Some say it cannot be done. Some say it is not necessary. Some say it is not the goal and not the point. And I understand. They are right. And still I must respectfully disagree.
You absolutely CAN clear the mind. And you should clear the mind. And must clear the mind. Even and especially if you are a beginner to meditation it is the very best practice to begin with. Let me tell you why.
Many will say that the best practice is observation. Witnessing. Self-inquiry and the like. It is true. This is a very, very easy starting place.
However, with clarity of mind, you are quite suddenly free to pursue absolutely any objective at all. Two pertinent questions arise.
- What does ‘clear’ mean in the context of this question?
- What is your objective after you have cleared your mind?
Clarity during life’s various problem-solving exercises is one thing. It is an exceedingly valuable state of being in these stressful and information-overloaded days.
Clarity at the various stages of Samadhi is another thing entirely. And the clarity found in Silence is yet different again.
Maharishi Patanjali tells us in His Yoga Sutras that the entire purpose of Yoga is to control the fluctuations of the mind. Yoga nirodha chitta vritti. This brings you to the goal – Samadhi, or meditation. So does clearing the mind connote this same control of the fluctuations? The above two questions need to be answered.
My own definition of ‘clear mind’ in the context of this question is as follows. Please take it as an objective reference only.
I am not a slave to my mind. My mind is my very own belonging. It is my tool – a part of a great computer system, with precise connections into this vehicle that holds me, and also with access to a Great Network that goes far beyond this body, too. My mind is an awesome tool.
And when I sit to meditate, it is with the intention to use this tool to do something. And so question number two. What would you do with your clarity?
Recently I am using it to engage in classical Vajrayana Tantric Visualization practices, a method I even teach to beginners in my meditation program, which I understand to be one of the keys to manifestation of consciousness in physical reality. I am doing these practices because there is a very real crisis in the world – the current pandemic – and by employing the arts of clear mind in this way, I am empowering and supporting my body’s health as well as enabling energetic support of those around me. Indeed, this support may extend for miles and miles around me, too. This is how I am using a clear mind in my meditation these days.
So the question finally comes to How a Beginner to these Arts & Sciences of Mind Can Clear the Mind in order to achieve a given purpose.
Jnana Yoga gives us viveka samskalpa, or clear discerning discrimination. This method of analysis of subject-object relationships and the constructs that are the subjects and objects themselves, brings the yogi to a sublime state of clarity regarding absolutely everything that rests on the backdrop of the supreme reality. And it is the mind that is used to recognize this. The clear mind.
Beyond the mind there is also total objective recognition from the Greater Perspective, that perspective which is actually the one which consciously employs its mind tool. But now we have gone a step further than the parameters of the question.
In summation, one clears the mind by firstly answering the questions posed above and then embarking on a process of witnessing and controlling, keeping focus on the knowledge that one is the Operator, the Employer of the Mind and not the other way around. Knowledge of one’s status and position in this operation is essential. And then, to remain beyond judgement of what is witnessed, while simultaneously engaged in the creation and direction that takes one to the goal answered at #2 above. Even a beginner can do this. Right knowledge. Right approach. Right mind. Right understanding. Buddha’s teachings are also a great reference in this regard.
…is a Saiva Tantrika, Gyana Yogi and founder of Uma Maheshwara Yoga & Ayurveda. David has an MA in Semiotics, lives in Japan with his family and works as a coach in L & D, devoting his time to developing science-based tools and programs that help people reach the fullest potential of the human condition.