Chapter 2: Thought Birth Control
Enlightenment is a contentless consciousness. The mind is empty but watchful, alert. In that peaceful state the door to truth opens. It is only in emptiness that truth is realized, and as a result one’s whole life is transformed.
One reaches this state of emptiness, this enlightenment, through meditation. But what is generally understood as meditation is not really meditation. That too is a process of thinking. Maybe the thoughts relate to the soul or to the divine but they are still thoughts. It makes no difference what the thoughts are about. In fact thought by its very nature pertains to the other, to the outer. It relates to what is not the self. There can be no thought about the self because for thought to exist, two are needed. That is why thought does not take you beyond duality. If one is to move into and know non-duality - the self - then meditation is the way, not thinking.
Thought and meditation go in totally opposite directions. One is outward-going; the other, inward-going. Thought is the way to know the other; meditation, the way to know the self. But generally thought, contemplation, has been taken for meditation. This is a very serious and widespread mistake and I want to caution you against this fundamental error.
Meditation means to be in non-doing. Meditation is not a doing but a state of being. It is a state of being in one’s own self.
In action we come into contact with the outside world; in no-action, with ourselves. When we are not doing anything we become aware of what we are. Otherwise, remaining involved in all sorts of doings we never get to meet ourselves. We don’t even remember that we exist. Our busyness is very deep. Perhaps our bodies may get to rest but our minds never do. Awake, we think; asleep, we dream. Engrossed in these constant preoccupations and doings, we simply forget ourselves. We lose ourselves amidst the crowd of our own activity. How strange this is - but this is our reality. We have become lost, not in the crowds of other people, but in our own thoughts, in our own dreams, in our own preoccupations and activities. We have become lost in ourselves. Meditation is the way to extricate ourselves from this self-created crowd, from this mental wanderlust.
By its nature, meditation cannot be an activity. It is not a busyness, it is the term for an unoccupied mind. This is what I teach. It looks rather odd to say that I teach non-doing, but this is what I teach. We have gathered here to practice non-doing. The language of man is very poor and very limited, designed to express action only; that is why it is never able to express the soul. How can what is tailored for speech express silence? The word meditation suggests that it is some sort of a doing but it is by no means a doing of any kind. It would be wrong to say “I was doing meditation”; it would be correct to say “I was in meditation.” It is just like love. One can be “in” love, one cannot “do” love. Hence I say meditation is a state of mind. It is of prime importance to be clear about this from the very beginning.