How do you apply your teachings to your day to day life?

Awakening for me brought a nondual realization and a seeing through the “me”.  In this area, there is not much to apply.  Many illusions of the mind also dropped away…attachment, fear, and suffering (for the most part).  Occasionally, if there is a noticing of a rising frustration, stress, resistance, or the beginning of some form of discontent…I do what I have repeatedly said in this blog.  I simply allow it, sit with it, look at it, and deepen my understanding of it.

There is not much to apply in regards to nondual realization and a seeing through the “me”, because this is more about being than doing.  I am That…I am the Self…there is no “me”…there is no other or separation…and this has always been the case.  Once ignorance is dispelled and the believed illusion that you are a separate “me” is seen through, there is nothing to practice or apply…you simply are it.

I have spoken about the wave and the ocean.  Once a seeing through the identification of being a wave is seen through and the realization that there is only ocean occurs…you simply are the ocean from that point on.  This is a deep and profound realization that shatters the “being a wave” illusion…to the point there is never a belief in “being a wave” again.  There would be something to practice or apply in this regard only if the identification was still as a wave trying to convince itself that it is the ocean.  Once the identification shatters, there is nothing to apply…you just be it what you always have been (the ocean).

Occasionally, I still experience a rising frustration, stress, resistance, or the beginning of some form of discontent.  Rarely is it in some relation to a “me”.  It is usually a principle or rule that was conditioned which causes the rising experience.  There are many things deeply programmed in us and done through habit or reaction.  In India, they might be called samskaras.

Many enlightened (or assumed so) people have had samskaras after awakening and many dismiss them.  Nisargadatta Maharaj, for example, was known for his temper.  He said it was just a samskara of the body.  He said the body does what the body does and does not concern him…basically dismissing it.  He said he did not suffer from it, but I am pretty sure there was suffering for those around him (on the receiving end).

For me, I don’t see the point of dismissing or excusing samskaras – they exist and are part of experience.  They are just unconscious patterns that keep repeating.  They continue, often enough, only so long as they remain unconscious.  So I do what I have repeatedly said in this blog.  I simply allow it, sit with it, and look at it.  Looking at it deeply brings understanding.  I do not make getting rid of the pattern a goal or some need.  I am simply curious about the roots and causes and delve into it.

My experience is that often when it is understood…it changes on its own.  Often, it ceases to occur…the pattern is dispelled.  Of course, if it does repeat, I don’t beat myself up over it and think less of myself.  I am not doing something to improve myself here…I am simply bringing unconscious patterns into consciousness…and it is fascinating.  Also, if the patterns are dispelled, this is a benefit perhaps for those who are in my life and have to interact with me.

This is really not a doing.  We have no choice but to be aware when we are conscious…so just be aware of the samskara and delve into it.  I don’t try to do anything about it.  I don’t try to change it.  I don’t try to stop doing it.  Simply be aware of it and delve into it more deeply by being aware of it for longer.  To see is to gain understanding.

Let’s move on.  After awakening, I have found that my default normal state is to be present…with a silent mind.  It is now normal for me to not fret about the past or worry about the future.  However, at times, I get caught up in thought and start obsessing on something.  Then I apply what I have always taught in this regard…focus on being 100% devoted to the experience of now.  Feel the body and be aware of all the senses.  At other times, I apply what I have also taught…just cease doing…cease making any (internal) effort of any kind.  It is only in doing something (mentally) that one could not be present, so cease doing that (referring to past and future and imagination) and one is automatically present.

Watching efforting is important.  For example, I don’t try to allow/accept anything.  Instead, there is an attitude of non-resistance and non-denial and I look for where and how I am resisting/denying what is or what was.  Once identified and brought into consciousness, I can cease resisting or denying it (letting go of the effort to resist and deny)…then it is automatically allowed and accepted.  It doesn’t really matter what you do…it matters what you cease doing.  Resisting/denying happens from time to time and it immediately ceases upon consciously seeing the resistance/denial, because I have long understood the futility of resisting or denying what is or what was.  That is trying to resist or deny reality.  Reality always wins.

To expand upon what was said, let me say there is an attitude of non-grasping as well.  If I sense some form of grasping, I just allow it, sit with it, and look at it…thus bringing it into the conscious mind.  I cease making the effort to hold on because I already understand that it is impossible to hold on and the who that would like to hold on is a fiction.  It is an illusory hand grasp at smoke.  So once the grasping is brought into conscious awareness, normally it ceases immediately due to that understanding.  It is rare, but subtle forms of grasping still arise from time to time.

Lastly, along with an attitude of non-resistance, non-denial, and non-grasping…I also try to keep appreciation in mind.  It was many years after awakening that I came to understand that everyday joy (beyond happiness) is more constant with appreciation of what-is.  That is when I started talking about in-joy-ment – the active finding joy in what-is through appreciation of it.  Also, appreciation does cut down on resistance and denial of what-is and helps identify points of resistance or denial.  In order to appreciate what-is, you have to have already allowed and accepted what-is.

It is like a step up from allowing (i.e. non-resistance) in a way…it is one thing to allow (i.e. not resist) what-is and it is another to appreciate what-is for being what it is.  It is like the difference between tolerating someone in your life versus appreciating someone in your life.  That finding value and beauty in what-is makes all the difference in a day to day joyful life.  This is what it really means to embrace life and be engaged.  To live in-joying every moment…without hurrying to get somewhere or somewhen.  To live like every moment is play and not work.  Like in music, you are not trying to get to the end as quickly as possible…instead you are enjoying every moment of the journey.

In summary, I continually apply the teachings of ceasing to do, be still/quiet (internally), and just be aware – whenever I feel some internal resistance or discontent.  Usually, things flow without obstruction or resistance on my part…and so usually I just appreciate and enjoy what-is.  In the end, understanding is all that is needed…and to understand, just look.

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Modern-day house-holder yogi and lover of what-is; living in peace, contentment, and joy.