SIMPLY BEING | SIMPLE BEING

Tag: awareness (page 1 of 2)

a choice illusion

For the longest time I have been fascinated by the idea (illusion?) of choice. There have been more than a few “big events” in my life that came through very effortlessly. Meaning, no thinking required, no decision making skills exercised. Truth be told, I am kinda uncomfortable with having to “make a choice”—I am happier trusting in the larger flow of events.

This phenomenon (is it “choiceless awareness?”) has played out in my life experience so many times, and yet it so happens that ever so often I suffer from forgetfulness, and get into a tortuous bind, trying to “choose.” I forget that in truth, there are endless options, and my limited mind can comprehend only a few of them. And that there is not a real reason to “choose,” because the road is veering on its own, anyway… and one needs to turn the steering wheel very little, one way or another, for a smooth ride. One needs only to align with the larger curve, and there is minimal driving effort required.

For me this is about trusting, again and again. It’s about placing faith in the moment, allowing myself to be led. Perhaps it’s also about going in “blind,” refusing to give in to that little need “to know,” to be on top of things, to be in charge? Honestly, I am only too happy not to be in charge!

(There is a part of me that envisions all of this very differently. Perhaps all the mental gymnastics play out on a plane that exists wholly separate from the field of real action, so to speak. So, while we may spend endless hours deliberating on Choice#1 v/s Choice#2, the truth is that those considerations have zero bearing on what manifests.)

“Brahma”

If the wild bowler thinks he bowls,
Or if the batsman thinks he’s bowled,
They know not, poor misguided souls,
They too shall perish unconsoled.
I am the batsman and the bat,
I am the bowler and the ball,
The umpire, the pavilion cat,
The roller, pitch, and stumps, and all.

— Andrew Lang

Meditation & Awareness

As part of the takeover of the Instagram profile abcdyogi, I wrote a short essay on meditation and awareness. Here it is.

In September 2004, I attended a Sahaj Samadhi meditation workshop, taught by Michael Fischman. Mikey was a FANTASTIC teacher who had been meditating for many years. Mikey had such a basic, fundamental take on the practice of meditation… it was just what I needed. “Sahaj Samadhi” means “effortless/simple transcendence,” and initially, I was doubtful. The technique felt too simple, nearly non-existent. I thought, how does this work? Can I do it? It took me years to realize that this was a SIMPLE practice, not necessarily an easy one. It was truly about withdrawing effort, being still, letting go.

“Doing nothing” is how Mikey described it. How does one “do nothing?” I examined the “do nothing” instruction from all angles. Finally exhausted, I gave up, and in that “giving up,” I understood what it meant.

People talk a lot about having a “good meditation.” Honestly, I think that’s missing the point. What I feel is that meditation IS the point. The idea is to be still, quiet and unmoving, drop effort, just be. Whatever follows after (transcendence, dreams, creativity, rage, A-Ha moments) is secondary. Because what we are practising is the art of being still, watching, barely watching, just being. It is this simple, natural and effortless practice of sitting/being that then extends into our daily life and activities. Becoming an observer of one’s body, mind, thoughts and emotions, the world, people, all of it… Observing becomes a fundamental aspect of who we are. To me, this signifies the beginning of awareness, or Pragnya.

I like to think of awareness as a tiny flame. With meditation and observation, it grows larger and brighter, illuminating worlds within and without. This is the real gift of a human incarnation. We can reflect on the world, we can reflect on ourselves, and we can reflect on ourselves reflecting on the world. It is about growing into the Saakshi (witness) consciousness.

I often joke, “One of these days, I am going to write the Lazy Person’s Guide to Spirituality. Just watch.” I really think it IS that simple. Watch the changing, watch the unchanging, watch the one who watches. #abcdyogilakshmi @richvegetarian

Video: Ego and All that Stuff

You hear so much about how the ego isn’t such a good thing, and that it needs to be “destroyed,” and so on. Well, the ego is an inseparable part of human life, and trying to destroy it is a wasted effort. On the contrary, we can gain a lot from cultivating a healthy ego.

Mind. Watch. Aware.

Mindful. Watch. Awareness.

Sometimes it feels so darned simple. Like there is nothing to do except watch.

Watch what, you ask. Well, watch every thing. Watch the glorious, shining moments and the shameful ones. Watch the missteps and the graceful slide. Watch the faults and the formations. Really, just watch. Suspend all judgments, drop the need to step in and correct. Relax the idea of perfection and improvement.

Just watch.

How does this make me a better person? How does this help me improve my faults?

I don’t really know. I do think that it makes you less sensitive to the good/bad paradigm. It makes you less judgmental, perhaps? Maybe it takes the edge off our collective and constant desire for so-called perfection. It makes us kinder people, probably.

Becoming aware of becoming aware of becoming aware of… I am watching me watching me watching me.

But if all I do is watch, who is responsible for action? Or is that set into motion already? Is it beyond my control? Or maybe it is my watching that subtly alters my action, without directly seeking to influence it?

It feels somewhat like receding into the skin of a container, the outermost layer, the thinnest segment. And watching the contents of the container shift, transform, get replaced. And becoming aware that this container can hold absolutely everything? And sometimes nothing at all.