Who are you? This question must be reflected on. Apparently, each of us is a body. Then, there is life inside the body. And there is a mind that keeps wandering outside the body most of the time. Even when we sleep and our senses are shut off, the mind creates dreams. However, every night, there is a time of dreamless sleep when there is no mental activity or awareness and we are just alive. The consciousness is still operative and after repairing our body and mind, it returns to the wakeful state again.
There is a different interpretation of consciousness.
Scientists say that the mind is merely a biological product but there is no consensus about consciousness – how it arrives at the time of conception and departs at the time of death. In Eastern religions, especially in Hinduism and Buddhism, there is a concept of reincarnation. The consciousness keeps assuming new bodies. In Hinduism, it is a part of God itself. In Buddhism, it is an aspect of the Pure Mind, like different colours in a prism. The idea of Spirit, a part of God, is also held in Christianity. In Islam too, the “breath” belongs to God.
It is, therefore, believed across different traditions that there is an Immortal Consciousness that is present in the human body throughout its lifetime.
Now comes the point – can it be accessed? Kabir, the saint-poet who lived in the 15th century, drawing from the yogic tradition of the Nath Sampradaya, active in the region where he lived, modern-day northeast Uttar Pradesh, says yes. He declared that Cosmic Consciousness is embedded within us, and it is foolish to look for God outside one’s own body.
कस्तूरी कुंडलि बसै, म्रिग ढूंढै बन मांहिं।
अैसै घटि घटि रांम है, दुनियां देखै नांहि॥
How do we access the Cosmic Consciousness within? The most general name for the technique is meditation. Sit straight, close your eyes, watch your breath and still your mind, and by practicing this quiescence you can connect with the Cosmic Consciousness. Simply put, you attain a state of deep sleep without sleeping. During these moments, you are “one” with God.
This has been known since the time of the Upanishads and Buddha, and yet few of us practice it. Is there an easier way? The good news is yes; by being mindful of your present moment, you can experience the Cosmic Consciousness.
Taking from the idea that the “breath” belongs to God, be aware of your breathing.
Without any manipulation, just watch the air going into your body and coming out. This happens 15 to 20 times a minute. This is the mark of your life, or say, the presence of the Immortal Consciousness in your body. You will find it terribly difficult. After a few breaths, your mind will force your awareness onto something in the past or the future. Can you stop this hijacking?
How? Practice living in the present moment. Be mindful of every step when you are walking. Enjoy chewing and gulping every morsel while eating. Feel the water flowing down your throat while drinking. Practice your mind to be present in your body as much as you can. By living in the moment, in the eternal present, you will be able to live honestly, decently, with intention, and meet all the commitments in life.