Recently, I was reading a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita 8:9 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He wrote:
“It can be said that through the practice of meditation supplemented by the activity of good righteous living, the seeker only wipes out that mud of ignorance, the mud of avidya [ignorance] and maya [the world]… The truth, the Reality, the Lord shines all by Itself.”
This reinforces the point again. The value of the practice is in preparing the ground, creating the clarity so the shift can happen more easily and clearly. But the shift itself doesn’t happen because of the practice. In fact, at a certain point, the habits of a practice can keep us stuck.
This doesn’t mean we should stop the practice – a good practice has great value even long after enlightenment. What it means is that when consciousness becomes obvious to us, we want to introduce a catalyst – add presence (darshan) to the mix. Being with the awake enlivens the awakeness, the light of consciousness, and can help trigger the shift. While it’s not required, it really helps.
We’ve had a lot of experiences over many lifetimes. We’ve been the oppressor and the oppressed, the victor and the defeated, the happy and the depressed. But one thing we’ve never before experienced is the profoundly simple shift into the peace and liberation of the Self.
This is why it’s very useful to sit with awakeness when consciousness becomes obvious. To discover what has never been discovered before. Who we are.