Most of us take ourselves to be our bodies and the chatting minds that occupies the body. In other words we feel like skin-encapsulated egos navigating a three-dimensional reality. That voice in our heads, we feel like that’s kinda us, though maybe not completely. The body which we’re in, we feel like that’s kinda us, but not completely.
Who are we then really?
If we don’t investigate into our own nature we’ll take many things for granted, including who or what we are.
One who is earnest in his or her meditation will inevitably come across something distinct, something that feels uniquely distinct from the body and from the psychological mind, namely, the sense of presence. When you get right down to the basics, what can be said for certain is that we’re here, and somehow we’re conscious of being here. This consciousness or presence gradually seems to replace the psychological identity which we took ourselves to be prior to meditation or any other effective spiritual path.
Meditation can also be said to bring you to the immediacy of the senses and thus being deeply connected with the natural functioning of the body. What seems to become redundant in your conscious experience however, is the psychological identity and the constant neurotic self-reflection and self-judging which isolates you from the rest of the universe. Meditation in this sense also dissolves boundaries, between the personal and the universal. The mind that seemed to be separate from the body, starts realigning and harmonizing with the body yet again, thoughts start being regarded in the same way you perceive the breathing process, your senses and the heartbeat, i.e. natural processes that happen by themselves.
This understanding can cause a radical shift in your identity. Our view or image of ourselves is oftentimes a very dynamic, unstable and changing phenomena. Your essential nature is not. What can be said about your essential nature, is that it is a state of knowing or awareness. It’s first principles thinking but from a profoundly subjective and spiritual perspective.
Meditation isn’t always pleasant and serene, especially when the ego and the psychological mind starts feeling threatened by the practice. You see our egos and identity’s are fragile self-preserving mechanism that seek to prolong their existence through just about anyway necessary. The intelligence of presence, which you are if you behold yourself in a clear mirror in your mind, recognizes this while simultaneously knows that everything is transient and that everything changes. Shifting to living as presence can bring you serenity, lightness and a subtle but stable joy. You’ll be travelling lighter in your day to day life, instead of being burdened by the innumerable projections and notions of the neurotic mind.
Daniel Seeker is a wandering dervish and lifelong student of the past, present and future. He realized deep relaxations of the psyche when meditating in his hermit cave on the island of Gotland. His writings are mostly a reflection of that realizaton. Daniel currently studies history and philosophy at Uppsala Universitet, as he is currently writing his B.A. thesis in history which explores how Buddhist, Yogic and Hindu texts were first properly translated and introduced to the western world in the late 18th and 19th century.