The Light Itself

The Light Itself

Recently I came across an interesting state of consciousness I call Clear Mind. I can’t find any reference to it in spiritual literature. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tibetan Buddhist referenced it, but I don’t know that tradition well enough. Either way, I wanted to describe it to you as well as explain how I get there because it’s been very useful to me in my practice.

The state of Clear Mind happens when I do concentration meditation on the emptiness of the mind. If I meditate on the breath, I can’t access it. If I wish to be taken into it, I get taken naturally through certain (soft) jhanas, usually jhana 4 to 8. Upon exiting jhana 8 I get dropped into this new state that feels like a different reality. The way I stumble onto the state was by trying to access at will the state of nirvana/samadhi, where everything fades out except existence, self-awareness and a blissful sensory overload (white light, ringing ears, buzzing skin…). I recently succeeded and I notice that the state or Clear Mind was this kind of antechamber for it.

The first trait I see is I’m outside the mind, very close, but outside, like a cloth wrapped around a crystal ball. What I think is happening is, when I reach a certain intensity of concentration on the content of the mind (or lack thereof), my perspective pulls back as if my awareness reared outside of the mind. I think that’s simply it. I focus so much on the mind that I see it clearer than usual, as a passive observer. Then I notice the clarity of the mind. It’s hard to describe other than saying it’s clearer than the clarity of the waking reality. I am capable of conscious thoughts, but no distraction. I can still intend to do something (like leave) and I have awareness. Something I can’t do is apply effort to my concentration or surrender. It is as if all the effort that could have been applied has been applied and everything I could have given up has been surrendered.

Then I notice a series of secondary sensations. I have no sensation of a body. instead, I feel a field of multi-colored energy circling around where my body was, shaped like a torus. I can also feel the chakras distinctly. I have no sense of time, space or self. I assume that is because I’m witnessing the mind from te outside and all those sensations are features of the mind. The state also feels like a waiting room (a bit like Access Concentration can feel), like I’m waiting for something to happen. In this state I don’t do, I only witness. the state feels full of possibilities because of the broader perspective on the mind. The world is full of possibilities for the eagle, more so than for the ant. The state seems to strengthen any other state I access from it, like a Super Access Concentration. If I go to a jhana from here, it is often a deep jhana (maybe similar to Pa Auk’s merged Nimitta > jhana absorption). Effortlessly, I’m sucked upward through the mind and to the Crown. The mind is squeezed out as if it wasn’t allow to come with me. Imagine the yolk of an egg being sucked out leaving the egg white of the mind behind. Clear Mind also allows me to enter a state of nirvana or samadhi directly without going to any extra jhana. Once I’m in Clear Mind, I stay on the empty mind and wait. After a few minutes, I feel a switch being flicked inside me. The sensations go brrr and then only existence exists.
All these states are usually short though, so it’s not a magical formula either. Maybe with practice I can learn how to stabilize those states.
I haven’t been able to access nirodah the same way (I can’t control nirodha yet, unfortunately, maybe because I suck at insight!). I’m trying do that at the moment. I’ll let you know if I get any result.

If anyone is interested in trying, I can describe how I do it so you can give it a go. If you do, please let me know what it feels like so we can compare the experiences! It would really help me anchor my practice. I don’t believe a high level is necessary, because I used to get there by accident as a beginner. To control it, though, you probably need the ability to rest in an empty mind for an extended period of time. But what do I know?

My method:
I close my eyes and I stabilize them behind my eyelids. I let my breath drop to the bottom. I hold it there without effort until I reach a shallow breath. I can now forget the body.

I am aware of the emptiness of my mind. I bring my awareness to the edge of it and quickly, I become aware that the mind is sitting in nothingness. My sensations go blank, my concentration bursts outwards. (If you don’t experience this, focusing on the empty mind is enough to reach the state. Both ways work just fine.)

I incline the will towards the nothingness that is my object of concentration. As I do, I formulate the intent to reach the state of Clear Mind, going through any jhana necessary. I’m usually taken through (soft) jhanas 4 to 8, then I come out in the state of Clear Mind (it takes about 15 to 20 minutes). At the beginning, I used to be taken through jhanas 1 to 8. On rare occasions, I get dropped into the state instantly. The transition to Clear Mind feels like a union (not The Union mind you). There is this light up there that I’ve been pulled towards, jhana after jhana. I’m getting closer and closer then we merge like two drops of quicksilver. Then I feel like I just entered a different reality.

The main trait of the state is immediately apparent: the mind is particularly clear, almost eerily. It barely feels like my mind (is it?) I realize I see it from the outside.

Let me know if have experience with this state.


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