Since our society is heavily influenced by continuous DOING, there is no possibility to unwind as a lifestyle, but only for a couple of hours a week if at all.
Some individuals will look for some “practice” (DOING) to allow them to stop for a little time before continuing with the “rat race.”
Others, tired of the mundane competitive experience are persecuted by their own consciousness to look for something different, something “eternal,” “spiritual” to “achieve.”
A society using the cliché “Time is money;” is doomed to live an unhealthy life. However, “time is money” will pay the bills to try to regain lost health later on. That is the irony.
When the “teaching” is to DO, and Life is judged based on the things that I DO; then BEING is left aside. BEING is no longer accounted for.
This is the most important and revealing realization: Our society values DOING over BEING.
That is why, we don’t know ourselves but we DO things to look like a role model.
What is the value of BEING, if I need to BECOME someone else by DOING things?
There is no value, until Life puts us in the situation when we need to “stop and take the time to smell the roses.”
Go, accomplish, become someone, believe that you are important, needed and admired… Conquer the world! (Paraphrasing a TV ad to join the army.)
Once you conquer it, there will be NOTHING TO DO.
What would you DO then? 🙂
DOING NOTHING, at the most superficial level means to stop acting.
As when we sit down for a few minutes to “meditate.”
However, even though we may be sitting; our minds are racing, DOING things. Have we noticed that?
Let me “fix” that: Let me put some soothing music. Let me give you a “mantra” to repeat 1000 times. Let me ask you to think about God, a flower, heaven, etc. to “control” the mind.
If our mind gives up, then SOMETHING happened: We had a wonderful experience. We become believers, although the trick may only work sometimes, we do not know when or how. It just happens.
For someone who is used to DOING things, DOING NOTHING is MEDITATION.
DOING NOTHING at a deeper level means to WITNESS.
Witnessing the “inside and the outside” is a deeper meditation.
But, DOING NOTHING while DOING, is the masterpiece of living Life, YOU ARE MEDITATION, although; you ARE NOT. Hard to understand?
Life itself is MEDITATION.
However, if we are not there yet, we could start with a 2 hour meditation class, twice a week until SOMETHING happens. No refills. 🙂
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…
“According to Krishnamurti, meditation is Life. According to Osho, meditation is a technique, according to Tolle, meditation is….”
That type of comparison and quoting of “words of wisdom,” maybe what we have learned in school when writing a paper on whatever topic. It may sound scholarly, very Wikipedia like and scientific; but for those seekers who are in Life to be one with it, the above is completely meaningless. It has no value other than trivia, intellectual information.
Being one with Life is not about complying with our ideas of what we/Life should be. For example, if someone meditates, that is alright but do not be naïve in believing that what you are DOING is “true” meditation. It is just your own spin of it, your perspective even though you maybe following some Guru’s recipe to the dot. Meditation is what you believe in , what you have experienced, but not what you have read or heard.
Many times, followers will be copying the “words of wisdom” of their gurus, and using them as if those were their own realizations. In the scholar world, we give credit to the source of our “wisdom” if is not ours; but in “Spirituality” because there is no copyright on experiences, something is “yours” if you have experienced yourself. Then, talk about it, explain it with your own words. Say “in my own experience.” However, most like to say at this point, “the truth is….”
One of the most celebrated cliché phrases in “spirituality” is: “Every religion talks about the same truth, just in different ways.”
We are sold on that cliché, for it is nice to acknowledge every religion, or spiritual path as having the “truth.” We will make many friends, and sell many books through that phrase.
Nevertheless, whoever is saying that does not know.
“The truth” is not some story about redemption.
Find the truth in yourself.
Cryptic, huh? Similar to the cliché “know thyself.”
Here is the catch. Those who know cannot give more details about it. Why? Because it is a personal experience. Life will give those experiences to those who are ready. Every attempt to explain a personal experience to others by “enlightened” people, has evolved into a religion/spiritual movement thanks to unaware followers.
There is no “method.” No “solution.” No “practice.” Although, to get there, we may have gone through many methods, many solutions and many practices before.
Because we need the experiences to get us to the point of being ready.
Many spiritual books have been already written, many concepts have been followed to attain God, Salvation, self-realization, etc.
My “money back guarantee” is that none of them, can take us to our own truth. None of them.
It takes awareness, being awake, de-conditioned, “tabula rasa,” transparency, unadulterated honesty, etc. (many words to refer to the unexplainable) to get there. This is a process through Life experiences, not chapters of a book to be read and studied.
On this path of knowing your own truth, misinterpretation from others, misunderstanding from others, opposition from others are sure to come our way. That is the story of many “avatars” throughout human history: Imprisonment, persecution, even crucifixion.. but once they are death; they are remembered through the memory of confusing human writings. 🙂
The spiritual “marketplace” is open for buyers! The “office world” has expanded its domain from the mundane to the divine! 🙂
It is a big confusion out there. “Seekers” want something, but they don’t know what that is.
Yesterday, I was with a “spiritual group.” The leader started out reading D. Chopra. The theme of his explanation was “ I am the Universe.”
Evidently someone did not find that interesting and started talking about the “burden of the body and his desire to fly.” Then, someone spoke in a lengthy fashion about being “a flying yogi.” She could fly (levitate/ move around through astral body) while meditating and like her, there were others. Interest appeared, the “I want that too” took over. Finally, someone spoke about meditation and how Science has proven that “meditation is good for you.” This person informed the audience that “meditation can cure many illnesses and make you peaceful by setting up the day for you.”
As I open my email, someone is selling “Tantra.” It can cure ED (erectile dysfunctions) she claimed, and give fantastic orgasms… Not only that, it can also give “illumination.”
What are you looking for?
Do you want to claim “I am the Universe,” even though, your consciousness shows that you are only your ego?
Do you want to fly and say “I can fly, you don’t” and accumulate “flying miles’ points”?
Isn’t meditation the “new thing”? look at all the benefits! We don’t have to DO a thing! Just sit there, close your eyes, repeat a mantra, put some incense, some light music on…But remember to pay to “learn” the technique… better say, give a “Love donation.”
Is Tantra the “magic pill”? Look, you get it all! “Magical thinking” has never been so good! Just bring your plastic (Visa/MC) or your paper money to keep the magic going!
Whoever invented “$$pirituality” created the “elixir of Life.” People are looking for hope to resolve their apparent unsolvable issues. After scientific research is left aside due to its limitations, anything will do. This is good! It creates openness in individuals, it brings them hope and desire for quality of Life.
All of the above is part of the journey of many. Needed experiences that will make them grow, change, transform… but the question remains: What are you looking for?
Thus, go look around! Search for saviors, gurus, god, spirits, ego trips, blissful pleasures! You will learn a lot if AWARE, if not; your search will continue “improving”: Money, power, status, greed in this Life and the one after… Eternal Life!
Until awareness knocks at your door. Are you AWARE?
Who is searching? Isn’t it “I”? Who is that “I”? Aren’t you the “Universe”? Why go into the immensity of “out there” when you can go “in there”? Is there truly a difference between “out there” and “in there”?
Whenever you look in, what do you see? Is that you?
Now we are cooking!
The search is over when you find NOTHING rather than SOMETHING. Even though we may know this intellectually, we must go through the process to KNOW that the object of search does not matter. What matters is the process of searching. That is , Life experiences. 🙂
If you observe yourself, all activities performed are motivated by self-preservation.
That self-preservation could be physical, emotional or learned conditioning.
To eat is a physical need. To feel loved, an emotional. To win a competition, learned conditioning.
Fear appears when the mind foresees that one of those “needs” may not be available, and self-preservation is at stake.
Great fear means great “I-ness.”
Fear is not a “bad” thing. It just goes out of proportion through the stories stored in our minds.
There can be fear to relate with others. There can be fear of being in a relationship, there can be fear of change, of being different.
The “I” wants to remain unchanged.
In some extent, the “vices” are but the expression of utmost fear.
The mind could come up with ways to “regulate” that fear; but those are artificial solutions which are short lived.
At one point of our lives, we may need to sit down and recognize our fears and how those fears are an obstacle for new experiences.
The safety of fear is a conditioning of our society.
To trust Life is a level of safety which is unknown by most.
The “I” thinks that he can trust his control over things and people.
That controlling mind is a sign of fear.
Beyond religious tales on “salvation,” beyond society’s blurb on “morality,” there is inside us a big doses of fear, which is sugar coated with the word “security.”
Do you stay in an unhealthy relationship due to “security”?
Do you keep yourself trapped in a belief system for “security”?
The keyword to recognize is not security but fear.
Fear maintains the division, the separation. We fear what we don’t know, but to know means to BE and that is the journey to walk.
We ARE when there is not a bit of rejection in our hearts for something or someone.
It is not called acceptance, for to willingly accept means to cover our rejection with yet an ideal created by our minds.
We use the word “accept” to understand each other, but when we put that word in “practice,” it is fake. Our rejection will be there masked, sugar coated by a word, the mind.
There is a snake crawling. Did you observe your feelings? No?
Then, perhaps decided to “practice” acceptance?
Recognize fear. Nothing wrong with that. If that fear stays with you as a traumatic experience, as an ongoing rejection; then that is the perfect time to know a bit more about yourself, your emotions, your conditioning, your beliefs.
Do we call that spirituality?
Call it with any label.
As that fear dissipates, then peace appears.
Did we practice any meditation for that?
When your stomach is empty and you feel hungry, eating a little candy can give you enough sugar to mask that hunger.
That is meditation as a “practice.”
When it is not a “practice,” meditation is to live Life in awareness.
Whenever there is awareness, there is peace.
To be at Peace is to let go of self without trying to “do it.”
When we truly feel that there is nothing to achieve, nothing to prove, nothing to work for or work on, nothing to do for a particular reason such as to “improve” something or to “gain something,” at that moment, we could say that we are complete, and because of that completeness, we could observe, participate in the Totality without actively trying to “change the world,” “change myself,” or “change others.”
At that moment, we are nothing. Whatever is outside is also inside. We are One with that Totality by being nothing; thus we are everything.
For the “office world” and societies pampering the “I,” the above is the description of a loser; “you are a nobody” is the common label or insult. For a mind full of duality, there is a “winner” and a “loser,” a “somebody,” and a “nobody.”
“You must do something, achieve something, show others who you are.” That is the conditioning.
Even if we don’t accomplish stuff here on Earth, we could shift the pressure to the “afterlife.”
“You must do something to earn heaven, paradise, God, etc.”
Being a complete “nobody,” is meaningful to know Peace.
This is not the “peace” gained through a moment of meditation or through a spiritual “experience.” This is an on-going natural state.
We cannot experience natural Peace unless the need to become “someone” or achieve “something” is set aside, as a natural consequence of “having been there, done that.”
This does not come by telling a follower to “abandon all pursues and goals in Life, to have disinterest of worldly things for these are distractions.” Neither is the onset of laziness or depression or fear to act.
Peace comes as a personal realization through the assimilation of Life experiences and not as a hand me down “knowledge,” or as a rebellious reaction.
Peace is not an objective of the “I” such as “becoming one” with God, Life or whoever. That state does not happen by wishing to obtain it or by “working on it.”
Peace is not the absence of war. That is called truce; and truce happens when the ‘natural’ state is to fight, to wage war.
Peace is a state of fullness, completeness and enjoyment in no-action.
“No-Action” does not mean that there is no energy to act, but it is the activity in the absence of that “I.”
We could sleep, eat and rest in the enjoyment of it, rather than by being compelled to do something because it is supposed to be “good” for us.
In Peace there is acceptance and nurturing of our body and our presence. Appreciation of our own presence.
Naturally in that state, the mind does not have anything to think about, no place to go or something important to “achieve.”
It is a state of contentment, where the heart is able to feel and observe with appreciation and gratefulness.
Inhale love. Exhale gratefulness. That could be the mantra.
Being at peace comes through the dissolution of the “I.” It comes through the departure of fear in our being and thus, the departure of the busy and chatty mind.
“What do I have to do to get Peace? I want some of that too!”
If that is “your” desire, it cannot happen.
The first paragraph of the article may have the answer.
Peace is to be alive in awareness of Being that which we are looking for.
Once we find peace, we will find love…
“…When you speak of the pacifier that stops the mind’s crying are you speaking of the distractions we give ourselves?
I’m finding my mind too chatty as of late. Is meditation the way to slow that down or is simple awareness of it, all that’s necessary?
My heart says I need space, alone time….would lack of that need get ones mind whirling? At any rate today Im creating and protecting some space for whoever it is in me that needs it.”
Thank you for your question for the common good.
The “pacifier of the mind” is anything that will take the place of the previous object.
For example, the “normal” advice when someone ends a relationship is to replace that one, with another relationship. That is the pacifier.
Typically, the pacifier is used to stop the crying of the mind. To do that is not “bad,” for it accomplishes the task of stopping the baby from crying. It is the “normal” method.
However; crying will be there, every time Life takes away one of our precious “toys.”
For the one who is concerned about inner knowledge, to replace one toy with another is not the answer, but to find out why there is continuous crying of the mind. That takes observation, awareness of the self.
Through awareness, we could observe that there is “conscious awareness,” the ability to observe, to feel, to explore… That is consciousness.
Also there is thought, the script, words, the plot which changes in our favor or against us depending on our mood, our insecurities. All of that drama occurs in what we refer to as the “mind.”
The mind is chatty, judgmental, it makes assumptions based on fractions of facts.
A “normal” typical person will connect their consciousness to that mind first. Thus, the mind will set the tone for the feelings of the heart.
That person cannot know what love is, for the mind has a big filter.
The “I” and the mind are highly related.
To find that our mind is chatty, is a great finding indeed; nevertheless unless our feelings call for the need to “stop and take the time to smell the roses,” then that finding will be just theory without practical use.
When we feel the need to take it easy, relax, unwind, etc. it is at that time, when the mind will be observed as “slowing down.”
That is the clue for more findings.
Eating does not taste the same when we are in a hurry, when the mind is clogged up with thoughts. Any pleasurable activity that we may engage in, cannot be fully enjoyed if the mind is racing to nowhere. Without full enjoyment, any activity will lose its appeal.
We cannot enjoy the “now” for the mind is always in the future or the past.
What is meditation?
For most, a time to do nothing, to close your eyes or open them and repeat a mantra. Even though the mind is still moving swiftly along from cloud 9 into 11!
For others, Life itself is meditation.
Have you ever experienced an intense emotional bout? There you are…lying down, the mind is tired, maybe after intense crying and then, after that release…there is quietness, peace… the “calm after the storm.”
That is the natural way for the self to experience peace, although because we are “mind” conscious; we call that “peace of mind.”
I’d say listen to what your heart is saying: “My heart says I need space, alone time…”
Be there, all alone. No where to go. Paraphrasing what the sage once said: “Alone you will find self and self-realization.”
You could find those hours alone by yourself at a particular time, but then count on finding those hours alone while being with others.
You could find that time alone in Nature, while hearing the sounds of water by the shore, rocks, or even the rain drops. Sounds are extremely important in the physical realm. The rhythms of Nature will bring that natural “slowness” to the mind and so; the sounds of tibetan singing bowls, or the ones of birds chirping at dawn, or the wind blowing through trees. That is sound therapy your mind will appreciate…only when ready.
There is no single answer on “how to slow the mind down.” It is not a “fit all” answer. However, I can assure you there is a process of finding out what works for ourselves, which cannot be delimited by the collective beliefs of our minds.