There is nothing more “spiritual” than being self aware. There is no better “practice” or “sadhana” than self-awareness.
What is it?
Everything happening “outside” impacts “inside”. Become conscious, aware of the changes inside. Similarly, what is “inside” impacts “outside.” When there is no difference between “inside” and “outside” we are self-aware.
But then, who are we?
What you ARE. No further explanations needed. No more mind to figure things out. To define, to make a pretty concept is to deceive ourselves. It is an experience.
When speaking with your boss, notice what is going on inside. Let us not put a label. Just notice.
When watching a movie, notice the changes inside during the movie. Notice how something which is not “real” (movie) becomes “real” inside us.
How is that possible? We live through the mind.
On-line friends is all mind.
Conditioning through TV is all mind.
Pornography, all about the mind. Fulfillment in sex is totally in no-mind.
That awareness is one of the most important realizations someone aware could have.
Let us not think that we “know” now, because it is only information.
That theoretical “knowing” is complete ignorance. We need to experience it ourselves to know. We need to be AWARE.
Notice how the mind creates our moods. Someone cut me off while I was driving. The “offender” went away; nevertheless, the episode stays with me. The origin is that I feel belittled. How did he dare to do that to ME? The mind will not let go.
Notice how long it takes to “move” from that situation. How long it takes to let go. Many things will have to happen to entertain our minds before we let go. What is stopping us from letting go right away?
Discover that. That is “true” spirituality.
Observe the way we walk. Observe how a thought to “hurry up” changed our otherwise, calm and relaxed movement. Are you aware of your breathing while walking? Are you aware of the force we apply every step on the ground? Many injuries on the joints have started through that inoffensive walk.
Want to be calm in a discussion? Just observe how your mood changes. That is all it takes. Like a yo-yo, go back to your center. “Move” back again. Let go.
For that to work, we need to become aware of the mind and how it obligates us to behave in certain ways, according to our conditioning.
Have you experience OCD? It is the mind taking over. There is no will power that could stop that, for will power is another game of the mind.
Just become totally aware of the silliness, of the force beyond our conscious will. That “practice” becomes the cure when we let go.
Have you become aware of how much we eat? How much of that is emotional hunger? How much of that is the mind telling us that we need more or less?
Have you noticed when we sleep well at night, the mind has been completely shut down? An overworked mind will remember at night the movie we watched or the emotional episode we went through, stopping our needed relaxation to sleep well. As this becomes a habit, we will use a pill to knock us out so we can sleep.
When there is mind, we observe. There is an “I” observing.
When there is no mind, there is no one observing.
That is known in spirituality as “witnessing” or a “detached observer.”
What is “no mind”? Pure, unconditioned Consciousness.
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.
Life is like a huge container. It is so big that there are no limits.
Humans have mentally gathered into a small glass of water, to place limits. There, images are created: A car, a house, a job, fame, fortune, health, beauty, power, immortality…
Humans have divided themselves under countless labels as to make the game of “achievement” harder. It becomes a “fight.”
Those images of achievement, become the “purpose of Life.”
But Life is more than a belief in images, greater than a small glass of water!
As a person matures; to become entangled in that game is considered to be sound and “normal.” However, no matter what is “achieved,” there will be un-fulfillment.
Do we know why?
More images will be created. It is never enough. “Achieving” one image is only the beginning into “achieving” another.
Our minds are conditioned to see “Life” under the perspective of “achieving images,” ghosts of conditioning.
We live as if death will never come. When it arrives, a trauma is created; fear arrives and the mind desperately looks for something to hold onto: A belief. It has to preserve the game of achievements: Eternal heaven, to be an angel in the kingdom of God, etc. Stuff that we are used to, because after all, we believe to be the center of the Universe.
We are so naïve.
Life is so big, but to us; very small.
Our “realities” are only images, dreams.
Our achievements are only busy work. Entertainment for the mind; just like watching TV.
Where is the light?
Learn to play another game.
When “right” changes, it becomes “wrong.” But everything changes, thus; “wrong” will become “right” again.
Something that looks clean, is bound to get dirty. Even though someone may clean it consistently. That cleaning is needed because it got dirty.
Therefore, why do we equate clean and dirty with “good and bad”? Why do we have that idea in our minds?
Some believe that sex is “dirty.” But they don’t see that only something that is “clean” can become “dirty.”
Our generalizations, our black or white beliefs, our emotional investments in religions, spirituality, philosophies and politics that can only see one side of a thing; is prevalent. We live in the mind, not in Life.
The “problem” is not the world. The “problem” is the mind of the observer.
Because we cannot be observers, tourists in an ever-changing reality; we cling to labels and ideals that we believe should be unmovable in time. That is an illusion.
Chasing the illusion of “changing the world,” we don’t allow for ourselves to change, because we believe to be “right.”
We believe “right” is something that cannot change.
We believe to have the “truth.”
Belief upon belief. Opinion upon opinion. We don’t live Life.
We only think about it.
“I just need to be myself,” is a fashionable “spiritual catchphrase.”
Before that, the “teaching” was to BE like someone else. That could have been a saint, a hero, a politician, a priest anyone else deemed to be “good.”
Then conflict arose: “How should I BE myself if I am a [sinner, impure] not worthy? I have to attain what this other person IS, to be worthy!”
Nevertheless, the conditioning of what is “worthy” and the forgetfulness that any so called, “virtue” cannot be attained through a method is apparent; for that virtue is a state of BEING, not a state of DOING. Repetition of what is perceived to be a “good action” does not make you virtuous, but dull. From society’s viewpoint is “better” to DO something considered “good” even though it is not what is felt, a natural outcome of BEING. For someone in the path of self-realization, to OBSERVE what you ARE at one moment is of paramount importance. BE AWARE of that.
METHODS cannot bring a person to a different state of consciousness.
This confusion, is observed for example, in “spiritual sexuality.”
The collective consciousness of the common man is of an angry monkey, ready to be violent and defensive. The belief is that by “teaching” methods and practices, that monkey could be a great lover!
That is an illusion and so is to repress our sexuality. DEEPLY OBSERVE what IS first, then true change is automatic, and not artificial by following commandments, etc.
A person wanting to imitate Gautama Buddha or Jesus, is bound to fail miserably. He can only be a double face, dishonest actor.
Paradoxically, that imitation will only increase his chances to go to “Hell rather than Heaven,” although that is not the objective of the “spiritual” imitation.
Why is that? Inner dishonesty could pass as honest activity (DOING) under the view of society’s rules, but that farce cannot cheat the rules of Life.
“BE yourself” when viewed in depth, is meaningless.
Who is that “YOU” that you want to BE? It is a made up mental ideal. Our conditioned mind has a form made of parameters delimiting that which we call “I.”
“BE” is the “spiritual phrase.” BEING is not limited by the ideas of “myself” or “yourself.” To BE is unexpected, of the moment. It is not directed by the mind. Most individuals in the civilized world, are unable to BE, because their conditioned minds will not allow for that to happen.
Therefore, to BE means to become AWARE of all those conditioning agents running constantly through our minds. It means to OBSERVE how the mind takes over and directs our personality. Without this previous “work” there cannot be “Just BE.”
Another way to explain the above, is by using the label “emptiness.” It is the process of dissolution of the mind and its conditionings as to leave stillness of the mind. This stillness is out of emptiness and not out of artificial control [“I control my mind.”] Picture a room full of stuff, ready to overflow if the door is left open. Control is necessary in that picture to keep things inside the room. However, if the room is empty, there is ample space to decorate that room with newness of Life.
BE YOURSELF is truly a way to chain our experience to a particular form/belief/idiosyncrasy/upbringing, etc. FREEDOM is not there.
We can experiment with BEING SOMEONE else. There are many methods and religions for that. We can experience with BEING YOURSELF, there are many self-help books written about this topic; but we cannot experiment with BEING.
To BE is freedom. It is freedom from the known. The idea of the collective consciousness about freedom, is infantile.
To grow up means to look, to observe, to be aware without judgment, without mind, so the realization of that experience is able to change our lives. 🙂
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. 🙂
Life does not have a purpose other than Life itself. The purpose of what IS… is to BE. BEING is the most basic and ultimate purpose at the same time. In the human world, a purpose is something different than what IS. It is an ideal of what “should be.”
Life does not bring any sort of learned ideas, ideals and moral values that human beings believe in. Because those things are needed in a society, it does not mean that those are needed in Life. Most human created Gods are supporters of societies’values but not of Life.
Most humans believe that Life is perceived with their 5 senses. That is a self-imposed restriction to know Life.
Humans want to control Life, however; one lesson to learn in Life is that Life cannot be controlled.
Humans have created their own little society with their own little rules and standards, inventing the words “right and wrong.” Humans have invented so many labels such as “property,” “equality,” “control” and “spirituality,” (to name a few amazing inventions) which are only learned perceptions which humans have labeled as “real Life.”
For most humans, “Real Life” is to comply with conditioning.
“Spirituality” has evolved as a way to control, the self and others. To be “better” is a new way to control.
When a society lives in the mind, fulfillment is only another idea. A topic to discuss. Something to “improve” by bringing laws, methods and procedures.
When a person lives in the mind, self-knowledge is out of his experience.
Our little human man-made world, away from Life itself, separated from the harmony of Nature, is alienating us!
Our reliance in the mind is killing what makes us alive, that is our feelings.
Honesty of acknowledging who we ARE now, is replaced by the ideal of what we “should be.” With that teaching, there is no way to “know thyself.”
In Life, learning is to experience. It is not to read and understand what someone wrote.
In life, to “Do more things” does not equal to feeling fulfilled.
In life, to “get ahead” with degrees, titles, certifications, diplomas, etc. is completely meaningless. Those things are only part of a small game, the “office world.” That game has become our daily “bread and butter” to the point that we believe that meal, to be the only one.
What is the outcome?
We are starved and tired of the same thing. We are looking for meaning in Life!
Do we want “answers”? Do we want “solutions”? Do we want to be “saved”?
Yes? Thus, the “market” screamed for religions to appear. The answer is in the future, by following some policy, some behavior. Politicians took note of that.
All we had to DO is to BELIEVE in another “reality.” Something that few perceived to be “true.” Those became the “saviors.”
Tired of that? Then try to BE what you ARE not. Pretend. Practice. Achieve that.
Can we peel the layers of conditioning and learned behaviors from ourselves? Peel the onion. What you find is not “what is,” but rather what needs to be peeled.
Who is peeling? A layer of the onion that we call “me.”
With that discovery, Life could have a different meaning.
What is that meaning? Peel the onion yourself to find out. In Life, we need to “reinvent the wheel” not to come up with a shortcut. “Time is money” is meaningless in Life. Your time is your Life.
Ps: Ahnanda will be sharing once a week from now on. 🙂