Understand: All is right in the world. Consider the story of the teacher and the student. There is no explanation to all the sufferings and evil and torture and destruction and hunger in the world. It cannot be explained. Life is a mystery. Reality is not the problem, you are the problem.
Be aware of your present condition – no matter what it is. Stop being dictator to yourself. Don’t make demands on yourself. As you becomes more aware you more at ease with everyone and everything. Why? You are no longer frightened of being hurt or not liked. People are not mean and negative to YOU, they are mean to whatever he or she thought of you. There are mean to the perception of you. This is also true with anger, love, or acceptance.
Awareness should not be a goal. It is better to be the way you are, simply aware of the way you are. Simple awareness is happiness compared to reacting all the time. As awareness grows, reactions will lessen and acting will grow.
Gaining awareness is not a contest or a seeking of ego glorification. True awareness is like true charity – it just happens. The harder you try to change an attachment, the more entrenched it becomes. The more you resist something, the more empowered it becomes. You do not combat evil by fighting it. Instead you strive to understand it. How do you cope with darkness? Do you hit it with your fists? The more you fight darkness in this way, the more the darkness envelops you and deepens.
Striving and fighting to be aware does not hasten it. It can actually make it much harder. The Japanese have a saying, “The day you cease to travel, you have arrived.” People see awareness as a high point, a plateau, beyond experiencing every moment as it is. This is making a goal. True awareness has no destination and there is nothing to achieve.
The suggested approach is to state:
“I want to be aware, I want to be in touch with whatever is and let whatever happens happen. If I’m awake, fine. If I am asleep, fine.”
The acceptance of whatever happens requires faith. Faith is an openness to the truth, no matter the consequences, no matter where it leads you. Faith is not belief. Belief gives you security; faith gives you insecurity. Dogma, and the religion that relies on dogma, gives you security. Awareness, and the faith that awareness relies on, gives you insecurity. Security is bondage. Awareness is freedom.
Challenge everything with a sense of openness and not stubbornness. Have a readiness to understand, to listen, to challenge your entire belief system. Beliefs are religious, political, social and psychological. True awareness is removing conditions to our happiness. It does not involve piety, devotion, religion or orchestrated spirituality.
Awareness = observation. Watch yourself – watch reactions. Watch yourself watching reactions. You can only change what you understand. When you observe and understand things change. This awareness can be gradual or sudden. An average change can be felt in a matter of weeks.
I have a story about sudden growth.
There was a lion raised as a sheep. The lion went out to pasture each day with the sheep and grazed. The grasses upset his stomach, but he said “This is the life of a sheep, and I am a sheep.” Many things bothered the lion, but he knew they were part of his role as a sheep. One day a fellow lion was passing through the countryside. He spied the lion who thought he was a sheep, and nodded sagely. He had seen this before. He knew the cure. As the traveling lion walked up to the herd the sheep and the lion who thought he was a sheep all ran away. The traveling lion gave chase to the other lion. They ran over hills and through valleys. Finally, both exhausted, the traveling lion cornered the lion who thought he was a sheep on the edge of a lake. The lion who thought he was a sheep pleaded for his life, begging the traveling lion to allow a poor sheep to live another day. The traveling lion shook his head, and directed the lion who thought he was a sheep to look into the mirrored surface of the lake. The lion who thought he was a sheep saw his reflection. It was one of a lion. From that moment on he was the lion who knew he was a lion, and the sheep had one more lion to worry about.Understanding who “I” is will result in no fear. The lion who thought he was a sheep was released from fear when he realized his true nature. With awareness and understanding of “I”, you will fear no one and nothing. Nothing will touch you again and no one can hurt you again.
React Less and Act More
Are more energetic and alive
have no tensions created by cravings holding them back.
honor means nothing
disgrace means nothing
success and failure mean nothing
Before enlightenment I was depressed, after enlightenment I am still depressed. What is the difference? I don’t identify with the depression and it is allowed to pass. Clouds of depression and anxiety still happen, but you don’t fight and get caught up in them. You are anxious and not troubled. One can be happy in anxiety and depression.
Being aware leads to:
Living your own life
Going your own way
thinking your own thoughts
Follow your own inclination and tastes.
Only a very aware person can refuse to pick up guilt and anger. Only they can say “You are having a tantrum. To bad. I don’t feel the slightest desire to rescue you anymore and I refuse to feel guilty.” They continue, “I am not going to hate myself for anything I’ve done.” Self-hatred is the source of guilt. An aware person does not whip themselves for anything that is done right or wrong. “When I did something wrong it was when I was in unawareness. In being aware I am not obliged to reconnect to the moment of unawareness through another moment of unawareness.”