It happened in January 2022, as far as I remember. That day I got up around 2 – 2:30 am and sat for meditation. After doing some breathing practices and sitting in Padmasana for one hour, I changed my posture to Siddhasana. I was not meditating on anything particular, my aim was just to sit as long as I could, as still as I could. And I sat. I remember I sat for around 3 hours in Siddhasana. After about 2 hours the knees started paining intensely, but that was not first time I was experiencing that. I had early experienced that pain when I managed to sit for 2 or 2.5 hours. So I tried to persist and didn’t open my legs. After some time, that pain goes away on its own and I sat. As I said that I was not meditating on anything particular, I was just trying to sit still, silently. I experienced my mind moving through dullness and dullness slowing going away, thoughts slowly reducing. I experienced very still mind that day. Overall, I sat for about 1+3 = 4 hours.
Now the outcome. Was I tired when I got up? No – not a bit tired. Anyone who hasn’t experienced this may feel that one will get tired after sitting for 4 hours, the back and joints must ache, etc. But that’s not true when you sit for meditation. On the contrary, when I got up, I felt extremely energetic. My body felt extremely light and a sense of joy, a subtle calmness pervaded my being. Actually, the one who sat didn’t get up, the one who got up was someone else. When I walked out of room, it felt as if gravitation had reduced for me and I literally walked as if I was kissing the earth with my feet, as Thich Nhat Hanh said (I read this quote by him in Akshay ji’s post someday, otherwise, I didn’t even know about him). And my mind, it was so crystallized that I remained meditative for about 1-2 days and I experienced a completely new dimension of reality. When I interacted with my family members, I literally felt as if a child is talking, and a lot of compassion arose for everyone just out of nowhere, without any reason.
But wait a minute, the title of the post is “The Beads and the Thread”, you might be thinking, what it has to do with whatever I wrote till now? (If you didn’t think about it and got lost in reading, I must say, it was a lapse of mindfulness :P) So let’s move to that part.
I once read this analogy somewhere. The formless indivisible divine consciousness is like the thread and all the individual consciousness, the names, our identities are like the beads. The thread is one, only the beads are different. That session of meditation made me really experience this, even though faintly, but it did. I have often felt the underlying consciousness, which same for you and me and for anyone else, irrespective of cast, creed, gender, nationality or any other categorization. I can feel that oneness to some extent. Note that I am saying “feel”, not “think”. I don’t have to think or remember or repeat that we all are one, when I am concentrated and aware, I can just feel it. This experience makes you compassionate and gives you a sense of clarity. It helps you realize the true meaning of ignorance and true meaning of oneness.
Just imagine a tree. All the leaves are different, but there is one single root system for all the leaves. Similarly, at roots, at subtle level, we all are one, no matter where and who we are. Yet, at the gross level, at the physical level, we all are different. Our difference is one aspect of our reality and our oneness is one aspect of our reality, it is the understanding of the balance between two which gives you an amazing perspective towards life. When I look at someone, I try to look at the difference as well as the oneness, and this is what helps in deciding what to do in what situation. I will deal with a relative in one way and a friend at college in one way, in a way that suits the respective situation but at the same time, there’s an underlying acceptance, a sense of respect or compassion you can say, which remains same.
We all are different, yet we all are same. This is the reconciliation of the paradox, at least for me it is resolved to great extent.