anantakasainlife

creating boundless space in our lives


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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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Embedded

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Photo by S. M.

Unhappiness is everywhere. It is embedded in our mind, which by its very nature is chaotic and problematic. It wants to control and take things. It is always fighting the present moment because it fears the dissolution of forms.

We are run by our mind so we look at life from a limited perspective. We see the procession of forms and not the space that allows the forms to be. As a result, we only see fragments of life, not the totality of life. Life, in all its glory, is benevolent, abundant, and helpful. Whereas each passing moment is subject to the polarities of life: good/bad, happiness/unhappiness, success/failure, and so on.

The way to be free from unhappiness is to de-personalize a situation. We look at a dilemma as if it were happening to somebody else. We put the situation inside a box and we watch the event from outside the box.  For instance, if somebody calls us stupid, we put this person in an imaginary case and look at him/her from the outside. This person may yell at us and call us many names. But we remain calm and peaceful because we know that they are inside the box and therefore can not hurt us.

We discard our harsh judgments and rigid expectations about the person and the situation.  We accept each moment as it is. This acceptance doesn’t mean doing nothing. It means we acknowledge this moment and do what is needed. We go with the flow of life. We become fully alive and enjoy the freshness of each moment.

This is when fear and desire lose their hold over us. We watch the play of forms and realize that there is nothing personal against them. It’s just the way of the world. We begin to play with them and even enjoy ourselves in the process.

 


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Transformed

Transformation

Source: zonefox.com

We live in a culture that is action-oriented. We are always busy doing something. We want to change “what is” into “what it should be”. We don’t leave things and people alone. If our relationship isn’t working, we try to fix our partner. If we don’t like our job, we go and find another job. If our children are bored, we come up with things to keep them busy. We think we know the solutions to problems so we set out to change people and situations. Then it turns out that even though the dilemma is solved, another one pops in its place. Why is this so? Because we were focused on the procession of myriad forms in our lives– the drama, the conflict, the stress. We only skimmed the surface of things so our perception is limited. We were not aware of space, the deep and vast aliveness that surrounds and contains forms.

Why do we need to be conscious of space? Because through awareness of space, we deepen our understanding of life. We go beyond the surface dimension of things and sense our oneness with the whole.  We feel the essence of every creature and realize the purpose of every situation. We stop fighting what is and go with the flow of life.

How do we create space in our lives? We start by observing people for no other purpose than to learn more about them. We study them, we observe them, we watch them–but we don’t judge them. We accept people as they are. If we are involved in a problematic situation, we look at it as if it were happening to somebody else. We de-personalize the event. We let go of our rigid expectations. We  allow each moment, good or bad, to be as it is.

The irony is that when we create space for transformation to happen, people and situations start to change.

 

 


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Squeezed

Problems seem to abound everywhere. There is conflict in the workplace, confusion in our homes, dysfunction in our relationships, chaos in our country and all over the world. It seems like our universe is falling apart. Nothing makes sense anymore. We feel squeezed by the pressures of daily living. We look to escape from the present moment by fighting, rejecting or running away from it. But these actions somehow worsen the situation.

The way to be free is to accept this moment as it is. We allow space to flow into our lives and change the seemingly chaotic forms into harmonious forms. We become an opening through which the  abundance of the universe flows copiously. Why?  Because we are freed of the illusions created by our mind. We become free. Our genuine self bubbles to the surface and connects us with all of creation. We become one with the whole.

 


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Transformation

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Source: leadingagile.com

New Year. New  Expectations. New Beginnings. This is the time to let go of our old self so our new self can emerge. We become a beautiful, genuine being.

For most of us however, transformation is not easy. We resist it. We flee from it. We avoid it. If we let go of  our old concepts, then who are we? We cling to the known, even if it is detrimental to our being, because we are scared of the unknown. We are imprisoned in our own cage of useless, repetitive thinking. We are not able to experience the fullness of life.

How do we change our lives and become free? How do we experience life in all its glory? The answer is to accept things, people and situations –good or bad–to be as they are. We observe the procession of forms in our lives without judgment or comment. We permit the bad things to play their role in the fabric of our existence.  We cherish the good things while they last and release them when they leave. We discard our unrealistic and rigid expectations. We ditch our ego.

This powerful practice stops our mind from creating illusions. Past and future thus fade away. We are left with the beauty of the  present moment. We become one with life. This is when right action happens and joyful things come to us because we align ourselves with the power of the universe. We become connected to the whole.

We therefore realize this truth: the things of this world no longer bind us. We relish them when they come and relinquish them when they leave. We become free.

 

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Balanced

There is balance in the world around us. There is sadness but there is also happiness. There is darkness but there is also light. There is bad but there is also good. One cannot exist without the other. These polarities exist within our universe.

Why is it that we can’t see or feel the balance around us? Because we see the world not as it is but as we are. We are preoccupied with things or concepts that we fail to see the beauty of the present moment. And because these forms are fleeting, we are in a perpetual state of unease. We cling to one side and ignore the other side. We only see the negative but not the positive. We focus on things that are wrong instead of things that are right.

For instance, when we walk on a forest trail at dusk, we are afraid of the dark. We hurry along to get out of the darkness and into the brightness of a busy street. In our rush, we fail to see the beauty of the fireflies that lit the bushes. It seems that a million Christmas lights are strung along the bushes giving it an ethereal quality. Out of the gloom comes the glow of radiance.

How do we get in touch with the abundance that is everywhere? How do we find our balance? We start by observing things without judging them. We study and watch, without needing to change them. We become aware. Out of this awareness comes the understanding that is beyond the polarities. We are thus able to connect with our pure essence, which is one with the essence of all beings. We become balanced.


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Giving

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source: carleton.ca

When we give service to the world, the world will serve us. This is because the world is full and abundant. It is bursting with riches and wealth and its purpose is to share these with all of us.

But somehow this purpose is thwarted by our ego, which wants to take, more than it wants to give. This creates an artificial sense of scarcity, which leads to our insatiable need to do more and be more. We feel empty inside so we add things to our insufficient self. We look to the outside world to satisfy us. Then we become disappointed because nothing out there will ever be enough.

Or, we give but we don’t give freely. We attach conditions to our gift, which then becomes a bribe. We become disillusioned when the reaction we receive is not what we expected. We stop our so-called giving (or more accurately, bribing) and withdraw into our shell. We cut ourselves off from the fullness of life.

How do we reverse this vicious cycle? How do we bring abundance into our lives? We start by giving for the sake of giving–whether it is a smile, a touch, a helping hand, a hug, an encouragement. When we give, we align ourselves with the purpose of the universe. We are within our power. We are the master of ourselves. We don’t need other people to tell us we are good; we know we are good.

Giving brings out the inner joy that transcends forms. We enjoy each moment that comes but we are not tied to each moment.  We become free.