Creating a Meditative Default or Preselected Option
It’s a fallback position that I’m talking about here. Once upon a time a few years back some man lost control of his auto and slammed into the back of me as we were pulling away from a traffic light. I called my daughter just after this while waiting for the police to come to make the report for insurance purposes. She commented on how peaceful and calm my voice was for just being rear-ended rather violently. My preselected default meditative state took over without my conscious direction.
Or at least I think that’s why. Since then it had become more conscious within me to work on cultivating that default state of being when my attention isn’t consumed elsewhere. Sometimes, it’s repeating a mantra such as, “May I be content and peaceful, may I be happy and in goodwill, may I be protected and safe . . . “and then eventually changing the “I” to “we” meaning all beings.
When waiting for my coffee to finish reheating in the microwave, at a traffic light, while stretching before or after a workout at the gym the mantra takes over my consciousness. Sometimes, it’s not a mantra, however. Sometimes my attention is naming the breath activity: Breathing in, breathing out. This creates a dropping down into the body and into the moment and peace is naturally there. I consider these mantras or this breath attention as cultivating a set point which can, after habitual reinforcement, become ones ‘go to’ place in good times and in … well, in times that are not so good when they arise in order to soften those jarring moments of life that can leave us in a state of shock or knock us out of a previous state of consciousness.
Default options are pre-set courses of action that take effect if nothing is specified by the decision maker or the decision maker isn’t sure what to do. What is your default setting? Have you consciously cultivated a positive one?
I have NOT stopped believing in our connections to other realities and the world of spirit containing spirit guides and/or deceased relatives. YET, at the same time as making that statement, it is clear to me that I don’t “go there” so much these days–at least not for myself anyway. Why? I ask myself this very question and hope this bit of writing will help sort it out.
Maybe it is because the clear advantage of being spiritually responsible for my own evolution in the here and now (which happens to be planet earth in this body/soul/consciousness) is my primary focus these days. And I’m aging (like everyone is!) and as I get closer to the possibility of the ending of this form, this physical body, priorities change.
Maybe this happens to everyone and not just me — this I cannot say. I haven’t taken a survey nor is there any interest on my part in doing so. What has happened for me anyway is that I’m much more aware of what I’m supposed to do here — and one biggie has to do with remaining in a state of peace despite emotional challenges. Can my departed parents or a spiritual entity in another dimension do this for me? Spiritual evolution is personal — not that we can’t receive assistance when heartfelt and earnest request is made; but I’m here and while my parents and guides, et. al. are near and dear, I alone make the determined choice and effort to manage my own psyche with both feet on Mother Earth, here and now.
The last two words are key in what I’m attempting to express. Here: Earth Dimension Now: As I sit at my desk, in front of this keyboard in my living room. It will do me no good to go talking to my deceased parents or a spirit entity right at this moment–in fact, it feels somewhat like co-dependent escapism to some extent to do so.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I don’t believe loved ones can communicate with us here upon Earth through someone who is open and receptive. Yet, I think of it this way — my parents or spirit guides cannot live in this body with me and actually if I’m not careful, their communication can become (if my focus is off) a huge distraction.
That said. I’m aware that we are all at different points of consciousness evolution — none better than another. To be clear, I’m not expressing that one person’s evolution in one direction is more or less advanced than another’s. One thing that Soul Astrology has taught me is that we are all on particular paths with different karmic pasts. Like snowflakes, we are all alike yet so very different, unique.
I am able to (somehow and I don’t know precisely how) connect in with the energy of persons, places and things whether here on Earth or elsewhere — most of the time if the need is great enough and I am clear enough at any give time. Intention and compassion on my part to help another enables the clarity. Yet, it has become a lesser focus and direct mission in my life.
Rather, my own heart is drawn in other directions — more specifically in taking personal responsibility for my own energy and evolution. This is a bit difficult to express and I am using this blog post to sort it out as I said.
Maybe I feel that I’ve exhausted that direction or gone as far down the path of psychic and medium types of personal seeking and have doubled back now to the main path — something like this anyway.
Once we discover a truth, there is no need to keep on; it becomes redundant. In another way of saying that and being very, very blunt (but not unfeeling) about it, it becomes like this: So what? Our loved ones remain with us and can communicate and entities from other dimension exist and also communicate–all in helpful ways at times. So what? And while I realize that I am not really a separate entity apart from ‘All That Is’ and that in essence, this person (personality) called ‘me’ and this physical body doesn’t really exist apart from everything else on an ultimate level, they do conventionally. Non-self is a helpful view to have while maintaining a conventional view in balance. We exist, yet we don’t — if you will.
The question then becomes something having to do with questioning why conventionality exists in the first place and why challenges and difficulties exist here on Earth and what we do about them — are we to escape and ignore them or do we use them to help ourselves and others evolve in such ways that spiritual responsibility is taken for growth and evolution? And how do we use the body and the mind-consciousness in such ways that enable us to realize a greater truth? What truth? Remaining in the ‘Here and Now’ while achieving and arriving at the Field of Peace while in this physical body/mind. When one compares that goal to one that has already been reached which involves talking to the deceased loved ones or spiritual entities or guides . . . well, you see my point maybe?
In the end, through divination what are the angels and guides guiding us toward but back into our own self while understanding the non-self so that we can function in a peaceful way upon the Earth–that’s what it’s about for me now. And while we are here helping others to do the same perhaps through example or maybe even through something like this rather long laborious blog post, its what we’re here to do. Here and now.
I’ve had better days on the path. Right now the desire is to write about peace. When we remember that present conditions will not last indefinitely, it helps. It surely does.
Peace is a state of perfect balance or still-point of well being in an ever changing world of causes and conditions that are in continual flux.
When we’re at peace, our outlook is positive and clear and our dreams seem as if they are within reach–a level of optimism accompanies it.
Life presents challenges. We get triggered. Disappointments happen. People can be… well, no sense going there, right? Like I said, it wasn’t the best of days and sometimes the best of us have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and climb back up on the horse and keep going. What horse? The horse of mindfulness. I’ll explain in a moment.
I woke this morning with a warning of sorts. You know those moments between sleep and full waking consciousness, right? That’s the point at which I clearly heard (as if I was speaking to myself, as these things typically go)… I was saying to myself, “Don’t let anything anyone says today upset you.” I argued with the voice a bit knowing who I would be seeing later in the day. Then I promptly forgot about it.
I remember it after the fact. It turned out I did start to become upset but went to the studio to finish an art project and then hit the gym to work it out that way. There I was doing chin ups at the YMCA when that OMG moment hit. I remembered the words that I heard that morning! The person I went to see did say some things… suffice it to say, it did take me back a bit.
Then, if that wasn’t enough, I came home later to hear fowl mouthed roommate cursing into the air several times throughout the evening even with my door shut.
Since coming down from the mountain there have been numerous challenges to my previous hermit lifestyle which (let’s face it) I still maintain to some extent to keep my sanity. And I’m gradually learning not to let circumstances overwhelm me. I have been able to respond in a low-key manor while still remaining true to my principles.
Why respond in a low-key manor? because otherwise awareness is lost when drama ensues and without maintaining awareness or mindfulness (by being sucked into someone’s drama or my own past triggers) what happens is that peace flies out the window. And with it those dreams that seemed within reach drift farther away and well-being doesn’t seem so “well”, pardon the pun.
Am I just learning this stuff? No, of course not. Just applying it more consciously when life is more challenging. Like I said, I’ve had better days but the voice this morning was right about not letting it upset me.
You know when I remembered the morning voice? When I was thinking nothing at all because I was using all my might to pull my body up by my arms. I was completely open and in the present moment, much as I was when first waking and like as I am when doing a psychic reading.
I will add one more thing and then will get to sleep (it’s getting late). I realized my physical body reacts to triggers (like to day what other people say shouldn’t upset me–so sayeth the voice) when my emotions and mental faculties seem to be less reactive, the physical body felt like it took a couple of physical ‘hits’. I could separate those out and found it interesting. I don’t think I’ve been aware of it before–the physical body having memory and responding on it’s own apart from mental body and emotional body. The physical body reactions seemed separate and more pronounced.
I always find it awe inspiring that some part of me or some energy of Divine Mind is a step ahead of me, knowing what’s about to happen and wiring back to me particular heads-up guidance.
When I heard a roommate’s foul mouth cursing loudly more than once this evening, I had to smile a little. Remember the ‘morning-voice message’. Okay, good buddy 10-4, message received (good ole’ CB radio talk). Let there be Peace!
We hear a good deal about “being awake” and “being present” and “being enlightened” and “mindfulness” — or at least I do. In places where my mind hangs out (books, twitter, facebook and forums) people toss those terms around a lot — they’re prevalent. I contemplate this a lot since like most everyone else the outer world (samsara) keeps stimulating my own inner drama and all I want is peace and happiness like everyone else.
I have to keep coming back to it. To what? I’m talking about that sense of well-being that comes from mindfulness and presence.
I love that sense of well-being! That wakeful contentment! I call it “contented happiness” because that state of being seems to be core or the baseline state once layers of mental ‘this and that’ thin and create an opening for that state to shine through. Its there, it’s always been there–just like the quote on mind training from Ajahn Chah (quote below) states.
And just like Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche says, “We are so familiar with the tumultuous reactivity of our mind that mental chaos feels quite normal. Opposing that or the opposite polarity to that mental chaos is joy, that profound sense of well-being that comes from being in a completely wakeful state.
You know this state, right? You must have had moments like I’m going to describe and hopefully days, weeks or months–perhaps years or a lifetime if we’re really on the path.
We drop the anxious chatter in our mind. We release a big sigh and think, “Wow, everything is really OK: me, my situation, the world.”
This becomes my new goal, my new mantra and a feeling that I intend to expand and send out to the world. I actually read those words that are in quotes above in a book and every level of body and mind did cartwheels and acrobatics across the room!
YES! I know this feeling! this truth! Until now, I’ve called it “contented happiness” but I do like the way it is expressed simply and recognizably: “Wow, everything is really OK–me, my situation, the world.”
The Quote:Training this mind… actually there’s nothing much to this mind. It’s simply radiant in and of itself. It’s naturally peaceful.
Why the mind doesn’t feel peaceful right now is because it gets lost in its own moods. There’s nothing to mind itself. It simply abides in its natural state, that’s all. That sometimes the mind feels peaceful and other times not peaceful is because it has been tricked by these moods. The untrained mind lacks wisdom. It’s foolish. Moods come and trick it into feeling pleasure one minute and suffering the next. Happiness then sadness. But the natural state of a person’s mind isn’t one of happiness or sadness.
This experience of happiness and sadness is not the actual mind itself, but just these moods which have tricked it. The mind gets lost, carried away by these moods with no idea what’s happening. And as a result, we experience pleasure and pain accordingly, because the mind has not been trained yet. It still isn’t very clever. And we go on thinking that it’s our mind which is suffering or our mind which is happy, when actually it’s just lost in its various moods.
The point is that really this mind of ours is naturally peaceful. It’s still and calm like a leaf that is not being blown about by the wind. But if the wind blows then it flutters. It does that because of the wind. And so with the mind it’s because of these moods – getting caught up with thoughts. If the mind didn’t get lost in these moods it wouldn’t flutter about. If it understood the nature of thoughts it would just stay still. This is called the natural state of the mind.
— (Ajahn Chah, Training This Mind)
The Law of Attraction and The Secret have there place, BUT….. there is, I feel, greater accomplishment in enhancing a state of acceptance of things just as they are. We stop reaching for what we want. We stop trying to control our comfort zone. This letting go leaves us feeling peaceful and optimistic. We have not strategized to attain this state. It’s more like the absence of trying to manipulate or influence our circumstance.
PS — currently transiting Saturn is conjunct natal Jupiter in my 4th house. I’m waiting for word about an apartment to open up for me. It could be any time but waiting is challenging. I can see how Saturn right on Jupiter is creating a delay (Saturn often is though to carry with it the archetype of ‘delay’). The 4th house of course is about home –THE home. This blog post is like … well, physician heal thyself. LOL Accepting things as they are while I wrestle with the strong inner desire to move. I trust astrology and that Saturn delay is beneficial/Jupiter for my future housing situation. Meanwhile, everything is really OK–me, my situation, the world. 🙂
I really like that this blog has no main theme so there is freedom to write whatever suits on whichever day. Today its the ‘no self’ or non-self or ego-less-ness of self that’s knocking around in my noggin. People misunderstand this concept and for good reason; it’s not an easy one to consider much less accept. People are very attached to the idea of self and it’s dramas.
I tried to speak about this just a wee bit with my oldest daughter who is suffering mental anguish over an injury to her hand… what I tried to convey was distinguishing the mind-body-spirit. At the mention of non-self her eyes glazed over and I totally lost her. She seemed to grasp it a bit when I said that ‘the hand has a problem but you don’t have a problem’ and she let go a little bit then, but anyway… I was trying to lead up to the fact that when we try to look for our self… well, once we can let go of the idea that we are our body, then we think we are our thoughts.
And when we try to look and to see from where the thoughts arise, from where they originate to start with and where they go when we’re done with them, we cannot find the beginning or the end.
But even more to the point, when we try (in earnest and in meditation) to find the self or the one who is doing the thinking, we find nothing is there— well, nothing but a never-ending and continually changing stream of thoughts and feelings. But we find no solid self. (You are not your body.) And even if you look to your body to try to find your self, you will (at its basic core energy) find a lot of body parts and then empty space and protons, neurons and still no solid self.
This is the realization of non-self. And this is Buddhism.
And then, after that, we realize we are everywhere — or nowhere — now/here — now here sort of like that drawing above.
May we all release our dramas and suffering and the causes of those and come to the contented peace of true liberation!
Last evening after a ‘house-tidy’ and a glance at the bills and monies, that last part tickled and awakened ‘the familiars’ that rest in the stomach pit area; and while they are definitely weakening as I age, they don’t seem to cease entirely. And maybe they never will. I’ve learned to live with their now-and-again visits, those familiars!
What do those fear-familiars want? I think to be acknowledged, recognized for the purpose of deeper realization and awakening.
“Okay”, I say, “but just for a little while and then I’m going out the door for a walk.”
I knew it would work–the walk. That was my intuition, my inner guide making that known.
It was a brisk, windy October night and it could not have been clearer to me that I needed to walk out the door after I dealt with them.
I think it was teacher Ajahn Chah who said that it is okay to get some control of where your mind goes by shouting at yourself. I’m not into that exactly, but I get the point he was trying to make about discipline of the mind–in fact I’ve been writing about that in my blog and newsletter lately.
What’s the point of being here in this reality in these (many times) trying circumstances? And don’t’ forget we have beautiful experiences too which balance them out. And actually the idea overall or what is recommended by the spiritual teachers is to take neither polarity too seriously, meaning the good or the bad–not getting attached to either one. Good times, bad times—attach to neither.
Oh, here’s another example. For instance, we can take love and hate–those polarities too. We suffer if we attach too greedily to either emotion. If we attach excessively to family, lovers and friends, when there is death or change (and there inevitably is—remember about impermanence?), this turns to suffering. So that’s what I mean. Not saying we shouldn’t love one another but not in extreme ways.
Well, getting back to it now…. the point of or purpose of these fear guru’s in our lives (and yes, fear can be our teacher) is to teach us—remind us really because we already know this but forgot—about the impermanence of life and those things that we over-identify with which aren’t real yet when we think they are. And that, in a nutshell, causes our suffering.
For me it always brings me back to the two truths of conventional and ultimate reality–with that understanding the mind becomes comfortable and at peace.
We, in our conversations with our fear, realize that we become attached to seeing our life a certain way and then we become attached to that view, you see? We can explain that to our fears and they say, “Thank you, we simply forgot.”
Circumstances that are difficult help us to awaken; otherwise we would remain in blissful sleep. Life difficulties help us to work through and work out those issues that keep us from developing virtue.
Yeah, and that reminds me of it. Of what? One of my early channeling sessions my communication was spirit involved my question—why are we here? What’s the purpose? And the answer I received seemed too simple then and I nearly discarded it but always kept it on a shelf in my mind and over the years with all my spiritual study and life experience (today I have reached my double 6 birthday, so I have a little of that)… anyway, in all that I’ve studied and lived that answer, being here to develop virtue, makes more-and-more sense. It gets clearer every year—virtue. Like what? Well, patience is a virtue and what are some of the rest?
Well, here’s the great Benjamin Franklin’s list of virtues:
TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
MODERATION. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
TRANQUILITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
Well that gives you one idea–there are many virtues.
Developing the virtues is basically about being the best human you can be–which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Anyway..,.
Going back to the topic here, let me add that it helps for me to think in terms of the reasons for what is happening; and so then I think difficulties are there to help awaken us to the ultimate reality, otherwise we may never get it.
So my glance at the bills and money situation ultimately caused a moment of remembering and deeper awakening thanks to the tea with the fear gurus.
And then I bounced down the steps and out the door into the night air, breathing deeply into the wind, shaking my shoulders. I shook my head too in order to wobble and jiggle away the tears that had been forming behind the throat and eyes.
I walked into the darkness having another conversation…. this time with my inner guide, my wisdom guru. Although I remained a bit unsteady emotionally for a while, that was further remedied by my guide (after our talk) then suggesting a pop-in surprise visit with my sister and niece. So I walked to their door and knocked. We caught up with things and then ordered pizza (which was not that good for my trim and slim goals) yet was totally and completely soul-satisfying. I must say the Pizza Hut pineapple pizza was excellent and thoroughly enjoyed each bite! So… What’s the moral of the story?
I think that the old seeds and old fear habits are always there, but that’s not “who we are” since essentially there is no self. And because that is so, those seeds and habits are just life being what life is—the nature of human existence.
Our body and emotional nature contain those habits because we are human, but we don’t have to over-identify with it all.
Why? Because ultimately there is no self.
But while we are here in human form we still make efforts to be the best human we can be. How do we do that? Where and when distress appears we do our best to transcend it. It is called transcending the world and destroying delusions.
“No mud, no lotus”—this is a saying that we could translate into “No fear/distress, no awakening”. You disagree? You say your life is nothing but total bliss and you’ve reached enlightenment 24-7? Hmmmm….. give that one a bit more thought because you may be simply asleep. Just sayen’.
Earth living and it’s downers are what keep us having realizations, keep us awake, help us to learn to breathe in and out in the present moment, releasing attachment, aversions, fears. One does get to have time-outs, rest periods, of course; but then it seems to come again for us on deeper levels like peeling layers of an onion.
Don’t get too full of ego and mistake the rest and recovery period for enlightenment–through observation it seems to me that the universe loves nothing more than to crush smug ego’s.
Maybe that’s why those ‘familiars’ don’t seem to completely ever go away, they’re always there lurking–to help us stay aware, remain humble, and so that we do not fall into lazy patterns (see above paragraph).
But none of this is who I am… the “I AM” that is beyond, beyond, completely beyond just observes this and smiles.
Further, I don’t need to become attached either way and that’s where the peace is located–in that place of non-attachment.
No aversion, no attraction.
Yes, yes, we have to deal with that which everyone else (and a part of us) agrees is conventionally real, but ultimately none of it exists. Outwardly we have to agree; after all, when my rent is due (which is the thought that started this blog post!), I cannot go into the rental office to tell the Lords of the Land that ultimately neither they, nor I, nor the apartment itself exists and therefore, I don’t need to pay my rent. Outwardly I have to agree, but inwardly I know the truth. That’s the “pickle” (as the saying goes) that many of us light-workers (as they call us) live within.
Fear guru’s help us to remember these things. My personal fear guru? Oh, he’s much gentler and kinder than he used to be; but still I don’t like his presence at any time whatsoever! Yet, the tea and cookie that I give him and little talk we have seems to comfort him (and me too-wink!) so that then we can resume the life-game here with greater ease!
Let the games begin!—that is what I say to myself when I wake up in the morning sometimes, mostly when I’m not so afraid.
I had to blog this! It’s not about astrology or divination or the psychic–actually, today’s post is not my usual fare.
It’s just that I may have broken out of Dante’s inferno. I had to laugh at the sign at the entrance of this apartment building which reads, “relax now, your home”–but most comical is that the image that accompanies those words is a tropical drink glass. Alcohol and drugs could help numb the experience of some types apartment living–I do neither. My experience since the current downstairs neighbors moved in has been one in which the sign should read, “Abandon hope ye who enter here”– which Dante says is written above the gates of hell.
I know, I know! Yeah, look–we make our own heaven or hell–don’t preach to the choir. But sometimes we have a little help one way or the other. Yesterday the help I received was… well, I wanted to write about it and add that I have also recently retreated into deep devotionals to my most cherished deities.
Wonderful day yesterday! Was that ‘Life Itself’ balancing out the day-of-frustration from the day before? No matter; but the gods did seem to smile down up on me in these ways:
started the cool~ish morn with a one hour walk getting out the door early before Lady India downstairs began her usual morning tirade and on my last lap around the ‘complex-ed complex’ noticed not one single body was at the pool. Really? So I took advantage by sitting in a poolside lounge chair, shutting down the music playing in my ear (sorry M.J.) and wow, listened to the birds and let the morning breezes whirl around me.
Close to heaven; yet, the silence could be broken at any moment by the vocal cords of other humans. It wasn’t–should I grab my suit?
I had just walked an hour and a little swim could be nice as long as it’s quiet…. got home and India was ‘up and at ’em’ –voice boxes fully engaged. Ahhhh, and that’s Life in the Land of men with wide horizontal striped polo shirts, madras checkered colored shorts and flip-flop zories shoes where the women are women and the men are too!
No matter; I stripped down and grabbed a suit and changed, and gathered a few things and drove down… yeah, I could walk but every second counts. Checked the water and the PH and Chlorine levels were rarely perfect but it gets even better!
I swam laps for 27 minutes right down the center of the pool and nearly started to pretend that it was my own private lagoon! I love imagination!
After the first half hour having the pool to myself I began to fantasize while I swam—maybe all the humans went to another planet? But it was more likely that since school starts tomorrow they’re all busy with those kinds of activities—after all, they’ve had the pool with their screams and cannonballs all summer long!
I began to tire from the 30 minutes of laps so I interspersed arm and leg water resistance exercises between laps–and still had the pool to myself! I even had time to practice flip turns which is something you really don’t want to do in public if you can help it!
Wow, the gods were really smiling down upon me today! I then sat in the sun resting from all my exercise—I’d walked an hour and swam for an hour; what more could a girl ask for? Sitting in the sun all alone! Listening to the birds and the breezes looking at the sky with so much gratitude!
I looked up at the sky and smiled as I saw a cloud that looked like someone running; awesome. I saw other patterns in the clouds and enjoyed my speculations forgetting all my cares and remembering how cool it was to see the angel at the bottom of the pool! How’s that? Well, …
As I swam the breast stroke interspersed with freestyle, and while the sun shone upon the whole affair, I noticed that the movement of the arms in the water and the movement of the water itself cast a shadow at the bottom of the pool which looked sort of like those snow angels you make when you lay down in the snow and slide your arms up and down.
Anyway, it was my own private, magical moment and I felt happy and enchanted.
The rest of my day was peaceful–quiet. Thank you to the gods who smiled down and all friends of the Light!
PS yesterday was a rare gift, perhaps from Venus whose gift I’ve had an eye out for as she exited my 1st house to the 2nd. One awesome gift as she moved through my first house was a 20 pound weight loss; but maybe the final departing gift was one of peace and solitude which I do value so highly.
I’m also hoping my 3rd house transiting Saturn in Scorpio neighbor karma has finally exhausted itself and has completely played out! It had to be karmic–anything as intense as this neighbor situation has to be karmic! Their lease is up in January I’m told–everything must eventually come to an end.
Like everything mental, the so-called ‘law of causation’ contradicts itself (says Nisargadatta). He adds, “No thing in existence has a particular cause–the entire universe contributes to the existence of even the smallest thing; nothing could be as it is without the universe being what it is.” In this response to a question Nesargadatta is taking time out of the equation which the ego-mind attaches to but the universe functions outside of the law of causation because causation means succession of space time events that are physical or mental and all that has to do with “mind”. The universe is not bound by its content– everything is an expression of the totality of causes.
As the couple from India in the apartment below me showed up, so did a used book that I’d forgotten I ordered on a teacher (interestingly enough) also from India—Nisargadatta! For decades now my ears have taken in that name spoken by Dr. Wayne Dyer who would often quote him in his lectures. The noise and smells below me were too much India for me and the book sat beneath a pile of others, intentionally buried! After a few gatherings of Indian people for weekend parties below me, it was as if I was THERE—bad enough my sleep and meditations have been disturbed. Teacher or not–a book written by someone having anything to do with India seemed like something that would throw me way over the edge. I’d been on India overdose!
But I think I really like Nisargadatta now that I’ve cracked the book. He has essentially validated some of my own insights regarding what happens being just life and even my life being just life and all of it just being energy playing out—no need to take any of it personally!
Between this teacher and few others (via books), I’m also realizing that we humans take our preferences and pains from past memories and call that ME, identifying ourselves based on our memories. Case in point—the Indian couple (who are just being themselves) have loud voices which I’m now realizing as I look around this community many do talk very loud—trigger within me memories of my parents fighting when I was a child. Yes, before you ask the Indian couple fights—doors slam and fighting is fighting no matter what language it’s in; so there’s no mistaken it. Again, it could totally be a cultural thing but all that aside, I find myself bracing in my stomach and jaw when they come in to their apartment (yes, I can hear them) and many times I look for excuses not to come home when I know they’re home—just like as a child I’d not want to go home to hear my parents fighting. I’d get sick to my stomach and beg my grandmother to let me stay with her so I didn’t have to go home. All this is memory that I over-identify with as ‘me’—this is what I’m realizing or remembering. The I AM of ‘me’ doesn’t have anything to do with any of that! And that is what Nasargadatta is explaining in the book that I’m reading!
I knew that, I lived that and figured it out on my own but forgot it. Even my longing to go home to the mountains is really just a memory that I’m overly attached to and too identified with which is causing additional unnecessary suffering.
We are not our memories! Good ones (the serenity of the mountains, the silence) or the bad ones (people yelling and fighting) or even the current events or happenings—it is all just energy playing out and the universe doing what it does and we are part of it in this moment but don’t need to over identify with the memories of the past or the apprehensions of the future.
That is true liberation. The challenges of course are to recall this and be in this realization; and remain in that awareness when those memories that we mistake for a ‘me’ are triggered. That’s my work now or at least part of it.
It is said that we are slaves to what we do not know. And of what we do know we are masters. When we discover something within ourselves like this and when we strive to understand it and understand its causes and its workings, we can potentially overcome it by the very knowing—the unconscious dissolves when brought to the conscious.
Then we can become quiet again—serene, at peace.
By the way, I am also reading Songyal Rinpoche’s Tibetan Book of the Living and the Dying. I read the huge long thick tedious version a few decades ago when I was a physical therapist. It was on the required reading list to become a hospice worker. I did my own survey over the years asking every hospice worker I’d met if they read this book that is required to be read (according to the hospice paperwork I came across) and not a one of them had read it!
Now it’s time for me to do my own writing while everything is quiet here—at least in between clients and my other work. It’s time for me to return to writing my astrology course. Meanwhile, the message for the day is not to take your self too personally; like Nisargadatta reminds me through his book, every thing and every one is the energy of the universe working itself out. Consciousness is one thing but AWARENESS is beyond that and the earth/ego realms and in awareness we realize this liberating truth!
These reminders and realizations and the memory releases are part of the transiting North Node of the Moon merging with my natal South Node (4th house Scorpio)– conjunct now within one degree. Somehow the recent broken bone in my foot is part of the mini-awakening here and a message to get back in the body and stay centered in the present moment! There has been so much change since last June! As a psychic/intuitive, I could feel the change coming but frankly did not foresee how the reversed lunar nodal returns would play out! ( The nodes were in an exact conjunction 2 days after I broke–in 2 places– a bone in my foot. Two days before the exact conjunction is “close enough in horse shoes and hand grenades”, as the saying goes.)
For any astrologers out there who may wonder how a reversed lunar nodal return would play out in the 4th house, I also left my home in the mountains to move closer to my children in order to help them which is how I ended up in an apartment above a loud Indian couple. It was very quiet when I first moved here. Just for the record, people in our building have complained to the office about them and they have become better mannered and quieter since then.
And here again I have to turn back to Nisargadatta and the liberating teachings and Truth which I have come to already know within myself through my experience in meditation and contemplation: whatever happens is just life (which includes me) being just life and all of it just being energy playing out—no need to take any of it personally! Not even should I take my own self personally — everything is just energy playing itself out. In a state of pure awareness I see that! I clearly do and obviously needed the reminder.