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

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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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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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Take and give

Rediscovering what is intuited that touches you.
And it does not come until you open yourself to listen with your whole being, naked and complete.
And then it does not just come, it explodes inside and it vibrates outside.
Falling in love with the present moment, with no ties to anyone.
Not even with you.
Yes, lover of anyone.
Freedom to create spaces … spaces of love.

Written and shared with me by a student of Mindfulness course

Life’s ups and downs and emotional states

Instability of life

Life is change, we know it. Things happen around us at very fast speed, and those things are not always good ones. On the other side, life needs stability for flourish: our body has basic needs that have to be fulfilled every day, even every minute, so living beings have to adapt to a ever changing environment.

Human beings are the most unstable of all living beings: not only our bodies are weaker (civilization effects) as other beings, but additionally we have the most developed nervous system of all creation on Earth; such system is able to change from stability to high instability in seconds, responding to external triggers, or even internal ones: a thought can change our mood almost instantly.

Instability of emotions

As a result, emotions usually changes very fast: we can move from positivity to negativity in one minute; that’s the case when something goes really wrong, but also sometimes happens without any external event, it simply happens. While the change in reaction to external circumstances is normal, even good, because a negative emotional state is information our body-mind gives us (like: hey! pay attention! something is going really wrong!), on the other side changes without any external trigger may be counterproductive.

Anyway, instability always must be a stimuli for adaptation to the events, this is their natural function. Emotions not are an exception: is normal experience emotional changes, but such instability must be brief, the person must recover their stability as fast as possible; otherwise, suffering will visit us, for a lasting unstable state is not healthy.

Due to our highly unstable nervous system, is very important for us to know coping techniques; coping with emotional instability has different variants, depending on the causes. Such techniques fall in two categories: psychological ones and spiritual ones, although there is some overlap between them.

Coping with emotional instability through psychological techniques

Without going into the field of therapy, simply being in the self-help, the techniques of Positive  Psychology are highly recommended for coping with “bad emotions”; most of such techniques are existentialist: recommend to full live your emotions, accepting them as part of life. Other recommendations and techniques are designed for improve our positive emotions, our ability for generate them voluntarily. This is a key point: emotional states usually are automatic, they come and go without our intervention; here we have a cognitive work for to do: 1) understand the mechanism of our emotional states, and become full aware of it,  2) intelligently use such understanding for become able of have the choice, for stopping the automatic mechanism, and choose how emotions will last and how will not.

The roots of Positive Psychology go back to Aristotle’s Practical Ethics based on the concepts: ‘Optimal functioning’, ‘Friendliness towards self’ and ‘Pursuit of a blossoming life’. Modern-day leading Positive Psychology researchers are noted. For further lecture, see, for example, Positive psychology: An overview (Mia Leijssen).

Coping with emotional instability through spiritual traditions

Spiritual traditions recommend meditation for overcome the difficulties of life and also for achieve peace of mind and a wise sense of life. Now a days, scientific approach and traditional ones are starting to be entangled: the effect of meditation have been widely study for scientists, who are checked it. The most studied traditional technique is the so named Mindfulness, although is not any  technique but a stable and peaceful state of mind, which you are reached by applying various techniques. The traditional techniques have a point in common with Positive psychology: they invite you to explore yourself, like a benevolent observer, discovering the mechanisms that are running automatically on you. When you become full aware of such mechanisms, the you start to become able of control it. 

Moreover, beyond the emotional states, spiritual development through meditation can be seen as a purging process in which you gradually root out the obstacles that keep you from your essence. In this sense, treading the spiritual path is not usually the easiest road to follow. In doing so you might be confronted with your darkest corners and your not so attractive traits. But in this process of growing awareness you also strengthen your life foundations. For further reflect on this path, you can read Spiritual Development, Surrender and Sacred Ground (Mia Leijssen).

Conclusion

In this short post we have seen the source of emotional ups and downs, the need of stabilize emotional states for live a healthy life, and two big categories of techniques for do it, such categories now a days are not longer opposed, instead, are full compatibles, so we can follow only one of them or both at the same time.

 

Untangling

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Whereas those who, being impelled by their desires, work with a selfish motive become entangled because they are attached to the fruits of their actions.  – Bhagavad Gita –

The most common human being have their mind, desires and sense of “I am” entangled, confusing the three as if they were an unbreakable block; therefore, is unable to resist their desires, believing he is his own desires.

With meditation and deep reflection, however, we become able to untangle the desires and our sense of I. As a result, desires lose a large part of their power, because they depend on our identification with them.

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With time, we also disentangle our thoughts and our “I”, and also thoughts are dramatically reduced, following the same mechanism as desires: most of our mental rumination is due to our identification with our thoughts. Indeed,  desires and thoughts exists thanks to our automatic identification with them.

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In such estate, still there are desires and thoughts, depending or our residual identification with them, but now we are able to see them as something external to our self, and they are not able to control us anymore.

Eventually, while we are in a full mindfulness state, thoughts and desires almost disappear, only self left: that is realization of the self.

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Despite contact with the material body, O Arjuna, the soul neither does anything nor is entangled. – Bhagavad Gita –