Remembrance

pantaimalinkundang

Pantai Air Manis, Padang. 2012

Have you ever felt that you are seeking something?

That something is missing in your life, and you can’t really put your finger to it, or define what is it that is missing? You just know that there’s got to be something more than this.

You try to fill that gap with many things.

First you try to fill it with material things. Stuffs. Cars. Bags. Branded clothes. Gadgets. Etc. But material things doesn’t make that gap go away.

And then you try to fill it with non-material things. Relationships. Achievements. Career. Holidays. Power. Status. But non-material things doesn’t make that gap go away.

And then you try to fill it with even more subtle things. You seek knowledge. Read  books. Study ancient and current wisdoms. Perhaps devote yourself to a religion. Or maybe practice spirituality. Yet these subtle things doesn’t make that gap go away.

Because…

THERE IS NO GAP AT THE FIRST PLACE

You are complete. You are whole. You are already perfect.

You just forgotten that you are whole. You are suffering from delusion. Delusion that you are separated. That there is a gap.

You are already whole. You don’t need anything from outside. You just forgotten.

And all those wisdom, books, teachers, rituals… are reminders. To help you remember.

To help you remember that you are whole.

In Alan Watts’ words:

“You’re it.”

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Perception vs Reality

AXE_Scent Changes Sight_Hi-Res

This Axe advertisement shows Perception vs Reality in multiple layers. First layer is the ad’s message: that wearing a certain scent will change the perceived sexual appeal of a person. Second layer is that an advertisement is all about perception – the brand wants to be perceived as something cool and sexy.

Still continuing with the topic of seeing the world as it is.

Previous posts:

In the previous posts we discussed about how everything is perception and it is us that project exaggerated qualities to an object. Because of our perception, the same object can cause both pleasant and unpleasant emotions to arise, and it’s a subjective experience (no two people experience exactly the same thing out of the same object).

Now that we know everything is perception & everything is in the mind, we should be able to operate with a more clear filter, yes? We should be able to become less attached (less like-dislike, clinging-reject, raga-dvesha), yes? Not quite. We are so used to equating perception with reality, that it has become an ingrained habit. It’s like when we’re wearing eyeglasses, because we are so used to wearing it, we forgot we are wearing it. We’re so used in seeing the world through filters, we forgot there are filters.

How do we remember that we have this filter of perception?

Just like when we forgot we’re wearing eyeglasses, when we saw our reflection in the mirror, we saw that we are wearing eyeglasses. When we take time to reflect, we realize that we have perception. We remember through reflection & contemplation. The mirror can be something that can provide a true and honest snapshot of our self, for example a journal or diary. Or listening to our self talking – I think this is what psychiatrists do – facilitate & enable one to verbalize, and this is a form of reflection & contemplation. One important thing, the listener has to be able to stay neutral and non-judging – otherwise the reflection will be distorted.

In order to reflect, there has to be stillness. Without stillness we can’t reflect. The more still, the more clear the reflection become, then the more often we remember that it’s all perception. As we remember more and more often that it’s all perception, the weaker the filter would be – the less coloring – and we start to see glimpses of things as they are, reality as it is.

How to develop stillness?

We can start from the body – physical stillness. When the body is still, then the mind can become still too. Spend some time to be still. This is meditation. No need to sit in a perfect lotus position, even sitting on a chair will do, as long as the spine is straight and upright. Sitting is too difficult? Try lying down. Preferable not in the bed as we will probably immediately drift to sleep. Lying down on the floor, place a blanket underneath if its cold, make sure the spine is straight and aligned. Let the feet fall outwards, hands besides the body with palms facing up, and relax everything. But try not to sleep. Just be still.

At the beginning stillness may feel strange. We were always active and moving since we were born. The mind, never have the experience of stillness before, will either:

  1. Get caught up in its own train of thoughts
  2. Interpret this as time to catch some ZZZs and fall asleep

How to overcome these? In my next post.