When things appear to be against us, the perception of the mind is relentless: “It looks bad. There is no hope. Why me?” That “weather forecast” of the mind will have a snowball effect.
When I believe it, emotions will cement the perceived disaster. It could become a trauma through repetition, for the mind is engaged in repetition or avoidance. The mind works in those extremes.
Can there be perception without using the mind as reference? Indeed.
That is what is called to “live in the now.” It is a no-mind perception. How do I know that?
The “now” has no tense or time. The mind lives in the past, the future or the present as in “today.” That is a long present indeed. Never in the “now.”
When we understand this, our perception can be driven by feelings. This is not the feeling or emotion about something outside “me,” for that requires the interpretation of the mind.
That pristine feeling colors my attitude in Life.
When we forget the mind, we forget “our” problems. Forgetting in this context means, to allow for feelings to appear.
In the surroundings of a lovely afternoon, the sun was about to end its perceived daily trip from east to west, while giving the chance to most individuals to change the direction of their familiar gazes at this time: From looking downward to looking up at the sky. The scenery had that depth beyond the normal, trivial entertainment which the human mind has grown to be accustomed with.
The master said: “ To understand our own minds is perhaps one of the most important tasks that we could undertake. In general, the mind is an instrument to deal with memories, data and facts. The mind centers its existence in the past or the future only; that is; the mind lives in those times which are no longer real. The experience of the present as in “right now” is not of the mind. Thus, if you look at a sunset, you could look at it attentively as if that was the first time ever; that sight is immensely fulfilling or you can choose to take a photograph and look at it later and use your mind to label that sight and compare it: ‘It was yesterday at 6pm. Last year’s was better’ and completely miss that wonder. Humanity has grown to be content with having a picture or a video for that information of pixels is all the mind needs; but they are missing the unique moment of being in front of a timeless presence which no picture or film can ever grab. That timeless moment can nourish you. A picture cannot.”
The disciple had a question: “Master, isn’t a memory needed to connect with people? Otherwise, how could I remember that I know you?”
The master responded: “While the mind will allow us to remember someone from our childhood; it is that same mind creating a still picture, a belief that that one who we have met many years ago, is still the same. Therefore, most will relate with their own mind pictures rather than what is actually there. To find out what is there, you may need to observe as if that was the first time ever.”
The master paused for a few seconds and then continued: “The mind will judge based on social protocols which it has learned through conditioning. That judgment has the polarity of moral standards such as good or bad. That judgment will make us biased. A lazy mind will not consider change for it likes the certainty of what it already knows. Therefore, you will find in Life people who will be attached to their beliefs and defend them even to the expense of losing their own lives, in the name of truth. The mind finds a way to maintain its principles under the facade of improvement, which is another ideal of pursuit of that mind.
The mind is very good at recalling pieces of information to resolve technical or mathematical problems; it has the idea that Life follows the same protocols; that is the accumulation of information which has been labeled as knowledge to solve problems. Thus, the mind will follow ready-made recipes which do not necessarily meet the need of time. There is a disconnection with ‘what is.’
The mind creates separation, as it is designed to see differences. Those differences will be the ingredients to create beliefs. Those beliefs are static and cannot match the fluidity of Life. The mind creates what is known as ego in every individual as well as collective identity: Patriotism, nationalism, chauvinism are degrees of that same disease of pursuing separation, but yet the mind distinguishes those labels as different and appeal to the morality of ‘good and bad’ to make one degree of separation between those words and create a theoretical moral reality.
Moreover; suffering is a creation of the mind, that is the continuous repetition of distorted facts in time. Life will give us the experience of pain and pleasure: Physical, emotional or psychological; but the mind will make that experience into a ghost of torments or a pleasurable treasure to look for in a repetitive fashion, to bring addiction to our experience.
Pain is a fact of Life. Suffering is the option of a sick mind. Pleasure is the other side of the coin following pain, but addiction is the option of that ill mind. Therefore, the intensity of your suffering will give you the intensity of your addiction.”
Finally, the master went into a deep silence and emerged after a few seconds and said: “ The mind could be your greatest friend or your most formidable enemy. ”
Will resume writing on August 19, 2021. Enjoy life!
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?