am" and "myself" is one and the same thing. Hence I am hearing.
In this experience of the non-duality of subject and object, there is a realization of the absence of any permanent and independently existing ‘experiencer’ apart from the experience. This state is characterized by tremendous joy and bliss, a great clarity of understanding and complete freedom.
The silent observation of all that arises and passes away in one’s body and mind in an open spirit of ‘letting go’. The gentle calming and silencing of the mind is encouraged so as to create a space in which to observe the conditions of the body and mind. In particular, meditation on the body is done with a sweeping awareness of all the various sensations that arise throughout the body, for example the pressure of one’s clothes on the body or the subtle vibrations on the hands and feet. This awareness can also be concentrated in a gentle and peaceful way on any particular area of the body for further investigation. The mind, consisting of perceptions, sensations, mental formations, and consciousness, is also observed with a silent awareness.
Investigate these until you fully understand that all that rises passes away and is not self. Then there’s no grasping of anything as being oneself, and you are free form that desire to know yourself as a quality or a substance.
Allow mental verbalizations and thoughts to arise in the mind without suppressing or grasping after them. In this way, what is normally held below the threshold of consciousness is made fully conscious. Verbalizations associated with pride, jealousy, meanness, or whatever emotions are seen for what they are; impermanent, selfless conditions arising and passing away. The thought "Who am I?" is purposefully generated to observe its arising from and dissolving into the empty space of the mind. By doing this, one realizes the lack of a substantial and existing self within the processes of one’s thought.
Therefore we move back to the eternal Word of God as the ground of Being; I AM.
By aligning with the Truth who is Being I can come to see essence, to listen to the resonance of that Being and to resonator with the emotions of Being.