We are casting to the wind
Our most precious thing
The mind is full of turbulence. Thoughts are like flags fluttering in the wind—it is as if the wind never stops blowing. Experiences litter the mind’s ‘windswept landscape.’ We are left picking up remnants of thoughts and experiences. There is no shelter in the mind, we are out in the open. But we are not alone. Thoughts give us company. When our awareness is not on worldly objects, it on our thoughts. We fear loneliness without them.
Thoughts are intoxicating. We forget ourselves and become one with the contents of our thoughts. As they change, we transfer our attachment to other thoughts. Leaving the familiarity realm of our thoughts is like placing a drink in the hand of a drunken person and asking him not to drink. We cannot imagine a state of no thoughts. That emptiness makes us afraid.
Thoughts, feelings, and experiences vanish as quickly as they appear. We hold on to them in our memory, afraid to let go. But, when we become aware of their changing nature, we begin to leave that field of change. That experience of being aware does not change. It is the same whether we are young or old. It is the changeless aspect of our being.
It is like standing on the bank of a fast-moving river and watching the flow of water. The ‘I’ that is aware of this flowing, changing stream of water does not change. When we become aware of any experience, we perceive the gap between that which is aware, the ‘I,’ and the experience itself. Even when there is no thought, the ‘I’ remains. Our involvement with thoughts and experiences is so deep that we fail to recognize that we are always aware of them.
The experience of being aware is a type of meditation. Everyone can have this experience. We are aware of thoughts and objects. If we remove this ‘of’—by not directing our attention to a particular thought or feeling—it leaves us with awareness. This recognition sheds light on the difference between the field of change and the changeless reality.
We can move our awareness from one thought to another, one experience to another, and from one object to another. But we cannot turn awareness back on to where it originates. Light from the sun travels in all directions, illuminating objects in its path. But that light cannot turn back and illuminate the sun from where it originates.
Thoughts in the mind are closer to us in comparison with an object outside of us. But the experience of being aware of those thoughts and objects is even more intimate. No one can take it away. When we stop directing our attention towards thoughts and experiences, there opens a door into awareness itself. It is the most intimate of experiences. It does not depend on the content or the presence or absence of thoughts. It is our true nature.
When we move away from the contents in the field of perception, the rise and fall of thoughts and experiences do not affect us. When we rest in our awareness, our most precious asset, without seeking or searching, opens the floodgates of bliss, joy, and contentment. It dissolves boundaries, fears, limitations, and craving. We remove the root of the mind’s turbulence, our belief in a limited thought or experience as real.