Hello YATU community!
Just reaching out to say hello and stay connected. Although I wish to write more in the forum than I do, I am connected to you on a daily basis. I am faithfully watching Deepak’s daily videos, and sometimes watching two or three at a time to catch up. I value very much the moment in the day to pause, gather around truth (“satsang” in the Vedic tradition) and then practice the insights throughout my day. Often I will take notes, am I have also transcribed some videos fully, when I’m feeling the topic needs more of my attention and understanding. I can definitively say that I am a different person than I was in February when I first started participating in the forum.
Not only is it liberating to understand the true nature of reality, but the tools and practices that are shared by Menas, Deepak, and the forum members are deeply practical. Through practice, a shift in my way of being is taking hold. I feel more calm, more steady, genuinely happier, despite the complexities and difficulties in my life or day. Sometimes I am stressed and unhappy, too- of course. And that has become easier to accept as well. When I slip into an ego state and start ‘throwing a proverbially fit,’ I can stop more quickly, go into metacognition and see the story for what it is- a complete illusion created by my ego. I smile. There is distance from me and the swirling Maya around me. This is the practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. ☺
I am especially interested in the topic of Qualia. I am reading other spiritual teachers who talk about how to work with our sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts to see the truth, to disengage from the non-truth, to metabolize our perceptions in a positive and healthy manner. Here is an excerpt from Thich Nhat Hanh’s personal journal, written between 1962-1966, published under the title Fragrant Palm Leaves. It was as if he is having a conversation with us, or writing in this YATU book or YATU forum. I share it with you with love and joy. Blessings— Ana
As I write these lines, no one else has read them yet. These lines that contain my thoughts, feelings, paper, ink, time, space, and handwriting, as well as all the other phenomenon that have contributed to the existence, exist only in my consciousness. Readers may one day with his lines also live within my consciousness. All phenomenon–Vietnam with her flowering grapefruit and orange trees, graceful coconut trees, and tower towering Pines, and the life of the city of New York with it sun, snow, clouds, moon, and stars–lie within my own consciousness. They are merely concepts.
My world, including all my friends in readers, all the grapefruit, and starfruit trees I have ever touched or thought about, is the world of concepts. When you read these lines will you see me in them? The city, as well as my thoughts and feelings, will then become concepts in your consciousness. For you, these concepts or not the result of direct contact with the objects of my consciousness. Void of physical reality, these concepts are shared through the medium of consciousness. The physical basis of consciousness, both personal and collective, has disappeared.
In the conceptual world, subject and object or two sides of the same coin. Experience cannot exist apart from the object of awareness. The oleander and the wildflowers are objects of consciousness. Subject and object of consciousness cannot exist apart from one another. Without an object, the subject cannot be aware of anything. Mountains and rivers, earth and sun, all live within the heart consciousness. When that realization arises, time and space dissolve. Cause-and-effect, birth and death, all vanish. Though we dwell 100,000 light years from a star, we can cross that distance in a flash. The saints of the past can return to the present in a microsecond, their presence as vivid as a bright flame.
You are there, because I am here. We inter-are. If we do not exist, nothing exists. Subject and object, host and guest, are part of each other. I knew that when morning came, I would not find anything new or unusual about the visible world. Blue sky in the west in the pink horizon in the East exist only in my consciousness. Blue does not have a separate life, nor does Pink. They are only blue and pink in my consciousness. It is the same with birth and death, same and different, coming and going. These are all images in our consciousness. If you look into my eyes, you will see yourself if you are radiant, my eyes will be radiance. If you are miraculous, my consciousness will be miraculous. If you are distant and remotes, I will be distant and remote. Look into my eyes and you will know if your universe is bright or dark, infinite or finite, mortal or immortal.