Turning Inward

What is meant by turning inward? Most people struggle with this initial thing, the very first step that one has to take in order to walk the Spiritual path consciously. Misunderstanding, the difficulty arises due to the wrong perception that "one already knows oneself". No, accept that you do not know yourself and that's what this whole journey is about, that's what the whole pursuit is for. You have to find out who you truly are, and who you are not. And in order to do that, one needs to turn inward.

What do you do when you go to buy a car or mobile phone or something else? First of all, you very well know that that car or mobile is NOT YOU. So now you become the Subject and that Car or Mobile becomes an Object. Then you the Subject starts researching and learning about various characteristics, features, cost etc about that Object. In order to successfully get all the information you look for information online, you reach out to companies if needed, you reach out to friends who might have that mobile, or car already, and you try to gather as much information from the RIGHT sources as much possible. Once you have all the information you carefully look into your need, to see which one best fits your requirements.

Now in the similar way you need to be the Subject and treat your Body, Mind, and Emotions as Object. Body mostly functions on its own and doesn't pose much of a hindrance, unless you are sick. So main objects to take care of are Mind and Emotions. Now that Subject and Objects are clear, you need to gather as much information as possible about Mind, how it works, how many functions it has and all its divisions, and for that you might have to go through online research, articles, books, materials and people who know about the mind. This requires "research, study, and learning". You have to do similar research, study and learning about Emotions as well. Remember you "cannot" control or properly drive your car, unless you know "where is steering and how it works", and lots of other useful information about the car. You may never use many high-end security features of the car, but you still need to know about them, in the case of emergency, right? In a similar way, you need to know about Mind and Emotions from every angle, perspective.

Once you know the details about Mind and Emotions, next step is to look into your Mind and your Emotions. Now this requires "being present". And this is where most of the people get stuck, and finds it difficult to move forward. You cannot keep on thinking about who did what to you, what happened in the past, what are your future plans, what you have to do today, feeling bad and constantly thinking about stuff AND be in the present. Either you are in the Past, Future or you are Present. It gets challenging here because we are saying try to learn everything about the car while driving. This may cause an accident, right. You need to stop the car in order to learn about its various features. It's not possible to learn about it and drive simultaneously. The mind is habitual of staying either in the past or future, and the present moment NOW is BEYOND the boundary of mind. Only if you are able to stop the mind and it's nonstop thought process, then only you can look into what patterns are there or what it is doing. The same thing is with Emotions. You are always DEEPLY feeling One Emotion or the other, then how can you examine them successfully and be Objective about it? There won't be any time when Mind won't bring up thoughts of past, future, and Emotions won't go haywire to keep you in the loop and all this will not let you have time to be able to Contemplate, Analyze. You will be using Mind to analyze mind and emotions. It's like operating something/someone ALIVE & MOVING FAST (Laughs). So now what?

Now we need to do something to calm down the mind and cool down the emotional furnace. This is achieved by "raising our consciousness, awareness" to the level where "thoughts & emotions" are no longer severe botheration. It's not that thoughts will stop altogether, and emotional fire will be turned off, it's just that both of these won't be able to bother you much. We are NOT trying to kill mind and dry up emotions because we will need them when the time comes. We only have to create some distance between our Mind, Emotions and us. So the question is how to create this distance? How to raise the POWER of your consciousness, awareness? Now a lot of time you will be advised to do meditation. You may do it for 3 to 6 months and you will lose patience, because meditation for you will be an effort of trying to get rid of thoughts, thoughts will be replaced by another thought like "I do not have to think, I am not thinking, Keep Quiet, or think about Color, Sound or something else. This is truly useless, and trust me I have seen people TRYING to meditate for years, and still not being able to meditate. Understand that you are Trying to meditate here, you are NOT meditating actually. Meditation is the process of going into Meditative State means "Thoughtless State", State of a Silenced Mind, State of BEING IN NOW. By sitting and trying to control mind by mind is futile, or keeping the mind in some other music or some other type of Godly, Heavenly thought is futile and doesn't help. Meditative State when achieved by anyone, then it doesn't matter he/she is cleaning the house, or cooking or working in office or driving or doing anything at all, that state doesn't break, and if it breaks, then it only takes less than 5-10 minutes to be back in that meditative state, or just a snap of fingers, it's that much quick and it's that much controllable. Once you TRULY achieve this state, you will never lose it without knowing.  Also understand that Meditation doesn't mean not addressing your mental drama, and/or emotional drama. If on the name of meditation and spiritual journey, you start avoiding, denying your mind, emotions way too much, you will blast someday like a pressure cooker and/or may get physical and/or psychosomatic illnesses. So, trying to control mind by mind doesn't work so much, instead, one loses confidence or become more delusional thinking that one is meditating now so everything is fine, and no need to do anything else. Most dangerous delusion it is.

So what next? What else can we do to calm down the mind, and cool down emotional fires? What else do we have to achieve this? What else can we use?

You have "Prana" (Vital Energy) which your Breathing generates. Here I am not going to explain you entire Prana Science, and you need not know about all that now in that much greater detail. All you need to know is that after every inhale of breath there is a gap of nanoseconds, and after every exhale there is a gap too. In your Mind, Thoughts arise during these gaps. Most of you have disturbed breathing, shallow breathing, you don't even notice that because mind and emotions keep you so busy. The quality of breathing is directly associated with the Quality of Prana (Vital Energy). Disturbed or shallow breathing means disturbed vital energy. Disturbed vital energy is the reason for anxiety, stress, tension depression and all the psychosomatic issues. So if you focus on breathing (Pranayama), then you are killing two birds with one stone (don't kill birds though :-)). How? By doing some really simple breathing exercises, not only your mind, emotions will calm down, but your vital energy will increase too, which will keep your physical body ailment free, and in a much better condition. One most simple pranayama/breathing exercise is Anulom/Vilom (Alternate Nostril Breathing). You can find out more about it very easily through Internet and tons of free youtube videos are there. Just learn it, and do it for 5 to 11 minutes every morning and evening, sit anywhere, do it anywhere. Slowly over the period of a month, increase the time to 21 minutes. Over the period of 3 months or so, you will notice a substantial difference. Just this Pranayam, Alternate Nostril Breathing is also a very effective way of raising your Kundalini. It actually awakens Kundalini/Power/Shakti/Energy, if you do it seriously. Once you start noticing a difference in you, the effect of Pranayama in you, ADD one more thing to your routine, which is "focus on the breath" while doing anything & everything. Keep your focus on your breath as much as possible. Slowly after couple more months, you will start noticing that you are actually able to look at the sky, clouds, flowers, birds, trees, your surroundings, without "thinking" about anything else. Suddenly you will feel super happy just by noticing this much, that you are able to look at anything, everything without thinking. That means you are in NOW, you are being present. This is your major and first milestone sort of on Spiritual Path. You have successfully "RAISED" your Consciousness/Awareness. Kudos!

In the year 2011, I started with 2 hours long sessions of Pranayamas that I learned from youtube. Yes, I am extremist (High-Intensity Person) (Laughs). The intensity in me is just too much to set simple goals and start low. After 3 months of time, almost 2 hours a day from 3:40 AM to 5:30 AM my Kundalini did awaken and it gave me an intense experience, a glimpse into Reality through very short Nirvikalpa Samadhi which changed me forever. But you need not be an extremist, it depends on from person to person, I guess those who get way too much pain from life and think they are just so done with everyone, everything, they do become highly intense people. Some put that high intensity into wrong, negative purposes, some put it in walking Spiritual Path. The reason I am giving details of my own experience is to let you know that Pranayamas (Breathing Techniques) works! It's thousands of years old proven Science. If I can do it, many others have done it, then you can do it too.

Once you start living in NOW, enjoy that meditative state for some time, to restore the "happiness" in you. Being happy for no reason is a very beautiful experience. And you have earned it, so enjoy it. You will get addicted to this inner joy and whatever will try to disturb it you will address it as soon as possible and be back. Now you will be able to look into your Mental Patterns and Emotional Patterns. You can read more about how to dig deeper into your mind and emotions and do your own postmortem through reflection here. Don't stay stuck here in NOW for too long, don't spend too much time just feeling this inner joy. Why? C'mon, you haven't completed your journey yet, you haven't turned inward yet, so this inner joy is highly volatile and you will struggle way too much whenever you will lose it for few days or weeks. Until you successfully resolve your mental patterns and emotional patterns, the job is not done, and those patterns will keep on wreaking havoc from time to time. So this being in Now is a temporary place, rest-area, the journey is not over yet. I have seen many staying stuck at this stage for years, decades. Whenever life or their own mind, emotions starts beating them, they do pranayama, meditation and try to get back their inner joy. That means it's just a pursuit of wellness for them, which is not bad, but that's not the ultimate goal of doing all this. So start as soon as you are done restoring some inner peace, on the mental and emotional postmortem.

This is what is meant by turning inward. Turning inward means to be able to look at your mind and emotions in a Subject, Object manner and be able to address all past issues, all unresolved issues, that keeps bothering you, that steals your inner joy and keeps you in the suffering.

After turning inward when you have walked all the way inside, you will realize there is no inward, outward, and you will be amazed, in truly knowing yourself, and entirely. Suffering will end, life will be a Celebration in every moment". Now, who wouldn't want that? The question is how badly, intensely you want to know yourself, how mad, crazy you are about finding the True You? If this is not a serious matter for you, then you wouldn't be reading this article up till here (Smile).

One more thing to understand here is that this journey of going inward is a very personal one and approach towards it varies from person to person. Some may be able to meditate within few days, some may start with Pranayama, some may start with some other approach. There is no wrong or right approach here, it's all about the fact that different people are at different levels of consciousness and do take different starting points. One approach may not fit all. What works for the person may not work for the other. So it takes a little bit of serious effort and some time to find out, what works for you, what route you should take, where should you start? Try various approaches seriously for a couple of months and see what works best for you to raise your Consciousness. If you are serious, then there is no way you won't find a way. You will!

~ Adiguru


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