“Real” solutions for “real” problems
That was a time of uncertainty, fear and turbulence among people in the world. No one expected such a time, for most were busy and entertained, producing wealth and pleasure for themselves. No one expected the unexpected. The news were flowing with unusual distress and the ‘experts’ talking heads, were spreading their own stress and emotionality non stop, through the omnipresent tube.
The disciple asked: “ Master, many people believe that spirituality does not give any real solution to the problems that the world is facing. For example, what kind of advise could spirituality give to a person who is watching over his older parents and relatives going through emotional and physical issues, while at the same time living a time of high Covid-19 infection; where cash flow is uncertain and there is fear of catching the virus or giving it to someone?”
The master smiled and gave a comforting pat on his disciple shoulder pad before continuing.
The master said: “ Spirituality is not a source of advise. It is a source of strength and inspiration. Strength for what? you may ask. Strength to go through the test or problem that Life may offer. Spirituality will give you an overview on Life’s laws. That should give a person a starting point in their understanding. Experiences will arrive to test that understanding and to make that theory into something practical. Without those tests there is no possibility to move on in consciousness. Those are the tests of the school of Life itself.
Observe your intention. Through that intention establish a good conversation with your relatives. Merely put your ideas, worries and hopes on the table. Do not look for solutions and rationalizations, but for understanding at the emotional level. After that meeting, the sense of unity should be there rather than finding a solution.
Most humans think in terms of ‘solutions,’ that is an ideal formula that will make sure the outcome of circumstances will be according to their wishes. There is a solution to fix a computer, but among humans and Life, solutions are very rare. Have you noticed that? Someone will be discontent or dissatisfied despite a rational ‘solution.’ Life is not a problem to be solved. It is an experience to be experienced.
Once your good intention is known, that is the lighting candle that will light up the others. Life, death, health, disease, abundance or shortage…. Those dualities are part of experiencing Life. Sooner or later we will experience those experiences. Therefore; be aware of your intention behind your actions, behind your words for there resides our liberation from making a Life experience into a bitter traumatic experience. Finally, be open to accept Life as it comes to you. Some call that surrendering to Life, others trusting it.
Fear comes when we have our minds set in a future which Life may not bring to us. Then, we want to fight, we want to oppose, we want for others to be on our side and help us to get our way. At the end, Life will continue on and so, are we. Do you understand? We will continue on.”
The disciple understood as the master explained in a calm, non emotional voice. However, he wanted to summarized what was already digested in his BEING after hearing those words, with a couple of catchy words perhaps to remember the teaching or remind others. The disciple then said: “ Master, you are basically saying to DO my best then?”
The master laughed and responded: “As you said; but even better, BE your best. Meet the movie of Life as a hero actor.”
Question: Do I follow my fleeting huge attraction or my comfortable, unfulfilled but good life?
The question is here:
(Bottom of the “about” tab)
Thank you for your question.
It appears that you have an Indian background, where typically marriages are arranged and there is a negative stigma with being divorced. Here goes the small print before we start: Ahnanda does not give advice. Ahnanda only shares.
Clarity is brought through inner honesty. The mind does not know about inner honesty. The mind knows about compliance, convenience, tradition, among other things. Inner honesty is felt. We could choose to hear that and go for it (that is the hard part, to learn to listen without interference of the mind) and accepting all consequences. That will bring us a type of experience.
We could choose to ignore that inner feeling and go for the “Do what I am supposed to do” and also, accept the consequences. Which path is “better” ? None. It just depends who you ARE. Be honest with that.
That is the “clarity” that you were looking for.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you speak with your husband and let him know frankly, about the huge attraction that you feel for someone else? AND wouldn’t it be fantastic if your husband let you go with your attraction and allow you to come back to him if you wish since you have with him a “good life” already? Would that make you happy? Satisfied?
Many times, marriage turns into a license to possess another, but if we decided to play that game, we may need to play it until we call it quits. Don’t you think? You don’t mention if you have children. I am assuming you don’t.
Are you willing to give everything up for that attraction, not knowing how long it will last? Are you willing to stay stuck in a relationship without feeling fulfilled but comfortable? Rest assured that at least 90% of people have to answer that question at one point of their married lives.
What do you use as compass for your own Life? What do you believe is your purpose?
That is the important question, for that will bring you direction, clarity. Feel it.
In a previous article I shared what my friend Mathias mentioned about attraction:
” Attraction brings a collision. It is like a magnet. When that magnet attracts another object, a collision is unavoidable. Attraction has the ability to make someone lose their own essence. A “Life walker” does not reject attraction. He simply observes it in himself, smiles at the scene and continues on, not forgetting his life purpose. When a “Life walker” forgets his purpose for a few days, then that attraction will distract his mind, then his thoughts and his feelings will deepen that attraction.”
You have not mentioned if the other person feels the same for you. If you don’t know, then your mind is fantasizing. If you know he does, then are you willing to take the chance? It may work or it may not. You may be more miserable and your mind will make sure to complain about that later and blame your situation to someone else. But perhaps, you will be satisfied to follow that huge attraction. However, rest assured that something else will not go as you expect it. Guaranteed.
What do you want out of Life?
Children? Sexual fulfillment? Romantic love? Let that be your compass. Once you know, allow for Life to show you the path and be willing to accept it for that is what your heart desires: That experience.
Observe that you did not go with what you felt when you decided to get married. It may be that you accepted a tradition or your family pushed you into it; however; learn about the consequences of going with something which we do not feel 100% sure, although our conditioned mind may tell us that it is “best for us.”
Finally, know that there is a difference between feeling from the gut and the heart vs. an emotional outbreak like an attraction. In the world of duality you cannot have it all. That is the dream that many have bought into.
Don’t follow your dreams. That is conditioned utopia. Follow your compass, your purpose. Not what the mind tells you, but what you feel from the heart without distortion from emotions or mind games.
All the best.
Question: root cause of worrying
“I myself have the habit of worrying and causing anxiety to myself. Can you shed some light on the root cause of worrying and how can I heal myself and bring myself out of it. As you mentioned, first step is observation. Would you discuss more ?”
Thank you for your question.
We have been conditioned to believe that we can deal with Life with a methodology, steps to follow. We are looking for a root cause of things, believing that we can get rid of it, modify it at will, as when we deal with things in our society: To accomplish something in society may require steps; “real” Life does not work that way. Otherwise, psychologists should had provided with “methods” to get out of worries and anxiety long ago, but that is not the case.
Emotions, psyche and any personality “gifts” that we may have and society overvalues or despises, are part of Life. We believe that we are separated from Life and that “I” can make deep changes in “me,” to change things the way “I want.” We need to find out the extent of that belief.
That is the first thing to realize.
The second aspect, is that words do not solve anything. For instance, the root cause of anxiety and worries is an over importance of self, as the center of the Universe. That importance is created in the mind and that “program” drives our memory “chip.” Take away the memory chip and you don’t know who you ARE, then anxiety and worries are no longer there. Can we remove the “chip” at will?
That “understanding” of the “root cause” will not solve the issue of anxiety or worries. Do we see that? However, some people will make themselves unconscious through heavy drinking or the use of drugs or any other “easy fix,” not realizing that all they are DOING is removing that SELF from the picture. The memory chip is temporarily removed in a violent way, with consequences; of course.
Third, when we have a “goal in mind” such as getting rid of anxiety and worries, THAT will not allow us to OBSERVE what IS.
When we OBSERVE what IS without verbalization, without trying to compose paragraphs to explain to others what “I realized,” then; OBSERVATION is happening.
I could feel my shoulders tighten up. The AWARENESS of that feeling in itself, will allow a sudden decompression. I do not have to mentally repeat “ I want to relax” or “my goal is to be relaxed.”
An episode of worries and anxiety comes to your Life. Are you AWARE the moment these things arrive? If you are, then notice the extent of importance that you give to “your” thoughts.
Notice the IDENTIFICATION of those thoughts with “YOU.” Notice how you BELIEVE in those thoughts and how they affect your emotional state into anxiety. Those emotions will feed further creations of thoughts and so on, increasing the “problem.”
If you were fully AWARE, then the grip of these episodes will loosen up, naturally.
In Life everything is gradual for otherwise, it could be violent. Thus, changes when natural; are gradual too.
When we are trapped in the same environment of noise, technology and over thinking, there is very little OBSERVATION that could happen. Even less AWARENESS.
If you remove yourself from that environment and spend sometime in a natural setting, such as the beach or a park (the more rustic, the better) and fall in love with that setting, then when you go back to the noise and “progress” you will be AWARE of the contrast, you will be AWARE of your mood changes and for how long you can remain “sane” before “insanity” arrives.
Thus, OBSERVATION improves when there is a CONTRAST experience.
As you could see, there is no “easy fix.” It is a journey, which you could only share if you are AWARE of the changes. There will be changes as Life is change. That is the guarantee.
You will need to BE your own detective to fully understand what I mean when using here the words OBSERVATION and AWARENESS; I suggest reading articles with those keywords in the search box of this blog. If you feel that I haven’t given a concrete answer to your question, here it is: OBSERVATION / AWARENESS is the cure. Higher doses of it, means a quicker “recovery.”
All the best.
Question: How not to be “special”?
“Meditation makes you strong like a mountain, you become awake, strong, and humble too. This strength does not bring any Ego in you, because you become aware that the same witnessing soul exists in everybody, even in animals, birds, plants, rocks.
A rock has its own way of sleeping, tree has its own way of sleeping, and birds still a different way of sleeping, the method of sleeping is different but deep down at the core of every being is the same witnessing, the same God. That makes you humble, Even before a rock, you know that you are nobody special…. “
How in a deeper way one can come to this realization that has been described in the above paragraph, considering yourself as nothing special even in front of a rock?
Thank you for your question.
Have you observed rocks and pebbles? It is Ahnanda’s experience that they have a level of consciousness, but probably you have not experienced that, or you wouldn’t be asking this question.
Do you know how dolphins “sleep”? They sleep and are awake at the same time! Sleeping is a word that we understand from the “normal” human perspective, but in Life, there are so many variations! Remember this: Life offers so many varieties of things that humans reject or accept according to their own made up “filter.”
The words in that paragraph about meditation are merely pointers. “Meditation” is a word with so many meanings.
You cannot become what has been described in that paragraph. That is someone else’s experience.
Do you want to consider yourself as nothing special?
Obviously because you thought you ARE special. Perhaps the above paragraph comes from someone that you consider special, authoritative and you want to be that… “special” by being nothing special. 🙂
You cannot BE what you ARE not. But you can fake it.
All living beings are “unique but not special.”
Do you see the uniqueness of all?
What makes something from unique into special?
Your particular value system. Your needs. Your conditioning. Your attachments.
It is all about that “I” (you.)
To say “I am nobody” is considered by many, an insult. It is viewed as low self-esteem. In our society we are trained to be “Somebody” and to get high self-esteem through that “achievement.”
A “spiritual” person may get offended if insulted, but yet he says: “I am nobody.” Or to demonstrate how “humble” he is, he may be a floor mat for everyone. That is fake. Paradoxically, through that act of being “humble” he is looking to be someone “special.” Just like Christ, Buddha or anyone “famous.”
Enjoy the farce, but discover it in yourself. That is where everything starts and finish. That is “my” viewpoint.
I know that you are able to grasp what I am trying to convey without quoting me, without using these words as the “ultimate truth.” They are not.
Otherwise, here is a more accepted “spiritual” answer with spiritual “practices” and “Spiritual” keywords:
Do this exercise 5 times per day on an empty stomach:
1. Visualize for 2 minutes that you are a pebble in the street.
2. Meditate 15 minutes every day on your own nothingness and then breathe deeply 3 times while pronouncing the “OM” mantra.
3. Do this for a 1 month without failure and you will see improvements. The rock on the street and you will be one. There will not be a difference between both of you.
If you don’t get any results that is because you are not performing the exercises correctly. Do them again for another month.
We cannot become a paragraph. To be “nobody” comes by itself after we have reached the utmost point of being “somebody.”
So who are we, nobody or somebody? Both. That is the full experience. Enjoy the ride from point A to point B. That is all. That is the “effort,” the “purpose of Life.”
When you are “up” in a roller coaster ride, it is sure that you will go “down.” Otherwise, you wouldn’t have the complete experience. So it is in Life. It is a game.
Until December 1st! 🙂
Question: What is mind? What is no-mind? How to get to no-mind?
“What is MIND? Can you explain through words what is MIND? How to move from MIND to NO-MIND? No-mind is also called pure space, emptiness, what does this mean? I personally feel the mind is total illusion (Correct me please if I am wrong). And if the mind is illusion, how illusion can be associated with purity and impurity? You know they refer it as “Pure Mind” and “Impure Mind”.”
Thank you for your question.
A description will set limits. This may work for tangible items; but when we are referring to intangible such as the “Mind,” is not that easy.
For example, let us take a look at a dictionary definition of MIND: “The element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought.”
From my experience, that definition is quite inaccurate; but yet because it is a “dictionary definition” most will believe in that. Of course, if there was AWARENESS we could know the answer, but yet we want words to make intellectual sense of something that is readily observable.
Consciousness is AWARENESS. The MIND is accumulation of experiences and conditioning which shapes our perspective of Life. We use the filter of the mind to make sense of the world. The mind is the one knowing “what is right or wrong” according to society’s teachings. It is the internal voice speaking which brings our conditioning forward.
For example: “masturbation is sinful.” That is conditioning. That is stored in our mind. That becomes our guiding “truth.” Thoughts will appear to support that core belief. Once those thoughts have drilled down in us and we believe them despite our inner conflict; then feelings will settle and those will create emotions, that is; the body will be affected. Then we may play the “dishonest” game of defending that “truth” verbally, while still DOING it. This will increase our sense of guilt and from there, it is only a step into emotional and mental disturbances.
If you want to understand, do not try to make sense of my words. Just use those as guiding symbols. OBSERVATION, AWARENESS is what will allow you to know.
If you go deeper into this, you may be able to recognize that the MIND is not YOU, but conditioning that have shaped YOU into something. It has given you a “form.”
For example, you are clay; but the mind will present that clay into the form of a little house made with clay. The mind will defend that “form” at all costs for it thrives in identity, which will create the ego-mind. Ego is mind.
You said “The mind is total illusion.” I ask you to confirm that through your own observable experience, after reading this.
Is the house made of clay an “illusion”? Yes and No.
However, what is important is to see clay in every “form.”
That is deconditioning. It is not to negate by saying that everything is an “illusion,” but by OBSERVING that clay will present itself in different forms. Every form is a perspective, the way we look at Life.
“Reality” presents itself through different “forms.” All of them are “real,” but illusions at the same time. It all depends on the one observing. His conditioning. His perspective.
This is the reason why the “I” is real for most, it presents itself with a marvelous form… but it is an illusion at the same time.
When there is no-conditioning, what is there then? An Empty mind. That is space, emptiness. Many labels to refer to “no-mind.”
My friend Mathias, one day explained that “emptiness allows for decoration of a room.” If the room has already stuff in it, there are limits as to how we could decorate. For most individuals, the mind is full of stuff, full of furniture, there is no space for anything “new.”
The terms “purity and impurity” are mental abstractions. A duality created by the mind. Concepts to play with.
“Purity” is not to DO some things and to avoid others.
“Impurity” is not to DO things which are not “pure.” Observe the trap. We must define what is “pure.” That definition entails a particular perspective, a particular reality. For example, some religions believe that sex is “impure.” Thus, their definition of “purity” is no-sex, celibacy.
It is not that sex is pure or impure, but it has been defined in a certain way. There is a particular perspective in such statement.
Since the mind is more less a “computer hard drive” full of experiences and conditioning influencing the output of our actions, there cannot be such a thing as “pure or impure” mind, but rather pure and impure experiences, which can’t be. Experiences are only that, experiences.
No-Mind is not the negation of mind, but to empty the conditioning of it, the “furniture” in the room. That is how it is said: “A pure mind is an empty mind.”
The next question will be: How do I empty my mind?
“You” don’t DO it. Once AWARENESS sets in, it happens while at the same time, emotional disturbances may need to be dissolved; but that is part of someone’s particular path. There are no “recipes.”
You want to DO something? OBSERVE yourself, BE AWARE of your thoughts, emotions, reactions, movements. Learn from yourself. “Know thyself.”
Beyond the trap of purity and impurity, there is AWARENESS and lack of it.
AWARENESS is like breathing. We are so used to “automatic pilot” that we need to read what the “expert” says about “how to breathe.” That is the conditioning of the mind: Believe the “experts” if you want to know.
Once we read the opinion of the “authority,” thoughts will arrive saying that “I know what breathing is.” To de-condition means to open to the possibility that “I don’t know anything, despite reading about it” and go through the breathing experience ourselves.
The mind will try to make “my” findings about breathing into a “best-seller.” That is conditioning. Got to make money! Get ahead!
My moral values will tell me that “I shouldn’t make a profit through spiritual teachings.” That is conditioning as well. That conflict will come from the mind.
An empty mind, is empty of that sort of conflict, for BEING knows the direction in Life. There is no need to make a choice, for that is mind.
To listen to that message without distortions, means to discover no-mind.
Question: How do I know what is best for ME?
I really enjoy reading your articles. I want you to shed more light upon being open to life. I have grown a lot in the last few years but I still feel that I get stuck in situations and that one thing which I find hard to get out of. If I am in a situation, and I am confused, thinking takes over and it’s hard to get out of it. It’s hard for me to take a decision. But I also don’t want to give up on this whole process of taking any decision and just live with what is. Then I say, but I want this ! As a result, I don’t find myself living fully and I find myself caught in this mental web. This in turn impacts my life, my energy. How to come out of this and gain more clarity, focus and know what I really want and live my life accordingly ? How do I see and know what is best ?! Is it that what I have is best for me or should I go according to my desires and wishes?
Thanks a lot for this blog !
Thank you for your question.
Notice the entanglement of the “I.”
I am stuck. I want this. I want to make sure, it is “right” for ME. I want to make a decision. I want you to explain to me…
As long as that knot of “I-ness” is within you, there is no chance to see the knot. How do you see it? By keeping a distance…
Because you like this blog, today I will share with you, one of the valuable “secrets” of the masters…
Here it goes: “You can get what you want in Life, by changing course…. If the path you walk always lead to yourself, you’ll never get anywhere.” (Kung Fu Panda – “Secrets of the Masters” 2011 movie.)
That was the concise answer to your question.
Now let me add the “fluff” for there may be an expectation to write more stuff.
There is no formula to get rich, famous and beautiful. This is Life; not the “office world” mentality of getting what “I want in Life.” For that, we have other “secrets” that people are willing to buy; but even though they applied those “secrets” to their own lives, they are still looking for something more permanent to “achieve.” That is how all the religious stuff became fashionable (eternal achievement) and to make it more palatable for the masses, it was renamed as “spirituality,” but it may be another business venture indeed.
It is important to grow up from that mentality.
Life is not there to protect your personal “interest.” Life has its own course for every individual. It is magically threaded in a web of occurrences (serendipity is the label in fashion) for our idea of individuality is only one part of what is.
We are individuals but we are not. The mind cannot understand that to make a sound “decision.”
There are many ways to “make decisions” in Life. Thinking is just one of them. It may use reasoning, logic, previous experiences. It touches the most superficial layer. Wishes, desires are other options. Throwing dices is another, and I may add, as effective as any of the former. I like my gut feeling.
It works something like this: I go to a restaurant and I feel that the mushrooms are not ok to eat. I just leave them. My friend asks: WHY don’t you eat your mushrooms? I answer: Because a little bird told me not to do it. Then, I go to the market and see organic, all natural, 100% “pure” apple juice. The bottles are made of glass so I can see the contents. The color of apple juice differs from a clear one to a darker one. Which one is good for ME? I get the bottles close to my gut and feel for a response. There is no voice speaking to me. I have to feel my gut.
Sometimes apple juice is sweet, others not a sweet, few times it is almost like apple cider. If I thought that apple juice has to be sweet to be good for ME, that is pure conditioning.
Heck, I may take a glass of the apple cider thing before I return it. Who knows, that was “good” for ME?
And here it comes another “Secret of the Masters.”
By helping ME (going out of your circular path) you help YOURSELF.
So, is there such a thing as “helping others”? That is only “ego support 101.”
But… if you think that this is a formula to be “successful in Life,” and apply it to be rich, famous and beautiful… I assure you that there is no better way to get to hell, faster and risk-free, guaranteed…. 🙂
That is enough writing before misunderstanding appears.
Question: Isn’t desire the origin of suffering?
“You said that attachment is the origin of suffering. The Buddha said that the root cause of suffering is desire. That is the second “Noble Truth” in Buddhism. There is a vast difference between desire and attachment. Do you think that you have the truth and Buddha does not?”
Thank you for your question.
No. Ahnanda does not preach truth. He only shares his experiences and realizations.
Take a look at the link below:
Here is a quote from that website: The cause of suffering is: “the attachment to the desire to have (craving) and the desire not to have (aversion)”.
What happened then? Perhaps this website has the “wrong” interpretation? Millions of people believe in what you said: “Desire is the cause of suffering.” However, that belief even though held by millions is plain and simple nonsense.
This problem arises when we believe what the book says, the guru, the expert without looking at our own experience.
Buddha did not say that. It was interpreted like that.
What millions know is only the interpretation, the translation of someone who may have many degrees, who may be very proficient in many languages, but who does not have the capacity yet for inner observation. Perhaps that was a Buddhist follower, maybe not.
Through that nonsense of getting rid of desire, many “spiritual” people are denying life to their own experience through the ideal of DOING what the Buddha “said.”
Misinterpretation is the mother of all scriptures. Please quote me on that.
Perhaps if you take a test in “introduction to Buddhism” you may have to choose: “Desire is the root of all suffering” as the “right” answer. You may score 100% because of that answer, but know that your “right” answer in the “Office World,” is not so in Life.
We could have many desires. As many as we want. Suffering will kick in when we are attached to a particular desire. That means that we may need to attain/possess the object of that desire to feel fulfilled in Life.
Nevertheless, let me share a “noble truth” with you. Attachment is not the true source of suffering, but the ONE who is attached is…. Yes, the “I.”
To intellectually understand the above, is not easy. Therefore, let us stick with “attachment.” But, if “attachment” is hard to perceive, then “desire” is an easy answer. It will sell many books. 🙂
So what do we take home from all this?
Any spiritual guru or any self-realized being including the “word of God,” are by nature, limited by language. In other words, to truly understand what they are trying to convey, we need to look at those words through the mirror of our own personal experience. If it does not make sense, then that is so for us at that moment. That is OK. Move on.
If it makes sense, then do not try to “practice it.” Allow for Life to work on you and go beyond the intellectual realization, by integrating THAT as part of you. Then, you know for you ARE that. BEING is KNOWING.
But if you don’t understand and you are simply following what someone is telling you to practice, then my friend; you are not being honest with yourself, with your current state of BEING.
You may want to be like Buddha, but you ARE not there yet.
Do you think that practice will get you there?
It can only distract you from what you ARE… until you are AWARE.
Thus, “practice” is an entertainment in the meantime. Nothing wrong with that. 🙂