The space within
You cannot measure the amount of energy in an atom. Similarly, you cannot measure the full potential of a human being. The nature of a human being is quite similar to that of an atom. The central part of an atom is positive. The negative charged particle is only on the circumference of the atom. Similarly, the negativity of a person is not his true nature, it is just on his circumference. When someone is in the centre, he is calm, steady and pleasant. Violence is not part of human nature, it is simply an indication of violation at the domain level.
How do we know whether the knowledge that we have is correct or not? Even 10,000 years ago, people knew there are 12 moons with the planet Jupiter. They used subjective way of knowing things - by intuition, quieting the mind. When the mind becomes calm (its like sleeping though one is totally alert) then an intention is taken. With that intention comes intuition, knowledge as well as inspiration. Using this method, the ancient man derived knowledge about the universe and developed mathematical techniques that are valid today. The age-old calendars can still tell exactly at what time will the eclipse happen. The entire astrology and astronomy has also been derived this way. The ancient man knew that the sun is at the centre of the solar system and planets move around it. They used the method of intuitive awareness in which one feels that every cell in his body is fully alive "now", and the mind is quiet. You call that Samadhi.
If we take out some time - say two or three days in a year - to keep silence and simply observe our own thoughts and emotions, then we get a sense of what quietness means. Freedom from the jugglery of thoughts is the basis of intuition. And, intuition is part of innovation.
In our normal lives, we are bombarded with so many thoughts and stimulus, that attention and retention is simply not there. Today kids have this problem called the attention deficiency syndrome. They have lost the ability to attend to things. When you become quiet, it is not as if you lose your intellect. In fact, intellect becomes very sharp as the attention span increases. The first outcome of our mediation or any self-development technique should be to increase our perceptual ability, which in turn, should help us in expressing ourselves better.
One aspect is getting rid of stress, the other is seeing that stress doesn't enter our system. For the latter, we need a change in our attitude towards things happening around us. We can bear heat, with a sense of humour, a sense of ease, and with confidence. One needs to create barricades so that tension does not enter the mind. But it's impossible not to have tension; it might slip in through some other way. Just learn to take it easy. The ease with which you are able to handle your environment, or the situation around you, is what I would call being able to utilise your full potential. When you are in touch with your full potential, nothing or nobody can shake you. You will have the smile and the confidence.
Spirituality is nothing out of the world
Attaining a spiritual level is simply recognising that there is life everywhere, that there is spirit everywhere. I don't see a division between what's spiritual, and what's material. The finest aspect of matter is spirit. The gross aspect of spirit is matter. Its like body and mind. You see through the eyes, but actually the eyes are the means through which the mind sees. The mind is the spirit. The whole world is combination of spirit and matter.
Therefore spiritual practices too are not something that are any different from you being spirited and being happy and compassionate and being in love. The way of prayer is to be in amazement - looking at the cosmos and saying wow, how many planets! How many stars! How big is this universe ! Your consciousness expands, and this is meditation.
The creation and the creator are not separated. The creator and the creation are one and the same. The creation is formed out of the creator, just like dance comes out of the dancer. I usually say we must have the 3C's - cosmology, commitment, and compassion. These three things make life beautiful.
Billions of years have passed since existence began on earth. Compared to it, the span of human life - 80 years or 100 years - is nothing! In this vast space, where are we?
Seeing yourself in the context of the big creation shifts you to a different level of consciousness. As per one of the scriptures in the ancient India, there are almost 112 ways of realising consciousness. One of them is to observe the sky on a clear day, and let go, and relax. Wherever the mind goes, it makes an assumption and becomes quieter, as it assumes that space.
The scripture also mentions that there are three kinds of space. One is the "bhutakash" which is the physical space, "chitakash" where the thoughts flow, it is the mental space, and "chidakash", is the final space, the space of consciousness. So go from one space to other and from there to the final space.
People are not entities, they are a wave functions, or wavelengths. Just close your eyes and ask yourself who you are? You will get no answer. All you will get is space, and that is what you are.
Once we leave the spirit, the mind leaves this body. Once out of the body, the mind cannot be cleansed. It cannot be rid of any thoughts. The body is the instrument or the space where past impressions can be washed off. What Buddha called "nirvana", is simply sitting and being in your space and imagining that you are nobody and nothing. When clarity comes, mind becomes as sharp and powerful as the laser beam.
And in that mind, an intention fructifies very fast. That mind also has capacity to heal and to elevate itself. It is full of joy, ease and love. Your entire past is a dream. Just remember all the activities you did in the morning after waking up. Isn't it all like a dream? It wasn't more than a dream, because it was a memory and impression. Dream is also an impression. See your whole past as a dream. In future, in the next 10-20 years, you will be doing many things, they will all pass like a dream. Knowing this and being aware of it, the space within us starts to open up and we start experiencing heightened awareness. You start seeing another dimension of life. Just wake up!