Tagged: mind

Mental images and neediness.

We are never the same. There is no static moment, no past where we could look back and believe to be completely unchanged since then.

I observed some family members visiting us. They live in another country. The last family gathering was about 20 years ago. Now, they ARE different from what I knew before. It is not just looks. That is the most superficial aspect of change. They are different, “I” am different.
I had an image of them in my mind. That image created an expectation, which resulted in illusion.
The only thing without a change that I knew from before, was their names. The same outcome occurs when we are living closely with others, although we may not realize the changes.

As we grow in relationship with others, we change. An individual is affected by company. Most are aware of that.
Most are oblivious that as we grow older, our own changes will create an inner resistance, when we are aware of them. There is an image, a still picture of the “perfect” self, which we would like to keep.
That “poster” is living in the mind. As any poster, it is static, completely unchanged. It is not real.
Nevertheless, that is our point of inner comparison. Comparison is the mother of unhappiness, at any level.

Practically, we live to keep an image and we relate with our own images of others.

“Pat” has an image of “Carl.” There is “Carl’s image” as perceived by Carl himself.
Carl would like to be treated according to the image that he has of himself. Anything lower than that, is considered an insult. Pat will mingle with Carl, by using the image that she has of Carl. Those are the untold boundaries.

Typically, when we meet someone for the first time, we spend that meeting in creating an image of that person. If we like that person, then the image grows in accolades, until one day we may “realize” and say to her: “You have changed since I first met you.”
It could be many years before we awaken from the dream.

Similarly if we dislike a person. Our image about that person can only go down, as we strive for consistency. “We cannot be wrong.” Observe the inner game of placing images into simple containers of likes and dislikes and to consider those as the standards of accuracy, reality, etc.

Could we relate without images?
That may require great awareness of the tricks of our own minds.

To meet someone without “pictures and posters” in our minds, will allow that other person to BE, for there is no inner need for the other to comply with our own picture of expectations, requirements and ideals.
For that we need to be free from psychological neediness, at any level in regards to the other. If there is a need, there will be a picture and our desire to maintain that picture as the ideal. Consciously or unconsciously, we will manipulate “reality” to look like that picture.

Psychological neediness does not allow for a “true,” open, caring relationship; for we are concerned in keeping the validity of personal images, rather than becoming aware of and accepting unconditionally “what is.”

Will be taking a break until October 31st. Enjoy yourself! 🙂

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The separatist political mind

Because most of humanity has a mind concerned with separation, division as a perception of Life, then unhappiness will be the outcome of such mind.

Observe your own mind. There is “I” and there is “you.” Also all personal pronouns are part of the division. We know to be bound by language syntax, but we believe deep inside that “innocent” division to be true. That carries an existential problem beyond language. Observe how the main tool that we use to figure out “Life,” is based on “analysis.”
Analysis is a tool for further division. We want to know something which is whole by dividing it in parts. However, parts do not make up what is meant to be whole. The “whole is equal to the sum of its parts” we say, it is a nice theory in society, but doesn’t quite work out in “real” Life. Can we take apart a human being in its numerous parts, and make it “work” as a live human as it was before the division?

Our vision of the world is meant to analyze things. Observe politics. It deals with government, administration of people in a society. Politics relies heavily in all sorts of analysis. We don’t take people as “people”, we divide people. We create groups and out of that we create struggle between groups. We forget the common good; but become biased and select what is most convenient for a particular group. That is “Democracy.” Not the nice theory of what is supposed to be; but the “real,” practical aspect ongoing around the world.
There will not be a self realized individual dealing with politics. Not because “politics is dirty business” but because politics is a fictitious, one sided way of looking at Life. That political vision is incapable of putting things together in synthesis.
Politics is about conflict among groups and power struggle of certain groups. That is the outcome of a mind which has been trained to divide.
How is it possible to find “solutions” for problems created in our society which such mind?
It is not possible. “Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.”
That is a quote from A. Einstein. “Division” is a mind set.
Where is the root problem in need of a “solution”?
The human mind.

Happiness is not a creation of the mind. What our society considers as happiness is truly infantile, nevertheless; we cannot find a happy person there, but rather a sedated one. Someone who lives in the comfort zone of his mind’s achievements which, are only another reflection of a mind trained to divide, to fight, to conquer, to compete, to become “someone” in Life, as the utmost value.
Most know that happiness is not brought by material things. Nevertheless, we strive to obtain those at all cost. Happiness is not in circumstances, settings, relationships. It is not bound by what is “out there”.
Happiness is inner fulfillment. It is an inseparable sensation when we breathe, which makes us alive and vital. That cannot be found in the mind. That is why, there is “no-mind.”
But, what our educational system knows about it? Not much. In fact, what we are so eager to learn in our educational system is all about living in the ego mind. Most individuals are only concerned with their own achievements, the well being of their own group and the continuous struggle to maintain an ideal status quo during their life times, which they fight to provide to their own kind, their succesors. Conditioning is very strong and will continue on from generations.

Therefore, a sensitive, intelligent person will look into this. His personal journey will deal with recognizing and knowing his own mind. There lies the conditioning. There lies the madness.

This route doesn’t take the traveler into “name and fame.” There are no medals or prize money at the end of the journey.
There is only this sense of fulfillment, which indicates that we found our place in Life. This “achievement” happens without being “someone”, without doing something “special”, without fighting and trying to “conquer” our self created demons.
The “normal” conditioned mind, will be unable to understand that unless, the actual “mind set” is left behind.

Looking at SELF

“Self” is the most misunderstood label there is, from the dictionary word to the “spiritual” connection.
A seeker will be confused depending on their level of consciousness, for “self” is the very beginning of “spirituality” but at the same time, the very end. It is Alpha and Omega.
Most “think” they know what “self” is. It is “me.” That is kindergarten a priori “knowledge” however, it is readily accepted without further observation.

There is the “self” of “Google”: “a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.”
There is the “self” of Krishnamurti:
“ …the idea, the memory, the conclusion, the experience, the various forms of namable and unnamable intentions, the conscious endeavor to be or not to be, the accumulated memory of the unconscious, the racial, the group, the individual, the clan, and the whole of it all, whether it is projected outwardly in action, or projected spiritually as virtue; the striving after all this is the self.”
There is the “Self” of Ramana Maharshi : “That state which transcends speech and thought is mouna. That which is, is mouna. How can mouna be explained in words? Sages say that the state in which the thought”I” (the ego) does not rise even in the least, alone is Self (swarupa) which is silence (mouna). That silent Self alone is God; Self alone is the jiva (individual soul). Self alone is this ancient world. All other kinds of knowledge are only petty and trivial knowledge; the experience of silence alone is the real and perfect knowledge. Know that the many objective differences are not real but are mere superimpositions on Self, which is the form of true knowledge.”
And then, there is the “real self” of Osho: “The Real Self is dangerous: dangerous to the established church, dangerous to the state, dangerous to the crowd, dangerous to tradition, because once a man knows his real self, he becomes an individual.” 
And then there is Lao Tzu: “Knowing others is wisdom. Knowing the self is enlightenment.”
And …there is “Nosce te Ipsum” (Know thyself).

An individual will be seeking to “save and continue” his perception of “self” through the belief in “heaven,” the “soul” (Atma or Atman, which is also known as the “real self” by some or Swaroop, etc.) after this lifetime is over, while others believe that everything is over at death time.
Lost in theories, beliefs and what not, we are unable to OBSERVE.

In my experience, when we want to find out something related with “spirituality”, there is no sense in following words. It doesn’t matter how “enlightened” they may be. There are many interferences in between: The level of consciousness of the one describing and the one listening (even “Death” depends on the level of consciousness of a person); the word used to describe a personal experience is a barrier for intellectual understanding; there is interpretation of the word, then there is translation (if it comes from another language) and finally, there is the emotional attachment to that word: “atman /atma/soul” is an example. It has a positive connotation which for many means “self or real-self.”

Confusion is the mother of all religions.

Look at “yourself.” Do you perceive thoughts (the little guy/gal talking to you in your “head”?) Do you perceive his fears, dreams, hopes, desires, activity, patterns, memories? That is typically known as “self.” That is also known as “I.” That is what many are concerned in “saving” for the “afterlife.”

Look at a wall. Hold your breath. Stop breathing for a few seconds. Notice how “your” thoughts will stop. Just notice. Keep focused on that wall.
There is an “observer” and there is the “object” observed (wall).
When the “observer” disappears as well as the “object” although the eyes are looking at a wall, that IS. We could name that infinitesimal experience as “Me without baggage” or “naked me.” “Bagagge” is all the stuff that we perceive when we observe the content of the mind.

Some will describe the experience above as “when the observer and the object merge in each other”, or “when the observer and object are one”. Same experience different words.

That “IS” will be called with many names: “real self”, “swaroop”, “atma”, “atman”, “God”, “Brahman”, that state of “mouna” (according to Ramana Mahrshi- above) which cannot be explained in words, is where “silence” resides.

However a glimpse is not the “state of being” of a self-realized individual. An attempt to float in the Ocean, is not swimming. However, the EXPERIENCE will allow us to “observe” that which we call personality, self, etc. which Krishnamurti points out, and OBSERVE the difference “without using the mind.” Just look.

“Meditation” has been used to experience that which IS. However, a meditation related only with the mind by trying to stop thoughts, still the mind, etc. will not allow us to experience what is beyond the mind (no-mind). Thus, Contemplation.

Looking at a wall in a relaxed way, without any aim whatsoever is contemplation.  We could feel our breathing, our heart, we can open our inner senses for what IS to arrive. That could be experienced by some as bouts of bliss. The “inner smile.” We could observe that “thoughts” become an interference, that is why the artifice of stoping to breathe was used.  How can we contemplate if thoughts are bothersome then? The power of your feelings shall be used. Feel from you heart and your gut as we breathe in and out. That will overcome our “habit” of “thinking” or “daydreaming.”

When words arrive in our heads, the mind has entered. The show is over.
If you never learned a language to speak, how would you relate with that which we typically call “self”? How the “little guy/gal” in your  head could communicate with you?
Experience that. There is more to “self” than what is described here, but this is just a “finger pointing to the moon.” It is not the moon.

Nosce te Ipsum. There is no other “knowledge” more fascinating in Life.

Acting through a script of righteousness

The other day, I took a taxi to go home. The taxi driver started a conversation which ended in knowing about his “spiritual” experience: “ I lost my wife by being unfaithful and then I resorted into heavy drinking. I even had sex with guys… and then, I was saved (by his new religious belief) when I decided to go to the temple and heard the pastor talking. The pastor said that I could hear the voice of God. He gave me the versicle in the Bible. I prayed to God and then my Life turned around. I heard his voice. From that moment on, I decided to spend more time at the temple and share the word of God.” He handed me the Bible where he had underlined several passages that he knew by heart for me to read out-loud during the drive, while he was explaining those to me. I thanked him for sharing his story and finally he gave me some literature from his church to read in my spare time. Then he said: “I want to pray for you, what is your name? I said, “Ahnanda.” Thanked him again and left.

I was happy for him. I let him express what he IS and that gave him a little boost of reassurance of his own beliefs and experience. Little did he know that I had my own spiritual journey. He thought that he found “God” just like many other believers. That belief is uplifting him.

I learned the importance of allowing others to express their own religious experience even though they may be looking to proselytize.
Living in the “heart center” is not concerned in being “right” and “teaching others.” It is only concerned in naturally harmonizing with everyone. The above is by no means an example to follow. Life is unexpected and as we get in tune with feeling, our actions will be unexpected as well, rather than rehearsed. We could go through forethought, preconceived activity which maybe thought to be “correct, right” but which hides our true nature. As a person evolves through what we know as “spirituality”, it will be important to observe the raw self, without the disguise of DOING a determined action.

For instance, there was a Buddhist monk who said that if someone offers him a plate with meat in it, he wouldn’t reject it; for he will be rejecting the person who offered him a gift. But if he was offered to choose between a plate with meat or one with vegetables; he will pick vegetables.

That is a preconceived action. The motto is : “Do not reject anything.” However we need to look at “rejection” from a broader perspective: Is rejection showed through an ACTION (taking the plate or not) or is it an inner FEELING?
Can you reject your own well being for the sake of agreeing with someone? I am not saying to “make someone happy,” for the act of accepting a meal is not about making someone “happy or unhappy.”

In the heart center, we could observe that if the feeling is of rejecting meat but accepting it for the sake of conforming to a belief; then even though there was outside acceptance; there was inner rejection. No one else but ourselves could confirm that.

As we move into the heart center, there is no preconceived way of ACTION. There is no performance to follow out of some belief or tradition. Every person we meet, every exchange with others will bring its own way to ACT. That action comes from who we ARE.
How do we know if the action was proper?
There is harmony within. We could feel that. The mind does not bring some inner chat to tell us if we were “right or wrong.”

Personally, I do not reject meat or people who likes to eat meat; but at the same time, I know what agrees with my physical body at this time. That may change. Others may be alright with eating meat.
Everyone is different and different situations will arrive in our lives. I feel that to have a preconceived way of acting is truly emphasizing the mind over exploring the feeling of the moment.

Similarly, the cab driver is acting through preconceived directions by following a “holy” book. In his level of consciousness, that may be desirable at this time, but again; that may change. If we still follow preconceived patterns, then the mind will be at ease with a belief but not the heart .

Is following a particular moral code, enough to make us feel in harmony within? If yes, our lives could be a script to follow, from daylight to nighttime. This is “right” that is “wrong.”

Those parameters are necessary in society as they are simple to follow, but at the same time are limiting our own experience of feeling from the heart center.
Giving is not always “good”. Taking is not always “bad.” Those are only beliefs. Through the mind we can try to analyze the circumstances, the people involved, we could try to read the intentions, etc. and evaluate the situation to believe that we have acted “right,” for we have conformed to some pattern. There is no sensation, no feeling of harmony within.
Without that feeling, there could not be fulfillment in Life. Life is meant to be felt not thought out.

 

Some tips for improving mental health

It is conspicuous, that problems with the mind are increasing. Several years back, I had a friend with mental issues. That was something uncommon for me to experience. Now, it is very common. Perhaps the most common ailment to observe around is depression.

I could affirm now that “spirituality” at this time, is about dealing with the mind.
Notice that I say “at this time.” It hasn’t always been like that.
A mind out of control is a demon. A controlled mind is a “saint” waiting to “sin”. Many times, medication becomes that artificial control.

It is interesting how Science does not know the cause of many of these diseases of the mind. Nevertheless, there is “treatment.” It is a game of dice.

Genetics is a factor. The environment is another. Our ability to cope with different pressures in society is yet another.

Chemical imbalances due to genetics is a small percentage at this time. However the influence of the environment and our own coping mechanisms, are something that we could become aware of, to improve our mental health.

It is almost a year now since I have moved permanently from the USA (I lived there for 30 years) to Lima, Peru. Sound in all forms (noise) is used in Lima violently: From car horns, to megaphones, loud parties and noisy public events, etc. It is evident that individuals will be mentally affected from that. Life in a big city like Lima, is not a relaxing “walk in the park”; nevertheless; most individuals are completely unaware of the consequences. We have done that to ourselves under the label of “progress.” Economically, Lima has progressed enormously, however; when there is no conscience of the environment; our health will pay the price. Lima, is just a small example of so many third world cities around the world in similar conditions.

The most “civilized” environments have their toll on mental health as well. The USA as I recall, was famous for the feeling of isolation and the excessive use of “technology” under the motto of “time is money.” That sort of stress will definitely impact our mental health specially since there is a growing population migrating, looking to live “better” in those “civilized” places. We are living out of balance.

What to “do”?
When a person is sensitive, aware, the answer arrives right away. The number one priority for mental health is to BE in Nature as much as possible. As far as I am concerned, there is no way around it. It is even funny to put it in that way, for a “normal” person should feel eager to BE in Nature, but that is not the case for many who feel “happy” around concrete buildings and a TV or… a computer and a cell phone for even background noise. Most are terrified by silence as absence of sounds.

We may need to be closer to water in all forms: Oceans, lakes, rivers, even swimming pools if all else fails, for water cleanses our energetic field. Exercise is a priority, for the mind is closely related with the body; and the body was meant to move. That is a “reasonable” reason.
Finally, our diets need improvement. An orange vs. a “Coke”. Observe all of those foods created by man. Those are not natural. Those are not “bad” either. Their consumption needs some reduction. Do you drink plain water? Don’t like the taste of it? Some serious “therapy” is needed to fix that.

Here some words of advise:
1) Move. Do not stay in the same room for long periods of time. The collective consciousness surrounds all city environments at this time. The “vibe” is of stress, anxiety, sadness. Many times, we do not realize that we are affected by those “vibes.” We believe that it is “I” who feels in a certain way. We could even label that as “my depression.”
2) Have “snack” times of Nature. Go to a park and walk barefooted in the grass if possible, or sit down and watch the birds and smell the flowers… Won’t cost you a thing!
3) Have daily “Me” times. It is very important to enjoy time by yourself, not doing a thing, or rather; not thinking about a thing. For that, we need to PLAY. A playful person, is a person in balance.
4)Entertain the mind: Watching movies, tv, etc. is that. However, we are not aware that those means are only entertainment. We typically get suck into it.
5) Once we get a sense of balance, we will naturally “practice” the “3 S” of healthy living: Sun, Sleep and Sex. Typically we over do or under do those. The mind goes to extremes easily for it does not know the “middle way.” Never too much of the “3 S.” Find your own balance.
6) Learn to feel from the heart. Deep feelings will take you out of the mind.
7) Appreciate Life as “it is”. We focus on negativity forgetting that every coin has 2 sides no matter what. Appreciation will bring us into balance.

To live in the world of “no-mind” does not mean not to have thoughts. It means to live in the heart center. Although, many “experts” recommend exercises or techniques to “achieve” that; in my experience; the change happens after we have gone through the full experience of knowing the mind.
That full experience means, experiencing the “ups and downs.” However, the most important advice that I could give based on my own experience is that any inner work to dissolve “blockages” or “inner traumas” to open up to Life, is without a doubt; the most important aspect in “spirituality” that a seeker will need to face; for that will bring the experience of “no-mind” (heart center) and then our overworked mind, will have a chance to rest and perhaps observe the world under a new, fresh perspective.

Without a doubt, that is a sign of mental health.

Question: Do I follow my fleeting huge attraction or my comfortable, unfulfilled but good life?

The question is here:
https://explore7.wordpress.com/about-2/#comment-18947

(Bottom of the “about” tab)

Thank you for your question.
It appears that you have an Indian background, where typically marriages are arranged and there is a negative stigma with being divorced. Here goes the small print before we start: Ahnanda does not give advice. Ahnanda only shares.

Clarity is brought through inner honesty. The mind does not know about inner honesty. The mind knows about compliance, convenience, tradition, among other things. Inner honesty is felt. We could choose to hear that and go for it (that is the hard part, to learn to listen without interference of the mind) and accepting all consequences. That will bring us a type of experience.
We could choose to ignore that inner feeling and go for the “Do what I am supposed to do” and also, accept the consequences. Which path is “better” ? None. It just depends who you ARE. Be honest with that.
That is the “clarity” that you were looking for.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you speak with your husband and let him know frankly, about the huge attraction that you feel for someone else? AND wouldn’t it be fantastic if your husband let you go with your attraction and allow you to come back to him if you wish since you have with him a “good life” already? Would that make you happy? Satisfied?
Many times, marriage turns into a license to possess another, but if we decided to play that game, we may need to play it until we call it quits. Don’t you think? You don’t mention if you have children. I am assuming you don’t.

Are you willing to give everything up for that attraction, not knowing how long it will last? Are you willing to stay stuck in a relationship without feeling fulfilled but comfortable? Rest assured that at least 90% of people have to answer that question at one point of their married lives.

What do you use as compass for your own Life? What do you believe is your purpose?
That is the important question, for that will bring you direction, clarity. Feel it.

In a previous article I shared what my friend Mathias mentioned about attraction:
” Attraction brings a collision. It is like a magnet. When that magnet attracts another object, a collision is unavoidable. Attraction has the ability to make someone lose their own essence. A “Life walker” does not reject attraction. He simply observes it in himself, smiles at the scene and continues on, not forgetting his life purpose. When a “Life walker” forgets his purpose for a few days, then that attraction will distract his mind, then his thoughts and his feelings will deepen that attraction.”

You have not mentioned if the other person feels the same for you. If you don’t know, then your mind is fantasizing. If you know he does, then are you willing to take the chance? It may work or it may not. You may be more miserable and your mind will make sure to complain about that later and blame your situation to someone else. But perhaps, you will be satisfied to follow that huge attraction. However, rest assured that something else will not go as you expect it. Guaranteed.

What do you want out of Life?
Children? Sexual fulfillment? Romantic love? Let that be your compass. Once you know, allow for Life to show you the path and be willing to accept it for that is what your heart desires: That experience.

Observe that you did not go with what you felt when you decided to get married. It may be that you accepted a tradition or your family pushed you into it; however; learn about the consequences of going with something which we do not feel 100% sure, although our conditioned mind may tell us that it is “best for us.”

Finally, know that there is a difference between feeling from the gut and the heart vs. an emotional outbreak like an attraction. In the world of duality you cannot have it all. That is the dream that many have bought into.
Don’t follow your dreams. That is conditioned utopia. Follow your compass, your purpose. Not what the mind tells you, but what you feel from the heart without distortion from emotions or mind games.

All the best.

The idealistic mind dwells in extremes

Through contemplation in Nature, we could understand that there is no straight tree or straight line, no matter how straight it seems to be. Nevertheless, we seem happy with the ideal of a straight line.
We live in a world of ideals. We strive to reach those, but we will always be short. Ideals are unreachable.

The ideal of having a mind capable of completing all tasks with accuracy is broken, when several tasks appear at once.

Ahnanda: “ The world is in a hurry. Here, it is easy to lose focus and forget. My mind is focused on a task but then the phone rings and as I answer it, another person appears taking my attention, at the end; I forget to complete my former task. That juggling of many things at once is stressful. Frustration may set in followed by some anger.
Is there a way to focus the mind and not lose my cool?”

Mathias: “That is a matter of knowing priorities. Take your time. The world may be in a hurry but not you.”

Miguel: “That which has attraction will take your complete attention.”

Mathias: “Always find beauty, even if what is in front is referred as ugly. There is something there to be appreciative about. Find it. Feel it. That will keep your mind focused.”

Ahnanda: “ That reminds me about the symbol of yin and yang. There is a small black circle like an eye, in the large white area and vice versa. That means to me that there is a seed of beauty in ugliness and ugliness in beauty, for one side fuels the other.”

Miguel:” While in contemplation, find beauty then feel it with your senses, finally feed yourself with that experience. Make it part of you. Integrate it.”

Although the ideal is that beauty is completely different than ugliness; in Life itself both perceptions are mingled together, they originate each other, feed each other. The mind lives in the world of ideals. The mind looks for what is attractive, beautiful and typically, rejects that which it considers ugly. That rejection preserves a recurrent experience.

A man may look for a beautiful woman. Interestingly, I have noticed that once that experienced of greater beauty has saturated his mind, an increasingly less attractive person will be looked for. The mind knows extremes. That saturation is synonym with obsessiveness, which degenerates into compulsiveness. It is a disease of the mind.

Life supports what is complementary to create unity. However, we don’t. We seek distinction, uniqueness through separation.
Distinction of what? Our own ego to embellish it.
That separation ends up in isolation.  Interestingly, that is the time when we look for meaning in Life.

Will be taking a break until May 30. Until then! 🙂