Sleep is of paramount importance for our well-being, however; many will live life without the experience of proper rest.
There are the classic “tips,” like going to bed early, or disconnecting from computers, phones and TV a couple hours before sleeping, or even not to eat too late, etc. Those are “good” tips for most individuals (especially to shut down electronic devices.) Many will take a pill to snooze fast and will go along with the consequences of secondary effects. Nevertheless, there are suggestions that may be needed for other types of people.
In my years as a “seeker,” I used to wake up before 4 am to meditate for 45 minutes every morning. This practice has great benefits if and only if, we get a good sleep the night before. This reduced my sleeping time from 8 hours to 6 or less. I used to take a nap in the afternoon as well but, there were times when I was very tired from lack of sleep.
Even though our society considers that 8 hours of sleep is needed to recover properly, there are different sleeping needs as there are humans. Those needs will change in everyone, as we age in Life.
Sleeping is not a matter of quantity, but on how profound we let go of that which we call “I.” That is not “quality” but depth. “Sleeping like a baby,” happens when we become babies.
When we dissolve that consciousness of “I” with its perceived problems, and allow ourselves to disappear into the Totality, we will sleep very well, profound, even if for 3 hours.
As we become more sensible to other energies surrounding our environment, we may be susceptible to noises at the gross level or to energies around our bedroom, at the subtle level.
If there are noises caused outside and there is nothing we could do to stop it, we could integrate with that rather than reject it. If we reject, we will trigger heightened emotionality inside us. Our mind will go on with insults, complaints, ways to get even, etc. That will produce in turn, wakefulness of the “I.” An empty mind is helpful to avoid heightened emotionality.
Integration is not a “practice.” Animals will do it naturally in their environment despite their very sensitive senses. They are able to rest.
At the subtle level, there are many energies around our bedroom. Those energies sometimes interfere with proper sleep. For instance, sex is energy and there are subtle entities feeding on that as there is a continuous interchange with the environment. Also, if the bedroom is used for anything else but to sleep and to have sex with a loved one; then this “sacred” space is polluted at the subtle level and we will have difficulties to fall sleep. One way of cleaning is through the use of harmonious sounds. I use a “Tibetan singing bowl.”
This sound needs to be applied in all 4 corners of the bedroom (subtle energies prefer to dwell in the corners,) from the floor to the ceiling. Standing, hold the bowl and then bend over near the floor to play the bowl with the mallet and as the sound starts, raise the bowl as high as you can go towards the ceiling. This “practice” has worked for me very well. Here is an easy one to try: Change your position in your bed. Place your head where normally your feet are located for a couple of days. This is another practice that has worked for me.
The art of sleeping well, requires from us to let go of our personality. Many individuals fearing death may have a hard time sleeping well, for the “I” fears to lose control of its own existence.
Crowded cities present a sleeping problem. Buildings and apartment complexes are too close together and subtle energies do not know about limiting walls. Many times, it may not be “us” but others.
As we get closer to Nature and its rhythms, then balance reappears.
The conditioning is in the perception that it is “ME,” the one “getting old.” Some will share this perspective by complaining about it: Decline in physical abilities, diseases, etc. Others will talk about the “beautiful aspects of getting old.” Today, there will be new perspectives.
The first one is the perspective of the “I.”
“I” was a baby, “I” will return to that stage.
“Getting old” is the way that Life has to take us to our beginning in this lifetime. Physically, a baby is as unprotected as an old person is. Although, the body cannot shrink back to a baby’s size; the body becomes feeble, walking becomes a new experience as we age. Therefore, to be childlike is the characteristic of someone who is becoming harmoniously older.
Do we notice that?
Of course, there are others whose mind relentless demand to be the “same.” That insanity will take the person into desperation, bitterness and an unpleasant experience. For instance, a father who is old enough to be a grandfather (or a small child) who still believes to be the “boss in the house.” Even though his mental abilities have declined, his pride (ego) will demand the same responsibilities that he once had.
Have we noticed how the “young look” may not work for many individuals who try all sort of cosmetic help? It comes a time, when it is not harmonious. Our character dictates how pleasant our face is in later years.
We are born as babies. We should go back as babies before we die. That is the cycle of Life. Our perception is to call the stage of “going back” as “old.”
The majority could observe all of the above, as most are aware of the perception of the “I.”
A less frequent perception, is when there is no identification with an “I.” There is no “old age” there. Who is “old”? “I.” Without that, there is only NOW.
“Look at this old picture. Look what everyone is saying.” It is in the perception of the majority, how we feel identified. There is no old age but only in comparison, when the mind is used to compare the “before” and “after.”
Every day is a new experience. Every day is a new “I.” That “I” has static memories, which no longer exist. It is the past. Bodies change all the time, and so experiences and personality. Everything is bound to change! However, our names may remain the same and our memory through the mind, brings the idea of a static self.
No matter what perception we take about “old age,” we will need to recognize that there is nothing static, nothing permanent, nothing that we could hold on; no matter how hard we “work on,” or how much effort we put into.
We are already flowing in Life, but our minds are painting a static, unchangeable picture, which is responsible for our sour taste of feeling powerless to change things our way; what we think it “should be.” That wall of beliefs will hit the reality of change. That wall is meant to separate. It is that feeling of separation constantly nagging us to look for meaning.
Our “old age” is not the time to search for meaning in Life or look for “salvation.” It is the time to enjoy the freedom of naturally losing the rigidity of our mind. That is not a small thing in our mind-based society.
Less mind means greater capacity for enjoyment in Life.
A Disease appearing out of living life is a “stop” sign. We could stop, watch the road in all directions and choose the one more suitable for us. Without this opportunity, we will go in automatic pilot, while daydreaming. Just like driving a car through the same roads. The “same old thing” will occur.
We could perceive that same disease in many other ways. After all, it is just a matter of perspective. WHAT IS, IS. We try to make sense of it, explain it, come up with a “reason,” etc.
We have been trained to “fight it” as if that was an enemy. That idea that anything that happens to us against our will or conditioning is “bad,” is so detrimental.
An athlete could have a disease that may stop his “achievements.” Nevertheless, Life is not concerned with that human idea. Our bodies are not designed for “performances,” although our society has made that idea, something to live by.
A “normal” person developing a disease may feel an inconvenience; something is getting in his way. Something to “win” the “fight” is needed, to get rid of the thing without further thought.
Very few will look into that disease as something to learn from. Undoing what we have done in Life, may take sometime, but we will learn a valuable experience once we dive into the underlying cause of such “stop sign” in our lives. Look beyond the physical aspect. Look into the emotional aspects.
We could choose to ignore the signs. We could choose to cover it as we do with many other things in Life, but sooner or later it will resurface and to undo what has been done, will take longer to heal naturally.
At the end of the day, duration of the “stop sign” is in direct proportion to our awareness.
Life is so full of variety even if we live in the same place for over 50 years. However, our conditioning make it so dull and tasteless, even with great entertainment.
Life is a symphony made of harmony. That harmony is without explanation or methodology. When we walk away from that synchronicity, a “stop sign” will appear in our path. Health is another movement of harmony in Life. It doesn’t happen because we have a strong will or because we read a lot. It is not the product of our reasoning.
Health is a state of equilibrium, which calls to redefine ourselves during our Lifetime. Today “I am this.” Tomorrow, “I am something else.” (present tense)
Note that I am not saying “ I will be something else,” (future tense) for that is only a creation of our conditioned mind. What I will be tomorrow, will happen tomorrow. That brings acceptance and faith in our destiny.
Acceptance is inner health.
To fight in Life for what we want, may sound good to get a job or in our next speech for an office; but in the greater view of Life, it only means our inability to integrate with Life by supporting the increase of the size of our ego. That mental construct (ego) does not exist, yet we make it so real. That sounds like a mental disease. We may need to be aware of it.
The concept of “improvement” has many meanings.
In our society, it is about obtaining things: Comfort, a position, wealth, health, etc. This meaning comes from a position of “lack of.”
The mind compares and assesses according to our conditioning. Because this comes from the mind, there is no inner fulfillment.
“Spirituality” for the masses (best sellers) is about transposing this concept into virtues and subtle powers or stages of self-realization. That perception is very simplistic and far from what Life supports; nevertheless, it is easy to understand and to follow. For a seeker, it means that he can assess his own improvement.
“This method changed my Life,” we hear; just like a commercial from TV.
In Life, “improvement” is consciousness. Greater consciousness means greater inner observation. There is inner fulfillment without looking for it.
The masses are unable to understand this.
How is it possible to “improve” by merely observing myself?
In Life, everything has a rhythm. Night changes into day, little by little.
If a human being could “improve” things, that person may want to speed up the timing for that change. “It used to take this long to get to dawn. Now it is less.”
Observe that “improvement.” It is unnatural. It is based on the human ideal to favor day rather than night for economic reasons or any other “reason.”
In Life, when we are not aware of timing of a change, we are acting in a very egoistic way. It does not matter if the DOING is labeled as a “good action.” Something is out of synch.
To “improve” in Life, means to be in tune with Life.
When we OBSERVE, we are attentive to what is natural. Consequently, our actions will consider that.
CHANGE is happening continuously in Life. It happens all the time at every moment; but yet; humans are concerned in DOING their own change. That unnatural movement is detrimental to our environment and consequently to ourselves.
Why are we so concerned in “Saving the Planet”? That is yet another DOING of the mind. Because we separated ourselves from Nature and Life, the interests of our society were our top priority over the common good, that is Nature and all its players (animals, plants, etc.)
Our lack of OBSERVATION took us to this place were the SAVIOR and the SINNER are the same. Do we see that? SAVING the planet from WHO?
To ask our society in general to take a second look and OBSERVE the natural ways is utopia. Society only knows about “spending money” (mental conditioning) and DOING things without understanding of LIFE, to “improve” things.
What is the understanding needed?
As it is inside, it is outside. A chaotic individual cannot “save” something that he perceives as being outside himself. He must start with himself.
“Yeah, but this will take a long time for every individual to DO that. We need a practical solution now!”
The dog is biting its own tail. It is a wonder how it doesn’t feel pain. Perhaps if we buy a band-aid and put it in the “right” spot of the tail, things will improve. Here may be the next campaign: $$upport band-aids! Save the dog!
For many seekers, to be unmovable and stoic in the presence of hardship is a sign of “improvement.” Seekers may copy this behavior without seeing the inner lie.
Seekers do not realize that any natural change has a process. It is not a matter of forcing a behavior to copy a saint, a guru or an illuminated one. In society, “I” may appear to be “improving” if my behavior is impervious to misfortune but in Life, there is a consequence for that lack of inner honesty.
The idea of fighting to get what “I” want in Life or to enforce that which “I” believe is worthwhile based on my conditioning, is pursued as a value in Life.
In our society, if something comes which is not what “I” want, that is to be rejected. Fought against.
Life is like an Ocean. It has waves moving towards the shore in different directions. Some days, there is a high tide. How do I get into the Ocean to swim?
I can walk towards it stoically, without reaction, as the waves may act as whips inflicting pain. “I must put up with that pain. I will get to the end soon.” We may think. For many, that is their extent of “spirituality.” It is about cheering someone up with pretty words through hard times.
Others, may dive underneath the visible waves. They are not “fighting like a man,” they are not “being visible” but they can accomplish the same purpose, to be able to swim.
Nevertheless, this person is separated from what IS. This person cannot relax. This person is in the lookout for the next wave. Be like a cat: Vigilant but relaxed. That is an art in itself.
However, integration with “what IS” is not there. That is, accept what IS. Become part of it.
Have you noticed that many times there are people who like and enjoy to DO things that we don’t?
How do you behave if you happen to be in the same environment? Many will reject what IS. We can walk out, we can walk away but what truly matters is if there is a rejection inside us.
A Life walker learns that differences are meant to be truly appreciated and then integrated.
Integration takes inner openness, acceptance. It may be expressed as : “I will give it a shot.”
Life is seen as a compilation of experiences. There is no label of rejection inside us.
Even death is accepted with integration. It is only another experience.
Do we “practice” integration with Life?
NO. Life will teach us when we are ready.
How do we become ready?
By BEING CONSCIOUS of living Life. Otherwise, we are confined to ideas, ideals, wishes, expectations, conditioning. That is dreaming.
It is a wonder that we dream constantly even though we believe to be awake.
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.
Although in the “civilized” world, witchcraft is dismissed as fantasy; many spiritual seekers may have experienced this little known area.
Historically, humans have searched for ways to alter the natural course of the world. Humans want to change things without being noticed. Witchcraft is used for this.
In many countries, witchcraft is used as part of the cultural ways of Life. For instance, a witch may offer his/her services to “unite couples.” If John loves Mary and she does not correspond, then a witch could help. A witch may ask for a picture of the loved one or something that she wears. Mary may change but that is unnatural. That change is a coward attempt to utilize another human being.
A witch could be used to debilitate someone or even kill a person. For the common man, this may look as a disease or sudden death.
It is more comfortable to believe that a person dies from “unknown causes” than witchcraft. It is very difficult or almost impossible to prove.
How does it happen?
We are multidimensional beings. When a person dies, a “psychological remainder” lives. It is unnoticed by many as most individuals do not have the sensibility to perceive these energies; but those are there. Witches will trap these energies and use them for their purpose.
Many times, we think that we have created our thoughts. These energies may be there, influencing our thinking and our feelings. If we are not AWARE, how could we change things? There is not a chance.
Individuals using witchcraft for their own purposes are truly hurting themselves. In Life, everything we DO to others, we will DO it to ourselves.
Even though human laws may not have a chance against witchcraft, those using these practices will suffer the consequences.
The natural law in Life is that we are all ONE. Those using witchcraft to hurt others, will pay a steep price.
Even though we think that we may be alone, we are not. The physical world is only one realm of “life” out of many. We are all influencing each other.
Most are only AWARE of the physical realm. That awareness will determine their scope of understanding of Life.
“Do unto others as you would have do unto you.”
That is a basic law for those with basic understanding. That law is not based on the perception of oneness, but rather on the perception of separation. “I” will do good to you because I want it for myself. This is not a virtue but a transaction. There are interests behind it.
The “golden rule” does not consider the oneness of all. If our consciousness was based on oneness, the golden rule could not be understood.
The world of spirits is real and so, human greed.