All Life experiences will move through a range “full to empty or empty to full” (- It is just a way to describe) which the conditioned mind is not able to grasp. For the conditioned mind, to go from “full to empty,” means to lose, to be worse off, to go down, etc. Likewise when someone is going from “empty to full,” we label that as becoming better, improving, getting to the top, etc.
Notice that our labeling will determine how we feel about our experience.
Although we are the same human beings, we are different. Every human represents a particular point of an experience on the range of experiences.
For instance, a fat man with a high appetite, low sexual libido, a funny personality and a great fear of heights; represents different ranges of different experiences, all in one “package” which we label as “John Doe.” A thin, bulimic woman with a high sexual libido and bipolar personality, represents another range of experiences.
There is nothing to judge or to label but to observe that there will be people in between those ranges of the fat guy and the thin woman. Life will offer us through all living beings different ranges of experiences and possibilities. Those things are never static, change is guarantee.
Humans caged by their mental “static”conditioning, will be in charge of labeling and defining what is “right/wrong, good and bad.”
This creates a “traumatic” experience.
Every experience in Life, is just that… an experience. We may go to sleep and never wake up again. That experience is out of our control.
Choosing one experience in duality, will bring unavoidably the rejected one. So why choose? Why attach our consciousness to an ideal which will bring the opposite?
Notice that because we are alive, then death is a certainty. Notice that because we are young, old age is certain. That is the range of experiences.
We like to compare labels such as “young” is “better than” “old.”
However, it is a polarity of the same type of experience: Aging.
Every single individual has a perception, a way of looking at things based on their conditioning. We like to label that as “true” or “truth,” but it is just a perception.
Many individuals are caught up in finding the “right” experience in Life, the “true” perception of “reality,” and in that search, they are willing to fake it and will pursue what is not for them to experience.
That is how we betray ourselves. If the “majority” sees a blue sky and I don’t; I must believe that the sky is blue to fit in. Peer pressure. Majority rules. The power of the masses.
What is the bottom line?
To enjoy whatever perception we truly experience, for it is only a perception and it is meant to change, to evolve.
What do we do instead?
We want to hold on to a mental ideal of what “should be.” We strive for that.
We hear many times: “Be yourself.”
That is meaningless unless we are willing to de-conditioning by dissolving our beliefs, taboos, hang ups, ideals and values; that is what Spirituality is meant to bring.
Someone may be experiencing a debilitating disease as an experience. What is there to enjoy?
A disease does not come by itself but adds up a circumstance around our lives. There are many other items that come along. For instance, the opportunity to have free time, the opportunity to be in the company of loved ones, the opportunity to enjoy certain items which other “normal” individuals cannot. There are so many other things to enjoy around the circumstance.
What do we do instead?
We curse our lives, our “luck,” the moment we were born, our parents. That focus in one particular aspect of Life which we reject will poison our being.
Because we are so focused on that one thing, we are unable to see the rest, we do not have the capacity to step outside ourselves, out of the pitiful “I” to observe beyond our narrow tunnel of thoughts. Whatever it is, it will change.
Enjoyment is around that “I.” Enjoy that moment! There is nothing that could last forever. That is a great blessing, indeed! 🙂
AWARENESS is not something to practice. It is something to be aware of…
How to make sense of that sentence? We heard so much about being AWARE, but all we have are beliefs, interpretations, concepts, information of what that is thus, useless stuff for self-realization.
“Useless” is the right word. It has to be experiential to be able to understand, to know.
Here is an “exercise.” It is not something to “practice.” It is something to fully experience. If you cannot fully experience it, if you cannot let yourself go, then repeat it again.
Find a full size mirror, those that will allow you to observe most of your physical body.
If you are fully clothed, you will probably be alright. The conditioning is to look at the clothes to see if they are wrinkled, if they match, if they look good on you, etc.
Now, take your clothes off. Observe your body and your face fully while doing this “exercise.” Did you notice your tummy? The size of your sexual organs? The color of your skin? The wrinkles in your face?
Did you notice how you feel while observing those elements of your body?
AWARENESS resides in that.
Did you feel shame? Did you blush and feel embarrassed?
In that moment, that is who YOU are.
Isn’t it silly to get embarrassed by looking at your own body?
That is where the hang up resides. Look for the root of it.
Did you like your body?
That is sick! You are supposed to like someone else’s body but not your own. Perhaps you have some homosexual issues… huh?
That’s it! You found another trauma. Go to the root of it. A body is a body. There is beauty in the body. Appreciate it. Enjoy the moment.
Want to go on with the exercise?
OK. Caress your face while looking at the mirror. What do you feel? Caress your chest. What do you feel? Caress your sexual organs. What do you feel?
Masturbation is “bad”! I shouldn’t touch myself! Do you recognize that thought? What is the difference between touching your face and your sexual organs? Find the beliefs, the taboos. Observe how you feel. Be aware of it.
How could you enjoy pleasure with all of those hang ups, taboos and beliefs in morality and decency?
You cannot. Your mind will not allow you. It is not the ACTION what makes something “sinful.” It is what you feel while DOING it.
How do you “love yourself” if you cannot accept what you see and what you feel by touching your own precious body?
Do you take care of it? Now you are aware…
Want to go deeper? Now self-pleasure yourself in front of the mirror. Look at your face but even more important, observe what you feel. Observe the taboos, the moral standards, the traumas flowing…
Do you feel shame? How about guilt? Someone watching you?
Be AWARE of all of that to discover who you truly are.
Observe how all of that inside you is being covered by decent words, spiritual concepts, Godly morality, that stuff is defining you, coercing you to comply with the conditioning. Discover the root of it, liberate yourself!
There cannot be innocence while looking at your image in that mirror and caressing yourself, until that rust accumulated over many Life experiences, is cleaned up, cleared. For that stuff will be the “inheritance” you will give to others close to you.
Become AWARE of that.
The ego, the “I,” is the source of mental anguish and suffering. Someone may experience physical suffering; it is just another experience unless it is interpreted as everlasting trauma.
As we know, everything in Life changes. That movement happens all by itself. If the mind is attached to a traumatic experience, then it will be re-lived when a trigger appears.
The trauma is created when there is a rejection to a particular experience.
That is how the “I” separates from Life.
“Spiritual sugarcoating,” is meant to strengthen that “I.” It is meant to support it. There are many ways to do that, but here is a powerful one: It s called CHOICE.
“Choice” is the strongest support. Choice comes from the mind. It is conditioned. If we have 2 paths ahead of us, which one do we take?
If the mind “chooses,” it is for sure the “I” choosing. Many reasons. Weigh the “Pros.” At that point we say: “I choose.”
If the gut feeling is choosing for us, then there is no choice. That feeling is out of our control. It does not depend on our conditioning, our beliefs, our rehearsed moral standards. There is “no- I” in that.
Have you heard the Taoist phrase, “Doing nothing doing, to get things done”? It is about a choice-less decision/action. Actually, there is no decision, no thought, no mind.
To learn to listen to our gut feeling implies to step aside from our conditioning. Honesty resides in learning to listen to our gut feeling.
“So what is the “science” behind listening to our gut feeling?”
This is not science. This is Life. To go according to our feelings will make us “feel good.” Do we need any further explanation? Do we need any other reasoning?
To feel is fulfilling in itself.
“But what about if we get a “bad” experience?”
Life is not linear. There is something to learn, ups and downs. Something is needed to be experienced before there is change. To learn to listen to our gut feeling is probably the most important “skill” that we can have in Life.
Because that is our connection with Life. That is what we are meant to DO for Life, for us. It is egoless. That is our mission. Life manifests an action, an activity through us.
If we cannot connect to our “gut feeling,” because we are not sure what it is , then start with the mind. We need to recognize when the mind kicks in, how it interferes with our daily affairs and how we believe that “I am the dictates of the mind.”
That is the only “spiritual practice” that Ahnanda could endorse.
To learn about your own mind by observing it, should be the most precious “spiritual class” that we could ever take, under the setting of the “spiritual retreat” of your own sacred time and space.
Recognize when you are hungry and when the mind tells you that you should eat. Recognize when the mind cuts your enjoyment of looking at a flower, just to throw a thought about your day at the office. Recognize when the “little voice” speaks and how readily we identify with that voice as “Me.”
Observe that as long as we are used to only listen to our mind, we cannot have “choice,” for all there is in the mind… is timeless conditioning, beliefs, taboos, hangups, ideals, learned morality…
“If the “choice” of my mind is not really “my” choice for there is conditioning and the choice of “my gut feeling” is not “my” choice, then where is “my” choice?”
🙂 Nowhere. This ain’t sugarcoat.