Becoming Transparent

default mode network letting go of conditioning letting life flow meditation for clarity transparency welcoming the new

“The phenomenon of light is the transparency of the soul loosening its weave so that more life can move through it.”


I’ve been thinking more and more about transparency, not in the way we most often think of it in the Western mind, as in honest or forthright, but transparent in the sense of making ourselves transparent so that life can flow through us.

In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras 1.4, Patanjali says in his discussion of meditation and spiritual practice, "The mind becomes just like a transparent jewel, taking the form of whatever object is placed before it”.  This means that there is no distortion whatsoever caused by the mind, and we can experience each experience exactly as it is without our clouded interpretations.   It’s in this transparency that life passes through us in a way that is free and unfiltered.  

The work of becoming transparent is really about the willingness to let go of our conditioning.  And when we can let this go a little bit more we can get more of the full view of life, a more expanded view.

We are, by our nature, often interpreting only a fraction of the truth.  We are like the familiar story of the three blind Hindu men, blind since birth, who were led to an elephant. One felt its tusk and said it was a spear. One felt its tail and said it was a rope and the third felt its body and said it was a wall.  Of course, each man could only experience the elephant according to his pre-conditioning and knowledge, had he moved further around and over the elephant he may have opened his mind to letting go of what he initially thought and let this new idea flow through his experience.  He may have felt its breath, its movement, its enormity, and understood that it was a magnificent creature, unlike anything he had encountered before.

Meditation is one tool for loosening the weave of the soul, for creating the transparency needed for new experiences to move through us.  We all have a default mode, which is the direction the mind takes when it is at rest, and because we can’t be constantly listening to every thought rumbling through our mind at any given moment the brain created this default mode network (DMN), a resting state of the mind for our benefit and perhaps protection.  While it serves a valuable purpose the DMN can become problematic.  For some, the default mode is open, flexible, relaxed, and spacious.  For others, their default mode is anxious, guarded, and suspicious.  And most will be somewhere on the spectrum of either.  

Studies show that decreasing DMN through meditation increases overall well-being, increases the ability to complete tasks with fewer errors, and increases overall cognitive understanding. In essence, decreasing the DMN, letting go of previous conditioning, and allowing the mind to settle, and become transparent has benefits for the mind and body and the way that we meet and interpret the world around us.

We can, through our meditation practices experience, more fully,  the elephant in the room.  

 When we become transparent we operate from the part of ourselves that sees life from a wider perspective, is open to new possibilities, and allows access to pure and unlimited potentiality.  Transparency is the Self with a capital S.


Red light reflections.  On your next drive, each time you hit a red light notice your thoughts.  What are you thinking about?  What are you seeing around you?  Just notice where your thoughts go each time you stop at a red light.  Are you experiencing life in this moment as familiar or completely new? What do you see, what stories are you creating in this short encounter?

 Can you recall a time when you created a story around a person or thing that was limited by your experience?  Looking back was there the voice of inner wisdom asking for a broader view?  What would be different in your life now if you had encountered this experience with transparency?

 Mantra Meditation for transparency:  Om Bhavam Namah “I am absolute existence”

Sitting quietly, begin saying the mantra softly aloud, feeling the vibration of the sounds.  Use a japa technique, repeating the mantra softly again and again.  Japa literally means muttering, so ‘mutter’ the mantra softly over and over.  After a few minutes allow the mantra to fade into the voice of your mind, and continue repeating the mantra in the voice of your mind for 5-10 minutes.  When you are complete sit quietly and cultivate a lightness in your body, a transparency, allowing everything to move through you with ease.



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