leisure. This process is different from writing planned articles. Here thoughts are left without any direction or restraint and are allowed to appear as they come, so that even repressed elements from the subconscious mind have an access to the conscious mind.
In a more advanced stage, an intensive awareness of mental processes can take place while thoughts appear in consciousness and writing becomes unnecessary. The watching of mental operations* should be accompanied by critical evaluation of thoughts. Thoughts cannot be controlled except through the sense of their value or lack of value. When the diverse types of thoughts which assail the mind are critically evaluated, and the internal stirrings of sanskaras are faced, understood and taken for what they are worth, the mind is freed from all obsessions and compulsions in relation to them.
A way is thus prepared for the meditation which attempts to make the mind blank.** Making the mind blank is one of the most difficult things to achieve. The mind is without any ideas during sleep; but consciousness is then in abeyance. If, while consciousness is not in abeyance, the mind uses any idea for becoming blank, the mind is really thinking about the idea and is far from being blank. But this difficult trick of making the mind blank becomes possible by an alternation between two incompatible forms of meditation so that the mind is caught between concentration and distraction.
Thus the aspirant can concentrate on the Master for five minutes; and then, as the mind is getting settled on the form of the Master, he can get his mind steadied for the next five minutes, in the impersonal meditation of the thought, "I am Infinite." The disparity between the two forms of meditation can be emphasized by contrast in the other attendant circumstances. For example, in the meditation on the form of the Master, the eyes might be kept open; and in the impersonal meditation they might be kept closed. Such alternation helps towards making the mind blank; but, if it is to be successful, both forms of meditation have to be taken seriously at the time when they are pursued. Though, after five minutes, there is to be a change-over to another type of meditation, there should be no thought about it when the first type of meditation is undertaken. There is no distraction unless there is concentration. But when a change-over is effected, there should be no thought of the first type of meditation. The distraction has to be as complete as the previous concentration.
*Meditation No. 11 in the Table
** Meditation No. 12 in the Table