“The progressive discovery of our own ignorance opens us up to truth and wisdom. A surefire way this ignorance can be rooted out is through self-inquiry, a deep and personal journey that few partake in because their ignorance deceives them, and they cannot see it.”
Our society has traded…
LOVE for indifference
LOVE for hate
LOVE for anger
LOVE for resentment
LOVE for _____________
Without LOVE, COMPASSION, KINDNESS, and EMPATHY, we become a society of unconscious beings who put their wants and needs first. Living life this way leaves us feeling lonely, empty, and sad. We look to get more material things, wealth, and power to gain a false sense of security. We struggle with everyday life, feeling there has to be more to life, never realizing that what we seek cannot be found externally.
For those who have the courage, the willingness, and an unbending intention, a more profound journey takes place, one that will bring more balance between our external and internal worlds. We cannot find this balance by just seeking more knowledge or using our intellect alone. It cannot be found by going to church, the synagogue, mosque, or other worship places, without continuing to do the work after leaving these hallowed halls.
Once again, we must connect with the tenderness of the heart, just think of small children, how open and joyous they live. How quickly they let go of their upset. The brash and hard exteriors we have falsely created to protect ourselves only leads to conflict, hurt, and suffering. You only have to look around to see this, feel it, and hear it everywhere across the planet.
You have a simple choice that, for many, will be hard to make. However, at some point, whether now, on your deathbed or somewhere in between, a choice will be made. Just remember that not making a decision now is a choice.
When enough people begin to go inward and explore self-inquiry, everything will change for everyone. Will you be one of the courageous beings who steps towards your True-Self? Or will you continue to hold tight onto who you have become?
Many believe that God resides outside them, a place they call heaven. People say when I die, I will be with God, or when a loved one has passed, they are now with God. Well, I say that God is within you, within everything you see, feel, and touch. If you are always looking for God outside yourself, you will never know lasting happiness or peace, because it will always come and go. If you pay attention, you will see that nothing in personhood is stable, and I know of only one place to find stability.
It is not until you begin looking within that you will find your true nature; that you will find your True-Self. Start self-inquiry today and find your way back home now, not later, or someday when the body dies. Discover the peace and stability that is always with you.
If you are an atheist or have other beliefs than in a God, you will also find this peace and stability through self-inquiry because when we know ourselves from this fundamental place, we discover the truth.
Begin to reconnect with the heart of consciousness by connecting with your physical heart first. Place your hands on your chest and feel the heart beating. Let go of any thoughts, feelings, or physical sensations that pull your attention away from being with God’s pulse, the Universe, or Divine Creation. Pick the label or word that works for you. Do not allow the mind too step in and distract you. It might say this is too simple, or it will not work, or I do not like this word or label. Watch the subtle way it creates an uncomfortable feeling in the body and all the other ways that it tries to take your attention. Come back to the beating heart and feel the peace that is greater than any distraction the mind can create.
Do this anytime you find yourself in worry, stress, or anxiety, whenever you want to feel the peace and stability of your True-Self. As you begin to experience this, you ground yourself in the present moment and your experience of personhood shifts. You will again remember what you have always known and forgotten. Come back to this simple practice throughout the day, if only for a moment. Anchor in the truth, so the mind’s ability to distract you will be weakened. Discover this through direct experience and not from a place of knowledge. Watch the mind say yes, I know this to be right and then send you in another direction. Do not try to stop the distractions; this is another distraction. Do not identify with them, and then they will have no power over you. The mind will not stop trying to distract you, so let those distractions be an opportunity instead of a problem. Let them be a beacon, the guiding light, your wakeup call back to your True-Self.
“I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens. I’ve been knocking from the inside.”
Start to pay attention by using your capacity of awareness and notice if you are being led astray by spontaneous and untrue thoughts. Begin to question your thoughts. For example, ask yourself, is this thought true, or am I one-hundred percent sure that this will happen.
Know that everyone who begins on the path of self-discovery, self-inquiry, or the spiritual path, meets resistance from within through their thoughts, emotions, and physical body.
Sometimes this resistance is very subtle, and it requires focused attention to notice its trickery. It is in these subtle yet significant moments that we make a choice. Sometimes this choice is conscious, and sometimes it is not. However, with awareness, we watch. The space that we observe from let’s call it the observer position, for now, feels outside the body/mind.
From this position, we can observe our conscious decisions and see how they unfold. Even when choices are made out of habit, or they arise unconsciously, they can be seen by focusing our attention in awareness. Once seen, conditioning can dissolve, and habitual patterns can fall away.
You have experienced this watching before, we all have, and you may be doing it right now as thoughts come up about what I am saying. On the other hand, you may have noticed it when sitting quietly or out in nature. You discover how endless the stream of thoughts are and watch as they come and go.
It is paramount that you have direct experience of this because it is through direct experience that we open the door to making an essential shift. Otherwise, we will continue along in life living from our conditioning and habits, and never getting the chance to experience true freedom.
Instead, the subtle and dramatic deceptions of the mind and the thoughts that arise from it will keep us stuck. Stuck in a world of falsehood, and all the while, we will believe everything that crosses it to be completely accurate. To follow blindly will only lead to endless worry, fear, anger, and great suffering. Perhaps you already experience this in life. I am here to tell you there is another way, one that leads to greater peace and stability.
“The ego’s root feeling is that if I do not hold myself together there will be a falling apart into something chaotic and difficult. So there is anxiety, an energetic anxiety which is located in the body, in the whole energetic system of the body and interpersonal turbulence reminds us again and again C’.” ~ Dalai Lama
Falling apart to me means letting go of that which no longer serves us, which means letting go of your conditioning. Conditioning contributes to the person you have become and how you interact with life, it is not the real you that is under all that conditioning.
I explained it this way to one of my clients. When NASA sends a rocket up into space at some point, the rocket drops its booster because it is no longer needed and they keep the main rocket from soaring to its destination. Our conditioning is like the booster; at some point, it begins to weigh us downs and prevents us from soaring in life.
The thought that, “If I do not hold myself together there will be a falling apart,” keeps us from living in the present moment. We must admit the truth to ourselves and stop believing our thoughts, which have no basis in reality. Listening and believing only in our thoughts lead us in a needless never-ending cycle of despair, worry, anxiety, and suffering.
Self-inquiry can expose this kind of wrong thinking every time and remember that we can feel that we are right without being right, but that we cannot be right without feeling right. Therefore, if you are not feeling centered and peaceful pay attention to how you are thinking and be open to a little self-insight.
We often feel many things like fear, anger, anxiety, loneliness, sadness and these feelings run in and out of our lives, sometimes daily. We like to point to someone or something outside ourselves for the cause of these feelings. However is this the cause or could it be that our perception about what is happening is making these feeling to come up? Can recent events trigger feelings that are attached to an old or previous experience? Our mind will create a story and if we accept it then we will have justification for our feelings without ever questioning them. If our mind could give us a solution, why do we continue to feel this way?
Sometimes knowing why is useful although many times I find that it is not necessary to know why. The real solution comes in letting go or releasing the energy associated with the feelings and thoughts, not in knowing why. In fact, the need to know why requires us to hold onto the feelings or thoughts until we figure it out. At the very least, it slows down the process of letting go. Begin to notice that our mind always goes to wanting to know why first and this is where we become stuck.
How would your life be without these feelings? Do you think you would be peaceful? How would you feel without them? Have you tried meditation and have trouble sitting still? Did you get bored? What would life be without these contrasting feelings; would life be boring for you like meditation? Is this what you think? Are you afraid if you let go of these feelings that nothing will be left? Who will I be without these feelings?
Could you live your life with these feelings and yet not have them affect your daily life? Do not let your mind take over here and think this is something you have to figure out. If an answer comes through your mind let it go. I am only suggesting that you ask these questions and questions like them without looking for an answer through the mind. You already know the truth, just ask and see how you feel.
A simple step to begin releasing these emotions is feeling them. Recognize that they are not connected to what just happened but what just happened showed you they are still in you. By this recognition, the energy can begin moving out. When we attach it to something that just happened, it keeps the energy stuck in the body. Self-inquiry with awareness is a great step to uncovering the True-Self.
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What’s on your mind? I am always open to questions and comments or for a healthy and supportive discussion about these topics.
“Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”-William James
Our pain, suffering, problems and misfortune are often mistaken for their label. We think it is bad luck or that we cannot catch a break. If you are waiting for your good luck to show up you might have a long wait. Even when things are going well we find ways to feel unhappy, lonely or lost. There is always something to keep us from experiencing the fullness of life, even in the midst of that fullness.
Is it life that has to change or do we have to wake up from our slumber? One thing I know is if we do not have a practice of self-inquiry and go to the root, there will always be that next thing to keep us unhappy or feeling unfulfilled.
Know that whatever is happening has purpose. Look at your life or the lives of other people; you can see that what is terrible, tragic and traumatic when used to go to the root always produces positive changes on the other side. This is not just once in a while it is every single time.
When someone does not go to the root and the lesson is refused or resisted, his or her suffering multiplies. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to help people who are in this state, no matter how much we may want to, however we must realize that this too has purpose and allow it to happen. Remember to understand that you do not understand. This may be challenging but a necessity, otherwise we create suffering for ourselves out of someone else’s suffering. Does this sound like a useful thing to do?
Going to the root is usually not our first choice. You would think that after a few times, we would understand the benefit but for some of us it takes more than a few times to win us over. Seeing the benefits repeatedly helps to make it our first choice. Using it consistently on a daily basis reduces suffering, increases happiness, balances the up and downs of life while awakening to our True-Self.
“I went to the root of things, and found nothing but Him alone.” – Mira Bai
**If you like this post please help your friends by sharing it. Have it delivered to your inbox by signing up for an email subscription on your right.
What’s on your mind? I am always open to questions and comments or for a healthy and supportive discussion about these topics.