by Mihai Stoian, Yoga and Tantra teacher
Taken from Mihai Stoian's blog www.mihaistoian.net
Often we are confronted with life situations and dilemmas that we cannot solve from the mental perspective for the simple reason that we have the impression we need more data. At a closer look we realize that lost in the labyrinth of the mind, we find it very difficult to make a decision not because we do not have the information but because there are so many viewpoints upon the same information.
Yet the outcome is always clear in the end and sometimes we say: “I should have said that”, or “I should have done this”… And there are some blessed moments in life when we feel great, we feel in high spirits and we see things with a kind of eagle eye view, accurately getting all the details and in the same time having an extraordinarily broad perspective that allows us to take the right decision in no time.
From that perspective everything appears very clear, nothing is foggy or too complex anymore. The question often arises is “How can one access this eagle-eye view?”.
The answer is in a special state of consciousness that is only accessible in some specific conditions. Generally we can call this: the supramental state. In this supramental state the mental structure is transcended, the discursive mind (the producer of all the dualistic thoughts) is silenced because we no longer feed it with our attention. For many this supramental state might appear very difficult to obtain but with little effort we can easily realize (at least to a certain extent) the reality of this state which is “one blink away” from our normal states.
This supramental state is a state which is characterized by the awareness upon what is called Vijnana MayaKosha the energetic structure behind the inferior mind (the discursive mind manas). This is the energetic structure of your being responsible for integrating you in the universe, making the subtle connections that translate the individuality into universality in its right time and place. Everyone have this energetic structure otherwise we will disintegrate, be pulled apart by the universal forces that will “ignore” we are here and now. However not everyone has it awakened to the level of conscious awareness, for most people it is just a potential that is still to be consciously awakened.
Therefore the participation of our life to the universal life – in absence of the awareness upon this supramental level – is just at the level of survival and from our limited perspective life is governed by chance. When awakening the awareness at the level of supramental structure vijnana mayakosha we become aware of the permanent interaction that take place between the individuality and the totality, making everything coherent and synchronized. One simple characteristic of this Vijnana MayaKosha energetic level of our being is that it doesn’t depend on any particular aspect of life, it is that universal part of our being that is specifically designed for us. Normally this supramental structure is concealed to our normal level of awareness; it doesn’t appear directly in our perception because our awareness is completely locked into details, reducing all that is general and universal to something that is particular. For example when you stay here in this room, you stay here in this particular room. Now, what is particular about this room? Is it the address? Is it the color of the walls or the floor? Or is it the particular memories that we have attached to it?
In reality its just a mental box that we have created and associated all these particular attributes to. In reality its just a room like any other one but we see it not just a room, we see it as being this particular room only. Its universality is hidden behind the particular details attached to it by our inferior mind manas.
For us this is what we usually call reality and therefore we are “locked” into this particular room. And also because the senses are “shouting” all these details to us we unconsciously associate them with this particular room and create this reality in the mind. Thus the supramental level, from where the whole concept of being here was born, is covered by all the specific details and as a result we can’t perceive it at all. This will happen with all details of our life.
It is possible to realize the supramental state right now
Even if concealed by the details of reality, it is possible for anyone to realize this supramental state right now. Even while you are reading these lines you are formulating your ideas and fundamental experiences at the supramental level in the shape of some intuitions and intentions, but they get immediately “swallowed” at the mental level where you just assign them to the particular personality you have – you give them the personal flavor of your thoughts until everything becomes the very detailed personality, that cannot be distinguished from its basic elements.
Its is exactly like for example when you look at a painting but you cant see the colors because the colors are contained already in the images that create the whole painting. Therefore you can’t see only the red for example, you are looking at the particular painting as a whole. Analogically speaking this is how the supramental state is concealed in the normal daily states we have.
There are some elements related to the mental work that we usually ignore (and we pay a great price for this ignorance): the associative power of the inferior mind (manas) that combines the past experiences with the present perceptions to create a predictable future through projections. From this perspective we can say that the inferior mental structure is working with the domains of the past and future. In the absence of these two dimensions of time (past and future) the inferior mind is blocked because there is nothing to associate the perceptions from the present moment with. With this observation, you can easily understand why the present moment can be – when attentively observed – a genuine gate to the supramental state. When the inferior mind stops, the supramental state comes forth without difficulty.
At the supramental level you only see colors and the idea that will be represented as the painting. Therefore you cannot make a confusion between styles, between paintings and so on but the same idea can become a different painting when combined with another character, with other details from the past or other expectations from the future. For this reason at the supramental level we can see clearly, we can discern between fundamental ideas and we cannot be fooled with misleading details anymore.
In the present moment there is no room for the inferior mind, you are mindless and when you are mindless the supramental, which means what is beyond the mind, starts to appear
Another analogy that is often used in the spiritual tradition is the surface of a lake. When the water is disturbed by waves created by exterior factors or by inner movements of the water, then you can see the reflections of the light and of the sky on the water but they will only show the surface of the water with millions of sparks of shattered images reflected on it. When the water is very still, then we cannot see its surface anymore because we see only the bottom of the lake. The reflective surface apparently disappears disclosing what was concealed by the chaotic reflection in the agitated surface: the lake bed that supports the lake itself. Analogically the supramental is the lake bed that is supporting all the mental activities and it is concealed by the result of these activities.
Just like the surface of the water reflects entire images when it is still and shattered images when agitated, the inferior mind cuts the reality into small pieces proportionally with its degree of agitation. The result will be a very strange collection of bits of images and in order to make sense the mind is interconnecting these bits of information in previously learned patterns. And here is what is the result:
This is how our reality usually looks when subjected to the logical inferior mind. No wonder we often have this sensation that the world is an absurd theater. With such a system of processing the information … it is a miracle we can find the way home after being at work.In these conditions we are an easy prey to any attempts of manipulation or to induce any combination that “stimulates” a certain view upon reality in us. The only reliable solution to this is to silence the mind until the image reflected into it doesn’t need adjustments from the inferior mind because it is perfectly accurate. The silenced mind no long appears to us, as it becomes still.
There are many methods to silence the mind and they are quite easy to practice but the difficulty is to make the sacrifice of all the meaningless but apparently useful details that we keep in the inferior mind, these will vanish once the mind is still. For most people meditation and mental training fails in the moment they have to give up the content of the inferior mind, for many the inferior mind looks like the house of an old lady, filled with all the old stuff she cannot throw away because of their “emotional value”.
There is also another method for accessing (at least for a short while) the supramental state: the focus of the attention upon the present moment. As shown above the inferior mind exists only in the context of using the past and future as a basis of its associations. When focusing only upon the present moment, the inferior mind is still, locked in the golden moment of now. At that moment the supramental state shines. Training this focus upon the present moment even just for few moments a day will start to awaken the awareness at the level of the supramental structure. It will become easier to relate to this “beyond the mind” state since becoming familiar with it in moments of confusion, in moments we need an objective view upon things , the supramental state will be accessible with all its benefits.
(end of part one)