To my ear, the phrase “Lest we forget” has a chiding, slightly ominous ring to it, echoing George Santayana’s platitude that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. In fact, the opposite is true. Those who remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Look at the oldest cultures on the planet, how they fight with themselves and each other. And with such ferocity! In the spiritual sense, we renew ourselves by forgetting ourselves. This happens every night in the state of deep sleep. If it didn’t, we’d go mad. And we do it consciously via meditation, wordless prayer, or total surrender to what is. We even do it just before we take a bath. By ridding ourselves of convention. By getting naked.
If you didn’t have a tongue, you could still vocalize these three sounds: A (as in father), U (as in moon) and M (lips closed, nasalized). AUM is the primordial sound, the oral equivalent of the three primary colours. To reset the entire system, I recommend a few minutes of AUM in the morning and a few minutes in the evening. Children should be taught AUM in school. They’d be a lot more peaceful.
When you say “I am”, don’t append a subject complement, that is, an identifier, e.g., father, son, doctor, lawyer, etcetera, ad infinitum. Just put a period on it and see how that feels.
To cultivate a quiet mind, continuously observe the babble of thought in the head. Notice the repetition and negativity. See how the aim of these thoughts is to trigger an emotional response, how they parade their own importance. Dispassionate attention slows the mind. The space between thoughts expands.
Meditation is a full-time job. Of course, we meet our basic responsibilities, but these are simple and few. We meditate when we observe without comment every act we perform and every thought we think. Like standing outside of ourselves until it’s time for bed.