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Chapter 12

Preksha Dhyana

Perception of Thoughts-Equanimity

The psyche itself is not directly perceptible. It's characteristic being conscious activities, "to know" and "to perceive" are its performances. The body and the mind are the instruments of its performance. All spiritual disciplines aim at unadulterated conscious performance, i.e. pure knowledge and pure perception. This is also a state of infinite bliss and pure happiness. Delusion, however, perverts our perception and makes our knowledge fragmented and piecemeal. Then, our perception, being contaminated with the emotions of likes and dislikes, cannot be impartial. Equanimity, can be achieved by impartial (uncontaminated) perception, or we can say that pure perception is equanimity itself.

We hear, see, smell, taste and touch, through our respective sense-organs and mind. Our mind is also the instrument of conceptual thinking. Attachment is produced towards what we like and aversion is produced towards what we dislike. One who is impartial to both, i.e. like as well as dislike, is equanimous. That is to say, only he is equanimous whose perception is pure and uncontaminated by attachment and/or aversion. Practice of Preksa-dhyana progressively develops equanimity. As we progress, pleasant and unpleasant sensation, fail to produce the emotions of like and dislike. Consequently the feelings of attachment and aversion, gradually disappear. This, in turn, further develops our capacity for purer perception.

Our mind functions in many ways. At times a train of thoughts is running; at times some conceptual planning occupies it. All these activities can be perceived impartially during the meditational practice. The significance of such perception is that the "spiritual self" is distinguished from the "thought". The "Self" is the "spectator", while the mental activity is the object of the awareness. This is not a mere imagination nor auto-suggestion but a reality. As soon as one commences the perception of thought as an impartial spectator, the train begins to slow down, (and if the perception continues), it ultimately comes to a halt. Regular practice of thought-perception develops the perceptive capacity to a degree, where it is able to divulge other's thoughts also.

As stated earlier, the conscious self in its purest state is capable of experiencing the entire universal reality at once. Delusion drastically reduces this innate capacity, and our knowledge is fragmented and piecemeal. Delusion is nourished by the emotion of attachment and aversion. To develop and ultimately unobfuscate the inherent capacity of omniscience, one has to commence diluting the emotions of like and dislike, pleasure and pain. And to dilute these contaminating emotions, the impartial perception is the only available tool. Though obfuscated, our conscious self is always capable of executing its authority, which can be used to further develop equanimity. Thus equanimity begets purity of perception and purer the perception, higher is the level of equanimity. The cumulative result of the successive exchange of cause and effect ultimately brings about purest perception and instant cognition of the entire reality.