Ilie Cioara was an enlightened mystic from Romania. He was born in 1916, and died in 2004. He never belonged to any traditional school. His writings in sixteen books describe the experience of meditation and enlightenment, as well as the practice of Self-knowing using all-encompassing Attention. His is a simple message of discovering one’s inner divine nature through the silence of the mind.
The materials excerpted here are from his books “The Silence of The Mind”, “The Wondrous Journey”, “Life is Eternal Newness”, and “I Am Boundlessness”. These books offer practical guidance on meditation and enlightenment for the spiritual seeker. Drawing from his own experience, the author teaches that by practicing silence of the mind through an all-encompassing attention, a seeker may discover and fulfill the innermost potential of becoming one with the divine spark which lies dormant within everyone of us. For additional information about each of the books, including reviews, please click on the book images here.
To purchase “The Silence of The Mind” from O-Books, please click here; from Amazon click here. Similarly, to purchase “The Wondrous Journey”, please click O-Books or Amazon; and for “Life is Eternal Newness”, please click O-Books and Amazon; for “I Am Boundlessness”, please click O-Books or Amazon.
Here is a description of Ilie Cioara’s spiritual experience in his own words:
I was 55 years old. One morning, waking up from my sleep, I noticed that, psychologically, I was functioning differently from the night before. The mind had lost its usual turmoil. In a state of serenity I had never felt before, I was functioning in perfect communion with my whole somatic structure.
Only after a couple of hours, I realized what had happened to me, without pursuing this ‘something’ as an ideal to accomplish. I was, to use a simile, in the situation of a man blind from birth, who had just gained his sight after undergoing surgery. Everything around me was as new. I had an overall perspective on things. A silent mind allows the senses to perceive things as they are.
The mind in its totality had become, through silence, an immense mirror in which the outside world was reflected. And the world I was perceiving directly through my senses revealed its own reality to me. My fellow beings, close friends or complete strangers, were being regarded indiscriminately, with a feeling of love I had never felt before.
If any reaction of the mind surfaced, it disappeared immediately in contact with the sparkle of impersonal Attention. A state of quiet and all-encompassing joy characterized me in all circumstances, whether pleasant or painful. My behaviour was that of a simple witness, perfectly aware of what was happening around me, without affecting my all-encompassing state of peace.
When reading Ilie Cioara’s books, “The Silence of the Mind” and “The Wondrous Journey: Into the Depth of Our Being”, one is suddenly shaken by the simplicity of the message; shaken because the recent plethora of nondual teachings often do the exact opposite of what they set out not to do. And that is not engage the mind further in its conceptual machinations; but very often that is not the result.. A survey of questions and answers in dialogues with many teachers will reveal nothing but further mind stuff.
In Cioara’s books one senses a communication from direct insight, that speaks to a very obvious fact, if we care to look. And that is: the mind or ‘self’ is created by the thinking process, and there is an Awareness prior to thinking that can attend to this activity, and which, if experimented with, will show that this incessant movement comes to an end in the moment of clear seeing. This is Cioara’s practice for returning to Being. And to want to engage in any kind of analysis of the process is simply the mind’s way of keeping itself alive, and the birth of the new is suppressed. It’s a simple message, which you either take up or you don’t.
We are grateful to the books’ copyright holders and to Noumenon Journal for permission to place this material on The Zoo Fence.
Experiencing the Mystery of the Present Moment
In the whole Universe, there is nothing static, dead or frozen. Everything, but absolutely everything, is in eternal movement. Even within the so-called still nature reigns the same intrinsic law of movement.
Movement and newness, in perfect interconnectedness, affirm themselves as uniqueness. In this context, the moment represents the hand of the clock, used by Infinity in order to record the movement of Eternity. It is always new, as well as creative and transformative, in an ascending manner, progressively.
In order to be able to encounter the newness of the aliveness in its movement, we must come out, and greet it the same way. Thus, we don’t return to the past, to what happened, nor do we project ourselves into the future, in pursuit of an imaginary purpose or ideal to fulfill.
With a completely empty mind, we simply watch life as it unfolds. Nothing comes between us and the movement of life, in the form of images, opinions, etc. Such a simple and direct meeting with the moment transcends us spontaneously from the finite world into Infinity.
And just as quickly, like lightning, we detach, in order to be free again, and therefore completely available to encountering the next moment. Nothing is anticipated and nothing is accumulated from the lived moment.
The purity, innocence of the mind is our constant companion, as each moment becomes an opportunity of creative “being”. Through this way of “being” – as pure Consciousness – we ourselves create a new world in which Love, beauty, compassion and kindness become a reality positively influencing the whole of humankind.
The Power of Emptiness
The “void” or “psychological emptiness” is a strange phenomenon,
Insist in being with it, as much as you can,
The mind is completely silent, we are attentive – a clear consciousness,
Being in the pause – I become infinite!
It separates two worlds. I leave the limited world
There is no time, no space – just everlasting Eternity;
I move in direct contact with life, in a permanent present.
How can we free ourselves from the past and the future? It is all very simple! With a lucid, all-encompassing Attention, we will watch every reaction of the mind, without pursuing any purpose or goal. Everything we encounter in such a manner disappears; in the void which appears spontaneously, an unlimited energy is available at our fingertips, and we are able to understand the absolute Reality through a direct experience.
In this state, we acquire a great sensitivity and everything that life brings forth in its natural flow is being regarded and appreciated with love and kindness.
Man is truly wise only when, detached from his selfish “self”, united with Infinity through non-action and an aware passiveness of the mind.
This mysterious encounter is accompanied by simplicity. Once the past has disappeared, we are integrated in the now and, with a clear and lucid mind, we watch everything that comes as constant freshness from one moment to another.
Creation is constant movement, eternal newness and absolute freshness. It never repeats itself, it is never static, and it is never caught in the trap of time and space.
The individual mind, no matter how cultured, has no access to the phenomenon of creation, and cannot understand it, because the mind is always old and outdated. Each movement of this particular mind separates and limits. Thus, with such a mind, we will never, in any circumstances, be able to discover the mysteries of the movement of creation.
Therefore, this ordinary mind must be silent! But how can we make it become silent? Only in one way: when we encounter it simply and directly, with the flame of Attention, without having any motives or ideals to accomplish.
If the meeting happens in the right way, the mind becomes quiet – it becomes completely silent – and in that moment our whole being is detached from the known. From then on, the vessel of consciousness, thus emptied, is able to encompass and understand the newness brought forth by the movement of life.
Therefore, a new mind, without limits and without knowledge; in its stillness, it is creative, and through it, the person is always new and active. Such a mind, in a state of Pure Consciousness, creates radical changes in the structure of the ordinary man by its simple presence.
Perfectly conscious, I see the emptiness of this world directly and my mind becomes silent. I have no choices, not even at the level of understanding of this limited mind. In the silence that ensues, the mystery reveals by itself its secrets to us.
The whole being expands to infinity. A light such as we have never experienced before envelops us, and heals us. Out of time and space, we have a pure consciousness – in perfect union with the Supreme Being.
All of these demonstrate that the alive within us is, in its essence, immortal. It has no beginning, no end, it never sleeps, being therefore always awake.
Each human being on planet Earth is – consciously or unconsciously – searching for happiness with unlimited persistence and greed. Happiness appears as a mirage; we try countless ways in order to find it in the external world, with perseverance and determination; nevertheless, each time, the desired happiness finally results in disappointing delusion.
Other, more subjective individuals turn to their inner world; in this case as well, their thirst for happiness is satisfied by sheer deceitful imagination. In each of our attempts to search for it, we start from what we know or imagine. Such happiness is always motivated by an object we anticipate or desire.
True happiness ensues indirectly. It always appears in a state of non-search. Practically, we do not know what happiness is, but, when the mind is completely silent, in a state of total passiveness, our whole being experiences harmony. In this state, as complete beings, integrated into Life, we are overwhelmed with an immense Joy and Happiness without cause.
Only when It appears as a real experience can we truly know Happiness and Its constant freshness, without turning It into a memory. Ever renewing itself, It is a natural gift offered to the individual who is free from his time-space structure. Only in this way do we discover the true Happiness that the wandering mind of the conditioned man has been searching for throughout the millennia.
The moment we encounter true Happiness, we are in fact outside time and space. The “ego” – with its intrinsic duality – has completely disappeared.
If the “ego” does not exist anymore, who can evaluate this happy fulfillment?
In that moment, the Sacred within us, also existent in the whole universe, becomes one “Whole” and a Unique movement, in a permanent renewal. Do we truly experience this union, or do we merely understand it intellectually? You alone can answer this question.
Each human being – from the moment of birth until the moment of the so-called death – persistently searches for this mysterious Happiness. Unfortunately, most people make the mistake of searching for it with the thinking mind.
Because Happiness has no motivations, It is not part of the limited world. Its nature is infinite; therefore the knowing mind cannot encounter It, or understand It, or imagine It.
Happiness comes to us by Itself, and It envelops our whole being when the mind becomes humble and silent, as it has understood its inability to encounter the Unknown.
Lucid Attention – with Its flashes – dissipates all the darkness, as well as the baggage, of the dysfunctional mind.
In the empty space of peace or no-mind, our being is extended into Infinity; in that moment, the Divinity within us reveals we are one with the Source of the Sacred. In conclusion, let us add that in the environment of “Pure Consciousness”, Happiness is present as a natural fulfillment and It is unlike anything that can be found in this perishable world.
The Love dimension is known by different names: Truth, Reality, God, Immensity, the Infinite, Intelligence, etc.
The very meaning of the words which define it express the fact that this dimension has no bounds. In this dimension, no faiths, ideals, desires or any such similar ideas can exist, as they are encountered in the limited dimension. For this reason, in this wondrous climate there is no struggle, contradictions, confusion, pain, hate, etc.
Boundlessness cannot be comprehended by imagination or by thought; there is nothing we can say about it. We can only describe and explain that which our mind can encompass. In the face of Limitlessness, the mind is poor, completely unable to understand it. In fact, the moment Immensity affirms itself within us, as a living state of the integral human being, the “ego” dimension and its limited way of expression does not exist anymore.
There is not much we can say about the experience of living in the dimension of Love. Nevertheless, we will try to express certain feelings and states of being encountered in this state.
In complete union with Love, we are perfect peace, we live total freedom; the very notion of “self” is missing, although we are endowed with a clarity and sensitivity of the mind such as we have never encountered in the limited realm of thinking.
By melting with silence, we become that silence, equilibrium and harmony, free from duality: our being is extended into Infinity. Practically, by experiencing “psychological nothingness”, the “ego” disappears and, in its place, Immensity envelops us wholly, and we become one with It. Integrated into the Great Cosmic Energy, we continue to exist as a state of superconsciousness.
Encountering the Boundless
It is impossible to embrace and comprehend the
Thus, I am Immensity, in perpetual movement,
One with the Boundless, I am Happiness,
Life is Energy in a permanent process of renewal, unfolding moment to moment. It has no beginning and it will never have an end. It comes from Eternity and it flows, perpetually, towards the same Eternity, in a perfectly harmonious order.
We can also call it Absolute Truth or God; these words define its Essence and content as All there is, in All and Everything, seen or unseen.
As Unique Reality, It is also endowed with creative force, and the Aliveness within us represents the Divine Spark which cannot be conditioned or measured, searched for or evaluated. It exists – purely and simply – as obvious and Unique Reality in a continuous process of evolution.
This Divine Particle – Perfection in Itself – is associated with a physical body and an imperfect mind; It permanently pursues perfection and the return to the Sacred Source where It originated. Destined to experience the association with the relative elements of the physical Universe, the Divine Spark – in moments of existence – comes into contact with “What is not real”, that is, the world of illusions, which disappears spontaneously. In the “psychological void”, It reveals Itself through Itself as Sublime Reality.
The Sacred or God is the Source of Life; It breathes energy and life into the whole existence. It permeates all and everything as Absolute Love. It has no beginning, It was not created by anyone and It will never die. It was, is and will always be immortal Existence, through Itself and by Itself.
It contains both the quality of stillness, as well as that of eternal movement. It affirms Itself as Beauty, Kindness and limitless Love. It does not force, impose or compel anyone or anything, for Its patience is infinite. Both in the case of human beings, as well as with everything that exists, It does not impose Its authority or law, because in Its quality as Perfection It gives everyone freedom and, when needed, It helps the whole of creation satisfy its basic necessities.
The imaginary individual mind cannot encounter It, in any circumstance, because the “ego” cannot encompass that which is all-encompassing. Separating from It or trying to understand It with the knowing mind are acts of impiety.
Only the Sacred can affirm: “I Am”. The rest are and will always remain mere fantasies of the mind.
According to depth, there are three layers of understanding:
Total understanding is – by itself and through itself – true understanding,
Attention is the key, providing comprehension,
Through spontaneous understanding, we are an integral being,
This message, expressed in very simple words, invites you to watch yourself, in every circumstance, as often as possible. Each such encounter – performed in the right manner – constantly weakens the authority of the “ego”.
Attention – as a shining Light – dissipates all the darkness, dissolving and disintegrating everything it encounters, like a laser. We don’t memorize anything from the poem we have just read or re-read. In this way, the verses will be always new – completely unknown to us – as if we are reading them for the first time; just like, when you look into a mirror, you see your face in it as if for the first time.
The passiveness of the mind, as a result of all-encompassing and lucid Attention, transcends us from the finite world into the reality of the Absolute, revealing our true divine origin. Completely forget the poems, as well as the author! Just remain with the constant act of listening and watching yourself, in utter simplicity.
You don’t need anyone or anything on this path of spiritual awakening! Drop all the crutches you rely on, for they are worthless! On the contrary, they are real obstacles on this wondrous journey, which can only be accomplished in the absence of the “ego”, in utter aloneness, as a complete human being, body and mind as “One”.
Nothingness is the void, nonexistence, the nothing, the non-thing. Simultaneously, It is also the Infinite, the Existence which permeates All that exists in the Boundless Universe. It has no limits, therefore it is Boundlessness.
Each time we realize the State of Being, we also experience Boundless Thinking, which is, in fact, the same Immensity we can also call Nothingness. This Nothingness holds all the planets, stars, galaxies and universes in orbit, as well as all their content.
Therefore, in a simple state of No-mind we encounter the eternal State of Being, which is, in fact, the Infinite Energy or God. Practically, we are in a state of Boundless Thinking; in a split second we can place a Thought on the Moon, the Sun or any galaxy.
When we truly encounter the State of Being through personal experience, we realize our Godliness, for in that sublime Moment we and God are in a perfect communion, manifested as eternal Love.
Therefore, each of us – woman or man – is endowed with this natural functional capacity. It is attained with the help of lucid and all-encompassing Attention, which instantly dissipates the mechanism of the delusive, illusory mind. As soon as this "Psychological Void" or Peace of the Soul appears, the New Man affirms his existence and sublime behavior as unconditional Love, Joy and Happiness, free from any external motivations.
I Am Boundlessness
I am spontaneous simplicity,
The past melts away
Experiencing the moment,
Each such encounter
Bliss is a state of complete happiness, free from any cause or motivation. It cannot be planted or cultivated, such as a flower, by the self-interested “ego”, in any circumstance. It cannot be the fruit of imagination, nor can it be attained through persistent effort or will. It cannot be negotiated, for it is priceless.
No prayers – no matter how persistent and passionate – can help us attain it, for all these are nothing but egoistic endeavors, whose author is none other than the “personal self”, always pursuing its self-interest. Its activity cannot go beyond the dimension and the limits of its time-space structure.
This bliss or boundless Happiness ensues spontaneously, as soon as the ego becomes humble and silent, as it has understood its powerlessness. In the unforced and undesired silence, any ideal, goal or purpose is completely absent and our being expands into Infinity. In a state of truly Pure Energy, we are perfectly conscious of an immense joy, united with Eternity.
Every human being who has understood – through a direct experience – the great mystery of inner harmony and equilibrium has access to this holy fulfillment. Each reaction of the mind is a wonderful opportunity to attain the state of bliss. Try to encounter the movement of the "ego" right now, in this very moment. The flame of Attention dissipates it instantly, and your being is integrated, in union with the Sublime. Do not content yourselves with a mere intellectual understanding of the phenomenon!
I am here as well as everywhere in the Immense Infinite,
I have no cause and no Source of creation,
Uniqueness – as Unity – encompasses all,