On the Emptiness of Mind Exercise
>> Your comments on the present moment seemed to spark something in me regarding my current 'silent mind practice. While very happy with my 'step 2' exercises, I have also gone back to the silent mind practice, as this seems to attract me as being a never ending key to all else. <<
As Bardon advised, the emptiness of mind exercise is one that should be constantly pursued concurrent with the work of every future Step. As time goes by, it reveals more and more.
>> When practicing silent mind, I am a little confused as to what Bardon himself meant, and also, what is desirable regarding practicing his system, taking the long term view, today. To my understanding, a truly silent mind, is one which has attained literally samadhi, i.e., gone beyond duality of self and other, and thus, can sit, is true silence and stillness. Regard; at this level, to have gone beyond duality. From my Buddhist background, this seems to me to be 'true' silent mind. However, is this what Bardon meant?? <<
What you are examining with the emptiness exercise is the Self. At first, you see only the small self of the personal mind, but as time goes by and your practice deepens, higher, more inclusive levels of Self reveal themselves within the context of your emptiness. Ultimately, this leads to the realization of the Unitary Self -- The One Self -- pure BEing. But all that Bardon demanded with Step One was that you take the very first step upon that long path and learn how to simply empty your mind of all thoughts. The rest of the journey toward Self, he leaves up to you to pursue.
Continuous pursuit of the emptiness of mind is essential to the entire work of IIH. Each future Step assumes that you've reached a certain stage in the deepening of your emptiness (and thus your cognizance of Self) that would be the natural result of your having continued in your work with the emptiness up to that point. Thus for example, the ability to transfer your consciousness in Step Four requires a certain understanding of Self to achieve, and this understanding is the direct result of having practiced the emptiness of mind throughout the previous three Steps. But if you've neglected the emptiness of mind, then the genuine transference of consciousness is VERY difficult to achieve. Likewise, if you haven't learned to empty your mind of all thoughts, then the Step Two sensory concentration exercises are VERY difficult to master.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
10 Jul 2002