The master said to his disciple: “There are 3 fundamental aspects in learning about the self while you are at the stage of going beyond the mind. First, is the observation of the mind through constant awareness of the content. You may notice there is day dreaming. That content is not in the present, but something in the past or future. Emotions will be influenced by content. It is like watching a movie continuously in your mind. For instance, you remember a sad story which happened in the past. The mind plays that movie. That story is not real anymore. The personality experiencing that scene is no longer here. Everything has changed. Feeling sadness in the present is fuel for more movie time; supporting repetition of that mechanism. Second, is identification with those thoughts. Unaware individuals will take a side and defend a particular view given by their own conditioning or experience. These individuals totally identify with their minds. There are other individuals who analyze apparent facts and assume the truth, but those are usually partial conclusions. The third aspect, is to be aware on how that content, identification and conclusions creates ego, that is a personality which separates from the actual movie of Life, without ever becoming aware of their inter-dependency. ”
The disciple listened attentively and then said: “Master could you explain with an example?” The master replied: “John speaks with Jane. John had an agitated day by dealing with individuals who would not acknowledge his ideas without putting up a verbal fight. When John spoke with Jane, he had the same fighter attitude and tone, he was still disturbed with memories. Jane concluded that John did not like her. Jane resented John and did not want to speak with him. John had a movie in his head playing. He was unable to disengage as another experience in the now arrived. Jane had a conclusion by analysis of the perceived facts. If there is a fight between them, both will defend their own positions; solidifying their egos and separation. Made up reasons to demonstrate how ‘I am right’ will affect that relationship.”
The disciple replied: “Master, but how do I disengage from that movie in my head? How not to make conclusions when it seems obvious?” The master stayed in silence for a few seconds and said: “Become aware of the movie playing in your head. Observe that any conclusion will close the possibility to perceive further realities. Allow room for unexpected things to be. With a conclusion you will act in a predetermined way. You may regret that. Many individuals entertain their minds through movies at this time. A movie will take them to a fantasy world. They may feel a rush inside, their emotions make them feel alive out of the boredom of repetition of every day life. However, they do not observe the movie playing in their own heads constantly.”
The disciple realized about his own day dreaming and content mixed with inner chattering and asked:”But without a movie, what should be there instead?”
The master said: “Nothing. The mind does not need to play a movie while you are driving or cooking or eating or bathing. That will happen as you become conscious of the mind playing an artificial movie in your head. Feel the real movie of Life instead, place your awareness into the activities of the present instead. While doing things in Life, do as you wish but be AWARE of it!”
The disciple asked: “Master since you said that you will not change my beliefs, how those will change in me?”
The master couldn’t help but laugh and then said: “ Is that “me” something fixed in time? Remember when you were a kid? Sure you do. However, is there anything there which has remained unchanged in you? ”
The master waited for the response of his disciple.
“Well,” said the disciple: “My name is the same. Everything else has changed including my beliefs and life outlook.”
The master said: “What you just said required awareness. Most believe that there is an unchanging “I” or “me.” Their memories make up their lives which are in the past and never “now.” Yes, your name is the same and that is why, when you become a new person centered in your heart rather than the mind; you will have a new spiritual name which you will use instead.”
Then the master continued: “ Look, there wasn’t a time when you were the same. Change is unavoidable but when your life is anchored in the mind, only the past matters and that creates illusions of a future, but in truth; in that future you will not be.”
The disciple looked at his master with a lost gaze and said: “You mean that Life itself will change my beliefs?”
The master said: “ The most important practice for you is to observe your mind, your thoughts and everything that comes out of that. Be quiet for a moment and do as told.” After sometime in silence, the master interrupted and said: “What did you observe?”
The disciple was hesitant to answer but after getting some courage said: “ It is insane, but I observed that my thoughts merely appear in my mind. I did not willingly fabricated them.” The master said: “That is a fantastic observation. That for sure will change some of your beliefs. Now, let me add this: Can you think without language? Don’t answer me yet. Try it.”
After a few minutes, the disciple said: “ Master, I am afraid I cannot. I need some sort of language in my head to relate things and come up with something, it is like an internal voice without sound.” The master then said: “Now you have discovered the influence of language in your mind. Most see the world only as their language allows them, that is conditioning. For instance, there are languages without the use of gender for nouns, while other languages give a gender to every object. That creates the idea that there are feminine things and masculine things. A separatist mind. Now, observe without language in your mind.”
After a few minutes the disciple said: “It is a weird state of attentiveness which I cannot hold for too long.” The master then smiled and replied: “ Some may call that state no-mind. Others, may call that a silent mind, and yet others may call that a peaceful mind. Do not get caught up with labels, for that is mind. Go deeper in that experience.”
Then the master said something apparently unrelated: “Many try to solve problems in the world through that separatist mind. There is always a division:Rich and poor, black and white, national and foreigner, my neighborhood and out of town, etc. The mind only divides, separates. That non-inclusive, egotistical mind cannot see the whole, the common good no matter what system it uses to try to solve problems. Conditioned humans are not aware that the root cause of human suffering is not their economy, political system, or distinct beliefs but their identification with their own unchecked, egotistical ever divisive mind.“
The master said to his disciple: “Humans are conditioned to see the world through the lenses of the mind. Once you learn to open your heart to relate with Life, you will have a different lenses and a different perception.”
The disciple wasn’t sure if he had the experience of the heart center or the mind, so he asked the master. “Master, how do I know if I am looking through the mind or the heart?”
As they were sitting in a place in Nature, a flock of birds passed by. The master exclaimed: “Look at the sky now. Do you see that?”
The disciple looked for a few seconds watching the birds pass by and said : “I see 12 birds flying by.”
The master said: “The mind is only interested in numbers and labels. Did you see the flying formation, the particular shape of it? Did you enjoy the moment? Those are traits of the heart. Most humans want to feel happiness and joy through the mind. They believe that there is such a thing as a “loving thought.” That is not possible. However, the mind knows about the pursue of pleasure which is not joy or happiness.”
The disciple said: “ Numbers will give an accurate description of what is there.”
The master said: “That may get you a job, but not a sense of fulfillment. Look. Fulfillment is the language of the heart. When we feel Life, there is that sense of fulfillment. In society, we have created “middlemen.” That is something in between which we think is the real. A job is a “middleman.” You obtain the job and then you THINK that you are fulfilled, for the conditioning is there to push you into that direction. With the mind we create a world of measurement: We measure seconds in a competition, dollars in wealth, ejaculations in sex and declare winners and losers through comparison, through statistics. To be identified with the label “winner” gives a person a conditioned boost of elation which he then relentless pursues as a measure of success for he believes that to be happiness, but it is only pleasure which cannot be satisfied. That is the trademark of the mind.”
The disciple replied: “The mind strives for fulfillment in something which cannot give that.”
The master smiled and said: “It is the game of the mule trying to get the hanging carrot.”
The mind creates the carrot, society the different types and colors of sticks to hold the carrot and the mule…. Remains a mule.
The Master was explaining to his disciple about the journey of self-realization.
Master: “The journey starts with the observation of your mind. Observe the difference between you and your mind.”
Disciple: “what is to observe the mind?”
Evidently, the disciple wasn’t aware of the difference between him and his mind.
Master: “ Sit comfortably. Breathe in and out slowly, while looking at the wall in front of you. All that exists for you is the wall in front.”
Disciple: “ What is the purpose of that exercise?”
The Master ignored the question. The disciple practiced the exercises for a while.
Master: “ Tell me. What was the purpose of the exercise?”
Disciple: “ Well, I don’t know. My mind was trying to escape from looking at the wall. I was thinking of many things while I kept reminding me- ‘Look at the wall.’ My mind was getting tired.”
Master: “Was your mind reminding your mind to look at the wall?”
Disciple: “I don’t know.”
Master: “When you know, you will find out what is observation of the mind. The observer and that which is observed. Then, those 2 can become one.”
To separate means to acknowledge their singular value to then appreciate the wholesomeness of their union.
Just like the word “energy,” when the word “feeling” is mentioned, that word can mean many things.
We feel pain. We feel love. We feel the breeze of the air. We feel anxiety. We feel cold. We feel fulfilled. All those “feelings” do not have anything in common. Some are related with physical senses, others with the mind and yet others are mostly subjective, according to personal experience such is the case with love or peace.
What do we mean when we say that we could relate with Life through feelings and not the mind?
That is a hard question to answer for it depends on our experience and observation of the mind. Most humans at this time, are completely plugged in with their minds, completely identified with it as “I,” thus Life will be only experienced through their mind.
Therefore, someone who only “knows” and experiences Life through ideals, definitions, explanations and concepts, is not able to feel in Life, for feeling is not of the mind.
Some have made a separation between the mind and the “heart,” identifying the heart as the center of feelings. However, this has brought further misunderstanding, as many think the heart is a romantic place left for artists, which is disconnected from ‘reality.’
There is the feeling of emotions which is the typical center of perception of artists, and there is the feeling of sentiments, which are not part of duality. In short, an emotion is duality a sentiment is not.
When we look at the innocent face of a baby or when we reconnect with someone who we haven’t seen for a long time, there is an unrehearsed “feeling” which will feed us, that is we will feel “good” and wholesome for a moment until the mind appears with thoughts and inner chatter. That sensation which is unexpected, legitimately unrehearsed could be a description of a feeling.
Why is it so important to feel? Because fulfillment in Life is through feeling. The mind is not capable of being fulfilled. Humans are looking for fulfillment in Life. That is the basic premise of living.
Our actions, our responses are utterly conditioned. “Hi! How u doing? Good? Great! Good to see ya!” For most that common interaction is completely coming from the mind. Typically, we do not mean what we say but it is a rehearsed, accepted, socially correct and desired behavior.
Feeling through sentiments brings calmness, well being in connecting with another and Life.
We may need to be aware of this to reduce the influence of the mind, for otherwise; we may live a completely unfulfilled life. Although we may have accomplished many things in society, our minds will not allow us to sense fulfillment. The mind is driven to go for more. To accomplish the ultimate experience, believing that once we arrive there, then we will be happy. But that time never arrives, and that is a blessing for an overworked mind, for otherwise a mental breakdown may appear. “I arrived but it is not as I thought. I wasted my Life. I ‘feel’ empty handed.”
Another name for “feeling” could be “No-mind.” When there is an experience of no-mind, the “problems” created by our minds are not. Thus, we can observe with freshness and without the filter, or veil of worries and unfulfilled wishes. Through no-mind, the fulfillment of the moment (now) has satisfaction, while our anxiety for “solutions” in the mind world remains. Observing that contrast will show us our path.
Reasoning kills our feelings. Have we observed that?
There is a significant amount of information dealing on how to control thoughts, negative thoughts, destructive thoughts, etc. It is conspicuous, that most individuals are dealing in one way or another with mental issues.
There was one talk I heard on “Youtube” promising to stop negative thoughts by using a simple “technique,” a “method of self-inquiry” easy to remember.
These talks or books on controlling the mind have “methods,” “techniques,” which are mind constructs. In simple words: Stop your mind by using your mind. It is the battle of dividing the mind into two sides, the “good” controlling mind over the “bad” misbehaving one. Is that fictitious division possible? Only in our minds.
Perhaps many individuals are interested in “easy methods” to stop even for a little while their abusive minds. Yes, we can force ourselves to “remember” something such as a mantra, a phrase, even “God,” and experience that our rush of thoughts, have diminished or stopped. However, such person still has mental issues, those are still unchanged. The mind represented by the “I” is being forced to comply to what it has established itself to be “good,” desirable.
I find the same “methodology,” when men are looking to “improve” their sex performance (last longer.) They may find information in the Taoist tradition or in Tantra; but many are not interested in exploring the extent of those traditions; they just want the “method,” the “technique” for sex right away. That is another characteristic of an ill mind: Forget the process and cut to the bone, for “I” want results now; whereas Life works through gradual natural changes.
Nevertheless, the “I” has found a problem and wants the “solution” now. This practice of forcing an outcome in ourselves without looking at the big picture, is detrimental to our well being.
What is the “big picture”? The mind and sexuality are not isolated manifestations in a human being, there is interrelation. Those changes happen according to the level of consciousness of an individual, what he IS. Those are mere consequences of BEING something thanks to psychological traumas, repressions and violence as such; any self-study, any self-observation and acknowledgement of the whole human experience will bring change.
Otherwise; individuals may find a temporary solution but that is a bandage in a deep wound. Can a disturbed mind find a solution by using that same mind? No.
How not to use the mind then? That question may change our approach. Let us meet Awareness. There is not much that I can say about it, or to define it, but we could try a brief description.
When we become conscious on how our mind moves, what triggers it and how the mind relates with emotions and feelings. Those are “steps” in awareness.
Most do not want to bother with this self-study, but rather want for someone to give them the “answer,” the “technique,” the “method” and follow it, hoping to “solve” the particular issue. At least, that is the theory.
The mind is not an object to be defined. There is nothing concrete about the mind other than the fact that we experience it on a daily basis. I could read a self-help book on how someone dealt with his ill mind, but there are many blanks in that explanation that we will need to discover ourselves. Self-awareness, observation are the main “tools” for that. There are no shortcuts when dealing with our inner world.
If we are not aware, we will totally identify with the contents of the mind, going from “my” mind to finally completely identifying with it, and saying: “I.” It is that small step in identification, the one offering more problems to us.
In my own experience, the best setting to start our own mind observation is Nature. We may need the supporting environment and sensory upliftment brought by Nature. Outside the world of “progress and madness,” we could take our minds away from its dull, repetitive environment and that newness will allow us to sense better what is going on.
Emotions are expressed in our bodies but the mind triggers the recognition; thus emotions are strongly related with the mind. However, feelings are pretty distinct. Take the feeling of joy or peace. Those are states of BEING which are not necessarily related with the mind.
It is in the experience of feelings how the mind could be recognized and left aside.
I discovered benefit in listening to music without lyrics, instrumental music.
That will bring feelings. The mind has no opportunity to enter in the appreciation of music unless we compare, or if we try to explain or describe the sounds through words. Lyrics in music will bring words and consequently, the mind.
Most are so disconnected with actual feeling, believing that they are feeling when in fact it is the mind processing words and describing a feeling to itself to make us believe that we feel. The well known phrase: “I THINK I love you,” speaks for itself. How is love related with thinking? Can the mind ever know what love, a feeling is?
Reasoning kills our feelings. Thus, the mind kills our feelings. Without being able to feel; there is no opportunity to go beyond the mind.
A human being is surrounded by fields of distinct “energies.” I wish there was another word to describe the subtle which is in constant movement, whose influence is always there even though few can perceive them. “Energy” has a physical connotation. “The capacity to do work” it is said; but that has nothing to do with the subtle fields. Thus, I would use the word “subtle energy” to refer to this.
Why is this subtle? Because it is imperceptible for many.
“Spirituality” received its “way out there” stereotype when referring about things which couldn’t be proven to exist. Economics are proven to exist even though artificially created, but subtle energies cannot be proven for not everyone is capable to tune into them.
Why is there some who could perceive subtle energies and others cannot?
That is a matter of sensibility. In some countries, megaphones are used to sell fruits, vegetables an widgets; although, there is a law prohibiting annoying noises, the law is seldom enforced for the majority of individuals out of “convenience” (laziness,) would prefer to buy from these people as they drive by their homes. These “buyers” are used to great noise. It doesn’t bother them. Nevertheless, their sensibility to more sophisticated and educated ways to hear, will suffer. The same example holds true with the perception of subtle energies.
If we take care of our mental, physical and emotional health; then our odds to FEEL subtle energies will increase. The recipe of “wholesome health” has been provided by many systems, religions and philosophies; however, our society does not support “wholesome” but the opposite through unhealthy practices in the name of “improving the economy,” which I will not discuss here but I am sure, many are aware of.
Few individuals will gain sensibility.
Those with the ability to FEEL, are better equipped to understand how these subtle energies influence the behavior of human beings.
FEELING is a subjective “proof” until the collective consciousness agrees. We could feel emotions, feelings, subtle energies, which will give us a different picture and explanation than the one offered by reason and logic alone based on the perception of the “normal” senses.
Consider this: Life is on the side of FEELINGS. Our society values reason and logic alone. The outcome of FEELING Life is fulfillment. The outcome of reason and logic alone is to “be right.”
There is a huge difference. To “be right” doesn’t give fulfillment, ego perhaps and fear but we don’t feel lively, at peace which is what FEELING does.
Love, harmony, peace are felt not reasoned or thought out. There is no thinking involved. Do we see the issue? Reasoning kills our feelings. Our society mostly lives in the head. Thinking, reasoning, analysis, logic, etc. all of that is highly valued, but we cannot FEEL.
Have we ever seen someone playing a musical instrument by memory? (funny, we say by “heart”) That person knows the structure, the notes, the timing; but there is no music in what he plays. Unless, he puts his FEELING there.
What do we value in Life? The economy, the market, the six figures job, income…. All mind. Nothing wrong with that; but we cannot be fulfilled in Life because the mind knows no satisfaction. It is always looking for what is next, in the future or remembering the past. The mind cannot be in the “now.” The mind sings “I can’t get no (satisfaction).”
Life is balance and the new challenge in society is to put the mind in its “right” place which is behind FEELINGS, that is if we are interested in encouraging a wholesome human being who experiences love, peace and harmony. That human will be able to FEEL what most cannot at this time. On the other hand, a highly effective human taught to add and subtract like a computer and to calculate his movements as to avoid making “mistakes,” will not know what is like to FEEL fulfillment in his Life.
By feeling the outer subtle energies we could perceive how these will affect others and the self. By feeling the inner world we could know our intentions.
Why is that important?
I will be succinct. The “choice” is fear or fulfillment. Put your mind in the accumulation of things, add “gifts” to your personality to become “better” than others, to “succeed” in Life; fear of losing those things is unavoidable. The mind believes in “improving,” but that improvement is only accumulation. It is building the outer layers of the self. Here is the catch. Spiritual “improvement” does not come out of accumulation but in diminishing the outer layers to go into the root of the onion. Thus, when we go over the fear of losing, we gain.
How can we go over fear of losing unless we experience what is like to lose?
That requires a logical, reasonable answer from the mind. 🙂