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Category Archives: mindfulness

Making the unconscious conscious

Repression and expression

Our equanimity is ruined when unconscious emotions like – anger, fear hatred, jealousy, greed, lust, cowardice, etc. – take control over us. Most often these emotions take control over us for no rational reason and with a strength that is out of proportion to the situation that provoked it.

The only way we know to deal with these unwanted emotion is by repression or expression, but by repression these emotions don’t go away. On the contrary it is driven deeper into the unconscious and accumulates as poison. At any moment it can explode and then it is uncontrollable.

The other alternative is – expression.  This means to dump these emotions on to someone or something else. It is even more dangerous as it perpetuates a destructive vicious cycle that can destroy relationships and the self.

The third Alternative – Acceptance

The third way is to understand the unconscious nature of functioning and use their energies for creative purposes.  It is possible to transform the negative energies into the opposite positive values by the alchemy of mindfulness. Fear can be turned to love, anger can become compassion and hatred can be transformed to friendliness. The vital key is acceptance. There is no condemnation or rejection of whatever emotion arises.  Neither is there any interpretation of whether it is good or bad. There only acceptance of what is appearing in the moment.

The key to transformation

Transformation does not occur by expression or repression but through mindfulness and acceptance. Mindfulness transforms because knowingly you cannot be angry. Just as knowingly you cannot put your hand into a flame. Once you are conscious about anger and what it does to you you cannot be angry. Its power was in being unconscious.

This is not as easy as it sounds.  Mindful meditation gives us the possibility to watch the workings of the unconscious. It gives us the possibility to access the dimension of ourselves which is beyond the mind. It enables us to accept that which is appearing without judgement. When the light of awareness is shed on all the ways of the mind you will find that it no longer controls you. The moment mindfulness is present the fight stops and relaxation happens.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2018 in meditation, mindfulness

 

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Experiencing wholeness

Separation and duality

We are alive in a world in which separation seems natural. The reality that we encounter on a daily basis consists of opposites : good and bad, light and darkness, pain and pleasure, success and failure and so on. Our social conditioning keeps us from experiencing wholeness. It teaches us to solve this problem of duality by choosing the better side of each opposite. Hence we strive to be good and moral people who accept and live by humane values. Unfortunately this attitude of choosing one over the other keeps us in a state of suffering and perpetuates it

Wholeness

What mindfulness does to us is that it helps us to realize that all activity of the mind – thoughts, emotions, desires – takes place against the background  that is silent, whole and free of suffering. We could use the example of a blank sheet of paper to represent this background. Anything could be written on the page, a story, poem, or a picture can be drawn on it. It could be a tragedy or a comedy or a heroic description. But none of this affects the page. Or we can take the example of a movie screen on which any movie can be projected. No matter what happens in the movie, the screen isn’t affected. This background is your true self and when you arrive here wholeness is just as natural as separation.

End of suffering

This wholeness is the ground of our existence. Because of this no matter how much harm living in duality and separation has caused in us we can always return to wholeness. When awareness becomes aware of itself, it is whole. This wholeness embraces the full reality of life. The perfect and the imperfect, the consistent and the inconsistent, success and failure are all accepted for what they are and the contraries are integrated.  Experiencing this wholeness eliminates the conflict of duality and separation bringing to an end the suffering caused by it.

Ranji Varughis

Wholeness

 

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Time is an illusion of the mind

Past and future exist only in thoughts

Time is a projection of the mind. (Psychological time) It does not exist, it is only an illusion. Both the past and future are created by thoughts.  Only the present exists and the present is not part of time but part of eternity. Past and present are both non-existential because we cannot live in a past or the future other than in our thoughts. The past is only a memory and the future is only imagination. Both of them are constructs of the mind and are always being accessed from the present alone. The past is created because we cling to memory and the future is created because of desires to be fulfilled. The future is needed like a screen for the mind to project its desires. The truth is psychological time subordinates the present moment to the past or future by keeping us preoccupied to the memories of our past or to our plans for the future

The fact is that the mind needs the past and the future to survive. The more the time the mind has the more it can play around and make many desires and dreams and live in them. Time also helps the mind in another way – the pressure for change is lifted off as there is still time available for change. In this way the mind can remain the same. Postponing is the base for continuing in the same way. This is the deepest trick of the mind. The reason for postponing change is because you do not want to do it now. As long as time is available the possibility of postponing change is available and in the hope that what is difficult today will become easier tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes.

Timeless space of the Eternal Now

“A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts. So he loses touch with reality, and lives in a world of illusion” – Allan Watts. The thing that we have to realize is that the aim of the mind is always to keep us engaged with the past or the future. This results in us losing touch with reality.  Meditation is the way to disengage from the pull of the mind and to experience reality as it unfolds to us. Meditation is not about quieting, manipulating or focusing the mind. On the contrary it is to let the mind keep on doing its thing and instead of identifying with it to just be, knowingly, its awareness.

You are that through which thoughts are flowing. It doesn’t matter where it’s going or what they’re doing. They’re always doing one of two things: they are either going into the past or the future. Just let them go, let them make the journey, but you never take the journey with them. That is meditation, just to know yourself as this ever-present, imperturbable light of awareness. When we know this we enter the timeless space of the eternal now and  begin to experience our reality..

Time

 

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Spacious Mindfulness

What is Spaciousness?

Lao Tzu’s poetic text ‘Tao Te Ching’ is built around the concept of ‘spaciousness’. One of the example that he uses is that of the space within the pot. We do not actually use the clay of the pot. Rather the clay creates a usable space in which we can put what we like. Similar is the case of a house. We do not live in the materials that that the house is constructed with (walls, door etc). But rather we live in the space created by the materials. This spaciousness is what allows for everything in existence to be possible.Our true self is this birthless, deathless, timeless, limitless, eternal spaciousness.

The mind could be compared to a pond. When the concentration is on one object, it is as if one throws a single stone into the water. You can then observe beautiful rings expanding out from one point on a smooth surface. When there are a multitude of thoughts, it is like many stones hitting the surface of the lake, Ripples start going all over, running into each other, making any sort of clear reflection off the surface of the water impossible. Similarly, when the mind is full of thoughts it is impossible for any deep awareness to manifest. Neither can any deep reflection about oneself to take place.

This is the way the mind exists most of the time. In that condition, all we can do is attend to one thought before another breaks through, whether we like it or not. Thus, the individual is continuously forced to deal with the constant agitation of the mind.  Being pulled by our senses, desires, goals, dreams, attachments, aversions, or attempts to serve the demands of others. In such a situation there is hardly any peace nor can we experience our true self. Not only can multiple demands on our life lead to a sense of stress and overwhelm us physically. It can also feel unsustainable and hopeless emotionally.

The advantage of Spaciousness

What is often helpful is to seek the larger landscape which can hold one’s experience. A spacious mindfulness practice can benefit a sense of larger perspective. A bigger picture, an openness that can soothe the mind and calm the heart. And even if the practice does not completely do this every single time, it may do it enough so that we can be present one more moment, one more hour, one more day. It allows the boundless qualities of Life to arise and remind us that a clear mind and open heart are possible even in the most difficult circumstances.

One of the classic images used to express this is a storming bull that is caught in the confines of a very small barn. What happens as the animal rages and bucks against the narrow walls of its prison? Likely, it will both destroy the barn and deeply injure itself. However, place the bull in the space of an open field with no obstacles or boundaries; its energies will surely be vented, and its forces also will also exhaust and calm themselves over time. Our minds and hearts are similar.

Placing our minds and hearts within a larger landscape allows whatever to arise to be held with mindfulness. The broader the picture we have of our life, the more space we have to maneuver any difficulties that arise and to tend and care for all of the multiple joys and sorrows that come our way. This kind of spacious open awareness does not repress, deny, or change the experience of the mind. It simply gives the mind room to breathe, relax and come into its fullest potential — to be kind, clear and free and at perfect peace.

Spaciousness

 

 

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Freedom from addiction

Smart phones

We have reached a new stage in our evolution. Today it seems people are incapable of living without the bright screen of their phone for more than a few minutes. The reason for this addiction has been pinned to the desire to watch and monitor others. There is also the urge to be seen and monitored by others. As a species we require constant input from others to find meaning, goals and a sense of identity.

Though smartphones address the healthy need for sociability, it is good to remember that the desire for human interaction is addictive. So it’s essential to realize that we are not addicted to our smart phones. But it is our desire for human interaction that is addictive. Relax and celebrate the fact that your addiction reflects a normal urge to connect with others. Develop a protocol for an appropriate way to use your smartphone and regain control over the addiction for social interaction.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness meditation can provide a foolproof way of nurturing our urges and prevent them from hijacking our lives. It needs to be seen that any desire or urge is an image that appears on the screen of awareness. But for awareness/consciousness this urge would not exist. This awareness is the timeless formless miracle that illuminates and brings into being everything. Rather than being interested in the content of the urge, being the awareness of it frees us from its grip. Creating the space for us to experience this urge as an end in itself instead of seeking to fulfill it. When this happens we find the appropriate way and opportunity to respond to instead of yielding to its control.

Mindfulness is the ultimate mobile device. You can check into it anywhere, anytime. By doing so every facet of our life fall into its right place. Harmony, peace and bliss is the message that appears on the screen.

Addictions

 

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Beyond the mind.

No matter how perfect they sound you can never trust words to be the truth. You can never trust thoughts to be the truth. Thoughts, feelings, perceptions, emotions keep on appearing and disappearing. The color, size, shape and texture of these thoughts feelings,emotions and perceptions keep changing in the mind. It can also be seen that one person’s perception is the exact opposite of another’s perception. And everyone is arguing over who’s perception is right. Mindfulness helps us to realize the truth that is beyond all thoughts, all ideas, all opinions. It does not need thought to validate it. Truth simply is.

The Truth of Silence

What is truth? It is pure silence, pure awareness, pure peace. Once you are grounded in this peace then you can no longer be fooled by thoughts, feelings or emotions. Also you won’t be fooled into buying into someone else’s beliefs. You will see through the untruths because you yourself came to the realization that every thought you ever held on to was just unreal. It is in that humility that you will be able to fall right through the intellectual mind into silence itself. And then that silence teaches you everything. It guides you deeper into your true self.

Mindfulness

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2018 in meditation, mindfulness, Uncategorized

 

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Happiness – the starting point, not the destination

Happiness and sense of fulfillment in life has very little to do with accomplishments in the external reality. If we are enjoying music, it is not the music that makes us happy.  From this is the expression of our love for the music we  creates\ our joy. If we are happy in our job or career, it is not the job that makes us happy. The expression of our love for what we do creates the experience of happiness. When we are enjoying a beautiful day, it is not the day that is flooding us with emotions. It is our love for the experience of the day that we are flooded with.

Creating happiness

Happiness is a feeling created by the expression of your love coming out of you. If you express emotions of fear and anger, you will experience fear and anger. How you feel is determined by the emotions you create. You can control your happiness to the degree that you can control your attention in your mind. The truth is that you make yourself happy. You probably just don’t know how anymore. Through mindful awareness it becomes real and waits to be freshly rediscovered in the next moment of awareness.

Happiness, Mindfulness

 

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Peace is our essence

 

Quotefancy-3891434-3840x2160There’s a Buddhist saying that peace is like a sun that’s always shining in your heart. The most basic fact about human nature is that peace is our own fundamental and true essence. It is not something we gain by doing/not doing certain things or by following certain disciplines and techniques. The reality is that this fundamental nature cannot be conceived or perceived by the mind. The mind can only know a form, a shape, a color or an image. It can thrive only in the world of phenomena.

Our fundamental nature is a luminous expanse of awareness that is beyond all conceptual fabrication and completely free from the movement of thoughts. From this basic nature of emptiness everything is expressed. And from this everything arises and manifests including the mind. Until we realize this fundamental essence of our being, all that we do to experience peace will only disturb the peace we already are. But when we realize it, everything that is done, rather than being an attempt to experience peace, becomes an expression of the peace that always already exists.

Mirror likeness

This peace which is the wholeness of our true nature is likened to a mirror. It embraces and reflects whatever is put before it. The mirror itself, however, no matter how vile the object it is reflecting. It remains detached from and never tainted nor stained by its reflections. Always remaining the same, retaining its intrinsic purity and never wearing out. The reflections do not affect the mirror.

Once we recognize and become more familiar with the pure, spacious mirror-like peace that has been our ever-present condition from the very beginning, we then are able to simply rest and abide in and as that, realizing that we already have in our possession that for which we are looking.

Ranji Varughis

 

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Balance is the key

The life of every living creature depends upon breathing. Breath is the union of two – inhaling and exhaling. Breathing in and breathing out are not two opposites but two parts of one process that are organically connected and cannot be divided. It is these two functions that that maintain the balance of life. Choosing only either one of these functions will actually suffocate us. Now this is also true with regard to our dealing with thoughts feelings and emotions. Unfortunately we are conditioned only to attach ourselves and identify with every thought, feeling and expression.

Attachment is only one part of the process. There is also the function of detachment. If we choose only either one part of the process it will definitely disrupt our balance. This is where meditation plays an important role. Meditation is the time and space we create to detach ourselves from all thoughts, feelings and emotions. Once we master the art of detachment we transcend both attachment and detachment and we begin to act from a place of stillness, peace and balance. Balance then becomes as natural as breathing and goes on even without our knowledge. It is when we become mindful, aware and one with totality. That which we are searching for will then be found. Let every breath remind us of this.

Ranji Varughis

 

Fusion of opposites

 

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Witness to the mind’s journey

The mind is always on a journey that begins by judging the present. Most of the time the judgement brings regret about the past or worry about the future. The journey is primarily to seek a solution to this uneasiness. But since the mind can conjure up unlimited amounts of possibilities it is hard to meet its challenge using the mind. The good news is that you can free yourself from your mind. This is the only true liberation. The answer lies not in fighting or avoiding the mind but in transcending it. Beyond the changing mind is a changeless background. The Higher self remains untouched by the dreams of the mind just as the movie screen remains unaffected by the images projected on to it. The realization that the witness of the mind is not affected by the rulings of the illusory mind brings an end to the journey.

I AM realization

Listen to the voice in your head. When you listen to that voice, listen to it impartially. Do not judge or condemn what you hear. For doing so would mean that the same voice has come in again through the back door. You’ll soon realize: There is the voice, you are listening to it, watching it. This I am realization, this sense of your own presence, is not a thought. It arises from beyond the mind. So when you listen to a thought, you are aware not only of the thought but also of yourself as the witness of the thought. A new dimension of consciousness has come in. As you listen to the thought, you feel a conscious presence – your deeper self – behind or underneath the thought, as it were. The thought then loses its power over you and quickly subsides, because you are no longer energizing the mind through identification with it. This is the beginning of the end of involuntary and compulsive thinking.

Ranji Varughis

 

Stillness

 

 

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