Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Illusion of Enlightenment



Whoa! Have you noticed? How many of us, talking about most trivial things, use "I" and "my" in almost every sentence? Indeed, how many of us are there who do not do this?

Yet many of us seem to know that it is not so, that it cannot be so. Surely we are awake we have read the "I am That", perhaps many times, in which Nisargadatta said again and again in varying contexts that there is no such thing as a "self", a separate "individual", a "being", or a "life"?

If we have not seen for ourselves that this must be so, why and how it must be so, would it not be reasonable to expect that we would ask for further confirmation or just take it on trust from the lips of the Nisargadatta, and apply it?

But, no. It is too hard, too much to ask: conditioning is too powerful. Yet without that understanding, that basic understanding, that bottom line, for what can we hope? However much else we may have understood, have we in fact even started on the way - the pathless way that leads no body from no there to no here? We have no masters, no gurus; our masters, our gurus are our mistakes. 

What a sad, ironic smile we seem to wear when we look within!

Despite appearances to the contrary, everything is just conceptual done by our mind. And the mind is only a phantom. The perception itself is nothing but the production of illusory images and interpretations, for everything seen has only an apparent, imagined or dreamed, existence.

All this which is dreamed is a product of the mind, of the subject - object process called "causation", within the consciousness in which it occurs. I don't believe that there is anyone to wake up! Living is dreaming. The "dreamer" becomes identified with his object and snores loudly.

If you have the basic understanding that there is no separate "I", it follows that no practice can lead to your "enlightenment". You are just dreaming if you're thinking that there is a "you" there to be "enlightened". The "enlightenment" is a name for the state wherein there is no separate individual at all.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

In my secret life



People are stuck in the process. Get up. Lie down. Do something. Get up, do something, go to sleep. Get up. I can not get out of this vicious cycle. You'll see, one day people will say: "Charles Bukowski knew." - Anonymous

In my secret life...
I smile when I’m angry.
I cheat and I lie.
I do what I have to do
To get by.
But I know what is wrong,
And I know what is right.
And I’d die for the truth
In My Secret Life.

I thought about life and I saw the control and the slavery of my fellow people, their love and their hate. No one knows anything about what lies ahead. But that makes no difference. The same fate comes to the good and the bad, to those who are spiritual and those who are not, to those who offer humility and those who do not. 

A good person is no better off than a liar; One fate comes to all, and this is as wrong as anything that happens in this world. As long as people live, their minds are full of ignorance and madness, and suddenly they die. 

But everyone who is alive in the world of the living has some hope; Yes, in our living we do not know we are going to die, and as dead we know nothing. There is awaiting the final reward; we will be completely forgotten. Our love, our hate, our passion, all will died with us. Eventually we will never take part in anything that happens in this world.

This is what I think on this Monday morning on March 2nd, 2015. Now, in this moment, I realize that I am truly not going to get anything from my words, that whatever my  mind has as knowledge is not going to get me any understanding. None. Zero. Nothing. 

People are always talking about truth. Everybody always knows what the truth is, like it was toilet paper or something and they got a supply in the closet. But what I have learned, as I got older, is there is not truth. All there is is bullshit. Layers of it. One layer of bullshit on top of another. And what you do in life like when you get older is, you pick the layer of bullshit that you prefer and that's your bullshit, so to speak.

I bite my lip.
I buy what I’m told:
From the latest hit,
To the wisdom of old.
But I’m always alone.
And my heart is like ice.
And it’s crowded and cold
In My Secret Life.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Well, when I was your age


How many times I heard my father told me: When I was your age, children knew to respect their parents. Or, this version, he also preferred. When I was your age, I had to walk to school ten miles. In the snow. Uphill. Both ways. 

You think this is funny? I actually used this phrase this week when speaking to my daughter. For the first time in my life I told her, well when I was your age...

I have read Ecclesiastes couple of times so far and I believe that life is indeed useless. If you take away all the smoke and mirrors, all the false smiles, and all the deceit, you can clearly see that we as a human race are steadily heading toward our inevitable demise. In all seriousness, we've done nothing but wage the endless wars and drain the planet of it's resources. 

Ultimately I know life is useless simply by looking at my father: once upon a time a successful man now old and lonely. My mother passed away and he is now living alone trying to organize his life the best as he can. Main activities are watching TV and going for the groceries. He is also careful to get his medications on time. And that's it. 

The vast majority of men tend to transition from mother to wife with little or no time at all. They are usually married immediately after high school or college and they replace mother with the wife. The life goes on, "I" is replaced with sorrowful "we"... then come kids and there is no loneliness. At least for some time...

Don't fear being alone and don’t buy this lie, this myth of the Lonely Old Man. The man who is comfortable with himself and confident in his true independence is the one that women will want to be with. How you handle being alone and what you do with the opportunities that this freedom allows is the real measure of a man. 

If you’re single and you still have options then you’re brave enough to explore being alone. Go ahead... at the end you will be alone anyway. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The end of relation is so liberating


Breaking up is a great thing. I never thought it would be so liberating as much as it is, because when you break up with someone, you’re not in obligation to report your activities to anyone anymore, right? 

I'm free again. Couple days ago, I broke up with the girlfriend. It was quiet, unemotional break up. It happened via text messages and a phone call. Perhaps it’s a matter of growing apart, falling out of likeness. Perhaps one or both of us just aren't into each other... 

I realized that there is something more bitter than loneliness - it is being with the woman who traps you. The love she offered caught me like a net, and her arms around me held me like a chain. I could not breathe, I had to break up the relationship.

While I never thought we'll have any future to go for a long run, breaking up with her bringing me the liberation. I was not happy. I have seen that deeply inside her she is not into me. I trust my feelings and I have seen that we are not for each other. I was not interested in her stories, nor the world she wants to see and share; and she was not interested in mine. 

If your partner’s dream one and you dream another dreams, one or both of you will probably be unhappy if you stay together. Relationships have a better chance at being successful with people whom we share similar values and goals. You may be tempted to stay with someone just because they’re available and willing, but this is generally a very bad idea. 

She simply does not understand that I need time to be alone. Being in love should bring out the best in me and her. It should help me to be less self-conscious and make me more open and alive. I felt like I was walking on eggshells all the time because she was pushy and laud.

But there is no reason to write about her anymore. Good luck to her, I wish her all the best.There’s a vast misconception in this world, thanks to the good old romantic movie industry, that those who do the dumping are cold, heartless, and ready to run around and make out with anything that moves as soon as they are free. Maybe that’s the case for some but it is certainly true for me. I have no time to waste. I want to find a new girlfriend as soon as possible. 

I'm going to re-activate my account on match.com. I'll start looking for another girlfriend. Also, I need to concentrate on my spiritual practice and get things in order. I'll start longer yoga practice at least one hour every day. I must be in excellent physical shape.

This is all that I have learned: originally we are made plain and simple, but during the years of ignorance we have made ourselves very complicated. I'm going back to my original state. I want to be plain and simple and to lead such life.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Ecclesiastes - Chasing the Wind



Ecclesiastes 
by American Bible Society

Life Is Useless

These are the words of the Philosopher, David's son, who was king in Jerusalem.

It is useless, useless, said the Philosopher. Life is useless, all useless. You spend your life working, laboring, and what do you have to show for it? Generations come and generations go, but the world stays just the same. The sun still rises, and it still goes down, going wearily back to where it must start all over again. 

The wind blows south, the wind blows north—round and round and back again. Every river flows into the sea, but the sea is not yet full. The water returns to where the rivers began, and starts all over again. Everything leads to weariness—a weariness too great for words. Our eyes can never see enough to be satisfied; our ears can never hear enough. What has happened before will happen again. What has been done before will be done again. There is nothing new in the whole world. 

“Look,” they say, “here is something new!” But no, it has all happened before, long before we were born. No one remembers what has happened in the past, and no one in days to come will remember what happens between now and then.

The Philosopher's Experience

I, the Philosopher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. I determined that I would examine and study all the things that are done in this world.

God has laid a miserable fate upon us. I have seen everything done in this world, and I tell you, it is all useless. It is like chasing the wind. You can't straighten out what is crooked; you can't count things that aren't there.

I told myself, “I have become a great man, far wiser than anyone who ruled Jerusalem before me. I know what wisdom and knowledge really are.” I was determined to learn the difference between knowledge and foolishness, wisdom and madness. But I found out that I might as well be chasing the wind. The wiser you are, the more worries you have; the more you know, the more it hurts.

...

What do we gain from all our work? 

I know the heavy burdens that God has laid on us. He has set the right time for everything. He has given us a desire to know the future, but never gives us the satisfaction of fully understanding what he does. So I realized that all we can do is be happy and do the best we can while we are still alive. All of us should eat and drink and enjoy what we have worked for. It is God's gift.

I know that everything God does will last forever. You can't add anything to it or take anything away from it. And one thing God does is to make us stand in awe of him. Whatever happens or can happen has already happened before. God makes the same thing happen again and again.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Start a Home Yoga Practice Today

Many people are too ambitious with their yoga. But the yoga process does not happen instantly, it is a slow process. Today everyone wants everything right away, but yoga is not like that. Yoga takes practice to understand. It is like the ocean - you have to dive in to it to understand. Otherwise, it's just water. - R. Sharath Jois

As you already know I am not a big fan of yoga studios. I cannot stand that quasi New Age, Zen environments. And their prices too. But I like ashtanga yoga and I practice it daily at home. I decided to write a post urging you to develop your own yoga home practice.

Starting a home yoga practice will ultimately save you time, energy and money. Try to practice ashtanga yoga every day. Set aside a time when you will not be disturbed and you will not have to rush. Practice regularly, start with standing and finishing postures, it will help you build concentration, increase flexibility and strengthen will power, making it easier to practice the next day. Consistency is key. If possible, establish a regular time of day to set aside for practice. Morning practice is advised.

There is more benefit to doing the practice regularly than sporadic studio class attendance, or the occasional workshop. Twenty minutes of yoga at home is more beneficial than driving, parking and paying to practice for an hour at a studio. The greatest and longest lasting benefits are achieved when at least half-primary is done every day. The full primary is a goal but that can be a long way to go. 
First we must all attain internal peace. If everybody has that, external peace will follow. If you work with yourself first, fight your own ignorance, your own delusions, you can get other people to work with themselves. If we get rid of those inner obstacles we become successful in our spiritual practice. We must talk about yoga, spread the message of inner peace, and get more people to practice yoga. If more people understand this, there will be less fighting. - R. Sharath Jois
I started yoga home practice 8 years ago but my practice was sporadic, 2-3 times per week. Since October last year, I've changed my routine and I practice daily according to ashtanga schedule meaning no practice on moon days and Sundays. I'm still a beginner; I can't sit in lotus position and I can't do jump through. Once a week I practice full primary and the rest of the days I do half-primary. 

If you want to make a home yoga practice happen, you can. It’s all about consciously working with whatever obstacle your mind throws up to keep you off your yoga mat. Make yoga priority, give yourself time to practice, do what you can while keeping it simple, use Sharat's DVD to create flow and don’t limit your practice to asana. Read spiritual books, be mindful and conscious of your surroundings... Your life will improve, I guarantee.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Do you have free will?


Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will. - Jawaharlal Nehru



Nobody made me write this; except for my own self-delusion. You are not obligated to read it much less to like it. So here we go...

According to the modern philosophy, the question of the nature of free will is the most important question of metaphysics. If this is correct, then figuring out the free will is a significant task indeed. The term "free will" is simply synonym for a feature of a person, but whether there really such a thing as free will at all we will see.

Free Will
 - The ability or discretion to choose; free choice.
 - The power of making choices that are not determined by natural causality.
At first glance it seems obvious to me that I have free will. When I have just made a decision, say, to stand up from the chair, I feel that I could have chosen to continue siting there. 

The first question arises "Who chooses?" Obviously "I", the personality, ego chooses, and I make choices based on my own received conditioning. I have no control over received conditioning such as starting with the composition of my body DNA or the genes and ending up with the programming received from environmental surroundings. I did not choose my parents, the country I am born into, the social circumstances etc. etc. I make my choices on what I’ve been conditioned to think is right or wrong.

My free will is based on conditioning on which I have no control whatsoever, then "whose" free will are we talking about? There is no free will at all.

Do whatever you like. What more freedom do you want?

"There is no free will at all" and now “Do whatever you like. What more freedom do you want?” Apparent contradiction, but it is not really. You may do what you like, but what you like to do is exactly what you are conditioned to like to do at the moment in given circumstances.

Okay lets look the "free will" from yet another angle. What use is that freedom to do what you like to do if what happens is not in your control? To that extent you have no free will and therefore the freedom is useless. And that’s the point. That is death of the ego, the realization or conclusion after so many years of impression of freedom, that freedom is useless. Nothing really matters.

The final conclusion you need to realize in the life is that nothing really matters. Whatever happens – what does it matter.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Who Cares?!


Every month the disciple faithfully sent his Master an account of his progress.

In the first month he wrote: “I feel an expansion of consciousness and experience my oneness with the universe.” The Master glanced at the note and threw it away.

The following month, this is what he had to say: “I have finally discovered that the Divine is present in all things.” The Master seemed disappointed.

The third month the disciple’s words enthusiastically exclaimed: “The mystery of the One and the many have been revealed to my wondering gaze.” The Master shook his head and again threw the letter away.

The next letter said: “No one is born, no one lives, and no one dies, for the ego-self is not.” The Master threw his hands up in utter despair.

After that month passed by, then two, then five months - and finally a whole year without another letter. The Master thought it was time to remind his disciple of his duty to keep him informed of his spiritual progress.

Then the disciple wrote back: “Who cares?”

When the Master read those words a look of great satisfaction spread over his face.

- Who Cares? by Ramesh Balsekar