Does Your Dream Include Your ‘True Self’?

In your dreams, are you thinking or talking or being your True self?

What I mean is that our mental habits during the day usually continue in our dreams too. So if our thoughts were around investigating the characteristics of our Self and practicing it in our lives then it should flow freely into our dreams.

Have you been experiencing that in your dreams? Some dreams are vivid and you remember every detail. So, do they include your true self-other than the one that the world knows you for?

We aren’t interpreting our dreams here but we are trying to understand if our subconscious really believes what we believe in.

But if our dreams don’t include our self then maybe we aren’t practicing the right way. If we think we are not the body or the mind but something more subtle and that which exists everywhere then we have to be impartial with the ones we have wrongly identified with-i.e the body or the mind.

Moreover, just thoughts around the Self wouldn’t make us dream about it but the feelings attached to those thoughts would do the magic. Our objective is not just to bring our true self into our dreams but to make a strong impression of that in our minds. For example, if you think you are the ‘space’ that fills the whole universe then just going around telling that ‘I am space’ would do no good. But when the characteristics of  ‘space’ (invisible, experienceable, indescribable, immovable, invincible, unthinkable etc.) play in your mind then do you see them as they play and do you identify with them is the question.

So, let us go back to our question, “are our thoughts on the ‘Self’ flowing freely into our dreams?”

Note: Btw, the idea is not to turn hysterical or to hallucinate 😉 Take it easy. Go slow. Trust that whatever you are seeking is also seeking you. Have patience.

All you have to do is to decide whether to stay a bhogi or to turn into a yogi. If you decide on the later then you need to take it slow 🙂 you are dealing with the mind here.

Image: Internet

Advertisements

Has The mind turned spiritual?

“Spirituality” we use this word very often; donno what meaning we attach when we utter this.

It is as corrupted and over-used as the other commonly used words like love, consciousness, awareness. But here we are using this to describe the experience of something other than our physical & psychological bodies. Okay, let’s leave it at that.

Hmmm…So, do you think spirituality can happen to this ever confused piece of brilliance?

Brilliance? It is. When we call a man successful, maybe the spouse wasn’t really behind that success. It should be his/her mind, isn’t it?

It is this one which observes both the world and the sense organs. It sees through the eyes, hears through the ears, feels through the skin, tastes through the tongue and smells through the nose.

  • It is also the one who feels the utmost pain and unexplainable joy.
  • It is also the one which couldn’t explain its disappearance in deep sleep.
  • It is also the same one who thinks he is bounded or liberated.
  • It is also the one which detests or admires its own creation-the Thoughts
  • It is also the one which sees itself as an object of investigation in meditation.
  • It is also the one who realizes that it is also been observed observing.
  • It is the same one which is seeking freedom from imagined bondage.

It is this mind which turns spiritual and inward. And you can be sure when it stops being that haggering partner, doesn’t do a confused tail wagging, sees no value in purposeless imitation and absolutely no point in embracing identities.

Look, either we embrace ever damn identity or nothing. We err by being selective and the effect of that is us having to choose between joy or distress. If we get what we desire, we are happy that moment otherwise we are sad, right?

Then, do we have a choice?

Absolutely! We just have to stop being selective. Every act that we put up here is learned, isn’t it? So can we not try to build a new habit by practicing to see everything as is. That is what I understand by detachment. And that needs practice.  (Abyasam & Vairagyam).

So ask your mind. Is ‘IT’ willing to turn inward?

From the Internet:

“Rupam drishyam lochanam drig, tad drishyam drig tu manasam; Drishya dhivrittayah sakshi, drig eva na tu drishyate”

                                                           Drig drishya viveka(verse 1) Adi Shankarachaya

“Form is observed, the eye is the observer.  That(eye) is the observed, the mind is the observer.  Mental activities are observed, the witness is the observer.  But that observer is not observed”.

Spirituality-Not Being Mr. or Ms. Right

Do they really exist, the Mr. or Ms. Right?

In fact, thinking ourselves to be one is a dis-ease. How do we ever know what we think or do for others is the right thing? Considering our own likes and dislikes are constantly changing.

But yeah, we surely love when someone addresses us to be either that Mr. or Ms. Right, isn’t it? It is crazy that we care so much about such titles and value others wisdom over our own.  Not only that, the number of sacrifices we think we do to maintain the status quo is beyond mention. And yet, we never forget to mention the sacrifices that we have endeavored to every other person we meet and bore them to death. I am not kidding, there are people who do that.

So giving up the titles will surely do good to anybody but is quintessential when it comes to spirituality.

And for God’s sake, stop telling others to go on the same road that averted us from turning spiritual.

We scare people when we tell them that they aren’t allowed to feel any emotions or feelings. We make it look so unattainable when we stress them to

  • be always right,
  • sacrifice,
  • kill desires,
  • imitate some famous Guru/Saint,
  • stop questioning.

No, don’t do that. If anyone is doing this, then he/she has never understood what it takes to be spiritual.

The above-mentioned pointers should face a natural death. I mean, with time, we will stop being their host and we can have our say in our territory, the mind. Till then we should never ever ask anyone to give them up. Otherwise, such thoughts will only strengthen if we try to control them without the basic understanding of what they do to us. So it is important to feel them first. We should ask others to observe them and see what it does to their body & mind.

Bhagavad Gita describes this in Chapter 2 58 & 59 where it narrates the difference between a Sthitaprajna and that of a man who forcefully controls his internal and external sense organs. Such a man who forcefully controls is at a loss because the next strong desire will sweep him back into ignorance.

The human minhow-not-to-meditated is as naughty as a monkey. The more you evade something, the more thoughts you spin around them.

So it is important that we understand that neither are we in a race nor are we to match perfectly with another person on the same path.

There is nothing odd about being different, in fact, I think that is perfectly the right way to be.

Images: the Internet

 

Wavering Mind & It’s Play

If only I had a good partner or different career or disciplined children or better upbringing, I’d be an extremely happy person!

Have you heard anyone say this?

I have. Myself, many times in the past before the realization that nothing here could keep me happy. That is when I realized that the problem doesn’t lie with others. Then who is to blame?

No prizes for guessing 😉 Take it in writing. However powerful you may be, you cannot always keep your surroundings to your liking.

Yes, there are times when others feel pleasant and you feel the vibe. But the truth is that we have become so dependent on somebody’s emotion that we forget that we are capable of feeling pleasant within & without any help from the outside.

Let me just give you an example here; the other day my husband and I went to meet someone. We were in good spirits and even before we had said our hellos, the person, out of the blue said something very nasty and direct. The person is someone elderly and we not only have to endure the taunt but also to respond with a smiling face. My husband and I wondered what went wrong but we took a minute to respond.

We could do one of the many things-

  • Respond and not react but with an excruciating pain inside and not forgetting it for life
  • React and vent that emotion and spoil the whole scene
  • Keep wondering what might have made that person say that.
  • Be conscious of the emotion arising at the moment and it’s worth compared to the pleasantness we were in.

I agree this is a dramatic example, but you know what I mean. There is no switch that we could press to call for pleasantness when we encounter such situations. We should have consciously endured that pleasant emotion to know its worth over the other things or people.

See, ultimately we have to live within these complex emotions. It is not just about choosing the ones which make us and the environment around us more pleasant. But also our understanding of our self and the kind of importance that we attach towards the pseudo self will determine our journey forward.

Bhagavad Gita shares its opinion on what keeps people in ‘Yogah'(inner journey). According to Gita, the prerequisite to be in Yogah is a controlled mind.

Asaṅyatātmanā yogo duṣhprāpa iti me matiḥ
Vaśhyātmanā tu yatatā śhakyo ’vāptum upāyataḥ// 6, 36

Yoga is inaccessible for the one with an uncontrolled mind. But, for one with a controlled mind who strives by the proper means, can attain perfection in Yoga. This is my opinion.

 

Egotism-Can’t Afford It

This morning I reminded my husband(jokingly) how lucky was he to have me in his life and to that he noded, with the sardonic smile leaving his face. The smile said it all 😉

Also recently, I met a friend who was all miserable- she felt all her hard work went unnoticed. She said there was no reciprocation and nobody loved her as much as she did. And this continued till I acknowledged what she went through and only then did we end the topic.

I believe we all might have felt this at one time or another that we are doing more than what is required. But if you look at it closely, we need others more than they need us, don’t we?

Besides we need someone to certify our actions. I struggle with this myself and this is the most horrible thing that we can put ourselves through. A consenting nod, an acknowledging smile, appreciating our benefaction, a warm hug(& the list is endless). It is not just begging for somebody’s attention but the worse is looking for constant approval. This is a dangerous disease in itself. Although, consciously being aware of these is a step towards finding a cure for such pining.

I truly think we commit to something only if we need a certain kind of environment. Rather than complaining about getting a raw deal, think why are we doing it when we know the ROI is low or none. That is the question that we need to ask.

Why do we feel so incomplete? Can someone really complete us? What is in us that is seeking this? Is that us? Is there a cure?

Arjuna had a similar question and Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 6, 35 prescribes the cure. And how we go about it? Maybe in the next blogpost…

Chañchalaṁ hi manaḥ kṛiṣhṇa pramāthi balavad dṛiḍham
tasyāhaṁ nigrahaṁ manye vāyor iva su-duṣhkaram// 34
The mind is very restless, turbulent, strong and obstinate, O Krishna. It appears to me that it is more difficult to control than the wind.

śhrī bhagavān uvācha
Asanśhayaṁ mahā-bāho mano durnigrahaṁ chalam
abhyāsena tu kaunteya vairāgyeṇa cha gṛihyate// 35
Lord Krishna said:
O mighty-armed son of Kunti, what you say is correct; the mind is indeed very difficult to restrain. But by practice and detachment, it can be controlled.

Image: Internet

Sharing My Experience

I get asked a lot

  • How my In-laws and relatives react to my unconventional beliefs with religion, God etc?
  • Why am I pursuing this at this age?
  • Does it affect my marriage?
  • Will God be disappointed and would he be mad?

I am sharing this because I think it’s something everybody gets asked and we deal with it in our own way but we seldom share our experience. Since I have a platform and I think these are relevant, so the post.

First, it is not unconventional but many think so! In my experience, it is better not to waste the time and energy to get people to agree with you.

Our purpose first is to understand who we are and not to educate others. Half-baked knowledge is not only dangerous but also can make us arrogant and more egocentric. And that is not what we want 🙂

However, it is important that your close-knit family knows what you are seeking. For example: Being a woman, there would be expectations that you imbibe the culture of the family you married into. Do that. Learn their ways but practice what you believe.

I am very lucky to have an understanding family but even otherwise don’t expect them to felicitate/motivate/understand/accept your ways. It is normal. But if you believe in something and you keep walking then slowly everybody would understand.

There will be confusion initially. If I want to change a habit, I have to cut that from the root. I cannot keep it and travel in both the boats. So sometimes others would be disappointed when they see you acting differently. Give them time and most importantly respect their views even if you aren’t adopting them.

Age: Guess, there is no better age to understand your self. The sooner the better. Again, we don’t have to say in so many words. Sometimes silence and a smile would do the job.

Spirituality and Marriage: It only gets better. You would be more inclusive, supportive, emotionally stable, would be willing to give that very needed space, less impulsive, neither a doormat nor a control-freak-you will strike the chord just right 🙂

Disappointing God: Being spiritual does not necessarily mean understanding God. For me, it is about knowing My self first. If I do not understand my self; how the heck would I understand anybody or God? No God would be unhappy. When you start off initially, questioning norms might scare you and people around might add to it.

But I kept telling my self – the longest journey that I would ever make is with my own self. And it is very important to know it even more than God himself.

I started on this because I couldn’t understand my self- what am I?

  • Most of the times, I am an introvert, sometimes I am not.
  • My likes and dislikes change.
  • My body and mind changes with time and I am chasing something more reliable.

So, don’t be scared when people question your ways. Don’t go about explaining, let your actions speak.

Initially, your Tamasic mind would look for reasons not to change and the excuses at least should not be people’s approval/age/marital status or God. Stop evaluating and keep moving.

Image: Internet.. loved it

 

How Strange It Is

Was reading Chapter 11 and I started laughing. Krishna being him was able to put up with Arjuna.

Every now and then, Arjuna behaved just like us. His devotion was unwavering however, he was still a man of his beliefs.

In one such instance:

In previous chapters, Krishna emphasized and glorified his formless impersonal infinite nature. He also stressed on the relationship between the individual self and the Brahman, himself.

After all that,

Arjuna: I agree you are all that you declare yourself to be. But…..
Arjuna: I wish to see your imperishable cosmic form.
Krishna: Okay, but you cannot see with your physical eyes. So, I will grant you divine vision.
Krishna: Behold, Arjuna. Observe the entire universe within me. This form of mine was never revealed before.

So, Krishna revealed his infinite form without a beginning, middle or end. Arjuna wasn’t expecting that. He was terrified.

Arjuna: You are so fierce yet I wish to know you. But I do not understand your nature.
Arjuna: Having seen your original form; I feel joy and fear at the same time.
Arjuna: I want to see your four-armed form with mace and disc and you wearing the crown.(46)
Krishna: Why are you afraid? No mortal has ever witnessed my cosmic form. This is me. No sacrifice, charity, studying Vedas, rituals or severe penance can make any mortal eligible for this. You are witnessing my divine form.

Do you see what I am referring to?

He asked for the imperishable cosmic form. What was he expecting to see?

We are so blind. We want to believe our own nonsense.

Even if God decides in giving audience in his real form. We would request him to take the form of Ravi Varma’s painting of him.  Something like the one below with four hands.

430px-Raja_Ravi_Varma,_Seshanarayana_(Oleographic_print).jpg

We would outrightly tell him. And the conversation may go something like this

We: This is what we know of you and we wish to see you like this.
God: This is not ME. The painting is beautiful and so is his imagination. But what you are witnessing right now is me.
We: No, No. Sorry. I will stick to what I know.
God: It’s okay. You didn’t know then. Now you know Me. Worship the real Me.
We: All my life I have known you the Raja Ravi Varma way. It is difficult for me to change and learn. Why don’t you change according to me?
God: Now you know all the Gods are nothing but my form. At least stick to one and eventually, you will realize the truth.

It’s both funny and ironic how laziness and ignorance can stop us from knowing the very Self. If we say it is out of love that I wished to see God my way then the same love should allow us to see him the way he is, isn’t it?

Nothing interests us. Life itself is so complex and fierce as his cosmic form yet it doesn’t get our attention. Strange it is.

Image: Internet.