A lesson in Appreciation
Ananda experienced what is like to have an infected finger this past week. The physical “cause” was a piece of yellow squash that got into his index finger while cooking. The underlying “reason” was a buildup of emotionality that needed to come out. The past couple of weeks brought the experience as if everything in “his” world was falling on him. There is a time in Life where we learn how to swim in a nice environment. There is another time, when we need to put that skill into practice while in the “real” Ocean and not a swimming pool anymore.
It took one week for the finger to show symptoms of infection: It swallowed up, hurting with a dull heartbeat, changing color, etc.
Mathias helped Ananda through this “experience.”
Raysha (Ananda’s sister and channel of Mathias) observed how Mathias used some sort of needle of energy, to pull something out of Ananda’s finger. Ananda did not see or felt anything. Mathias then told Ananda to put the finger into a solution of water and baking soda for a few minutes. Ananda felt a relief immediately!
Mathias said: “Your body wants to get rid of the element, but it cannot. That obstruction caused the infection. But behind that infection, there is trapped emotionality inside you due to persistent thoughts.”
Ananda was thankful and appreciative of Mathias and Raysha.
Ananda felt very lucky for not having to see a regular doctor. However, he had to go through the “natural process” of dis-infection.
The finger was in pain for a couple of days. Woke him up at night. Mathias mentioned to apply ice to help in the healing process.
The finger turned into different colors: black with white indentations and red in the periphery. It was an “ugly sight.” Doubts came into Ananda’s mind. Perhaps he needed a regular doctor?
Mathias asked: “Are you finding difficulty to go through the natural process? Once that emotionality goes away from you, so will be the inflammation. You have 2 paths: You could go through the experience of natural healing and take away a valuable lesson OR you may want to get help from Science to make the recovery quicker, but you may not be aware of a lesson. Both paths are fine.”
Ananda went with the natural process.
Mathias said: ”Many times in the process of Life, things get ugly before they move into balance. Those who are not aware of this process do not know the end result and they become anxious and suffer by trying to change things when it is not their time. Only those who are ready to see a lesson, will take that experience as an opportunity for growth.”
So, what was the lesson that Ananda learned through this process?
Ananda learned about the “true” meaning of appreciation.
Many times, Ananda heard this word and even used it in many of his “spiritual” articles. It is a pretty word. Something everyone likes to hear. However, it was truly an ideal, a “concept.”
A “little” finger infection was able to move Ananda’s world into discomfort. Ananda learned to appreciate his health. Something that otherwise, he usually takes for granted. That appreciation is a source of happiness: His world could be upside down, but he is healthy. He can enjoy Life in many ways thanks to health. It is ironic how we need to “lose” something to appreciate it. That was another well-known, pretty phrase, that finally has meaning for him.
Life continually teaches us and will give us the tools for growth in consciousness. We are not willing to learn. We want to “change the world” to fit our ideas.
Unless we are ready to see, we will not see… but yet we are unwilling to trust Life to lead us. We want to see the world as built through the conditionings of our mind. That is why, we cannot AWAKEN. Our eyes are closed in our dreamy world of made up “realities.”
What is the “origin” of thoughts? That is a typical question from a typical thinker.
When we understand Oneness, we could observe that thoughts as everything else; are “part” of that Oneness. Because language is meant to separate “things” as thinking does, it is impossible to “define” and to verbally explain what can only be directly perceived.
The other day I was speaking with someone who shared her experience with me: “ As I was walking I experienced that everything was me. The table, the tree, the bird. There was no difference.”
That Oneness “expands” into many things, many beings as our perception could perceive.
When a particular manifestation acquires a personality through separation, through THINKING, that is the point where Ego develops.
As that “personality” evolves, solidifies, becomes “real,” then an emotion is born according to the consciousness of that “personality.”
Here is a typical life story. Some experiences are perceived as “good.” The ego thrives. Becomes “bigger.” Other experiences are perceived as “bad.” The ego reduces its size.
Thus, there is expansion and compression. A perception could be intensified by a person, to the point where his body and mind become affected. A disease appears.
Is that “bad”? That is the way Life has to show us a different “reality.” Reaching a limit is many times, the point where change starts to happen. That is why, every experience is important as it is. “Good” and “bad” are infantile labels, which only supports the existence of our ego.
When the ego wants to survive and fight, then anything that assures its existence becomes “good.” A comfort.
If eating brings pleasure to deal with the traumatic experiences of the ego, then “more” is “better.”
If a religion brings the comfort of knowing that “I” will exist in the afterlife with God, then that becomes an emotional comfort.
If a person arrives in my Life to save “me” from “feeling” lonely, then “Love” becomes a label to cover my own neediness. To hang on in a relationship, which is emotionally disturbing, is the proof of that emotional comfort which the ego craves to maintain.
To control things, to maintain the “status quo” or to fight to keep them in a certain way, is another emotional comfort desired by that ego.
Do we see how emotions are entangled with ego?
Why do women appear to be more emotional than man?
Because in our society a man is taught not to show his emotions. To repress them. That is a sign of “weakness.” On the other hand, a woman could show those. “The weaker gender,” is the label used.
In most chauvinistic societies, all expressions have a gender. That is a way to control.
A sexual man will be labeled as a “stud.” A sexual woman, a whore.
That type of mentality serves the purpose of perpetuating differences, classes, and antagonism. The “solution” is not to “fight against it,” but to be aware that this exist, to acknowledge it and to move on. As the consciousness of individuals change, then a “moral” standard today, will change tomorrow.
It is violent to pretend that “everyone” should do something to change, which we perceive as “good,” “moral” or “Godly.”
An emotional comfort is a personal seclusion from accepting Life in its Totality.
To peel the layers of ego is not something that could be done by understanding a book written by an “enlightened one.” It is not something which happens when we believe on a God or when we ask for his help. It is not something that happens when we “act” to conquer “the ego.”
None of the above will help. There is nothing that needs to be “done.” Other than becoming aware that it is there.
If there is a pothole in front of us and we become aware of it, we automatically avoid it. There is no thinking needed. If we don’t avoid it, we will learn through an experience.
Everyone will have a different experience.
“The pothole is bad. You must never step on it.” That is a “black or white” perception, which only assures fear and creates a moral standard, which does not exist in Life.
A pothole is a pothole. Society may teach us to label it as “bad,” but for the one who is AWARE, “good and bad” are just point of references with static limits delimited by a belief system.
As a friend shared with me: “Sometimes you are the bug, another times the windshield.”
Life changes. Emotional comforts do not.
Your truth is someone else’s falsehood
There is no philosophy or religion able to describe in words “what is.”
“When you die, you either go to Paradise or hell forever.”
That is just a belief. It is not true for those who have experienced life as continuous movement and consciousness as eternal. It is not true for those who have experienced the paradoxical aspect of self and no self.
“Life is a return journey where souls go through a process of purification.”
That is a belief. Again, continuity of life as “is” entails no “home run,” no “return” for everything is new but paradoxically that “newness” could only be seen intellectually as a return.
Any intellectual knowledge as in:” This works this way therefore; there are 2 possibilities, it is either this or that. One is truth and the other is false.”
That sort of analytical dualistically mind, cannot quench his own doubts with reasons.
When to know means to “live it,” then to speculate things intellectually is just another belief system.
Obviously, what Ananda is sharing according to his experiences in life, is another belief system for someone else.
But… “This knowledge comes directly from God and your realizations are from your own crazy mind.”
🙂 There is nothing coming from “God” that could be put into words. Why?
Words can only express duality, “black or white” understanding. What is beyond duality cannot be explained in words, it needs to be experienced to be understood.
Then we could believe the answer is in “non-duality.” Right?
Have you listened to a so-called “non-duality” teacher?
It is one of the most boring intellectual things I’ve ever heard. Lots of reasoning to teach “happiness” through thinking…
But… Happiness is a feeling.
To connect with life through feelings is to encounter a different dimension of living life. This we could experience for ourselves without beliefs or dogmas.
When we realize that anything spoken by anyone is just a perception due to a limited experience of life, (his own experience) how could we pretend that this small piece of life could explain everything there is?
Life is not meant to be “explained.” It is meant to be “lived.”
When our life becomes integrated into “what is” without dogmatic beliefs, when our heart becomes open and ready to give the best of us through continuous feelings in every experience that life offers, then at that point; we could understand that the Universe is constantly playing with us, it is seducing us to open up, to unwind, to let ourselves be in that feeling of togetherness and appreciation of life itself. It is at that point, when we could be in love with Life… and that my friends, is the “highest religion” there is.
The above is not a “belief system.”
Ananda is not looking to “save souls” when there is nothing to save. Ananda is not looking to “help others,” when life itself performs that wonder all the time. Ananda is not looking to build the “true religion” for that is a narrow vision of the immensity of Life. Ananda is not looking to be an “instrument of God,” when everyone is that already.
Ananda only shares his experiences for the common good, that is all.
Diluting religious beliefs
It is interesting how a belief in “God” could trigger different reactions in people. Because that word represents one half of duality, then a separation has been given.
From what was shared here last week, someone could say:
“ Ananda does not believe in God.”
That interpretation does not understand the message about beliefs. That is how, these sharings may become less and less understood, more and more controversial… for some. I am sure that very few… very, very few… could understand these limited words by the guidance of their own experience. In life, without experience there is no understanding and even that experience, it is not “the experience,” but just an experience.
The other day I was speaking with a friend from India. She said: “This is where I am right now. That is my perception at this point of reality, although someone could say that it is a belief.”
That is correct. Once something is in words as the “only” way, it is a belief.
Something becomes a belief when it is the statement of truth to follow every single time. Something becomes a belief when we decide to put “all our eggs in that basket.”
That is why any dogma is full of beliefs.
Anything that someone may say about “God,” is just a belief.
What do we know about omnipresence?
Nothing without experience. It is just a concept. If we knew about it, we will act naturally accordingly. There is no need to “cultivate” ourselves when there is experience.
Without experience “to cultivate” ourselves to become a “concept” is all there is. That is the path of religions for the masses.
Someone living and breathing duality, could say now: “Ananda is an atheist.” 🙂
With that label, Ananda was comfortably put into the container of duality.
Ananda is neither a believer nor a non-believer. Do not place me into a container for your own comfort. Is Ananda an agnostic?
Just to stop the labeling….Yes and No.
Everyone has a belief which is so important for our perceived well being, which triggers a strong reaction.
If I write about predestination and the illusion of free will, then self proclaimed atheists may feel that this blog is no longer useful for them.
That is all it takes.
The interesting part about beliefs, is when we believe in contradictory beliefs such as predestination and the existence of a God or “free-will” and the existence of damnation.
Perhaps someone would like for me to go into detail on those topics?
I will not. Ananda respects all beliefs. Those beliefs have a purpose for the believers.
Are these sharings known as “non-duality”?
No. these sharings do not have a label. They cannot be put into a dogma. They cannot be put into a religion. They cannot be put into a box for someone to study, memorize and believe in it.
All Ananda is sharing is his own experience.
Any belief becomes a hurdle that will need to be overcome in order to face, that which is known as the “self.”
Without being able to see that “self” without the curtain of beliefs; to observe the self completely naked, as it is may be very difficult.
When the Buddha mentioned that “he does not deal with God” and that was interpreted as “atheism,” by popular understanding, then perhaps now, we could see that he was misinterpreted.
A belief in God or atheism distracts from self-discovery.
That is the path of “non-duality,” to let both concepts aside… BUT, it is not “non-duality.”
The age of duality is changing into non-duality.
Self-discovery is not a concept, a belief or an intellectual philosophy.
Interestingly, the experiences of the Buddha were made into “Buddhism” and with that, his personal experiences and self-discoveries, were put into a dogma for followers. Every religion has that same destiny.
Shall we put the discoveries of Ananda into Anandism?
That will be very lame. That lacks total understanding of what is being shared.
We need to discover for ourselves. Self-discovery.
In the “world at the office” we are told not to “re-discover the wheel.” In the world of self-discovery unless we experience something, we will not understand. We need to “re-discover the wheel” and then we will use our own words to describe that discovery.
However, those words are not the “truth” but a distortion of “what is.”
Is Ananda sharing distortions then?
You bet… but at the same time, how could I share something? 🙂
With that understanding,we may be in the same page now.
La vida te da sorpresas
That is the chorus of a popular Spanish song by Ruben Blades: “Pedro Navaja.” – “Life gives you surprises.”
I grew up with that song and listened to it so many times that I knew it by heart.
Ananda was riding his bicycle along a popular bike path. He has ridden that path many times. As never before, Ananda stopped 3 times to accommodate his gear. As he was reaching a bridge, which overlooks the bay, a 10-year-old kid took the middle of the road. He was about 100 yards in front of Ananda. Then the kid decided to turn around unexpectedly as he was looking right and left minding his own little world.
Ananda saw him going towards the right and in a split second decided to avoid him by going left.
The kid “decided” to go left as well and now they were 20 yards apart. Ananda looked at the kid’s eyes and he appeared to have seen Ananda.
Ananda was going about 20 miles per hour and used his brakes to avoid a collision…. That split “decision” allowed Ananda to “fly like a bird” and to go off the pavement into the rocks near the bay.
Nothing happened to the kid.
Ananda landed on top of the rocky area. He felt groggy as if he had received a punch.
Ananda stood up and spat blood from his mouth.
The father of the kid who saw the incident walked by and apologized profusely while the kid’s mother was scolding the kid for not being careful.
Ananda said to the kid : “You didn’t see me?” No response. The father of the kid arranged Ananda’s bike, which was fine after all.
Ananda stood for a few minutes before leaving and waved good-bye to the kid who didn’t look back to him.
Ananda understood at that point the forces of destiny.
Ananda had to go through that experience. It was completely in his hands to avoid it, but it seemed as if the kid’s mission was to allow for this incident to happen. Ananda checked his gear 3 times but that was the exact time, the kid needed to show up at.. the right time.
Ananda wasn’t angry at all but appreciative to be alive for he understood that this had to happen and that there is a deeper meaning than falling off the bike.
Ananda spoke with his friend Mathias, the wise tree.
Ananda: “ Friend, you have warned me sometimes about dangerous incidents to be extra-careful, but not this time. Why?”
Mathias: “ That tells you that Mathias respects what it is in destiny. Mathias knows that this accident is meant to soften you. It is part of your necessary life experience.”
Ananda: “Soften me? Indeed. I have 3 stitches on my lip and bruises with lacerations in my right leg and left hand.”
Mathias:” This accident could have been a lot worse. Your internal organs are fine. You just have minor cuts and contusions.”
Ananda:” Yes, I realize that I could have been hurt badly or even be dead by now. It amazes to know that I landed on sharp rocks…”
Mathias: “ What protects you now is that you are living for the common good. In your path, you are learning to be one with yourself just to be in communion with everyone else.”
Was that a miracle? Shall I burn some candles and worship God or my friend Mathias thanking them for allowing me to be “alive”?
Obviously that experience has a particular purpose in my life, which if I had “followers,” they could call that a miracle and “alleluyah” the incident as a proof of a miracle.
However, that is not the point of experiencing the accident.
To soften myself. That is the lesson that Life has chosen a particular way to teach me.
Every life experience is catered for an individual. Destiny is already there waiting for the path to be walked by the life walker, nevertheless; to live for the common good is the best life insurance; for it is not just about our own life, our own family, our own religion… but it is about the common point of communion with everyone, with the Totality.
Triumph is not just a moment in time
Today was the ceremony when Dacio (Raysha and Ananda’s father) was going to be part of the Totality.
He had a unique name, just as his life was.
Ananda was representing that transformation through physical means: He took a piece of bread representing matter and started diluting his own ego. He placed that piece of bread into a glass a water which was representing the subtle energies.
Hard matter becomes soft through subtle energies, just as a human being who has harsh manners becomes soft and pliable through subtle energies which are placed into the fire of life experiences.
Ananda took the glass and placed it in top of the flame.
Mathias; the wise tree, was directing the ceremony while Raysha was able to see “live” what was happening to her father in that region of light known as a “parallel world.”
Mathias: “ The once separated consciousness of the observer and the object observed no longer separates and observes but then only feels. The next transformation is to become light only to be empty and from that essence back into the Totality, the Universal intelligence. That experience is the triumph of living life.”
Ananda took the glass with water and soggy bread and drank it, representing the process of once separated things, become one into the Totality.
Raysha observed how her father was speaking with what appeared to be his ancestors during that ceremony. They told him that this is the ceremony of complete dissolution of the “I.”
Dacio lied down in what appeared to be a rock. He looked at Raysha and told her: “Thank you for everything. You promised me that you were going to be with me until the end. I promise you that I will be with you when you need me.”
Saying that, the ancestors gathered together around Dacio and raised their arms… when they dropped their arms; Dacio in his body of light was no longer there.
Mathias finished the ceremony while the ancestors left the “place.”
Mathias: “Raysha… I want to speak with you. Do you have anything that you want to say?”
Raysha: “No, Mathias. I don’t want to say anything but Thank you.”
Mathias: “What about you Ananda?”
Ananda:” Well… I wish I could have seen what was happening, but perhaps a little explanation will help me understand. Friend, Is the process to transform from physical matter into light and then back to a physical reality?”
Mathias: “From the physical to light then into the essence in emptiness which will go back to the Totality as one. Empty to be full again… and then empty to be full again.”
Ananda:” What about the ancestors that were there.. They did not go through that transformation?”
Mathias: ” They did. But once you “were” you always will be that.”
Ananda: “That is because there is no time “there.””
Mathias: “What is “there” or “here”?”
Ananda: “The manifestation of that scene.”
Mathias: “There is time because you have to go to work in a few hours, but there is no time as well, it doesn’t exist.”
Ananda: “If I look at something beautiful and then I become it, becoming one.. why that does not happen when I look at some human misery; which we could call ugly?
Mathias: “ Our essence is that beauty. If you reject or judge that which you call ugly or bad; you get trapped in it. “
Ananda: “To reject something is to become it. I don’t understand that very well…”
Mathias: “Ananda has understood already. That which is trying to understand intellectually, is not Ananda.”
Ananda: “Has this experience finished for Dacio?”
Mathias: “This experience of triumph of your father is not just a moment in time.”
Experiences are unique. Experiences are needed to transform. Those experiences cannot be put into words as to explain to another, for that explanation is not the experience which is necessary to transform. It has to be lived, second by second.
Every human being has his own experiences and the words that he uses to explain those…. are limited by his own experience with words and limited language.
Explanations are good for the mind. Experiences are for the hearts to change.
So here is the “teaching.” 🙂
Embrace life as it is, be thankful and appreciative of what is; for that and nothing else is what is supposed to be.
No need to worry about it. It is just Perfect.
Paraphrasing “Depeche Mode’s” song: “Did not tell you anything you didn’t know when you woke up today…” 🙂
Epilogue: Death is a window until the door is shown
Life presents different perspectives from different people who are under the same situation.
A friend mentioned: “I know what is like to lose a father.”
We can only know about our own experience. Let us not generalize. If a particular experience was full of sorrow, pain and uncertainty; then the expectation is that everyone should experience the same thing.
That belief, does not allow for openness in our consciousness for the “I” becomes the center of the Universe.
“I feel this way, therefore; everyone else must.”
Ananda’s sister; Raysha, is gifted with a high sensitivity.
Raysha saw her father sitting by a lake in a region of white light. He looked much younger and his body was of white light. They spoke to each other. Raysha noticed that his father did not have any emotions in him.
Ananda asked Mathias, the wise tree about this episode.
Mathias responded: “ When you get re-set, you do not have any experiences in you. ”
Ananda: “Re-set?…But if my father was “re-set,” what is the benefit of going through the previous experiences if he will be in “zero” mode?”
Mathias: “ He will take with him what he needs for his next life experience.”
Ananda thought: “ But…who gets to give him what he needs for his next experience?”
Mathias said: “ The Totality.”
Ananda smiled: “ I understand now, Mathias… Thank you.”
Our minds are framed in the belief of being separated. It is that “I” with is own stubbornness and pride who fights to continue on. That belief is so enrooted in our bodies and mind which only allow us to perceive this individuality, separation. That is the cause of suffering and it is suffering the one who will burn that “I” until it gives up, surrenders, bows down, let go, etc. Use the word you wish, but we get the idea.
When that happens, a new experience awaits.
That “burning” can take many years of suffering or just a month of “intense fire” like in Ananda’s father’s case.
Then, according to what is needed in the Totality, the Universe, life, etc; the drop of water will be ready to appear in another place, another time, another circumstance to perform a particular task needed for self-preservation of that Totality.
That is the moment when the “I” will be born again.
Observe that I could label any of the words above with religious terms.
I could call the “Totality” as “God.” I could name the region of white light as “the subtle region.”
I could call that experience of “purging the I” as purgatory, hell, punishment, etc.
I could call Ananda’s father as an “angel.”
Forget the labels.
What you interpret, dear reader; out of all the experiences that I have shared with you up to this point, is your interpretation. That could range from “nonsense, false, true, the holy truth, etc.”
It does not matter to Ananda the way the above is interpreted. Ananda only shares his experiences here, for the common good.
What is the epilogue of the characters of this story of life?
For Raysha, it is to know that his Father is doing alright. A sense of closure. To know that Life does not end when the body perishes. That is no longer a belief. That experience of dealing with his father’s passing was a source of internal growth, the kind which no book, lesson or “spiritual teaching” could ever give.
For Ananda it is the trigger to recognize that “I.”
To dissolve all his previous religious beliefs and to “re-set” his mind into the wonderful and amazing experience of living life with joy. The teacher and the student are the same. However, life is the teacher… and there are friends to listen to in life. 🙂
For Ananda’s mother is the time to deal with herself. That is to experience loneliness and attachment. She has lived for 50 years with her husband.
Some may say: Is to have a relationship “bad”?
Not at all. She grew with the support of that relationship, now the opposite must be experienced. That is the world of duality. If there was no “I” in her, how could she experience loneliness or attachment?
Some religions or beliefs will state that it is best “not to open karmic accounts.”
That “black or white” belief, does not take into account that every experience in life is an opportunity for growth. It is not the action in itself but the state of consciousness. It is not the time that we spend being “spiritual” but our readiness through life experiences.
If we don’t experience, we do not learn. If we don’t suffer, we do not grow. If we don’t know our limits, we cannot go over them.
For Ananda’s little brother, the time has arrived to walk his own path into life, for if he remains in dependency; he will miss the experience of life through his own lenses.
Ananda’s father got liberated from his decaying physical body and in the process; he has obtained a new consciousness.
Therefore, everyone gets benefit.
To live life is an awesome experience, thus; to be amazed by it, to be in gratitude to it; to completely appreciate it as it presents itself… that is to be in love with it…is the greatest experience.