How to love what is in front of you?
Key is in going inside the looking at the inner resistance to what is happening outside. The lack of acceptance or the resistance to the outside situation is coming from inside. This inner resistance has to be seen and released. If seen carefully, the resistance is actually about certain feelings that we dont want to feel and have suppressed them away. Key is to allow these feelings to surface to up and accepting them. When doing this, these feelings often tell their story and then be released.
Again the steps to accepting what is, are –
- Notice the resistance to an outside event, that you want to change
- In order to accept what is happening outside, there are two options
- Change the external environment, if it is under your control
- Change the inner environment as this is always under your control (go to step 3 below)
- Bring the focus to inner resistance
- Realize that you are trying to fight and avoid certain feelings from being felt
- Work on allowing and accepting the feeling. Once it is allowed and accepted, it will be released and along with it the inner resistance will be going.
- Once the inner resistance is going, you are able to accept what is outside with the natural love and joy that is inside
It goes down to the underlying feeling or motive behind our actions. Any given action in the world can be driven by shame, guilt, fear, hatred, pride, acceptance, joy, or love. As an example, consider a simple action of given someone a glass of water. Now look inside carefully and see the reason behind why you gave the person the glass of water
- Is it out of shame (what would people think if I did not do that?)
- Is it out of guilt (I will accrue bad Karma if I dont do it)
- Fear (I will not get what I need if I did not give the glass of water)
- Pride (I am too good a person to not give glass a of water)
- Acceptance (It is what it is)
- Love and Joy (For the love and joy of the action of giving the glass of water)
An action becomes Karma Yoga when is performed with acceptance and love and joy of the action itself. The action is not about the ‘I’ but about the action itself. This form of yoga (union with God) by going beyond our little self through action is Karma Yoga.
This is what Lord Krishna was teaching Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita. Arjun needed to move away from the guilt of fighting and potentially killing his cousins and uncles. Being a warrior, Arjuna needed to fight from acceptance and joy and love of fighting and because of that he will be even more effective with it.
How do you move from acting from guilt/shame/pride/fear to acting from acceptance/love/joy?
Finally beginning to realize at a much deeper level that life is what it is. The need to run away from it is both fake and futile. Just another way of seeing and saying that what we resist, persists. The key is to see all the things that I want to avoid in my current life, see the inner resistance and work on it so as to face life as is. Clearly beginning to see that there is no such thing as that dream life out there unless I accept all aspects of my current life that I resist – job, responsibilities (children), suffering etc.
The spiritual way to live life is to fully face life, accept challenges and go through them. The salvation is through this so called challenges and not around them. In fact, this is all there is to spiritual life. Face the challenges with divine help and keep moving. As I learn the lesson in each life situation, resolutions will come and then something else will pop up depending on my inner make up. Key here is to also accept and enjoy this process. The intrinsic nature of this process is to push our buttons and to drive us out of our comfort zone. We can either chose to do it as burden or embrace it and enjoy it. In order to embrace it, trust in God is needed and unknown and uncertainties are something we should look forward to. This embracing the unknown truly opens the spigots of divine grace. This is what separates life from being full of burden to full of joy – in both versions challenges are there. Another way to put it is that life is what it is, we just see it differently in two versions.
Lately when I ask my divine guidance for help in making a choice and selecting a direction in life, the response that I am often getting is that my decision actually does not matter and that Divine has got it under control regardless of what I do or which way I proceed. Their are key aspects of love of God that are inherent in this message.
- Love of God is unconditional and is NOT dependent on my preferences, decisions or life choices I make. The thought process that their is right or wrong things to do in this world is based on my own guilts, fears and insecurities.
- Love of God has no limits and the ability of God to help us does not depend on what we do, where we are or what situation our life is in. The limit is ours and is manifested in our ability to accept divine inspiration or guidance, because of our own lack of courage.
With unconditional and limitless love of God, we have no reason to second guess or over think our actions. Combining the two aspects of unconditional and limitlessness of divine love is powerful and is difficult to accept for most of us, again due to our own limitations. For example, whether we get God’s help in fixing our breakfast or solving our professional or relationship problems or creating a peaceful and abundant world by helping others, really depends on our courage. We are limited by our own consciousness level.
The edge or the boundary of our comfort zone is comprised on limiting beliefs. That is where we start hitting guilt, fear or failure, insecurities and sense of inadequacy among others. How do we deal with these and clean them up to expand our comfort zone.
- Identify the conflict
- Be with it.
- See it.
- Experience it.
- Conflict resolution occurs and decision is made and path is opened
Our effort in these 4 steps is only in first two steps. Identifying the conflict is a mental activity and needs to be accomplished by us. Similarly, being with it is also a mental activity. We need to control our though process to prevent the mind from escaping the conflict as it is not fun to be with it.
Steps 3, 4 and 5 are benediction by the grace of God and they are not a result of our mental activity. The outcome of the steps 3-5 as they happen on their own, will be recorded by the mind. But, again, mind has no role to play in making steps 3-5 happen. Minds role is limited to steps 1-2.
What is below sense of scarcity is past trauma and suffering. This trauma is hidden by a general sense of scarcity. What is on top of sense of scarcity is the rationale and reasoning to justify limiting our actions and thoughts and possibilities.
These limiting thoughts/concerns/anxieties hide the underlying sense of scarcity and the the sense of scarcity is hiding the underlying past trauma and suffering which, in an unconscious way, we do not want to suffer ever again at any cost. It takes a lot of deep introspection to be aware of underlying trauma beneath the sense of scarcity.
Also, this trauma and sense of scarcity and related thought process on top of it has intrinsic mistrust of God as that was it is based on in the first place. The existence of trauma means that God’s help was not available during the past suffering and hence the intrinsic mistrust.
This is another way of seeing how there is no suffering in the world. It is within us – only 100%.
This is not to say that we do not suffer. But the suffering is definitely not in the world. The suffering is within us. Only 100%. The suffering is only in the thoughts and emotional response that is triggered inside us because of a so called outside or worldly event. A simple evidence of this fact is that same event in the world can trigger a different emotional response in different people.
Suffering is nothing but suppressed emotions. These suppressed emotions create the perception and sense of suffering. Our suppressed emotions and feelings get triggered based on outside events in the world and the impression created in the mind is that events in the world are the reason for our suffering. We are seeing the world based on our inner make up. Nothing more but nothing less.
We spend our life trying to manage outside situations in a way that our suppressed emotions are not triggered hence hoping to keep the suffering away. However, Key to the resolution of the root cause of suffering is fix where the suffering is really located – inside us.
As I started retreating towards our bus from the Forest campus to return to campus-3, I decided to say one final goodbye to the Forrest. As I stood in the prayer pose facing the mountains, my divine started telling me ‘All this belongs to Me’. Divine was referring to the mountain, the forrest, the trees and the earth and clearly telling me – ‘All this belongs to Me.’ I was absorbing the gravity of this message on my return to campus 3 and shared this experience with others on my breakfast table.
Later in the day we went to the temple for the Chamber process. As I waited for my turn to enter the chamber, the commentary started again – ‘All this belongs to Me’. This time divine was referring to everything within the temple – the signs, the pillars the walls, the curtains. As I was waiting in line anyway, this time I asked the divine to explain to me how it all belongs to Him. Right then the divine gave me the experience of the underlying divinity in everything (There is seeing but no seer). Within a minute, the whole quantum physics video that Tejasaji had shown earlier in the week started playing in my mind. In the class when it was shown, I had not paid much attention to it. This time, however, I exactly understood, what was the point of showing us that video. In short, it showed that subatomic particles show both wave and particle nature. But more importantly, the wave nature collapses into matter the moment an observer is placed. This is our condition and as observers we perceive a materialistic world that is suspended on top of underlying divinity (seen as the wave form of electron/matter). It was miraculous how every detail of that video ran through my mind and I understood it completely with every question answered.
After explaining how it all belongs to Him, my Divine went to explaining the implications of what it means. He told me if it all belongs to Him, it means basically it all belongs to my own supreme friend. Having just experienced the Oneness it also belongs to me. The divine showed me how funny and petty my day to day problems are compared to His grandeur. Divine showed me that how I limit Him due to my own limited beliefs and concepts that I confuse myself with.
On my return flight from Chennai, as this experience was percolating in my mind with tears in my eyes, I was reminded that this experience that my divine gave me is similar to the experience Lord Krishna gave Arjuna when He revealed his Universal form for Arjuna as described in Bhagvad Gita. It emphasized for me that the divine in my heart is just not an imaginary form that is limited by own self but Who is powerful beyond my imagination. This was a demonstration of my divine’s love and grandeur so as to help me overcome my own limitations and doubts. Most importantly, I can revisit this experience if I want to in my day to day meditation.
Seeing our molds and activities of the self is an incredible tool. However, I discovered that it is equally important to be able to accept what I see. During the OPC course, I realized that all along I was resisting my fears, guilt, shame, despair and suffering. I was waiting for a time when I will be free from all these “negative” emotions. I was hoping go beyond all suffering. During and since the OPC course, I have found an incredible acceptance for all these emotions. Now when I feel a negative emotion, I simply go into seeing and then joy. I could go into the seeing mode before the OPC course as well, but at that point, I was not able to accept these and would resist these feeling and hope they go away forever. In that resisting and fighting of these feelings, my suffering remained intact and often intensified.
Only now I truly get why oneness guides keep saying again and again about mind being ancient and these emotions are its characteristics. How they explain that to expect not to have such emotions in mind is similar to expecting a fire without heat or sugar without sweetness. Now I see that a mold inside me was resisting and fighting this powerful ancient mind and was really hoping to go beyond all suffering. Seems so incredibly idiotic at this point.
I have really suffered at and hated my job for about a year now. However, after returning from OPC, I noticed that I still hate the job but the related suffering is diminished significantly. I burst out laughing when I was hit with the realization that most people who I know actually do hate their job. Now it is more like OK I hate my job but where is the problem. That is the way it is? Who says that we are supposed to love our jobs?
Another story I had was that I have not passion in life. I was not suffering due to lack of passion but because I wanted it to change into passion. I can say from personal experience that this fighting with the mind to change lack of passion into passion is really a miserable way to live.
Same goes for fear of failure and shame. I was always unconsciously resisting these emotions and hoping for these to go away for good. Now I do see them but with acceptance and therefore I am not waiting or fighting them to go away. That is where there is both release and joy.
Having said that, I have to point out that I went through intense process during the OPC two weeks that resulted in such acceptance of my suffering. As a concept, I have known that I need to accept these things for several years now. Yet I had a mold that would make it its business to fight any negative feeling or emotion. This fight is what I was identified with and the result in intense suffering.
The irony of this all is that once I accept suffering and see that its OK if I suffer, I feel more fearless than ever before in my life.
Imagine walking into a room where a group of robots are sitting and talking to each other. Then you notice the robots being very worried about – running out of battery power. Or their CPU going bad. Or there are certain things they must accomplish in their daily lives. That there is such a thing as failure and loss. This is a situation where these robot have started believing that they have an individuality and all the things they do are their responsibility and there is something to loose. And in doing so they begin to stress and worry over their performance report. Now you are the only person in the room that knows that things that the robots are worried about is not in their control. They are just designed and manufactured with a set of hardware and software to carry out certain functions.
Having believed themselves to have separate individuality, robots compare each other based on their size, CPU power, the wealth of their owners, on what their function is, how they look etc.
This is our condition. Each of us are one of the robots in the room.