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Awareness is a fascinating thing. In my experience, it identifies with whatever it puts its awareness on. In this weird and wonderful creation we have, with all its movements, energies, thoughts and actions, creation is infused with a sense of life through our awareness. Like a puppet with strings, the puppet has no life of its own. However when a hand moves the strings, it has an identity, life and actions.
Similarly, our thoughts do not have an energy of their own. They are infused with life through our identification with thought or thinking. The only times it can get tricky is the thoughts we identify as being me. Thoughts we don't see as movement or energy, but thoughts that we instantly attach an identity to. It is very funny when you get to see the thought that supports a righteous me! Suffering is through a thought we have not seen.
As creation moves, things change; we meet new people and create new relationships as our world is created anew every single moment. A world of possibilities exists in every moment and often our mind wants to consider the spectrum of possibilities, weigh up the positive and negative, place expectations, judgments in order to protect and survive. How forward thinking and helpful of the mind! But not very useful if we want to be innocent and live the fullest expression of life.
Something reaaly great to play with around this topic is whenever you notice you have engaged in chatter, thoughts and thinking, pretend you are:
1. Not the thinker of these thoughts
2. They are not and were never your thoughts to begin with so wrap them up and give them away!
This gives you the opportunity to have a different relationship with movement and helps to diffuse any charge or power in these thought patterns. It takes the rug out from underneath the illusion that there is a thinker and they are your thoughts!
Often times, in my life and in others I see the hand of effort in many things that we do. Force and effort creates results is what I learned growing up.
Yet the more I am attracted towards a life with more peace, love and contentment and, ultimately, a life with more awareness and consciousness, I look at life differently. I actually looked at life, to begin with. I started to observe myself and the way my mind worked. What I noticed, and continue to notice at ever subtler levels, is that the most profound things happen when I lift not a finger.
The most profound things happen when the sense of a "me" "doing stuff" is dropped. What did that require of me? To gently let go, let go of trying, let go of figuring stuff out, and observe and watch a greater dance bubble to the surface, and what an amazing dance that it is. It is the dance that moves the universe, the planets and the sun, and the energy that creates, maintains and destroys everything we see. It is the life force that is all through nature. Sometimes it may feel that this force is destructive, and yet it is happening.
We can not deny that things HAPPEN. Death happens. Death of relationships, death of bodies, death of jobs, death of "things" in general, and when I finally stopped resisting what was naturally occurring, and sat back and became comfortable in that, for the first time I felt connected to what was happening, instead of being slung around and bruised in the storm of it all. I felt connected in that I could observe it. What a privileged seat to be given, like a front row seat to the World cup soccer. "Observe, observe, observe," one of my favourite writers Anthony De Mello once said.
The more you observe, and the more familiar you become with this way of being and of living, the more enjoyable it becomes. If you think back on your life, many of the greatest times have been when you have let go and allowed things to happen. Isn't that what holidays are all about? How about doing it all the time? I always thought "Yeah, but there is so much to do!" or "That's a bit lazy, someone's got to do the work around here," Yet you let go to a much greater force that has so much energy, vitality and capacity to do it for you! It's kind of like the doing of life comes from the being of life.
Then hey presto, you start experiencing the magic of life, you actually see what is truly going on. You actually listen with awareness. You hear what people are really saying between the words. You experience the beauty of nature all the time. You see opportunities and excitement where before you feared the change or tried to control the outcome. You may notice things in your life that you never had eyes to see before because you were always in your head.
And the subtleties of life continue to unfold, on ever greater levels. In child-like wonder you are discovering the universe all the time.
Compassion and Seeing Others with Innocence
Compassion isn't about fixing someone else, or trying to help them. Compassion is being willing to treat others, as we wish they would treat us; it is approaching people with respect and communicating with empathy rather than arrogantly thinking that we are special, and they are not. Compassion is about us shifting our focus from automatically judging, to being innocent and wide open with people. The following has been transcribed from the book ?Second Thunder? by MSI:
?Forget about helping others. You cannot presume to know anything about how to help another until you know how to help yourself. You can never be compassionate to others until you can be compassionate to yourself. It is not possible to love others until you love yourself. When you know who you are, then love, compassion and understanding will blossom in your heart.?
Sometimes it is a challenge to relate to some people, but it is far more rewarding to see the good in that person compared to judging them. There is always something worthy to see and appreciate, we just have to look with fresh eyes and not pre-judge. We can never accurately determine the circumstances a person is in from the outside, because we never really know what is going on in their life. By being willing to listen and learn, and to let others live the way they do, then we are practicing compassion. Everyone on this planet wants the same thing - peace of mind, love, happiness and contentment - we are all negotiating our way through this life to achieve it, and if it looks a bit different from one person to another, so be it.
Throughout history, in all traditions and cultures, vast amounts have been written on the true nature of the Self. This is testimony to the fact that the greatest of all human quests is the answer to the eternal question, "Who am I"? Some of the most ancient and profound of these texts originate from India: the Upanishads, Yoga Sutras, and the Vedas. Many of these texts have been expounded upon by philosophers and scholars, most of whom had great knowledge about the texts themselves, but little personal experience of their essence. This is one of the reasons that realizing the True Self is often seen as a difficult thing. On the contrary, realizing the True Self is actually the simplest thing in the world, it is simpler than taking your next breath. It is your natural state, your most Authentic being. How can it be difficult to be that which you already are? Surely it would be more difficult to be that which you are not. If it is so simple, why is it that everyone does not experience this state all the time?
When you ask someone, "Who are you", the answer is nearly always along the same lines. This is my name, I am a male (or female), I am this many years old, this is what I do for a living, I have this many children, I live in this place, etc. All of these things are qualities of an individual life, but the question still remains unanswered, "Who is the "I"?
When you look out and experience your world, who is it that is experiencing? Is it the eyeballs that see? Is it the nerve endings in the skin, the fingers and toes that experience reality? Or is it the lump of soft, pink flesh in the center of the skull that is the point where the "I" lives? Maybe "I" am simply the sum total of all these things, an accidental point of reference in a sea of sensory data.
The idea that consciousness is the artifact of electrical and chemical impulses, miraculously coordinated throughout the human nervous system is fast falling away at the cutting edge of the scientific community. The human nervous system is being discovered for what it truly is, a vehicle for the Self to experience this magical multiplicity we call life. The root cause of all human pain and suffering is that we become identified with all of the qualities of our existence. We believe that the "I" is the content of our lives, rather than the context. We live in a world that demands we forge an identity for ourselves. Striving to create a better environment for ourselves and the world, to "get ahead" in life is a good thing. Unfortunately, this usually leads to a forgetting of our True Nature.
What separates us from our Source is simply a case of mistaken identity. We have come to believe that we are a product of our thoughts, our feelings and our environment, when quite the opposite is true.
In order to experience what you are, all that is required is to let go of what you are not. What is required to know the Self? One thing only: surrender. All that is required is to continually surrender every thought, feeling and action back to its Source. This is the simplest thing in the world to do. It actually takes far more energy to maintain separation from our True Nature than to dissolve into it. For most people, however, the lifelong habit of choosing to define ourselves by that which changes is so strong, this actually feels more like our natural state. Never the less, it is still a habit and any habit can be broken. This need not be difficult, nor take a long time. For most of us, all that is required is a practical and efficient tool, valid guidance, and the willingness to give this development a chance.
It is irrelevant how much knowledge you have accumulated about it or what you believe to be true. It is irrelevant whether or not you have lived a "good" life. Age, sex and culture are also irrelevant. When all thought, belief and judgment are surrendered, the True Self stands revealed. It is Self-evident and Self-revealing. It is Absolute Stillness. It is Silent, Aware, intense Presence. It is beyond all concepts and beliefs, crystal clear, boundless Consciousness. It is beyond any thought, yet is all intelligent. It is beyond all emotion and feeling, yet is the ultimate Bliss. It is a state of Absolute wholeness; full and complete. In a world that is constantly changing, It is the One Unchanging. It is unshakeable, infinite Peace.
TAT TVAM ASI
That Thou Art
Dissolving the Barriers to Freedom
I once saw a beautiful picture of a person in prison holding the bars with gripped hands and with a fearful and worried look as if he was desperate to get out. Behind him, there was no back wall to the prison cell. It was simply open and what could be viewed was a magnificent vista of a vibrant, healthy, happy life. All it would take is for the person to let go of the bars of the cell and turn around and walk out into the expanse and wonder of Infinite possibilities. There was no one holding them inside the cell. They were simply looking in the wrong direction. They had turned to face the bars; had simply forgotten that freedom was directly there waiting for them to turn around.
Inner Peace - Destiny or Choice?
By Priya Ishaya
I loved playing a game with my attention when I was little; I loved staying alone, and listening. I wanted to know how quiet this world could be. At first, my attention would be caught by louder sounds, like the cars driving on the road, people speaking and laughing. Then I would gently move my attention to the quieter part of the experience, to some quieter sounds like the sound of the clock or the wind. And as I kept doing it, ultimately my attention would stop in a constant, steady vibration, and what I experienced beyond that, was a huge, complete Silence.
Most people think that having "inner peace" means being in a situation where there is no noise, no problems to solve or no confusion that needs to be figured out. But the reality is that inner peace can never be experienced constantly if it's dependent on outside events; since the outerworld is always changing.
Absolute Inner Peace already exists. It is not anywhere else but within the core of your being. It is the silent place that never comes and never goes; it is a place that you can experience simply by detaching your attention from the loud and changeable.
That place is the source of all peace, joy and love. And itis your choice whether to experience it or not, moment by moment. You don't need to beg for peace from the outside, but to fully recognize that you have it already within yourself. Ultimately you will realize that you are not having or feeling peace; but you are Peace itself.
Everyone deserves to live a life of unbounded peace,without exception. True Inner Peace doesn't belong to someone that's morefortunate or special; it belongs to anyone who wants more of it in their lives, and is willing to do anything in order to dive in to their true nature.
What you are searching for is already there. It has been waiting for you to stop running away from it and recognize that its Presence has always been within you.
Gratitude - Don't take anything for granted
By Arjuna Ishaya
By God, when you see your beauty you will be the idol of yourself.
I once heard about an experiment a school teacher did with the children in her class. They made three groups of plants which they watered exactly the same. To the first group they lavished attention and nice words upon; to the second they did nothing but made negative comments about. To the third group they ignored as much as possible. As you might expect the first group of plants thrived, the second were small and stunted. The third group was even worse than the second group. Small, tatty, weak and dying.
Without realising it, this is the way people live their lives - by taking huge chunks of it for granted, by ignoring it. We wake up in the morning without a second thought for the fact that we are alive, that throughout the night our hearts kept beating, our lungs kept filling with air without us having to do a thing. Our feet are on the floor and we're off to the shower without even considering the magic involved in walking, the balance, the coordination. We turn on the water and never marvel at the mechanical genius that means we can have hot water delivered to us, without us having to do more than turn our wrist (...and pay the bill... which we never really appreciate how good it is to have a job or source of money -whatever it may be- that means we can). We eat our breakfast and drink our coffee and arrange our day and juggle our appointments with our loved ones rarely without even noticing how amazing it is to do all these things at once, without appreciating the good people around us, without knowing how wonderful it is even to have food in our bellies and a roof over our heads.
We ignore so much of the goodness in our life, only missing it when it is gone. The only time I would not take my body for granted was when it was sick - when I couldn't just jump out of bed without sneezing and wheezing and blowing my nose all the way. The only time I appreciated the fact that I had a washing machine was when it broke down and I couldn't just throw my clothes in and walk away. The only time I was really grateful for the things my girlfriend did for me was when she went away on holiday and I had to do them myself. I also routinely ignored the fact that I had someone who loved me, that I loved too, despite the little things that annoyed me that I seemed set on focusing on. I remember reading a story from the bombing of the twin towers in New York; a woman refused to kiss her husband goodbye on the morning he set off for a meeting in one of the buildings because her lipstick was fresh on. It was the last time she saw him. We take it for granted that our loved ones are coming back home to us, that we'll get a chance to say goodbye, to tell them how much they mean to us.
And then we wonder why our lives aren't as we wish, why they aren't matching our ideal. But if we ignore what we do have, it never has a chance to grow, to become perfect.
The answer? Gratitude, the opposite of taking things for granted. By being thankful for what you do have, exactly as it is, you give it the space and the nourishment to become more. You transform your perspective on life. No longer are you a victim, lost as life pushes you in whatever direction it wishes. You cannot judge and be grateful at the same time. Perfect. Envision a child when you give them a present. When they are truly grateful and excited for what you have given them, you want to give more and more. Now consider the same child who is not grateful, who complains about what you have just given. The last thing you want to do is give more. Life is a giver of gifts, large and small, and you are that child. Be grateful for what you do have, don't ignore the blessings under your nose.
But we sit at our boring, unfulfilling jobs, dreaming of being on holiday. "I'll only be happy when I'm there, on the beach. Only then can I relax and do the things I want to do. I'll be peaceful on holiday. It's actually this job, the people are stupid, no one realises how amazing I am, how much this place needs me. Without me, everything would fall to pieces. I definitely need a new job, only then I'll be able to shine, only then I'll be able to live my purpose." We look at our partners and the way they talk, walk, sit, eat. "I'll never find true love with her, I need someone else, someone more able, more refined, more intelligent. Only then will I be content." We look at our bodies and the way they wobble and go grey and how bits don't work. "When I lose that weight I'll be perfect, only then can I love myself fully."
Later, later... always later, always somewhere, something, someone else.
Don't do it. Happiness, satisfaction, peace, true love is only found right now, right here, within you. You don't need to look any further. Don't ignore the beauty of what you do have, right now; of who you are right now; of the fact that you are alive, right now, able to make any choice you wish, able to do anything you want, right now. Find satisfaction right now and everything is given the space to change, to grow.
All is well, right now.