Category: Questions

Question: How not to be “special”?

“Meditation makes you strong like a mountain, you become awake, strong, and humble too. This strength does not bring any Ego in you, because you become aware that the same witnessing soul exists in everybody, even in animals, birds, plants, rocks.
A rock has its own way of sleeping, tree has its own way of sleeping, and birds still a different way of sleeping, the method of sleeping is different but deep down at the core of every being is the same witnessing, the same God. That makes you humble, Even before a rock, you know that you are nobody special…. “
How in a deeper way one can come to this realization that has been described in the above paragraph, considering yourself as nothing special even in front of a rock?

Thank you for your question.
Have you observed rocks and pebbles? It is Ahnanda’s experience that they have a level of consciousness, but probably you have not experienced that, or you wouldn’t be asking this question.

Do you know how dolphins “sleep”? They sleep and are awake at the same time! Sleeping is a word that we understand from the “normal” human perspective, but in Life, there are so many variations! Remember this: Life offers so many varieties of things  that humans reject or accept according to their own made up “filter.” 

The words in that paragraph about meditation are merely pointers.  “Meditation” is a word with so many meanings. 

You cannot become what has been described in that paragraph. That is someone else’s experience.
Do you want to consider yourself as nothing special?
Why?
Obviously because you thought you ARE special. Perhaps the above paragraph comes from someone that you consider special, authoritative and you want to be that… “special” by being nothing special. 🙂

You cannot BE what you ARE not. But you can fake it. 

All living beings are “unique but not special.”
Do you see the uniqueness of all?
What makes something from unique into special?
Your particular value system. Your needs. Your conditioning. Your attachments.
It is all about that “I” (you.)

To say “I am nobody” is considered by many, an insult. It is viewed as low self-esteem. In our society we are trained to be “Somebody” and to get high self-esteem through that “achievement.”

A “spiritual” person may get offended if insulted, but yet he says: “I am nobody.”  Or to demonstrate how “humble” he is, he may be a floor mat for everyone. That is fake. Paradoxically, through that act of being “humble” he is looking to be someone “special.”  Just like Christ, Buddha or anyone “famous.”

Enjoy the farce, but discover it in yourself. That is where everything starts and finish. That is “my” viewpoint.

I know that you are able to grasp what I am trying to convey without quoting me, without using these words as the “ultimate truth.” They are not. 

Otherwise, here is a more accepted “spiritual” answer with spiritual “practices” and “Spiritual” keywords:

Do this exercise 5 times per day on an empty stomach:
1. Visualize for 2 minutes that you are a pebble in the street.
2. Meditate 15 minutes every day on your own nothingness and then breathe deeply 3 times while pronouncing the “OM” mantra.
3. Do this for a 1 month without failure and you will see improvements. The rock on the street and you will be one. There will not be a difference between both of you.

If you don’t get any results that is because you are not performing the exercises correctly. Do them again for another month.

We cannot become a paragraph. To be “nobody” comes by itself after we have reached the utmost point of being “somebody.”

So who are we, nobody or somebody? Both. That is the full experience. Enjoy the ride from point A to point B. That is all. That is the “effort,” the “purpose of Life.”
When you are “up” in a roller coaster ride, it is sure that you will go “down.” Otherwise, you wouldn’t have the complete experience. So it is in Life. It is a game.

Until December 1st!  🙂

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Question: What is mind? What is no-mind? How to get to no-mind?

“What is MIND? Can you explain through words what is MIND? How to move from MIND to NO-MIND? No-mind is also called pure space, emptiness, what does this mean? I personally feel the mind is total illusion (Correct me please if I am wrong). And if the mind is illusion, how illusion can be associated with purity and impurity? You know they refer it as “Pure Mind” and “Impure Mind”.”

Thank you for your question.
A description will set limits. This may work for tangible items; but when we are referring to intangible such as the “Mind,” is not that easy.
For example, let us take a look at a dictionary definition of MIND: “The element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought.”

From my experience, that definition is quite inaccurate; but yet because it is a “dictionary definition” most will believe in that. Of course, if there was AWARENESS we could know the answer, but yet we want words to make intellectual sense of something that is readily observable.

Consciousness is AWARENESS. The MIND is accumulation of experiences and conditioning which shapes our perspective of Life. We use the filter of the mind to make sense of the world. The mind is the one knowing “what is right or wrong” according to society’s teachings. It is the internal voice speaking which brings our conditioning forward.
For example: “masturbation is sinful.” That is conditioning. That is stored in our mind. That becomes our guiding “truth.” Thoughts will appear to support that core belief. Once those thoughts have drilled down in us and we believe them despite our inner conflict; then feelings will settle and those will create emotions, that is; the body will be affected. Then we may play the “dishonest” game of defending that “truth” verbally, while still DOING it. This will increase our sense of guilt and from there, it is only a step into emotional and mental disturbances.

If you want to understand, do not try to make sense of my words. Just use those as guiding symbols. OBSERVATION, AWARENESS is what will allow you to know.

If you go deeper into this, you may be able to recognize that the MIND is not YOU, but conditioning that have shaped YOU into something. It has given you a “form.”
For example, you are clay; but the mind will present that clay into the form of a little house made with clay. The mind will defend that “form” at all costs for it thrives in identity, which will create the ego-mind. Ego is mind.

You said “The mind is total illusion.” I ask you to confirm that through your own observable experience, after reading this.
Is the house made of clay an “illusion”? Yes and No.
However, what is important is to see clay in every “form.”
That is deconditioning. It is not to negate by saying that everything is an “illusion,” but by OBSERVING that clay will present itself in different forms. Every form is a perspective, the way we look at Life.

“Reality” presents itself through different “forms.” All of them are “real,” but illusions at the same time. It all depends on the one observing. His conditioning. His perspective.
This is the reason why the “I” is real for most, it presents itself with a marvelous form… but it is an illusion at the same time.

When there is no-conditioning, what is there then? An Empty mind. That is space, emptiness. Many labels to refer to “no-mind.”
My friend Mathias, one day explained that “emptiness allows for decoration of a room.” If the room has already stuff in it, there are limits as to how we could decorate. For most individuals, the mind is full of stuff, full of furniture, there is no space for anything “new.”

The terms “purity and impurity” are mental abstractions. A duality created by the mind. Concepts to play with.
“Purity” is not to DO some things and to avoid others.
“Impurity” is not to DO things which are not “pure.” Observe the trap. We must define what is “pure.” That definition entails a particular perspective, a particular reality. For example, some religions believe that sex is “impure.” Thus, their definition of “purity” is no-sex, celibacy.
It is not that sex is pure or impure, but it has been defined in a certain way. There is a particular perspective in such statement.

Since the mind is more less a “computer hard drive” full of experiences and conditioning influencing the output of our actions, there cannot be such a thing as “pure or impure” mind, but rather pure and impure experiences, which can’t be. Experiences are only that, experiences.

No-Mind is not the negation of mind, but to empty the conditioning of it, the “furniture” in the room. That is how it is said: “A pure mind is an empty mind.”

The next question will be: How do I empty my mind?
“You” don’t DO it. Once AWARENESS sets in, it happens while at the same time, emotional disturbances may need to be dissolved; but that is part of someone’s particular path. There are no “recipes.”

You want to DO something? OBSERVE yourself, BE AWARE of your thoughts, emotions, reactions, movements. Learn from yourself. “Know thyself.”

Beyond the trap of purity and impurity, there is AWARENESS and lack of it.
AWARENESS is like breathing. We are so used to “automatic pilot” that we need to read what the “expert” says about “how to breathe.” That is the conditioning of the mind: Believe the “experts” if you want to know.
Once we read the opinion of the “authority,” thoughts will arrive saying that “I know what breathing is.” To de-condition means to open to the possibility that “I don’t know anything, despite reading about it” and go through the breathing experience ourselves.

The mind will try to make “my” findings about breathing into a “best-seller.” That is conditioning. Got to make money! Get ahead!
My moral values will tell me that “I shouldn’t make a profit through spiritual teachings.” That is conditioning as well. That conflict will come from the mind.

An empty mind, is empty of that sort of conflict, for BEING knows the direction in Life. There is no need to make a choice, for that is mind.
To listen to that message without distortions, means to discover no-mind.

Question: How do I know what is best for ME?

I really enjoy reading your articles. I want you to shed more light upon being open to life. I have grown a lot in the last few years but I still feel that I get stuck in situations and that one thing which I find hard to get out of. If I am in a situation, and I am confused, thinking takes over and it’s hard to get out of it. It’s hard for me to take a decision. But I also don’t want to give up on this whole process of taking any decision and just live with what is. Then I say, but I want this ! As a result, I don’t find myself living fully and I find myself caught in this mental web. This in turn impacts my life, my energy. How to come out of this and gain more clarity, focus and know what I really want and live my life accordingly ? How do I see and know what is best ?! Is it that what I have is best for me or should I go according to my desires and wishes?
Thanks a lot for this blog !

Thank you for your question.
Notice the entanglement of the “I.”
I am stuck. I want this. I want to make sure, it is “right” for ME. I want to make a decision. I want you to explain to me

As long as that knot of “I-ness” is within you, there is no chance to see the knot. How do you see it? By keeping a distance…

Because you like this blog, today I will share with you, one of the valuable “secrets” of the masters…
Here it goes: “You can get what you want in Life, by changing course…. If the path you walk always lead to yourself, you’ll never get anywhere.” (Kung Fu Panda – “Secrets of the Masters” 2011 movie.)

That was the concise answer to your question.

Now let me add the “fluff” for there may be an expectation to write more stuff.
There is no formula to get rich, famous and beautiful. This is Life; not the “office world” mentality of getting what “I want in Life.” For that, we have other “secrets” that people are willing to buy; but even though they applied those “secrets” to their own lives, they are still looking for something more permanent to “achieve.” That is how all the religious stuff became fashionable (eternal achievement) and to make it more palatable for the masses, it was renamed as “spirituality,” but it may be another business venture indeed.
It is important to grow up from that mentality.

Life is not there to protect your  personal “interest.” Life has its own course for every individual. It is magically threaded in a web of occurrences (serendipity is the label in fashion) for our idea of individuality is only one part of what is.
We are individuals but we are not. The mind cannot understand that to make a sound “decision.”

There are many ways to “make decisions” in Life. Thinking is just one of them. It may use reasoning, logic, previous experiences. It touches the most superficial layer. Wishes, desires are other options. Throwing dices is another, and I may add, as effective as any of the former. I like my gut feeling.

It works something like this: I go to a restaurant and I feel that the mushrooms are not ok to eat. I just leave them. My friend asks: WHY don’t you eat your mushrooms? I answer: Because  a little bird told me not to do it.  Then, I go to the market and see organic, all natural, 100% “pure” apple juice. The bottles are made of glass so I can see the contents. The color of apple juice differs from a clear one to a darker one. Which one is good for ME? I get the bottles close to my gut and feel for a response. There is no voice speaking to me. I have to feel my gut.
Sometimes apple juice is sweet, others not a sweet, few times it is almost like apple cider. If I thought that apple juice has to be sweet to be good for ME, that is pure conditioning.
Heck, I may take a glass of the apple cider thing before I return it. Who knows, that was “good” for ME?

And here it comes another “Secret of the Masters.”

By helping ME (going out of your circular path)  you help YOURSELF.

So, is there such a thing as “helping others”? That is only “ego support 101.”
But… if you think that this is a formula to be “successful in Life,” and apply it to be rich, famous and beautiful… I assure you that there is no better way to get to hell, faster and risk-free,  guaranteed…. 🙂

That is enough writing before misunderstanding appears.

Question: Isn’t desire the origin of suffering?

“You said that attachment is the origin of suffering. The Buddha said that the root cause of suffering is desire. That is the second “Noble Truth” in Buddhism. There is a vast difference between desire and attachment. Do you think that you have the truth and Buddha does not?”
http://www.pbs.org/edens/thailand/buddhism.htm  

Thank you for your question.
No. Ahnanda does not preach truth. He only shares his experiences and realizations.
Take a look at the link below:

http://www.zen-buddhism.net/buddhist-principles/four-noble-truths.html
Here is a quote from that website: The cause of suffering is: “the attachment to the desire to have (craving) and the desire not to have (aversion)”.

What happened then? Perhaps this website has the “wrong” interpretation? Millions of people believe in what you said: “Desire is the cause of suffering.” However, that belief even though held by millions is plain and simple nonsense.
This problem arises when we believe what the book says, the guru, the expert without looking at our own experience.
Buddha did not say that. It was interpreted like that.
What millions know is only the interpretation, the translation of someone who may have many degrees, who may be very proficient in many languages, but who does not have the capacity yet for inner observation. Perhaps that was a Buddhist follower, maybe not.

Through that nonsense of getting rid of desire, many “spiritual” people are denying life to their own experience through the ideal of DOING what the Buddha “said.”
Misinterpretation is the mother of all scriptures. Please quote me on that.

Perhaps if you take a test in “introduction to Buddhism” you may have to choose: “Desire is the root of all suffering” as the “right” answer. You may score 100% because of that answer, but know that your “right” answer in the “Office World,” is not so in Life.
We could have many desires. As many as we want. Suffering will kick in when we are attached to a particular desire. That means that we may need to attain/possess the object of that desire to feel fulfilled in Life.

Nevertheless, let me share a “noble truth” with you. Attachment is not the true source of suffering, but the ONE who is attached is…. Yes, the “I.”
To intellectually understand the above, is not easy. Therefore, let us stick with “attachment.” But, if “attachment” is hard to perceive, then “desire” is an easy answer. It will sell many books.  🙂 

So what do we take home from all this?
Any spiritual guru or any self-realized being including the “word of God,” are by nature, limited by language. In other words, to truly understand what they are trying to convey, we need to look at those words through the mirror of our own personal experience. If it does not make sense, then that is so for us at that moment. That is OK. Move on.

If it makes sense, then do not try to “practice it.” Allow for Life to work on you and go beyond the intellectual realization, by integrating THAT as part of you. Then, you know for you ARE that.   BEING is KNOWING.
But if you don’t understand and you are simply following what someone is telling you to practice, then my friend; you are not being honest with yourself, with your current state of BEING.

You may want to be like Buddha, but you ARE not there yet.
Do you think that practice will get you there?
It can only distract you from what you ARE… until you are AWARE.
Thus, “practice” is an entertainment in the meantime. Nothing wrong with that. 🙂

Question: How to eradicate physical attraction?

Can you Please share your view point and a solution to the following spiritual problem:
I want to get rid of physical attraction from its root COMPLETELY. When we get attracted towards a good looking body, we feel full of thoughts like, wow what a good body, I wish I had him/her, I wish i could make him/her mine, followed by some sexual and normal usual fantasies. There is a huge feeling of discontentment with this kind of feeling, because end of the day, you don’t have him/her!!How to get rid of these two things? Physical attraction leading to discontentment!
Can dedicating yourself completely to meditation and the process of awakening/self realization help in this matter!

Thank you for your question.
For centuries, there has been misinformation about what is “spiritual.” The belief that a human being needs to act like a spirit or an angel to be “good” has been turning followers into masochists. This belief is so ingrained, that we will not realize how much harm we are inflicting to ourselves for the sake of following some man made, mind conditioned ideal.

You may think that Yogananda didn’t feel physical attraction or Buddha or Jesus or whoever, therefore “I “must DO it to be as “elevated” as they are.
That way of DOING spirituality is pure self-violence.

There is a process for everything in Life. It may be true, that the above beings did not feel physical attraction at some point in their lives, however; I can assure you that it wasn’t always like that.
Not to feel attraction is the result of allowing the process of feeling attraction.

Your mind and its conditioning believes that once you find the method to eradicate attraction, you will be “better off.”
That is an illusion.

Ahnanda knows that to feel physical attraction, is a gift of living Life through the manifestation of a human experience. OBSERVE what it does to you, how it takes you away from “you.” That magnet is not depending on you and your “choices”. It happens.
Rather than tasting the moment, you want to get rid of it because your mind interferes with the recurrent thought of possessing that which attracts you. As a little baby who cannot have what he wants, the mind will cry: “If I cannot have it, let me destroy what makes me desire another.”
That sort of destructive and violent mind is the one creating that sort of “spirituality.”

You feel attracted towards a good-looking body? Enjoy the experience. You want to possess that body?
Tell that person that. Tell that person that you only want her/his body.
Perhaps your mind may learn that there is more than a body to a person. Can I get the body and not the whole person? Why get the whole cow when I can milk it instead? After all Life is about ME… and that is why LOVE cannot be known at that point of our journeys. 

Many have gone through that “spiritual” route. Our society allows that. Pay for your desires. There are all sorts of bodies to select from.
Do you want to try that? That is the opportunity to satiate your fantasies. One “solution” is there. What is stopping you?

If you really want something, you ought to accept the consequences as well for whatever they are. Are you ready for that? One way or another, you will gain an experience in Life. Remember: Ultimately, WE DO what WE ARE for that brings full satisfaction.

Physical attraction does not lead to discontentment. The possessiveness in your mind does. Do you want the solution for that? Possess as much as you can. There will be learning in that experience.

You ask if dedicating yourself completely to meditation and the process of self-realization will help in this matter.

Definitely No. First go into your demons, into your possessive mind and your idealistic perceptions. Don’t run away into “nice” ideals.
Self-realization happens to you. It is not something that “you” DO or pursue for that to happen.  So, enjoy Life while that happens! 🙂

Oh yes… As we know, Love is the solution…  So you have 2 solutions to your “spiritual” question.  🙂

Question: How could Observation be part of our Life?

My question is regarding observation. We talk about observing the moment without prejudice. I can observe river, rain, nature, sky, hotness, kid’s innocence etc. All stuff which I feel that is pure and pleasing .
But I am not sure what and how to observe in office work: The effect of work pressure, achievement and loses,the up and downs in personal relationship. How to observe this without prejudice?

I think of making observation part of my office world routine and back at home when I interact with my parents and wife, but it never happens.
I agree if something needs to be changed that can only happen through observation not by resistance or force, but how to make observation part of life.

Thank you for your question.

Observation is not a practice. It is not something that you DO when you remember, or when you have time. It happens when there is “presence,” awareness, consciousness not only of the external elements but mostly what we call “self.”
Ahnanda is not using the word “observation” under the context of the dictionary.
Any of your senses, such as taste, touch, etc. can allow you to observe or be AWARE.
We can use the words observation, awareness and to be conscious interchangeably. Go beyond words. Are you aware of the things you DO, the way you walk, how shallow or deeply you may breathe?
Why not? It happens all the time. There is no need to have “free time” to observe these events.

Your description of what is “pure and pleasing” and what is “impure” and “stressful” are taking you away from observation.
What are those things making you feel? Become AWARE of that. As you are AWARE that those energies are not “you,” then you may walk away from them, easily, effortlessly or just wait until they go away by themselves. Everything that comes to you will go away, that is one of the things you may learn through observation. That is the natural way of things. If the “pure and pleasing” goes away, then the “impure and unpleasant” will arrive. There is nothing wrong with that, things  move away; unless we want to make a trauma, a rejection of a natural circular happening in Life. Through our conditioning, we see 2 different things: Pleasant and unpleasant. However, they are one.  

The process of becoming aware is similar to having a nagging pain in the shoulder.
It may not be a strong pain, so we keep on living a busy Life, full of activities and accomplishments. Forgetting about that silly pain. Once in while we will become aware of that pain in the shoulder, but unless this pain becomes an obstacle to get us out of our busy schedule, that pain is not important enough in our threshold of consciousness. We will not be aware of it.

Once the pain becomes unbearable, we will observe it. We will be aware of it. Once the pain in the shoulder is at that full intensity, the intellectual question on “how can I observe the pain,” is not necessary at all. We will feel it. We will know.

That nagging pain is a sense of unfulfillment in Life. Something is lacking. You may be looking for the “answer,” something that you believe observation will give to your Life. The nagging pain (observation/awareness) will increase by itself through your own lack of observation. Paradoxical.

One more thing, Observation is not meant to change anything. It is meant to acknowledge it, while resistance and force is meant to reject things.
So how change happens then?
It always happens. It is the nature of Life. Change may not go where you want it to go, and that is the fear. We want to control in our tight grip what is meant to change. That is the illusion of security feeding the “I” and the driven force behind our human conditioning.

Question: What should be done to decondition?

“As you said, deconditioning needs to be done to live more sensibly and have a fulfilled life which can be done by spending lots of time in nature. Can you suggest some of the ways to incorporate that in daily life ? Taking a walk daily in nature, is that enough ? Or something more needs to be done ? May be taking a weekend off to some place ? What should we allow in ourselves in our daily life to be deconditioned ? To leave the society for long periods of time sometimes, is not possible.”

Thank you for your question. It is appreciated.
Your question allows me to clarify somethings about deconditioning.

Observe that in “spirituality” we want to “accomplish” things. Some want illumination, God, etc. and the expectation is that there are certain methods or techniques to get there. It is not like that, but that is the conditioning based on our goal oriented society. “I want that too” is the motto.

Life does not have “goals.” Consciousness keeps changing without human interaction, without the “I” DOING things.
Deconditioning is not to be done. It happens. Nature is not a method for deconditioning, but deconditioning happens through Nature as well as through other means.

Probably the last phrase does not make any sense. 🙂  I will try to explain.
I could easily say:” Sure, a walk in the park in the early hours is best for deconditioning. At least 3 times a week on an empty stomach.” But that is not so. This is not an exercise meant to fit our busy schedule, so we can accomplish deconditioning along with other things that we want in Life.

Ahnanda only shares his experiences. Ahnanda is not sharing methods or techniques.

In my experience, Nature is important to create the space for deconditioning. I did not “choose to be in Nature,” I did not go to Nature for the goal of deconditioning.
I love Nature. It is Natural for me to seek it without any purpose other than sheer enjoyment of it.
Then, deconditioning happens as my love for Nature took me away from the pursues and busy-ness of the “Office World.”

Nature is a very important part of my Life but, I incorporate the “Office world,” 5 times a week up to 40 hours per week. 

If you join a religious group (the most distant from current ways of society, the better) out of a feeling rather than a thought of mental gain, deconditioning will happen as well, but you will be conditioned in a new way. Most followers are not aware of that.

Thus, in your last question: “What should we allow in ourselves in our daily life to be deconditioned?”  Be open to Love. Love will do.
Love to Nature, Love to God, Love to Life, Love to someone else…
Love implies acceptance, openness for another, that will necessarily take you away from your comfort zone. That is the needed space to see things from a different perspective. Everything else after that is awareness. Most think that they love already, but they are conditioned, how come?  Discover if your “love” is the one that will make you forget about yourself rather than reinforce it.  Reinforcing yourself means to reinforce conditioning, and that is not the kind of love that I am talking about.

Deconditioning is not rejection of our previous conditioning. Deconditioning will give us the ability to see our old being, just like when we remember our days as little kids.

There are many ways to see the world. This vision is not about finding what is “right” and reject what is “wrong,” which is the prevalent conditioning.
Observe that every way to see the world will have its chance to manifest. It will appear and then disappear; thus there is nothing to hang onto, nothing to bring as the “truth” for change itself is not the “truth” but just another way to see the world, another vision.

Deconditioning will not give you “truth,” but openness. It is that openness what will bring fulfillment in Life… and that certainly, could be your unspoken “truth.”  🙂