Many people are looking for some type of help to carry on with their lives.
The paradox being that even though we are supposedly more connected with more people, loneliness is felt with even greater intensity than before.
Most are looking for a sense of fulfillment, something where they could experience some type of value, the feeling of a worthwhile Life.
Why is it that even those who apparently HAVE everything, tend to destroy themselves?
It is not what you HAVE or what you DO, but what you ARE. BEING is important.
Where is the practical help?
Listen up. Forget your mind. Don’t think. Can you do that?
No? If we could control “our” thoughts at will, we could stop them, but we cannot.
Then, OBSERVE them. Make a space between them and you. Learn from that OBSERVATION. Those thoughts are not you, those thoughts appear in your mind’s display and all we DO is posses them. We believe those to be ours. “My thought.”
Many times those thoughts carry our hidden emotions, repressions and rejections that we have learned to manifest in Life, it is through the awareness of those, how we could heal these patterns.
Emotions are not logical. They are not reasonable. Do not expect that a logical therapy will heal them or release them.
Expect the unexpected. Observe the voice of your mind.
That is practical spirituality.
Forget about any religious philosophy. Forget about all the beliefs. Clear your mind from all the package of conditioning. Truly, those are worthless in Life.
It doest’matter how holy we believe those are. It doesn’t matter how respectable, true or valuable they appear to be.
Do yourself a favor and empty your mind from those.
There are no magic pills. No expensive treatments.
Learning about yourself is the hardest thing, the most useful, the most valuable.
It is what will bring fulfillment, when we empty our bag of conditioning.
If someone invents a vacuum cleaner to clean the mind, to make it pristine; that would be a worthwhile invention.
In the meantime, use your own broom and dustpan. That is practical spirituality.
Our society praises logic and reason as a way to gather objective “reality.” Logic becomes the tool to discover if something is “right” or “true.”
Humans have created a society with structure, where something logical could be enforced.
That is right, logic is another ideal of our society. Life is not logical at all. Have we experienced that?
The ways that we try to understand Life are typically the ones taught to us, passed to us by the educational system. It is almost as if we have built our own little world of ideas, supported by dualistic language which do not have the ability to describe the amplitude of Life, but only to make partial, inaccurate references.
What is the logic behind a “good man” experiencing a terrible death?
A “good man” according to who? What do you mean by a “terrible death”?
What is the logic of hunger in the world? Aren’t humans working together to help each other? How long would it take?
Life is not logical. In our society, we have made it to appear as logical. That reminds me about the “logical song” by Supertramp. The ability to feel without the interruptions of the mind is the trademark of a child. A “reasonable” man has so many things to THINK about. The joy of life is taken away.
Logic, reason… Those mental tools have transformed the lives of so many “professionals.” They are efficient, they have degrees, they are comfortable, well off, but not fulfilled. Emotionally they may not be able to connect to another human being, although that one may be physically close; emotionally there is a huge distance.
Without emotional connection, there cannot be fulfillment.
Observe how Sexuality has been transformed into physical pleasure. Sex without emotional connectivity is in fashion. It is more efficient, less complicated. It is practical. Logical. The desire of not “getting involved” brings at the same time, a sense of missing something.
Life requires our complete involvement at every moment.
Logic and reason scrape the surface of “reality,” but yet most believe that “truth” is in them.
Life offers so many experiences which reason is unable to see.
I am this. Tomorrow I will be better. That is not real in Life.
What is “real” is I am this. Period. End of report.
Tomorrow, I will not BE. Someone else will BE.
Truly, every time we go to bed to sleep, someone else awakens. We are unable to sense the changes for those are minimal, but they are happening until we realize one day, that we are not “kids” anymore. That usually happens when others use labels to put us into a different box (the grown up sticker), then we become aware of the changes.
Observe a “spiritual individual.” He is applying the “concepts” he learned in society into “spiritual things.” He wants to be “better.” He wants to progress “spiritually.” He wants to feel “happy.” He wants to be “self-realized.” He wants to know “God.” He wants to be “special.” So many respectable wants! He couldn’t reach similar greedy goals in society, so he is turning his vision of “progress” in the afterlife, because it is “better” for him. He is not “worldly anymore, he is spiritual, more evolved, better.”
How can we learn to enjoy Life if we are in continuous pressure to achieve? How can we enjoy Life if progress is the aim?
The mind fantasizes in the future and the past. Through “progress,” we are continually feeding that illusion. “I want to be” something “better”; thus, I need to fix things. Let us start with “myself.”
“Fixing” happens in society not in self-help. “Fixing” in self-help is to be AWARE but before, we may need to acknowledge who we ARE. The type of “fixing” taught by society only cares about ideals to “work on.” Thus, we are taught to criticize others and ourselves for not being according to an ideal, “the ideal.”
That type of “fixing” does not bring progress. It brings rejection of who we ARE.
When we reject ourselves, we cannot love ourselves. Without that, we cannot love others. Thus, “fixing” things in us, becomes rejection. When we acknowledge and become aware of who we ARE, there is “fixing” without trying to fix anything. That is true “fixing,” progress. When we try to “fix” by DOING things to fit an ideal, we reject what IS. That is not progress.
We hear that to live in the “now” is good. However, the mind cannot live in the “now.” Have we become AWARE of that? Living in the “now” is in no-mind.
In no-mind, there is “fixing,” there is “progress” for awareness resides there. However, when the mind is involved through thinking, analysis and comparison; any type of perceived “progress” is only self-rejection, a sin against the self.
AWARENESS is in no-mind, for if the mind interferes pretending to be a presence witnessing Life, then the mind is playing the game of pretending to be what it cannot be. Are we aware of that?
If we are not aware of the workings on the mind, how is it possible to “progress” spiritually?
Not possible, but yet new ideals to reach, to “work on” will come to the rescue. New ideas, new “tips” and methods to follow will be invented. We do not realize that all of those things are meant for the mind and whenever there is mind, there cannot be awareness nor “progress.”
By becoming AWARE of the workings of the mind, we make a significant step forward. “Spiritual progress” is there without looking for it, thus; true progress, for otherwise; it is only another empty goal of the mind, the “I.”
Sleep is of paramount importance for our well-being, however; many will live life without the experience of proper rest.
There are the classic “tips,” like going to bed early, or disconnecting from computers, phones and TV a couple hours before sleeping, or even not to eat too late, etc. Those are “good” tips for most individuals (especially to shut down electronic devices.) Many will take a pill to snooze fast and will go along with the consequences of secondary effects. Nevertheless, there are suggestions that may be needed for other types of people.
In my years as a “seeker,” I used to wake up before 4 am to meditate for 45 minutes every morning. This practice has great benefits if and only if, we get a good sleep the night before. This reduced my sleeping time from 8 hours to 6 or less. I used to take a nap in the afternoon as well but, there were times when I was very tired from lack of sleep.
Even though our society considers that 8 hours of sleep is needed to recover properly, there are different sleeping needs as there are humans. Those needs will change in everyone, as we age in Life.
Sleeping is not a matter of quantity, but on how profound we let go of that which we call “I.” That is not “quality” but depth. “Sleeping like a baby,” happens when we become babies.
When we dissolve that consciousness of “I” with its perceived problems, and allow ourselves to disappear into the Totality, we will sleep very well, profound, even if for 3 hours.
As we become more sensible to other energies surrounding our environment, we may be susceptible to noises at the gross level or to energies around our bedroom, at the subtle level.
If there are noises caused outside and there is nothing we could do to stop it, we could integrate with that rather than reject it. If we reject, we will trigger heightened emotionality inside us. Our mind will go on with insults, complaints, ways to get even, etc. That will produce in turn, wakefulness of the “I.” An empty mind is helpful to avoid heightened emotionality.
Integration is not a “practice.” Animals will do it naturally in their environment despite their very sensitive senses. They are able to rest.
At the subtle level, there are many energies around our bedroom. Those energies sometimes interfere with proper sleep. For instance, sex is energy and there are subtle entities feeding on that as there is a continuous interchange with the environment. Also, if the bedroom is used for anything else but to sleep and to have sex with a loved one; then this “sacred” space is polluted at the subtle level and we will have difficulties to fall sleep. One way of cleaning is through the use of harmonious sounds. I use a “Tibetan singing bowl.”
This sound needs to be applied in all 4 corners of the bedroom (subtle energies prefer to dwell in the corners,) from the floor to the ceiling. Standing, hold the bowl and then bend over near the floor to play the bowl with the mallet and as the sound starts, raise the bowl as high as you can go towards the ceiling. This “practice” has worked for me very well. Here is an easy one to try: Change your position in your bed. Place your head where normally your feet are located for a couple of days. This is another practice that has worked for me.
The art of sleeping well, requires from us to let go of our personality. Many individuals fearing death may have a hard time sleeping well, for the “I” fears to lose control of its own existence.
Crowded cities present a sleeping problem. Buildings and apartment complexes are too close together and subtle energies do not know about limiting walls. Many times, it may not be “us” but others.
As we get closer to Nature and its rhythms, then balance reappears.
The conditioning is in the perception that it is “ME,” the one “getting old.” Some will share this perspective by complaining about it: Decline in physical abilities, diseases, etc. Others will talk about the “beautiful aspects of getting old.” Today, there will be new perspectives.
The first one is the perspective of the “I.”
“I” was a baby, “I” will return to that stage.
“Getting old” is the way that Life has to take us to our beginning in this lifetime. Physically, a baby is as unprotected as an old person is. Although, the body cannot shrink back to a baby’s size; the body becomes feeble, walking becomes a new experience as we age. Therefore, to be childlike is the characteristic of someone who is becoming harmoniously older.
Do we notice that?
Of course, there are others whose mind relentless demand to be the “same.” That insanity will take the person into desperation, bitterness and an unpleasant experience. For instance, a father who is old enough to be a grandfather (or a small child) who still believes to be the “boss in the house.” Even though his mental abilities have declined, his pride (ego) will demand the same responsibilities that he once had.
Have we noticed how the “young look” may not work for many individuals who try all sort of cosmetic help? It comes a time, when it is not harmonious. Our character dictates how pleasant our face is in later years.
We are born as babies. We should go back as babies before we die. That is the cycle of Life. Our perception is to call the stage of “going back” as “old.”
The majority could observe all of the above, as most are aware of the perception of the “I.”
A less frequent perception, is when there is no identification with an “I.” There is no “old age” there. Who is “old”? “I.” Without that, there is only NOW.
“Look at this old picture. Look what everyone is saying.” It is in the perception of the majority, how we feel identified. There is no old age but only in comparison, when the mind is used to compare the “before” and “after.”
Every day is a new experience. Every day is a new “I.” That “I” has static memories, which no longer exist. It is the past. Bodies change all the time, and so experiences and personality. Everything is bound to change! However, our names may remain the same and our memory through the mind, brings the idea of a static self.
No matter what perception we take about “old age,” we will need to recognize that there is nothing static, nothing permanent, nothing that we could hold on; no matter how hard we “work on,” or how much effort we put into.
We are already flowing in Life, but our minds are painting a static, unchangeable picture, which is responsible for our sour taste of feeling powerless to change things our way; what we think it “should be.” That wall of beliefs will hit the reality of change. That wall is meant to separate. It is that feeling of separation constantly nagging us to look for meaning.
Our “old age” is not the time to search for meaning in Life or look for “salvation.” It is the time to enjoy the freedom of naturally losing the rigidity of our mind. That is not a small thing in our mind-based society.
Less mind means greater capacity for enjoyment in Life.
For many seekers, to be unmovable and stoic in the presence of hardship is a sign of “improvement.” Seekers may copy this behavior without seeing the inner lie.
Seekers do not realize that any natural change has a process. It is not a matter of forcing a behavior to copy a saint, a guru or an illuminated one. In society, “I” may appear to be “improving” if my behavior is impervious to misfortune but in Life, there is a consequence for that lack of inner honesty.
The idea of fighting to get what “I” want in Life or to enforce that which “I” believe is worthwhile based on my conditioning, is pursued as a value in Life.
In our society, if something comes which is not what “I” want, that is to be rejected. Fought against.
Life is like an Ocean. It has waves moving towards the shore in different directions. Some days, there is a high tide. How do I get into the Ocean to swim?
I can walk towards it stoically, without reaction, as the waves may act as whips inflicting pain. “I must put up with that pain. I will get to the end soon.” We may think. For many, that is their extent of “spirituality.” It is about cheering someone up with pretty words through hard times.
Others, may dive underneath the visible waves. They are not “fighting like a man,” they are not “being visible” but they can accomplish the same purpose, to be able to swim.
Nevertheless, this person is separated from what IS. This person cannot relax. This person is in the lookout for the next wave. Be like a cat: Vigilant but relaxed. That is an art in itself.
However, integration with “what IS” is not there. That is, accept what IS. Become part of it.
Have you noticed that many times there are people who like and enjoy to DO things that we don’t?
How do you behave if you happen to be in the same environment? Many will reject what IS. We can walk out, we can walk away but what truly matters is if there is a rejection inside us.
A Life walker learns that differences are meant to be truly appreciated and then integrated.
Integration takes inner openness, acceptance. It may be expressed as : “I will give it a shot.”
Life is seen as a compilation of experiences. There is no label of rejection inside us.
Even death is accepted with integration. It is only another experience.
Do we “practice” integration with Life?
NO. Life will teach us when we are ready.
How do we become ready?
By BEING CONSCIOUS of living Life. Otherwise, we are confined to ideas, ideals, wishes, expectations, conditioning. That is dreaming.
It is a wonder that we dream constantly even though we believe to be awake.
As obvious as this sounds, we continually neglect that. We have ideas of what should be, what is right, what is better for others. Comparisons are incessant and with that a sensation that will not allow us to feel fulfillment in Life.
Most everyone wants to be “someone” in Life: Well known, powerful, influential. However, that is not Life. That is society. In Life, we already ARE. In society, we continually need to BECOME someone else, we call that with a pretty label: “better” we say.
Am I saying to be a “nobody,” not to have goals in “Life”?
No. Every Life is a unique experience. Riches may be combined with ill health. Power with impotence. Influence combined with a lousy relationship, it is a bag of mixed goodies!
How can there be happiness then?
It just depends on what we focus on. Some “spiritual” people like to call this as “positive thinking.” But that could be a bunch of “positive self-inflicted lies.”
What I focus on, is not thinking. It is that which I enjoy, that which I take great pleasure, that which makes my day, and of course; that will change, thus there is no space for the “same old thing.”
It is in this focus how appreciation of that which I am able to do NOW, that which I have NOW becomes my source of fulfillment. When it is time for that to change, I will be able to shift to newness, for in appreciation of now, there is space for a new tomorrow. It may not be as I thought of, or as I wished this newness should be or as I expected it; but it is certain that this new change will bring newness and with that a new source of fulfillment as long as my focus is on the art of appreciation.
In our society, we are taught to think too much, thus there is no space for unrehearsed appreciation. We don’t have to have all the answers before making a move, we just need to feel if that change is where Life will take me and trust it.
Trust is not a matter of having faith in some power above us. It is a matter of acceptance of Life as it comes to us.
Acceptance is one of the hardest things to BE, when we are told to fight for everything in Life. When we ARE in that consciousness of fighting, we are taught to “practice” acceptance when there is no way out.
What a joke.