anantakasainlife

creating boundless space in our lives


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Fire

source: sodahead.com

source: sodahead.com

Suffering is the fire that burns up our ego so our pure, true self can emerge. The ego is that voice in our head that is constantly thinking, judging, imagining, needing, wanting. Its needs are limitless and illusory. Everything that we can insert after  the words “I am _____” or “We are____” is associated with the ego. We define ourselves by who we think we are. We are beautiful, handsome, rich, successful, educated, famous, etc. The list can go on and on. These are ephemeral things that are here today and gone tomorrow. Yet, we cling to them with every fiber of our being. We identify with the illusion of ourselves.

Suffering releases us from illusion. It brings us back to the source of all life by getting rid of all concepts that come after “I am” or “We are”. We are stripped of our ego, so we have nothing, like the rest of creation. We are then able to feel our true nature, which is “I am” or “We Are“. Nothing else needs to be added to our true selves. We are whole and complete now.

However, suffering is painful and excruciating so we often run away from it. Our ego is not ready to be burnt up. We don’t want to lose our identity. We dredge up thoughts, emotions, feelings from the past or expectations of the future to keep our identity in place. But if we allow the fire to burn us up, we create space for our true self to arise. How is this done? We don’t resist what happens; we let it happen. We watch events unfold without getting entangled with them. We watch people leave us and things taken away from us. We empty ourselves into God so He can come in and make us whole. We go beyond the boundaries of our limited mind and return to space, which is our origin. We become spacious, boundless, limitless.

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Service

Source: twitter.com

Source: twitter.com

If we serve the world, the world will serve us. This is one of the teachings of Swami Parthasarathy, which is reflected everywhere. If we look at the history of civilization, we find that the people that truly made a difference were those who gave freely without asking anything in return. Mother Teresa and St. Francis easily come to mind. They did what they did because it was the right thing to do. And the miracle is that they never lacked for anything. Everything that they needed always came to them without any effort on their part.

In our current state of affairs, however, the opposite is true.  We want the world to serve us and want it done NOW. We demand that people and situations cater to us. When we go to the restaurant we want to be seated right away by the hostess or we go somewhere else. When we go to the bank, we want our banker to answer our questions then and there or we file a complaint. When we go to a retail store, we want the saleslady to cater to us or we demand to speak to the manager. We say that of course we deserve to be treated right away. After all, we are paying these people for their  services. But is this really the case? Or could it be that we want each moment to satisfy us so we can be ourselves?

The truth is that we can only find our true selves when we stop looking for satisfaction out there. We go within and feel our own essence. We feel the stillness inside and let it permeate our being. We are able to let go of our rigid expectations that people, places and situations make us happy. We give service freely and truly. And because we serve the world, the world will serve us, as illustrated by Dave Lerner in this article: https://www.openforum.com/articles/how-to-make-contacts-the-right-way/.


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Hole

source: oliveleafjournal.com

source: oliveleafjournal.com

When we lose something or someone, we feel a hole in the fabric of our existence. We attach our sense of self to people and things so that when these forms leave us (and they will), we lose our identity. We don’t feel enough. We feel abandoned, betrayed, angry, confused, hurt, depressed, anxious. We struggle to cover up the hole by finding another person or thing to replace the person or object that we lost. But when the new person’s flaws come out or the thing no longer satisfies us, we feel the same kind of frustration that we felt before. And what’s more, we blame them for failing to make us happy. We are on a perpetual treadmill of chasing after happiness.

How can we free ourselves from this vicious cycle ? 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 allow the pain and suffering to move through our body without the painful story associated with it.  We break the link between our thoughts and emotions. We reduce the situation to nothingness so we are no longer bound to it. We are then able to let go of the story and the person or thing, and  feel the deep sense of peace and inner joy inside us. We become spacious inside.

We realize that when something bad happens to us, the universe is creating a hole so it can thread through it the strands that bind us all and make us one with the totality. It strips us of our illusions and our ego, so we have nothing, like the rest of creation. It is during these moments of spaciousness that God comes in with His all-embracing love, takes care of us and connects us with every being so we experience the fullness of life.

When we reach this stage, all things come to us with no effort or struggle. Henry David Thoreau said it best when he stated, “Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”

source: desicomments.com

source: desicomments.com


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Strands

source: blog.karencommins.com

source: blog.karencommins.com

Pain happens when we are unable to let go of our rigid expectations. We fight the present moment because we want a different moment. We don’t want what we have, and we want what we don’t have. If only we did this or we got that, we will be happy, fulfilled, or satisfied. Or the other way around. We got what we wanted and we find that it makes us miserable and unhappy. We want the forms in our life to satisfy us, which they never will. No matter how hard we try, what we do or have will never be good enough.

Why is this so? Because forms are in constant movement. They are here today and gone tomorrow. They are part of the cosmic dance of the universe that is in perpetual motion. This constant pressure causes forms to collide, disintegrate and reconstitute into new forms, including strands that bind us all.

When we let go of our expectations and go with the flow of life, we allow the strands to embrace us and take us to where the universe wants us to be. Even if it means facing pain. We trust that the universe is there to protect us, guide us, and love us. We then realize this truth: when we face pain, accept it, and let it go, we are able to move past it and open ourselves to life. And that the strands are woven into our existence to make our lives richer, fuller, and more abundant.

Eckhart Tolle said it best when he stated, “Life is the dancer. We are the dance.”

 

source: life-bite.blogspot.com

source: life-bite.blogspot.com


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Spotlight

source: smart-kit.com

source: smart-kit.com

The way of out pain is to put the spotlight on it. We observe it as it happens. We don’t run away from it. We don’t blame anybody for it, neither do we blame ourselves for it. We don’t take drugs, alcohol or pills to deaden it. We allow it to be there with no judgment whatsoever. This is at first hard to do because the mind is full of energy and wants us to do something to create a story–one of the countless stories it had amassed over the years–to keep us trapped in our baggage of thoughts.  But if we continue to focus our attention on the pain, we realize that it is just energy that is moving through our body. There is no thought or story associated with it. We break the link between our thoughts and emotions. We create space within ourselves and are able to get off the endless treadmill of action and reaction. We feel an inner stillness that was not there before. Little by little, we release some part of the baggage that we had carried around for years, and we feel our true self that was hidden underneath.

It is like turning the light on in our closet. We see the clothes, shoes, scarves, jackets, coats, and other knickknacks that have piled up in this space. Every nook and cranny is full to bursting with things we have accumulated over the years. We had so much stuff that we were drowning in them.  Oftentimes, we can’t find what we are looking for because it is buried underneath a pile of things. But now that the light is on, we become aware. We realize that we need to free up space. We are no longer compelled to shove things through our closet without thinking. Piece by piece, we start to get rid of unessential things so what is left is the genuine stuff that we truly need. Letting go of the pain is the same. It doesn’t happen overnight, but comes to pass every moment when we shed light on it.


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Fragment

Source: fin6.com

Source: fin6.com

It often seems that the more we try to change something, the harder it gets. We try to get rid of an addiction but we find ourselves doing the same thing over and over again. We try to change our partner’s personality but he/she resists our efforts and we end up breaking the relationship. We try to be loving, responsible parents to our children but we are overwhelmed by the myriad things we have to do that we hardly pay any attention to them. We try to be a good worker but there is so much backstabbing in the office that the atmosphere is crackling with toxicity.

Why are things difficult? Why do we have to go through so much hardship to achieve our goals? And why do we fail so often? The reason is because we force the situation to bend to our will. We want something or someone to make us happy. We attach ourselves to the situation, every fragment of it. Our attention is focused entirely on the form of each moment (good or bad), and not on the formless (the space that allows everything to be as it is). And because every form is fleeting and ephemeral, we are in a constant battle to hold on to it. We further strengthen the situation with our negative energy and resentment.  And when things don’t go our way, which is always the case, we resort to using alcohol or drugs to numb the pain. Or we find another partner who we think will bring us happiness. But once the effects of alcohol or drugs subside, or our partner’s flaws come out, the pain comes roaring back. Then we are really in trouble because we feel there is no way out.

But the truth is that there is a way out. The key is to allow this moment, good or bad, to be as it is. Instead of fighting each moment, we look at it without any judgment or comment. This is at first hard to do because our mind tries to take over our body. It wants us to do something, even if that something causes us harm. But if we continue to observe things, we are creating space within ourselves. We allow the universe to come in and work through us. And it does a far better job than what we, in our limited capacity, can ever do. Why? Because the universe is whole, whereas we are only a fragment of it. When we allow it to enter our lives, we let go of our fragmented views and become part of the whole totality, which has the fullness and richness of life. We feel an aliveness within us that is much more powerful that any potent alcohol, drug or person. We feel our true self, and are able to connect with everything and everyone.  Out of this sense of awareness comes the solution, answer, or right action.

So if we want to change something, we start by accepting each moment as it is. Even if the present moment brings with it pain and suffering, we surrender to it.  We realize that suffering is the fire that is needed to burn our ego so our pure, true self can emerge. We go beyond good and bad and experience the fullness of life.


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Tricky

source: www.oneslidephotography.com

source: oneslidephotography.com

The mind always tries to trick us into thinking anxious, toxic thoughts. Whatever we do is not enough. We hop from one job to another searching for the dream job in which our talents are recognized and we earn lots of money. We get ourselves deeper into debt to get a good education, a nice house, or an expensive car, in an attempt to gain admiration from other people. We go from one relationship to another seeking the perfect partner so we can be happy and fulfilled. We seem to be on a perpetual treadmill of chasing the next moment, hoping that it will bring us satisfaction. But when we achieve our goals, we find that we are not satisfied.  That we should have done this or we forgot to do that. There is this infinite need for more that gnaws at our very existence.

Why is this? And why do we continue on this endless, useless quest for more? Because we look to the various forms—which are fleeting and unstable—to  fulfill us. We look outside ourselves for the truth, when in fact, the truth is within us. But if this is the case, how come we don’t feel this truth? Why isn’t everybody looking within for the answer? Because our true self, that which is one with the truth, is covered up by our noisy mind. We feel the dysfunction of our mind all the time so we can not feel our inner body, our true self. We get taken in by the stress, the drama, the conflict.  And we repeat this pattern of behavior every day.

What can we do to stop this cycle? We start by watching what is happening at this moment (inside and outside ourselves) without judging. This moment is all that we need and carries with it all the truth and answers that we seek. But we have to be still and quiet to know this. We are then able to let go of the past and future. We bring a fresh perspective and are able to do right action. But what if the the mind starts to think nasty thoughts again? We just look at it but we don’t judge it. We repeat this process again and again until we become free of our mind. We break the cycle that had held us in bondage.