Sometimes, some of us perceive ourselves as being stuck in our current situation. We do all we can to change the external stuff, not realizing that it is really our perception, or way of thinking that needs changing.
We have discussed how our feelings and thoughts are not who we really are and I would like to discuss this further.
When you go beyond your thoughts and emotions, who are you? What lies back there?
For many people, including myself, working through past trauma and a messed up way of thinking/feeling, allowed me to shed the false sense of who I thought I was. I knew that there had to be more than life than being in mental, emotional and spiritual anguish and yet the thought occurred to me that when I finally did strip away all those thoughts/emotions…what would I be left with? At the time it didn’t matter. I just knew that it had to be better than where I was. Many people who experience profound pain ask themselves the deeper questions and begin to find their answers. I’m not saying that everyone who searches their spiritual path at one point experienced pain (Buddha lived in prosperity) but I think being in pain forces one to do anything to try and understand or go beyond it.
We are all told from a very young age, how to act, think or feel, which causes us to become limited in our beliefs about ourselves. We are taught by our external world that we are limited beings living in a box. Often times we are taught by people who themselves, have a limited understanding and belief about themselves and therefore, project that same belief unto you. When you hear someone say, ‘think outside the box”, this means to think outside your own limited way of understanding. It is not so easy to do initially when you don’t see that there is even a way of thinking outside the box. So we live within this confinement and over time, develop a false sense of things…including ourselves.
Meditation is one way to begin to think outside the box. Meditation is not about focus, or keeping all thoughts out of our awareness. It is about noticing that thoughts are swimming around up there and not focusing or on those thoughts. Whether a mantra is used during meditation, or just watching your breath, when a thought enters your mind, change your focus back to the mantra or breath watching. During the practice, you will soon notice a gap…a space between your thoughts and something deeper. It’s a quiet space where there is nothing…no thought…and you realize at that moment that you were “aware”. This “awareness” is the conscious being who watches the thoughts…(you) The first time I touched this space, it was just for a split second, but in that flash, I experienced wholeness. A place where there is so much peace and bliss. And at that same time, I felt eternity. I knew what eternity felt like…a sense of limitlessness…and then I knew. I was a part of this vast Wholeness…or Consciousness…this is who I am…expansive. This place that I experienced was a feeling of wholeness, the One Conscious mind or the “Allness”…and I was a part of it. I was connected to it and everything and everyone around me. I’m a conscious being that was a part of a bigger Consciousness. It is as if we are all droplets in the vast ocean. Separate, and yet a part of the ocean and really, it is hard to separate out each drop in the ocean because it all seems to “blend together”.
This was the beginning of my awakening. The awakening is a process where a person realizes that they are no longer the limited person that they had perceived themselves to be. They begin to see that they go beyond just who they think they are, and see that they are a part of something so vast, so wonderful and so loving. It is an overwhelming feeling.
Over time, one can begin to strip away the falseness of who they think they are by tearing down many of the labels that had been placed on them…either by the external world or themselves. I mentioned meditation above but this is not the only way. Everyone has that inner voice or deeper/higher self that will guide them in the way that they should go. If you are sincere in wanting to know, you will be shown. There is a saying in the spiritual community: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. So however you decide to take this trek, trust that you will be guided.
…And once you’ve experienced the wholeness, there is no going back. You can not “un-know” what you now know and along with this, you begin to see that there isn’t really a “me” and a “you” but us…because we are ALL connected. If we all understood this, there would be no hatred, prejudice or wars. We are all in this together but each living separate lives having different experiences.
If we continue to believe what we believe with a limited understanding or perception, our understanding at that moment is unable to go beyond what we think we know. With expanded consciousness, we begin to break down the walls or confines of our beliefs by going beyond our own limited way of thinking. So in the beginning of our journey, it is important to keep an open mind…after all, our limited understanding up until that point hadn’t gotten us very far.
In conclusion, our thoughts and emotions are a part of our daily lives but it doesn’t describe who we are. We have to live with these thoughts/emotions daily but when we see that we are a part of something bigger, we begin to change the way we perceive life and everything in it. The implications of this awareness is astounding. It becomes easy to let go of our limited beliefs about ourselves and others because we now understand that we are limitless and many of the negative thoughts or emotions we had about ourselves begin to fall away.
I believe that more and more people are beginning to realize this in our present day. People are not so willing anymore to live within the confines of how the world tells them to live. They are beginning to break out of those small boxes where they have lived for so long.
Keep on trekking!