Why do we begin the inner journey? Pretty much for the same reason that we journey outwardly. All journeys are due to either our curiosity or our belief that we’d be happier somewhere else. Most religious practice is based on the premise that the unenlightened mind suffers and if we go on the inner journey and enlighten the mind, the suffering of mind will end and we’ll feel better. Long weekend trips away are based on the same premise except that it’s the outer journey that we’re on.
The choice of the inner rather than the outer comes when we realize that we take our stress and opinions with us on the outer journey – so sometimes it’s not really that much of a holiday. It’s a bit like that old Crowded House song, ‘you always take the weather with you’. When you discover that anywhere is lousy when you’re feeling lousy and anywhere is great when you’re feeling great, you become more interested in how you are, rather than where you are.When we begin the journey inwards, we usually do it by searching. We’re either searching for answers or energy centres or searching for peace or searching for a state of no-mind that we read about somewhere. All that happens at this point (and we’d notice it easily if we were more observant) is the searching mind. It’s like walking nowhere – round and around a room. As the great Sufi poet and mystic Rumi said, “The mouse crawls around the cage looking for an escape – the lion bursts the cage asunder”. In this case, the mouse is our mind – it runs here or there searching for answers but getting nowhere. This is because life is not a question, it is an experience. There is no real search, just becoming one with the awareness in everything. The action of our mind in searching can be helpful in the beginning, but only if the question is sincerely about who is doing this? This question causes our mind to turn inward to experience the awareness of mind directly. Not through verbalization of the temporal mind (I am Kevin does not help me) but through the direct experience of the pure stillness and awareness that is inherent in everything.
Sounds great in theory but the practical aspects need a bit of taking care of – so how to start? Another great Sufi poet and mystic Hafiz wrote, “For the divine alchemy to work, the pitcher [jug] needs a still cup. Why ask anything more about your most vital requirement?”
Stillness is the prerequisite for this inner alchemy – this becoming one with the pure awareness of existence. And it’s a prerequisite all of us find difficult at first. The stuff of mind is like liquid mercury and it flows easily here and there, thinks this and that with little apparent effort (it’s dynamic, responding wonderfully to our searching function of mind) but it doesn’t sit still very easily.
Stillness is the prerequisite for this inner alchemy – this becoming one with the pure awareness of existence.
Just sitting comfortably and becoming absorbed in feeling the breath and becoming aware of the awareness of mind itself, rather than buying into the mind’s opinions, is the real inner journey. This simple practice stills and quiets the mind stuff, allowing us to become perfectly receptive rather than trying to drive the experience of meditation. We become both the experience and the experiencer without a second thought.
By Kevin Niv FarrowKevin is the Founder and Director of AcuEnergetics® as well as a Master AcuEnergetics® Practitioner and Teacher of AcuEnergetics®. Kevin has practised and studied meditation and the energetic system since 1974. He has taught since 2000 and his published writings, meditation CD’s and teachings have brought him worldwide recognition as a unique and practical meditation teacher and an expert in the field of energy medicine. He currently teaches in Australia, USA, India, Asia and Europe. For more information about Kevin, visit Kevin’s full biography.