The spirituality of “practices”
To be able to understand the way a person operates within the context of society, we will need utmost awareness. That cannot be taught through “best sellers.” Awareness is not “marketable.” We cannot take “master classes” in that. Although, most self-help books, clearly spell out this word “awareness” as another key word to throw in inside a “spiritual” coffee conversation. However, the word is not the thing.
Awareness comes when we are able to “detach” from “what is.”
“what is” differs from person to person. It is what we mostly focus on. It is subjective.
For example: “Can I look at the sunset with all my heart and walk away from it with the same empty heart? Empty: A completely innocent heart.”
Most when reading those lines will “practice” those words. “Now, I am looking at the sunset with all my heart… How beautiful! Isn’t that glorious? Marvelous! .. then a few minutes later. Now… I am walking away without a memory of it. Empty. I will not even take a picture. I will forget it.” On the way home, the thought “so that is what innocence is all about. I felt innocent. Wonderful. Now I need to keep practicing that.”
That “innocent” practice is not what innocence is. That is a rehearsed action, which lacks creativity. It is the outcome of a mind taught to follow and taught only to believe in what it reads or hears. Moreover, that mind has been taught to daydream as to ingest a “feel good pill,” a placebo cemented with the belief that to follow to the dot, means to “do it right.”
Observe that in “spirituality” to follow means to miss the point.
Words cannot be taken literally. This is not a course of computer science or technology. There are no certifications for awareness.
When I am AWARE of Life, right now… and there are no thoughts of any kind in a natural way (that is without practice) then, I can FEEL. That may be “all my heart.” From there, I must find out for myself how the mind returns and takes over with memories and the meaning of it. That finding out is inner AWARENESS.
If I spell everything out, like the quote above or like any “best seller” would do, practice of what I said will be unavoidable for a reader who has been conditioned to follow. He may like what I said, so he follows to the dot. He may not like what I say, so he rejects it to the dot. That is the same exact movement although in different, “opposite” directions; but liking or not, is not the same as finding out. That requires awareness.
In short, “practice” as following directions, recipes, steps, techniques in “spiritual” endeavors; will make us dull, insensitive. For that is mind.
“Practice” as the ability to meet with newness “what is” without a script or a recipe; requires utmost intelligence and sensibility.
It requires the ability to be flexible and change as Life IS.
When I see the sunset. Am I seeing it? When I no longer see it. Am I still seeing it?
That could be as much as it could be written for those AWARE, but for those who are not, a detailed explanation will be needed which brings “practice” of something which cannot be practiced.
Do we see that?
Question: Awareness and Self-Consciousness
“I am afraid that I don’t become self conscious in the name of awareness as I find being self-conscious actually limiting. I think we need to become one with our feeling not separate right ?! Can u please point out a clear difference between the two ( awareness and self consciousness ) ?”
Thank you for your question.
Observe that you have 2 words which are confusing your mind. You asked me to “point out a clear difference” between those 2 words.
When we are dealing with the world of the mind, we use analysis, we compare two “different” things to find its similarities and differences, then we think we “know.” All of that is what we have been taught in the “office world.” Just to keep the mind with information. In Life, things are not necessarily about using the mind and information.
So, in light of those “office world” teachings; let us take a look at the dictionary:
Self-Conscious: Feeling undue awareness of oneself, one’s appearance, or one’s actions.
Awareness: Knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.
The mind searches for a difference between those 2 words. Ah!! One is about the “I,” oneself; the other word is about perceiving everything with or without the “I.” Great answer!
Now, that you “know,” you may start “practicing” the definition of one word and not the other. That is what most people call “spirituality.”
That practice will take you to an ideal created by your mind through the interpretation of words.
Thus, your practice is about agreeing with your mind. There is no change in consciousness with that. To think that you are “better” because you practice what your mind believes to be “right,” is not “what is,” but merely an idea.
Once we get out of the mind, we see things in a different light.
A word is not to be taken literally, for it can only be a pointer of something that cannot be exactly described. What matters is your experience of that word, knowing that everyone may have a different experience of that word AND that your experience could change.
When Ahnanda uses the word AWARENESS, it is not the dictionary word. It is what you already KNOW as awareness through your own experience. In my words I could add some bits that you were not AWARE of; but as you experience them, then those will become part of your AWARENESS.
Please do not analyze words. Just recognize them in yourself, if they are familiar with you. Be aware that we use words just to try to describe our experience the best we can, but that is not enough.
You said:”I think we need to become one with our feeling not separate right?!”
Feel “what is.” Forget the ideals. Once you know/aware of “what is,” without beliefs, mental judgments, inhibitions and emotional difficulties…it will change by itself. 🙂
Thus, the important aspect is the dissolution of beliefs, judgments, inhibitions, taboos and emotional difficulties to be open, healthy, innocent again…
While we are taught to accomplish important things, to always DO things, to make a name for ourselves, to leave a legacy behind ourselves, to improve, to become better, holier, godly, etc. Our mind remains busy in the future, in a task believed to shape us up, to take us there, to fit the ideal, the promise…
The idea behind that perception is that we are imperfect, we need to make that change…Thus, religions and moralists are there to “help us,” for they know exactly where to go, where to lead us; after all… they have the “right” answers.
Somehow those “answers” have not taken a man into BEING a genuine human being, but into the “sinner “ mentality: Full of fear, guilt and shame.
Those 3 types of energies are blocking us from living in fulfillment. Those 3 types of energies are spread out in our society in one way or another.
My neighbor keeps yelling at his dog named “Lucky,” as “Bad dog.” Fortunately for “Lucky,” he doesn’t have a clue of what is “good” or “bad; ” otherwise the dog will develop fear, guilt and shame. Nevertheless, the “master” feels a sense of self-righteousness, a sense of knowing exactly what is moral and immoral, a sense of power over the dog. He is playing “God” with the dog.
However, the dog is truly intelligent. “Lucky” will play out the sinner role in front of the master: Tail under hind legs, with a look of repentance in the eyes… which will vanish a few seconds later.
“Lucky” has mastered the art of just holding that look long enough to make his master “happy.” Then “Lucky” will keep playing and acting as if nothing has happened. It is that untainted innocence the one that his master may never know about.
The dog is fulfilled in ignorance. A typical human being is not, even with knowledge.
It is a matter of innocense.
For instance, a child is pure. Not because he does not know lust, anger, greed, etc. A child is pure because of his innocence.
As a child grows up, then “teachings,” come into his experience. BEING is replaced by DOING.
A particular DOING is promoted by teachings, laws, moral standards, dogmas, beliefs, superstitions, etc.
That DOING supersedes BEING.
That “knowledge” takes away the innocence of the child. He becomes “impure.”
Shall we reject that “knowledge” then?
No. It is part of the growth of a child. Part of his experiences. Society cannot function without that particular “knowledge.”
The “I” is born fully through that “knowledge” and with that the separation with Life.
The feeling after that “change” may be as if we do not fit anymore there. We feel misunderstood.
That stage is part of experiencing the different flavors that Life could offer. It is not a traumatic experience, but a flavor.
A rebel may reject society. That rejection will need to dissolve in him, for any rejection does not bring growth but stagnation. We become complaisant, comfortable with our “knowledge.”
Knowledge cannot come from the outside. It will come through experiencing Life. Then, it is no longer knowledge but insight. It is that insight the one that could bring wisdom, fulfillment.
In Life, we go through the dichotomy of ignorance and knowledge just to find that insight above knowledge, that which cannot be written down as a law for “all” to practice, follow to become “good.”
It is not by separating but by opening that “I” how the emptiness of fulfillment arrives.
Fulfillment is like an empty room. Open for different possibilities of décor.
It is no longer the longing for a particular piece of furniture “there,” but the appreciation of “what is.”
Until January 4th 2016! 🙂