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Be Yourself Explained

I confess that I actually don’t really understand when someone tells me to be “myself” on certain occasions: be it going to a party, a job interview, meeting someone new etc. 100 percent of the times I don’t even ask a simple question like “What do you mean “be myself”? Do you know myself more than I am? I just take it for granted that whatever it is, it means good though this “myself” seems to change depending on circumstances. Maybe they mean my “best self”? My “best self” also varies depending on, again, a lot of factors. My best self at this moment won’t be the same in the next hour, let alone tomorrow. My best self may also not be up to someone else’s standard of best self so…

unchanging self

Since my changing self is not a reliable indicator to be the best self, I will have to go with something permanent in myself that is always there, always present, always blissful and unchanging otherwise my best self will always be a relative thing that’s unpredictable. I may go kinda crazy one minute, all sane and chipper the next one. Ok, look at your beloved: in my case, I’ll take my spoiled dog as an example. We’ve taken care of him since he was 3 days old–He’s been through the puppyhood, and now adulthood almost seniorhood. From 25 ounces of flesh, blood and fur to now 125 lbs. His body, personality, and behaviour have changed over the years, yet something in him never changes. Despite all the changes, there’s something unchanging that most of us (yup I am no exception) take for granted. Through all these changes, we still think they are our beloved(s) and we love them no matter what.

So yes, be your unchanging self…The one that’s lovable despite all the changing phenomena. The one you love no matter what, and that includes yourself.

-D

(Image taken from Google Images)

Some people (on TV and anywhere else) keep saying that “This is a new normal”–self-quarantine, social distancing and other safety measures we aren’t used to. Normalcy is a relative term. What is normal? The world is always changing, that much I know. Earthquakes, accidents, disasters, and other dis-eases happen and to those affected, their lives are no longer the same as before. The only thing different about this virus is it affects almost everybody and it doesn’t discriminate. When something like this hits our very own home, we don’t have anymore excuses like, “It happens to someone else somewhere else, not me, not here.” Well, it is here and it hits your home and most likely your feelings and your overall well beings (not feeling in control? panic? anxious? scared? accepting? peace?)

While the world seems to be in a panic mode (let me be more specific: the social medias, the medias aka TVs, newspapers etc) I check the yards and find the squirrels are still running around, crows are still flying here and there, birds are still chirping, springs flowers are getting ready to bloom. At this moment of me writing this, the sun is out–unaffected by things that go on in the world She gives light to.

It’s peaceful watching these creatures–they just go with the flow of the changing world. Why go back to the “world before”? Things change. It’s inevitable. We were born, we grew up and eventually what was born will die but LIFE goes on…

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If this so called pandemic is destined to happen, it will happen (is happening) anyway–whether or not I feel worried/anxious/angry/fearful etc . Yes, some will die because of this disease before a cure is available, but is my worry, anxiety, anger, fear etc going to make me feel better or make the virus stop? I ask myself what makes me feel more at peace with whats happening–does agitation help me feel that way? If not, maybe it’s time for a different approach.

That being said, I practice what the medical experts suggest to avoid getting and spreading the coronavirus. I do what I can but I am not sticking to the end result because I don’t know the end result. I can only be at this moment and do what I can at this moment because….whatever is destined to happen, will happen. I am at peace and very okay with that. The world keeps changing, it’s just her nature. The sooner I accept what is happening, the sooner acceptance begins and the more peaceful I will be.
Go with the change. Let the world unfold her destiny. I’ve learned that resisting the flow is just extremely tiring, mentally draining. Go with the flow, not fight against it.

-D

(Pic taken from Google Images)

When did I start seeking “spirituality”? On and off over two decades, more often off. There has always been this general feeling that I simply couldn’t accept life as I understood it. Countless books I have read over so many years. Listening to my parents as a child and young adult didn’t give me any spiritual satisfaction. I found religions didn’t really “touch” me–I thought they did, but later found out they didn’t because they didn’t stick. I was still in the world of ups and downs, good and bad, rich and poor, joy and sorrow, superior and inferior etc etc. With things going on in the name of this or that religion, I wasn’t impressed. I didn’t consider myself having any spiritual and/or religious background. My folks practiced their own religion but they didn’t force me or teach me what they believed in. Looking at it now, maybe that was a good thing because I started seeking my own path (amidst lots of confusion and feeling like I didn’t belong). In a place where someone had to belong to a certain religion-you had to name/fill out your religion in your ID card- this wasn’t an easy thing to do especially when you were young. Generally people tend to feel secure when they belong to a certain group. There’s safety in number they say.

Then I bumped into a book called “Conversations with God” 1 more than a decade ago in a local thrift store. I started reading it and well, it kinda resonated with me. Made more sense than any other books I had ever come across at that point in my life. I thought, yep, the God in the book was surely the One I could relate with. He answered lots of my life’s questions and they made sense to me. I continued on with reading the other 2 Conversations over the years-on and off- I thought I understood the gist of it and life went on, with its ups and downs as usual. Most of what I got from reading all those books have been superficial knowledge. Information. They settled in my cognitive part of the brain. Well, some words or phrases must have stuck with me because I remember them in some contextual circumstances.

It’s true, at least in my case, that distressed situations sometimes force one to question lots of things in life–only this time it was no longer on a superficial level. It became very personal. I started reading more things (books which I later donated without finishing reading them because they just felt so “blah” and I found no comfort in reading them) and came back again to reading Conversations with God more carefully. Audio and actual hard copies.

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The phrase “I am that I am” in one of those books led me to search online (youtube) to see what came up. One thing that caught my eye was Nisargadatta Maharaj’s “I am that” and “Who am I” Sri Ramana Maharshi. Somehow I felt compelled to read Sri Ramana’s works. I was fascinated by him, his works as well as his life. I wondered why I didn’t even come across his teachings sooner or heard of him before. I heard of Yogananda and Jiddu Krishnamurti, to name a couple but didn’t have the urge to find out more about them.

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My search came to an end. Conversations with God trilogy have been a great read and somehow I felt that those books were there to prepare me for Ramana’s gems. His works so far have taken me to a deeper understanding that it is possible to realize the God within. As a matter of fact, possible is not the right word to use because we are THAT. Remove the ignorance and I am THAT. I trust the Guru who lived as his natural SELF in the body while he was physically alive. I personally trust Bhagavan was physically born on this planet to be the SUN who pointed to many others who they are. It really resonated with me. I have been diving within and I’ll leave the outcomes in the Hands of Life.

-D

(Pics with quotes taken from Google Images)

Be still and know…

“Be still and know that I am God.”  To be still is not to think.  Know, and not think, is the key.

-Taken from “Talks with Ramana Maharshi” page 90

be still

(Picture taken from Google Images)

-D

Still You

Have you ever dreamed of people/things that look completely different in ways, shapes, and forms but known deep inside that it is them: people or things that you know? I think I have had at least a couple of dreams like these. Dreams when I realize they are dreams I wake up and say: It doesn’t look like him/her/it, but I just know it’s him/her/it. It just feels like them no matter what their “forms” look like.

MASK

I like to think it’s the part of them that never changes that I always recognize. Their essence. Their energy. Change as you may, but I still know it’s you. Somehow this gives me a sense of peace: the feeling of knowing that masks don’t matter. Replace them as many times as you want, I will see right through them…I simply know it’s still you.

(Pic by Google Images)

-D

Row Row Row Your Boat

Gently down the stream. Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream. It’s a nursery rhyme I heard and sang more than two decades ago in an English class without thinking too much what it meant or where it came from. The origin of the song is listed as unknown according to the internet.

The rhyme comes back to me in recent days, only now I have a different perspective . I’ve been pretty nauseated with the transient life as is…ups and downs, downs and ups, temporary this and that. I want a certain thing, get that, temporary happiness, not satisfied, wanting another thing etc etc and the cycles keep going. That was my perspective in life then, still sometimes is, as old habits are hard to break but not impossible at all to change.

Different sources that I have read or watched give me an insight that this life as I know it is nothing more or less than a dream. Everything is a dream till I wake up to the actual reality that’s hidden somewhere inside me but NEVER lost. I just haven’t found it yet and I know there is a time (usually when I least expect it and give up “trying”) it all will come back flooding me.

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I dream of being born. I dream of being dead. I dream of being married. I dream of having things. I dream of being my body and the need to decorate it. I dream of having a very important job. I even dream of wanting other people’s existence (usually the ones with more money, more stuff, more wisdom, more this and that) I am ending this dream, and starting the beginning of what’s real. Dreams come. Dreams go. Dreams are transient. So yeah, life is a series of dreams so row row row your boat, gently down the stream….merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream.

(Pic by Google Images)

-D

Unclutter My Home

First: Happy New Year–3 “useless” words to describe a “new” time, and time is neither new nor old. Time is always that: time–we divide and separate time for our practical purposes though time itself never changes.

Anyway. I decided to unclutter my home in the past week. Getting rid of things that didn’t serve their purposes anymore. Clothes I liked but didn’t wear, things I kept but didn’t see: old letters, christmas cards, thank you cards, knicks knacks. You know, stuff…Why did I keep them if they no longer had any use? I am not sure why I became so attached to them all these years. I collected and collected and collected and then wasn’t aware that I had been collecting all these trashes? Mind you, on a “physical” level, I wasn’t considered (by others opinion) to be one who liked to compulsively buy and collect stuff though opinion is always that: opinion and always relative.

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I saw what these junks left me with: empty spaces! Spaces I didn’t see before because all these things hid them from my sight. It was almost a relief when I saw them gone. Somehow it also felt like a pretty heavy load of burden being lifted up from me. If these physical trashes were my useless mental thoughts, imagine that! Lots of freedom at last! More room for myself! Now…off to unclutter my mental thoughts…and these are going to need lots of practice and discipline (so help me God–and I simply know She already has helped me)

(Pic by Google Images)

-D