When I was first drawn to spirituality I thought my logical mind, honed from a background in computer science, would be the perfect tool for my path. I thought the goal was to analyze myself, find problems and shortcomings, fix them, and then step into happiness.
Having an analytical mind did indeed help shed light in the shadows. Whenever I stopped to look, I could see patterns in my life. I could see triggers and reactions. I could see what contributed to happiness and what to sadness and separation.
But, at a certain point, using mind to dissect myself became a burden; it became an addiction, a way to stop looking at the present moment, a way to place hope in a future where the patterns I wanted stayed, and those I didn’t were excised.
I eventually saw that using mind to explore myself was just more of the same game. I saw that the only way off this merry go round was to solve the essential question: What was I really?
If I did not ask and answer that question, then the habits of society and individuality said I was my mind and body. But in that assumption, an assumption where mind was king, was a land where every inhabitant was known, and nothing new could be birthed.
When I stopped the mind, at first through meditating in nature, I saw that I still existed. What a beautiful discovery. When the mind — the thing I assumed I was — rested, I was still alive and something. It became obvious through that discovery that what ‘I’ was must be deeper than the mind.
So to the silence that washed in when the mind was quiet, I asked the question: What Am I? And there was no answer.
And that was perfect; for any answer would be the mind restarting, jumping in to hijack this newfound silence.
Instead, I asked of the silence that washed in: Is there a separation of this living stillness to me? And the answer was no.
I asked of the silence: Does this living stillness have boundaries? And the answer was no.
I asked of the silence: Where are you located? And the answer was everywhere.
I asked, once more, of the silence: What am I? And the answer was again, only and divinely, purely and completely, nothing but the silence.