Tag Archives: Timelessness
It is our common experience to note that we have numerous ‘I’s. The I of I want, the I of I sang a song, the I of I am an engineer, or I am thinking. But beyond desires, actiivities and physical characteristics there is another I that is basic. This I gives rise to the subjective sense of our existence like our self image, physical charecteristics, emotions and social category. When we speak about the self it is these categories that we refer to but they are not the origin of our sense of personal existence. The most basic I is something different.
As we introspect deeper to find the origin of our subjectivity we find that the search for I leaves the regular ideas of personhood behind and takes us closer to awareness. Awareness is something apart from, and different from, all that of which we are aware – thoughts, emotions, images, sensations, desires and memory. Awareness is the ground in which the mind’s contents manifest themselves; they appear in it and disappear once again. The objects of awareness — sensations, thoughts, memories, images and emotions — are constantly changing and superseding each other. In contrast, awareness continues independent of any specific mental contents.
Awareness cannot itself be observed, it is not an object, not a thing. Indeed, it is featureless, lacking form, texture, colour, spatial dimensions. These characteristics indicate that awareness is of a different nature than the contents of the mind; it goes beyond sensation, emotions, ideation, memory. Awareness is at a different level, it is prior to contents, more fundamental. Awareness has no intrinsic content, no form, no surface characteristics — it is unlike everything else we experience, unlike objects, sensations, emotions, thoughts, or memories.
A group of travellers forded a river. Afterwards, to make sure everyone had crossed safely, the leader counted the group but omitted himself from the count. Each member did the same and they arrived at the conclusion that one of them was missing. The group then spent many unhappy hours searching the river until, finally, a passerby suggested that each person count their own self, as well. The travellers were overjoyed to find that no one was missing and all proceeded on their way.
Like the travellers, we often neglect to notice the one that counts. Until we do it we do not know our true self the timeless and eternal awareness we are.
By locating the mind’s pause button we can come to know the voice that resides deep within us. This voice is the ultimate guide. It’s our intuition, timeless wisdom, and the voice of our heart. It always knows what’s best for us because it’s our greatest supporter, most attentive lover and dearest friend. What it has to tell us is more important than anything we could ever learn from the outside world – Sasha Manes
“For most of us, a typical day involves hurrying from task to task, forgetting that there are other possibilities for us. Even a tiny bit of mindfulness, brought to any moment, can wake us up, thus subverting the momentum of doing for at least one moment — and that’s all we need to be concerned about. We don’t have to stop what we are doing. We simply bring greater moment-to-moment, non-judging, wise awareness to our unfolding moments. The solution to our mood problems may not require heroic attempts to change our inner feeling world or the outer world of people, places, and jobs. Rather, it may simply involve a shift in the way we pay attention to all of them.” — Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindal Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn, “The Mindful Way Through Depression”
“When we find ourselves caught up in the compelling and complex inner screen of our mind, we need to remember that we have an option. We can shrink or ‘minimize’ the current screen down to a small icon on the bottom of the mind-screen and open up the serene blue sky of our inherently boundless, clear mind. A few thoughts drift across the screen, like wispy white clouds. We are lifted above the narrow world of ‘I, me, and mine’ to a place of serenity. The small icon of our worries and plans can be opened up whenever we wish.” — Jan Chozen Bays, How to Train a Wild Elephant, and Other Adventures in Mindfulness
Why is non-judgment an important practice? Non-judgemental approach means to make a conscious effort not to be critical of the actions or thoughts of others. The practice of non-judgment is essential to purify and deprogram the mind just like by eating clean, healthy food, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine we can detoxify the physical body. There is a distinction between judgment and discernment. Discernment simply is perceiving the way things are. Judgment is what we add to discernment of how things or people are and how we think they ought to be. So, in judgment, there’s an element of dissatisfaction with the way things are and a desire to have things be the way we want them to be. Left to itself, the brain will automatically judge things as good or bad, right or wrong, fair or unfair, important or unimportant, urgent or non-urgent and so on. This happens so fast that our experiences are automatically colored right when we get to them. Practicing non-judgement is to silence the mind by stopping the constant flow of thoughts analysing and evaluating everything and everyone we meet, ourselves included. When the mind is clear, we can see new possibilities, transcend perceived limits, and live a life of greater ease, joy and love. The key here is to bring awareness to the moments of our lives. Be aware when the brain is automatically judging a situation or a person, and we can pause and get some perspective. In this way we create a sort of “space” between ourselves and the thought so that we’re not so caught up in it. Labeling judgements as judgements can be useful. When we notice ourselves judging we can just say the word “judging” quietly to ourselves. When we name our experience we again create a small gap that gives us a sense of freedom. Was this judgment just something that popped in my mind? Is there another way I can see this? A practice of non-judgment helps us to avoid a lot of the suffering we experience on a daily basis. Some kinds of judgment are both good and necessarily practical. What I have tried to highlight are those kinds of judgment that are founded on either hatred, prejudice, rigid categorization, unsubstantiated generalization, or any act of making a ‘final judgment’ that closes the heart to another living being. It is not easy to reserve judgement and no one is entirely able to do so, but it is something we can strive for and put into practise as diligently as possible.
A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14b.
The whole of life depend upon building it on a strong foundation. If the momentary is chosen then the foundation is being built on shifting sand. If the foundation has to be strong then it has to be built on the eternal. A city that is being built on the momentary is in ruins by the time it is ready, it is falling apart. This happens because the momentary lacks wholeness of vision. Only the moment is seen, and then it passes. These passing moments are seen and not a total vision. Since what is going to happen in the next moment is unknown what is done in the moment may have to be undone because it may not agree with the whole. So the uncertainty is always there. When decisions are made based on the momentary the whole may reject it and it may become absolutely useless and meaningless. For the city to be built on a rock wholeness of vision is indispensable. When life is built based on the momentary difficulties will arise as the whole will not adjust to the momentary.
The whole has to be consulted before the decisions are made. Life should be created and patterned with a vision of the whole. Have a vision that is timeless. For this to happen one has to move to a higher consciousness. A person standing under the tree can see up to the nearest curve on the road. If he climbs up the tree then he has a greater vision. From an aeroplane he can have a bird’s eye view of the whole city. The higher he ascends greater becomes the vision.
Imagine a person standing under a tree, he looks east and does not see a thing. Another person sitting on top of the tree says, “I can see a bullock cart tree.” The first person says, “I can’t see it. How can it be?” The bullock cart is in the future for him but for the man sitting on the tree the bullock cart is in the present. Hence present is not the same for everyone. Present is confined to each one and the present of one may not be the present for another. It depends upon the ladder of consciousness.
For Jesus everything is present: there is no future, there is no past. From the level of his consciousness the whole is visible. Nothing is past and nothing is future, everything is here and now. The existence of past and future only reveals the narrowness of vision. For an ordinary person when anything goes beyond the field of vision it becomes past; that which has not yet come becomes future. Existence is momentary as the vision is limited
The high altitude, which is awareness, is the fortification. A city that is built on a high mountain cannot fall nor can it be hidden. A city built on the timeless will be known for eternity. Nothing can hide it.