It is amazing how the “keywords” are more important than the experience itself.
“You have to live in the now.” “Women want a sexual partner who has presence, who is fully present in the act.”
Those phrases sound amazingly good. Knowledgeable stuff. Best seller material, but…. what is presence and what living in the now mean?
Do you know? Do you practice it?
There is no definition. There is no practice.
Do we need steps or methods to get there?
How can we explain something which defies our language?
Through a common Life scenario.
When we drive a car, as we become familiar with its operation, things become “second nature,” that is “automatic.”
We are driving for some time and our thoughts will appear and process some incident of the past or fantasize about something in the future, or even create a story out of some current Life episode. Have you noticed that?
If we haven’t noticed that, we are not ready to live in the “now.” We don’t know what that is, even if we repeat the latest definitions and use the more hip-hop terminology. At that point, we need to read “best sellers” on how to practice “presence,” and how to live in the “now.”
We need definitions, we need “how-to’s” and ideas to make this practice permanent in our everyday life.
However, a time will come when we notice our fantasizing, our dream world or tele-transportation into a remote past… then we are AWARE. No more “best seller” material needed.
When the mind is full of thoughts, we are not living in the “now.” When we drive the car in the “now,” we are automatically alert, even though it is the same avenue that we drive every day to work. Thanks to our mind, we can remember the familiar sight. But, thanks to our mind, we will snooze into unconsciousness due to the familiarity of the sight. It is the same old thing. No need to be alert.
When the mind is empty of thoughts, we are alert, aware, conscious. When we add content thanks to the conditioned mind; that pristine moment is not. Then, we do things in “automatic mode,” thoughts take over and we forget what we did 10 seconds ago.
After hearing this “revealing” explanation, some will say: “From now on, I will practice to empty my mind of thoughts, so I can live in the now.”
Please don’t put yourself in that stressful situation. Observe that there is no practice whatsoever. AWARENESS is not a practice. Emptiness of thoughts is not a practice. As our consciousness and state of BEING are in a tranquil state, the necessary space to separate ourselves from the mind will appear, then we could observe the mind.
Ahnanda is not saying “my mind,” but just the mind.
At that point, we will become AWARE on how we have obeyed the dictates of the conditioned mind for so long, thinking that THAT was ME.
No wonder, the greatest teaching of all time to remember is “Know thyself.”
Paradoxically, it is not a “Best seller.” 🙂
“Life at the office” is the term used to describe our worldly experience of a man-made world away from the laws of Nature.
When our mind is immersed in the “world at the office,” then our understanding of the Universe and the way Life operates will be very limited.
Anne wanted to “improve” herself. Anne was taught that “knowledge is power” so she went to the bookstore where she found plenty of books. Anne decided to go for “Self help” under that, she found “spirituality” and in another subsection, there was “Western,” “Eastern” and “New Age,” thought. The labels were neatly divided into different religions and philosophies and then into different authors.
Anne felt a bit overwhelmed that she had to read so many books to “help herself.”
Anne decided to hire someone, a local Guru who she heard “talks pretty good stuff” to “coach” Anne into getting certified as a “spiritual life coach,” so she can become a teacher to “make the difference in the lives of many.”
Anne heard: “You could be what you want to be. Your past does not determine your destiny unless you decide that. You could follow a proven path to help your clients to reach their goals.”
Anne then had a successful training in the “Secret” and in metaphysical studies.
Anne became a proven knowledgeable Guru of life… She was certified and she went through rigorous training… 🙂
The above scenario illustrates our belief in the “world at the office” to understand “self-help” or “spirituality,” which Avyakt7 likes to call “living life with joy.”
Obviously, there is no way that any sort of “book learning” and “certification” could give anyone the wisdom coming from insight.
But… what about if Anne joins a religion?
What about if Anne stays in that religion for 30 or more years? Could she become a “true” spiritual guru?
Of course she will. The followers of her path will be her audience. She will be the example of dedication and love to whatever they believe is worthwhile in life.
Certifications are not required here, but unbreakable loyalty to a dogma is the most important valued item.
However meaningful that may be, it does not mean that Anne will experience the art of living life with joy, that is to be “spiritual.” 🙂
That cannot be learned by following a particular path, for life is greater than just one path.
Something outlined to be followed to reach “illumination” will present the typical duality: Acceptance of “my path” and rejection of other paths.
Isn’t it? Do we see that?
If you hear someone who is representing any religion, once you heard that person; you have heard more or less all the followers who belong to that path.
You know their definitions. You know their philosophy. You know what they believe in. You know what they represent.
The structure, the dogma becomes very important to repeat. Repression will arise in that circumstance and with that the inability to perceive Oneness.
The “world at the office” has taught us: “This is good, that is bad. This is right, that is wrong. This is moral, that is not. We have the truth, they do not. We have God with us, they do not. We will go to heaven, they will not. Our ideas are correct, theirs is not.”
The Universe, Nature, life, does not support that segregation.
The experience of the path of “certifications” or the path of “loyalty to a dogma,” both are good experiences.
The issue resides in the belief that “we have found the truth.”
That is the biggest illusion. That is the greatest ego builder there is.
If we would like to understand life, Nature, the Universe, that means to become it, to be that truth, not to talk about it.
For that, we may need to observe.
To observe we may need to clean our minds from previous learning.
That cleaning is personal. Every one of us has different experiences, different beliefs, different emotional issues, different traumas, etc.
In other words, as our minds become “pure” by dissolving all the previous learning, we have the space, the openness to observe and learn from Nature itself.
That is the meaning of being born again.
It is evident that no bookstore or teacher is going to teach us that, because all we could get from them is more information (books, CDs, DVDs) that will cloud the mind with preconceptions of life…. of Nature.
However, if the above is just accepted because Avyakt7 says so; that is a big illusion as well.
It has to be realized. It has to be the product of our own experience. It has to be the fruit of previous search, of previous experiences of looking for answers… This is the “homework” that may need to be done so the next chapter starts afresh.
The beauty of the range of experiences in life will take the “life walker” from gaining information into emptying himself from it. The “method” is according to where our consciousness is located. Some may need to gain information, others to dissolve it as beliefs.
As that emptiness is necessary for our insight to appear, we could be like those birds who already know about flying in a “V” formation without ever going to a library to learn… and that insight cannot be put into words for “others” to follow.
It is immediate, intuitive…reflecting only the moment, the now.