Mary told John: “You need to become compassionate.”
John looked up the word compassionate in the dictionary.
It said: “Feeling or showing sympathy and concern for others.” John wasn’t quite sure what compassionate meant through that definition for he always thought that he felt concerned for others, so he looked for another definition: “A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.”
John understood the meaning of compassion better through the second definition. Then, he decided that from now on, he will “practice” that compassion.
Mary had a severe cold. John could see that Mary was suffering. John “practiced” feeling sympathy for Mary. He also followed up with a “desire to alleviate” her cold. “Can I hand you some tissue?” He asked.
Mary saw “improvement” in John. She said “Thank you for asking.”
That created the necessary rapport for John to practice that “compassion.”
He thought he was being compassionate now… He was “improving.” 🙂
Reality is that John wasn’t compassionate even after “practicing” for many months. For instance, he wasn’t able to feel empathy for suffering animals. That wasn’t part of his “practice” of “compassion.”
John was merely conditioned to practice his improved “good manners” in front of people.
This little example, shows how our “spirituality of practice” have been shaping individuals into fake ones.
There are things which need “practice” to become more proficient at, but values are not part of that.
So what do we DO to become “better”?
Nothing at all. The thing is not to BECOME something which we don’t even know what IS, what is the extent of it.
“Love your neighbor as yourself” sounds good to “practice,” but apparently that doesn’t work in a war… or even as close as the “office world.”
The thing is to OBSERVE to BE AWARE of what IS… what we ARE.
WHAT IS, is not necessarily the way we ACT: I can pet the neighbor’s dog and look “loving and concerned,” while inside me a thought could be saying: “Nasty mutt.”
If we are AWARE of that inner conflict, that is where “betterment” starts…. But we have been trained to suppress that thought with a “loving” one: “ You are such a precious dog.”
That is the greatest lie.
We have been trained to add words as “objective to achieve,” as in: “I need to be more caring with animals and people.” This mitigates our sense of guilt, whenever we see that our attempt to BECOME some moral value, does not work.
All we need is a little AWARENESS of the NOW.
Forget the nice words: Love, compassion, gentleness, peace, etc. and the opposite words as well. Those words don’t help at all. Those are only words.
Awareness of what we feel. Awareness of our own relaxed presence or lack of. Awareness of the stream of thoughts and words. That is all.
One day, we may even question ourselves after our observation: Is that ME?
That is a sign that betterment is on the way, without “practice.”
That is an invention of our business oriented society. “Certifications” in “spirituality” are completely meaningless.
Tantra is not a bunch of information and “techniques” to “improve” sex. That idea could be sold to the masses as certification, but it is meaningless, as far as BEING Tantra.
Tantra is not for the masses, for the collective consciousness. Tantra is not something that we learn through books or classes. Tantra is a discovery as our awareness moves to a different space of consciousness. It is the reward of having lived through the polarity of experiences of many life times. It is not something to accomplish by paying a fee for a webinar or by joining an ashram.
Picture this: We sign up for a class and watch a video of the instructor having sex. What is the teaching? THIS is how you have sex! All you have to DO now is follow the instructor. That is how it works in our society: Follow the “expert.” In religions, “follow the guru.” There is an issue with that: Who you ARE is not acknowledged. What matters is to BE like someone else.
To be a fake, a knock-off is the teaching.
Someone IS anger and lust, but is taught that if he follows the “technique” correctly, he could be a “good” lover.
Someone IS cruel and violent, but we want for him to follow the compassion of Buddha.
That will not happen. BEING compassionate or loving is not a DOING. It is not a rehearsed “practice,” it is not an imitation.
Through Tantra, we let go of the mind. Without this requisite, our capacity for pleasure is limited. If our pleasure is limited, there is no fulfillment.
Of what good a technique is, when our capacity to feel pleasure is hindered?
Our capacity for pleasure does not depend on a particular activity. It is a way of BEING away from the mind, but in balance… Open to feel.
Sex is not the first thing to “talk” about in Tantra. It may be the last thing in the “subject” of Tantra, and that comes naturally and not by using techniques of any kind. It is a process like anything natural in Life.
Tantra is about BEING and NON-BEING and that cannot be given to someone through words.
Most of the articles written by Ahnanda in this blog, are about Tantra; but these are not on “how to have sex” or “how to last longer,” or “how to be a good lover.” These sharings, are not teachings.
How could someone in society, who is heavily conditioned; could experience the depth of human sexuality? That individual may need to discover and acknowledge who he IS “now,” rather than to follow some ideal of how he SHOULD BE. That person may need to be aware in such a way, as to see for himself all the beliefs, hang-ups, ideals and conditionings surrounding that which we call “I.” That liberation from that mind-driven “I” will give the empty space for pleasure and enjoyment to emerge naturally in Life, which otherwise is restrained by a conditioned mind.
Tantra is not to be taught through words, but shared through presence. It is a path for self-realization when the person is “ready” and that means, that it may not happen when “I” want it.
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?
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…
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?
As we may be aware, our society is the greatest source of conditioning. All of us have made that society throughout time. Our rules, regulations, laws, moral standards help us survive as a group, but at the same time; they could hinder us individually, in inner growth.
I am not saying that society’s conditioning is “bad.” This conditioning is necessary up to a point. Once we become aware of it, our path for de-conditioning will start. This path does not deny and reject our previous conditioned self. This path integrates all experiences: I wouldn’t be able to BE who I am now, without the experiences of who I was before. This openness, will allow us to perceive continuous newness in Life through change.
In “Tantra for the masses” as taught by “certified” individuals, the emphasis is on sex. They have “tips,” methods, practices to “improve the sexual Life of the client.”
Observe that all of that information, is put on top of a conditioned person. De-conditioning is not to “know information.” It begins in an inner realization. That is why sexual fulfillment goes hand in hand with self-realization, as it is an immediate consequence of opening the “I” from its own web of attachments (ideals, beliefs, traumas, hang ups.) Sexual fulfillment is not necessarily in having sex, but it is never in denying it.
Our capacity for enjoyment of sexuality as a sacred time, starts in the enjoyment of our own bodies. Yes, our bodies will allow us to DO things and accomplish things but, the enjoyment of it is the necessary counterpart to live a balanced Life.
Every person has a different capacity to enjoy sexuality, a different perspective of it based on their own experience. That is what we need to acknowledge. The polarity of the range of experiences is always there, to be expressed by different people.
That is why, in sexuality as in Life; we may need to learn to acknowledge who we ARE. Observe our limitations. Observe how much our beliefs stop us from exploring our pleasure. Pay attention to that. Here is where sexual de-conditioning starts.
Pornography only shows the collective consciousness. It is not “bad” nor “good.” It is a mirror expressed by actors.
There is more to sexuality than using it to express aggressiveness, anger and lust. For most sexuality is only about pleasure, but in that there cannot be fulfillment.
Fulfillment is in the union of body-mind, spirit, the whole human being. Sensations of pleasure may be enough for most, but Sexuality is one of the paths to know Love. That is to go beyond “I.”
In another realm of sexuality, to abandon yourself without using the mind to “practice it,” but as a natural consequence of the experience; is a way to get out of our mind.
The ego-mind will keep us chained into our beliefs and standards. Openness, is to let go of what we believe to be ourselves.
Sexuality offers that experience.
Sexuality has many levels according to who we ARE. While we have been conditioned to find the “right way” to enjoy sex, we never stop and see who we ARE.
As we become aware of all of our “stop” signs from enjoyment of ourselves, we could observe that without this capacity for self-appreciation in all of our physicality (body-mind,) we could not be fully ready to love another human being.
We will add more “stop” signs to their experiences than “yield” signs. It is this lack of balance the one that will bring many issues in relationships.
Life will bring opportunities to go beyond our own definitions/standards. Those opportunities are the ones equipped to shape us into our next change, our next impersonation or role in Life.
As we cling to the “old,” we will cling to our mental unchanging definitions of ourselves. We are stuck.
Sexuality and “spirituality” are about allowing the Life energy within us to move on, to cycle through, as this has a regenerative effect, a healing effect. The size of the “I” will be the obstacle. To be AWARE of that, is openness.
Inside, we may allow ourselves not to be defined, despite the outside world of definitions. That is the harmonious “act.” 🙂
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.
To be in balance, to harmonize is a more mature way of living than just doing what we think is “right.”
Nature is in balance. That is the way Life moves. Every energy has a reason to be, it has a mission to fulfill.
Our conditioning does not allow us to see that. The mentality of conquering and rejecting what is perceived to be “wrong,” “bad,” “impure,” etc. is prevalent. We are trapped in dualities.
Isn’t Summer the opposite of Winter? Between those 2 apparent opposites, lies a range of experiences, which we label as Spring and Fall. Labels are there so we can understand through language, what we are referring to. A concept is “static” thus, it is not “real,” for Life is movement. Our minds like static things for they bring identity. “I” am static. “I” can be defined. “I” am separate from Life.
In Nature, nothing remains the same. Thus, to constantly harmonize with changes is very important to be in balance with the Totality.
“Harmony” cannot be put into a commandment. Cannot be put into a “You shall not DO this or that.” That is the ethical loophole.
“Static” things, ideals and ideas create illusionary comfort. We were taught to make sense of Life based on human conditioning.That is our yardstick for “truth.”
We do not breath. Breathing happens to us. We do not digest our meals. That happens to us. Our heart beats without our will to do it. Thoughts come and go through our minds like a swarm of mosquitoes… without OUR control. We ask, where is the source powering ME, making all of that happen?
That “ME” is messing up the question. Observe that “ME” is not separated from everything else. The distinction of ME is only intellectual, practical, to fit into our human made world and language. At what point in our Life cycle, is there a static ME? The mind has a “static” picture, it has memories to hide the “reality” of change. There is no “Me,” but when there is, then there is death.
Death is “bad.” Humans continually lose the “battle” with it. Then someone says: “Death is natural. If you live, you will die.” Very clever. Logical, sound premise. However, most humans will not accept it. Their consciousness is not there.
There is a huge experience of a “ME.” It is undeniable even though, we try to cover it with intellectual stuff or religious “afterlife insurance.” (a.k.a “salvation.”)
That consciousness will bring certain experiences: Fear, anxiety, stress, guilt…
Trapped in our conditioning, we dream into “getting” a different consciousness.
We want to make sense of Life by following ideas of our systems and methodologies which support the understanding of a conditioned mind.
Life is not meant so we can “make sense” out of it. That is intellectual, that is our conditioning. Life is meant to be lived, experienced. That experience cannot be shared as a “truth” to follow, as a “standard” for all, so we dismiss it. We want our conditioning, what we think is “right.”
To try to find the “purpose of Life” will show us that our mind has taken over the “driver seat.”
But…there is no need for a driver. 🙂