Tagged: consciousness

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: 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.

Learn to live with yourself

The bottom line of any type of worthwhile “spirituality” is to connect us back with ourselves.
Life happens and many times is not according to our “plans.” That creates a trauma which will need to be undone later on. That is a journey in itself.
Rather than move on and “live and learn,” we want an explanation. We want to intellectually know “why this happened to ME.”
That is the beginning of all religious tales about salvation, redemption, heaven and the chosen ones… but at the same time, that is how we may start feeling that we are not the center of the Universe and that Life is fragile… on the surface. 

The above is not just an intellectual idea. It has been my experience. I have gone through the steps. I know.

If you haven’t gone through that avenue of Life, you will certainly be naive in just believing what I have said. In Life, you must find out by yourself. That is the price of knowing.

This knowing is not about reading Wikipedia, books and second-hand, “office world” learning. This type of knowing will give birth to a new consciousness.
Consciousness changes through Life experiences.

What is this consciousness?
First and foremost, it is to BE sentient and our extent of identity with Life itself. All beings are conscious. That is what we have in common. That consciousness becomes individual through our physical/subtle form and then it will be shaped and conditioned individually through Life experiences.
Greater consciousness means to be AWARE of the different levels of experiences. Most are bound by their own physicality. That is their consciousness. Nothing wrong with that.

By hearing this, most may want to improve, most want to change to “become better.” What a great ego trip that is! Rather than acknowledging who we ARE and learn from that acceptance, we like to deny it to live according to an ideal.

Life does not work like that. In Life, it is all about experiences. We think some are better and others worse. We like to dwell into that mental duality all the time. Consciousness changes through Life experiences. The range of experiences is enormous, greater than our little definitions of “good and bad.”

Elementary religious systems and moral standards are in that  “black or white” consciousness. That is the collective consciousness. It does not mean that their consciousness is the “truth.” It only means that it is a particular range of experience.

Life is like a movie. Consciousness like the audience of the movie. Some will like something in particular about the movie. Others will not. Observe that your liking or disliking binds you to a particular experience. That liking or disking defines you, it will give life to that “I,” that ego…. “I like this.” I want for Life to follow my likings.
Nothing wrong with liking something, but be aware that because of that, something which is not of your liking will appear, for Life is greater than a definition of likings of the “I.” Life is a TOTALITY.

A religion may preach to treat every event in Life equally without likes or dislikes. Followers will DO that, fake it… Their consciousness is not there to support those words.
Then “practice” is preached but “practice” does not change consciousness, it only creates a behavioral habit. It is a mental fake.

Open up! open your self-definition until there is no label that could define “you.”
There is no movie without an audience. “We” are both. The sensible thing is to ENJOY the TOTALITY of the show and not to get caught up in a part.

Nothing to teach

I used to gather every weekend with a group of “seekers.” We were just like friends, sharing different things about “spirituality.” Few liked Ahnanda’s insight. Others did not. Some even despised it.  Nothing new! It was another opportunity to argue, to prove who was “right” and who was “wrong.” Ego driven “spirituality.”
Ahnanda is just like them… another view point.  There is no way they could ever know/believe that Ahnanda is going through a process of self-realization. Is that something making me “special”? My experience is  my experience. It is not the “only truth.” It is not the “only path.” There is no such a thing as “the true path.” That much, I know. Perhaps that is enough.  🙂

Ahnanda does not perform miracles. He does not perform any healing or fortune telling. He does not have promises of salvation. He is not being endorsed by influential people. He is a nobody, where to be “somebody” is important.
Typically, things that he expresses will get distorted: “what you mean is this, right?” and after a few minutes those “important” things, will get completely forgotten… 🙂

Benefit for a seeker is encountered when they can IDENTIFY with what is being shared through their own experience. Otherwise, it does not make any sense. That is why there are so many “teachings” for so many types of consciousness. The ones geared for the collective consciousness are the “best seller” material, the “democratic truth;” the ones who are not, are for fewer. At the end, No teachings here but only recognition of an experience through the words of another.  That is how a “follower” is born.

 “Spiritual gurus” (whether self-realized or not) emphasize the need of their disciples to blindly follow what they “teach” so the disciples in time, could get the “vibe” and that will become part of them. A disciple with an argumentative mind, will not fit this set up. That is the theory.

However, I can now see that if there is no love from the disciple, there will not be openness to listen beyond words, to assimilate beyond dogmas and to mesh like a sponge does with water.
That sort of love is not necessarily romantic. That path is meant for those who have the capacity to open up and be as accepting as water.

In that sort of relationship, there are no teachings. It is a oneness. How could you teach yourself? This is not book learning, this is assimilation of Life experiences together.

Ahnanda only shares his experiences. AWARENESS is the big “keyword” here, but it is not just a word. The meaning is beyond the word. Love and trust to Life, are closely hidden behind awareness.

In my experience, the true measure of a man is found when you have too much free time on your hands: You could be unemployed, you could be bedridden through sickness or old age, you could be in jail or any other situation with lots of time in your hands. Most individuals will destroy themselves. Others will try to get busy and lost into “achievements” by making themselves into “something” in Life. Very few, will enjoy their own company and allow Life to open them up until there is nothing to call “I” but for namesake only.

There is nothing to teach, for you ARE and others could only recognize that, if it is meant to be. You ARE “something” but that is not to “be something in Life” as society teaches. That “something” that you ARE through self-realization, is very close to “nothing” and for that, even closer to “everything.”  Of course, Love is everything.
Does it make sense?

No “best seller” material. 🙂

Deconditioning our mind

When we observe our thoughts, we may find a new world.
Our world is our thoughts.

You may be swimming in the Ocean, floating, relax and then a thought comes up: “A shark may be close by.” That moment of relaxation is gone. We believed “our” thought and flew away from the Ocean. Did we think this? Did we purposely spoil our moment of peace?

Have you seen a “real” shark? How the association came by?

That is one of the first aspects to know about the mind: It is a repository for stuff we call “knowledge.”
Did you watch the movie “Shark”? That is “knowledge.” The mind will keep that information and it will throw it back at us through association when a similar experience arrives.

If we did not have the movie “Shark” in our heads, we wouldn’t be able to react in fear of sharks unless we had such a first-hand experience. That is one characteristic of thoughts, they come through association. If we are unaware of that, we may call that thought as “mine” as if it was created by “me.” We will obey that thought, for we believe it is “Me.”  – I, Me, Mine-  a fantastic trio.

Our imagination (another type of thought) is made from the same elements of “knowledge.”
Imagine something wild. Something new that you have never seen before.
You will not be able to. Even if you imagine pink holy hogs, flying around with bat wings looking to eat ham for breakfast… All of those elements in that story line are not “new.” Those are part of that “knowledge” kept in the mind.

Human conditioning has the same path. It is that “knowledge” making us see things from a particular perspective which we believe to be “right, true, valid,” etc.

Many times, we catch “thoughts.” We are not isolated from Life. Nowadays, sorrow is a common emotion, a vibe expanded through thoughts. We catch the vibe. A thought appears through the recognition of it, from our “bank of knowledge.” We IDENTIFY with it, we call that thought, that vibe as MINE.

An unaware individual will start weaving a story to support that vibe of sorrow and then… sadness will appear. “I am” sad is the conclusion of that “I-ness.”

What is the “solution” to conquer those sad thoughts?
Some will use drugs. Others, liquor and escapism from themselves. Others will swear by meditation and medication….

Are you sure that those are “your” thoughts?
The vehicles of thoughts are passing by the street of our empty mind. We label that street as “mine.”

When there is no identification, we can OBSERVE. When we observe, we could be AWARE. Through that awareness, thoughts may appear and disappear… There is nothing to hold them back.
Thoughts are clouds in the sky of our minds. Some will cover the light of the Sun, but they will move away. Even in the darkest and cloudiest day, there will be change. The key is to be AWARE that the sky is not “I.”

This information is only “knowledge.” There is nothing to put into “practice.” Just to be AWARE, awake, conscious. 🙂

Evolved Human Sexuality

There is no topic in “spiritual conversations” which draw more attention and rejection, as human sexuality does. It is paradoxical to want and desire that which we have been conditioned to reject.  The other day I was engaged in a conversation about the “Hua Hu Ching,” verse 69:
“A person’s approach to sexuality is a sign of his level of evolution. Unevolved persons practice ordinary sexual intercourse. Placing all emphasis upon the sexual organs, they neglect the body’s other organs and systems. Whatever physical energy is accumulated is summarily discharged, and the subtle energies are similarly dissipated and disordered. It is a great backward leap. For those who aspire to the higher realms of living, there is angelic dual cultivation. Because every portion of the body, mind, and spirit yearns for the integration of yin and yang, angelic intercourse is led by the spirit rather than the sexual organs. Where ordinary intercourse is effortful, angelic cultivation is calm, relaxed, quiet, and natural. Where ordinary intercourse unites sex organs with sex organs, angelic cultivation unites spirit with spirit, mind with mind, and every cell of one body with every cell of the other body. Culminating not in dissolution but in integration, it is an opportunity for a man and woman to mutually transform and uplift each other into the realm of bliss and wholeness. The sacred ways of angelic intercourse are taught only by one who has himself achieved total energy integration, and taught only to students who follow the Integral Way with profound devotion, seeking to purify and pacify the entire world along with their own being. However, if your virtue is especially radiant, it can be possible to open a pathway to the subtle realm and receive these celestial teachings directly from the immortals.”

The above is the origin of many religions, including the mass understanding of “Tantra.”  That is techniques, methods are given for a “reasonable charge,” it is the mass compulsion to purchase everything including who you want to BE. The above, will compel those who feel “un-evolved” to DO things to become “evolved” despite their DOING not matching their BEING. That is a mirage.

In my experience, Life as well as sexuality, are journeys. Sexuality IS the expression of who we ARE.
There is no “higher or lower” sexuality, it is only what we ARE, the “now” without further labels.
If what we ARE changes, our sexuality will change as well.

Thus, the emphasis is not on techniques and methods to improve sexuality. The emphasis is on “improving” the self.
How do we “improve” the self?
Through openness to life, through awareness, through observation. No actions needed. No fees to pay. No certifications to obtain.

Life will bring those teachings according to our level of consciousness, our place in the journey of Life. Kindergarten is not less than being a college graduate, for without kindergarten there would not be a college graduate. It is a continuous, a process which will bring the range of experiences through our awareness.

In Life; there are no shortcuts. Every stage has its own timing.
Thus, importance is no longer placed in a particular stage of Life or a particular aspect of it, we may discover that our capacity to enjoy the journey is of utmost importance.

For those interested in finding a “purpose” to living, let me express that in 2 words that we may understand.
1. Enjoy  2. Learn.
Joy is an attitude towards Life. Joy will keep the child inside.
Learning the teachings of Life lessons while unlearning the conditioning of the “office world” will nourish our insight, which will bring evolution, wisdom.

It is that valuable insight which will “certify” us as being ready in Life for that “sexual angelic cultivation” when our time arrives.

If we want to find someone to teach us, we will not find anyone who truly knows.
If we want to pray to the celestials teachers to get their teachings, it will not happen.
In Life what we want to accomplish does not matter. What matters is what we are willing to go through to get that. It is through that journey how we learn, how our consciousness changes, how we evolve and gain insight.

Self-realization is not sold in best sellers. It is not taught in any retreat by certified holy masters.
If we want self-realization, we will need to give up ourselves. That is the ultimate openness to Life.
Are you willing to go through that? Perhaps not now, but believe me, your time will arrive. 🙂

The belief on “Spiritual Teachings.”

Any spiritual teaching presents a vision to understand Life, the world. That vision is like a map. It brings security to the follower to mitigate his uncertainty; although that vision is limiting.

Why is it limiting?
A map is not the real thing. If I need to explain this further, see Life as driving in a highway. We enter into the highway and the “decision” will have to be made right there. There is no time for questions. No time to review the map. Speed up? Slow down? Use your signal? Change lanes? Slow down to speed up? There are so many variants. Are you looking for the “right one”? Was that ever written some place in a holy book?

The “spiritual teaching” maybe something like: “Be careful while driving in the highway.” Fear is introduced.
Let me ask; is there any meaning to that “be careful”?
Perhaps be AWARE is a far better “teaching,” however; it is another pretty word to say to look “good,” concerned…
AWARENESS cannot be taught. You ARE or you may not be AWARE.

It is through AWARENESS how we could realize things about ourselves and through that “teaching” our BEING will behave (DO) in the world. That knowing is experiential and valuable. It is not second hand.

AWARENESS is some sort of sensibility. It comes when we are conscious of ourselves (feelings, thoughts, emotions) alone and in relationship. The word describing our “teacher” in Life is OBSERVATION.
The capacity to observe will bring sensibility and that in turn will bring awareness, consciousness.

We are conditioned to judge, to follow what is believed to be “right,” which is some script that we have learned from someone. We call that discernment. A pretty word to hide conditioning.

When you know the features in your car, you can use them to ADAPT to the environment, what is happening, the “now.”

Observe the person you are talking with. Can you FEEL his intention, his vibe?
Did he shake your hand? Yes?? He was following the map. You “thought” he was a good fellow, well educated, well-conditioned.

Let me briefly explore mainstream “Tantra” teachings: A certified sex guru is needed. Someone to tell us what to DO.
Step #1: Breathe slowly. Step #2: Move slowly. Step #3: Last as long as you can…
That is the software to “practice.” The teaching to follow to be “successful.”

If we had OBSERVATION, we wouldn’t follow STEPS. We would BE those naturally.
OBSERVE our own rigidity. Our own pre-conceptions. Our need to be in control. Observe the need of our ego to perform to some standard. Observe our inability to feel pleasure and enjoy pleasure with the simplest things in Life: The feeling of water running through our naked body, a caress that spreads to our whole being… Observe how our capacity to enjoy has diminished to the point where relaxation is never felt, sensuality is not part of ourselves. Sexual pleasure is merely an “itch” to get rid of.

That sensibility to feel is gained in solitary aloneness. That is the needed space. Through that gained AWARENESS the “map” is no longer needed. Every moment is to BE in the highway of Life. Forget about the prescriptions, the methods, the technicalities. Our unpracticed, unlearned sensibility will take us places… Just relax, unwind. Let the last second “decisions” come without thinking about it.

“Spiritual teachings” are needed only because we live in the mind, so we cannot BE. Thus, we DO them, practice them, follow them, copy them.
Outside of the mind, there is a world of sensibility, which is unknown to most. How do we call that world?
Love.
Sensibility is her daughter. AWARENESS, her twin sister. 🙂 The height of human sexuality is in that “family. ” Spiritual teachings, will tell us to DO what is not meant to be DOne.