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My Experience Of Conscious Mental Rest

by Michael

Hello Gavin, after 2 months of doing CMR twice a day, I’d like to share my experiences and ask you if these experiences still sound “ok” for you so far.

Of course, the sessions differ each time and I know, that there are no “good” or 'bad' sessions in the end. Some of them just feel very good while others feel not so comfortable, but this is ok and both types are necessary and "normal" at the end. However, my typical, average session follows a pattern like this:

Well, first I sit down with the inner attitude not to want anything nor to expect anything. This is NOT something I focus on because I know, that this would be a kind of effort again. So it is more an inner attitude, a feeling of "Doesn't matter" and "no interest for anything". It feels like placing a Robot on a chair and then switch him off. And then: zero activity.

I then very quickly come into a state that there are just two things remaining in my mind: darkness (because of the closed eyes) and awareness. No feeling of "I" but the awareness of awareness. Then, pictures, sounds and thoughts come up, but they seem to be like a projection. There is still a deep and quiet awareness in the background and at the same time, thoughts, images and so on are projected to the foreground. But both is not "me". There is just a kind of awareness.

Then, normally, the pictures and thoughts become "unsharp", more and more, until they are just "pressures" in the awareness and then they vanish completely. And then, in best case, I come back to the sole state "Awareness in darkness". It's dark, there is unpersonal awareness, I just feel good, calm and have a big smile in my face. And then, the process starts again. However, sometimes the "I" comes back unexpected and I think "Hey, this feels so good, good session and so on..." and then it takes me away for a while. And in this case, I come back to the comfort zone, without stressing myself. And most of the time, this works very well. But of course, not always.

Well, this is more or less, my basic meditation pattern, that I experience every day. I hope, it sounds like I'm doing CMR in a correct way? I will be happy to hear what you're thinking about this.

Gavin's answer:

Yes, that sounds like you are having deep Conscious Mental Rest, which means you have fully grasped the subtleness of the practice and are 'doing' it correctly.

Of course, your own experiences are yours, and if anyone else is reading this, please don't assume that what Michael has described is how your own sessions of CMR should be experienced. Each of us is unique, with our own psycho-physiology, our own past, our own stored stresses, our own diet, lifestyle, and so on.

For these reasons we never take much notice in what other people's experiences are. That's their experience, and we just leave it at that -- whether they seem good or not-so-good experiences.

The key with Conscious Mental Rest is that we should remain innocent and follow the course instructions and don't try to 'tweak' anything in the hope of improving things. CMR works, the way it is explained in the course materials, because it is truly natural and cannot be manipluated without detracting from its efficacy and results.

Awareness of awareness

Michael, there's just one item I'd like to make a comment about, and that is 'the awareness of awareness' that you have mentioned. I believe I understand what you mean, and I'd like to expand on that a little.

In some teachings they talk about being aware of awareness, and they liken that state to being in transcendence. To be more accurate, though, in transcendence - total stillness of mind, where all thoughts and thinking have been transcended - there is no awareness of anything, not even awareness of awareness. As soon as we become aware that we are aware, there is something that we are aware of, and there is someone who is being aware. So we're out of pure consciousness where there would be no subject ('I') and no object ('awareness').

When we emerge from total stillness, we become aware that we had not lost consciousness during our CMR session. Yet we realise that for some 'time' there had been nothing we can remember having been conscious of -- not even that we were conscious of the self. It 'was' just stillness of mind; and now that we are out of that stillness we can become aware that we had been 'there'. Often we know this because the time on the clock shows that we've been sitting in CMR for longer than we realised. It's as if there is a chunk of 'time' that we cannot account for, yet we know we were not asleep and not unconscious. This is a deep, silent state of Conscious Mental Rest.

This can be for short periods - seconds or a minute, or several minutes.

Obviously I talk from my own experience and insights, which will not necessarily be the same as the experience and insights of others, including some of the popular spiritual teachers. This is because each of us is unique.

Michael, in summary, I'd say you're doing fine with your Conscious Mental Rest; and that's great to hear. Thanks for sharing.

~ Gavin

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