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Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Viswamitra, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    I am still basking from the experience of the opening session of spiritual book review semester. The objective of this session conducted by an expert was to make the Hospice volunteers learn a few lessons from the book written by Michael A. Singer titled “Untethered Soul”. There were 35 volunteer participants out of which 6 were men. The tables were organized in oval shape for volunteers to be seated. Candles were lighted around the room as well as in the center table nicely decorated in the middle with candles. The atmosphere inside the room was serene with minimal lighting. Later, I came to know the velvet linen spread over the center table was donated in memory of a volunteer who passed away two decades back. Many volunteers passionately talked about her contributions to the Hospice and mentioned that they felt the presence of her in every such classroom through that velvet linen.

    The opening remarks started with the wonderful poem of Jan Richardson asking us to think of the new year as a house, door flung wide in welcome, threshold swept and waiting, a graced spaciousness opening and offering itself to all of us and ending with a line “And may it be that its rooms will fill with ordinary grace and light spill from every window to welcome the stranger home”. Everyone was requested to introduce themselves and explain why they decided to attend the semester. One individual attracted everyone’s attention as he said, “Reading Untethered Soul has changed his life forever” with tears in his eyes. He decided to attend this discussion taking time off from work.

    The program coordinator asked to read a portion of Chapter I – “the voice inside your head” of Part one “Awakening Consciousness”. The gist of that chapter we read are – You are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it – Vast majority of thoughts running in the mind are either making us feel better or worse about what is going on now, what has gone in the past or what might go on in the future – The mental voice talks for the same reason that tea kettle whistles – There is built up energy inside that needs to be released – Basically, you recreate the outside world inside yourself, and then you live in your mind – Instead what would be the effect if you decide to consciously observe the world? – You begin not tempering the happenings to your preexisting views - Reality tempered with your mind is not real - The reality is modified by your mind with protection mechanism, a form of defense to make you feel secure from your fears- Personal growth is transcending the psyche inside of us that is not okay and need protection.

    Too much to digest in a short period of time, isn’t it? Then, we were all asked to write whatever came to our mind from the time we arrived for the meeting to the end of reading the Chapter 1. A soothing music was played letting us to concentrate only on one thing i.e. to write our thoughts. A few shared their thoughts and expressed how crazy their thoughts were and how much they need to transform themselves. I didn’t share my thoughts in the meeting, but I am sharing it here. The dominant thought in my mind when I entered the room was, “How am I going to feel connected to these many spiritually evolved souls that were taking personal step to make further personal growth?”.

    The answer that I got was “let me drop my label and then drop assigning label to each one of them. That gives me the freedom to accept each one of them, the way they are and make me realize at the root, we are all one”. That answer gave me great peace of mind and challenged my mind to implement that in my day to day life.

    The session ended with another remarkable poem written by Gerald G. Jampolsky:

    “Help me to let go of my preoccupations with the future. Give me the strengths to stop my futile attempts to predict and control the future. Let me see no value in my plan of what the future should be. Rid me of my senseless questions about tomorrow and all my desires to manipulate and control others. Remind me that my fears and uncertainties of tomorrow are only related to my unfounded fear of You. Help me be still and help me listen and love. Awaken me to the truth of Your Presence being only in the now of this moment. Lift me into Your Arms and remind me that I am Your Creation, and that I am the Perfection of Love. Help me to acknowledge that I am Your Messenger of Love, and free me to shine Your Light everywhere. Let me feel Your Freedom within me, and let me laugh at the Illusions that my ego once made me feel were so real. Let me be the light, let me be the joy; let me know that I am the reflection of You wherever I am, and wherever I go.”
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
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  2. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Dear V sir,

    A friend of mine who is counselor and a therapist all through yoga and meditation has recommended this book so many times that it is not funny. I did bring the book home one time, am not sure if I ever finished reading it - this was like 6 or 7 years ago but even as I write this response, I put a hold in the library :) That's about Untethered Soul!

    Being aware is not easy but is definitely doable I think. Often I wonder our perception becoming our reality - this stands out especially when a friend or a family member behaves like everyone in the world is out there to get them. It is very interesting to watch them as I think of the experiences that might have shaped them. The few moments of mindfulness I have, I capture them in my mind often (and sometimes in a snippet here) so that I feel enabled and can see the world in the light it should be seen. There are many instances in our lives that if we stop to think we wonder as to how diametrically opposite we can be in our thinking and that is when I come to the conclusion, it is all thoughts, including mine. Then why not positive, I am here, aware thoughts. I also wonder with this awareness, do we learn not to have impressions? You know what I mean - sometimes I completely forget many many incidences and my family is almost surprised that I was the one who was totally in that moment.

    This labeling that you speak of is the key - as we look around I am sure we have a label for everyone, even if that label is that of a 'friend' - some incidences have shaped my thinking to assume that this person is a friend and if that friend reveals another side that we have not been exposed to, the difficulty that mind goes through.....!!! So dropping labels and accepting that each person is a sum total of their experiences will help us go a long way, through good and bad. Unfortunately for me, the only place I have been able to do that is in my yoga classes. Every class I sign up, I go with the mindset that this is my first time on that mat and I am open to learn whatever the teacher has to offer.

    Now, it is time for the book!
     
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  3. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:yet another brilliant painting with fine brush to arrest the mind from wandering and note the difference in look and see or hear and listen or read and study.
    It is difficult though not impossible to remove clutter while trying to be focused which I consider is foremost requirement for correct awareness.
    I am yet to grasp and would return here if I have A feedback . Until then thanks and regards.
    God Bless.
     
  4. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you for your first response. I know already you had enjoyed reading this book earlier and you would enjoy reading it again when you get it from the library. You can easily relate to what you read in this book.

    Isn't it due to the fear of unknown? The experts advice to learn the art of self-defense to protect our body. In fact, the very first teaching in the art of self-defense is how to calm ourselves down and not react quickly. How much our mind uses the art of self-defense/protectionism even before we encounter a problem? The question we have to ask ourselves is whether it learned the first step of calming itself and not react quickly.

    I wonder how we would handle life if the label we have for others is visible in our forehead if we were to meet our family and friends? Dropping our fear, self-defense/protectinism, dropping the label, etc. are the best way we can refine/transform ourselves.

    Viswa
     
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  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri Thyagarajan:

    Accumulation of garbage is the root cause of lack of hygiene. How it would be if we are determined to take a bath in the pile of garbage? Let us keep cleaning our drive way so that when we need to move on, it is clean for us to leave with no legacies. Let us build our thoughts filled with love just like spraying the cleaning solution on top of the bacteria in the kitchen countertop after we finish preparing our food.
     
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  6. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Judgment has become part of our lives and hopefully being aware would help us learn that everyone is making their own journey in a train called life and we are merely co-passengers. Nothing the co-passenger said or did was going to change our journey. How we enjoy our journey is dependent on how we keep ourselves indulged in the journey with full focus on the present moment.
     
  7. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    Profound words that call for deeper introspection, correction and commitment. I need more time to process these thoughts.Thanks for the knowledge share.
     
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  8. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Geeta,

    Thank you for your response and the portions of the threads that are worth introspecting. Kindly take your time and I sincerely look forward to your views and suggestions. As you know, everyone's thoughts contribute so much for the common good of everyone of us.

    Viswa
     
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  9. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Shri Viswa,
    I read with interest your experience in the meeting and the conclusion you have arrived at.You have dealt with a valuable topic which needs much concentration and attention which I don't think I possess.
    I went through the snippet two or three times carefully to see whether anything enters my head.I could make out certain things by putting two and two.

    I could connect what you have written with what I have read in a psychology journal some months back.

    It was stated that when we are always conscious of something there is an object and there is duality.

    Awareness arises when we want to go deep into what we are conscious of.

    Going deep means being just a witness ,devoid of ego, not at all being judgemental about neither about the subject( ourselves) ,nor about the object about we are conscious of.

    Soon we realise that unless we turn inwards, it is not possible to understand the object.Once we start seeing inwards we
    realise that the subject(we) and the object are inseparable and in fact are one and the same thing.
    When we are one with the object of our consciousness, then there is just one entity and that one entity is neither we nor the world.( object)

    Both the subject and object disappear. There ends consciousness. What remains is an empty space and that is called'AWARENESS'.
    So in awareness, there is neither subject nor object .
    It was stated in the book that we can say that 'we are conscious of something but we can't say that we are aware of something because in'AWARENESS' neither we nor the object do exist.
    Normally there is a wrong perception that when we are conscious of something, the relationship deepens. On the contrary,as we train our mind,there is absence of everything.That is awareness and that is the highest point of consciousness.
    Perhaps this is the essence of Advaitha Siddhantham also.
    I do not know whether my understanding has at least a simple shade of similarity of what you have expressed as 'awareness'.
    Thank you Viswa for indulging us in a discussion which has bearing on both psychology and spirituality.
    jayasala 42
     
  10. girvani

    girvani Platinum IL'ite

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    My dearest Viswa uncle,

    First of all, wish you and your family a very happy new year. The first thing I did after unpacking from holidays is started reading 'The untethered soul' and here you go I get your wonderful snippet. The universe is certainly guiding me uncle through you.

    The voice inside my head used to always find all the worst case scenarios in each and every situation and ruminate over. Recently, with the help of a little bit of meditation I do and with my trying to be mindful I am trying to calm that kind of stormy thought patterns. When I read the first chapter, I was totally astonished that how truly it was pointed out that we use our mind voice as our protective mechanism. This is making me identify my triggering points more clearly. It is also making me realize if we have the total surrender that all will be well then it will be easier to control the mind. But, for me as of now, surrender is a big word and I am nowhere closer as my ego is being so big.

    Is labeling others a protective mechanism which we use to defend ourselves? Many times I try not to label a person and I fail while I am being aware that I shouldn't do that. Especially, this is happening while we wrap up the day and talk to my husband of the day's happenings. At the end of the day, when I introspect my self before hitting the bed, I realized the wrong labeling/perceptions and regret.

    Thank you, uncle, for sharing this knowledge. I am really looking forward to your updates on future seminars too.
    Love,
    Vani
     

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