If you sit quietly noticing that awareness is always present it is very easy to see that for this to be the case there is absolutely nothing that the mind needs to do. Similarly there is no problem that the mind needs to solve to recognize this deeper level of awareness, as this very awareness is never absent being the constant conscious presence in which all thoughts and sensations appear. For without this presence we would not be aware of any thought or sensation.
Now the mind is basically a problem solving device, so when it realizes that there is nothing it needs to do, and no problem that it needs to solve, it naturally quietens leaving the cloudless sky of awareness in its full glory. Provided one has the intent of identifying with this deeper level of awareness, then thoughts and sensations appear as clouds in this sky, which come and go leaving the sky unaffected. In this context the mind will not follow, or identify with, these clouds as the task it has set itself to perform is to identify with awareness itself.
The mind is akin to an ‘onboard computer’ which is a wonderful tool for problem-solving, information storing retrieval and processing, and evaluating the data provided by our senses. However when it is not ‘engaged’ it tends to search for other problems to solve, and if these are not available in the present moment it tends to speculate in the future, wallow in the past, or imagine in the present, creating non-existent problems which it then tries to solve!
Whereas a computer will just sit idle until it is given a task to perform, so to put the mind into this same ‘idle’ state one has to ‘engage’ it in a task thus disabling its ‘search’ tendency. If it turns out that this task entails no problem to solve the mind will not resume searching as long as it remains totally engaged in the task it has been set, and if this entails ‘nothing to do’ then the mind will ‘do nothing’!
In this mode thoughts and sensations come and go effortlessly without luring the mind to follow, or identifying with, them. This is why committing, or having the intent, to identifying with the deeper level of our being, pure awareness, is so important; for this sets the ‘milieu’ in which the mind is to operate.
This in turn leads to the realization that for this identification there is truly nothing the mind has to do, or problem to solve, as awareness is obviously already here and is a constant presence (the perceiver) whilst thoughts and sensations are just ephemeral objects (the perceived).
At this moment you can totally relax letting go of all striving, seeking, desiring and longing; in fact of all effort. As this relaxation deepens, and the mind quietens, one becomes totally open to further revelations stemming from the recognition that one is pure awareness.
For this reason the intent to identify with the deepest level of our being, pure awareness, and the realization that for this there is truly nothing the mind needs to do, or problem it has to solve, is of great value in going totally beyond identification with the surface level of thoughts and sensations.
This total relaxation and letting go then effortlessly leads to merging with awareness itself, with all the peace and bliss that this entails. For in this state there is truly ‘no mind’, as the mind is still due to the fact that it has nothing to do, and no problem to solve; and thoughts and sensations are merely witnessed as they spontaneously arise and subside, without re-activating the mind.
~ by Colin Drake, in the May NOWletter Ed. Alan Mann