anantakasainlife

creating boundless space in our lives


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Depth

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Photos by S. M.

 

When I don’t run away from pain or suffering, I discover that things are not as bad as they seem. It was dreadful only because I saw one side of the issue. When I face the situation, I realize that there is also a benevolent side to it. Moreover, I get the resources and help needed to cope with the matter at hand.

I discover depth when I delve deeper into the problem instead of focusing on the surface appearance of forms. In doing so, I realize that the world is always balanced. There is bad, but there is also good. There is pain but there is also comfort. There is sorrow, but there is also joy.  The key is to look at the event in an open, non-judgmental way.

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Distorted

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Photo by S.M.

When we are in the midst of a conflict situation, we are overcome by negative emotions. Stories from our past flow into our pain, which creates more pain. We play the mental movie of “The Unhappy Me” over and over in our head.  We look at the situation from a pessimistic viewpoint and get a distorted view of life. We thus become overwhelmed that we feel there is no way out of our dilemma.

It is similar to catching a ball that somebody throws at us. We not only catch it, but we internalize it and let it become part of our self-image. We catch other people’s thoughts and make them our own, even if they are against our nature. Is it any wonder that we are stressed, depressed, irritable and anxious?

How do we free ourselves from mental distortion? We start by observing the negativity in us. We watch the stream of antagonistic thoughts conjured by the mind. We step back from the torrent of unfavorable concepts in our head. We create space within ourselves. Our pure, true self, which was buried underneath the pile of destructive thoughts, is able to shine through and connect us with everything that exists. We thus see the situation clearly and find a way out of our dilemma.


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Finding our balance

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source: sweetlightphotos.com

We live in a world that is balanced. There is sadness, despair, sorrow, unhappiness, anxiety. But there is also joy, peace, gladness, happiness, tranquility. But somehow we tend to focus only on the negative aspects of our lives rather than the positive ones.

We have lost our balance. We only see one side and neglect or forget the other side. We are taken in by the concepts in our head. We regret what happened in the past and fear what will happen in the future. Hence, we are blind to the freshness and abundance of the present moment.

How do we bring awareness into this moment? We start by observing ourselves. We feel the emotion that is running through our bodies. If right now we are feeling anxious, we feel this raw energy coursing through our veins. We don’t fight it. We watch it, we surrender to it. At first this is hard to do because the mind wants to take over our bodies, but we keep at it. Gradually, the momentum of the mind lessens. We then feel the stillness within our bodies.

And it is the silence within that brings transformation.  Why? Because we become an opening from which life flows through. We are able to move from one perspective to another and enjoy the play of forms. This is when sadness merges with joy, despair turns into peace, sorrow is transmuted into gladness, unhappiness is transformed into happiness, anxiety leads to tranquility.

When we live each moment as it is, we become balanced.


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On Forgiveness

At some point in our lives, someone had hurt us. This could be a friend, a parent, a spouse, a sibling, a colleague. More often than not, we resent this person who caused us pain and unhappiness. We are attached to him/her through our negative emotions. This leads to stress, insomnia, nervous breakdown, or an assortment of diseases that assault the body.

How can we free ourselves from this cycle of unhappiness and be mentally and physically healthy? The key is to surrender–to accept the things that happen to us without creating a story. We don’t resist what happens; we let it happen. We realize that the perpetrator of the pain is just acting out pre-conditioned habits that he/she learned. There is nobody there but a bunch of thoughts and beliefs. In other words, there was nothing and nobody in the situation, so how could there be pain? We reduce the situation to nothingness so we are no longer bound to it. We then let go of the story and the person, and  feel the emotion in the body (whether it is anger, resentment, sadness, etc.) that is freed and transmuted into peace and inner joy.

When we surrender, we realize that we are here not to be happy but to be conscious. We then experience life in its fullness–from positive to negative, from sadness to joy, from birth to death, from success to failure–and know that all is well because we created a space within ourselves so God can come in and take care of us!