The whole past is dust, but we are identified with the past and not with the consciousness that is always present. Think of it in this way: whatsoever you know is always of the past, and you are here and now in the present. All your knowledge is dust. “Knowing” is your purity, knowledge is dust. The capacity to know, the energy to know, knowing, is your original nature. Through that knowing you gather knowledge. That knowledge is dust-like. Here and now, this very moment, you are absolutely pure, but you are not identified with this purity, you are identified with the past, the accumulated past. So all meditative techniques are basically methods to remove yourself from the past and to allow you to plunge into the here and now.
Buddha was searching for how to regain this purity of consciousness, how to be free from the past, because unless you are free from the past you will remain in bondage, you will be a slave. The past is heavy on you, and because of the past the present is never known. The past is known; the present is a very minute atomic moment. You go on missing it because of the past, and because of the past you go on projecting into the future. The past is projected into the future, and both are false. The past is no more, the future is yet to be. Both are not, and that which is, is hidden between these two which are not.
Buddha was in search; he went from one teacher to another. He searched, and he went to many teachers, all of the known teachers. He consulted them, he allowed them to work upon him, he cooperated. He disciplined himself in many ways, but he was not fulfilled, and the difficulty was this: the teachers were interested in the future, in some liberated state somewhere beyond death, after the life is over. They were interested in some God, some nirvana, some moksha -some liberated state – somewhere in the future, and Buddha was interested in the here and now, so there was really no meeting. He said to every teacher, “I am interested in the here and now, in how to be total, complete and pure here and now.” And they would say, “Apply this method, do this, and if you do it rightly, someday in the future, in some future life, in some future state, you will attain.”
Sooner or later he left every teacher, and then he tried by himself alone. What did he do? He did a very simple thing. Once you know it, it is very simple and obvious, but when you don’t know it, it is so arduous and so difficult, it seems impossible. He did only one thing: he remained with the present moment. He forgot his past and he forgot his future. He said, “I will be here and now. I will simply exist.” If you can exist even for a single moment, you have known the taste – the taste of your pure consciousness. And once it is tasted you can never forget it. Then the taste, the flavor, remains with you, and that flavor becomes a transformation.
Many are the ways how to uncover yourself from your past, how to throw the dust and have a look into the mirror of your own mind. All these techniques are different ways, but with every technique a deep understanding is needed: remember that. These techniques are not mechanical because they are to uncover consciousness. They are not mechanical things. You can use these techniques mechanically, and if you use them as mechanical techniques you may gain a certain stillness of mind, but that won’t be the original purity. You may gain a certain silence, but that silence will he cultivated. That too belongs to the dust part of the mind, not to the original layer. Don’t use them mechanically. A deep understanding is needed, and with understanding they can be helpful to uncover your being.
The first technique: