A koan is an unsolvable riddle meant to stop a Zen meditator’s analytical mind from thinking, and hopefully transition into a state of no-thought, the state of transcendence. There is a classic Zen koan meant to do just that, which asks the question: What is the sound of one hand clapping? Here is one tongue-in-cheek answer meant to enlighten or wake you up.
A Wake-Up Haiku
The sound of one hand clapping?
A slap in the face!
© Ken Chawkin, May 30, 2012, Fairfield, Iowa
Luckily there is a simpler way—the effortless practice of Transcendental Meditation, which allows the conscious thinking mind to transcend. With the help of a mantra, a specific harmonious suitable meaningless thought-sound, together with step-by-step instructions from a qualified TM teacher, the mind naturally settles down to lesser and lesser states of mental activity, to the least excited state of awareness, when the thought drops off, leaving the mind without an object of attention, yet deeply restful and alert, fully awake inside. This inner unbounded wakefulness is the basis for all clarity, energy, and creativity after meditation.
TM allows the mind to experience its own essential nature beyond thought—transcendental consciousness or pure awareness, called turiya in Sanskrit, a 4th major state of consciousness at the basis of the other 3 relative states of consciousness—waking, dreaming and sleeping. With regular practice, over time, a natural integration occurs in the nervous system as it unfolds its inherent ability to live the two states simultaneously—a 5th style of functioning called Cosmic Consciousness. With continued practice, utilizing advanced techniques, including the TM-Sidhi program, the evolution of even two more states of consciousness develop—a 6th and 7th—God Consciousness, a refined experience of the 5th, and ultimately, Unity Consciousness, where the individual is truly universal.
Related posts: Words—a poem on the nature of words and mind | Upon waking uP by Ken Chawkin | Are all meditation techniques the same? | John Hagelin — “Only Higher Consciousness Can Transform Our World” — Beyond Awakening Blog and THP: How Meditation Techniques Compare.