The ocean of Life and our individuality

River SEa

The simile between the river, the sea and the life have if very frequent, and have their utility, of course, all individual life flowing until ends on the universal source, but here we explain a different view.

We can also sea our individual life more like a wave on the Sea; a wave that is born, live and finally is reabsorbed in the Sea, but never, never is separated from the Sea, instead, is made of Sea, is part of the Sea. While a river is separated from the Sea, a wave not, never.

But even this image is incomplete, because it shows only the existential aspect of life. We are more than life in existence, we are, in a deep sense, consciousness.

At first, when we are very young, we are only aware of our physical individuality, our body separated from the other bodies; then, we become aware of our emotional and mental life, and live as a separated mental being: we are the river. But we can go beyond, expanding our awareness, and then we see ourselves as a part of a unique indivisible life (the ocean) without any real separation, any separation is a mere mental representation: the wave on the Sea.

But, even then, feeling part of such ocean of life, something still remains their individuality: the sense of a deep “I am” remains, still there are a subject, who is aware of the unity of life. Later, this sense of an “I am” beyond the little, limited  personality, is reinforced, is more clearly perceived, so he become able to live the unity of all life (the ocean) without dissolve their individuality. He is able to live, simultaneously, the unity of all and their individuality. Not dissolving at the Sea, not a sad but glorious end, instead, is a start of a new expanded consciousness of Life.

Often people feel fear when they start to open their minds to that new vision; is natural,  every important change in our view of ourselves is followed by fear, because seems we lose ourselves in the process of change … but then we meet again in a new, higher state, so all the process is good at the end. Our close mind frameset, that is, a set of ideas about the world and about ourselves, is the one making difficult to accept new wider vision; also, again, fear are playing there, obstructing the openness of our awareness.

 
One of this framesets, very common in young people, is believe we have to do a lot of things for be somebody valuable, worthy, for deserve to be alive. But we are complete right now, always, doing nothing or doing lot of things; may a bird feels incomplete while she’s standing on a tree doing nothing? Maybe a cat, resting on the floor, bathing on the warm light of Sun, doing nothing except simply enjoy the feeling of be alive, is unworthy? I remember now a quote of master Jesus talking about that:

Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even king Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.


Is good to do things, of course, but is not bad to do nothing and enjoy the simply fact of be alive. Often, we forget it.

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Inspired daily acts

Always act correctly … is it possible?

In life we ​​are acting constantly, we have no choice, we must do it. Our actions may have more or less success, it will depend on the circumstances and also on our ability.

Skills can be acquired and improved by practice, while circumstances are changing, dynamic; the action that can be appropriate here and now, maybe will not be in another time and place, which is appropriate for someone does not have to be for another person. Every moment and every situation is new, it must be evaluated without falling into automatisms, in predetermined actions. Therefore, a perfect act is a new creation, linked to the instant and the conditions. Automatic, repetitive acts can only be correct in repetitive, static environments.

But evaluating each situation can be difficult, even impossible, perhaps because we do not have all the information, or because it is inaccessible, or because we do not have enough time to evaluate it, or perhaps we have preconceived ideas that prevent us from realistically evaluating the situation. In fact, we will never have the security of not being mistaken in our actions, by much experience and ability that we have.

This reasoning is valid for every act, also for acts of kindness and love. It is well known that good intentions are not usually enough to carry out actions of kindness, of helping others; It may even happen that, wanting to do good, we cause evil, that loving, we harm.

Inspiration and inspired acts


Inspiration: Act of filling with air the lungs | State in which you feel a special facility for creation.

Inspiration is usually associated with artistic creation, also to scientific discovering. But we have just seen that an act can, and should be considered as a creation that we do, is our contribution to a concrete situation. So, if every act is a creation, we can talk about inspiration linked to every act. Let us therefore think of inspired daily acts. As we know from artists and scientists, inspiration must be sought before the act; when it arrives, we are passed to such special creative state: the mind is filled with ideas, sensations, feelings, and then the act “comes out” effortlessly, and it is an act we could say “perfect”. There is no prior intellectual process, any thinking, yet you experience a creative state, and an impulse to act, your mind is filled with creative energy.

Since there is no previous reasoning process, the inspired action is always impersonal, because anything that is personal always arise from our thinking.  Indeed, you do not decide, rather inspiration, when comes, decides for you, she takes you,  you are her channel of expression. By acting in an inspired way you are not striving, even if outwardly it is a demanding, exhausting work, internally you feel no effort, you do not need to force anything, instead, you flow with action naturally. Although it is impersonal, so you are not seeking any personal benefit, however you get it: the satisfaction of performing, of materializing an inspiration, fills you as no personal action could do.

The same rule applies to acts of love-kindness: if they are inspired, they will be impersonal, and always, always, they will benefit the receiver. The mind will know, beyond all doubt, the correct line of action for the benefit of the other person. There is no longer a possible failure in an action of inspired loving-kindness. And the satisfaction of performing an act of inspired love is the greatest of all, fills you with unconditional joy. In fact, searching inspiration for the material realization of love is itself a direct path of self-realization and happiness.

How do we get inspiration?

In the same way that we acquire any skill: with practice. You have to go for it. Some indications for the work:

  • The mind must be calm, relaxed, attentive. It is not a question of thinking as much as we have to act. Quite the opposite. The mind must be in a receptive, open, even expectant state. Only in this state of mind can we receive inspiration. This is an indispensable requirement. If we practice relaxation and / or meditation this requirement will not be a big problem for us, if not, is a good point for start to meditate.
  • Mentally we “put” the situation on which we want to act “in front of us”, but without thinking about, we only contemplate it, with voluntary attention and relaxed mind. We observe, and we also put “on hold”, as if we put a question in the situation, but waiting for the answer, calmly, without forcing. In a way it is a very mindful attitude, related to Mindfulness state, because we observe without judging, with a mind in silence but that is asking, very open to what comes. Even being perhaps experts in the subject, we get into mode “beginner”, asking for an answer.
  • Keep the impersonal attitude, we are only an intermediary between the situation and the inspiration that we hope will fill us. Maintain the will to want to act, but waiting for inspiration.
  • If we are faced with a situation that really requires our immediate action, the inspiration will always come, it will not leave us in the lurch, except when we do not have the right mental state. If the mind is not relaxed, calm and receptive, it will simply be closed to inspiration.

With practice the results will come. The more we practice, if we do it right, the more inspiration we get.

When the inspiration comes, I hope she find me working.”    – Picasso

The experience of loving is only yours, and no one else’s

Learning to still be in-love,,
Without any concrete person to be in love with,
May seem impossible,
And in truth it is not so easy,
Because the mind goes, wanders, remembering those times,
In which love flowed easily between the two,
Or so you thought, at least you imagined.

In these moments of remembrance, of melancholy,
Seems as if you lack the air,
As if you could not breathe, you drown,
You lack the person who ignited your love,
But then, with an effort of will,
You give the attention to the sensation of loving itself,
Not to the external object that provoked it, but to your own experience of loving,
You remember that feeling, and you revive it, at will,
Without thinking, without judging, only living the wonderful feeling of loving,
With full consciousness.

You realize then that the experience of loving was yours,
Which is still yours, which has always been yours,
You believed that it had been taken away, denied, that you no longer had it,
But it was only a belief,
For now you see that you can still evoke it, experience it, live it, it is in you,
Then you feel as if you are back in the air, you breathe again.

And so, day by day, being very attentive, very mindfulness,
Capturing the moment when the mind wanders,
Capturing the moment when the sadness returns,
Realizing that that love is still in you, that you have love within,
That you thought you needed someone to live it,
And it was just a belief in your mind,
Which needs to be convinced otherwise,
Showing him, patiently, the truth,
Then you learn to be permanently in love,
To stay there, in your love,
In what you are in the background, what you have always been, without knowing it,
And that no one can ever deny you, ever again.

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Love story

A short tale about the realization of inner love, the source of true love.

At first, she treated me with great affection.
So my affection for her grew, and grew.
Even when I tried to stop it, I was unable.
Because I noticed that my attempt made her suffer.
When I tried to be distant, I saw her with her head down, and I could not bear it.

Eventually my affection for her overwhelmed me.
Occupying my mind, my thoughts, my being.
I used to imagine sharing with her every moment, every experience. I’m in love with her, clearly.
So I could not hide my great affection anymore.

But it happened that she had already changed her mind.
She had already decided to restrain her affection for me, because it was not convenient for her.
What I had not been able to do, was no problem for her.
So she rejected me, without any care.
And his dealings with me became formal, polite, correct … cold. No more affection from her.
We distance ourselves. We did not see each other anymore.

However, I wrote to her from time to time.
I wrote it with tenderness, with affection, opening my soul, as always.
But she always responded intellectually, analytically, with distance.

One night, after reading his cold reply, I realized that I was happy.
How was it possible?
She no longer offered me any affection, but even so, the mere mental contact, through e-mails, from a long distance, made me happy.
Then I realized that the happiness I felt was not produced by her.
It were impossible, because she was closed to me, she was not giving anything, anymore, to me.

Where did that happiness come from?
Focusing my attention carefully on the sensation, I saw it flowing from me. From within,
There was no reason for such happiness, even so there it was, subtle, but real, as if there was still mutual affection.

I realized then that I could live, feel, that state, a state of love-happiness, independently, by myself. She was not producing it, no longer, no more, never more.
She had only opened a door to my inner source of love; and I could keep the door open, even though she no longer loved me.

Thus, currently I remain in love, happy. But not in love for her, I’m in love. Within love.
And I stopped writing her. I no longer need her. I do not bother her anymore.

The inner reality of love can be recognized only by love. Hans Urs von Balthasar

Meditation and contemplation of the ultimate subject

In mental silence, I closely observe my surroundings.
I see no separation, but union, continuity, of all that surrounds me.
Even my own body is also part of the environment, it is one with it.
And my emotions are integrated with my body, so also part of the environment.
And my thoughts come from my brain, part of the body, so also part of the environment.
There is only one reality that embraces everything. Even myself. All.
This perception is called non-dual perception.

In that state you can not feel loneliness. How could you feel it?
Is impossible, because you feel one with everything.

Then I deepen my attention.
I bring it to the bottom of my mind, a calm mind, without thoughts, but awake, watching
.

Then I deepen my attention.
I bring it to the bottom of my mind, that now is a very calm mind, without thoughts, but awake, watching.
And then, I perceive a presence, tenuous, but clearly.
This presence is called the ultimate subject, or the deep self, or the higher self.
It is distinct from the psychological self, for it is only detected in the absence of thoughts.

Only such ultimate subject, the one who observes, feels separated from the observed.
But that subject is nothing in particular.
It is not body, it is not emotions, it is not thoughts. Is nothing.
All this stuff is external to the ultimate subject.
And yet, the subject is someone. It feels as someone, but without any attribute.

Focusing the attention to that subject, with the mind in deep calm, I experience a presence, and a peace. I experience a sort of absolute stability. The ultimate subject is beyond all phenomenal experience, it feels unalterable.

When the mind, in deep contemplation of the ultimate subject, clearly feels the subject, we are in the state called realization of self, or self-realization. It is also called centering, because attention is placed in the center of the field of consciousness, in the subject who experiences the field.

From the center of the field of consciousness the mind is in a state of equanimity, peaceful, and I experiencing peace and bliss.
There are no problems to solve. There is a watch on life, the flow of life, a non-dual life that embraces all. There is acceptance of reality as it is. Such state is named mindfulness state.

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What is “realization”? Types of realization. Meditation for realization.

Meditation is an activity that allows us to train the mind to see the world and ourselves with another perspective. It can be used for practical purposes, such as better sleeping or more efficient, and also to realize aspects of existence that are not obvious, but real. This realization of the non-obvious, the subtle, is what is meant by “realization.”


There are several types of realization, depending on which aspect of reality we focus our mind. Next we see a script of meditation that takes us to the different realizations (the realization of several subtle aspects). We can not pretend to get all the realizations in a few minutes, of course, this script just wants to show a possible way, and by the way defines what each type of realization means. Each person has a tendency to develop some specific aspect, but in fact we can, and it is convenient to do so, to work with all aspects. At first all we can hope to feel is an intuition of truth, something that resonates to us as real, but still distant; with practice, is seen more and more clearly, the mind is opening to new ways of seeing, to subtle knowledge, until finally the knowledge is “fully” realized.

Meditation on the realizations

  •  When the ego is active, love can only express itself as “I want.”
    I love you  because you make me feel good” is what the ego expresses.
    And if you stop being pleasant for that person, you fail their ego, you lose your utility for him. Then that ego says, “I do not love you anymore,” even saying “I hate you because you have failed me.”
  • When the ego is inactive, love shines on its own.
  • Love without ego is constant, demands nothing, does not seek to be useful.
  • If you remain calm with the ego inactive, and watch closely, you will feel your own love, shining in you.
  • The moment the ego reactivates itself, it loses that wonderful sensation, because the ego is incapable of realizing it, he is always waiting to get everything through something or someone, it never gives anything of itself.
  • If you immerse yourself in that feeling of inner love, you will see that it expands, which seems to encompass everything.
  • You will look around and everything will look bright, beautiful, because beauty and love both belong to the same plane, are aspects of the same thing.
  • This state is called the realization of love.

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  • When the ego is inactive, the mind becomes calm, ceases to seek, it relaxes.
  • If in that state you look attentively you feel the peace of a calm mind.
  • If you look more deeply, you perceive that someone is observing that peace, someone subtle, is not the ego, is not a thought, nor is it material, seems to be nothing, it is purely conscious presence.
  • This state is called the realization of your deep being, or realization of the Self in you, or simply, self-realization.

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  • Keeping the ego inactive, with the mind in deep calm, watch your surroundings closely.
  • You will feel one with everything. The separation between you and the world is a thing of the ego. It is relative, and ultimately false.
  • By observing both the world and yourself, with the relaxed mind, your consciousness is simultaneously containing your environment and yourself, your body, your emotions, your mind, everything is in your consciousness, forming a unity.
  • This state is called realization of non-duality.

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  • Meditating on the functioning of your body, a very complex biological machine, with innumerable cells, living beings cooperating with each other to keep you alive, we see the diversity of life creating an unity of life, you.
  • Breathing, feeling life in you, looking at the life around you, with the calm mind, you feel that all life is one, you are a focus in an ocean of life.
  • This state is called the realization of the unity of life.

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  • Looking, with the calm mind, how the world works out there, so complex, how everything seems to work alone, with mathematical exactitude, governed by natural laws, the whole cosmos functions like a precision clock, you feel there is an intelligence there, subtle, immense, that is in everything.
  • That same intelligence keeps you alive, second to second.
  • Your own personal mind is part of that intelligence,  it is an individual focus of that cosmic intelligence.
  • This state is called the realization of the unity of mind, or realization of the Universal Mind, “the Universe is a creation of the Mind.”

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  • Observing from the relaxed, open, centered mind, the Love that expands and is in everything, the unity of Life, the unity of the Mind, the non-duality of Consciousness, and your very profound being, encompassing all these aspects of reality with your consciousness, you experience a state of total oneness with Love, with Life, with Existence and with Mind.
  • This state is called the realization of the Self.

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Realization of the subtle, deep subject

There are a strong influence of Buddhist thought in the West, especially about Mindfulness, but there is also some acceptance of non-dualist currents based on Vedanta. Both Buddhism and Vedanta dilute the concept of individual, considering that ultimately there is only a luminous mind without content, a vacuum full of potentiality, or there is only consciousness, respectively. These are the two predominant Oriental tendencies in spiritual, non-religious thought, which is now more heavily weighted in the West. This is probably due to the intellectual rejection that has occurred with respect to traditional religions as an effect, since in this vision, ultimately, there is no personal subject, therefore there can be no God, no soul at all.

Yet, knowing that it is swimming against the current, I must defend here the real existence of a personal subject, more subtle than the psychological personality. And I’m doing it not following beliefs, but for personal experiences, supported by readings of diverse texts, many of them also oriental, in the line of Yoga.

I think evolution tends precisely to engender subjects, or individualities, more and more subtle. Thus, since the original explosion of the “Big Bang” that created the Universe, it went from a kind of “cosmic soup” of undifferentiated radiation, where time and space did not yet have a meaning, to the current complicated aspect, with galaxies , Stars, solar systems and planets, all defined physical entities, individual. After life was created from inanimate matter, undifferentiated, we have another step towards a more defined individuality: each living being is. Later in the history of evolution consciousness appears, when the living being acquires a nervous system sufficiently evolved for it. Consciousness allows the living being to be a subject that observes the exterior, separates it from the environment on a more subtle level, not only has a differentiated physical form, but also has a very simple cognition that separates it more subtly from the environment.

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Evolution of life. From Wikipedia.

But that being does not yet “know” that he is somebody. As the nervous system evolves, the individual mind appears, with an enormous power of separation: the living being catalogs all that observes, sees everything as separate objects: a tree, a cloud, another animal, a prey, and so on. Finally, he comes to perceive himself as separate, with an existence of his own.

In the human species, the evolution of the individual subject continues, generating an increasingly subtle individuality: the individual thinks to himself, becomes a concept, a psychological self, a personality that inhabits a body. By practicing meditation, the subject learns to separate the observer from his thoughts, moving another step in the evolution of more and more subtle individuality: what or who is that “observer” beyond thoughts, and emotions? And when we arrive here is when we find the denial of the individual who defend Buddhism and Vedanta non-duality. The whole course of evolution, of creating a more and more subtle individuality, reaches a point where individuality is simply lost, so they say. But there is another point of view: individuality continues to evolve, it comes to such a subtlety that it may seem that it does not exist, since it has run out of attributes, you can not define it with concepts, because it has transcended them, but still exists. There is still “someone” who experiences, who lives events, but from a nonphysical level, extraordinarily subtle. But not because it is so subtle it is weak: on the contrary, when it is realized, it is extraordinarily stable, it does not affect any external event, it does not depend on anything to be, it is no object, no concept, it is pure subjectivity.

When the person meditates for many years, constantly practicing, but only in the line of development of consciousness itself, expanding it, its development tends to lead to a non-duality, not to identify itself as a being with separate existence, seeing only the whole, the total Being alone. So we become what we develop, and if you work only in this line, you advance only in it and not in others. In the same way, if we meditate on the ultimate nature of the mind, and only in that aspect, we can reach the bottom of the mind, which is pure clarity without objects, and thus we do not develop our subject consciousness.

But we can also work in the line of searching, reflecting and meditating on the subject of all experiences, on the central point of our field of consciousness. Instead of simply expanding our consciousness to the infinite, expanding it, we can also deepen it, bringing it to its center, beyond thoughts and concepts, asking: who is conscious? This is the path of realization of the ultimate subject. And it is not incompatible with others, but complementary: we can, and I think it is the best, to work our conscience in an expansive, broad way, and also to deepen, reaching the bottom, its origin, that punctual focus that is our individuality deeper. In this way our development is complete, and in addition follows the natural course of evolution, which we have already seen tends to create more and more subtle individualities. We will then know that there is only one total Being, but it is also true that we live it through our individuality, which is the natural product of evolution.