“Live happily and die majestically” – B.K.S Iyengar (Died August 20, 2014)
Any action performed against one’s conscience is not an act of freedom. True freedom happens only when one is free from the impulses of the mind. Freedom (Swechcha) is made up of the words: Swa + ichcha. ‘Swa’ means Atma. Only when the will of the Atma prevails can there be real freedom. God and you are not separate. This oneness should not be a mere intellectual concept. It should be a living reality. Then you will experience true freedom – the freedom of the Spirit. Sai Baba May 31, 1990
Creating more space to ‘see’, or in today’s terms, being more “mindful”, means to essentially be observing inside our subtle body of emotions and reactions. We look continually, if possible, if only to practice and hone the awareness we need to process the stuff that is causing much of our suffering. We are looking before, during, and after our triggering event.
This is done to see the beginnings of our reaction. It is also useful to watch and see the vigor of reaction when it is observed and spotlighted throughout it’s peak and valley. Our actions, ideally, need less scrutiny in that we preload them with intention and skillful means. Additionally, if we are like most people, our actions are significantly less, solely because of the enormity of reactions versus actions, we have in just a minute, let alone in the course of a full day. Generally, if our actions are coming from the Being state, then that directness defines sourcing from the Source and not reaction.
More likely, is the scenario where our actions are a result of a chain of reactions, much of which we have no idea of when and where that chain began. Watching is not unlike police investigations where there is a chain of custody that must be kept in order to secure the validity of the evidence. A gap in the chain of custody is enough to throw the case out, due to the introduction of uncertainty and compromise. Good police work presupposes objective documentation and secure areas that invoke integrity.
So with self-awareness. If we do not practice Constant Integrated Awareness (C.I.A.), we do not know when our stubborn, longstanding pattern will arise. We will begin to know better when we can more easily define the triggers that give rise to it. We can only find the triggers when we are perennially watching for the beginning, the peak, and the recovery.
Skillfulness versus unskillfulness, and flowing v. resisting, and observing v. reacting -these are the subsequent choices we generate. The first characteristic in each pair is probably resounding with ‘action’ versus the second part of the pair which is not. Is it any wonder that we are tired at the end of the day as if we were on a roller coaster the entire day?
Just the act of doing a full observation on ourselves in the proverbial Moment can change our life in ‘that’ Moment. When we apply a non-judging, pure seeing, unattached view of ourselves, we ‘act’. This is especially so if the amount of energy in observing is equal and/or greater to the amount of energy we are expending in ‘reacting’.
‘Reacting’ will generate more energy than observing until we get more acquainted with awareness and the honing of awareness. See that. See the additional ‘reaction’ of being disappointed that we did not have the threshold of awareness to get beyond our plight. The reactions will continue, because that is where we have consistently invested our energies day-after-day, year-after-year. We need to keep seeing the reactions skillfully, as well as knowing that we do not have to complete our dyed in the wool thought patterns and behavior. Our life, upon examination, shall reveal the degree of separation we have from “who we really are”, in that most of our life was a series of reactions outside of the Moment.
Practicing with and accepting the negative emotions coursing through us (e.g. dislike, hate) allows us the ‘use’ of our “stuff” we already have. That and the unique acceptance of what the universe has given us in terms of ‘situation’, is an advantage to be recognized. These positives of the “negatives”, help us turn into (towards) the rampant emotion with in-depth exploration. The thought of doing this is probably the opposite of what we have previously done, in terms of process. However, the triteness of using a worn out and ineffective process, cries for a change in tactics.
Turning into the repulsiveness of the negativity does not normally inspire us. But doing it in this direct way avoids the “avoiding”. The results will speak for themselves. Turning into the fire of the emotion quenches the reaction of all that old data. “Seeing” is the key when “seeing” is ‘acting’ versus reacting.
The clarity of reality is idealized in the Moment. It is here where there is the least distortion making it the appropriate starting point for everything, especially Awareness and work on self.