Inner dishonesty behind “spiritual practices.”
Many will repeat that “BEING is before DOING.” Many will understand that AWARENESS is not a practice, yet as a “new spiritual teaching” is being put into words, the first thing most everyone wants to DO is to “put it in practice.”
Please observe that this is not “wrong,” neither “right,” but you could only practice what you can intellectually understand and that is prone to distortion when we are talking about the immensity of Life.
We could hear that “Life will work for you if you accept it as it is, if you flow with it.” Then, we want to practice that because it sounds pretty good, because it makes sense, because a “super Guru” said so, or perhaps because “we want for Life to work for us,” etc.
Any of the above reasons will bring inner dishonesty. As a matter of fact, any reason behind our “practice” is dishonest, ego driven. We are not BEING. We want to DO what we AREN’T to become something desirable in our minds. DOING does not change BEING.
John was fired from his comfy job. He was very angry; however, he is a “spiritual person,” and he recalled the teaching of “accepting what Life brings.” He wanted to put that teaching into practice at that time.
“John, how do you feel… It must be pretty hard on you, right?” Asked one of his friends.
John replied:” Not really. I accepted it. Life works for me.”
John’s friend was impressed. What a guy! So spiritual, so calm, so cool… such an angel!
Nevertheless, John was angry. Inside he was burning with anger, but he made himself believe that he has “accepted” what Life brought. His meaning of acceptance was simple: Not to make a fuss of it. John wanted deep inside for Life to “work for him,” perhaps by giving him a nice job in the future, so he was willing to try that “teaching.” He had nothing to lose.
As days and months passed by without any apparent external change, John became irritated, he lost hope and he was snappy with others around him.
John couldn’t hide his true self anymore.
His dishonest acceptance, was never acceptance. It was another way to try to control Life, so “it works for him.”
John’s DOING was not according to BEING, his current BEING.
That is how spiritual teachings are misunderstood. We come from our conditioning of “making things happen,” and to “DO something to change things, change the world, change ourselves.” Change happens as we allow it. That is all, but our ideas, ideals, taboos, beliefs, traumas will not let that happen. Acceptance, surrendering in Life is not known by the dictionary.
The type of acceptance that is necessary to flow with Life, does not come from intellectual understanding of the word “acceptance.” It does not come from our willingness to practice that “virtue.” It comes through the assimilation of Life experiences. It is an opening in our Ego mind, a hole drilled by Life itself when there is no resistance, repression in us.
The art of Living Life, that is “spirituality,” is not learned by following books, quoting spiritual phrases from spiritual gurus, or by enrolling in a spiritual class. All of that is conditioning from the “office world.”
I am not saying that it is “bad,” I am saying that all of that is conceptual teachings, intellectual understanding, information. To truly KNOW, we need to experience the process of Life’s teachings; in a word; to be AWARE of it. It is happening in front of our noses all the time.
Busy in trying to change what is happening to us, we will buy any sort of “magic formula” to change our destiny, rather be AWARE of who we ARE. What is going on outside is only reflecting what goes on inside. Life is the biggest mirror, but yet we could be blind to its reflection.
If we cannot be AWARE, then to “practice” the teachings of someone may be our necessary beginning until we let go the conditioning of the mind. Until then, inner honesty will be hiding from our Awareness.
Ahnanda shares the path of discovery within yourself. This is not the path of “how to do it.” This is not the path of “teach me, I’ll pay for your services.” Become aware that change is happening. Through that, learning and teaching become one, and so unlearning. Student and Guru become one and so “spiritual” lineage. Life and “you” become one and so the Totality. Observe it, acknowledge it, enjoy it, let it happen… Tantra is hiding under those words, and that is a close as we can get when something is beyond a definition.
Until January 2nd! 🙂
At peace with yourself
While the emphasis of “spirituality for the masses” is on DOING, GETTING, ACCOMPLISHING to BECOME someone else; for the “seasoned” Life walker, it is about UNLEARNING, BEING and ENJOYING.
PEACE is not something we “get” by practicing meditation. That could bring a little taste of it as when someone takes a drop of water when thirsty. We could call that a “wonderful experience,” but that label does not mean anything. Thirst will be there.
UNLEARNING is not something we DO. It is the realization, the awareness that who we think we are has been conditioned by several factors such as: Society, morality, family genes, and previous life experiences. All of that is harbored in our minds.
Therefore, we could observe that by emptying the contents of that mind which is the result of living Life under conditioning and traumatic experiences kept by the “I,” what we are desperately looking to become, we already are. Take the fluff which has grown into the static “I” away… Presto!
That “magic act” is not something that “I” can DO. It happens as we let go and do not hold onto the strings that make up our personality.
Observe how a child changes into a teenager. The process is not rejected. The child does not have any expectation; he just allows for the process to take place. Life is DOING already.
A teenager on the other hand, has a mental idea of what he has to be and become. The teenager will hold on to those ideals, defining himself and separating himself from Life.
Eventually the teenager will surrender. He may fight the pimples in his face and make a trauma out of that experience. That is how an adult comes into the picture, with this idea of fighting for everything in Life.
It is that attitude of fight and getting ahead, the one promoted by our society, our religion our morality, the whole system. Fight at any level only defines the “I.” There is no peace in that as the “I” will fight to keep himself alive, and as long as possible.
Unlearning that idea is the work of the “Life walker.” To untangle himself from the spider webs of the past, becomes the new “religion,” for unless that becomes important to us, there is no hope for dissolving the idea of fight and the “I.”
What makes the process of change so traumatic and dramatic is the fight.
“I” will fight against death. “I” will fight against those who think different, for “I” am the embodiment of “righteousness.”
Let it go. Let those ideas which are corroding our existence, dissipate.
Become a child again. You were one of them. Do you remember?
That is how peace appears again, once the dark clouds and strong gusty winds of our own storms in Life, are dissipated.
The sunshine of peace was always there.
Heavy rain and even hurricanes will be in the experience of many. The stronger “I” will require an intense movement of Life, but at the end whether the “I” surrenders or not… It will, for the Sun of Peace is much bigger, warmer and nourishing than our darkest clouds.
Doing the “right” thing
Most “spiritual” and “morally correct” individuals, are concerned about this: “Doing the right thing in Life.”
A veil of sainthood, righteousness is coveted by the “I.”
There are many “rewards” (Just like a credit card reward point system) associated with DOING a morally accepted script, allowed by society, religions, nations, fraternities, schools… all of those institutions which are regimenting/conditioning (also known as teaching/educating or preparing ) the individual.
As we are “right now,” there are many scripts in our minds deciding what “a right action” is.
A young person may want to “DO” the right thing in choosing a career. That same man, may want to “DO the right thing” as he fathered a child out of wedlock. Later, he may want to “Do the right thing” while deciding whether to put his ill father, permanently in a hospice.
The phrase to “Do the right thing” has many meanings according to time, circumstances, beliefs, traditions.
Definitely, to “Do the right thing” is merely a cover, for we cannot know the ramifications, the extent of our DOING.
Carl paid for his son to go to the “best University,” even though his son did not want to go. Carl thought that he was DOING “the right thing,” for the welfare of his son.
His son was killed in a car accident, on his way to a class.
Of course; guilt surrounded Carl, for the rest of his Life.
What is the “teaching” in that story?
In the Western society, everything has to have a “moral” teaching, something the mind can apprehend so “I don’t do it again and I can teach others.”
Fear creeps in.
In Life, there is no teaching but a mirror. That experience of “losing” a son, will be colored with Carl’s conditioning. It is that conditioning the one that will come out.
But Carl is too “busy” with his guilt to realize about his beliefs.
If we were just aware of all the conditioning going on in our minds!
We may try to figure out Life, to get ahead, to be clever in Life; but the “I” does not make Life by himself.
The spider web of associations and timely interactions are out of the reach of the clever “I” but yet; “I” believe that “I” can “control” my destiny, by DOING “the right things.” I can use the support of the “law of karma” to spread “righteousness” around me. (If I “do this right,” then through karma, something right will occur to me.)
The only issue is that “righteousness” hasn’t been defined.
What is to “be right”?
Life is not concerned about our trivial morality. Life is beyond moral standards.
Was Carl “right or wrong”?
We will not able to understand Life until we clean ourselves up from all those concepts, moral precepts, traditions and beliefs clouding our awareness.
It is not a matter of rejection.
If we have our hands dirty and wash them, it is not out of rejection of dirt.
But unless we “unlearn” with the same attitude as when we wash our hands, we will be rejecting society, religions, schools, etc. as radicals and unfit members.
The path of Awakening may take someone through that route, however; we may learn that it is not the destination, but only a side scene. 🙂
To “practice” is to remember
Jack told Betty: “I am meeting with some friends to talk about spiritual matters.”
Betty replied: “The challenge is to practice it. Anyone can talk.”
In our society, to say: “Practice what you preach,” it is the “wisdom” used to look intelligent on “spiritual things.”
When we approach that saying with further depth, we may discover another story.
Betty IS an angry person. Anger is within her. She hears a “spiritual talk” that preaches: “Anger is bad. You should never get angry. Practice being cool at every time.”
In Betty’s mind she found the “cure” in the opposite of anger. That is to be “cool.” Betty IS not cool, but she will practice it. Betty will practice the idea of “coolness” that she has in her mind. She will practice what she has heard or seen or read from others. Her extent of “coolness” will be only that. She will recognize the situation and she will try to remember to practice “coolness.” When a different situation which is not in her experience comes up, it will lead her into anger. She will not be able to recognize that anger until it is too late, until it comes out; for after all… She IS anger.
Then, Betty will feel guilty, for she has failed the “test.”
In “Spirituality 101” for the masses; DOING is preached over BEING.
The “I” has to DO something to change things. Nevertheless, as shared many times, DOING cannot change BEING. As a matter of fact, that is how inner dishonesty appears for we pretend to BE someone who we AREn’t.
That is why the importance of OBSERVATION and AWARENESS is being shared. Those 2 things which are really one; cannot be “graded” by the external world. The external world can only judge us for the action, the DOING they see which complies to some standard. That is why, dishonesty appears in the world. Many are just acting out a commandment, a moral standard but that is not who they ARE.
Thus, AWARENESS is forgotten. We are no longer aware when all we need to DO is to comply with a sacred text, a moral code, a paragraph written by someone holy.
Remember the state of coolness. Feel it. Don’t use words or descriptions, for then the mind will engage and then further dishonesty will appear as the mind will try to comply with past experiences.
If coolness is within you, it will emerge. Remember it. That is the “practice.” In the meantime, observe that anger, acknowledge it; let it teach you what is truly there, in that way you will have the chance to know its origin. It may be in your childhood, due to a traumatic experience; observe your triggers; become a “scientist of yourself.”
Once that energy is released, (Life will provide the method) then the energy of anger will not be there as a “ruler,” but it could be still accessed when necessary.
If there is anger, there is coolness as well; for one cannot be without the other.
Remembrance is always of the self.
Enjoy the process
“What is the most important lesson you have learned in your Life as a seeker?”
1) Your perception depends on your state of consciousness which naturally changes.
2) Everything in Life has a process which needs to be respected.
Some perceive a widget to be “good,” others will see the same “widget” as “bad.”
The widget is neither “good” nor “bad” in itself until we change its quality through our conditioning. In Life everything that has happened and that is happening, is necessary as it is; that is why to qualify something as “good” or “bad” means not to understand the process of change.
There is no “ending” state to reach. It is a full circle. For example, “No-I” will bring “I” and in return,”I” will bring “no-I.” This is an eternal process, the “yin” and “yang” which is meant for Life to self-sustain.
“So what I am supposed to DO in this Life then, if there is no goal to accomplish?”
Do what you desire. What you DO does not matter. What matters is if you are fully enjoying the experience, if you are fully AWARE of the experience.
“Can you be more “real” and give down to earth examples to understand?”
You are taking a shower. Are you enjoying it? Do you feel the water caressing your body? Do you fully enjoy that sensation or some mental conditioning appears? Is your mind not allowing you to be fully in that moment? Is your morality not allowing you to caress yourself? Observe. BE AWARE. No judgment is necessary.
Did you work hard to get your 6 figures dream job? Enjoy it. When joy is no longer there, you may need to change. Are you all stressed out and lying to yourself that you “truly enjoy your job”?
Better stop lying to yourself. Sooner or later things will change, because Life is change.
It does not matter what you choose to DO in Life. In our society it matters because we live with mental ideals and moral standards to accomplish something in this Life or the one beyond. You could become a “beach bum” and sell margaritas for a “living.” Are you enjoying it? Someone may tell you “Why are you wasting your Life in that way?”
If your focus is enjoyment, every moment is joy. Life will go and you will be gone in joy.
That is the most spiritual, grateful way to live Life in my humble opinion. You will teach others without speaking a word. You will be “highly” spiritual, without practicing any ritual. You will be true to yourself, honest; without wearing the mask of trying to BE someone who you are not meant to BE. You will be DOING “good” without intending to DO it; thus “true,” egoless DOING.
When you are naked like that… is when society/religions and “isms” will desperately try to “save you,” by dressing you up.
Freedom to BE
Growing up my “keyword” was freedom.
Freedom from the enemies. Freedom to Do what I want. Freedom to HAVE whatever I could get. Freedom to BE what I wanted to BE…
All of those “freedoms” are only circumstantial. They depend on the conditions, the settings. Whatever I DO, whatever I HAVE, whatever I want to BE is only another cage to fight for, to be attached to, to become fearful of losing… The cage is there and whenever there is a cage, freedom slips out of our hands…
Aware of these things, some religions paradoxically have misunderstood the meaning of freedom. For them to “attain” that is a matter of renouncing the world.
In DOING that, their cage becomes their own little world.
Freedom is not a matter of escaping from something and labeling that “ renunciation.”
To DO, to HAVE, to BE … are mental cages. Mind made definitions with borders which we will not trespass for safety, for comfort, for security.
True Freedom is in BEING, but this is not the mind BEING such as BEING a professional, BEING a father, BEING a guru… or BEING God. This BEING that I am talking about is without mind.
A child is that BEING and so a wild animal. FREE from traumas, FREE from hang ups, FREE from neurosis, FREE from the “future.”
A conditioned human being is always looking for security. If a man is in a relationship with someone, he may need a way to possess a woman so she doesn’t run away. That insecurity, that pettiness is called “love” by most. The “proof” is in the emotion of jealousy felt. However, it is certain that this man has built his own cage of attachment and neediness.
Then, his mind always going into extremes; will decide to go to the other extreme: “I will never be in love with anyone. I want to be Free.”
That decision is unbearably naïve. That man has built yet another cage for himself. He cannot be free.
Because it doesn’t matter whether he is in a relationship or not. Both states are cages when we move in the duality of the mind.
That is why it has been said: “Know thyself,” but I‘d like to clarify: “Know thy mind to be FREE from it.”
That is where freedom resides: Away from the duality created by the mind.
Our search for security will kill our freedom to BE. The need for security will create a cage and the fear to abandon it.
A mental “cage” could be like a hotel: A place to be for a short while before continuing in our journey. But, the one who feels secure, safe, at ease and would like by all means to maintain that state; that person will suffer when the time to change arrives.
Don’t we know that Life is change? Don’t we know that Life is completely uncertain?
Do we want to live in our own “little world” for the sake of being safe?
That will kill our growth as humans. Our development will be hindered.
Nothing is secure in life. That is the extraordinary thing about Life. It can turn around at any time and there is no one who could stop it… but yet, some want to fight against it even though “losing” every single battle against Life… While others would like to “hide” and control their environment to feel safe, even though there is no Life in their lives…. They are already death.
In both cases there is no Freedom.
Freedom is not in the extremes. It is neither in hiding nor in fighting, rejecting, conquering… to know Freedom we need to become AWARE of the works of our mind.
A seeker who does not understand his own mind, is only playing the game of self-deception: It is a game with plenty of beliefs and promises for great things in the “future,” but the price is not to enjoy the freedom of living fully in the “now.”
The “golden cage” may be a pretty cage for our minds. But … the best things in Life are always FREE…. Of charge?
No… FREE of mind.
The paradox of Being and Doing
Everything we are looking for is within us.
Only those things which are an illusion, those things which do not exist, could be dissolved.
Ego is an illusion of the mind, thus it can be dissolved.
If it is “real” it cannot be dissolved.
What is lust, greed, attachment, anger?
Manifestations of that ego.
The paradox is that there is nothing we can DO to dissolve ego. You could only realize it, acknowledge it, become aware of it, to be distant… a witness… a detached observer. Ego is not “bad” but a state of being in the pendulum of experiences.
DOING something to get rid of that ego is like trying to scratch the wind. You could do the effort, you could try different methods but the idea of “success” is in fact, ego… and thus, the idea of failure. Duality.
Most individuals believe that to BE happy, is a matter of reaching a goal, an objective. Whether that goal is in this Life, in the “mundane world” or in the “afterlife,” in “Paradise;” there is some DOING which needs to be DONE to get there… Happiness is state of BEING. It is not something that could be “achieved” through DOING.
Want to conquer the world? Want to be the richest person on Earth? Want to be the most famous person? the most popular? the most beautiful? You could reach those goals, but happiness will not be in that. Why?
Because we ARE something else: Boring, emotional, stressed out, hurt, ego-centered. Anything wrong with that?
NO. It is not about “right or wrong.” It is about acknowledgment of that. Because we are AWARE, we could see it, observe it, feel it, not as a thought or as second hand knowledge from someone, but you must feel it in your skin…then, something will happen… 🙂
DOING cannot touch BEING. Ego is the illusion of BEING. DOING is the illusion of that who is already an illusion (ego.)
In fact, “I do” is full of ego. Who is that “I”?
This is not an intellectual question.
Nevertheless in our language, in our relationship with others… we need to use those words, but we don’t need to be trapped in the meaning.
If we define what we ARE, we create a “doer.”
Action-less action, Doing without a Doer is an egoless action.
We cannot “practice” to be ego-less. Life is taking you there, as long as the “I” is not a solid wall standing in between.
Want to destroy the wall? Want to get rid f it?
If you DO. You will make it stronger. That is the paradox.
Leave your ego-centered desires behind, your expectations aside and learn to acknowledge that the wall is there.
Do not run away from that wall, don’t try to change it… because by knowing that the wall is there, you will also know why change cannot BE.
At that point, the wall will OPEN and through that empty space is how change will pass by.
You are that emptiness when there is no wall.
Because you are that… there is no one there to DO… 🙂 Paradox!