Tagged: appreciation

A Pelican: The Guru of balance

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Ananda enjoys going for a bike ride early in the morning by the Bay, as the birds awaken the daydreamers with their melodious self-made music.
Going out on a ride will be followed by coming back. That is self-evident. However, what happens in between is part of the newness that Life brings at every moment.

Ananda was riding his bike with the wind. Coming back, he was riding against the wind.
Both are experiences in Life, the completion of both experiences is what brings “insight” as “knowing” but never as the ultimate “truth for everyone” to follow. Everyone needs to ride their own bike and their experience may be different.

On the way out, it was an effortless ride. Although, it felt hot as the temperature went up. On the way back, it was an effort to pedal, but it was cooler and breezy.
Just like Life.
Today your grass may be greener but tomorrow it will not.

Both experiences are just that, experiences which in “reality” are just “One” experience. Going out and coming back is the trip of Life.

Ananda hasn’t said anything extraordinaire up to this point, but he had…. 🙂

“Going out was so easy. I was sweating like a pig, but it was nothing…. but, coming back… that was cruel man! I wanted to quit!”
Sounds familiar?
It is called comparison.
Judgment is included in that as well as a teaching for humanity, that is …everyone else:
“Do not ride against the wind.”

Ananda stopped by the beach to go for a swim. He observed a pelican teaching him what balance is all about: There is a time for gliding and another for flapping. That harmonious combination gives that gracefulness in flying. Funny, the pelican didn’t say a word of wisdom in its teaching.

I could hear some human teachings:
“Don’t be lazy. Make effort all the time. Flap your wings until there is nothing left. Go against the wind or with it. It does not matter. If you look tired is not “good.” Always have a smiling face.”
Or
“Don’t do a thing, man. Let everyone else do it for you. You need to learn how to use people to your advantage. There is always a sucker out there…”

The “black or white” mentality.

The pelican kept flying. You couldn’t see a smile in its face, but a sense of elegance, distinction and confidence.

The pelican does not know what those words; elegance, distinction and confidence mean. The pelican “is” all of that without knowing. Isn’t that paradoxical?

Shall we teach a monkey to “become that”?
If the monkey could observe. If the monkey could know by experience what harmony is, then perhaps the monkey will be ready to learn.

What about if we take the monkey to a school to learn all those things?
Information is not the “thing.”

“Scientific research has proven that 20% of white adult males between the ages of 30 and 45 years will not complain when riding against the wind. That is when riding on a wind of 8 mph coming from the East in a fairly cloudy day with 90% humidity.”

Now you “know.” Your experience may be different but a researcher knows best. 🙂

In Life, we will go out just to come back. If our mind rejects one side of the trip, we have created a duality.
“Going out is better. Always select it. It is heaven. God will be with you.”

For those experiencing coming back in their trip of Life there is “hope:”
“That suffering in pedaling will have a reward in heaven. Don’t stop. Keep moving until you cannot pedal an inch.”

Observe. Be in tune with those who are less intelligent than you. Those who have fewer degrees than you, those who do not have God in their side… those who do not think but who feel Life at every moment, that is those who “live in the now,” without knowing what in the heck that is.

A teacher appears everyday in Nature. When the student is ready to observe, the teacher appears.
How do you recognize the teacher?
There will not be any teachings for you.

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“Black or White” morality.

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Killing is “bad.”
The bird killed the fish to eat it.
Was that “bad”?

A human killed a fish (the “sport” of fishing) just to throw it away for he had many already with him.
Was that “bad”?
Intention before action.

Shall we put everything under the umbrella that “killing is bad”? Make a commandment for all?
That is the “black or white” world. The mentality in that world is a consequence of having ideals, moral standards that are completely incapable of changing according to time and the circumstances. That inflexibility cannot flow with the changes in Life.

That is the religious view of “good and bad” based on actions which are qualified as moral or immoral, good or bad, pure or impure, virtuous or sinner.

Trapped in that mentality we are unable to observe that Life does not work in that way.

“Your” God, “Your” morality, “Your” ideals, “Your” virtue… it is all tinted by the “black or white” mentality.
Do we see that?

Want to be a “vegetarian”?
Define it. Defend it. Make yourself look “good,” “humanitarian.”
Want more followers, more adepts? Then, you are “especial.”
“Black or White” mentality. Vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian.

Want to be a “vegan”?
Define it. Defend it. Make yourself look “good.”
Want more followers, more adepts? Then, you are “especial.”
“Black or White” mentality. Vegan vs. non-vegan.

When humans lose the sense of balance which animals in Nature have, at that point all becomes a “black or white” matter of fact.
Is a bird a vegan? A vegetarian?
Do they live their Life based on definitions and concepts?
They live according to their nature, for in Nature, they have a particular task as we are all One.

That is why, even though the bird kills to survive, that is not “bad.”
Humans on the other hand…..
First acknowledge your own nature. Then acknowledge that it will change. Then acknowledge that a definition of yourself through a label only limits your own understanding.

Of course, the above is not for everyone. Ahnanda does not share “spirituality” for the masses.
Those who are meant to understand, will.

Harmonious balance

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A traffic law is based on a “black or white” view of the world. It is a simplistic view of the importance of “actions.”
Do not turn left. Do not park. Yield. Stop.

Life does not work that way. Can we observe that? Life is not “Black or white.” Life has no moral standards built in it, unless we purposely label something as “holy, pure.” When we do that, we have automatically labeled the other things as “impure.”

That is how we create Duality.

The “law” has a connotation of righteousness, morality, good, etc. Nevertheless, the law is simply, the way our society has agreed upon to “act.”
An agreement is not the “holy grail” of morality.

It is very important to perceive the above, in order to understand what will be shared below.

The typical consciousness of our society supports the simple understanding of “black or white” statements. Most organized religions are shaped in that way as well.

For example; if we perceive sex to be a problem, then the easiest way to “eradicate” that “problem” will be by denying sex to all. (Black or White means No sex= good OR Sex = bad.)

Since this is not feasible, then the next step is to regulate it. “Thou shall not commit adultery.”
At this point, is when definitions and concepts come into existence.
For example, let us define adultery.

Adultery will be defined according to some ideal, belief or reason, however; let us observe that “morality” of that definition is just an agreed upon convention.

Do we see that?

What about if there is a “smarty pants” among us and discovers the above?
Well, in that case the “ultimate” support weapon will be unleashed…
What is that?

“God has said it.” End of report.

When the “holy” circles are sure that this is so, then anyone who thinks otherwise automatically becomes a heathen, infidel, pagan, etc. (Black or White = pure /impure)

Nevertheless, when we observe Life, Nature, we discover that everything works in harmonious balance without having “do nots” around.
Wouldn’t be a total contradiction for God to say “do not” when “his creation” does not operate in that way?
Ahhh! Observation… How many crimes have been committed for lack of using thy name!

So, you “believe” that God did not create Life, Nature but still you believe that He is saying, “Do not” to many things that otherwise you would do?
If God did not create Life or Nature, then…. what kind of “God” is that? 🙂
Perhaps someone else’s “definition.”

We have been conditioned to conform to one side of duality and to believe that Life is nothing but our established rules and regulations. Our minds are full of those beliefs, which even contradict our own feelings.
There is no need to react “against” that, just to observe for when we observe we are not part of it, even though we live in it. Isn’t that paradoxical? Want to “act,” to do something about it for “others”?
Yes? Then your opposition will be your position. That means rejection, contempt for a part of Life itself.
There is nothing harmonious about rejection.

To learn to perceive balance and harmony is beyond the understanding of rules, regulations, commandments and such. It is not a “black or white” scenario. It is not a simple following of a holy paragraph, law or code.

We belong to Life itself and when we observe that, we will be able to move according to the circumstance and the current time.
A good idea today, will be a “bad” idea tomorrow. Timing.
Laughing in a particular setting may not be proper. Circumstance.
Observe that “do not’s” are not needed or required. Life is not a traffic law school.
Be in tune with Life. Appreciate it. Belong to it. Be “It.”

To learn to observe from different perspectives may be a gift, but more than that it is simple awareness.
We have been living for the longest time secluded in a box of beliefs, when in fact; those are thinner than the air that we breathe in everyday.

Wake up. 🙂

On Critical thinking skills

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In my “ Yoga book club” meeting, there was a discussion about how some people get hooked into “off-track” belief systems.
“Don’t they have critical thinking skills? Can’t they see that their belief systems are way out there?”

“Yeah… You either get converted or go to hell forever. You know, it is a shame that otherwise good people can become so black or white in their beliefs.”

Ananda was listening and realized that many times, when we live in the world of information and theory, “the office world” as I like to call it, we believe that Life moves under the same parameters.

The day was windy, the Ocean had many waves going into different directions. A person standing by the shore could use his “critical thinking skills” and come up with the learned conclusion that “it is dangerous to get into the water.”

Another person standing by observed the scene, and due to his experience of swimming in open water, thought: “This is a cup of tea. Easy swim.”

What makes the difference?
Experience. One thing is to talk about the dangers of swimming in choppy waters; another is to actually swim in them. That experience will be different for every individual depending on previous experiences and skill levels.

In the same meeting, the topic of being “detached “ came up.

“One thing is to know that I have to be detached and another is to actually be it,” said one of the participants.

Great insight.
Is it possible to find a “method” for learning detachment in a book? Is it possible to find that solution by imitating a “holy person”? Is it possible to find that solution by critical thinking?

NO.
But…. Why??

“Being” appears when we go through the experience itself, it does not appear by sitting in the comfortable couch of a thinker nor by asking for the “holy person in our city” to tell us the secret.
You see, “Being” cannot be transmitted to another. Bottom line.

But… what about all these books that I read about “5 steps for EZ detachment”?
What about all the classes that I attended about how to be detached in Life?
Probably all of those things created an idea in our minds of the thing which we “want to attain,” those things will be part of our necessary experience in Life…but this is not the “office world” where the “I” will work hard to accomplish things, to get ahead… Life does not have objectives, deadlines, time pressures, and such things.

“Being” comes through the experience of Life in a natural way.
“But.. “I” cannot wait… “I” want to be “illuminated” now?” 🙂

Have you observed when an orange appears in an Orange tree?
The process of maturity is already set. We cannot delay it nor expedite it because of a belief or a thought. The same is with consciousness.

Detachment will come when attachment has been experienced to the utmost. That suffering will be the catalyst for the next step: To search for solutions.

To search is really to open our consciousness to new experiences in Life. That openness will bear its own fruits.

When there is the realization of the importance of Life experiences, then to enjoy the process is of paramount importance, that is; to give that process the amplitude to manifest completely, to take things with calmness and to let things “be.”

The “Office world” has taught us to become someone who we are not for the sake of success. Religions have taught us to fake what we truly feel for the sake of reaching Paradise. We continuously bang in our heads the need to change ourselves into something “better.”
Our society basically, is teaching us not to enjoy who we ARE.

Shall we go against that?
NO. That is rejection.To reject means to boost the intensity of that which is rejected.

What should we do then?
Nothing.
Observe, acknowledge, be aware, and appreciate it.

Some people thrive in a structured life style. Other do not.
A “Life walker” embraces both experiences as they arrive in his Life, knowing that his own Life experience will gather both experiences sooner or later… to embrace duality means to be one with it.
Just to know and to “BE.”

BE… BE… BE… BALANCE.

Praying, Thanking and Appreciating

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The greatest opportunity that Life offers is right now. There is no other timing for the one who is aware of impermanence, change, newness and therefore, appreciation.

The past, it wasn’t “me.” The future will be something different than “me.”
Can we live with that?
Can we embrace that total “flowing with Life” rather than clinging to what we have been taught: security, control, certainty, safety, etc.

That dichotomy of extremes has an abrupt and insurmountable space of mediocrity in between, but again is not about making a “decision” but to embrace it all.

“God please help me. Protect us. I ask you for my loved ones and for my country and for my world. Please… listen to my prayers.”

The above is a state of consciousness. It is known as “self-absorption.” It is all about “Me” what is “Mine” and what is related with “Me.”
Nevertheless, we believe to be “good” if we do that every day or in “special” occasions.

“Thank the Lord for everything that we have, for this day and for sending us his blessings so we can continue walking in this valley of tears, until we meet Him again.”

The above is a state of consciousness. It is known as submission. That submissive personality which is taught to believe in anyone else but themselves. A submissive personality thrives in suffering and in the hope of one day, to get out of it and to meet his savior.

Thanking the Lord for “being here” is not the same as thanking someone for something that kindly, they have done for us.
Thanking someone for “being here” is a contradiction when a belief is looking to “get out of here” to go to a “better place,” Paradise or Heaven.

Then comes, appreciation.
When we get up in the morning, do we appreciate the fact that we could move? Do we appreciate the fact that we could walk and use our senses to feel the world around us?

No. We take that for granted. Just because for the most part, we could do it every day.
When we are aware, that is an opportunity to appreciate “what is.” Not to thank anyone, but to appreciate the different flavors of Life.

As the body ages, do we still thank the Lord for that? Do we pray to get a younger body? 🙂

No. That is the importance of appreciation.
We appreciate all of those changes.
Ahh!..uhhh…ohhh…. ouch…man, it is hard to move!!!
Let me complain a bit more… Dam it! I am getting old!!!

Those “onomatopoeic effects” are just a learned behavior.

We may as well say: “Great… Look I can move!” “Wonderful! I can stand up!”
But our consciousness is not set in appreciation but in comparison.

This used to be the “old Me.” versus this decrepit “new Me.”

To be trapped into the timeless, static “Me” is the issue. It is a mind problem not a bodily issue.

As we become aware by observation of all the typical activities that we perform during the day, as we become conscious of the feeling behind those activities, we could observe how much appreciation is behind our day, and at the same time, how that appreciation goes hand in hand with enjoyment.

Nothing wrong with praying or thanking … It is just a state of consciousness.
Some kids think that they know everything when they learn to add and subtract.
If they were adults, they could make a dogma out of that “knowledge.”
Thanks God… 🙂 Those kids do not have a problem in learning to multiply and divide.
They are still “open minded.”

Knowing in Theory does not follow into Being in “practice.”

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In the “office world” we learn the theory before making it practical.
That same “concept” is continuously being applied into living Life.

We learn a body of “knowledge” (commandments, moral codes, laws), which are supposed to transform human beings into something “better.”

That knowledge implies that we either “get better” or else…

To learn the extent of that teaching becomes part of the inner work of the “Life traveler.”

Suzy knew that anger is “bad.” Suzy has learned to “forgive others” and to “forget their errors.”
When Suzy learned that the neighbors killed her beloved pet, Suzy had such a rage and anger that she was ready to “get even.”
Nevertheless, Suzy repressed that anger as much as she could.
What was the outcome?
Suzy became ill. Her energy of anger poured all over her body.
Her “knowledge,” her theory, did not help her. Obviously, she could “help others” by giving them that “Spiritual theory “ of forgiving and forgetting; that made her look like a saint under the eyes of others.
Do we see the trap? Do we see the lack of self-honesty?

“Knowledge” as theory is meaningless when what actually matters is BEING.

If Suzy cannot “be” a forgiving and forgetful person, which is known as being “better” in religious Spirituality, then
do we need for Suzy to “practice” more?

Don’t we realize that BEING is not changed by practice? Behavior may be changed, but never consciousness.
If behavior changes but not consciousness, that behavior will go back to its “original” when the stimulus to keep a behavior is no longer used.

When Suzy observes by herself, because she wants to, after having the time to sit down and reflect by putting all her beliefs aside and just observe the impermanence of things, when Suzy is able to observe that “her pet” was never hers to begin with and that her neighbors’ actions will have a repercussion as we are all together in this, if Suzy is able to perceive that every being manifests through consciousness and consciousness cannot be destroyed … When Suzy is able to perceive those things in her own experience in Life, then she will understand “naturally” without artificial mental games.

Suzy is merely repressing herself and hurting herself in that senseless process of trying to be “someone” who she is not.

Is Suzy allowed to “make mistakes” in Life?
Yes?
That is to experience her lot according to her consciousness.

If you are anger itself in one moment, if your consciousness is in that state; suffering will be waiting for you, through your own activities.
Is that “bad”?
Many of us learn out of that suffering and not out of “theory.”

It may take a refinement of many experiences to understand these things according to our awareness, but one thing is for sure:
Repression by itself in any way, shape or form does not make a “better human being.”

There is nothing “angelic” about repression.
I don’t hear about “teachings” of transforming energies, channeling a particular form of energy into an outlet or to just allow a person to “make a mistake” in Life to learn.
To learn means to make “mistakes.” Right?
Thus, “mistakes” are not truly “mistakes” but the way an aware individual will learn in Life.
Is repression a catalyst for change of consciousness?
No.
The suffering that it brings maybe though; once we become aware, awake of feeling that pain.

Beliefs are typically used to make someone to change his ways:
What I hear is: “Don’t do this because you will go to hell for ever.”
“If you do that, something very bad will happen to you.”

We are too caught up in beliefs and too busy in making ourselves believe that we have attained something “special,” which we are not.

As a reminder, here is a paradoxical aspect of Life.

Humans use repression to change behavior.
Changing behavior does not change consciousness.
However, the suffering that repression brings is the catalyst for a change in consciousness.

Some are able to perceive suffering and hear the voice of Life asking for a change. Others will suck it up and remain repressed for fear of change.

Life is change but still some are not aware of it.
Perhaps some are aware in “theory,” perhaps as “knowledge” but until it becomes BEING it, there is no understanding of it; therefore to “fake it ‘til you make it” becomes the credo, the formula of self-dishonesty for the sake of “self improvement.”

“Learning” Detachment

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Enjoyment of the movement of Life is the main requisite to “learn” about detachment.
Everything is change, constant change, to flow with that is to be all right with Life.
To trust Life.

As soon as a piece of “I” touches that continuous flow, that is the point where the “I” acquires some expectations which will give greater support to that sense of being “Me” different from everything else.
By all means, open all the doors that Life offers. Experience. The expectation to find something “good” for you in a particular door is the set up for suffering.
The “I” will experience exactly what it needs. It is that “knowledge” which brings the necessary trust.
When we trust Life, we enjoy it.

It is in that realization how we could observe that “making effort” to be “detached” in Life, is plain repression.

Of course, the above realization or description of “my” experience is not related with a religious or traditional view. This is not “spirituality for the masses,” for “everyone to understand.”

In my experience, natural detachment, which occurs out of enjoyment of Life and its changes, is a prerequisite to know Love; that is to dance with “what is” out of appreciation.

There cannot be “love” unless there is enjoyment of living. There cannot be love if there are expectations.

Lost in words, we could say “we need to be loving and detached.” That is just a description of a state of being, which cannot be attained by “doing” things.

Lost in experience, I could say… Just enjoy Life with its different experiences.

This is not something that happens out of following an artificial method or “making effort.” This is something that naturally occurs when we are enjoying the moment without caring about or labeling “how the moment is.” It is just the moment.

The “I” selects, rejects, accepts and judges every moment. As that “I” withers away, what is left is that observer who enjoys the “trip.”
A “detached observer”? or a “witness”?
No.
It is an “Enjoyer.” 🙂

To be conscious, to be aware is a great gift. Do we take it for granted just because everyday we experience it?
Everything will change. Every moment is unique. Not special but unique.

Detachment and Love are not “virtues” to attain, to “work on,” to “make effort,” to know or to “practice.”

If we do that, we could merely repress our current state of consciousness.

Enjoyment of Life. That is the key. Everything else follows that.
Life is change. Enjoy the change.
Life is unpredictable. Enjoy that lack of certainty.
Life is … Forget the label and …begin to feel it, because by feeling it, there is nourishment and when we are nourished, we could give…. Love.