Tagged: practice

Betterment without practice

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.”

 

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“Your” choice is not important

Many will frown at this statement with disapproval.
The conditioning is that “I have a choice and that choice matters.”
The “I” does not feel good without full control. The “I” realizes that many times “his” choice does not happen or it may bring suffering. The righteousness of the “I” based on some borrowed morality does not fit the intelligence of Life itself.

Plan all you want. Nothing wrong with that. Be assured that you could go tomorrow to “thy kingdom come.” That lack of control, of certainty bothers the “I” tremendously.
Yes, you could be “successful,” yes, you could have power, money and things which the “Office world” readily provides to those who have followed society’s conditioning. Nothing wrong with that.

On the other hand, can you be “successful” in being healthy throughout your life? Can you buy your own health? Can you be accident free through some insurance?

In the middle of your “moment of power,” you could have earned a one way free ticket to the “unknown.” All your choices, gone at that moment. Yes, you could believe that your “choices” were helpful to “others,” but that is not necessarily true. Your help to someone may be a disservice to another. Your “help” to a wounded eagle, may be the loss of one of your eyes. 

The mind and is petty morality is in trouble as “I” could add more intricacies of Life that the mind is not prepared to confront. It is better if someone tells you: “This is good, that is bad.” Then if you follow, at least you feel that you are not alone.

Here is something to “think” about: “Your” choice will bring “you” your guilt. Choice is of the mind. Therefore, embrace “no-choice.” 🙂

Let me explain:
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” A famous spiritual quote by someone.
Is that a choice? If you choose to “practice” that; you will never know what that phrase means.

On the other hand, if you do not make a choice to practice, then through Life experiences you will know, if you are aware of it.
As a matter of fact, that catchy phrase could be:
“Life begins when there is no comfort zone.”
Your thought out choice whether to go “right or left”  is a comfort zone.

Of course, the above is not for everyone. After all some have plans and dreams and things to DO in Life before moving on to heaven…
Better “practice” spirituality safely when you have the time out of your busy schedule, get a nice white/black dress and put some feely music in the background, light up some incense and talk about the latest “best seller” spiritual book by some Guru…

Yeah.. that is a comfortable “spiritual” choice.

To “practice” is to remember

Jack told Betty: “I am meeting with some friends to talk about spiritual matters.”
Betty replied: “The challenge is to practice it. Anyone can talk.”

In our society, to say: “Practice what you preach,” it is the “wisdom” used to look intelligent on “spiritual things.”

When we approach that saying with further depth, we may discover another story.

Betty IS an angry person. Anger is within her. She hears a “spiritual talk” that preaches: “Anger is bad. You should never get angry. Practice being cool at every time.”

In Betty’s mind she found the “cure” in the opposite of anger. That is to be “cool.” Betty IS not cool, but she will practice it. Betty will practice the idea of “coolness” that she has in her mind. She will practice what she has heard or seen or read from others. Her extent of “coolness” will be only that. She will recognize the situation and she will try to remember to practice “coolness.” When a different situation which is not in her experience comes up, it will lead her into anger. She will not be able to recognize that anger until it is too late, until it comes out; for after all… She IS anger.
Then, Betty will feel guilty, for she has failed the “test.”

In “Spirituality 101” for the masses; DOING is preached over BEING.
The “I” has to DO something to change things. Nevertheless, as shared many times, DOING cannot change BEING. As a matter of fact, that is how inner dishonesty appears for we pretend to BE someone who we AREn’t.

That is why the importance of OBSERVATION and AWARENESS is being shared. Those 2 things which are really one; cannot be “graded” by the external world. The external world can only judge us for the action, the DOING they see which complies to some standard. That is why, dishonesty appears in the world. Many are just acting out a commandment, a moral standard but that is not who they ARE.

Thus, AWARENESS is forgotten. We are no longer aware when all we need to DO is to comply with a sacred text, a moral code, a paragraph written by someone holy.

Remember the state of coolness. Feel it. Don’t use words or descriptions, for then the mind will engage and then further dishonesty will appear as the mind will try to comply with past experiences.

If coolness is within you, it will emerge. Remember it. That is the “practice.” In the meantime, observe that anger, acknowledge it; let it teach you what is truly there, in that way you will have the chance to know its origin. It may be in your childhood, due to a traumatic experience; observe your triggers; become a “scientist of yourself.”

Once that energy is released, (Life will provide the method) then the energy of anger will not be there as a “ruler,” but it could be still accessed when necessary.
 If there is anger, there is coolness as well; for one cannot be without the other.

Remembrance is always of the self.

The illusion of an ideal

Love is a pretty word. As the song goes: “All we need is Love, love. Love is all you need.”
Then comes the ideal: “The ultimate love is to love humanity.”
Bravo! I believe in that too. Great phrase. Everyone agrees on that!

Now comes the mind: “How do I get there? How do I achieve love to humanity?” “How do I achieve that state of sainthood?”

Then come religious/philosophical/scientific “methods” with clever answers to those inquires… but those answers require certain “doing” from our part.
Therefore, here comes “practice.”

After many years of trying different methods, and practicing then comes disappointment.

The ideal cannot be obtained. It is a mental thing which is fueled by our own greed.

“That is the top state of sainthood to love everyone. I want it for myself.”
That is called greed. It is the wolf dressed up as red ridding hood. Greed in the mundane is hard to recognize in the “divine.”

Where do we start?
Start with the only “real” place you could. That is with you.
Are you aware of how your mind throws violent thoughts around? It could be towards you or another. That violence cannot allow you to be Love.
See, it is not as the song says: “All we need is Love.” We ARE love.
Are you aware on how your mind dwells in the past and fantasizes about the future?
That mind cannot allow you to be Love; for Love is in the “now.” The mind cannot be in the now.

The pretty, “spiritual” words we say could be a trap for self-deception.
To try to achieve the dictionary meaning of those “good” words or virtues is like trying to hold air with our naked hands.

The clearer, the emptier your mind is of thoughts, the easier becomes to know Love without defining it, without labeling it, without describing it.

Thus, “all we need is love…” is just a catchy phrase.
“All we need is an empty mind,” is closer to Love, but … far from being a popular song.

All is “good” in acceptance

At the end… it is all good…

Acceptance is a word conveying openness to Life.
Acceptance is not a practice. There is no way to “practice” it.
There is no way to define it. There is no way to know “it” until it happens to you.
Experience of it will allow you to talk about it, but whatever it is said, it is never “it.”

“Why are you “talking” about it then?”
Because there is no other way to refer to it.

You see a beggar outside asking for money.
Those “trying to be good,” will use that opportunity to feel good about themselves. They will practice a virtue such as “charity,” so they can tell others: “ I practiced charity today.” Then they will keep track of that “good action” for judgment day. There is “proof” of “good deeds.” “Salvation” is the goal. 🙂
“I did something “good.” I am working towards earning Heaven.”

The above practice is completely meaningless for those who are aware of the “I” in action.
For those who are not, the above practice has meaning. It is part of their necessary development in Life.
Therefore, all is good.

“Acceptance sounds good; but how do you deal with a violent behavior against you? What do you? Flow with it, accept it and do nothing?”

Accept yourself first and do according to what you ARE. If you do according to what you are told, you will repress who you ARE.

Whatever you “do” will have a consequence.
It was a “good” consequence? Then great.
It was a “bad” consequence? Then it is a lesson.
Therefore, “good.” 🙂
That lesson will shape your consciousness. It is an experience to learn from.
Therefore, all is good.

Repression has a limit. It could save you momentarily from “getting in trouble,” but the pressure inside will explode sooner or later, then all things which were repressed; will come out to the open and without restriction.
Who you ARE, will be known sooner or later.

It does not matter if others know or do not know about it.
You will know. Unless you are not aware.

Is not being aware “bad”?
No! Then you will get the chance to repeat the lesson again, until it is learned.
Thus, all is good.

If the lesson of inner honesty hasn’t been learned, then we will try to cover those things, which we do not like about ourselves. We could try to look “saintly,” “respectable,” etc. but any actions of the “I” to “fix ourselves” are meant to deceive ourselves, for it is a rejection of who we ARE.
This rejection will build repression again and with that we will repeat the same pattern of explosion-repression.

“But… how do I fix it, if I find something “wrong” in me?

Definitely it is not by labeling it as “bad.” It is not by changing behavior but by understanding the ramifications, the consequences of that. If playing with fire causes to burn my hand; labeling fire as “bad” will not do a thing. Telling myself that I “should never play with fire again” will only create fear in me, a rejection. Do we see that?

Acceptance of everything around us, cannot happen unless there is complete acceptance of who we ARE.

Without knowing who we ARE, there is no acceptance and because of that, no openness in consciousness.

Who we ARE is not related with a belief or a concept such as: I am a soul, I am a spirit, I am a body, I am a brain, etc.

Who we ARE is known by the observation of the type of unrehearsed, raw, “natural” activities that we perform.

If you are alone, if no one is seeing you or watching you, what will you do? How do you act?

Observe that this is not a religious belief or social agreement to act in a certain way to look “good” or to look “respectable.” To do that is to be dishonest for the one who is aware of the “I.”

For the one who is not aware of the “I,” the above practice is “good” until that individual becomes aware of the “I.”
Thus, all is good.

Life is change, and so “what is.” Whatever change that may be… it is all good. 🙂

The journey into insight: Experience beyond theoretical “Knowledge.”

In the “office world” to reinvent the wheel is inefficient effort.
In Life, to reinvent the wheel is necessary to grow.

From the last article, we could observe the duality of the “believer” and the “non-believer.” Both are experiencing their childhood state of consciousness.

How do you know if you are no longer there?
When you are not conscious of that duality, of course.
For the most part, our “journey” will take us to both sides equally and with the same intensity, that is we could be a believer or non-believer turned into its opposite.

That “journey” will take us to the full range of experiences and will give us naturally, a deep insight away from the simplistic labeling of something as “good” or “bad.”
That labeling is a child-like consciousness.

Ingrained in that childhood state, it is the belief that we could “become better” by following some thought out method, by practicing certain actions considered to be “good.”

For example:
“Practice compassion if you want to be compassionate.”
“You should choose what you want to create and then, take the steps towards that direction to “achieve” it.”

Sounds good? Respectable? Reasonable?

Perhaps, but let me assure something. Unless you are “compassionate” already, there is no way to “practice” compassion. If you practice something that you call or think as compassion, that is not compassion but just a thought, a belief, a mask that we wear for a determined occasion.

You see, Life will present different scenes, which will shatter all of our “thought out” ideas about compassion.
BEING compassion will result in acting compassionate.

The practice of something, which we are not; will merely change our behavior and that behavior will reverse as soon as the practice is stopped. Consciousness will remain the same.
That is the issue that all religions cannot resolve. They are about “practice.”
“Practice” will solidify DOING. Repetition will create a habit, but none of that is related with change of consciousness.
If you are a seeker, please consider the above; for it may be helpful.

Internally, we believe that “spirituality” is another subject, another discipline to “practice.”
Most seekers do not realize that “spirituality” cannot be separated from living Life itself.

It is that same frame of mind, the one looking for a method to obtain “compassion” after putting the “effort to achieve it.”
It is that same frame of mind, the one which will inculcate “steps” to reach the goal.

Please see that all of those “steps” are only made to hide who you really ARE.

BEING is a process. Every Human being is in a different location in that process.
BEING changes by living Life, in the assimilation of experiences.

Did you realize that you don’t have compassion in your heart and now, you want to change that?
Become aware of those traits that are in what you call “you.” Life will bring the right scenarios for that to change into greater openness, that is compassion.

Life for you, is a different experience than Life for me. Therefore, how is it possible to generalize a method, to reach a collective ideal?

Did you hear about Mother Theresa?
Do you believe that she was compassionate?
Want to be like her?
Then, imitation is all you will have. Imitation is not BEING compassionate but just to copy someone’s demeanor, activity, behavior.

The “I” cannot change anything about itself. The “I” can only change behavior, externalities but never the core, the heart.

The “I” is a separation from Life, an entity living his own world in self-absorption.
That “I” is the one who needs a God to “change.”
That “I” is the one who needs to “practice” things to make himself believe that is becoming “better” now.
That “I” is the one in need of Paradise as a reward for postponing the “practice” of his “real” nature now.
That “I” is the one selecting pain and suffering and denying pleasure as a way to “purify” himself.
That “I” is the one making up beliefs, dogmas when there is the experience of Life and our ability to enjoy that experience.

BEING in AWARENESS of continuous change will take away the static beliefs and dogmatic truths that will not allow us to flow with the wind of destiny.
That freedom to BE implies a journey to unmask the “I.”

The “I” is not “bad” nor “good.”
The “I” is part of our own growth in the journey, from “self” into “no-self,” from “form” into “no-form,” from “being” into “non-being.” 🙂

Knowing in Theory does not follow into Being in “practice.”

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In the “office world” we learn the theory before making it practical.
That same “concept” is continuously being applied into living Life.

We learn a body of “knowledge” (commandments, moral codes, laws), which are supposed to transform human beings into something “better.”

That knowledge implies that we either “get better” or else…

To learn the extent of that teaching becomes part of the inner work of the “Life traveler.”

Suzy knew that anger is “bad.” Suzy has learned to “forgive others” and to “forget their errors.”
When Suzy learned that the neighbors killed her beloved pet, Suzy had such a rage and anger that she was ready to “get even.”
Nevertheless, Suzy repressed that anger as much as she could.
What was the outcome?
Suzy became ill. Her energy of anger poured all over her body.
Her “knowledge,” her theory, did not help her. Obviously, she could “help others” by giving them that “Spiritual theory “ of forgiving and forgetting; that made her look like a saint under the eyes of others.
Do we see the trap? Do we see the lack of self-honesty?

“Knowledge” as theory is meaningless when what actually matters is BEING.

If Suzy cannot “be” a forgiving and forgetful person, which is known as being “better” in religious Spirituality, then
do we need for Suzy to “practice” more?

Don’t we realize that BEING is not changed by practice? Behavior may be changed, but never consciousness.
If behavior changes but not consciousness, that behavior will go back to its “original” when the stimulus to keep a behavior is no longer used.

When Suzy observes by herself, because she wants to, after having the time to sit down and reflect by putting all her beliefs aside and just observe the impermanence of things, when Suzy is able to observe that “her pet” was never hers to begin with and that her neighbors’ actions will have a repercussion as we are all together in this, if Suzy is able to perceive that every being manifests through consciousness and consciousness cannot be destroyed … When Suzy is able to perceive those things in her own experience in Life, then she will understand “naturally” without artificial mental games.

Suzy is merely repressing herself and hurting herself in that senseless process of trying to be “someone” who she is not.

Is Suzy allowed to “make mistakes” in Life?
Yes?
That is to experience her lot according to her consciousness.

If you are anger itself in one moment, if your consciousness is in that state; suffering will be waiting for you, through your own activities.
Is that “bad”?
Many of us learn out of that suffering and not out of “theory.”

It may take a refinement of many experiences to understand these things according to our awareness, but one thing is for sure:
Repression by itself in any way, shape or form does not make a “better human being.”

There is nothing “angelic” about repression.
I don’t hear about “teachings” of transforming energies, channeling a particular form of energy into an outlet or to just allow a person to “make a mistake” in Life to learn.
To learn means to make “mistakes.” Right?
Thus, “mistakes” are not truly “mistakes” but the way an aware individual will learn in Life.
Is repression a catalyst for change of consciousness?
No.
The suffering that it brings maybe though; once we become aware, awake of feeling that pain.

Beliefs are typically used to make someone to change his ways:
What I hear is: “Don’t do this because you will go to hell for ever.”
“If you do that, something very bad will happen to you.”

We are too caught up in beliefs and too busy in making ourselves believe that we have attained something “special,” which we are not.

As a reminder, here is a paradoxical aspect of Life.

Humans use repression to change behavior.
Changing behavior does not change consciousness.
However, the suffering that repression brings is the catalyst for a change in consciousness.

Some are able to perceive suffering and hear the voice of Life asking for a change. Others will suck it up and remain repressed for fear of change.

Life is change but still some are not aware of it.
Perhaps some are aware in “theory,” perhaps as “knowledge” but until it becomes BEING it, there is no understanding of it; therefore to “fake it ‘til you make it” becomes the credo, the formula of self-dishonesty for the sake of “self improvement.”