Eastern psychology divides man's mind into three states: deep sleep - dreamless sleep, dreaming, and awake. Ordinarily, we are not aware even of the state which is called "awake." We are not aware.
We feel we are awake, but we live as if we are asleep. We move, we do things in a somnambulism; there is no awareness. There is awakening in the the morning - when you come out of your sleep you are awake, in the first state - but you are not aware. You go, you move, you do things in a mechanical way - not consciously, not meditatively.
Any movement is possible unconsciously and consciously. You are eating: you can eat in a mechanical way, not aware of the process, not conscious, not mindful - just going on eating mechanically, unconsciously, robotlike. You can walk on the streets unconsciously, not even aware that you are walking, that your legs are moving - you go on moving, robotlike. Someone hits you, someone abuses you, someone condemns you; anger bubbles up - you are not aware.
It works as if someone has pushed a button, and the light is on: someone abuses you, someone has pushed the button, and the anger is on. You are behaving in a mechanical way, not aware of what is happening; not aware that anger is coming to you, that anger is surrounding you, that anger is taking charge of your mind, of your body; that now you will be pulled and manipulated by your anger - no, not even aware. You are not aware; it just happens and you go on following a mechanical trend.
This so-called awake state is the first - on the periphery. Deep down, just behind it, is the second state - dreaming. Western psychology has taken note of dreaming only with William James, never before... just in this century, just in the beginning of this century. With William James, dreaming became important, and with Freud, it gained its own status. For the first time it was recognized as significant and meaningful in the West. But in the East, for thousands of years, dreaming has been thought very significant - more significant that the first, the awake. Because in dreaming you are more authentic, more real. Because in dreaming there is no fear of society, no inhibition, no suppression. So your mind as it is, begins to work. Freudian psychology studies not your waking hours - they are not meaningful - but your dreaming. That is meaningful; that shows your real face.
Indian psychology says that dreaming is the second state of the human mind. And it is not only a state, but it corresponds to a body also. The first state, the awake, corresponds with the gross body; it is part of the gross body, the material body that we know as the body. The second state, dreaming, corresponds to the second body, which is known as the subtle body. That second body is just a body behind this body, and Indian psychology says - and Indian yoga has experimented for centuries and has come upon many, many facts - that in a deep dream your subtle body can move out of your body. It can go, it can move, it can travel.
Now in the West also, astral traveling has become a prominent thing to be studied. Astral projection - how to project your astral body, how to move out from your body - is now an accepted fact of parapsychology. But only now is it accepted - and that too, not universally; only parapsychologists accept it - that a subtle phenomenon, a subtle body can go out from this body, and move, and travel.
This sutra says that dreaming is concerned with the second body, not with this body which is known to us. The second body is the dreaming body; second state is dreaming, and the second body is subtle. Then there is a third state of the mind: deep sleep, or dreamless sleep - total sleep, not even a dream. This corresponds to a third body which is known as the causal body.
You live in the outward world with your gross body; you live in a dream world, in a subtle world, with your subtle body. And you move from one body to another, from one birth to another, from one life to another through your causal body - the third body. The causal body means the basic body. And beyond the causal is your real self. These are three bodies only, three surrounding bodies, three concentric bodies. And behind these three, and beyond them, is the center, the self, the consciousness.
This sutra says that unless one is capable of dis-identifying from these three bodies; capable of knowing oneself apart, separate, beyond all these three bodies - unless one is capable of that, one will go on coming back to this earth, in a circle. One will go on being born again and again, and then dying, and then being born again and again. If these three bodies can be known as the other, if you can recognize yourself as different from these three bodies - the awake, the dreaming, the deep sleep; the gross, the subtle, and the causal - if you can feel, realize, know that you are beyond these three, only then this vicious circle of life and death ceases, and you gain freedom, and you gain bliss.
What to do?
How to be aware beyond these three bodies?
The technique that can make you aware, that can make you transcend, that can create a situation in which you can witness all these three bodies - standing outside them - is meditation.
But here, by meditation is meant training the consciousness of each body in mindfulness. Buddha has used this word "mindfulness" for meditation. He says, "Walk, but mindfully; don't just walk. Eat, but mindfully. Think, but mindfully."
What is meant when I say, "Think, but mindfully"? It means, let there be thought, but let there also be an awareness that there are thoughts. Just like you are sitting under the sky, and clouds are moving. Look at the clouds, see the clouds, and constantly AND simultaneously be aware that you are seeing the clouds. Let your consciousness be two-arrowed: one arrow pointing to the clouds; another arrow pointing to yourself SEEING the clouds.
Let your consciousness be double-arrowed.
Ordinarily, our consciousness is one-arrowed. For example, if you are listening to me you will forget yourself completely. If I say it, then suddenly you will remember: you have forgotten yourself completely. You are listening to me, so your consciousness has become one-arrowed - your consciousness is arrowed towards me, the speaker. But where is the listener? You are not aware of yourself as the listener.
Experiment, make your consciousness double-arrowed. Listen to me, but constantly remember that you are listening. You need not repeat it, because if you repeat then you will forget me, the speaker.
If you repeat it in the mind, that you are listening, in that moment you will not listen. Do not repeat it, do not verbalize it; words are not needed. Just be conscious, double-arrowed. Of course, when I am speaking you are listening. Speaking and listening are two points: HERE I am speaking, THERE you are listening. There is a relationship; these are two arrows. Be aware of both, then you will transcend both. Neither will you be the listener nor the speaker, but a witness of both.
This is what is meant by mindfulness. Do whatsoever, but remember the doer. Go on witnessing - ANY process. Thoughts are moving in the mind - look at them, observe them and remember; remember that you are observing your thoughts. Then thoughts are somewhere like clouds in the sky, moving, and you are an observer. This observation, this witnessing, this awareness is the technique to transcend any body.
But first, always begin with the gross, the waking state. If you succeed in that, then you can succeed in the second; then you can become aware of your dreams. You can dream and be simultaneously aware that a dream is floating, that a dream is unfolding, that a dream is going on. And if you become aware of your dream process, then you have transcended the second body, the subtle body.
And then the last and most arduous is to penetrate into deep sleep with consciousness, to become aware of your sleep also. There is sleep, no dream - sleep is surrounding you; still you are conscious that sleep is there.
But this can happen only in a sequence. Begin with the first; otherwise, the third will be impossible, inconceivable. Go to the second; only then the third becomes possible. And if you can know that you are asleep - IN sleep, not afterwards; not in the morning, that "I have had a very beautiful good night's sleep." Not afterwards - presently, when you are asleep, be aware. If you can be aware of your sleep you have transcended all three bodies and all three consciousnesses, and then you will know the fourth.
Indian psychology says that the fourth is your being. The three have been named, but the fourth has been just called "the fourth" - TURIYA - it has not been named. The fourth is your center. But that center is surrounded by three peripheries, concentric circles. Unless you transcend them, you will not know it. And unless you know it, no bliss is known, and no freedom is possible.
But always begin with the first. When the first is complete, only then begin with the second, because only then a beginning is possible. If you become aware of the first, then you are at the door of the second. If you become aware of the second, then you are at the door of the third. If you become aware of the third, then you are at the door of the fourth. Without experiencing the first, all else is just inconceivable.
Lastly, if you transcend all these three bodies, then there is no birth again, and of course, no death.
The whole dimension changes. You begin to move in a different dimension: the dimension of the eternal, the dimension of the non-temporal, the dimension of timelessness. Then you are not moving in time from one birth to another death, then again death, and again birth. No; now you move from the circle of time to the ocean of timelessness. In this timelessness is the authentic, existence, the ground of existence, the ground of all being. And in that is freedom, because then there is no ego, then there is no boundary, then there is no "I." And with the cessation of "I" everything that is a disease, that is a misery, that is an anguish, ceases.
Instructions for the Evening Meditation.
Bring your total energy to your effort, because only three sittings will be possible. Bring your total energy to the effort.