The article below describes how to teach yourself to Calm the discursive thought in your mind and to live, truly Live, your life as the Naturally Blissful Being you really are. It is not magic nor is it complicated in any way but it does take a continuous effort to refocus your mind back onto your body where it should naturally Be. The mind and the body are not two separate things but have become "separated" by the chaotic habit of discursive thought or thinking that we humans fell into long ago. We got "Lost" thinking about Reality instead of just Living IT! I will save the when and the how this happened for another time because it gets into the very complex topic of the evolution of the brain. Also, it is not necessary to understand how we got "Lost" in order to find our Way back. Enjoy this very important article, put the information to use, and please check out the other articles at the bottom of this post. They contain more information that can help you get back to your True Nature.
The Breath Can Lead to Realizing the Natural State
There is a technique that has been around for thousands of years and has been used to point countless sentient beings toward their natural state. Simply following the breath. There are many variations of this but we want to keep it very simple. Our true nature, our natural state is very simple. But because it is so simple we completely miss it. It is always there yet it goes completely unnoticed. It's the foundation for all appearances. It exists before thought and interpretation arises in mind. It is before language. It is beyond conceptual thought. It is our foundation. Our basic, eternally free, pristine, primordial, free from suffering state of being. It is consciousness without content.
Techniques are used as aids to help calm and center the mind. When thoughts have subsided, and there is more empty space between thoughts. When the chain of unending thoughts has been broken, it is easier for insight or wisdom to arise. You see, everything that we believe we know, all of our opinions, judgments and interpretations are simply thoughts. They have no existence apart from the thinking mind. Reality functions perfectly without them. What we think about existence has nothing to do with existence. They are only thoughts superimposed onto reality. Existence cannot be known through thought. We can speculate about the observed using thought and language but thought can never penetrate reality. It will only be speculation based on observation. Thought can only be on the surface.
We are not separate from existence. We do not live life. We are life itself. We do not live within the universe, we are the universe. We are existence itself. All that is seen and unseen is nothing separate from who we are. The thinking, dualistic mind separates all things experienced into parts and pieces. When abiding in the natural state, there is no separation. There is no this or that. Everything simply exists as it is. All of these things aforementioned are simply thoughts about reality. The mind has added these things to reality from its previous conditioning. The mind has been conditioned by the society, the family, the friends. The mind is conditioned to express what it experiences with words, labels and gives everything attributes. Reality is wordless, thoughtless and without attribute. Although who we really are is inexpressible, we must use words in order to communicate that there is something which is inherent to us all that is naturally free and communicate methods which point to that. Whether it's following the breath, mindfulness practices, pranayama, or many of the countless meditative practices that exists today. All genuine practices are simply pointers to your natural state.
When you breathe, notice where the sensation of the breath is the most dominate. Maybe the sensation of the breath is dominate at the tip of the nose. Maybe the sensation of the chest moving up and down is the most dominate. Maybe the sensation of the abdomen moving in and out from the breathing process is most dominate. Whatever is most dominate within the attention, use that as your breath spot. When one moves the attention to the breath, move it to that spot.
In the beginning it may be very difficult to keep your attention on the sensation of your breath. The mind is not used to being held hostage at one point. It hops about from thought to thought like a monkey hopping from tree to tree. In some traditions the mind is referred to as "the monkey mind". Because it never stops moving from thought to thought like the energetic monkey hopping from place to place. It will take a lot of practice to tame this monkey mind. And the practice must be continuous.
Whenever you remember, bring your attention to the breath spot for as long as possible. If the attention wanders away from the breath that's fine. If it happens 1000 times that's normal. You have to tame the mind. Not forcefully. Gently. When an emotion (emotions are rooted in thought) or thought pops up, quickly bring the attention to the breath spot. Don't follow the thought or finish it. Just let go by moving the attention to the place where the breath sensation is most dominate. Practice this way when ever you remember. You will forget many times. You may even forget for an entire day. Don't despair. That's normal for an untamed mind. You see, what will eventually happen is following the breath will become habitual. Your attention, from continuous practice, will naturally go to the breath as its natural resting place. Now, your attention endlessly follows every thought in the mind. Thoughts in the average worldly person are like links in a chain that is endless. The mind babbles away about everything it experiences. With breath practice, the attention is being habituated to the breath so that its natural resting place will be the body and not your thoughts. If your attention is on the body and not on your thoughts, what is there to trouble you? Your thoughts are at the root of all your troubles. Just keep practicing at all times when you remember. It will not be easy. Eventually through continuous practice you will not even need the support of the breath. Your breath is just an aid to help bring the attention away from thoughts and also the mind will become naturally one-pointed as a result. This creates a situation which allows tranquility to gain dominance over thoughts and it becomes natural within consciousness. When the mind is tranquil, there will be a clarity that you have never before known. When you experience your life without thoughts, you will have experience and will be able to compare it to your life with thoughts. You can purposely observe life around you without thoughts then compare it to observations with thought. You will see from direct experience how thought defile all that is experienced or perceived ( because it adds to the experience, instead of allowing the experience to be as it naturally is). You will know without doubt that thought is the root of all misery.
Abidance in the natural state is bliss beyond imagining. In this case, the word "bliss" does not refer to some over stimulation of the physical body. Although in the absence of thought (concentrated mind) there are sometimes physical sensations in the body that are beyond any physical sensation normally felt. There is a feeling of rapture. All the cells in the body are exploding with energy. But in this case "bliss" is the absence of all that you are not (thoughts). When all that you are not (thoughts) has been seen through, suffering will be no more.
Just keep practicing. Don't give up. It will be very difficult. Maybe frustrating. It happens to everyone like this. At times it may even seem as though it's hopeless. I think it's like that for all seekers. At some point, all seekers have felt this way. Unless you're a rare one like Ramana Maharshi who spontaneously came into his natural state without effort, there will be hardships. When an emotion arises, switch the attention to the breath spot. When a thought arises switch the attention away from the thought to the breath. Don't engage in the thought. When you engage in the thought, it proliferates. Before you even become aware, you have completely wandered off into fantasy land from that thought. If this happens, don't beat yourself up about it. That only creates more thought. Just try it again, and again, and again. Any judgment on your part will just create more thoughts. Don't judge! Simply practice wholeheartedly. That's all that is required. And don't think of it as a chore. The mind must come to love and adore the breath. The more the mind adores the breath the easier it will be. Also do not alter the breath process. Let the breath be natural. Any intentional alteration of the breath is subtle thinking. But even if there is some involuntary controlling, that's not unusual. Just do your best and allow the breath to be natural. When you watch the breath, don't mentally verbalize the process. Just try to remain internally silent as best you can.