La Vita e Bella – freeing ourself from the mind
Yes, life can be beautiful (La Vita e Bella) but we also often suffer. The movie La Vita e Bella contains both and it is one of my favorite movies ever. I don’t want to write a depressing blog but humanity doesn’t seem to get its shit together. Fortunately the causalities of war are on the decline (which sounds crazy with Syria in mind), more people seem to be living in freedom then say hundred or more years ago and we are wealthier then ever. But still. I never preached (nor feel I inclided to start) about making the understanding of our mind a priority. However it’s the only way, as I see it, to really reverse suffering in our world. Maybe it is part of a necessary evolution and needs to happen before we can wake up from our dream. But why wait? Let’s start understanding and challenging our mind. Stop its enslavement and become free!
The Wheel of Samsara
In Buddhism they often talk about the never-ending wheel of Samsara (ego). In short it means that if we don’t investigate and transcend the mind we will never be able to escape the cycle of suffering. Don’t you see how crazy it is that we always want more (bigger houses, more stuff), we find it so important to be right that we are willing to alienate the people we love. We can even hurt or kill people because we think we know the truth! We see the thoughts that pop up in our head as objective truths, instead of seeing them as passing clouds. And of course they are needed in our day to day live but if we look closely they are far from what we really are.
Overlooking our true nature
I hope I haven’t lost you already because I want to discuss my observations in mindfulness trainings. Over and over I see with participants – recognize it in myself and in the outside world – that we suffer because we fight with what-is. We overlook the one that notices the thoughts and feelings or all other experiences. The latter is not easy to discover but if we listen carefully to Eckhart Tolle, Matthieu Ricard or Rupert Spira we can taste it. Then we start to see the absurdity of how most people live and the harm we can do to each other and ourselves.
Believe in the separate-self
I am not saying that I know it all, actually the more I know the more I realize I don’t know. Aristotle’s? Unfortunately I still play my part in keeping the suffering alive. When on the bike I sometimes cut off people, I shy away from truth if it scared me enough and at times I can feel better or less then others. I really dislike these thoughts but I start to see they have their existence because I believe in them. In a separate me that thinks these thoughts to be his own, something that comes and goes (like the wind or the smell of flowers). On the bright side I increasingly feel my true nature, the stillness and openness behind all worldly experiences and things; The oneness (awareness) in which we all have our being. Its peace and joy can surprise me, until old conditioning re-emerges and brings me out it again. Knowing that in reality nothing can bring us ‘out’ of ourselves but it does feel like that.
Doesn’t it make you curious when you look at people like the Dalai Lama, Adyashanti, Mooji, Matthieu Ricard, Eckhart Tolle or many other spiritual people? Don’t you feel you want to be near their infectious happiness, peace and joy? Doesn’t it feel different then looking at the famous CEOs like Steve Jobs, Elon Tusk or Mark Zuckerburg? Don’t we all want happiness, joy and love above success, material gain or power? Why then is the majority of humanity investing so much time in the latter?
Hypnotizes by thought
The only answer I can come up with is ignorance. The ignoring of our own personal pain (therefore our inability to connect to the suffering of others), the lack of connectivity with our feelings but more important the ignoring of our own being. Our tendency to be hypnotized by our thoughts and loosing ourselves in experience. With it we ignore and overlook our essential nature. Happiness. Love. Stillness. Awareness. Presence. Give it a name. Or as Eckhart Tolle explains it in the video below, knowing the deepest level of ourselves.
Don’t agree with me but maybe you get curious and start to investigate for yourself, in your own experience, what is true for you. Rupert Spira always says. Trust your experience above all else, because what else can we verify truth with? The beautiful teacher Katiza, who I recently saw at the Inner Peace Conference, calls it growing up. She invites us to stop acting like children and become grown-ups. Let’s end with the wise Buddism teacher Longchempa.
“we should cast aside all childish games that fetter and exhaust body, speech and mind; and stretching out in inconceivable non-action, in the unstructured matrix, the actuality of emptiness, where the natural perfection of reality lies, we should gaze at the uncontrived sameness of every experience, all conditioning and ambition resolved with finality.”