The Inner Journey 

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img_8747When you first embark on your inner journey, you assume it will liberate you of your sorrows and bring you to a state of unending bliss. After all that is the reason you have chosen this path.
Little do you know of the darkness you may have to face, you are totally shocked and thrown off your comfortable seat! Why me, you say, this can’t be happening. I meditated, read the books, did the affirmations, chanting or whatever you thought you were supposed to do.

Well my dear, you woke the sleeping demons. The ones you’ve been collecting for ages and hiding away from your sight, yet inside you for sure.

Face them, embrace them and they will dissolve. It will be quite and peaceful and pretty for a while. And just when you think you’ve got it, getting cozy in your new found enlightenment, there you’re thrown off again. Caught totally off guard by another demon, then another.

Many people give up somewhere at this point. Resign to a fate of action reaction. Helpless at the hands of life.

The brave few, the curious ones once again embrace them, go even deeper into themselves. And find another level of bliss.

How long you say, I don’t know. Till the angels and demons look the same to you? Till you see through the dream? Till you laugh at the perfection of it all?

The journey outwards in the world seems endless, a life time isn’t enough. And I guess it’s the same for inwards, endless and a life time not enough.

The illusion of control

What are we really controlling? How about the functions of our own body?Are we controlling our hearts, beating and pumping blood every second, weather we’re awake or asleep, conscious or unconscious?

The monkey mind, if we observe the various absolutely unrelated thoughts coming and passing, if we actually spoke every thought we would realise within minutes how crazy we sound.

How about our breath? Are we controlling our lungs? When the first breath came, did we decide to breathe?

Day and night we are breathing, weather we remember to or not. When the last breath will leave, try as we may, the next won’t come in……

In fact we are being breathed, by some power we have no means to comprehend. 

The illusion we call our life is only held together by the continuity it seems to have. Otherwise it’s no different than our dreams. Every sense organ is sending signals to the brain which then produces this picture we see, hear, smell and feel. Translation of vibrations, that’s all. 

But what about dreams? We see, hear, feel them too. Only to realise when we wake up that we were lying asleep in our beds, how then did it seem so real?
I do not breathe, the Divine breathes through me.
I am not the doer, and who is this I? It’s keeps changing from embryo to baby to adult to old until finally a corpse. 

Just for a while, we appear, we experience life and then disappear….

In this beautiful dance of the cosmos, the me I know, a little leaf floating. Thinking I am this and that, I’ve done all this and reached somewhere. Like a house of cards, built and blown away. 

How then to live my life? I don’t know! All I know is Divine is Incharge, and in him I trust, I’m taken care of as a baby in my mother’s arms.

Thoughts, don’t believe them

Thoughts are just arising on their own accord. We don’t really control them, they’re coming and going at their own will. We give attention to some of them which gives them energy and then we latch on to their story. Rest just rise and die and we forget they occurred.

It’s surprising to come across this at first, but if we observe them, we see how senseless it all is. Try it when you wake up in the morning, you’re still sleepy and all sorts of vague thoughts rush through your mind. You haven’t yet had time to decide what you want to think!

When we start observing them, knowing they’re not real, they burst like little bubbles and pass. 

We are not our thoughts, we are the witness to them. The restlessness they bring, we can observe from a calmer place. Probably the first step in knowing who we really are is by knowing who we are not.

Motivation or Inspiration 

My favourite quote on motivation-

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

Zig Ziglar 

Motivation goes a long way in helping us achieve what we set out to do. It’s the means to move with enthusiasm towards achieving a goal. 

Motivation will push you to climb the high mountain, to reach the top even if you face hurdles on the way, it’ll keep you going.

Inspiration will let you know if it’s your mountain to even begin to climb.

Hmmm. Now that’s a big one. 

To live a life of inspiration, one has to know oneself. When your mind is free of clutter, you soul will speak. When you’re calm and your heart filled with joy, what is it that you feel like doing? That’s inspiration. Your divine calling. 

That’s where artists, musicians, inventors and even scientists create their priceless pieces. However you don’t need to be any of those to lead an inspired life. Your calling may be to create something for the world to see, or it may be a simple life of happy moments filled with love. 

Go within to know what makes your heart sing. 

You may or may not be able to make it your profession but you can make space for it in your daily life. 

Who knows, maybe you’ll feel inspired to live the life you’re already leading, discover that there’s nowhere to go in order to be where you wish to be. In your daily chores you find heaven to be right here. It was here all along, waiting for you to notice.

The state of our Wakefulness 

We experience life at many levels according to our state of awareness. Interchangeable, gross to subtle, not in any particular order.
There’s the action level, which is the most obvious and common way to look at it. What you do about what’s happening or what you want. What should others be doing, which they’re usually not and never will.
There’s the emotional level. We can wallow in self pity, be enraged, happy, satisfied, all reactions to life’s circumstances.
Then there’s the new age energy level. This is where it all gets so interesting. When we learn that by changing our energy, the circumstances begin to change. Many people never learn about or reach this stage. Only the lucky few. There are many ways we learn this, law of attraction, affirmations, chanting, ho’oponopono, reiki and many other new and old forms of healing or changing our lives.

Many of us are happy to be here and remain here as it gives us solutions or atleast hope. 
Then there are the thirsty few….. been there, done that, in this or another life time. Or when the above methods fail, few will fall back to the action level. Few will look for answers. Now what? 

The search for yourself and for your Creator, nothing less will satisfy you. Meditation, introspection, no will to change things, more inclined to accept and understand. To realise how temporary everything is. Here begins a life long journey of self discovery. Dropping the act, dropping the masks we have worn over the years, to fit in, to protect ourselves. Peeling the layers. Watching what’s happening inside, being the spectator and not participating in the drama of our own thoughts. Watching our own delusions fall away. Dissolving the gap between cravings and aversions, taking the middle path of Budhha. 

Is this the destination?

No, it’s a journey. 

Do you walk straight on the path?

No, you stray, but you keep coming back. You’ve tasted freedom. 

Of being aware. Being awake. 

Be present where you are

Being present where you are is the secret to happiness. How many meals have we eaten without tasting and how many conversations without listening? How many times have we driven to work and not realised how we got there?
Multitasking is a myth, you only jumble up everything, ending up with being tired instead of satisfied. 
This is your life, how you spend your time. One moment after another can be so deeply satisfying doing the simplest of tasks like having tea, cleaning your home or gazing deeply into the eyes of the person you’re speaking to as if their words are the only sound you hear.

You’ll still get the same amount of things done. Being more aware, you might drop a few things that occupy your day. 

As your mind gets used to being fully present, you also realise the futility of trying to get everything over and done with. There will always be something to do. The only place where activities cease is the grave. 

Since we pack our days with so much action, we start believing that the world will fall apart if we don’t do it all. 

Have you heard the saying- 

The graveyards are full of indispensable people.

 So do as much as you can while being fully present. This is the best gift you’ll give yourself and to your loved ones. You’ll actually enjoy spending time together and not just the idea of it. 
This is life, now is all you have. Live it fully, one moment at a time. 

My life, my choice

Everything you do is because you choose to do it. Every single thing. Think about it. So you may say, oh no, I do this because I have to, I do that because it’s my duty or I have to do these things because of so and so……

No one can make you do it if you choose not to do it.

This is the single most liberating thought in the world. 

When I first read something that implied this, my mind revolted. Then I applied it to every single thing I did that day. Why am I doing this? What will happen if I don’t? The bottom line was, whatever reason I may give myself, it WAS my choice.

When you start operating with this thought, it’s much more rewarding to do everything and most importantly you infuse it with your love and approval.

I do things for my children or husband or family because I want to do it for them. I do things at work because I want to work and do my best at that. You get the idea.

The only question to ask yourself before anything you do, is this what I choose to do? And life my dear, is just a way to express who you are and who you choose to become! 

Be Human not perfect

We are all broken after the storm. We get up and patch ourselves up, not as good as new, but the best we can manage. We put one foot ahead of another and carry on because we are brave, because we won’t give up.

Inside though, we are more bruised than we choose to admit, even to ourselves, so don’t press where it hurts.

Tell me if there’s anything good you see in me, the flaws I magnify enough already. This goes for everyone in your life, including you. We criticise ourselves enough, don’t be fooled by our brave and confident front. We already don’t think we’re good enough. We don’t know that life isn’t about being perfect, it’s about love. Love is what we live for. 

We’re learning, we’re growing and with a little appreciation we’ll grow with love. We’ll only wilt and become bitter with criticism.

None of us will ever be perfect, that doesn’t have to stop us from being nice.  Don’t even aim for perfection, just be human, that’s enough. That’s who we are.

Life is short and unpredictable. We can just live and love each day that we have. The only regret I don’t wish to have is not telling my loved ones how wonderful I think they are, how much they add to my life by just being in it.

Peace is possible 

This is the story of a man who lives in a beautiful house. Everything is clean and sparkling and peaceful. Every morning he steps out of the house to do his daily chores. In the evening, when he gets back home, all the people he met during the day follow him home. They eat with him, make noise all over the house, even while he sleeps. 
Next morning he again goes out, although a little more disturbed today. The same thing is repeated. He brings everyone he meets back home. There are happy people, angry and sad people, all sorts of them. At home the voice of the happy people often gets buried under the loud noises of the negative ones. 
This continues everyday and his house begins to suffer. The fresh air turns stale, the furniture get dirty and worn out. There is stuff thrown all over the floor in the rooms. 

Soon he gets no rest when he returns home and this affects everything he does during the day. 
One day, as he sits in melancholy outside, he meets an old friend. His friend tells him that all the guests in his house are responsible for his misery. 
 So he goes back home that day and asks the guests to leave. At first no one is listening to him, but he doesn’t give up. 
 Peace is possible.
He dedicates an hour everyday to cleaning his house. Picks up the broom and starts cleaning. He starts ignoring his guests. Some leave, some get louder before they leave. With his continuous effort the house starts getting cleaner, quieter and more peaceful. He is so happy to have the old days back.

He goes back to thank his friend. His friend now gives him the best advice. He says it’s not enough that you clean your house daily. In order for it to remain this way you must watch who is following you home and not let them in. It’s not difficult, just be aware of what you’re doing. Do everything mindfully, with your full attention.

He now invites this friend to live with him but his friend declines. He wouldn’t be a true friend if he didn’t set him free from needing anyone else.
This beautiful house is our mind, the master being us. All the guests occupying our mind are the thousands of thoughts we think in a day and that keep our mind cluttered. 
The friend we meet is a guide, maybe in the form of a guru, a book, a friend, anything or anyone that triggers a thirst for inner peace. The cleaning hour is time for meditation, the broom being our breath. 
Many people get discouraged when they begin their meditation practice. Just remember the guests don’t want to leave, only your attention to them keeps them alive. So be patient, clean everyday. It may look fruitless but it isn’t, you’ll see soon. And lastly, eventually it’s your own journey, don’t depend on any guru or philosophy forever. Your path is one that has never been walked before. Take help but learn to walk on your own.