Monday, May 11, 2015

Awakening and self-awareness by Atman Nityananda

Atman Nityananda
Awakening and self-awareness

We cannot awaken to our true nature and live fully with love, peace and harmony if we are always identified with the thoughts, emotions, sensory impressions, the objects and the physical body (which perceive it as all other objects). It is true that we identify with the body and the thoughts which the ego (its main form is desire) uses in order to drive us towards sensual pleasures.

Identifying with what IS not (objects, body etc.) and ‘forgetting’ what IS (our true Self, pure consciousness) we suffer in various ways. The ego, the separation and the psychological suffering have their origin in the illusory identifications created by the ego and the forgetfulness of our Beingness or true Self, which nature is Existence, Consciousness and Bliss absolute.

Being aware of our own self (self-awareness) is essential if we want to wake up to our true Self which is eternal bliss and peace. Self-awareness is the basis of spirituality and everything we do or practice has to be related to this.

The forgetfulness of our beingness and the identification with thoughts, emotion objects etc. happen simultaneously. So, if we want to be aware of our own self we would have to stop identifying with the external objects and situations, the thoughts, emotions, desires, impulses etc .. To be established in self-awareness it is of great importance to do practices like meditation, self-inquiry.

Another very powerful way to avoid forgetfulness of ourselves (viz. to remain aware of our self) is to do over and over again the following questions.

Am I here and now aware of myself?
What prevents me now to be aware of myself?
To whom arises this thought, this desire, this like or dislike, this emotion?

When we do these questions we have to become more attentive and watch, feel and notice clearly what happens in us.

If we were in a state of identification this process will help us get out of this identification.

Remember that the stopping of identification and the remembrance of our self happens simultaneously. These two states of consciousness cannot happen simultaneously. We cannot be self-aware and at the same time identified with something.
In order not to forget to be aware of ourselves we have to ask the questions mentioned above again and again.
You can also invent other questions and other things that can help you accomplish that.

It is also important to know what is ‘being aware of myself’ what is self-awareness. It's simple but it is necessary to clarify it and deepen in it.

I will express here some fundamental ideas about self-awareness which you have to investigate, enquire and ascertain again and again so that you get it right.

To be aware of myself means to be aware of the abstract sense ‘I am' or 'I Exist' and the inner silent space within. This sense (‘I Exist’ or ‘I am’) is abstract but at the same time is very familiar because it is what we are.

The issue is that the ego creates a mutual identification between consciousness (which is our true Self, the inner silence) and the physical body. This mutual identification makes us perceive that this sense 'I am' or 'I Exist' belongs to the physical body and because of it we believe that we are the body. Thus we feel 'I am the body’ or to say it better 'the body is me’ and my name is John, Elisa, Peter etc. This illusion is the basis of all other identifications, confusions and illusions that the ego creates in us.

Do not worry if in the beginning trying to be aware of the sense ‘I am' or 'I Exist' you mix it with the body. Actually when we try to be aware of our body voluntarily and attentively this will help us a lot to disidentify from the thoughts, emotions, objects etc. and be aware of ourselves. We must use our mind intelligently in order to develop self-awareness. Gradually according to the time we spend to be self-aware and the devotion, the sincerity and the enthusiasm that we practice this, our capacity to remain self-aware will increase. It is also certain that it would help us a lot to develop self-awareness the elimination of the egoic tendencies and the increasing of the sattvic guna in the mind.

It is very important to do all the spiritual practices and all other daily actions alert and self-aware. This is the most important thing in the spiritual life. We cannot reach a higher level of consciousness if we continue to identify with the mind and the objects and forget ourselves.

Self awareness allow us have a wider and clearer view about us and life; we can more easily discover and comprehend the games of ego even the more hidden egoic patterns in the subconscious. We can disindetify easier from the compulsive mental and emotional patterns and thus we could remain more easily aware of our own self.

When in an unexpected moment we wake up from the dream that we are the body, that this sense ‘I am’ doesn’t belong to the body, when we realize, we perceive that we are not a body-called so and so but the conscious presence, the inner silence we will be able to remain more easily self-aware and detached from the movements of mind and the objects. I want here to clarify that awakening it is not something we can do, but it's something that can happen when the conditions are suitable (the mind is very pure and prepared) and by God’s grace.

When we will wake up, all the tension, our agony and impatience to find the truth (created of course by the ego) will fade out, we will relax and our experience in the daily life will be completely different. After awakening we will be aware of what we were looking for a long time, our true nature our true Self, the source and the support of our human existence, our guide and our destiny. The intensity and the clarity of the awakening it is different to each one and the state of consciousness after awakening it is related to the amount of ego that has been eliminated until that moment. 
Our inner work does not end with awakening unless the ego it is completely eliminated; we have to  continue the practice until the complete disolution of the egoic self. Awakening dissolves the struggling and enable us flow in life, to do all practices with an altogether different state of consciousness.

The awakening is a decisive step in our journey towards freedom from the egoic mind and the complete realization that we are Divine Consciousness.

Peace, Love, Harmony