Cultivating Awareness and Pizza

We are frequently reminded of what is good for us and what is beneficial for us. Sometimes we give in to a lifestyle that is not healthy for the body or the mind. When we do this, we are basically living so much in the body, that we cannot see the bigger picture.

One of the most popular sayings that I often hear is ‘eat, drink and be merry.’ To be honest, this is the most dangerous idea. If we just ate without limits, drank without limits, the only time there will be any merriness will be at one’s funeral. Therefore, balance is always needed. I often think about the times that I do give into temptation of harming my body and mind whether through food or thoughts and it is multiple times in the day.

Cultivating awareness is extremely important if we want to awaken ourselves to a higher way of living. There is a reason why the saints and sages of the past, the mystics have always guided that we think a few times before doing anything. The thinking really is another way of saying ‘BE AWARE’ and I am writing this because right now, there is pizza right next to me and the aroma is enticing but I have had my dinner.  Tonight was my first test and I think I can pass with flying colors!

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The Story of a Bird in a Golden Cage

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There was once a king, who heard the sweet song of a bird. A bird that was able to fly to different branches of different trees, roam in the clear blue sky or thunderous showers. It could see the whole world with it’s wings whenever it wanted. It enjoyed its freedom. However, the King was in love with the birdsong and wanted to hear it every morning.

The King’s Assistant caught the bird and placed it in a  golden cage filled with diamonds, and other precious stones. However, the bird didn’t like the cage because he couldn’t fly and this deeply upset him. He would weep and the King thought the bird was singing a beautiful song and was immensely happy. Unknown to the King, he felt the bird appreciated the golden cage and precious gems, who wouldn’t love it?

One day, the King’s Assistant was assigned to clean the cage, whilst doing so, at the most opportune moment, the bird flew out and didn’t look back. He flew to the nearest branch, he could find.

Watching all this was a parrot and the parrot was annoyed at the bird and said to him, ‘What are you thinking? You had such an amazing home, you had to just sing beautiful songs for the King and you was given a golden cage. You are an idiot for giving up those precious gems. You didn’t even take one out when you left. You have lost everything with your so-called freedom’

The bird listened and after giving some thought, he replied to the parrot, ‘You may live in the cage if you like it so much but I prefer the freedom of roaming in the sky, living day by day and being happy because I am alive.’

Before the bird was intending to finish, the parrot flew inside the cage.

The moral of this story is that we as human beings love to be caged under doctrines, repeat whatever isn’t our own experience, we bound ourselves under religion, nationality, race, gender and color. If by some chance, someone decides to be free, to tread on a path that no one is willing to walk upon, we think they are crazy. However, if we really want the Truth, if we really want enlightenment then we have to do it alone and be willing to live moment to moment, whatever it brings. Yesterday, today and tomorrow will be the same for the parrot in the gems-filled, golden cage. However, every day brings in a new possibility for the bird that found it’s freedom again.

Likewise, if we are stuck on a body level only, then we will only be subject to the laws of the physical. If we choose to let go of this cage of the mind, invest time in thinking, in inquiring about what stops us from living the truth then we can truly transcend the time and live as consciousness, a pure awareness, as the Formless.

Inspired by Osho.

The Body is a Gift

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Today, I was thinking about how important it is to look after our bodies. Where I go for my spiritual practice, it is said there that the body is a gift from the Formless and it can go back to the Formless at any time. It is interesting when I think about this. If everything is the Formless then this body is also the Formless. To understand this simple concept, this actually gets rid of the fear of death, if we see this body that we have as a gift. This way, we understand it is temporary and needs to be utilized to it’s best potential.

We never abuse gifts. If we receive a potted plant as a gift, we place it in the house and we provide water to it, give it ample amount of sunlight and we give nutrients now and then. We ensure it is kept in the best condition.

The question is do we do that with our body? Do we think about what we are consuming and what harm it is doing to our body? Do we exercise enough?

You see, the belief that we should just ‘eat, drink and be merry’ is no way in seeing this body as a gift. In fact, we are actively saying that we can harm it and what affect will it have as I am not the body. However, this is not the way to think, if we truly find the body to be a gift.

I have had to make radical changes in my diet, be firm on exercising enough a day so that I keep my body at its best. In fact, with a good body, it leads to a good mind and they both lead us to have a strong spiritual life.

Hope you enjoy this gift of the body.

Trillions of cells

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today I was thinking about if we perceived human beings on a cellular level then we may find our uniqueness in oneness and unity. Sometimes, we get fixated by the external features so much that we forget that we are all the same. We all have this awareness within us that we are more than the body and the mind because we can observe both.

If we saw people as Bruce Lipton says ‘a community of trillions of cells’ then I feel we will see beyond superficial differences of creed and beliefs. We would put them aside and understand that love is the only thing that will bind us together.

Simply put in this blog post, I just felt like I could really appreciate life all around me, the people, nature and the universe itself. I have this overwhelming emotion of how lucky that I am to be alive on a planet that is billions of years old. What is even more amazing is that I have written this and you have read it and made it your own.

Are you the product of your choices?

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This questions always takes me to a contemplative state.

Do I make the choices or have external situations slithered their way into making the choices for me?

I believe the most powerful tool that we have is the human mind. The human mind has a choice on what thoughts it wants to entertain. If this is the case then although there may be external influences on one’s thoughts, it is observed that we have the choice to accept it or not. This may require a level of self-awareness initially in order to recognize such circumstances.

“The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own . . .” — Epictetus, Discourses, 2.5.4–5

As we read from Epictetus, it is simple that we have to understand what is under my control. The body and all that is attached to it is not under our control. We could get an illness and that is an external influence as we have little control over that. However, the mind has the choice to accept a thought or not.

When we accept that we make our own choices, we tend to live a life stemmed in awareness and strive for understanding. We are calm as we know that we can’t blame other people or situations. Having an acute awareness of every thought is what makes every thought more precious and undeniably our own possession. Positive thinking does more with the mind than anything else.

Past

shadows-of-past-bwEveryday can feel like a test. Anything you do, you may find peace in it and then suddenly something has to disturb it. Or a situation occurs and you question whether it is to throw you two steps back or brings things forward.

Recently, I have found that I am being tested a lot. You feel that you are about to enter a comfortable few moments of your life and things seem to be working your way and then a blast from the past arrives and it weaves it’s sacred way into your present. You realise that this situation has arisen because there is a lesson to be learned but what is the lesson? What am I suppose to do? What is the best thing to do?

Inner turmoil appears and disappears, appears and disappears and finally you come to a nice sanctuary – your inner Self. Away from the hustle bustle of thought, the unnecessary chat, the falsifying expressions of emotion and feelings and the sanctuary feels like the best place to be…until it chucks you out.

You know that the best thing that happened to you was in the past and now that it makes your way into the present, you are a little confused. I say ‘you’ but I mean ‘I’! Here is my reflection and therefore I continue. You feel that the best thing wants you, it desires you abut there is a problem! The future is knocking and the present moment will not let it in. The future is shouting and expressing so much to lure you into giving up so that the present can feature the future. But neither the past nor future is real but only your present. Now, is your present worthy to keep the past or is it worthy to continue into the future.

Very rarely but it happens, you are chatting to someone whom you care about deeply, you feel high like as if you have taken a drug whenever you speak to this person. And although this person doesn’t admit it, they feel high after speaking to you. It’s amazing, it’s everything you want but whatever makes you high will result either in a crash landing or a safe landing.

Crash!

The landing is always rough and uncontrollable. The future that looked stable has a new dimension added into it. The past wants a piece of it. And me, the present wants the past. No matter how many times it has let me down, disappointed me, distracted me, disturbed me, I find an incredible urge, desire, need to allow this past take charge of my present.

I am being really cryptic at the moment, using different styles because this is what happens when you become more intune with yourself. Nothing is ever linear. Nothing can occur in successive linear movement, life is full of waves, it travels in waves and it is best to surf on the tide!

People want answers and you can’t give any. Is there an answer? Do I need to give an answer? I don’t know. Do I need answers? Definitely. Maybe it is time to take a step back and see what I want. I need to take some time for myself and allow the limitations of my mind explore the vastness of what is occurring. Let life flow with absolute ease and beauty. Maybe the past can build in the present to create a wonderful future.

His love and blessings,
Rahul