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. 🙂
Have you heard the singing of a yellow warbler or a robin bird?
Be aware of how you feel. You may enjoy it.
Those sounds have a pleasing effect on us. There is coordination, balance, symmetry, agreement, peace in that. It happens without rehearsal, naturally.
That sensation we label as “harmony.” There is agreement with the environment.
I could take someone right out of that sensation if I ask:
“Why do you like that singing? Please elaborate.”
Even worse, I could ask: “Why do birds sing?” Then meaningless answers may arrive: That is the way they attract potential mates. They are protecting their territory. Truly, a bird does not DO things out of a plan, an objective. That is rational, not harmonious.
The mind keeps questioning. It keeps coming up with plans of action. Ideas, ideals and fantasies filling up our time.
Inner nourishment and delight is in the experience of listening to the bird’s song, not in knowing intellectual answers.
We only have preconceptions based on our human expectations and understanding of the world. Can’t ask the bird for “answers;” instead, ask your neighbor: “Why do you breathe?” Then, we could realize the value of our questioning and spare the bird from a meaningless question. Intellectual questions/answers are without fulfillment.
The intellect, reason, logic have a place in Life. That is the “office world.” We can hardly survive in that world without it. But to know harmony, we may need to open a different door.
Enjoyment of Life means to enter into that door of harmony.
Our “black or white” mentalities are not “trained” for harmony. We want to live Life in the “right” way, which is to follow a set of rules, commandments, expectations that we believe to be the representation of “righteousness.” We will apply those rules every time, the goal is to be consistent with our ideas. To be “right” we must get rid of “wrong.” “Wrong” is our definition of unacceptable…. Living in that intellectual, conceptual manner we lack fulfillment, harmony.
Harmony is not an idea, a concept. There is nothing to get rid of to make things “right” but rather to integrate. Can we integrate “right” with “wrong”? Not in our minds. Our strict “concepts” and ideals do not allow for that.
A song does not have a preconceived structure. It does not follow a particular pattern. A bird does not have limits of what is “right” or “wrong” to sing. Those are only expectations of the human mind, which are obstacles to discover joy.
“Mind” the environment. The inner and outer world. Be aware of the discordance of our own voice. Have we heard how unpleasant the sound of it may be? What we ARE manifests in so many ways.
Harmonious living cannot be put into a recipe. There is no method to study, concept to DO or commandments to follow.
Harmony changes continuously. Every song Life plays even though different, is in accord with the time, setting and environment. That is why, no one could teach another to be harmonious. Moving with it, is not following it. That is beyond the limits of any sort of “spirituality” or moral standards. Without harmony; enjoyment of Life is reduced to another method to “practice” and achieve by our monkey mind.
An enticing “objective” only to dream about. 🙂
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.
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. 🙂
Life is open for many views. Humans are concerned in finding the correct view, the “truth.”
For example, what if I say that God and Santa Claus have similar life expectancy. Let me push a button: I could assure everyone that we are all predestined. There is no free will… “You” are not in charge of your destiny, because there is no “you.” That “I” is only a mirage… although persistent, “real.” Did I push any buttons? How do you like “my” truth? 🙂 Not a “best seller” material for sure.
Probably most readers will not believe that “nonsense.”
The above is not part of the collective experience where pampering the “I” is a “must have.”
The collective experience is invested “In God, we trust.” The collective experience is sure that “I” am in charge of my own destiny. I just need tools, methods, techniques to get what “I” want in Life; from a “good job” to illumination. It is all about “me.” The collective experience believes in free will. That is the material of “best sellers.” It must be the “truth.”
Here is the catch: Both contradictory statements (mine and the collective consciousness) are “true.”
How is that possible? Different people, different consciousness.
Look at the sky. Do you think that because you see blue there, the color of the sky is blue?
We can only “see” what our eyes will allow us to see. Whether that is “real” or not, we will never know; for any time we “see” things, we are coming from a particular perspective given by our organs of perception.
Life accommodates every “truth,” every belief.
You want to believe in heaven. Fine. You don’t want to. Fine too. No problem.
Life does not mind about our beliefs in “truth.” We are defined by our perceptions.
As we open up to Life, we will not define ourselves through our beliefs, ideas, experiences, traditions… truths.
It is a matter of perception… and all efforts made to find the “truth” are futile. Our search for “truth” does not matter at all. That is my statement.
Humans are so good about fighting for ideas! That is how we can easily demonstrate that humans are living in their minds.
Beliefs, traditions, dogmas, ideas, ideals, truths… are all unnecessary.
Those are keeping our minds in a cage.
If you call your belief “truth,” then use the same label for the others as well. Those are “truths” too.
But, which one is the only truth? That is all I want to know!!!
Please, don’t waste your precious life in that. We are all bubbles. We go on for a few seconds and then disappear in the vastness of Life.
Is it true that we are bubbles? No! We are soap mixed with water.
So, are we truly soap OR water? We are truly soap AND water! Not bubbles.
What makes water? What makes soap?
Two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of Oxygen.
Soap is made of Sodium Hydroxide, (NaOH) water and oils… and the nonsense goes on… More research, more “light” into the “ultimate question.” Give me a break!
As we dissect who we are, as we go smaller, we will discover that we become “larger” for we share the same components with everything else…. We are everything! But that realization does not bring any change in consciousness.
The world of ideas and the mind interested in finding the “truth,” is missing the opportunity to enjoy the existence of being a bubble. That is all! That experience is precious, that is the “now” without the interference of the mind.
That experience is only meant to BE. It doesn’t matter who is “right” or “wrong.” It doesn’t matter if our belief is the “truth.” What matters is if there is a constant and honest sense of relaxation, wellness in us, coming from enjoyment of our experience in Life. That translates into an easy smile in our faces. We are fulfilled. That experience may be the “truth” but if it is not, what a fantastic falsehood it is!
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?
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.