Constantly I observe seekers wanting to improve themselves. These seekers will go to different places, take different classes and DO different rituals believing that “now” they are better, they have arrived.
In a short time, reality will hit them when there is no such change. DOING cannot change BEING.
The whole set up of what is called “spirituality” is made on the premise that someone else is able to save me, someone is able to heal me and someone is able to tell me what to DO with my life.
While we divert ourselves in fixing what we see as broken, typically we fail to understand what IS.
Humans have 3 centers within. The mind, the heart and the gut. Without feeling these yourself, I am merely giving information. Once it is felt, then you know. If you know, I am merely supporting with words what is in your experience already. Thus, I am not a teacher. You are not a student. I am merely sharing.
Desires to fix what is perceived as broken or to transform “bad into good” comes solely from the mind.
The mind, is the repository of ideas given to us from the surrounding conditioning. There is no “spirituality” per say, when someone is relating with Life from the mind for we are striving to find ‘reasons’ for everything. Life has no ‘reasons.’ Nevertheless, a beginner will try to understand Life from the mental perspective. Beyond the mind, there are other ways to be in tune with Life.
The heart is the next center. Emotionally, we are connected with Life through the heart. The heart has no reasons. Many times we will hide our emotional feelings with some mental reasoning. This will give us the sensation of not being satisfied. Mentally we may think that we acted in the “right way,” but emotionally, we will feel empty, hurt, unsatisfied.
We will not perceive this lack of harmony if we are looking for external ‘quick fixes.’
In some religions, there is the practice of looking at the navel to meditate.
The gut feeling is not something to meditate on, but something to feel. We are connected to Life and to our mission in Life through the gut. The language of the gut arrives when we feel what is going on there, while being barely connected to the mind. The mind merely receives the message, for without the mind; there is no interpretation, that is to put what we feel into words.
How many are in tune with these 3 centers within us? Not many. For our culture, the mind is the main center, when in reality to maintain the wholesomeness of a human being, the mind should be the last center in use. First is the gut.
The gut like the heart does not know about ‘reasons.’ To feel fulfilled in Life, we will need to learn to listen to the heart and the gut.
For instance, a seeker may be stuck in a job that he does not like. He may be listening to the mind and its reasons. The heart may have some emotional conditioning while connected through the mind, but the gut feeling only needs to be heard. Ask the question and listen for the “yes” or “no.” This is what takes “practice.” Trust arrives little by little.
Do we want to take a class to learn how to listen to the heart and the gut?
Do we need easy to understand steps, methods and classes? That is what the mind desires.
Part of the process of “improving” as a seeker is to unlearn in order to learn something new. Unlearning is a necessity. Newness comes through this. Most seekers are unwilling to go through this process of unlearning, as this means that the person will be “new.” Practically, this may happen as having a different occupation, leaving the settings of the previous life, knowing new people and naturally, cutting ties with the old ones, etc. Life will put this situation. This is not something that someone should try to “DO.”
In the meantime, how do we start? We need the time to experiment within. We need willingness to go into this journey. This is known as solitude.
This is necessary to understand ourselves. It is through that “understanding” (this is not mental but rather openness) how change takes place without looking for it, without expecting it, without believing that this change will make us “better.” In other words, it is a natural change.
What is natural will develop once the unnatural, conditioned barriers of our minds are left aside.
If we could look at ourselves in the same way we look at others, if we were able to grab and read our own personalities the same way we do with others, we will obtain the blueprint of our “I,” just to disassemble it; rather than enhance it with some idea of what ‘better should be.’
That is to help ourselves.
The word AWARENESS is not understood. It just becomes another theory to “practice” once in a while. Something like becoming your own police at particular times until this “practice” gets tiresome and our “normal” self takes over.
Perhaps a better way to convey the meaning of awareness is when we feel in balance. Health is part of that. Health is ONE but we divide it in 3 general aspects; physical, mental and emotional.
The physical aspect is the most noticeable. That is what we recognize as being “healthy.”
My friend and chiropractor Mike, discovered how detrimental a diet based on simple sugars could be. Sugar could ruin our health. He wrote a comment in the blog, the other day:
“As an observer you can help others examine how sugar is evil and the start of disease so you stay hooked sick and have to take medicines for life to support the corporate sugar and pharmacy industry.”
Today, I will take up the subject of health which is very “Spiritual.” In fact, wholesome health is the purpose of any worthwhile spirituality.
Ahnanda has discovered that in Life, rejection of something will bring consequences. We cannot understand something if we have previously rejected it.
I wouldn’t label sugar as “evil.” Sugar is sugar. It is said that Life is sweet as sugar…
When we are out of balance, we will try to compensate what we lack by overdoing something else, thus; unwillingly hurting ourselves, creating disease. We are not aware of that. Let us say that I experience anxiety or that I experience sleepless nights. Compensation could be emotionally achieved by overeating or taking higher amounts of sugar. Over time, this translates into a disease.
Eating is one of the few Life pleasures which hasn’t been condemned by our society. It is a good outlet for many. Emotionally, that is a safe way to enjoy Life, thus any restrictions to food will definitely have a bitter consequence.
“No more sugar from now on” will be a miserable experience for many. The answer is not in that extreme. However, there are exceptions: There may be many individuals who are killing themselves by the ingestion of too much sugar. For them, “no more sugar from now on” could be a Life saver. Observe how the closer we are to one extreme, we will need another extreme solution in the opposite direction to regain balance.
To enjoy Life, is a matter of living in Balance. In harmonious relationship “within” and “without.”
Health (mind, body, emotions) is definitely observable in this balance.
Our minds are usually extremist. As we become acquainted with our “gut feeling” to move in Life (rather than making “thoughtful” decisions) there will be less mind, meaning a greater “sense” of balance.
A glass of Coke may be full of sugar, but if that drink was used as a “reward” when you were a kid, that Coke acquires the importance of “emotional food” when adult; which will be helpful in some low moments in our lives. That is an example of balance.
Emotional needs are as important as physical ones. Priorities will continually change in a healthy balance. That is why they cannot be pinned as: “This is the way,” or “This is evil.”
Our minds are so used to labeling something as “good” and other things as “evil.” That extremist labeling will only reduce our ability to observe.
It is in true observation, where taking sides do not exist. We may be in one side to go to the other side.
You are informed about Sugar. Now experience it, then you will know. No need to proselytize. 🙂
What is intuitive, observable, conditioning aside; is very hard to put in words. When I share something in this blog, is not a “teaching.”
Teachers charge for their “knowledge.” Their “knowledge” is second hand, acquired through someone, a system a religion, etc. They teach that, which is easy to assimilate by the masses.
Ahnanda is aware that whatever comes through him, is not “his.” Ahnanda did not make “effort” or “studied with the top masters” or has a library of “spiritual books” to get what he shares. It is not “my choice” to think “spiritual” things, make a plan for an article and write. It just happens.
When I express that opposites are truly inseparable. That gets misunderstood easily. Most will try to make sense with their heads rather than observing their experiences.
A reader wrote: “…it is actually a very simple thing that the “Good” and “Bad”, “Right” and “Wrong”, “Higher” and “Lower”, both things exist together in one single system, they are inseparable. But this is making me think you know that if I don’t want the bad part, I will actually have to renounce wanting the good part as well…”
Observe the confusion. This is not a matter of “choice.” Someone will experience only what he needs to experience in Life, but the labels to describe the experiences become his world rather than the experience itself.
If I experience “cold” it is because I know what “hot” is. If I say “I don’t want to experience hot, thus I need to renounce cold, for both go together in a system.” That is experientially senseless, although intellectually it may make sense.
Let me clarify: Pain and Pleasure are polarities of the same experience. It is the same experience in movement, that is why one side will bring the other.
Life is not an intellectual game. The problem with lack of fulfillment in life that most humans experience; is that their whole life is in the head, the mind.
Hurricane “Irma” IS. There is the assumption that it could hit Florida – USA in a couple of days. Observe how futile is the human drive for certainty: In Nature, there is no “extrapolation of past events to forecast the future.” Observe how the news and some business are thriving unexpectedly out of this incident. The hype is there. The talk that “ Irma could go this way or that way” bring lots of “experts.” The population grows with fear: “What to do? Do I leave and go someplace “safe” or do I stay?” That is the gamble.
People don’t want to make a mistake and spend money unnecessarily. They live in their heads. Their “choice” is giving them a headache. They want to be “right.”
That is the world of the mind, the head. All the information disseminated through the media only increases panic, in the name of safety.
Listen to your gut feeling and go with it. You will be at peace. Just make sure it is your gut feeling and not your mind.
End of report.
“But… but.. what about if I am “wrong”?”
A gut feeling doesn’t work that way. Have we noticed that?
In Life there is no such a thing as being “right or wrong.” That is a human invention that only works in the “office world.” When we deal with Nature, with the forces of Life itself, those mental standards are worth absolutely nothing.
Life is about experiences. Some will experience a hurricane, others will not. There is no right or wrong. Is a hurricane good or bad? 🙂 It just IS. If it IS, it has a “reason” to BE.
If we label a hurricane as “bad,” then we will have a “bad” experience and the “good” experience of not having a hurricane, may have yet another type of “bad” experience. We are caught up with senseless labels.
Nature is unpredictable, just like Life, just like a gut feeling.
Life and death go together. They are not separate.
A “choice” is not a choice, when there is togetherness.
The ego, the “I,” is the source of mental anguish and suffering. Someone may experience physical suffering; it is just another experience unless it is interpreted as everlasting trauma.
As we know, everything in Life changes. That movement happens all by itself. If the mind is attached to a traumatic experience, then it will be re-lived when a trigger appears.
The trauma is created when there is a rejection to a particular experience.
That is how the “I” separates from Life.
“Spiritual sugarcoating,” is meant to strengthen that “I.” It is meant to support it. There are many ways to do that, but here is a powerful one: It s called CHOICE.
“Choice” is the strongest support. Choice comes from the mind. It is conditioned. If we have 2 paths ahead of us, which one do we take?
If the mind “chooses,” it is for sure the “I” choosing. Many reasons. Weigh the “Pros.” At that point we say: “I choose.”
If the gut feeling is choosing for us, then there is no choice. That feeling is out of our control. It does not depend on our conditioning, our beliefs, our rehearsed moral standards. There is “no- I” in that.
Have you heard the Taoist phrase, “Doing nothing doing, to get things done”? It is about a choice-less decision/action. Actually, there is no decision, no thought, no mind.
To learn to listen to our gut feeling implies to step aside from our conditioning. Honesty resides in learning to listen to our gut feeling.
“So what is the “science” behind listening to our gut feeling?”
This is not science. This is Life. To go according to our feelings will make us “feel good.” Do we need any further explanation? Do we need any other reasoning?
To feel is fulfilling in itself.
“But what about if we get a “bad” experience?”
Life is not linear. There is something to learn, ups and downs. Something is needed to be experienced before there is change. To learn to listen to our gut feeling is probably the most important “skill” that we can have in Life.
Because that is our connection with Life. That is what we are meant to DO for Life, for us. It is egoless. That is our mission. Life manifests an action, an activity through us.
If we cannot connect to our “gut feeling,” because we are not sure what it is , then start with the mind. We need to recognize when the mind kicks in, how it interferes with our daily affairs and how we believe that “I am the dictates of the mind.”
That is the only “spiritual practice” that Ahnanda could endorse.
To learn about your own mind by observing it, should be the most precious “spiritual class” that we could ever take, under the setting of the “spiritual retreat” of your own sacred time and space.
Recognize when you are hungry and when the mind tells you that you should eat. Recognize when the mind cuts your enjoyment of looking at a flower, just to throw a thought about your day at the office. Recognize when the “little voice” speaks and how readily we identify with that voice as “Me.”
Observe that as long as we are used to only listen to our mind, we cannot have “choice,” for all there is in the mind… is timeless conditioning, beliefs, taboos, hangups, ideals, learned morality…
“If the “choice” of my mind is not really “my” choice for there is conditioning and the choice of “my gut feeling” is not “my” choice, then where is “my” choice?”
🙂 Nowhere. This ain’t sugarcoat.
How do u know while taking a decision whether it is a gut feeling (heart) or your mind speaking (conditioning)?
Thank you for your question. It is a question that probably most will want to “know.”
First, if you take a “decision,” that is your mind without a doubt. The gut feeling knows without choosing. It is immediate. If you wait around, the mind appears.
Be aware that because I am answering your question with words, you are going to try to understand my words by using your mind. Notice the trap.
The mind could make you believe that “you know” if you follow my words, and you will believe that this is a “gut feeling.”
By asking that honest question, you are demonstrating how hard it is to “Know thyself” when we are trapped in the mind.
The gut feeling is your internal wisdom. Your action when you listen to it, will be according to your role in Life, which means that you will feel fulfilled by acting on it, regardless of human opinions based on conditioning about favorable outcomes.
The gut feeling is not an emotion. It is not the mind. Both of them are conditioning.
First, we need to learn to observe our inner world. Notice when a stranger comes by you, there is the conditioning, which immediately jumps in “ He is ugly.” “What the heck does he want?” If you are not aware, present to observe this, you will not notice how your feelings get colored by those statements from the mind. To go deeper into your reaction, your conditioning, is to liberate yourself from that trigger.
To learn to observe, you need to be in a “neutral state,” as when a car is in “neutral,” it goes where momentum will take it.
Similarly is with your state of being, in that state you can observe. Free of judgment, free of opinion, free of past learnings. By becoming aware of our own breathing, focused on it but in a neutral state, we could learn to observe how the mind jumps in during every interaction with others. This is critical.
Notice that when you willfully stop breathing, the mind stops as well. To be aware of that state, means to know no-mind, the neutral state.
I could only give you my experience through words of recognizing the mind. I cannot give you “the answer,” or the “method.” That is for you to discover.
Once you are familiar with how the mind jumps in, then you will not identify with it, you will know that it is not “you,” but all the conditioning from many past experiences; that is what most believe to be “I.”
This AWARENESS is to know something useful.
If you have not been aware of a gut feeling, my description may be worthless to you. You may feel a sensation in your gut (it could be energy or some feeling) If you are not aware of it, the mind will overwrite that sensation with an “educated choice,” a conditioned statement.
It takes inner observation, which is not a “practice,” but being conscious, awake to our inner world.
I am aware that I may not be answering your question with a “cut and dry” recognition of the mind vs. the gut feeling; but you are asking me “how to breath,” even though you are breathing… I could tell you “inhale air with your nostrils” and that is misleading for breathing happens without the “I” doing anything. If the “I” does it, that is not breathing but just an exercise on breathing. If you become AWARE of breathing, then you will know without any doubts.
Through my answer, you may have discovered the shortcomings of words and teachings, and hopefully you will be AWARE of what is going on in you. That is where the “true” answer resides, our journey is to uncover it. 🙂
When the box of Pandora was opened out of curiosity, all evils spread out around the world. Pandora closed the box and only one “evil” remained: Hope.
In “Spirituality 101,” the word “hope” is used as some sort of virtue.
“I have hope in the world.” “Let us hope for the best,” etc. All catchy phrases, dreamy states of consciousness…
“To be positive is to be hopeful.” Another pretty phrase without much meaning.
Observe how hope arises as a desire for a particular outcome, an expectation. That outcome is what we believe to be convenient for us or for someone.
Once a seeker “grows up,” to be hopeful of a particular outcome is to live in a wishful tense, the future.
That wish or hope is not consistent with “what is” now. It is just a mind trick.
It is through that hope how we could create a dormant state of consciousness.
Many times the hope of some future event will even stop our need to experience in Life. Something will present to us, it is there; but we will not take it “now,” for there is “hope” in the future that something else, “better” will come up.
This hope is a mental distress, a mental issue.
Let us not confuse hope with a “gut feeling.”
Yes, I could postpone something, but it is not out of hope for something “better,” but it is a “gut feeling” which is advising me not to do/take something now. That is it. There is no information as if something “better” will happen at another time. No expectation.
Once we realize that all of those pretty words called “virtues” are merely concepts, then we will not be concerned on definitions for “spiritual” keywords.
A tiger is strong. The word “strong” is qualifying the tiger. The word “strong,” is a way of comparison. The tiger is strong compared to a squirrel, but not to a Blue Whale.
Without the word “strong” the tiger “is.”
Of course, when speaking we need to say something about the tiger, so we add a word, we believe it, we assume it, and we keep that mental association of “strong,” with the word tiger.
In reality, a tiger is neither strong nor weak.
In reality, there is no room for hope, but for “what is.”