One of the most difficult things to do is paradoxically to simply do nothing and just be. We are constantly plagued by thoughts and emotions pulling us this way and that. A torrent of activity that seems impossible to stop.
In desperation the only option that seems to work is to create or find coping strategies to shut out or numb the relentless activity that goes on inside. For me it was an electric guitar and to play it loud! That was my ‘escape’. Later at University it was cannabis and alcohol that kept me sane, but then the down side is the hangover. Bumma! Listen, there’s nothing wrong in having a party! … maybe just not every day.
If even a harmful activity becomes ‘addictive’, compulsive or with a bursting need, then it is a barrier to just Being.
Other addictions can be anything where there is a compulsion, that I have to do this in order to feel at ease or alive. Such as work, sex, sport.
These activities can be harmful and they can be nourishing but if something becomes ‘addictive’, compulsive or with a bursting need, then it is a barrier to just Being. It is just an another mechanism of how to escape from our self. The mind is clever and the personality does not give up so easily. So it is relentless in seducing you with some activity to distract your attention. This takes a lot of energy away from Presence and Being.
The positive side of any activity arrives when it comes from Being. It feels natural and you are just flowing with the river, instead of fighting or pushing against it. At that moment you are not doing – you are becoming whatever you are doing, you are becoming the creation process itself. Your personality is silent and Being is expressing itself through you. At that moment you are not doing – you are becoming whatever you are doing, you are becoming the creation process itself.
This is the meditative and nourishing space for any activity.
What I am pointing at here is the compulsion to engage in an activity in order to escape from the constant mental and emotional activity created by the mind.
When there is a deep identification to the mind and it’s stories it is as if the mind is ‘I’. It feels real and of course the stories are real, in a sense, as they are there in our external lives. What makes it hard is the complete identification to the motion of thought and emotions. There is little space for us to really feel our Being, to rest and to be still.
What makes it hard is the complete identification to the motion of thought and emotions.
So what is the ‘I’ that is completely free from our personal self or from our mind? It is our natural state, the Observer, the watcher of the content of our experience. Then there is the ‘false I’, the ego, the chattering mind, the personality that is created after we are born.
So to just Be, we first need to become aware of the difference between the ‘false I’, and the Observer. The most direct way to know that is by the full and committed contemplation of the question, ‘Who am I?’. This enquiry has been used for centuries and can lead to a direct connection to your essential Self. This observer.
A simple meditation is to find a quiet spot, sit and ask yourself, ‘Who am I?’. Connect with the full experience of your self in this moment and observe. Watching thoughts, feelings, memories, the body, sounds, the full content of your experience. Right now! just being aware of whatsoever is happening.
The mind will jump in and the 5 Steps Into the Present article can help to support your enquiry with steps to stay present. Enquiry is a beautiful and gentle way to deeply connect, to observe and to understand your true nature.
The ‘I’ that is completely free from our personality or mind is our natural state, the Observer, the watcher of the content of our experience.
This is enquiring approach is the essence of the Enlightenment Intensive process and is by far the most effective technique that I have found to bring a direct connection to the present moment. Once you know what it is like, it becomes much easier to practice. Nevertheless, the journey starts with a single step and that can be as simple as having an intention. To Know My Self!
Wishing you all the best on your personal exploration.