Are mind and consciousness two separate things or is the silent mind what is called consciousness?
It depends. It depends on your definition. But to me, mind is that part which has been given to you. It is not yours. Mind means the borrowed, mind means the cultivated, mind means that which the society has penetrated into you. It is not you. Consciousness is your nature; mind is just the circumference created by the society around you, the culture, your education.
Mind means the conditioning. You can have a Hindu mind, but you cannot have a Hindu consciousness. You can have a Christian mind, but you can't have a Christian consciousness. Consciousness is one; it is not divisible. Minds are many because societies are many; cultures, religions are many. Each culture, each society, creates a different mind. Mind is a social by-product. And unless this mind dissolves, you cannot go within; you cannot know what is really your nature, what is authentically your existence, your consciousness.
The effort to move into meditation is a struggle against the mind. Mind is never meditative, it is never silent, so to say 'a silent mind' is meaningless, absurd. It is just like saying 'a healthy disease'. It makes no sense. How can there be a disease that is healthy? Disease is disease, and health is the absence of disease.
There is nothing like a silent mind. When silence is there, there is no mind. When mind is there, there is no silence. Mind, as such, is the disturbance, the disease. Meditation is the state of no-mind. Not of a silent mind, not of a healthy mind, not of a concentrated mind, no. Meditation is the state of no-mind: no society within you, no conditioning within you. Just you, with your pure consciousness.
In Zen they say: Find out your original face. The face that you are using is not original; it is cultivated. It is not your face; it is just a facade, just a device. You have many faces, each moment you change your face. You go on changing it. The changing has become so automatic by now that you don't even observe it, you don't notice it.
When you meet your servant you have a different face from when you meet your boss. If your servant is sitting on your left side and your boss is sitting on your right, you have two faces. The left face is for the servant and the right face is for the boss. You are two persons simultaneously. How can you have the same face for your servant? Your one eye has a certain quality, a certain look. Your other eye has a different quality, a different look. It is meant for the boss and the other one is meant for the servant. This has become so automatic, so mechanical, so robot like that you go on changing your faces, you have multi-faces, and not a single one is the original.
In Zen they say: Find out your original face, the face you had before you were born, or the face you will have when you are dead. What is that original face? That original face is your consciousness. All your other faces come from your mind.
Remember well that you don't have one mind; you have multi-minds. Forget the concept that everyone has one mind. You don't have, you have many minds: a crowd, a multiplicity; you are poly-psychic. In the morning you have one mind, in the afternoon a different mind and in the evening still a different mind. Every single moment you have a different mind.
Mind is a flux: river like, flowing, changing. Consciousness is eternal, one. It is not different in the morning and different in the evening. It is not different when you are born and different when you die. It is one and the same, eternal. Mind is a flux. A child has a childish mind, an old man has an old mind; but a child or an old man have the same consciousness, which is neither childish nor old. It cannot be.
Mind moves in time and consciousness lives in timelessness. They are not one. But we are identified with the mind. We go on saying, insisting, 'My mind. I think this way. This is my thought. This is my ideology.' Because of this identification with the mind, you miss that which you really are.
Dissolve these links with the mind. Remember that your minds are not your own. They have been given to you by others: your parents, your society, your university. They have been given to you. Throw them away. Remain with the simple consciousness that you are ¯ pure consciousness, innocent. This is how one moves from the mind to meditation. This is how one moves away from society, from the without to the within. This is how one moves from the man-made world, the maya, to the universal truth, the existence.