Many methods of meditation are in practice. People choose one or a few of them and bring about some peace of mind. While this approach is helpful, it is good to discover what it means to be in a state of awareness in which the meditator is absent.

Life on this planet is hard – difficulties come from many directions and take away the peace of mind. People take to religions in order to feel secure. Some adopt a system of meditation that appeals to them. Both those approaches have helped them reach some composure and stability in life. However, on careful observation, we find that they function more as palliatives rather than provide a cure to the malady. In other words, they act as escape routes instead of helping one understand the cause of the problem. Shields are developed against life giving temporary solace without making one come to grips with the root of the malady. It is like trying to correct a malfunction in an automobile without correctly locating the fault.

Further, the religious and meditative systems are result oriented and so they create a hopeful future making the present merely a passage. As a result, fear sets in in the deeper layers of the mind. It needs certain courage to face the Now without a shield. True living is a matter of being in the Now; while it respects the practical future, it does not develop dependence on a psychological future. As of now, only a small percentage of human beings is aware of this and so many fall prey to the habitual neurology of clinging to religious or meditative systems.

The Malady
The thought created ‘I’ is a result of the body-mind identification with oneself due to the habitual neurology. By the time the child grows into the age of three or so, this identification begins and continues to grow until it becomes a hardened psychological entity by the teenage years. Then the ego is well set in place and acts like the true self. The habitual neurology is handed down to the child genetically and in other ways. As a result of the hardened ego the human being behaves like a robot. That is how we can predict a person’s behavior if we have known him or her for a few years. It is the robot that is afraid of being attacked or dissolved. It knows that it is thought created and so it is ephemeral; hence its fear of death. This apprehension causes it to be identified with a nation, religion, race etc and in that process, feel a sense of permanency through them. Consequently, it develops emotional attachment to them.

Through simple awareness it is possible to dissolve the robot once we see the above process of the robotic development in oneself and in others. That awareness starts an inward journey which gradually diffuses the robot. One becomes an affectionate bystander to oneself. It is a great relief to be freed from the robot because there would then be no need to depend on any system for mental peace. Every practice to reach a predetermined result – such as fulfillment of desires, being in the good books of God, entering heaven after death etc – is seen as a matter of self-imposed burden. The consequent inner relief and calmness lead to unqualified compassion towards all, irrespective of what nation or religion the other belongs to.

Meditation without the Meditator
Once we are freed from all self-imposed burden, living itself, from morning till night, becomes a movement in meditation. The usual process of being driven by the ego with its self-interest would no longer govern the daily psychology. The readiness to meet life without a shield would characterize our mental state. It would also help us apply ourselves to the practical responsibilities with passionate involvement. We would love whatever we do. The associated self-awareness helps us be in a state of meditation without there being a meditator with his self-interest. That mindset has no emotional attachment to any system, and so has no enemies. It would hesitate even to hurt an ant; how can it hurt the other beings? Obviously, only such a mind can have anything to do with true religiosity.

It is interesting to note that the aftermath of the near death experience engenders the above state of natural meditation in many of them but perhaps not in all. What the experience does to the individual largely depends on the person’s mindset before the experience. However, it is found that a good percentage of them is pushed away from conventional religious and meditative practices. They understand that true meditation is free of self-interest and so it accompanies one throughout the waking hours. Listening to their messages free from sectarian thought, we can understand this matter of meditation without the meditator.

The book ‘In Quest of the Deeper Self’ deals with related topics. Its details are given in the website http//

Author's Bio: 

Gopalakrishnan T. Chandrasekaran was born in Madras (now Chennai), India. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978; served on the research and teaching faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, the North Carolina State University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait.

Aside from his professional involvements, he was interested in the philosophic issues of life for the last forty years or so. This led him to the messages of Ramana Maharishi, Lao Tzu, J Krishnamurthy, UG Krishnamurthy, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius and similar Masters. His book entitled “In Quest of the Deeper Self” is the outcome of his reflections on those and his wish to share the outcome with others.

Gopalakrishnan is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Durham, NC, USA. He lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in the southern part of India, with his wife Banumathy. Blog: