P N C O

Mostly photography, with the occasional philosophical contemplation


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Fearing Love

Fearing Love

Once upon a time there was a prince who was destined to marry a beautiful princess. But the prince had never seen his princess. And he only heard of stories. And those stories were telling him that she was oh so beautiful. So pretty, so nice, so kind. And yet this girl has always felt alone.

So when the prince first saw his princess, he was so afraid. He was afraid to make a wrong move. To to say something wrong. Or to ruin the moment. Because the moment he saw her, he knew she was his princess. And so the prince started to fear his love of the princess. And the princess felt this. She looked him straight into the eyes as if she wanted to tell him “don’t be afraid. It’s okay. I know the feeling too. I’ve been there all my life. But I was always waiting for you”.

And so the prince now confused inside his mind, realized he had to find a way out of this. And so he approached the noble wisdom keeper of the court. He was the adviser of his father. He was a wise and old man, skilled in the teachings of life. Also in death, but that’s another story. So he approached the wisdom keeper and he asked “oh wisdom keeper. I’m so afraid to love. What should I do? This princess is so beautiful. And she told me she waited all her life for me and now I’m afraid. I’m afraid to lose her. To do anything wrong.”

And the wisdom keeper looked straight into the prince’s eyes and said “Prince… you’ve been training all your life for this one moment. You’ve been training to fear this moment. Cause you knew from the start this moment would come. And that’s exactly what fear is. Fear is having expectations and knowing these expectations can never be met. So when the princess looked you into the eyes, she had no fear because she never expected anything from you. She only expected you to love her. But because you didn’t see that, you only saw the fear in your own heart. The fear to just let go and to be.

But once you realize that the love inside is what lies underneath your fear, you will see that there is indeed nothing to fear but fear itself. Because love is something which doesn’t belong to you or the princess or to me or to anybody. It’s the essence of life itself. We call it love, but it has many names. It has many qualities. It is our natural state. But if you try to describe for yourself, or to think ahead of yourself, you will start fearing. Cause fear is all about expectations, about the present, the past and the future. Expecting the present to be different. Expecting the future to be either better than the present or worse than the present.

And the past, oh we fear the past. Cause the past is our storehouse of mistakes. But don’t you think that love cannot make mistakes? Isn’t that a hard thing to say to the essence of life? To say that life cannot make mistakes? And yet, in my heart I know that life does not make mistakes. Just because of the fact that life does make mistakes. But that, my little prince, is for some time later. Now for you it is important to realize that you can let go of yourself. That you can let go of your fear of love. Cause your fear of love is the last thing which keeps you from loving. Cause it will show you that the love for the princess is no other than the love for you, for yourself.”

So the prince thanked the wisdom keeper and pondered about it. He was sitting next to the big lake with the beautiful lotus flowers. And he was wondering. “What did the wisdom keeper mean? Why was he saying that fear is nothing but fear and that love lies below?” And then he saw a fish swimming in the lake. The fish was unaware of the eagle flying. The fish was swimming and grasps for a breath, came to the surface and at that same moment the eagle already diving, put out his claws and caught the fish. The prince saw it. And he saw the fish never feared for one moment, because the fish was unaware of what was going on. “The same thing applies to myself”, the prince thought. “I fear because I don’t know what claws will catch me. But it’s strange. Cause why am I comparing myself to a fish”, he thought. Then he reminded himself that he was not only the fish, but also the eagle and the lake and the prince watching. He realized that love is bigger than just him, or the princess and him. He realized that love is life itself. And how can life fear what it’s doing? Cause life cannot hurt itself. And the prince realized that what he had done this day, was perfect. He knew that he did the right thing. Because he knew that he had to learn the lesson before he could truly love his destined princess.

The next day the prince asked his father if he could meet the princess in private. And the father agreed. So when the prince came in, the princess was waiting. The prince brought in a beautiful bouquet of flowers and the princess started laughing. “I see you’ve learned the lesson of love, my dear prince. Yesterday when I looked you into the eyes, I saw fear. You were afraid.  Of me. Of our future together. But most of all, afraid of yourself. But now I see you’ve recognized yourself. Now I will marry you”.

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Would you judge a tree?

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trees

Ram Dass on self judgment:

I think that part of it is observing oneself more impersonally. I often use this image, which I think I have used already, but let me say it again.  That when you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.

The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying “You’re too this, or I’m too this.” That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.[..]

Source of the quote – read more at: Ram Dass on Self Judgement

I’ve read about this idea in the past and today i was reminded of the story of the trees. Such a wonderful analogy Ram Dass makes here. What if we would be able to just see each other without all these labels and judgements in our minds? Next time you’re ready to judge a person, try remembering him/her as a tree. Perhaps it can help to stop judging and be more open to who’s there in front of you. I’m gonna try this 🙂


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Job Interview (II)

As i promised to some of you, i would come back to the job interview i had last week. I knew yesterday that i would receive the answer yes or no today, so i mentally prepared myself for both answers. I mentally rehearsed both conversations and monitored how it felt in the body. When i was sufficiently sure that i wouldn’t be too upset, i knew that i was well prepared for today.

Pretty early in the morning i received the phone call i was expecting. It was not my job to be. The other candidate had more juridical experience and they choose him/her. So as i heard the manager say that i didn’t get the job, i realized that the practice of the day before did its magic. I was calm and was even able to ask a few questions on why they didn’t choose me. No stress, no disappointment, just an immediate sense of acceptance and of letting go.

So altogether it was quite an interesting ride. If i had gotten the job, it would have been very good as i would have had to learn many new skills and also do challenging things like speaking in front of (large) groups. I knew that there was a lot in it for me to learn. I also knew that i could not tell whether i was really suited for the job, as it was so different from what i do now. But now that i don’t got the job, its time to refocus to the work i’m doing and continue that and see what else is in store for me.

Focusing on equanimity has been the true lesson here.. no matter what the outcome, don’t focus on hope or fear but just remain aware and mindful of what is happening. Saves me a lot of stress and wishful thinking 🙂


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Job interview

Today I had a job interview. The days counting towards the interview were mentally a bit exhausting and thrilling. And now afterwards I’m wondering whether I said the right things. And now I realize waiting is even more exciting. So a good moment to pause and see what’s going on inside.

Very intriguing how the mind works. This whole process has created lots of body specific  sensations which it then deems tension and thus stressful. But in reality these are just sensations. Neither good nor bad. I’ll just have to breath into them and be mindful.

In the end I’ll just have to wait a few days for an answer. In the meantime thinking or stressing about the situation won’t be of any help 🙂 Patience is my friend here..


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Thank you, Mark Cavendish

Thank you, Mark Cavendish

Yesterday just before going to bed i read an article about a crash which had just happened during the Olympic omnium (a discipline within track cycling) involving multiple Tour-de-France stages winner Mark Cavendish. After reading some comments on Twitter i found a video of the said crash and i was surprised there were no consequences connected to this crash.

I felt it was injustice and went to bed. But then i started reflecting on what was happening inside. I realized that i was judging a situation on which i had absolutely no influence. And in my mind i was already condemning Cavendish. By contemplating on this feeling, it made me realize that no matter what the reason for his move were, it wasn’t up to me to judge.

So instead, i started shifting towards feeling compassion for Mark Cavendish instead. Whatever caused him to make his move, he wants to be happy just as i want to. Perhaps he thought he could win gold through this unorthodox move? As i concentrated on letting go of all this second-guessing, i realized that i just didn’t like the move. I thought the move was irresponsible, dangerous. But this move doesn’t make him a bad person. It began to feel more and more as an act out of ignorance. And i realized that i’ve made quite a few of those moves in the past myself. I was able to separate the act from the one who committed the act and realize that there is a difference between the two.

In the heat of the moment we’ve all made mistakes. Would i want to be condemned for mistakes i’ve made in the past? Or would i rather be forgiven and shown compassion and understanding, so that i can learn from my mistakes?

So in retrospect i realize that i have to thank Mark Cavendish for this opportunity to accept what i dislike and actually have compassion for just that.

Calm breathing

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_MG_2135-2

When the body is in unrest, the mind is in unrest
When the mind is at rest, the body can rest
When the body is at rest, the mind can rest
How wonderful this connection between body and mind

No wonder that so many practices focus on the breath. The key to unlock the connection between body and mind.

As Thich Nhat Hahn teaches in this practice (in your thought say the words on in-breath and out- breath)
In                                Out
Deep                          Slow
Calm                          Ease
Smile                         Release
Present                     Moment
Wonderful               Moment

 


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Boeddha Shakyamuni klein

I realize that it’s quite a while since i last blogged about anything different from photography. But lately i feel inspired to also give some attention to writing, as i was reminded of the fun of writing. Just got back from 2 weeks of working for the tour of my Buddhist teacher. At the end of it was a 5 day silent retreat. Really interesting how 2 weeks not doing the regular job can shift things. Before the tour i was wondering what it would be like, whether things would go as planned and how the retreat would be. Now it’s all retrospect. And yet it’s all still so fresh.

I’ve noticed that the balance inside has shifted. Perhaps more than once. It’s very interesting to watch the movement of the mind. A few years ago i would be left perplexed by the process, but as i get to know the process better i now know what is the most important. And it’s surprisingly simple. Rest the mind. The rest will follow naturally. And perhaps you’re now thinking ‘easier said than done’. And it is, exactly because of our mind. So used to habitual behavior of chatting, thinking, judging and liking and disliking, the mind becomes uncomfortable once you enter the silent space within.

It has been a week since the retreat ended and my mind seems to be quite happy to be out of the silent zone. It got me engaged in some pretty rusty habits again and it’s trying its best to convince me that these habits are good for me and enjoyable. But as my mood gets worse, i know that these habits are actually not good for me. This was what helped me to give up on drinking. I noticed that each time i drank, the next few days i was more edgy, less patient, less friendly, less happy, less relaxed, less rested. I’ve once heard that nothing can stand scrutinizing observing. Perhaps that did the trick for me. Cause i tried to force myself out of using alcohol, but the same force came back to me with a big smile (and an even bigger hangover of course 😉 ).

So now that i understand my inner workings better, i can see that i’ve made quite a few improvements in my life the last few years. In a way i’ve found more balance. But the mind is still resisting the new lifestyle which includes yoga and meditation. It’s not yet comfortable with being silently present all the time. The chatter still springs up from time to time. My guess is that it has to do with deeper layers of inner work which needs to be done. There are quite some themes which deserve attention. To name a few: working with fear, insecurity, uncertainty. Buddhist practice has helped me to see beyond all these layers, it’s now up to me to clean everything which blocks me from seeing unobstructed. The true nature of the mind is clear, the thoughts and habits are like the clouds blocking the sun. And so looking back to the last few weeks, i can see that i’ve removed a few blockages, then stood on a box before falling down again and stumbling over the debree.

The good thing is that there is no need to improve anything. Again, just resting the mind is enough. It can be achieved by resting the body. I just know that my mind can’t understand that there is nothing to improve, that everything is perfect. All its life it was taught that to be someone, it had to work hard, strive to be someone, to become the best it needed to improve all day every day. And now there is this teacher in my life who paints a different picture. A clear picture, one in which everything is perfect just as it is. I really need to learn to balance between the old and the new. Cause being switched from one to the other is yet more suffering. So it’s great to see that there is so much to learn still. With trust in my teacher, i know that i’ll overcome all obstacles, one by one. Even if it takes a lifetime. Cause with his example and the support of the teachings and the students, the sky is no longer the limit. For the clear sky is already here, shining from within.

Deep in yourself, deep within all the turmoil of daily life, way below the waves of aggression, jealousy, desire, hope, fear and doubt, there is a calm ocean. Abide in there and you will calm down too.
* quote inspired by my yoga teacher


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Out of the closet

Today I found out what an interesting thing the mind is. And for your information, this blog won’t be about my sexual preference 😉
As I was sitting in the train I wanted to do a bit of mantra recitation using a rosary. I did it the last few days, though I always tried to keep the rosary out of sight. Today while traveling it was way more crowded and so it felt inconvenient to do the mantras.
When I made my transfer it was more quiet and the next station was forty minutes travel, so I started there.

While doing the practice I noticed an ever increasing feeling of uneasiness and tightening in my stomach area. Even while I write this hours later, I can still feel the knot. This brings me back to the mind. I know that this has to do with I, the word and the thoughts, ideas and feelings which make up this concept. As a student of Buddhism I’ve been introduced to the idea that there is no separate entity called Pieter which lives independently from the world in which I live.
This idea really helps me to understand what is going on under the surface. Somehow I fear that people might see me doing practice. I meditated once at a pretty open and busy spot in the woods and while I sat there someone passed me and looked at me for quite some time. At that time there was also the tight knot in my stomach. Somehow I feel exposed.

This brings me to the title of this blog. It’s almost like I have the idea that I need to separate between my normal self and my spiritual self. Like there’s any difference.. the mind wants to control how I appear to the outside, so anything threatening this control will result in a response from both body and mind.
Today I was very keen on not being seen while reciting mantras. This eagerness to secrecy created the tension. As I noticed the rising of this sensation in the days before this, I know that the difference lies in my response to the sensations. Today I gave in to the fear of being seen as weird etc. And because of that I started experience more fear as a result.

This whole process is so interesting to watch unfolding as it is happening. Yes, there is discomfort. But I don’t have to fight it. The real nasty feeling is all due to the labeling of the mind. The knot in itself is neither good nor bad. My resistance to it is what keeps it in place.

So I’ve come to the conclusion yet again that much if not everything I hold for my ‘I’ is actually made up out of resistance (to what was and to what is). The past can only live on in the present, so a lot of what has happened in the past survives because of my resistance to it – whether on a conscious or sub/unconscious level.

As I remember hearing Adyashanti say, there will be resistance in the progress. But don’t resist the resistance.

So I let go of my efforts to ease the discomfort and instead shed a bit of light in the darkness. I have to come out of hiding.
Yes, I am a person engaged in spirituality.
Yes, I practice Buddhism.
And as a note to myself: and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!


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The importance of compassion

The importance of compassion – but don’t forget to be wise

Lately I’ve kinda been into Buddhist mode again. During college I first got introduced to the teachings of the Buddha, but apart from a feeling of recognition I never really got into Buddhism. The last year has brought significant changes in my life. Old pain came creeping up to the surface and I had to deal with it. Coincidental or not, but when I experienced the most difficult phase, I found out about an English Buddhist monk called Ajahn Brahm.

Hearing this monk speak, with passion, compassion and a good dose of English humor, I heard a lot of answers I was searching for so long. And it made me realize that it’s perfectly fine to find my own way (be it in Buddhism or any other wisdom tradition). I don’t have to become a monk to study the teachings. I don’t have to be perfect to become wiser and more compassionate. All these things which are so obvious, were somehow kept away from me for all these years. By myself. And that’s one of the great ‘powers’ of Ajahn Brahm. He knows his human psychology. Give people back their feeling of worthiness, of self empowerment. Otherwise they will never be able to take full responsibilities for their lifes.

When I was struggling with life, something came to the surface. I realized it was time to ask for help. I couldn’t do it all by myself. There is interdependence in the world, nothing exists by itself. I depend on others just as much as they depend on me. When I reached out, I was overwhelmed by all the help I received from others. I have never dared to expect so much compassion and love and help, but I got it anyway. It helped me to get up again, to crawl out of the pit of self-pity and lack of self-love and rebuild my confidence and self-esteem. Ajahn Brahm helped me to find the inner source of strength and wisdom again. He wants us to become more and more human, by helping us being humane. To feed our hearts which have had to suffer for so long now. As Lao Tzu said: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

The interesting thing is that I didn’t just learn from Ajahn Brahm. In the course of many years there have been countless teachers and teachings. I always regarded everything as my teacher. So I feel gratitude for all who have helped me along the path either by blocking my way or helping me get over or around the blockade. We tend to forget those who have obstructed us, but don’t they teach us the most valuable lessons? But it can take years before lessons reveal themselves. When I got confronted by old pain, a reminiscence of something which happened in my past, at first I was overwhelmed and shocked. Do I really need to deal with this? Do I really need to look at this again? I thought I had somehow overcome it all, but in the end it turned out I only put it away deep inside in the dark.

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The net of being (by Alex Grey ©)

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The Net of Being

© Alex Grey

Copyright of the image lies with Alex Grey, a great visionairy artist.
Visit his website here:  http://www.alexgrey.com

note: This image of Alex Grey is more revealing than all the words and letters i’ve written underneath.. nevertheless, it might be interesting to read 😉

Something in me has the idea that i need to speak out. But I realize how futile that is. What is there to speak about? It’s the obvious which has been overlooked all the time. The obviousness of being. Just accepting and letting all go. There is this one secret. But it cannot be shared. For there is nobody to share it with. And yet, within all the dualities we play with, it is forever there.

I was always on the guard for complacency, but I never realized it works a little different than I thought it did. And that’s the trick with a lot of things. Every insight tells you the same story. Once you see it, you realize how futile your previous attempts were and how wrong you were. This insight taught me why I always felt incredibly vane. I was afraid of the idea that the world resolves around me. And yet, all spiritual teachings will tell you to turn your focus inwards, towards the self. So I was puzzled by this apparent paradox. I tried to get rid of the feeling of I in my life, but that’s the best way to fuel the whole idea of ‘I’. In the end it’s all I in disguise.

So it’s important to stay open to everything. It might be that everything you think is true, is but half of the story. In my case it was. I was trying so desperately to be myself, that I couldn’t be myself any longer. And yet, in my striving I was of course.. myself! I had only limited myself beyond the body. Stuck within a world of thoughts, I thought I’d find the answer there. But thoughts are mere responses, not answers. They only point back to the answer, which is unspeakable.

I’ll try to explain this a little by telling a personal experience. Ever since I took magic mushrooms some 7 years ago, oneness was the thing I was looking for. In that first trip I sat with my feet in the lotus position and after 30 minutes in that posture, I felt the blanket which was lying on top of me was not just the blanket. It was a part of me, just as much as the body is a part of me. My search for Oneness had started. But it confused me just as much as it excited me. What if it were only the drugs who initiated this feeling? What if it is all just a dream? I have been trying for 7 years now to grasp the true significance of that moment, but only by writing this down I realize it. It was there all along. I just didn’t see it at the time. I never followed the logic of the moment all the way down. Cause if I say that I was one with the blanket, doesn’t that imply that I’m one with everything?

And yet, I realized that in thought, but never really felt it for real. In the trip I felt it, but back then I was still hooked upon the idea that I was somehow living from the center somewhere in my body. It has taken a lot of reading, thinking, discussing, to free me from this delusion. Of course I have this body; of course it needs care and attention. But it’s not everything I am. This body is but a wave in the ocean. The ocean being all at once


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Stuck in meaning

Yesterday I was sitting in the train and I was observing 2 playing girls who were with their parents and grandparents. While the girls were standing in the path just fooling around, the adults were constantly on the look for any imminent thread. (Hold on! Don’t do that! You´re going to get hurt! etc..) It reminded me of myself and how I always try to control everything to keep the painful from hurting me. But that means leaving out the spontaneity as well; it’s actually keeping life out. The girls kind of neglected their parents’ warnings and continue to play. It was a good and fun lesson to watch.

And here I am, struggling with deciding who I want to be. There is a feeling of being stuck in the struggle for meaning. Why am I struggling so hard to try and understand why I struggle? Isn’t the struggle enough? Or is the question wrong? And yet, at the same time I know I am me. And this means that I am me 100%, so with all the struggle and feelings and thoughts. But somehow I refuse to let go. I refuse to let go of my limiting view of myself and open up to a more realistic approach of myself. It’s the struggle of trying to grasp the idea of individuality by looking at the whole. And this is a never ending struggle, for in my heart I know that it is a mission impossible.

The feeling of being stuck is no stranger to me. For many years I have known this feeling, but most of the time I just ignored it. Lately however the feeling has become so urgent and everpresent; I can no longer hide away from it. I have to deal with it. And I’ve found out I don’t actually know how to deal with it. I seem to have lost the spontaneity I had when I was younger, though I know it’s still here inside under all these created layers of doubt, pain and struggle.

I’m struggling with the question how to be? But the question in itself is a strange one. How to be? What do I mean by that? To me it means that I actually think I don’t know how to be. But that’s absolutely absurd. For how can I not be? I am me every moment of the day, even though I can question whether I am or not.  I’m striving so hard to reach some place of release, enlightenment, that I totally miss the point. I’m trying to repeat every quote or mantra I’ve picked up in the spiritual books I’ve read, but I miss out the one essential thing. It’s not about striving to be. It’s about being and allowing the striving to be at the same time!

I realize I’m still very much connected to the image of me as a separate special self who has to make it in this life. But because I’m struggling so hard, I actually don’t know anymore what to do to become someone successful. Life is helping me to stop and look around to see what’s no longer working for me. Clinging on to the idea of reaching a final goal is one of these things. It’s like a major investment in a business which you don’t want to stop, even though everybody around you is telling you the business is going to collapse. And so it appears that everything is collapsing and that I have nothing to hold on to. It might be so. In the midst of this chaos there is being, even though I hardly recognize it.

I was looking for being myself so bad; I forgot that I always am right now. I don’t yet exist in the future and the past only comes into existence in the present. So to me it means accepting that I am not satisfied with myself and the way I live my life right now. Major investment gone incredibly wrong. So what? It gives me the opportunity to change a few things, unscrew some bolts and replace them. But it never meant there was no being. I just have wrong ideas about being alive. And writing it of my chest actually creates insight.. what a wonderful wonder 😉


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Sensitive Thoughts

I just found out I am way more sensitive than I am willing to admit. But i realize that’s ok. I had this idea that i would figure it all out and then life would settle. Lately i’ve been giving the chance to see that this is not entirely true. Or should i say.. it couldnt be further away from the truth.

In my early twenties i found out about philosophy and started getting interested in religion and spirituality. What started off with reading something about buddhism, quickly turned into a rollercoaster ride. Zen, Shamanism, Gnosticism, Taoism, you name the ism and i’ve probably heard of it. With all this reading, I never really found what i truely searched for. In fact i might not know what i’m searching for in the first place. Its the all too familiar cycle. I’m trying to search for meaning in life by searching, instead of living.

I was living my life by giving in to all kinds of addictions and thought that i was doing fine. But when i quit smoking marihuana, i found out how little i knew of life. It turned out that i held a lot of disruptive emotions in my body and mind. And they were controlling me instead of me controlling them. It has been a painful journey so far, but as i look back i realize how much i have learned about myself in so little time. The last ten years i have been going on using automatic pilot, but because that doesn’t work anymore, i’m forced to really look at my life in a new way. It means i actually start feeling the pain i have, instead of pushing it away to the back of my mind either by overthinking or dosing myself to oblivion.

It turned out that i was holding myself back from seeing things which had happened in the past. And with the marihuana gone, all barriers were gone. So finally, all the oppressed thoughts and feelings came to the surface, totally surprising and overwhelming me. Luckely after a few weeks i also started to see progress. Friends told me i was being more social than before and i started looking better as well. Even though i couldnt really belief it at that time, i do think that they provide me with a valuable mirror. And now as the months pass, i still have bad days. But the one thing i have learned from all this, is that its ok to have these bad days. I got caught up in the imaginative thought cycle that my life could only be happy and nothing was allowed to intervene with that. But what i actually did, was that i closed myself off from the rest of the world creating my own little safe haven. Which wasnt safe after all, cause soon the cracks arrived on the scene.

The thing which troubles me at times is that i seem to mix up my personal thoughts and feelings with thoughts on life, the universe and everything. I dont leave much room for growth, for exploration or simple fun. Its like i have to determine what life is, in order to feel safe with it. But what all the reading has taught me, is that there is no such safety in life. Life is all about flow, everything moves constantly. Only change remains the same. So i still dont quite understand why i have this urge to understand life, for its always searching for some kind of finality. I’ve been writing about Oneness a lot in the past and i have the intuitive feeling that its here, but i still cant grasp my mind around it. Because its in the experience, that i’m searching for the experience. I’m always missing the point.

I truely love people like Alan Watts, Anthony de Mello, Rupert Spira and especially Ramana Maharshi. But the Non-duality also troubles me. It troubles me because i cant grasp it with my mind. They tell me to leave the thoughts. Go find the I Am in you. Ramana Maharshi said the only real question one should ask themself is “Who am I”. Who is the I in our thinking and in our awareness? Cause we all feel this I presence. But we tend to see this I as our body and thoughts. And i realize that i have been living like this for all my life. So with all the old pains coming to the surface this new notion of Self as presented by non-dual thinkers is alien to me. Yet i feel there is a tremendous truth in the teaching of Non-Duality.

I still have to figure out what its got to do with me and my life. For i get confused in trying to understand the role the pain has, while at the same time trying to distance myself from the pain. And thats where the sensitivity comes into play. I become so sensitive of my own thoughts and confusion, i block myself from just living and breathing in the now. Instead i go on pondering what i shouldve done in the past or should do in the future. Just to get away from my inner confusion, hereby adding to the confusion.

I try too much, i strive too much and i know it.. i am what i am and yet here i am searching for myself. Thats the great paradox of my life and secretly i think some part of me likes this.
So instead of trying, i’m willing to change the old ways for the better. Returning to a more realistic and positive outlook on life, i am once again where i started this journey. Life is still unknown, but more and more im relaxing into the thought that this might actually be the key to life. To help me live life instead of thinking it all out. To paraphrase a quote from my favorite movie Waking Life “Life lived is life understood”