Robert was meditating in a group meditation. This particular type of meditation is about stillness of the body. To avoid making any movement and to become aware of our own breathing.
After meditation was over, Robert shared with his teacher that he felt bliss.
“It was a sensation of fulfillment;” Robert mentioned.
Then, Robert explained that he felt physical pain after a while during the meditation, but in this occasion, it was the first time that he fully accepted it, and the pain stopped being that bothersome.
His teacher said that it is good to feel those things, but equanimity is the teaching. Don’t take pleasure neither pain. Remain in equanimity.
The students agreed with the teacher.
Isn’t that a good teaching? 🙂
It depends. Some will teach: “Do what is pleasurable. Avoid what is painful. It is good as long as it feels good.”
Another teaching will say: “Sacrifice your pleasure now. Renounce pleasure now for it is just tempting you. You will indulge in it and you will forget about greater things in life.”
Yet, Robert’s teacher mentioned to remain in equanimity by not taking pleasure nor pain.
Which one is the right teaching? For sure, one of them has to be the right one, for those 3 teachings contradict themselves.
That is how 3 different “religions,” 3 different belief systems emerged.
As we grow in awareness, we could see that the first teaching “Do what is pleasurable and avoid what is painful,” makes sense. Most people will follow this. It is for the masses. Nevertheless, it is forgotten that duality does not work like that. Pleasure comes with pain. The more pleasure we pursue; equal amount of pain will be experienced in one way or another. The anticipation of pleasure is emotional pain until pleasure comes. Once pleasure is experienced, comes the pain of not being in pleasure. 😦
The above is the cycle of addiction.
The second teaching is about becoming acquainted with pain, so it is not that “painful” anymore and to avoid the other side of duality, that is pleasure as much as possible. This spiritual teachings was made popular when the understanding about the flesh, the body; as the culprit for not experiencing our spiritual side. That is bring the spirit up, the soul forward by denying the body. The masses could understand this teaching very well. “Don’t do this. Do that instead.” The issue is that pain could become the pursuit. It could become the “pleasure.” More pain experienced means a greater state of sainthood.
Masochists are those who find pleasure in pain.
The third teaching is to remain in equanimity by rejecting both, pleasure and pain; seems logical; it seems “good”… However, in Spirituality to make an “effort” to reject duality means not to experience life but to become a machine. Duality is not “bad.”
All of the above teachings have shortcomings. The issue resides in the type of consciousness we are in.
According to that consciousness, there will be a type of follower for those teachings.
A “normal” person has an addictive personality. If it feels good, you want more of it, always more. That is why the teaching of denying things is thought to be the answer to reform the person. But then, too much denial becomes an “abnormal” behavior. The question is, what is “too much”?
Thus, to deny both sides of duality; takes away the experience of life.
When our consciousness accepts pain with the same equanimity as pleasure, then there is equanimity in acceptance. That means, there is equanimity in experiencing life. When pain is not taken as pain neither pleasure as pleasure, when we abandon those ideas, there is freedom from pursuing something. It is just an experience.
Until our minds are not-self absorbed in the experience of one side or the denial of both sides of duality, then we will no experience balance, we will not enjoy life with gratitude.
It is pain bad? No. It is pleasure bad? No. It is pain good? No. It is pleasure good? No. They are neither bad nor good.
What are they?
Pain and Pleasure.
Please realize that it is our clinging mind, our mind full of attachments to liking something or even rejecting something (we become attached to that idea) that state is taking us out of balance and harmony.
The above teachings are not concerned about individuals, so they discover the state of their minds through experience and observation. Those teachings are more into putting a paragraph of “do “ and “don’t do” in a basic law, in a book to worship, so it fits all.
A “Fit all sizes” type of deal, will not fit all very well. It never has.
Thinking is considered so important in our lives . We value thought. We call thinkers “intelligent,” we are amazed by their use of words and clarity of “thought,” etc.
That becomes another form of “entertainment.” Our value system as a society is meant to reward the “thinkers.” Nevertheless, those thoughts are at the same time the cause of our own “hell.” In fact, it is not that we “are” in hell, but we are in hell, because we think in a “hellish” way.
All we need to do is to watch our thoughts. This thought came. Then another, then “I” created a love story which cannot happen, then I feel sad, upset, etc. Then, my thought will take me into more pain by remembering that scene over and over… and then we say, “time will cure that pain.” However, what we do not seem to realize is that time is an invention of thought.
Because there has been a “lapse” of a recurrent thought due to a “distance,” then that thought diminishes, it goes away. We call that “time.” In fact, the “cure” is in distance, to have a distance from the object which we perceive as the source of our emotional pain. Time has nothing to do with it, because… it doesn’t exist.
Thought is clever in making comparisons as well. We use words which come with “built in” technology to “compare.”
Greater than, wiser, this versus that, lesser, etc, etc.
All of our lives, we have believed that those comparison are reality. As a matter of fact, our society works under those premises . “The best should win,” “Be number one,” “Don’t settle for less,” “Do your best,” etc, Most of those words are clichés now.
Here is where the interesting thing occurs:
We meet Spirituality.
All of the sudden, the world of “all being equal under the eyes of God,” could become a “big lie,” if we know that John is smarter than Guy. Was God able to make John smarter just for the “fun” of it? 🙂
That world of equality becomes senseless, for the physical world shows everything but that. To be competitive is appreciated. To “beat” everyone else is cool.
Under that “thought” when we understand that “few” will go to Heaven and will be saved, and the rest will not… those words, obviously are full of that “comparative” understanding.
How can you understand it any other way when we know that only “selected” ones will enjoy everlasting life and the rest will perish under the gutter of despair and eternal damnation…? 🙂
Then the “better” syndrome appears. Logical. It cannot be otherwise.
Nevertheless, the “lucky ones” have the understanding through this knowledge (Gyan) that souls are equal but numberwise. That means that I cannot compare John with Guy at anytime for they are different even though “equal.” That is a paradox.
John may be more thoughtful but Guy is a blast. John may have a great job, but Guy has the looks… John has the big house, but Guy has many friends… Numberwise.
Further, through this knowledge we know that “we could be equal under God’s eyes” because we are souls like Him, but just acting parts, roles in a cyclical eternal play called the “Drama” of life.
Nevertheless, due to our “comparative” mind, we will be stuck in the role, the ‘acting’ but we will overlook the actors.
“Look, I am an Emperor, but you are a subject.” Comparison.
“Look, I will be in heaven and you will stay here…. in hell.” Comparison.
There is always a way to compare.
Why do we compare? Because there is ego. That is all.
When we stress that comparison, we are not talking “pure” spirituality out of knowledge, but merely using our “old” language from “before” spiritual knowledge. That is “normal” language.
However, we become clever and then we say: “But God Himself talks to us like that!”
Is there any other way that we could understand at least a little bit of what spirituality is? Probably not. Comparisons we understand, numberwise, we do not. Black or white we understand, paradoxes we do not.
That is why we are stuck playing the “little children role…” Throughout all religions, is the same theme… any “holy scripture” has the same old theme.
Nothing wrong with that. All beneficial according to the Drama!