This is the final installation of the Antar Mouna Series. To read the first five parts see:
The Path To Stillness, Antar Mouna. Part 1
The Path to Stillness, Antar Mouna. Part 2 : The 30 Day Challenge!
The Path to Stillness, Antar Mouna. Part 3
The Path to Stillness, Antar Mouna. Part 4
The Path to Stillness, Antar Mouna. Part 5
Antar Mouna is a Tantric technique used to prepare the mind for the state of meditation. I have found this structure to be an invaluable tool in my practice. This article will wrap up the series, covering the last two stages of Antar Mouna.
STAGE FIVE: THOUGHTLESSNESS
This stage is one described as a mental vacuum. No substantial thoughts will arise because there’s no longer any suppression of thoughts. The subconscious thoughts have been purged, and the mind finds a place of calm, while alertness or awareness is still maintained. Thoughtlessness leads to actual Inner Silence and will arise spontaneously as a result of having perfected the previous stages.
STAGE SIX: AWARENESS OF PSYCHIC SYMBOLS
When the mind is purified and no unnecessary thoughts arise, spontaneous symbols may arise, or they may not. This symbol surfacing is due to optimal prana flow, the vital
energy of life. If we see a symbol in our mind, let that be the focal point of the mind during meditation. The intuitive symbol will show itself time and time again.
This stage is not guaranteed to happen,
nor is it essential. We all have varied abilities and natural inclinations in how we engage our sense organs. When we turn our senses inward, some of us may “see” with our mind’s eye, with tendencies towards visualization, whereas others may be more apt to “hear” inside, etc. The main focus of stage six is to observe what happens when the flow of thoughts slow and then cease.
When the waves and ripples of a lake settle, the surface of the lake becomes a mirror.
If there are waves and ripples, the surface of the lake distorts the reflection of that which surrounds it. The untrained mind, with it’s constant stream of thoughts, is likened to the surface of a disturbed lake. We have the opportunity to see clearly only when our mind is clear as well. We have the opportunity to experience Supreme Reality when our thoughts, conditioning, impressions, and habits and patterns, dissolve. Once these veils that alter our perception of reality are lifted, once the waves have settled, then we experience “clear seeing”. The Buddha said, “It is your mind that creates this world”. When we understand this truth, we move into liberation or moksha, or rather, we remember we have been free the whole time, it’s only now that we can see.
After stage five (remember stage six isn’t a requirement) we find ourselves in Dharana or focus and concentration. This is the limb right before the state of Dhyana or meditation. In Dharana, the mind is fixed to an object or idea. This practice of concentration will wax and wane. The mind will still and then wander, still and then wander. Once there is no disturbance or wandering, we transition into Dhyana, where there’s an uninterrupted flow of awareness towards the object or idea.
Many blessings to you, and may your fire or tapas burn bright, providing you with all the inspiration, self-discipline, and vision necessary to walk this path.