Tagged: awareness

Thinking on Thoughts

If we could just observe a thought as if it was the opinion of someone else, we could learn the art of knowing who we ARE through the conditionings of what we have learned.
It is that simple, but the idea that “my thought is mine, “ is destroying the opportunity.

“I wanted” to write something today. “I” did not know what to write.  Most of the times “I” don’t. The thoughts are merely flowing. It would be a lie to say: “These are MY thoughts.” This awareness  allows for what some call “creativity.”  When “I” am not, there is… creativity.
It is not “I” being inspired, but merely catching the thoughts and putting them in writing.

Many times “I” get surprised that “I” could write “religiously” in 2 blogs. “I” wouldn’t be able to, if “I” thought that it was “I.”

Am “I” some sort of medium or channel? Everyone is. It is just that we don’t realize it.

We are “ONE.” Right? We like that “concept.”
That ONE is expressed in many ways through many people. That oneness is expressed through many individualities to go back to the source, ONE. That journey is what makes up Life.
A thought is what connects us with everything, to that changing oneness at any given time. It is only a connector but most believe that to be “I.”

OBSERVE the thought in a non-judgmental way, so it goes through “you.” That is all. Reject it or show favoritism to it, and it will stick around.
Both ways (rejection or favoritism) help to build our ego. We will build a personality framed by ideas of what is “good or bad.”
What is the source of that discrimination?
Conditioning.
A 3-year-old child does not know what “good” or “bad” means. He learns though the conditioning of his parents. If he touches his genital, he may see disapproval from his parents, he may feel the rejection coming from them, their conditioning. That is the starting point.

In “Spirituality” for the masses, thoughts are separated as “good/bad, wasteful, neutral, etc.”
All that labeling is meant to give the seeker a way to “choose” what he should think.
It cannot happen.
Despite the efforts of the seeker, thoughts will come in unfiltered. However, the individual may impose a thought in top of the natural one, to make himself believe that he is “changing his thinking.”

That is an illusion.

In a world conditioned to DO things to “change the world,” we cannot DO a thing to change “our” thoughts from the root. Have we observed that?

As we ARE so our thoughts shall BE.
However, we do not know who we ARE, for we are busy DOING changes to look like someone else: The guru, the saint, the angel, the artist, the star, the rich and famous, etc. That is what we call to be “creative,” to copy someone who is accepted, deemed to be worthwhile, “successful.”

Every time we hold on to a particular thought, we become defined by it. It is that definition which will confine us, through the security and comfort of beliefs systems and ideas to preserve that thought.

Living through thoughts we forget what is “real.”

Are you connected with “social media”? through “virtual communities”?
That is the world of the mind and ideas. Because I write a note or post a picture to others, I believe that I am connected, that I have a relation with others.
That is not so. It is only superficial.

It is like watching the Ocean through a camera and being able to hear the sounds of Nature through a CD. There is no presence. No reality.
However, our minds have been trained to believe that this is the “real” thing. It is less satisfying and fulfilling, but for the mind; there is no difference.

It is when we go beyond the mind, when “reality” has a different shape.
Beyond the mind is “no-mind.”
That is meditation. That is to feel life rather than to verbalize it with another thought…

The world of the mind may not be “real”

The core of any worthwhile “spirituality” or self-help/psychology is in the understanding of our own mind.
I am not saying “study” of our minds. This is not about what scientists have discovered and for us to use that information just to be “right.”
When we are understanding ourselves, to “reinvent the wheel” is necessary. No one can give us insight through second hand information, unless we are ready to look, become aware and learn from that.

Observe the conditioning in our minds. What we know about or “civilized” society is conditioning. We expect “reality” to follow those guidelines but we may find out that Life does not follow the commandments, laws and guidelines of the “Office world.”

We have a thought. Did we willfully come up with it? Or perhaps, it just appeared? Have we observed that.
Do we become aware of the thought arising, or we simply IDENTIFY with it and call it “mine”? This question is the beginning to find out more about our minds.

At this time, there are millions of people suffering from some kind of mental issue.
What do they have in common? Contact is lost with external “reality.”
In other words, these individuals strongly believe in what their minds dictate.
Someone suffering from schizophrenia, have a “reality” which is undeniable to them. They feel very strong about it. That creates the clash with a different reality of “normal” people. Psychosis, depression, bipolar disorder, dementia… all of those fancy terms, basically describe a mind that is not in touch with “reality.”

If we identify with the contents of our minds, we may live a miserable life. Ego resides right there. Ego is interested in being “right.”
As a person evolves into a different consciousness, that person will realize how forceful our minds could be.

Someone suffering from OCD, is bound to perform certain repetitive actions because in his mind, those activities will bring some benefit. If those actions are not performed, then a sense of guilt and uneasiness will arrive. The mind has control over that person.

Because our society lives in the mind, there is no other “authority” to trust but the conditioning and contents of that mind. That is until we know about out gut-feeling, our heart feelings or any other fancy label to describe a direct knowing which is not necessarily logical or follows a particular benefit for ourselves. To be able to trust “that,” and discern it from the mind, is to create the gap from the rule of the mind.

It is that space, the one that will allow us to observe our own mind.

For example, when we interview someone for a job. We could ask the same questions to all candidates, grade them, add them up and see who is the top candidate. That is the world of the mind, what we have been conditioned to believe. The worshiped idea to be “fair” is there. Nevertheless, personality traits may be covered by someone who is a good talker, a funny person, etc. To observe beyond the answers, becomes important, and to listen to our gut feeling is even more important. Nevertheless, that is not considered to be “fair,” for it is not following “guidelines,” etc. That is the dilemma.
The bottom line is that, we could learn about this experience only if we are AWARE, otherwise; we will perform mechanically the same steps every time there is the label “interview” in our minds, for the conditioning is strong.
We are asleep.
Thus, in that example we could follow the strict steps of the mind to hire someone, or we could go with our gut feeling; but what creates insight and open up our consciousness, is simply to be AWARE that we went with the mind or the heart.
That AWARENESS is the choice-less choice where freedom from the tyranny of the mind resides.

Everyone needs a different medicine

One of the greatest conditioners, is the idea that “one solution/method fits everyone.”
Methods, books, teachings, religions support the “one size fits all” approach.
Certainly, here is where the belief of “truth” comes in.
The “truth” is your experience, but at the same time, it is only yours. This “concept” of “truth” is difficult to understand, if we take the “Office world” as our reference.

In the “Office world,” things are labeled neatly. Concepts are placed in “good” or “bad” containers. Judgments are based on our perception of where actions, ideas, ideals fit. However, we do not realize that our judgement is conditioned with the ideals that we have been taught to be “true.”

Common agreement with an upgraded label: ”Truth.”

A seeker may need to realize the above to be at peace with the World, and to open up to Life.

How this will work practically? The more definitions we use to identify ourselves with, then our freedom to BE and change, will be obstructed.

The “office world” is great on those labels!
“I am a catholic democrat from Nigeria. My soccer team is the Real Madrid.” Those labels are necessary in the “Office world” where identity is important; but in Life, those labels only separate, which in turn brings self-righteousness and opposition.
We BELIEVE in those labels beyond their place in the “office world.” The identity that those labels provide will give us the comfort that we are SOMEONE.

“Oh, I get… you are saying that we shouldn’t join any religions or be part of particular teams, for that brings separation, right?”

Observe your answer. Your mind is separating again. Ahnanda is not sharing these things so someone could make a commandment through these words, or some other religious BELIEF.
Ahnanda is sharing these realizations so we could perceive how our conditioning from the “Office World” affects our perception of Life. That is all.

“Once you die, you could go to heaven, hell or purgatory.”
Do we see how “One size fits all” is used?
What is the standard for that selection knowing that everyone has a different consciousness, different experiences and somewhat the same conditioning?

Death becomes a problem, even though we have not lived Life to the fullest, for we are stuck with our definitions, our “should be,” our “righteous” beliefs, our doubled-edge morality, etc.

In the path of self-realization, all of that will need to be left behind. It is not an ideal to pursue as: “From now on, I will not believe in a religion or join a political party.”
That is childish. That is rejection to what the “Office world” offers.

Just BE AWARE of the game. There is no need to make selections or to put our Life goals in a paragraph so everyone could read it and say: “This guy is something. How pure are his intentions!”

Some still need the medicine of “commandments and laws” to keep out of trouble in the “office world,” but this does not mean that in other “spiritual” dimensions, things are the same. Nevertheless, religions copy that procedure. After all, the collective consciousness, the masses, are already conditioned to follow that and consider that as “truth.”

For others, the medicine for a different consciousness is to be AWARE of how things operate without verbalizing it, and running the risk of putting their realization into a “black or white” commandment to be followed by others.

Have you seen the definition of “mindfulness”?
1. The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
2. A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
That makes intellectual sense, right?
Intellectually, we want to practice that. We want to “achieve” that. As a matter of fact, some are making money by “teaching” that.

That dictionary definition can only describe “mindfulness,” as when we describe the Ocean to someone who has never seen it and experienced. Therefore, what are we going to “practice”? What are we going to “achieve”? An ideal.

Mindfulness is no-mind. Thus, it is not a “mental state.” It is not a purposely, willingly focus on something. Can we understand no-mind when our society has used the word “mind” to describe ourselves? Can we go beyond the conditioning?

Beyond the “spiritual” vision of pleasure and pain

When the mind is caught up with a duality, it has no option but to choose. Paradoxically, is that choice the one that will bring a terrible fight with the nonchosen one.
Pleasure and Pain are one example of such duality.
For centuries, the religious and moral teachings have been made to frown upon pleasure. Even the word “sinful” has been used to label it.

The “spiritual” teachings to deny the physical world and the senses, in the imaginary pursue of something “pure” in the “spirit” world; is utopia.

Life has many dimensions. Every dimension has a particular consciousness, a particular experience.
To deny the physical experience for the sake of pretending to attain a subtler state of being, is to deny Life.
When we deny Life in pursue of an ideal, we are not living harmoniously in the “now.”

The conditioned mind, understands what is “right” or “wrong.” That is the duality that our minds feel comfortable with.
Throw the word “harmony,” and the mind can only think of that as being the opposite of “imbalance.”
A dictionary definition does not bring the experience.

Harmony is the equilibrium of opposites.
Life works through opposites. Pain and pleasure are opposite experiences which are part of living Life in our dimension.
To deny them to attain the ideal of “freedom” is to become paradoxically, slave of such duality.

Humans throughout time; have chosen to embrace pain, sacrifice, martyrdom as the epitome of goodness, moral, sainthood, etc. In this “choice,” rejection of pleasure has brought an unbalanced Life.
Others have embraced pleasure as a reaction, as to desperately indulge in it to take their painful existence away from it; but as we deny one side of a duality, it will appear stronger in our lives.

Overcoming a duality is not a matter of rejection. It is a matter of balance, that is the ability to live Life in harmony with the internal and external elements, moment by moment. This balance needs to have the capacity to change and modify according to the circumstances, it is dynamic.

As we could see, it is not about defining ideals by embracing some and rejecting others.

As we dare to live outside of the conditioned mind, we will observe that balance as a gut feeling will take us back to the sensation of harmony. In that state, the word “overcoming” has no meaning. The “inner equalizer” will bring the stability to BE life itself. Equal to Life.

How do I get there?
You don’t. There is nothing to accomplish. Nothing to “work on.” When you ARE, you will not know it.
It is openness. There is no method to “achieve it.”
Be AWARE that only something that is closed, could be open.
Your potential to be open, is equal to your potential to be closed.
That is why, inner knowledge is about finding out how closed we are.
But we don’t want to see that. We want the fairy stories of “achieving” love and happiness, we “want” the utmost open state of BEING; when we ARE closing down… However, once the door is shut down, it could be open.

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. 🙂

Attached, are “my” attachments.

Attachments at any level have a duality within. While we have the object of our attachments, we feel secure, safe, comfortable… Once those supports are gone, we will suffer. Life is change, so change is a matter of time.
Many times those attachments are part of our role in Life, as when a wife is psychologically attached to her husband: Her role gives her a sense of purpose. Once the husband is no longer there, unless she is ready to “redefine” herself, that is to change; suffering is unavoidable.

Similarly, we could attach to ideals and ideas. The pursue of an ideal even though glorified such as “peace,” is just an ideal. Many people will give their lives for those ideals. “I will fight for peace in the world.”
Interesting peaceful fighting. “I will practice non- violence (ahimsa) to rebel against the oppressors.”
Interesting contradiction: Rebellion as non-violence.

Our minds may find those ideas “feasible,” but Life will show us otherwise. Any change without a process is violent, although it could be hidden with a pretty ideal. A natural process blends in imperceptibly.

Change is everywhere, but we resist it. That resistance is called attachment.
“My” physical form changes. “My” relationships will change. “My” ideas will change. The ultimate attachment is to my perception of “I.”

It is that “I” the one creating attachments.
Through “spirituality for the masses,” an attachment is perceived as something which we can get rid of;  as in “work on it” to “improve” and be “detached.” That is the intellectual game of words.
Just because we ACT as if a particular attachment is not there, it doesn’t mean that it is gone.

Every attachment that we could observe in us, has a purpose in our Life journey. Therefore, to think that “I must get rid of it now,” is a detrimental illusion. Change happens all the time, but “I” want to control what “I” want to change according to my belief or ideology.
That is utmost nonsense.

Observe that a particular attachment is there. Observe the triggers. Recognize the inner neediness. Be aware of how you feel.

The wife in the example, could care for another person as husband, then the attachment that could trigger suffering, will not be there. This is what naturally, many individuals will do (unless they have a social/belief hang up,) but there is a significant difference: They are not AWARE of their attachment, so the next experience, will be the same as before. However, when we are AWARE, CONSCIOUS we could go through Life and observe the moment when attachment appears and it is through the quality of that observation alone, how attachment dissolves naturally. This is known as BEING CONSCIOUS in Life.

“But that is not helpful at all! I want to change now, I want to get rid of this attachment which is making my Life impossible… I need to implement a solution, a cure… “
Observe your conditioning to believe that BEING can change through DOING something. The “cure” is there; but if you are not able to be AWARE of it, then you may need to read some self-help books, spiritual best sellers (Tip: Look for the how-to titles) and ask for advice to an “expert” who has studies to tell you what you have to DO with your life, for a “small” fee…

There is no one better than “you” to observe “you” and learn from “you.”  🙂

Meaning behind “Living in the now.”

It is amazing how the “keywords” are more important than the experience itself.
“You have to live in the now.” “Women want a sexual partner who has presence, who is fully present in the act.”
Those phrases sound amazingly good. Knowledgeable stuff. Best seller material, but…. what is presence and what living in the now mean?
Do you know? Do you practice it?
There is no definition. There is no practice.
Do we need steps or methods to get there?
No.
How can we explain something which defies our language?
Through a common Life scenario.

When we drive a car, as we become familiar with its operation, things become “second nature,” that is “automatic.”
We are driving for some time and our thoughts will appear and process some incident of the past or fantasize about something in the future, or even create a story out of some current Life episode. Have you noticed that?

If we haven’t noticed that, we are not ready to live in the “now.” We don’t know what that is, even if we repeat the latest definitions and use the more hip-hop terminology. At that point, we need to read “best sellers” on how to practice “presence,” and how to live in the “now.”
We need definitions, we need “how-to’s” and ideas to make this practice permanent in our everyday life.

However, a time will come when we notice our fantasizing, our dream world or tele-transportation into a remote past… then we are AWARE. No more “best seller” material needed. 

When the mind is full of thoughts, we are not living in the “now.” When we drive the car in the “now,” we are automatically alert, even though it is the same avenue that we drive every day to work. Thanks to our mind, we can remember the familiar sight. But, thanks to our mind, we will snooze into unconsciousness due to the familiarity of the sight. It is the same old thing. No need to be alert.

When the mind is empty of thoughts, we are alert, aware, conscious. When we add content thanks to the conditioned mind; that pristine moment is not. Then, we do things in “automatic mode,” thoughts take over and we forget what we did 10 seconds ago.

After hearing this “revealing” explanation, some will say: “From now on, I will practice to empty my mind of thoughts, so I can live in the now.”

Please don’t put yourself in that stressful situation. Observe that there is no practice whatsoever. AWARENESS is not a practice. Emptiness of thoughts is not a practice. As our consciousness and state of BEING are in a tranquil state, the necessary space to separate ourselves from the mind will appear, then we could observe the mind.
Ahnanda is not saying “my mind,” but just the mind.
At that point, we will become AWARE on how we have obeyed the dictates of the conditioned mind for so long, thinking that THAT was ME.
No wonder, the greatest teaching of all time to remember is “Know thyself.”
Paradoxically, it is not a “Best seller.”  🙂