In your reply about accessing the higher self you wrote: ” If you use a mantra in meditation, the mantra allows the mind to be undirected and neutral. This state permits the inherent attraction of the one’s inner nature of silence, joy and knowledge to draw the mind to the higher Self.” My question is: Isn’t using a mantra a form of directing the mind, and therefore, how can the mind be neutral – and what does ‘neutral’ mean? If one becomes aware of the mind ‘being drawn to the higher self” how does one distinguish that from the mind becoming distracted?
The mind can be brought to a state of neutrality through the use of certain mantras because of the special nature of those mantra. Sanskrit mantras, more specifically bija mantras, have a subtle vibratory influence on the human awareness that is independent of any meaning or understanding of the word. This is the profound science of sound that the ancient tradition of Vedic teachers have bequeathed to us.
When these mantras are used properly, that is without force or effort, then the flow of attention will no longer automatically travel outward through the senses of perception to the objects of perception. That is what neutrality means here. The mind is not being directed outward, but neither is it being directed inward. The mantra’s effect is to put the mind in a state of undirected suspension.
From this position, the nature of the mind to move to greater knowledge, love and joy is allowed to exert itself and that is what draws the mind to experience self-awakening. Maharishi used to explain this process with the analogy of diving into the water. You have to do a little something in setting the preconditions, but then you let go and allow gravity to do the work.
There is no practical problem in confusing the process of being drawn to the higher self with a mental distraction. When the mind is settling down, it is experiencing greater abstraction, openness, and fulfillment. It is moving toward its essence, its source, and truth. A distraction is something that pulls you away from that experience, so it will feel more limiting and incomplete.