What do I DO to “improve”?

Observe the Life of a public “famous” person, a “star.” Without a doubt, he has experienced ups and downs in his lifetime.
Beauty, fame, power, health, joy and wealth had different intensities throughout his life. There is no point in time where everything was all there, unchanged as if he had “arrived.”

There is no point in time where a person is the “same” all the way until death arrives. This is a fact.

A what point in Life, that person was “improving”? It just depends on what someone looks at. Some examples of “improving”:
Did he settle with one partner rather than many? Did she take up yoga and meditation as part of her life style? Did he sell 1 million copies of his best seller book? Was she inducted in the rich and famous hall of fame? Are those singular things “improvement”? It is relative. Life is bigger than any single improvement.

Life cannot be compartmentalized, cut in pieces, but we do it in our minds, so “improvement” happens as an ideal to strive for.
That ideal will create in turn the duality of “success and failure.” We are sold on that one. The fiction of success is as real as failure.

Observe the artificiality of all. That is how we live Life, believing that our mental creations, ideals are Life.

In Life, the word “improvement” does not exist. It is not needed as Life has its own movements, as shared before; the full range of experiences entails to go through the 2 sides of a duality.

How does it “work”? 

Observe any “positive” virtues or qualities in your favorite actress. The potential for the “negative” opposites is there as well. As a matter of fact, it will be experienced by that person at different times of her current existence or it was in another Life experience , or it will be in the future.
The full range of experiences needs to be experienced. BEING all of those.

That is how we have a variety of people in the world, experiencing a piece of the diversity of the ranges of experiences.
Our conditioning is ready to label and judge their experiences as “good or bad.” It does not matter. Our morality is worth diddly-squat in the way Life moves.

That is why it was shared that enjoyment of the experience is important. That quality of enjoyment is how we “become better.” (Those are not the most accurate words to use, but for the sake of being understood or misunderstood.)

That quality of enjoyment does not depend on what we have, what we earn, where we are in society or how we behave in society.
It all depends on how AWARE we are.
Greater conditioning, means less capacity for enjoyment.
Why?
Because we have learned all those sacred “go getter” keywords that we would like to “achieve” in Life to “make it worthwhile,” to find a “purpose.”
That is garbage.

Enjoy Life. Be open to the diversity of it. Expect the unexpected without judgment, without trying to “make sense.”
It is that sense the one that has been conditioned.
Live today, die tomorrow. No big deal. Have you enjoyed the ride?

Yes? Then there will be fulfillment. Nothing is missing.
If we try to “practice” any of the above, we will be fakes for we will try to “accomplish” that thing which looks good for ME… I’ve got to have it! (back into the conditioning of society.)
That “practice” could be made into a religion or some “system” to “help people” and to help MY pocket…but it is completely artificial. 

BEING changes through AWARENESS. Give yourself an ample space of solitude to observe the movie of Life. It is in that observation how we learn from the actors of Life and enjoy their unique parts. The plot will keep on changing, but as long as we OBSERVE it without judgment, we will enjoy it… and improve by DOING nothing. 🙂

Be alone to know the depth of your “I.”

In your view, what is the most valuable “practice” in the path of self-realization?

That question is not properly made. It is biased with the belief that we need to “practice” to achieve something in “spirituality” to become a “better” person.
Nevertheless, let me share my experience.
To learn to be comfortable with yourself and to have a full life while living alone, is the most important “practice.”

Most “spiritual” people may understand this as to “force yourself” to DO it, because practice “makes perfect.” That is the conditioning, the discipline of practicing something to “achieve it.” That is fine for man-made ideals, but BEING does not change like that.

Life will put you in that situation. That is the natural path, that goes along with individual readiness.

Someone who is not ready, will internally fight it. Outwardly he may be living a life of a hermit like monks and nuns DO. However, they are busy with their own mental ideas, desires and needs to achieve Paradise, enlightenment and favors from God.

When you are comfortable with yourself, at peace; there is nothing to DO, nothing to achieve, nothing to look forward to. In our language and conditioning that may sound as the description of a “loser,” but it is far from it. It is the plain enjoyment of your own company and the experience of feeling fulfilled, at peace, vital.

This is not a compulsory activity (DOING) to become enlightened or “better.” It is a harmonized, natural response of being at peace.
It is in that state of balance how we discover the meaning of to “live in the now,” for the mind cannot go to the future as there is no need to achieve anything: No prize, no grandiose ideal to become, no “spiritual” after-life fantasy to get.

Going into the memories of the past, will show me all the pieces of the riddle which are building the “now,” although without identification with the one who at one time “I was,” the traumatic past experiences do not have the pull to remain in my psyche and change my enjoyment into sadness. The one from that past is not the same as the one who is now. Even though we have the same name and the same memories, there is no continuity of that “I” internally. “I” am free by not BEING a particular “I” at any point in time, by not defining me.

When the mind has no place to go, then enjoyment arrives through the feeling of BEING at peace, in harmony with “what is.”

The mental conditioning of what is supposed to be “fun,” or enjoyable does not allow us to BE, for the mind will look for that idea as the definition of success. Anything less is failure and the conditioning is to avoid it at all costs.
Define something, then that exists. Make that into an ideal to obtain, and the “reality” will be that it cannot be obtained. However, the mind will be entertained with the possibility to achieve that.

What is what I can DO to “improve”?
Become aware of the conditionings. Not to reject them, but to observe that any decision, any choice that we think we make, is coming from certain conditioning which we label as “truth.”
This awareness of all those things that we have learned through conditioning, is the “solution” that will prompt us to unlearn.
Without unlearning there cannot be newness.
Without newness, life may be the “same old thing.”  🙂

Appreciation and Enjoyment: The true doctrine of God

Observe that I have purposely used conditioned terminology: Truth, Doctrine and God.
Those 3 words have all the ingredients to enhance any “spiritual” message, to make it sound important. That is the conditioning!

Life is. We live it. We are conscious of it. That is the gift.
To be conscious of BEING, to BE conscious of the surroundings including our own bodies, that is a fantastic experience!

When we wake up in the morning from sleeping, the gift of a new experience is right there. However, our minds will add conditioned thoughts to define our current newness with the past, it will unwind the reel of past experiences to shape up our perspective on things… That is how Life becomes the “same old thing.”

The interesting aspect is that we want to hang onto the known. That which is known to us, secure, unchangeable which basically follows the pattern of our mind: The mind welcomes static things, lifeless things, something that could be labeled and classified as “good or bad.” Those labels will remain unchanged through centuries of conditioning.

“Snake.” Observe the feeling that this word brings, the imagery, the emotions. Whatever it is, the bottom line is: Is it “good or bad”?

We are so lifeless when living through words!
The effect of hanging onto the known brings fear. Our minds are masters in the art of infusing fear.

Then, we search for God, we look for truth, for a doctrine to “save us” to keep us safe, to mitigate fear.
Life becomes a task, a DOING to accomplish that safety, whether that is through possession of goods, the pursue of god or the attainment of what is good. Do you see how similar those words are?

“God, goods, good.” Observe your feelings for those words, your emotions, your conditioning.

Life is away from all those words and their connotation and conditioning.
Your experience of BEING is related with feelings and those feelings get distorted through words, concepts, definitions.

Life is not about static “TRUTH.” It is about appreciation of perspectives (realities not reality) and thus, enjoyment of them. To allow them to change as Life changes, as BEING changes without the need of the artificial DOCTRINE (religious, political) that keeps things under control, to bring the sensation of safety, to calm down fear.

Away from that Life of concepts, ideals and conditioning Life IS.
Appreciation and enjoyment of “what is” without further labels, is the key for change, for self-transformation, self-realization, enlightenment and all of those “good” but meaningless words.

Life is away from our mind driven life. 🙂

Unconditional awareness of conditioning

The word AWARENESS has become accepted by the collective consciousness (masses) as a viable method for self-help, but the application of that “concept” to “improve” lives (help others) has become difficult.
Why?
Because intellectual understanding does not bring change in BEING. That is the main reason as to why all “methods” are only palliative in nature, like putting a bandage on a deep wound.
“So… there is no need for methods?”
Please don’t allow the conditioned mind to believe that it is either “no-method” or a particular method the “only truth.” It is neither following Krishnamurti (no-method) or Osho’s ideas (method) what brings “enlightenment.”

The word “method” and the word “enlightenment”  are the obstacles to move forward. A “method” is mass produced. Enlightenment is individual. If you search for enlightenment, you will never find it. It is not found. It happens as a fruit ripens through a process of living life experiences.

The word AWARENESS is only a broad pointer. That is why, I’d like to narrow it down and use the pointer AWARENESS of CONDITIONING.

If we are not aware of our conditioning in our everyday activities and ideas, then we are sleeping and for that reason, “methods” become important. “Methods” to get out of our drowsiness then we may become aware, awaken…  Aware of what?
Of our conditionings. No methods needed anymore.
Now, you see how the question: What is the truth: To follow a method or not to follow one?… Is truly a conditioned question.  It all depends on your BEING awake or BEING asleep , not on a method or lack of it.

As a kid, did you ever want a skateboard or an expensive shirt that your friends had, but your parents could not afford?
Do you see the conditioning? Probably not as a kid. Then, it became a trauma.

What about if you are well into your 20s without a girlfriend or a boyfriend. Do you see the pressure that society inflicts on you? The labels that you may get? That is conditioning. That collective pressure changes individuals against their will.

What about if you are married and do not have kids, or only have one. Don’t you feel the pressure to have kids or to have the “couple” and to buy a pet for them? That is conditioning. Observe how it manipulates.
What about your profession? Are you happy but not paid well? That will be the source of social pressure for you or your family. Conditioning.

Do you believe in God even though you have not seen him or experienced him? That is  a well known conditioning. Why do you believe in what you believe? What happens if you drop it? Can you do that without feeling guilty? The feeling of guilt is behind conditioning.

Do you see money and power as the only worthwhile things to pursue in Life? That is heavy conditioning. Buying defines you. You are what you own. Nothing else.

Are you over 40? Not “good looking”? Do you have a handicap? under tall? Are you homosexual? Middle class? Do you feel that you fit in society? That is conditioning.
No one could ever fit the ideal of the “perfect citizen/person” that society unconsciously is putting in our minds.

Observe how those traits bother you. The buttons that it pushes. Observe your efforts to deny those things, to cover them up. Observe the traumas. Do you want a “solution”? Do you want to change “what is” into something else just to blend into the conditioned collective consciousness?

You see, the “solution” is not to change to the whims of the masses and the collective consciousness, but to merely be AWARE of the game, so you can play in it, and not be played by it.
Become aware of the conditioning and AWARE of how your actions, your DOING are not made through “free will” (you may think you have free will) but through conditioning.
That is the starting point of awakening.

Question: What is the method to drop the conditioning of the mind?

…It is 100% true that our mind brings suffering. With Master Osho I have realized that mind simply has to be dropped in the journey of going closer to Truth or Enlightenment. But what is Ahnanda’s method to drop the mind? Yes, you have suggested deconditioning the mind. There are 1001 conditionings that society has given us. It’s kind of strange and full of efforts to decondition yourself. PLEASE guide and throw some light on it…it will really help.

Thank you for your question.
Ahnanda is not a guide for anyone. Ahnanda only shares his experiences. The mind is neither “good nor bad.” It is an available tool, that is all.

If you find a “problem” then you will look for a “solution.” That is the duality within society. The game of Life is not like that. Every experience makes up the journey, those are transient experiences necessary as they are.

The mind has increased its importance in our society. The mind is a repository of past experiences, knowledge, morality, values, behaviors, etc. This repository brings to the “now” past information that we use as “truth.” The mind uses “black or white” logic to handle “problems.” Nevertheless, the mind is not a reliable “tool” in Life for it can only see the surface based on learned conditioning.

The “office world” relies on the mind. What we come up with as “solutions” is all conditioning, but we label it as “the “right” thing to “solve” issues in society. However, those will become a “problem” later on.

For instance, the “business mind” has brought many comforts to society, but at the same time; its own deterioration.
Someone invents a light bulb, it is mass produced; then it becomes a problem for the environment. Someone thinks about using concrete to build our society, it is mass produced and there are health problems associated with this. Someone uses ethanol to power cars by mixing it with gasoline, the consequence is impacting the growth of corn for fuel, which in turn brings an environmental issue.

The business mind thrives in selling; thus, humans reproduce exponentially which is good for business… but not “good” for the environment.

Competition is about sales. Sales rely on a larger audience of buyers which in turn reduces natural resources. The duality of society: From few to many people, goes back automatically to few once the saturation point of many people have been reached, and human beings are agents for that.

The conditioned mind thinks: So, what is the “solution,” what is the method to solve this “problem”?
And Ahnanda laughs… 🙂  🙂

How is it possible for a non-domesticated animal to live in balance with Nature, with Life? I mean, they must have developed their thinking, their decision-making skills beyond human imagination! Right?  🙂 They just don’t play the game of society.

But, a rational human being who is educated in using his mind cannot live harmoniously with his environment, with Nature. Isn’t that ironical? Isn’t that paradoxical?

Probably you want a 1-2- 3 step to decondition the mind. You already have the assumption (conditioning) that this will take “effort.” It doesn’t.
It just takes “timing” for you to be ready.
Forget about DOING things to decondition “you.”
Does Nature call you? Do you love Nature to the point that it is natural for you to live close to her, with her?
Do you find that the background noise of the TV, radio and human  created noises suffocates you?
Do you find that the game of society is increasingly losing its enchantment for you?

You may be ready then. It takes 9 months before a new human life arrives. There is a process. It is not overnight.

But if you force yourself to live with Nature because of some ideal, if you force yourself not to watch TV or if you force yourself to live like a hermit because you want to “decondition” yourself… It will never happen, although it is a good learning experience!

You are ready for de-conditioning, when it arrives naturally.
You are not ready for it, if you want to make it happen, if you make “effort” to get it. Thus, become AWARE of the process and enjoy it! “You” are going somewhere whether “you” realize it  or not… 🙂 

Since you asked for “methods” below some of my recommendations to observe the mind:

1,  2,  3,  4, 5,  6,  7,  8,   9,  10,  11

No… Ahnanda will not tell you DO THIS,  DON’T DO THAT.  Enough for conditioning.

 

Questions: Decisions, choice and being “right.”

What should the decisions be based on? Why confusion happens inside us? Maybe because we are not connected to ourselves? What brings clarity. Since every action has a consequence and we know that, there is a choice everywhere and in everything. What makes it a no choice, an expression of who we are ? Sometimes there are also compulsions which can drive us, how do we know that this choice is right for us? That it is a conscious decision in accordance with our inner nature and not just a compulsive action? How can we get rid of our compulsions?
Well, one answer which comes to me is observing oneself. Still, I want you to discuss more about it and throw some more light on it.

Thank you for your questions.
“What should be decisions based on?”
It depends on the game that you are playing.
If you play the game of society, your decisions should be based on the conditioning of the mind. Carefully thought out decisions, weighing the pros and cons.
If you are playing the game of Life, the above is nonsense.
You may be able to eat pretty good with the “choice” above but you may not be able to sleep well, and without sleep; you may not be able to enjoy Life.
Sleeping well is not a matter of buying a good mattress and selecting the one with most features (as society may teach you.) It is a matter of having your conscience at ease.

“Thinking” your choices may allow you to feel that you are safe, and on the “right track to success” but that is an illusion for not everyone makes it in the game of society. Too much competition, too many variables, “stuff happens” all the time.
“Why confusion happens inside us?” Because you are not AWARE of the different games to play. Thus, what brings clarity? To sit still and empty your mind of conditioned stuff.

The game of Life entails the recognition of a force “inside” which knows our path. That is not your mind.  If you are not AWARE of it, let me describe it with unclear, dualistic words: We can call it the heart or even better, the gut as in a “gut feeling.” This decision is not a choice, for you are not willingly making it, but merely following your “instinct.” This “decision” is labeled in “spiritual circles” as following your dharma. It is a “choice-less choice.” This decision is not necessarily advantageous for you, if you look at it from the perspective of the game of Society, but nevertheless, it is the “right choice” if you look at it from the unlimited view of Life.
How do you know? There are no regrets. Your conscience will be at ease.

Sometimes the mind will interfere to convince you (rationalize) that your choice was made from your gut feeling. That is your challenge and task, to recognize. That is when the keyword you used “Observe yourself” could be handy.
A blind person can ask: What color is the sky? The response from someone who sees could be “blue.” However, what does “blue” mean to a blind person? Nothing. His question is theoretical, for color is something that he does not experience. Clarity is brought automatically, when is the time for that blind person to experience sight, in this Life or the ones after. If you understood the last writings, there is no experience lasting forever, they move from one side of the range of experiences into the other (sight/ blindness) Then, when is his turn to see, he will not ask “what color is the sky?” But before that, he could look for “solutions,” and that is an interesting game to play, which will expand his Life experiences. It is a win/win situation! 🙂

You are asking, “How do we know that this choice was right for us?”
That question means that you are playing the game of society.  Do you want to use the rules of the game of Life in the game of society? They are different games!
If you play the game of Life, there is no choice and thus no need to become anxious about hoping to have done the “right” thing or not.  If a decision is not “right” for you and this comes from your core not your mind, it is the right “decision-less decision” for the Universe… and since there is Oneness, it is the best thing for all!  A win/win situation!

Let me give you a “secret” to ease your mind. Whether you use your thoughts or your gut, whether you make a “right” decision or a “wrong” one, it is still what had to happen in Life.
So put the theory aside, the anxiety of being “right” aside and relax. Unwind.
Ultimately, any path you take whether it was chosen or not, whether north or south, will take you on the way to your destination or your money back guaranteed! – (Just using Society’s terminology for the sake of understanding. )

You asked, “how can we get rid of our compulsions?”
By not trying to get rid of them but by becoming aware of them.
As mentioned before, you cannot play the game of Life with the understanding of the rules of the game of society (get rid of something you don’t like, by hoping that someone knows the “method”- That is a toy to play with in society but not in Life.)

However, you could play the game of society and play the game of Life and enjoy both at the same time… That is a great bargain indeed! But for that to take things seriously may need to be erased in your “inner” dictionary. 🙂

The wisdom of contradiction

To complete the last article, consider this:

Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” ( From Batman Begins)

The above is a “spiritual” quote with the teaching to “never give up.” Nevertheless, it is not the complete phrase describing Life.
“Why do we rise, sir? So that we can learn to fall.”

Now, that is the complete experience.
To rise and fall come in the same package. Those are not different things, as we have been conditioned to believe. Being “successful” is only a word that we use to segment our lives. Yes, you can be “successful” at work, in sports, in your family life, at church, and whatever else we may think that we are “successful” at. BUT, that is not the whole package.
What about your health? What about your inner peace? What about your fears? What about your sex life?
Are you “successful” in all those facets at the same time, for as long as you live?
Under the above “reality” the perception of “success” and “failure” will vanish.

Now consider this:
“The true path is to go North. Follow me.” Sounds familiar?
That is incomplete.
However, the sage came a few days later and said: “The true path is to go South. Follow me.”

His followers were baffled. Why is this sage contradicting himself? Logically, there is no “truth” in contradiction! He is not a sage at all!
Which one is the true path? It is North or South? There cannot be both!

The sage gave the full experience: North and South. His followers may need a little de-conditioning to understand that.
If you could walk North all the way on Earth, wouldn’t you end up South?
That is “reality.” However, our minds are conditioned to perceive North and South as 2 different things. The “reality” of their difference is only referential.

Most religious “spirituality” avoid the full experience and embraces only one side of their own creation of duality.
“Do not do this…” This is the “true” path!

What could be the practical lesson out of the above?
Any spiritual path which does not embrace the whole human experience, is only a partial path.
Any religious holy book embracing only one side of a duality, is not the complete path. It is partial. It may have benefits for followers, yes… but it is not complete.

Self-realization is a path of inclusion,  completeness; where openness of that which we know as “I,” opens in such a way as to disappear in the immensity of Oneness.
That openness can be labeled as “surrender” ”egolessness” or some other “spiritual” label.
“You” are God, not because you ARE, but because “you” ARE NOT.
“You” are Life, not because you ARE the same as Life, but because “you” ARE NOT.

When “you” ARE, you cannot be anything else. “You” ARE stuck in “you,” so self-absorbed that “you” can only separate from everyone else and Life. The paradox being that that which we think we ARE, we ARE NOT. What you put in words, is not.
Perhaps, this is the main issue with “spirituality “for the masses:
It is so concerned in making believers become something that they ARE NOT instead of supporting the seeking of who they ARE.

When you find who you ARE, you will find all the answers, without asking a question.  🙂