Tagged: meditation

@ Peace

To be at Peace is to let go of self without trying to “do it.”

When we truly feel that there is nothing to achieve, nothing to prove, nothing to work for or work on, nothing to do for a particular reason such as to “improve” something or to “gain something,” at that moment, we could say that we are complete, and because of that completeness, we could observe, participate in the Totality without actively trying to “change the world,” “change myself,” or “change others.”

At that moment, we are nothing. Whatever is outside is also inside. We are One with that Totality by being nothing; thus we are everything.

For the “office world” and societies pampering the “I,” the above is the description of a loser; “you are a nobody” is the common label or insult. For a mind full of duality, there is a “winner” and a “loser,” a “somebody,” and a “nobody.”

“You must do something, achieve something, show others who you are.” That is the conditioning.

Even if we don’t accomplish stuff here on Earth, we could shift the pressure to the “afterlife.”
“You must do something to earn heaven, paradise, God, etc.”

Being a complete “nobody,” is meaningful to know Peace.
This is not the “peace” gained through a moment of meditation or through a spiritual “experience.” This is an on-going natural state.

We cannot experience natural Peace unless the need to become “someone” or achieve “something” is set aside, as a natural consequence of “having been there, done that.”
This does not come by telling a follower to “abandon all pursues and goals in Life, to have disinterest of worldly things for these are distractions.” Neither is the onset of laziness or depression or fear to act.

Peace comes as a personal realization through the assimilation of Life experiences and not as a hand me down “knowledge,” or as a rebellious reaction.

Peace is not an objective of the “I” such as “becoming one” with God, Life or whoever. That state does not happen by wishing to obtain it or by “working on it.”

Peace is not the absence of war. That is called truce; and truce happens when the ‘natural’ state is to fight, to wage war.

Peace is a state of fullness, completeness and enjoyment in no-action.
“No-Action” does not mean that there is no energy to act, but it is the activity in the absence of that “I.”

We could sleep, eat and rest in the enjoyment of it, rather than by being compelled to do something because it is supposed to be “good” for us.

In Peace there is acceptance and nurturing of our body and our presence. Appreciation of our own presence.

Naturally in that state, the mind does not have anything to think about, no place to go or something important to “achieve.”
It is a state of contentment, where the heart is able to feel and observe with appreciation and gratefulness.

Inhale love. Exhale gratefulness. That could be the mantra.

Being at peace comes through the dissolution of the “I.” It comes through the departure of fear in our being and thus, the departure of the busy and chatty mind.

“What do I have to do to get Peace? I want some of that too!”

If that is “your” desire, it cannot happen.
The first paragraph of the article may have the answer.

Peace is to be alive in awareness of Being that which we are looking for.
Once we find peace, we will find love…

Question: Slowing down the thoughts of the mind

“…When you speak of the pacifier that stops the mind’s crying are you speaking of the distractions we give ourselves?
I’m finding my mind too chatty as of late. Is meditation the way to slow that down or is simple awareness of it, all that’s necessary?
My heart says I need space, alone time….would lack of that need get ones mind whirling? At any rate today Im creating and protecting some space for whoever it is in me that needs it.”

Thank you for your question for the common good.
The “pacifier of the mind” is anything that will take the place of the previous object.
For example, the “normal” advice when someone ends a relationship is to replace that one, with another relationship. That is the pacifier.
Typically, the pacifier is used to stop the crying of the mind. To do that is not “bad,” for it accomplishes the task of stopping the baby from crying. It is the “normal” method.
However; crying will be there, every time Life takes away one of our precious “toys.”
For the one who is concerned about inner knowledge, to replace one toy with another is not the answer, but to find out why there is continuous crying of the mind. That takes observation, awareness of the self.

Through awareness, we could observe that there is “conscious awareness,” the ability to observe, to feel, to explore… That is consciousness.
Also there is thought, the script, words, the plot which changes in our favor or against us depending on our mood, our insecurities. All of that drama occurs in what we refer to as the “mind.”

The mind is chatty, judgmental, it makes assumptions based on fractions of facts.
A “normal” typical person will connect their consciousness to that mind first. Thus, the mind will set the tone for the feelings of the heart.
That person cannot know what love is, for the mind has a big filter.

The “I” and the mind are highly related.
To find that our mind is chatty, is a great finding indeed; nevertheless unless our feelings call for the need to “stop and take the time to smell the roses,” then that finding will be just theory without practical use.

When we feel the need to take it easy, relax, unwind, etc. it is at that time, when the mind will be observed as “slowing down.”
That is the clue for more findings.
Eating does not taste the same when we are in a hurry, when the mind is clogged up with thoughts. Any pleasurable activity that we may engage in, cannot be fully enjoyed if the mind is racing to nowhere. Without full enjoyment, any activity will lose its appeal.
We cannot enjoy the “now” for the mind is always in the future or the past.

What is meditation?
For most, a time to do nothing, to close your eyes or open them and repeat a mantra. Even though the mind is still moving swiftly along from cloud 9 into 11!
For others, Life itself is meditation.

Have you ever experienced an intense emotional bout? There you are…lying down, the mind is tired, maybe after intense crying and then, after that release…there is quietness, peace… the “calm after the storm.”
That is the natural way for the self to experience peace, although because we are “mind” conscious; we call that “peace of mind.”

I’d say listen to what your heart is saying: “My heart says I need space, alone time…”
Be there, all alone. No where to go. Paraphrasing what the sage once said: “Alone you will find self and self-realization.”

You could find those hours alone by yourself at a particular time, but then count on finding those hours alone while being with others.
You could find that time alone in Nature, while hearing the sounds of water by the shore, rocks, or even the rain drops. Sounds are extremely important in the physical realm. The rhythms of Nature will bring that natural “slowness” to the mind and so; the sounds of tibetan singing bowls, or the ones of birds chirping at dawn, or the wind blowing through trees. That is sound therapy your mind will appreciate…only when ready.

There is no single answer on “how to slow the mind down.” It is not a “fit all” answer. However, I can assure you there is a process of finding out what works for ourselves, which cannot be delimited by the collective beliefs of our minds.

Your “feeling” may be an emotion

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Sit down. Relax. Unwind. Observe “your” thoughts.
Are “you” willfully thinking those thoughts?
No. They just appear.

The above could be called one of the greatest discoveries of self-realization. Anyone can do that. Anyone could take the time just to observe their “own” thoughts, but as long as we have a belief that there is a need for a “creator” for things to exist, we will not understand the above.

“I think therefore I exist.”
That will be our motto. The “I” is the “creator.”

We will say: “I am thinking. I am creating “my” thoughts” and then as I become more “spiritual,” I will be thinking that “I” need to change my thoughts.
“Change your thoughts to change your life,” will be our motto.

The above is “spirituality for the masses.”

Nothing wrong with that; but perhaps we find greater depth by finding the time to be alone and just observe “ourselves.”

A thought is a reflection of emotions, for most individuals.
A thought is a reflection of feelings for few individuals.

We hear, “You are peace, you are love, you are happiness.”
Those are feelings, which are not in the realm of the consciousness of the “I.”

In the consciousness of the “I” we have emotions.

Emotional individuals usually have an incredible amount of thoughts. They are “thinkers.”

Anxiety, apathy, obsessiveness, attachment, fear… those are typical emotions which most individuals are not aware that these exist in themselves. Some will label these as: Being concerned, being detached, being focused, etc. It is in that re-labeling how we miss the opportunity to be AWARE of these emotions, which are coloring “our” thoughts.

Ego is very emotive. An emotion will give someone a “high” and a “low.” Some label these as “positive” and “negative” emotions; however, observe that lost in that duality, we choose one (positive) over the other (negative,) when in fact; both are coming from the same place.
An emotion is dualistic, just like the ego.

An emotion will hold experiences in Life as “traumatic experiences,” if that experience was not enjoyed by the ego. That experience when is unable to be released, will be detrimental to the body /mind.

Inflammation of the body in different ways: Through the experience of heat, fever, tiredness or lack of energy or even through cancer is mostly an emotional trauma, which is not released, “healed.”
The “fight against cancer” is in fact, healing emotions. We could destroy the “bad cells” but our “unhealed” emotions will make that experience to happen again.

The “no-I,” the feeling is experienced when our thoughts are calm, when there is no anxiety or stress. That state is known as “meditation” for the masses.

It is in that tranquility how we could experience a “feeling” such as bliss and the name used for that will be “spiritual experience.”

A healthy human being is someone who “thinks” very little, that is the “I” does not need to appear all the time. The “little voice” talking to us, is not present as much. It is in that state when we are able to OBSERVE and feel.

Do we see the relationship?
More thoughts, less feelings.
More thoughts, greater ego, more emotions, less observation.
More emotions, less feelings.

If what you think or believe does not agree with what you feel, that means that your emotions are creating the reality of your thoughts.
Those emotions are the manifestation of your ego.

When we are able to feel without the “filtering” of emotions, there is no need to think, in other words; “my” thoughts will be the same as “my” feelings. When we operate in that way, we operate with honesty in Life.
Some may call that Harmony or Balance.

Love is not an emotion. “Love” as an emotion will be dualistic: Euphoria and depression will be experienced. Hate, attachment, dependency, neediness will be experienced.

Joy is a feeling.
When we enjoy Life, then we could know Love… but before Love, there is Peace.
When we find Peace, we find Love… and when we find love… we find Joy.

Here the Paradox:
“You are love,” they say.
Yes, “you” are, when “you” are not. 🙂

To live in the now requires utmost self honesty

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“Here they teach that much of existence amounts only to misery; that misery is caused by
desire; therefore, if desire is eliminated, then misery will be eliminated. Now, that is true
enough, as far as it goes. There is plenty of misery in the world, all right, but there is
ample pleasure, as well. If a person forswears pleasure in order to avoid misery, what has
he gained? A life with neither misery nor pleasure is an empty, neutral existence, and,
indeed, it is the nothingness of the void that is the lamas’ final objective. To actively seek
nothingness is worse than defeat; why, Kudra, it is surrender; craven, chickenhearted,
dishonorable surrender. Poor little babies are so afraid of pain that they spurn the myriad
sweet wonders of life so that they might protect themselves from hurt. How can you
respect that sort of weakness, how can you admire a human who consciously embraces
the bland, the mediocre, and the safe rather than risk the suffering that disappointments
can bring?”
From the book: “Jitterbug Perfume,” by Tom Robbins, page 75.

In my “Yoga book club,” we are reading that book.
Interesting book indeed.

Those words come from the main character of the book, “Alobar;” while speaking to his Indian partner, “Kudra.”

Below some of the “reasons” to be “spiritual” along those lines of “thinking.”
– Don’t want pain/suffering, then avoid pleasure.
– Pleasure takes you away from God. Pleasure takes you away from more important things in Life like going to heaven, becoming perfect, becoming an example for humanity.
– If you select pleasure, then suffering is unavoidable for duality is set in motion. Therefore, avoid pleasure, become stern, strict, stoic, a renunciate…and direct your energy to become an angel, to get to Nirvana, to get to the void, nothingness or Paradise, etc. Whatever it is, it is much “better” than this… 🙂

The above is a “teaching” without the understanding of Life. It is a mental ideal of “perfection,” of “becoming better.”
The above “teaching” is a misunderstood “teaching” practiced by a follower of a religion or philosophy.

A follower idealizes a “teaching,” based on his own beliefs of what is “good or bad.”
To have a goal, something to achieve, something to accomplish, is expected and taught in “spirituality.” That same “reasoning” learned in a human system (the office mentality) is moved into living Life and into “spirituality.”

In Life there is nothing which needs to be accomplished unless we believe so.
The void, the nothingness of the Lamas is not something to achieve…. if we try to achieve it, it is false, it is artificial, it is just an ideal, a belief.
What are we going to achieve? Obviously, our idea of illumination, void, nothingness, God, etc.
How are we going to achieve it? We believe, by following a method taught by someone.

The “reason” is that by following some method, we could achieve what “an illuminated” has “achieved.”

That is dishonesty behind our logical statements and reasoning. Once we “walk our talk” then we will know better. Not before. Before it is just about ideas, beliefs, inner lies, dishonesty.

A state of consciousness arrives as a consequence of the assimilation of previous experiences. There is no particular experience which is the “One” changing our state of consciousness but there is an experience that will be the catalyst, the trigger for the on-going manifestation. A song is not just the last note being played by a pianist but a succession of different notes. The last note only indicates the end of the song.

The Buddha experienced a “different” consciousness. His disciples including the Lamas, understood that state of consciousness as something desirable to achieve by giving up Life in the pursuit of a goal. The magic label is “renunciation.”

Whenever I share “consciousness changes all by itself,” that typically creates some deep frowning in some.
– “No… Meditation changes consciousness.”
Which meditation? Your style of meditation?
Can you decide the experiences that you will have in meditation or they just happen?
– “No. I cannot decide. Today I may have a great experience. Tomorrow I may not.”
How can you say that meditation changes consciousness then, if “you” do not have control over it? How can a method be created then for “everyone” to follow?
Why so many forms of meditation and so many different results?
– “Ahh.. it depends on the quality and quantity of your meditation…”
Which “you” have no control of…

Glorified beliefs.

“Poor little babies” as Alobar mentioned. It is not a matter of cherry picking experiences according to our beliefs. It is a matter of embracing, of being part of “what is.”
Life brings experiences. All experiences have a reason to be. The idea of forgetting about this world in pursuit of something else in the future, whether that is Paradise, Nirvana, Eternal Life or whatever glorified label may be, will not allow us to be truly honest.
Why?
Because we cannot live the “now,” we cannot be 100% in the “now” if the “future” is most important. Something to muse about.

What about goals? Aren’t those in the future?
Not necessarily.
Some may have as a goal in Life to be rich. Some others to be powerful. Yet, others to become an angel, to be one with God…
Mine?
To be honest with myself at every moment. At every “now,” while enjoying and appreciating the moment…

Bathtub meditation

bath

One of the best ways to become conscious and aware of “what is,” I have found while taking a warm bath.

Sitting there, relaxing to feel at ease and enjoying the experience is the first step.
Second step, turn down all lights. If possible everything should be pitch black.
Nothing to see.
At this point, a fear or darkness may arrive. That is OK. Just become aware of it.
Not moving in the warm water, means that there is nothing to hear, then, there is nothing to smell or taste. It is at that point of “shutting down” all senses, when there is consciousness and then our mind will reveal to ourselves.

Any thought the mind experiences at that point is a belief.

Without seeing our bodies, without having eyes to see; how do I look like?
My response is a belief. Then, I realize that what the eyes “see” is just a perception.

If I decide to touch my body and caress it, all sorts of beliefs will arrive: This part is “clean,” this one is “dirty,” this one is “sinful,” this one is not. My memories from what “I knew” have arrived.

All of that are just beliefs at that point.

There is nothing wrong with beliefs until we believe that our beliefs are the “truth;” at that point we become rigid to the changing experience of living life.

To select a possibility as the “truth,” means to live the world of possibilities through a dogma.

The World and life only reflect ourselves… our beliefs.

Everyone has their own experiences in life. That could be labeled as the “truth” of the moment. It may change later.

Observe that someone else may have a different experience.

The point of the “bathtub meditation” is to realize that we can only perceive according to our consciousness. Our beliefs will shape up that consciousness.

A religion or a science or a philosophy claiming the “truth,” is unaware that a perception is merely a way to look at life.

That perception denotes a state of consciousness.
There are no “right questions” nor “right answers.”
What we are able to understand does not mean “truth” but rather shows our state of consciousness.

For example: If sitting in that bathtub without senses, I ask myself “who am i?” then, I will know that it is the “wrong” question for without senses there is no way to know that I am separated from “what is.”

Thus, senses allow us to enjoy the experience of being an individual, however; senses are not the benchmark of “reality.”

To label our senses as “bad” or an “illusion” is to deny ourselves the experience, the flavor that they could offer. I may want to integrate the flavor of the senses into my consciousness rather than deny it.

If we become aware of our beliefs in life, we have created the openness necessary to accept someone else’s view without labeling it as ” childish,” “stupid,” “wrong,” etc.

It is at that point, when our consciousness expands.

Meditation as I see it today, is the opportunity to open my consciousness by becoming aware of my own beliefs which will narrow down my experience of life. A warm and relaxing bath may be the sacred, peaceful space to offer the greatest opportunity for that. 🙂

Paradox: All paths will lead to our destiny

zteaching

Living life is about experiencing life to gain valuable insight, thus any path that someone takes to search for answers about their own life will eventually lead that person to realize the self. It all goes back to the self, but that needs to be realized and not conceptualized.

It all depends on our state of consciousness. That consciousness is not modified by “following teachings,” but by gaining insight.

In this way, there is no repression in the self.
We could do something out of compulsion. That is not honest. We could behave in ways that we truly do not feel.

Heckle and Jeckle went to a “spiritual/meditation” class.
Jeckle wanted to help himself to gain “peace of mind” as he was going through “problems” in life. Jeckle started his search for meaning at that point. Before that “problem,” Jeckle had no desire to listen to anything “spiritual” as that was “boring stuff” for him. 🙂

Heckle on the other hand, was very experienced. He had experienced different religious groups, spiritual groups, self-help groups, new age groups, metaphysical groups, psychic groups, etc. Read many things, realized others and so on. In every experience Heckle gained valuable insight to continue in his personal path.

Jeckle was listening attentively to the teacher in that “spiritual” class. The teacher was wearing a particular robe which gave him an air of importance.

The teacher spoke about the mind in that class.

“What is the mind? What is its origin? What is its function?” He went on to explain his beliefs as if they were “facts.” Those beliefs were backed up by a book that he was reading to the audience. The book was written by his masters.
“The mind leaves the body. So if you are sleeping and then you think about India and then you die during your sleep… Guess where you are going to live in your next life?”
The teacher went on: “ Life is not just this experience that we have here, but there will be plenty of other lives in the future and the time to be engaged in making those future lives happy, is now; through pure spiritual practices. All problems are just thoughts created by the mind. A feeling of love for someone is just another thought.”

The teacher finished his class with a meditation in which he repeated the same concepts for the audience to repeat in their minds and thus, “realize” those concepts for “themselves.” 🙂

Heckle observed that what this teacher called the “mind,” that was called the “soul” in other religious views. He also realized that this teacher was giving importance to the future rather than the “now” and that this teacher wasn’t aware of feelings but only about emotions.
Finally, Heckle concluded that the teacher’s set of beliefs and concepts were not useful for him.

What is the purpose of having a concept about the mind or to play with concepts or beliefs about its origin and function, if Heckle had an experience of it…of what this “thing” is without further labels?

That first hand experience is what is useful to realize the self as an experience, not to have a concept about it or theoretical knowledge.

Heckle was waiting anxiously for the teacher to end his talk, to ask questions and to debunk that “teacher” who was talking “useless stuff” from his viewpoint.
After all Heckle was in favor of the “truth” and not in beliefs and stories based on “hand-me down” teachings. 🙂

When the teacher finished his talk, he asked everyone to speak with their seating neighbor about their own realizations in the class.

Heckle heard Jeckle’s viewpoint first.
Jeckle said: “Wasn’t that a great explanation about the mind? I never thought that the mind was so important. I ought to watch my mind from now on…”

When Heckle heard that from his friend; Heckle did not have the courage to debunk the teacher.

Heckle learned through that experience that life teaches everyone in different ways. From that moment, Heckle learned the importance to respect everyone’s path.

When we hear about “Tolerance” of faiths, that is just a concept. We could learn to tolerate someone who thinks and feel different from us, without ever listening to what that person is conveying.

That is “conceptual tolerance” that stuff we can learn from a nice book or a “teacher.”

However, when we experience the need to respect someone’s path in his search for meaning in life, then at that moment; tolerance becomes an unnecessary word. 🙂

Jeckle learned about his mind.
Heckle learned from that teacher something about himself which was very important in his self-realization.
Thus, everyone learned something new.

Jeckle is just beginning his journey for meaning in life. Jeckle is acquiring information to feed his mind with “new things” to think about.
Heckle has already gone through that and now Heckle is learning to free himself from that information and letting life itself be the teacher. Heckle is learning to trust and not to think too much.

Different paths. All going to the same place but with different timings.

The flowers in a garden will blossom at different times. The gardener’s job is to respect their personal timing.

A deeper look into Detachment

truthyoubelieve

When Rose learned about “detachment” in her yoga meditation class; it was the first time that she heard that word.
The explanation her teacher gave, was something like this:
“Detachment is good. Attachment is bad. You don’t want to be involved with someone else’s karma.”

The above explanation sounded convincing. It made sense! Rose wanted to put in “practice” detachment. That is when problems started for Rose….

The first ones to know about that new “detachment” business were her family members. 🙂

Rose’s mother couldn’t believe how cold Rose had become. It was as she didn’t care for the well-being of everyone else. If Rose’s younger brother fought with her younger sister; Rose just stood there, watched the fight briefly and left as if nothing was happening. When Rose’s mom asked about that behavior; Rose said: “It is not my karma. I don’t want to be involved.”

Whenever Rose tried hard to implement that “detachment” in her life, the general perception was that she was out of her mind.

Detachment is a misunderstood word in our society.
Attachment is the word used by most to acknowledge care, concern even love. Obviously when Rose wanted to implement something foreign in her life and cultural setting, such as “detachment,” which she was recently aware of, that setting was the preface for disaster in her life.

That is how it became known that: “Those who teach about detachment are aloof birds of a very cold nest.” The stereotype for the masses to believe and follow was set.

“Detachment understood as a dictionary word to implement in our lives, is a complete failure. Detachment as an experience in our lives means joy.” How about this phrase for the quote of the day? 🙂

No one can teach detachment to a human being whose experience and consciousness is ingrained in being attached. As a matter of fact, detachment cannot be taught.

No one can “work on” being detached. It is an illusion to “make effort” to be detached.

Detachment does not come as an intellectual idea.
To say “You have to be detached” is meaningless. As a matter of fact, it is even rude when the intention is to “correct” someone.

We could BE detached, but we cannot DO detachment. Most are only willing to DO detachment, to act in certain ways which their minds believe to be detachment.

To truly experience detachment, an individual needs to experience emptiness, silence of the mind. That experience will automatically bring that individual into that detachment which is non hurtful to others. It is in that experience of emptiness, where “your” detachment will be “their” benefit.

Detachment brings easiness in behavior. It brings a smile in the face. It brings acceptance. It is like being an open door to life, where things come and go without being entangled by them. That detachment is not concerned in intellectual understanding of “theoretical karma,” for that detachment is not fabricated by a repressed mind, who closes itself for fear of being affected by “others.”