Everyone has its share of sorrow in Life. Why?
Because everyone as well, has its share of joy. Duality.
To answer “Why” doesn’t give any comfort, when we deal with emotions in Life. A “why/because” answer is useless, for there is no way to avoid or to “tackle the problem”. We need to go through the whole experience.
There is the type of sorrow and joy which “happen to us” due to circumstances. “I feel sorrow/joyful because…” Those are the types where duality manifests.
Also, there is a kind of “joy” which is the expression of BEING. That one is little known by most. Duality does not affect it. We usually cannot feel it for we have other garments covering it: Emotional traumas.
Observe our typical Joy. Like anything in Life, it is a transient state.
An episode of sorrow, precedes Joy. They follow each other.
The “answer” to go beyond that duality is right in the middle, between that duality; between the yin and yang. However, to experience that balance, that equanimity, may take many other experiences to center our consciousness to feel that equilibrium. It is a feeling.
Experiencing Life with impartiality, is key to ride the ups and downs in Life.
Impartiality is not a “practice”. That equilibrium is cumulative, as we are able to assimilate different Life experiences: Joyful, sorrowful or in between, all included without distinction. With some we laugh, others cry. Smile. That is the middle.
Impartiality has been known as the “Middle Way”, for it is the middle between dualities; however, typically that is understood in a different way.
Sorrow may remain despite the ending of the situation causing it, for “I” will keep the memory of that incident as a traumatic experience. Fear will be born, and that weight will be with “me” as long as “I” live, unless “I” release that emotion.
Unavoidably, there will be the experience of sorrow in Life. Sorrow is meant to change a person through a new perspective of Life. No intellectual understanding can ever do that.
It doesn’t matter whether those perspectives are “true or false.” What matters is the imminent change in consciousness once we cross the obscure passage. Change upon change, eventually we will learn to see the “mirror” rather than the outside perception of an episode. However, the trauma may remain. We still need to clean the slate, dissolve the emotion.
Life will bring a way to free ourselves from past traumas as long as we are aware of them, acknowledge them and be willing to open up. In this way, every Life experience will increase our maturity, our insight; and that will bring us closer to that state of impartiality where dualities are experienced, but there is no traumatic footprint inside. The Middle way.
While living Life, we may learn to witness it without unneeded commentaries coming from the mind.
That creates the perfect soil for inner joy, the type of “inner smile” untouched by the dualities of Life.
Because most of humanity has a mind concerned with separation, division as a perception of Life, then unhappiness will be the outcome of such mind.
Observe your own mind. There is “I” and there is “you.” Also all personal pronouns are part of the division. We know to be bound by language syntax, but we believe deep inside that “innocent” division to be true. That carries an existential problem beyond language. Observe how the main tool that we use to figure out “Life,” is based on “analysis.”
Analysis is a tool for further division. We want to know something which is whole by dividing it in parts. However, parts do not make up what is meant to be whole. The “whole is equal to the sum of its parts” we say, it is a nice theory in society, but doesn’t quite work out in “real” Life. Can we take apart a human being in its numerous parts, and make it “work” as a live human as it was before the division?
Our vision of the world is meant to analyze things. Observe politics. It deals with government, administration of people in a society. Politics relies heavily in all sorts of analysis. We don’t take people as “people”, we divide people. We create groups and out of that we create struggle between groups. We forget the common good; but become biased and select what is most convenient for a particular group. That is “Democracy.” Not the nice theory of what is supposed to be; but the “real,” practical aspect ongoing around the world.
There will not be a self realized individual dealing with politics. Not because “politics is dirty business” but because politics is a fictitious, one sided way of looking at Life. That political vision is incapable of putting things together in synthesis.
Politics is about conflict among groups and power struggle of certain groups. That is the outcome of a mind which has been trained to divide.
How is it possible to find “solutions” for problems created in our society which such mind?
It is not possible. “Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.”
That is a quote from A. Einstein. “Division” is a mind set.
Where is the root problem in need of a “solution”?
The human mind.
Happiness is not a creation of the mind. What our society considers as happiness is truly infantile, nevertheless; we cannot find a happy person there, but rather a sedated one. Someone who lives in the comfort zone of his mind’s achievements which, are only another reflection of a mind trained to divide, to fight, to conquer, to compete, to become “someone” in Life, as the utmost value.
Most know that happiness is not brought by material things. Nevertheless, we strive to obtain those at all cost. Happiness is not in circumstances, settings, relationships. It is not bound by what is “out there”.
Happiness is inner fulfillment. It is an inseparable sensation when we breathe, which makes us alive and vital. That cannot be found in the mind. That is why, there is “no-mind.”
But, what our educational system knows about it? Not much. In fact, what we are so eager to learn in our educational system is all about living in the ego mind. Most individuals are only concerned with their own achievements, the well being of their own group and the continuous struggle to maintain an ideal status quo during their life times, which they fight to provide to their own kind, their succesors. Conditioning is very strong and will continue on from generations.
Therefore, a sensitive, intelligent person will look into this. His personal journey will deal with recognizing and knowing his own mind. There lies the conditioning. There lies the madness.
This route doesn’t take the traveler into “name and fame.” There are no medals or prize money at the end of the journey.
There is only this sense of fulfillment, which indicates that we found our place in Life. This “achievement” happens without being “someone”, without doing something “special”, without fighting and trying to “conquer” our self created demons.
The “normal” conditioned mind, will be unable to understand that unless, the actual “mind set” is left behind.
As long as there are beliefs, our consciousness will be located and influenced by the mind. The mind is a repository of experiences which have been recognized, labeled and used to make sense of “life”. Nevertheless, that “life” is only the reflection of traditions, teachings and traumas of the collective consciousness which will have lasting influence on the individual.
Basically, there cannot be newness while trapped in the mind. There is repetition, there is a false sense of security of “knowing”, which will not allow us to look further into what IS.
The atheist who converts into Christianity after having an “after death” experience, will have a change in his Life. That is the bottom line. It will be the complete opposite of what he previously rejected. That is the mind in action. Moreover, the tradition of what is known as “God” may be affected by a well known religion (Christianity) which he was familiar with. A Life experience is only meant for the one experiencing it. End of report. However, most take this opportunity to enhance their ego and make out of this an opportunity to show how extraordinary they are. A “chosen” one.
“God gave me this experience so I can be a testimony and lead people into his way.” That is “pure” ego in action.
The mind has a belief. The mind has interpreted an experience. The mind has labeled that experience and made it something extraordinary, especial. Then, the field of beliefs is open: God is this or that. He has chosen this one or that one. He will come back to make sure his kingdom is alright, etc. It is extraordinary to observe how from an individual experience, we could make a religion.
The atheist and the believer are at the same level. Their minds took them there. There is full reliance on that conditioned mind, that is what we may need to realize.
Life has many ways to change the perspective of people. For the ones anchored in the mind, rationality and logic; an out of this “world” experience will be necessary to change them. For those way “out there”, something worldly will be needed to balance them. A seeker will need to go through the full range of the experience, the “yes” and the “no”; to “know”. That teaching is experiential, that is why it cannot be told to another so they also “know.”
Beliefs are not bad. Those are tools to gain further consciousness. The tool is not the “thing” to obtain; but while in the mind; we could debate, fight as to which tool is the “true” one. Then, we want to use “science” to prove if the tool is “true.” We are missing the point.
There are many types of consciousness, but the collective consciousness, the one with the “buying power” is an infantile one, and so the journey is just beginning for them.
As we mature, we will observe that spirituality is based on our own self understanding, our own self observation, our own self acceptance; for there is an opening in that which liberates the person from the conditioned mind. We can make that clear distinction. It is the experience of that freedom, what we may long for.
In that realm, beliefs are not necessary. Free from beliefs, we ARE.
The other day, I took a taxi to go home. The taxi driver started a conversation which ended in knowing about his “spiritual” experience: “ I lost my wife by being unfaithful and then I resorted into heavy drinking. I even had sex with guys… and then, I was saved (by his new religious belief) when I decided to go to the temple and heard the pastor talking. The pastor said that I could hear the voice of God. He gave me the versicle in the Bible. I prayed to God and then my Life turned around. I heard his voice. From that moment on, I decided to spend more time at the temple and share the word of God.” He handed me the Bible where he had underlined several passages that he knew by heart for me to read out-loud during the drive, while he was explaining those to me. I thanked him for sharing his story and finally he gave me some literature from his church to read in my spare time. Then he said: “I want to pray for you, what is your name? I said, “Ahnanda.” Thanked him again and left.
I was happy for him. I let him express what he IS and that gave him a little boost of reassurance of his own beliefs and experience. Little did he know that I had my own spiritual journey. He thought that he found “God” just like many other believers. That belief is uplifting him.
I learned the importance of allowing others to express their own religious experience even though they may be looking to proselytize.
Living in the “heart center” is not concerned in being “right” and “teaching others.” It is only concerned in naturally harmonizing with everyone. The above is by no means an example to follow. Life is unexpected and as we get in tune with feeling, our actions will be unexpected as well, rather than rehearsed. We could go through forethought, preconceived activity which maybe thought to be “correct, right” but which hides our true nature. As a person evolves through what we know as “spirituality”, it will be important to observe the raw self, without the disguise of DOING a determined action.
For instance, there was a Buddhist monk who said that if someone offers him a plate with meat in it, he wouldn’t reject it; for he will be rejecting the person who offered him a gift. But if he was offered to choose between a plate with meat or one with vegetables; he will pick vegetables.
That is a preconceived action. The motto is : “Do not reject anything.” However we need to look at “rejection” from a broader perspective: Is rejection showed through an ACTION (taking the plate or not) or is it an inner FEELING?
Can you reject your own well being for the sake of agreeing with someone? I am not saying to “make someone happy,” for the act of accepting a meal is not about making someone “happy or unhappy.”
In the heart center, we could observe that if the feeling is of rejecting meat but accepting it for the sake of conforming to a belief; then even though there was outside acceptance; there was inner rejection. No one else but ourselves could confirm that.
As we move into the heart center, there is no preconceived way of ACTION. There is no performance to follow out of some belief or tradition. Every person we meet, every exchange with others will bring its own way to ACT. That action comes from who we ARE.
How do we know if the action was proper?
There is harmony within. We could feel that. The mind does not bring some inner chat to tell us if we were “right or wrong.”
Personally, I do not reject meat or people who likes to eat meat; but at the same time, I know what agrees with my physical body at this time. That may change. Others may be alright with eating meat.
Everyone is different and different situations will arrive in our lives. I feel that to have a preconceived way of acting is truly emphasizing the mind over exploring the feeling of the moment.
Similarly, the cab driver is acting through preconceived directions by following a “holy” book. In his level of consciousness, that may be desirable at this time, but again; that may change. If we still follow preconceived patterns, then the mind will be at ease with a belief but not the heart .
Is following a particular moral code, enough to make us feel in harmony within? If yes, our lives could be a script to follow, from daylight to nighttime. This is “right” that is “wrong.”
Those parameters are necessary in society as they are simple to follow, but at the same time are limiting our own experience of feeling from the heart center.
Giving is not always “good”. Taking is not always “bad.” Those are only beliefs. Through the mind we can try to analyze the circumstances, the people involved, we could try to read the intentions, etc. and evaluate the situation to believe that we have acted “right,” for we have conformed to some pattern. There is no sensation, no feeling of harmony within.
Without that feeling, there could not be fulfillment in Life. Life is meant to be felt not thought out.
It is conspicuous, that problems with the mind are increasing. Several years back, I had a friend with mental issues. That was something uncommon for me to experience. Now, it is very common. Perhaps the most common ailment to observe around is depression.
I could affirm now that “spirituality” at this time, is about dealing with the mind.
Notice that I say “at this time.” It hasn’t always been like that.
A mind out of control is a demon. A controlled mind is a “saint” waiting to “sin”. Many times, medication becomes that artificial control.
It is interesting how Science does not know the cause of many of these diseases of the mind. Nevertheless, there is “treatment.” It is a game of dice.
Genetics is a factor. The environment is another. Our ability to cope with different pressures in society is yet another.
Chemical imbalances due to genetics is a small percentage at this time. However the influence of the environment and our own coping mechanisms, are something that we could become aware of, to improve our mental health.
It is almost a year now since I have moved permanently from the USA (I lived there for 30 years) to Lima, Peru. Sound in all forms (noise) is used in Lima violently: From car horns, to megaphones, loud parties and noisy public events, etc. It is evident that individuals will be mentally affected from that. Life in a big city like Lima, is not a relaxing “walk in the park”; nevertheless; most individuals are completely unaware of the consequences. We have done that to ourselves under the label of “progress.” Economically, Lima has progressed enormously, however; when there is no conscience of the environment; our health will pay the price. Lima, is just a small example of so many third world cities around the world in similar conditions.
The most “civilized” environments have their toll on mental health as well. The USA as I recall, was famous for the feeling of isolation and the excessive use of “technology” under the motto of “time is money.” That sort of stress will definitely impact our mental health specially since there is a growing population migrating, looking to live “better” in those “civilized” places. We are living out of balance.
What to “do”?
When a person is sensitive, aware, the answer arrives right away. The number one priority for mental health is to BE in Nature as much as possible. As far as I am concerned, there is no way around it. It is even funny to put it in that way, for a “normal” person should feel eager to BE in Nature, but that is not the case for many who feel “happy” around concrete buildings and a TV or… a computer and a cell phone for even background noise. Most are terrified by silence as absence of sounds.
We may need to be closer to water in all forms: Oceans, lakes, rivers, even swimming pools if all else fails, for water cleanses our energetic field. Exercise is a priority, for the mind is closely related with the body; and the body was meant to move. That is a “reasonable” reason.
Finally, our diets need improvement. An orange vs. a “Coke”. Observe all of those foods created by man. Those are not natural. Those are not “bad” either. Their consumption needs some reduction. Do you drink plain water? Don’t like the taste of it? Some serious “therapy” is needed to fix that.
Here some words of advise:
1) Move. Do not stay in the same room for long periods of time. The collective consciousness surrounds all city environments at this time. The “vibe” is of stress, anxiety, sadness. Many times, we do not realize that we are affected by those “vibes.” We believe that it is “I” who feels in a certain way. We could even label that as “my depression.”
2) Have “snack” times of Nature. Go to a park and walk barefooted in the grass if possible, or sit down and watch the birds and smell the flowers… Won’t cost you a thing!
3) Have daily “Me” times. It is very important to enjoy time by yourself, not doing a thing, or rather; not thinking about a thing. For that, we need to PLAY. A playful person, is a person in balance.
4)Entertain the mind: Watching movies, tv, etc. is that. However, we are not aware that those means are only entertainment. We typically get suck into it.
5) Once we get a sense of balance, we will naturally “practice” the “3 S” of healthy living: Sun, Sleep and Sex. Typically we over do or under do those. The mind goes to extremes easily for it does not know the “middle way.” Never too much of the “3 S.” Find your own balance.
6) Learn to feel from the heart. Deep feelings will take you out of the mind.
7) Appreciate Life as “it is”. We focus on negativity forgetting that every coin has 2 sides no matter what. Appreciation will bring us into balance.
To live in the world of “no-mind” does not mean not to have thoughts. It means to live in the heart center. Although, many “experts” recommend exercises or techniques to “achieve” that; in my experience; the change happens after we have gone through the full experience of knowing the mind.
That full experience means, experiencing the “ups and downs.” However, the most important advice that I could give based on my own experience is that any inner work to dissolve “blockages” or “inner traumas” to open up to Life, is without a doubt; the most important aspect in “spirituality” that a seeker will need to face; for that will bring the experience of “no-mind” (heart center) and then our overworked mind, will have a chance to rest and perhaps observe the world under a new, fresh perspective.
Without a doubt, that is a sign of mental health.
A: “God is our creator and he gave us free will and eternal Life!”
B: “Why do we have to believe that we were created?”
A: “Look, if you see a pretty house in the mountains, you will ask yourself: who created this house? Right?”
B: “Not necessarily. Perhaps the house was always there. Matter cannot be created neither destroyed, it can only transform. Correct?”
A: “Someone had to build it!”
B: “Who created the builder? “
A: “God. He always existed…”
B: “Why don’t you ask, who created God as well?”
The paragraph above was a paraphrase of an actual exchange. When we live in the mind, what is important is the concept, to “get I right.” The mind cares about “answers.”
When we live in the heart, that conversation has no meaning. There is a pretty house in the mountains, then appreciate it, enjoy it, get some feeling out of that experience which in turn will be like “spiritual food.” That will nourish you and consequently, those who are close to you in that experience. That is the “answer.”
“Who created it?” That question, even though “logical,” “reasonable” (traits of the mind) takes away the beauty of the scene for a moment of “full mind” which by nature, is never satisfied. The mind cannot get satisfaction.
Have we observed a person who apparently has everything going for him and who is not satisfied? He is living in the mind.
When I started my “spiritual career,” I too asked: “Who created the Universe?” I knew through religious conditioning that it was “God.” Also, I knew through “scientific” conditioning that there was the “Big Bang.” Somehow none of those “answers” fulfilled me. It was an empty repetition of things which are beyond my practical experience. Plain beliefs. The mind likes to take us into empty rides. We come back empty handed. An “answer” made up of words is as empty as an empty stomach, however, we feel the emptiness of the stomach, it is “real.” Words are not.
Now, proudly after some years of “search,” I could say that: “The Universe/ Life is there. Enjoy it. Appreciate it. Truly.” No questions will come up to the mind.
Life, the Universe, God… those are words to express “mystery.” It is a beautiful mystery. Anything that we would like to “explain” about them, will be always short, always inaccurate, always dull… but yet; some of us “think” to “have the truth.”
That is the greatest hallucination someone living in the mind could have about Life.
However, it is part of the journey.
BEING in the mind, the heart and the gut. Those are the 3 stages of Human consciousness.
The experience is very distinct. Ahnanda is currently in the heart and after this experience is over, the gut will follow. Ahnanda is knowledgeable of the mind, as he has gone through it.
Raysha, Mathias, Miguel and Ahnanda where sharing experiences in a nearby park.
Miguel told Ahnanda: “ Now you are in the heart. However, you could go back to the mind unless you feed the heart with gratefulness and appreciation.
In you, there are 2 little dogs: The rabid dog (mind) and the happy dog (heart.)”
The rabid dog is reactionary. Trying to control things, violent with others and the self. The rabid dog compares all the time and measures how ahead he is in relation to others. It is angry if it finds out, others are better off.
The happy dog is placid, content within itself. Void of judgment. It observes and becomes amazed at Life.
Miguel continued: “The mind will try to gain control as it has done it for many years of your Life.
This new game that you will play is called the “jumping rope.” At one extreme is the rabid dog holding one side of the rope. On the other side, is the happy dog. Your task is to jump the rope at the right time, otherwise; you will be totally entangled and even could fall… “
Ahnanda said: “ I have experienced that I cannot analyze things anymore. If I go to the market to buy things, it is hard for my me to add up numbers and even I am becoming forgetful of things. Is that part of the process?”
Mathias responded: “ The mind is upset. If you don’t want to give it control of things, then the mind wants to see what can you do without it. Just talk to your mind and say: If you don’t want to help me with the tasks that you used to, that is fine. I am working on prosperity, so if the salesman says that the final price of all things I buy is something, I just accept it, pay and move on.”
Miguel added: “ In this new game you will need to learn to identify the mind from the heart, on the fly. Thus, take a moment before responding, pass some saliva through your throat and then respond. Your reaction will seem slow to others, but it will be conscious and that will avoid many unsavory episodes.”
Mathias then said: “It is important to remember that what you DO is not as important as BEING conscious of who you ARE while DOING.”
Life makes sure that Ahnanda obtains the necessary “tests” to learn to distinguish those 2 little dogs.
Contemplation is the tool to look at the self. Not to find mistakes and feel guilt as the mind likes to do; but to recognize who was there in “Me,” and how those energies get triggered. Contemplation is the “scientific lab” for that.
BEING in the heart is not a “lovey dovey” story. It is the experience of no-mind. Ahnanda has found out through his own experience that to BE in the “now” is impossible, when we are consciously located within the mind.
The mind only knows past and future. The heart only knows “now.”