Everything has a process in life. The process between being born and dying is what we call life.
The process on how daylight changes into night, we call day.
The process on how an infant becomes an engineer, we call “studying.”
The process on how an enemy becomes a friend, we call conciliation.
In Spirituality to respect that process of change is very important.
For example, any sort of denial of something that we used to like, “cold turkey;” will have later consequences if we have not “processed” that process.
If I am used to eating meat and I have developed a taste for it; there is a process in becoming vegetarian.
If I am to live alone to discover my inner world; there is a process to that end.
If celibacy is my chosen path; there is a process to get there.
That process changes among individuals. We are not the same. That is what is truly important to respect.
Many times, we acquire a disease unknowingly, due to lack of self-observation: Anger could be what I express through my feelings due to a situation/person which is not desirable. That emotional outburst has a build up process, which will manifest clearly in the body as a disease, in time.
It takes time to get there and because there is a process; it will take time to come out.
However, once there is a realization of this disease, a desire to be “cured” right away, “miraculously” will appear.
At that point, we have forgotten the “process” to heal.
In life, we may have experienced something which is bringing us down, that is something which is triggering suffering in us, unless we use the Spiritual tool of observation and become able to catch this episode; then suffering will continue on.
It is “me” rejecting what is happening.
To realize that pain, that suffering through acceptance; means to start the process of healing.
Any process of healing related with emotional pain, starts in solitude. Our tendency is to busy ourselves, but only by letting that pain in, completely and accept it without escape; is how that pain will move on by itself. There is a process in that. We need to nurture that process.
Energetically speaking, the energy of pain and sorrow, could be let go through our hands in contact with Nature. Someone who is not at ease, will be “overcharged” with negativity which needs to come out and that energy, be transformed by Mother Nature.
At that point, the inner work with our mind could take place.
Mind created thoughts are not real. That life in our heads is merely an illusion. Life continues on shining, when we come out of our self-absorption; that trance which only allows us to see gray shadows in our lives. We only see “Me,” alone through our minds.
The process of healing will finish once our feelings have changed. That is, once the situation has been transcended; once a smile comes out easily and unexpectedly from the vibes of our heart. An open heart is an accepting heart.
How long does it take for this process? As long as it takes us to realize and “implement” an open, accepting heart.
New energy will be expressed once feelings have been transformed.
When a spiritual teaching recommends to always “give pure feelings and good wishes to all;” that teaching is stating that process of energetic transformation.
That teaching is truly acknowledging that change of feelings, which is the end product of that self-healing process.
In a way, the experience of emotional pain and suffering are the ingredients for good wishes and pure feelings to all; for in that experience of transformation of self energies through feelings; is how we will know the practical aspect.
Transforming our own energies is a matter of having the chance to do it.
That is , we will be experienced in our own process of emotional healing.
“just a realization, and hope you can awaken me further! pain does not mean suffering, pain is physical, yet suffering is mental however once I point that out as pain, then there is suffering right there however once it is observed as it is then there is non duality – no suffering.”
Thank you for sharing your realization with us.
There is physical suffering/pain and there is emotional, psychological suffering/pain.
When we talk about the experience of non-duality, it does not mean that we will not experience physical pain. At the physical level there is pain and pleasure. Both of them are experiences which come and go.
The issue is not to make those experiences a trauma or “something we cannot live without;” such as the experience of a particular pleasure.
There is pleasure in looking at the Sunset or a full moon surrounded by stars. There is pleasure in looking at the beauty of a smiling face or a hummingbird ready to fly…Experiences, moments which a healthy mind does not depend on or rejects. Likewise, the painful experience of being burned by the Sun while riding a bicycle at noon when it is outside 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the shadow; is an experience which only marks a limit. That is what physical pain does.
Emotionally, there are experiences which we treasure or reject. That is duality. Psychologically, all experiences are neither “good” nor “bad.” Just experiences. Our internal label and traumatic, dramatic “interpretation” of a experience is what makes that experience more than what it is. Then, we choose, then we experience duality in that choosing.
Here is the example:
John and Carl had a fight. The 14 year old Carl beat up his “friend,” John; who was 12 years old at the time. Carl then spat at John’s face with anger, and left him laying on the floor. John’s felt pain, his body was aching but after a week; everything went back to normal. However, John’s mind was resented for many years after that incident.
John never forgot that experience. John resented Carl for what he had done to him. John felt humiliated and carried that trauma with him in his older years.
John made that experience of being spat on the face, a trauma which caused him mental suffering.
On the other hand, one man spat at Buddha’s face. His disciple, Ananda said:”This is too much. Give me permission to show this man what he has done.” The Buddha cleaned his face and spoke to the man:
“Thank you for bringing this experience to us. I could see that there was no anger in me whatsoever. It was a great experience for Ananda as well. Next time you feel the irresistible urge to spit at someone, please come see us again.” The Buddha was saying this with great appreciation and gratitude thankful for that event which allowed him to discover his “true” nature. That is acceptance and appreciation.
That man couldn’t sleep that night for he was thinking about that episode which he couldn’t believe. He was seeing Buddha’s eyes filled with compassion and thankfulness… The next day he came back to Buddha asking for his forgiveness.
The Buddha was sitting by the Ganges. The Buddha said: ” Lots of water have gone by already in this river. Why are you still carrying with you what happened yesterday?” The man asked for forgiveness. Buddha replied:” I cannot forgive you for I didn’t get angry with you. Just forget. But if getting forgiveness is what you need, go ask Ananda; he will be happy to give you that.”
The Buddha observed the events as they were. He saw that event as an opportunity to find his own Buddha nature. He did not act out of fear or convenience. He did not choose. He simply appreciated and accepted the events as they were.
When someone is in the path of self realization, every opportunity is a chance to discover that “buddha nature,” therefore, the “good ones and the bad ones” around us create the right environment for that realization to take place.
In psychological suffering the question is: Who is suffering? When the answer is “I” then you know that our mental creation known as the “ego,” is there giving “life” to something that no longer exists. That “life” is food to nourish the ego. A “normal” response out of ego means anger, fear, resentment, revenge, etc. that is “normal” behavior.
Transcending duality means to go beyond ego. That is “soul consciousness,” which Avyakt7 rather call “consciousness.”
Who is “the one” who is beyond duality, and experiences “non duality”? It is too a “separate thing/consciousness” isn’t it, or just a role? Check it… A “thing” that is conscious or not conscious of himself, that says or does not say “I”, is still of a separate discrete existence. Try biting your tongue, and experience how that extreme pain “is just a role”, playing through you. You will see how much you exist…even though to experience that pain is – “just a role after all” 🙂
Thank you for your comment. Avyakt7 wanted to put your comment here for the “benefit of all.”
Non duality is not an “experience” as when you “experience” duality.
In your understanding of non-duality, you are coming from your intellectual mind, your mental reasoning to get to certain conclusions. With that “tool” all there will be left are just concepts to mentally “understand.” If avyakt7 could put this issue in different words to be understood, “I “ would.
This is about observing it in “yourself.”
Try tickling your feet. Would this experience show you “how much you exist”? Why this pleasurable experience should be different from biting your tongue?
Non duality is not about not feeling pain or pleasure. It is about going beyond those dualities by fully accepting them as what they are: “experiences” without the labeling in our minds.
The issue is the mind. When we feel pleasure we would like to experience that again, we look forward to that experience again and in that selection, we reject experiencing pain. This is not intellectual. See it in yourself.
On the other hand when there is pain, we typically reject it. This does not mean that I don’t have to do anything to lessen it, such as taking medicine. We reject it in our minds as undesirable, then we create a psychological trauma on that experience which will increase into further rejection, fear.
Look at a 5-year-old baby. He can cry at one moment and laugh 2 minutes later with the same intensity. The baby is not thinking about the “painful experience,” or “holding grudges” against someone; otherwise he wouldn’t be able to laugh right away. He is not thinking about a “role” being played. That is to live in non-duality.
If the baby could reason about all the moments he already fell off while trying to walk, he wouldn’t be able to walk quickly for fear of crying when he hits the ground over and over in his attempt to walk… Being reasonable about the “future” of trying to learn to walk would be detrimental.
According to the interpretation of the Bible by some, Jesus/Christ knew beforehand that he was going to be crucified.
However, he lived life until that experience happened. He knew that Judas Iscariot was going to betray him; nevertheless; Jesus/ Christ lived life without grudges against him. He suffered when the time came and not in anticipation of knowing something. He was living in the moment, in non-duality.
Robert was meditating in a group meditation. This particular type of meditation is about stillness of the body. To avoid making any movement and to become aware of our own breathing.
After meditation was over, Robert shared with his teacher that he felt bliss.
“It was a sensation of fulfillment;” Robert mentioned.
Then, Robert explained that he felt physical pain after a while during the meditation, but in this occasion, it was the first time that he fully accepted it, and the pain stopped being that bothersome.
His teacher said that it is good to feel those things, but equanimity is the teaching. Don’t take pleasure neither pain. Remain in equanimity.
The students agreed with the teacher.
Isn’t that a good teaching? 🙂
It depends. Some will teach: “Do what is pleasurable. Avoid what is painful. It is good as long as it feels good.”
Another teaching will say: “Sacrifice your pleasure now. Renounce pleasure now for it is just tempting you. You will indulge in it and you will forget about greater things in life.”
Yet, Robert’s teacher mentioned to remain in equanimity by not taking pleasure nor pain.
Which one is the right teaching? For sure, one of them has to be the right one, for those 3 teachings contradict themselves.
That is how 3 different “religions,” 3 different belief systems emerged.
As we grow in awareness, we could see that the first teaching “Do what is pleasurable and avoid what is painful,” makes sense. Most people will follow this. It is for the masses. Nevertheless, it is forgotten that duality does not work like that. Pleasure comes with pain. The more pleasure we pursue; equal amount of pain will be experienced in one way or another. The anticipation of pleasure is emotional pain until pleasure comes. Once pleasure is experienced, comes the pain of not being in pleasure. 😦
The above is the cycle of addiction.
The second teaching is about becoming acquainted with pain, so it is not that “painful” anymore and to avoid the other side of duality, that is pleasure as much as possible. This spiritual teachings was made popular when the understanding about the flesh, the body; as the culprit for not experiencing our spiritual side. That is bring the spirit up, the soul forward by denying the body. The masses could understand this teaching very well. “Don’t do this. Do that instead.” The issue is that pain could become the pursuit. It could become the “pleasure.” More pain experienced means a greater state of sainthood.
Masochists are those who find pleasure in pain.
The third teaching is to remain in equanimity by rejecting both, pleasure and pain; seems logical; it seems “good”… However, in Spirituality to make an “effort” to reject duality means not to experience life but to become a machine. Duality is not “bad.”
All of the above teachings have shortcomings. The issue resides in the type of consciousness we are in.
According to that consciousness, there will be a type of follower for those teachings.
A “normal” person has an addictive personality. If it feels good, you want more of it, always more. That is why the teaching of denying things is thought to be the answer to reform the person. But then, too much denial becomes an “abnormal” behavior. The question is, what is “too much”?
Thus, to deny both sides of duality; takes away the experience of life.
When our consciousness accepts pain with the same equanimity as pleasure, then there is equanimity in acceptance. That means, there is equanimity in experiencing life. When pain is not taken as pain neither pleasure as pleasure, when we abandon those ideas, there is freedom from pursuing something. It is just an experience.
Until our minds are not-self absorbed in the experience of one side or the denial of both sides of duality, then we will no experience balance, we will not enjoy life with gratitude.
It is pain bad? No. It is pleasure bad? No. It is pain good? No. It is pleasure good? No. They are neither bad nor good.
What are they?
Pain and Pleasure.
Please realize that it is our clinging mind, our mind full of attachments to liking something or even rejecting something (we become attached to that idea) that state is taking us out of balance and harmony.
The above teachings are not concerned about individuals, so they discover the state of their minds through experience and observation. Those teachings are more into putting a paragraph of “do “ and “don’t do” in a basic law, in a book to worship, so it fits all.
A “Fit all sizes” type of deal, will not fit all very well. It never has.
Nature is that source of harmony and balance in life. Everything in Nature has its own cycle; however, nothing is the same; everything changes but yet there is harmony in continual change.
Peace in movement is harmony. Balance means harmony; thus peace is balance.
Nature can be used as a source of inner healing. A closed heart due to fear to love or to relate with others is a common spiritual disease nowadays. This condition will bring sadness, close mindedness, lack of trust and our inner world will be dried up. This spiritual condition will manifest as a physical disease sooner or later.
We can observe our inner selves to break those mental complexes, beliefs and ideas which are shattering our spiritual progress, but that work may not be complete. There is always something coming out from our darker sides, as rabbits from the magician’s hat.
Here is where Nature can help.
Just completely abandon yourself in the presence of Nature and quickly, go over the issues in your mind. The sensation will be as when a little dog is kept in a house for a long time and the first thing the dog will do when let go outside, is to look for grass and turn around in it, in happiness.
That is the way to cleanse our energy field through the help of Nature.
Similarly, we could use different elements in Nature to energetically “clean ourselves.” The sand at the beach is another, or just floating in the water as a “dead body.”
As long as our hearts are closed due to feeling emotional pain, there will be further accumulation of emotional sorrow.
The feeling of universal love is needed to open that heart.
Nature brings that universal energy by contemplating its unlabeled beauty.
A similar experience is experienced by those who seek God. Then, God means that universal form of love that could open our closed hearts; rather than what is usually seen as: A selective, individualized love.
From the universal we can go into the particular, individual. We cannot pretend to only know love from an individualized view and extend it to the world, for love is universal.
Harmony is in the totality of things. Appreciation is that totality. Wholesomeness is in that which is Universal, because it is complete, total. When something is complete, it is harmonious.
Thank you for your question!
There are different levels of “detachment.” Athletes can feel pain and go over it to finish a race. Obviously,there is no thought of “pain” at that time, but once they finish the race, their bodies will pay the price of not stopping “in time.” Pain is a warning. When pain is unbearable, we will lose consciousness. In between, our thoughts will be enhanced as pain increases. If we could stop thoughts on that, we will be like that athlete. That is sort of like my experience.
Detachment from thoughts, or being “thought-less” is a state of higher awareness, as long as there is the perception of the “true” self, the being, the self, the soul. In that state there is “absorption,” that is; there is no longer “you.” If this state could be maintained strongly, “I” am guessing that it is possible not to feel physical pain; but that is not my experience yet.
Therefore, to answer your question, “it could lead” as long as that absence of thoughts is due to the perception of the being, the self- and this has to be a very strong state of being… but hasn’t been my experience yet… nor “I” am in a hurry to find out 🙂
Thank you for your great question!
The issue is in thinking about it. Depression is characterized by thoughts. If you stop thinking those things then the problem is solved; that is why many succumb into drinking or some other activity to get “distracted” temporarily but the issue is not solved.
Unfortunately, your question is too general; so I will give an example.
Let us say that you have an emotional problem. Let us say that you keep thinking on a “loved one.”
1) drink 2) Get a new person 3) get busy with things.
“non normal solutions”:
1) welcome that pain. Don’t oppose it. Give into it. That is, not only think about all you want but completely feel it, without escaping. That suffering will “burn away” some of that ego who is suffering. Make some time for that, let it overwhelm you once and for all. After the storm, the calm will follow. That is called “mourning at once.”
2) Remembrance/yoga: Remembrance of Baba as the beloved for BKs, that is similar to the “normal” #2 above: Get a new person. If you continue with that practice things will improve but is certain that the same pain will come back if a similar experience is experienced again. A submerged sanskara can emerge again.
3) Center yourself in the awareness of the self. Watch the thoughts, be aware that your reality of suffering is not “real” unless there are thoughts. Your life is not equal to your thoughts. Go beyond those thoughts and just feel. Nature is a good way to help us on that. As long as you have the awareness of the source of your issues in your thoughts and become aware of them, those thoughts will lose their grip on you, that is you may be able to think about the issues, but they will not affect you anymore.
If you try to forget, you will give that issue additional strength. Remember: You must not reject. Just let it be. Allow that pain through thoughts to be there and become aware that you are not your thoughts, neither your life is your thoughts. That is the key element. Whatever method you choose it should take you into breaking the association that you are your thoughts. That is why drinking “helps” and drugs help. They either break the association or take you into another “air trip” which has a very painful “landing.”
In the example of “losing the loved one,” there is suffering because there is no love from the heart but from the mind. When the mind is involved, the mind wants to posses the experience, to be attached and the mind will feel “alone” without that fix to survive. The mind will start crying and if you believe that you are your mind, you will cry as well.
The mind cannot give us peace. The heart can do that and when overwhelming the mind will follow. So let the heart take over, the feelings from the heart take over the thinking mind; in other words; transform thinking into feelings. Become a poet.