We all must take the time to escape the absurdity of what poses for civil society today. The anger. The disrespect. Seemingly a growing alienation between people that is being demonstrated at all levels of government, and the trickle down is turning America bitter. The media no longer can resist overhyping the “sound bite of the day,” and the competition for headlines has only begun.
I am grateful this thanksgiving season that I have the opportunity to escape this growing din — at will. My escape is in the silence, and that serenity is present in every moment. All it takes is my choice to be there now, or to continue trotting around the same hamster wheel that threatens the health of every single one of us.
My gift to you — now — is to introduce you to what I consider enlightened prose by an enlightened mystic you may not have discovered. He is the late Ilie Cioara, and his simple message is the discovery of our inner divine nature through the silence of the mind.
Here’s what I have found out about Mr. Cioara, through the writings of Fred Davis and the Awakening Clarity blogsite and TheSilenceBook.blogspot.com: Ilie Cioara was a Romanian who lived much of his life under Soviet occupation. Like many others in that society, he kept his practice of spirituality hidden from view. His original focus was Christian mysticism, and he practiced a mantra for 20 years. One day, he stopped. He awakened to the silence of the mind and the joy of experiencing the world in the now moment. After following this practice for several years, he woke up one day and experienced Enlightenment. His writing encompasses sixteen books, and he is now being compared to Eckhart Tolle, Rumi and Krishnamurti, though comparisons often fall short. Ilie Cioara passed away in 2004.
His book The Silence of the Mind (OBooks) has been called a major contribution to modern mystical literature, and Mr. Cioara’s books are considered to be among the “finest books on nondual consciousness,” according to Jerry Katz of Nonduality.com.
What I’d like to do is let Ilie Cioara do the rest of the speaking. I’ve wanted to share some of these excerpts with you for many months now and haven’t had the opportunity. I cannot keep them from you any longer.
from The Silence of the Mind:
I was 55 years old. One morning, waking up from my sleep, I noticed that, psychologically, I was functioning differently from the night before. The mind had lost its usual turmoil. In a state of serenity I had never felt before, I was functioning in perfect communion with my whole somatic structure.
Only after a couple of hours I realized what had happened to me, without pursuing this “something” as an ideal to accomplish. I was, to use a simile, in the situation of a man blind from birth, who had just gained his sight after undergoing surgery. Everything around me was as new. I had an overall perspective on things. A silent mind allows the senses to perceive things as they are.
The mind in its totality had become, through silence, an immense mirror in which the outside world was reflected. And the world I was perceiving directly through my senses revealed its own reality to me. My fellow beings, close friends or complete strangers, were being regarded indiscriminately, with a feeling of love I had never felt before.
If any reaction of the mind surfaced, it disappeared immediately in contact with the sparkle of impersonal Attention. A state of quiet and all-encompassing joy characterized me in all circumstances, whether pleasant or painful. My behavior was that of a simple witness, perfectly aware of what was happening around me, without affecting my all-encompassing state of peace.
In the whole Universe, there is nothing static, dead or frozen. Everything, but absolutely everything, is in eternal movement. Even within the so-called still nature reigns the same intrinsic law of movement.
Movement and newness, in perfect interconnectedness, affirm themselves as uniqueness. In this context, the moment represents the hand of the clock, used by Infinity in order to record the movement of Eternity. It is always new, as well as creative and transformative, in an ascending manner, progressively.
To be able to encounter the newness of the aliveness in its movement, we must come out and greet it the same way. Thus, we don’t return to the past, to what happened, nor do we project ourselves into the future, in pursuit of an imaginary purpose or ideal to fulfill.
With a completely empty mind, we simply watch life as it unfolds. Nothing comes between us and the movement of life, in the form of images, opinions etc. Such a simple and direct meeting with the moment transcends us spontaneously from the finite world into Infinity.
And just as quickly, like lightning, we detach, in order to be free again, and therefore completely available to encountering the next moment. Nothing is anticipated and nothing is accumulated from the lived moment.
The purity, innocence of the mind is our constant companion, as each moment becomes an opportunity of creative “being.” Through this way of “being” – as pure Consciousness – we ourselves create a new world in which Love, beauty, compassion and kindness become a reality positively influencing the whole of humankind.
The Power of Emptiness
The “void” or “psychological emptiness” is a strange phenomenon,
It appears spontaneously, in the pause between two thoughts;
As the old thought ends its course and disappears,
Its end is the gate, natural silence ensues.
Insist in being with it, as much as you can,
The mind is completely silent, we are attentive – a clear consciousness,
All meanings, boundaries disappear – us and the Infinite are “One”;
Practically, we have a new mind – always fresh.
Being in the pause – I become infinite!
It separates two worlds. I leave the limited world
And enter Boundlessness, through total melting;
The whole being is calm – a constant sparkle.
There is no time, no space – just everlasting Eternity;
I move in direct contact with life, in a permanent present.
I am Pure Energy, without motivations,
The simplicity of existence integrates us completely.
How can we free ourselves from the past and the future? It is all very simple! With a lucid, all-encompassing Attention, we will watch every reaction of the mind, without pursuing any purpose or goal. Everything we encounter in such a manner disappears; in the void which appears spontaneously, an unlimited energy is available at our fingertips and we are able to understand the absolute Reality through a direct experience.
In this state, we acquire a great sensitivity and everything that life brings forth in its natural flow is being regarded and appreciated with love and kindness.
Man is truly wise only when detached from his selfish “self,” united with Infinity through non-action and an aware passiveness of the mind.
This mysterious encounter is accompanied by simplicity. Once the past has disappeared, we are integrated in the now and, with a clear and lucid mind, we watch everything that comes as constant freshness from one moment to another.
Creation is constant movement, eternal newness and absolute freshness. It never repeats itself, it is never static and it is never caught in the trap of time and space.
The individual mind, no matter how cultured, has no access to the phenomenon of creation and cannot understand it, because the mind is always old and outdated. Each movement of this particular mind separates and limits. Thus, with such a mind, we will never, in any circumstances, be able to discover the mysteries of the movement of creation.
Therefore, this ordinary mind must be silent! But how can we make it become silent? Only in one way: when we encounter it simply and directly, with the flame of Attention, without having any motives or ideals to accomplish.
If the meeting happens in the right way, the mind becomes quiet — it becomes completely silent — and in that moment our whole being is detached from the known. From then on, the vessel of consciousness, thus emptied, is able to encompass and understand the newness brought forth by the movement of life.
Therefore, a new mind, without limits and without knowledge; in its stillness, it is creative and through it, the person is always new and active. Such a mind, in a state of Pure Consciousness, creates radical changes in the structure of the ordinary man by its simple presence.
Perfectly conscious, I see the emptiness of this world directly and my mind becomes silent. I have no choices, not even at the level of understanding of this limited mind. In the silence that ensues, the mystery reveals by itself its secrets to us.
The whole being expands to infinity. A light such as we have never experienced before envelops us and heals us. Out of time and space, we have a pure consciousness — in perfect union with the Supreme Being.
All of these demonstrate that the alive within us is, in its essence, immortal. It has no beginning, no end, it never sleeps, being therefore always awake.
Calm and Relaxed
To everything that comes from inside, as well as outside,
As turbulent reactions, as imaginary forms,
Just be relaxed — watch, listen — in a perfect way;
Neither past, nor future. With a lucid Attention, you encounter Truth.
There are no memory residues present in this meeting;
“Psychological emptiness” is the gate to infinite Love.
The Calm comes about indirectly, not by wanting nor through imagination,
But by simply watching the turmoil of the limited “ego.”
How could this small shell, which is the human mind, embrace and comprehend the immensity of the ocean of Cosmic Energy?
Nevertheless, this audacious “ego” persistently affirms that he knows what God is, what is creative Love, immortality, etc.
More so, it states and even offers solutions to tackling and solving the great problems that challenge humankind.
Yet, this “ego” is not aware of one thing: that its own presence creates the whole tragedy and suffering on the entire surface of the Earth. It is the human being’s main and only enemy. Its fictitious, chaotic and misleading movement generates and maintains the human misery and suffering.
But when a ray of light, emanated by Pure Consciousness, pierces the limited shell of the mind and exposes its whole fiction, this mind becomes humble and silent.
from I Am Boundlessness:
I Am Boundlessness
I am spontaneous simplicity,
Mind, heart and feeling,
A whole being, absolute fullness,
Love in action.
Reveals itself naturally;
When the mind is awakened,
All becomes One.
The past melts away
In the light of all-encompassing Attention;
In emptiness, the Sacred reveals itself
In its natural brilliance.
Experiencing the moment,
The personal mind is dissipated,
Expanding into Infinity
As Universal Mind.
Each such encounter
Transforms us radically,
For in each sparkle of consciousness
We are newness, Divinity, Reality!
Bliss is a state of complete happiness, free from any cause or motivation. It cannot be planted or cultivated, such as a flower, by the self-interested “ego,” in any circumstance. It cannot be the fruit of imagination, nor can it be attained through persistent effort or will. It cannot be negotiated, for it is priceless.
No prayers — no matter how persistent and passionate — can help us attain it, for all these are nothing but egoistic endeavors, whose author is none other than the “personal self,” always pursuing its self-interest. Its activity cannot go beyond the dimension and the limits of its time-space structure.
This bliss or boundless Happiness ensues spontaneously, as soon as the ego becomes humble and silent, as it has understood its powerlessness. In the unforced and undesired silence, any ideal, goal or purpose is completely absent and our being expands into Infinity. In a state of truly Pure Energy, we are perfectly conscious of an immense joy, united with Eternity.
Every human being who has understood — through a direct experience — the great mystery of inner harmony and equilibrium has access to this holy fulfillment. Each reaction of the mind is a wonderful opportunity to attain the state of bliss. Try to encounter the movement of the “ego” right now, in this very moment. The flame of Attention dissipates it instantly, and your being is integrated, in union with the Sublime. Do not content yourselves with a mere intellectual understanding of the phenomenon!
I am here as well as everywhere in the Immense Infinite,
I permeate everything.
All is within Me, I Am present in All,
There is nothing outside of Me, seen or unseen.
I have no cause and no Source of creation,
I have always been and I will always be, endlessly,
For what has no beginning will have no end,
In Essence and form, I Am a perfect Whole.
Uniqueness — as Unity — encompasses all,
It is within each of us, eternally revealing itself.
Attention is the accompanying Light,
Its intrinsic value is similar to the Sun,
Dissipating darkness, illusions and anomalies,
Offering priceless jewels of Joy.
Within each human being — as well as within each living being — a Primordial Light exists; It never changes Its clarity or Its ability to permeate all things. Without this Light we would be unable to understand ourselves or the Reality of Life in Its permanent movement. In Its absence, no authentic relationships can exist between human beings or with nature in general.
Although this Light is within us, awaiting for us to use It, nevertheless the path to the Light is so arduous! Why is it so difficult to discover it?
We have set foot on the Moon and we want to reach the soil of planet Mars, yet we cannot cross this infinitesimal distance between our surface consciousness and the inexhaustible Source of Light in the depth of our being?!
The encounter with ourselves I am trying to describe in this book is the result of personal experience. Each human being has access to this reality.
Lucid, all-encompassing Attention is the only instrument we use in order to encounter the mechanical reactions of our mind. We need to specify that this is not an attention directed by will, pursuing a certain purpose or goal, but it is that Attention which ensues spontaneously, by itself, when a noise or a thought, an image, a desire or fear appears on the surface of our consciousness. All-encompassing and all-illuminating, it dissipates everything that appears on the mirror of the mind, without leaving any memory residues.
In that moment of “psychological emptiness,” the notion of “me” disappears and, in the unity of our being, we are integrated into the Great Whole. Let us also mention that Attention is the manifestation of the Sacred within us — “our divine Nature”; by enlightening the mind, It dispels and dissipates all darkness and It unites us with Divinity for a split second.
A truly healthy mind functions only when it is needed. The rest of the time, it must be silent. From this silence or peace all benedictions ensue: spiritual and physical. In that instantaneous moment of stillness of the mind, the “ego” loses its energies, as well as its intrinsic fictitious importance. The physical body functions perfectly, unhindered by chaotic and stressful thoughts.
The Silence of the Mind and I Am Boundlessness are the first in a tetralogy by Ilie Cioara to be published by Obooks. Soon to follow: The Wondrous Journey into the Depth of Our Being, and Life is Eternal Newness. Visit www.thesilencebook.blogspot.com. Excerpts reprinted by permission of Obooks.