I invite you into the world of experiential reading.
To get the most fullest experience of reading this blog article, I encourage you to have a pen and paper with you. Each person has to do this individually in the sense – even if you are a couple, you will do this separately to get the most out of it.
Let us begin with our first question – the foundation of this experiential reading.
List down all your life’s most precious or prized possessions – whatever you consider it to be. Of course, it is best to write it all down. List everything that you can possibly think of that you consider is your most valuable possession. Take sometime to do it.
You might have to pause the blog reading and write it down.
Go ahead. Once you have made the list, continue the reading.
………… Assuming you have finished making the list ……………..
Now take sometime to look at your exhaustive list. What, Who, Which – has made its way onto that list. Usually if you carefully observe, you will immediately recognize a few categories on the list:
- Material possessions: All the objects, things, items that you have earned, bought, or have been gifted or inherited. Do you see it? Mark and count it.
- Relationships: All the close relationships that you have experienced or are present in your life this moment – parents, siblings, children, relatives, friends, teachers, etc. Has it made it to your list? Mark and count it.
- Accolades: All the successes you have worked hard to accumulate in your life in terms of titles,degrees, awards, identities, name, fame, etc. This is how the people and community around you sees you, addresses you, and it is associated with your sense of respect and identity. What fits into this category on your list? Mark and count it.
- Esoteric items: Now it is also, possible that items outside of these three categories that are more esoteric or subtle in nature like love, joy, smile, knowledge, and maybe even, spiritual quests and journeys, have made it to your list. Mark and count it.
- Others: Is there anything that doesn’t fit into any of these four categories? What is it about?
NOW EXPLORE THESE QUESTIONS
Which category is heavy on your list meaning which has the most items?
What does it reflect about you and your life ?
What have you learned about yourself?
Know that there is nothing right or wrong in this activity, it is just a reflection of your life. See if you can refrain from judging yourself positively or negatively and just stay with what is present.
Now we move to the second important question of this experiential reading:
Of all these precious possessions on your list, which one do you know for sure will accompany you when your physical visa expires in this world i.e,, when the body disintegrates, dies and becomes part of this earth, and the energy signature or imprint of “who you are” moves forward to transform into another form. What accompanies you into the next journey?
It might be a question you have never asked yourself before or never Pondered upon but isn’t it a good question to know since you are spending exorbitant amounts of our time, energy, health, and money on adding more and more items on to The List. Most times in the process, we compromise our health, relationships, and overload ourselves with stress.
So take some time to “cross out” everything that is not going to accompany you.
Once you cross everything out, what remains on your list?
Take a moment to notice that.
If you have ended with an “empty list”, then great;
If you have arrived at “I don’t know what I will carry forward” awareness, even greater;
If you are remaining with esoteric items like “love”, “knowledge”, congratulate yourself.
What is interesting is that, even our body is not going to accompany us. We have to discard and drop it right here in this world. It only serves us in this lifetime. It is our vehicle to navigate this world so we can improve, develop and transform that which will accompany us into the next adventure, new form, new life.
So the question becomes – what is guaranteed accompanying me to the next realm? Even more important, who is the ‘me’ it will accompany.
Let us do a little witnessing through a simple process – all you need to do is keep reading.
As you continue to read, I invite you to slowly become aware of yourself, your Self – right this moment.
Do the reading slowly – take your time.
As you are reading, slowly can you also, become aware of your body.
your lower back,
middle and upper back,
entire length of spine,
your entire arms,
Slowly become aware of your entire body.
Now slowly, keeping that knowing, take your awareness to your breath – effortlessly.
You are breathing.
Just take a moment to observe that.
Breath is going in and out. Now take a deep slow breath in and breathe out.
Now see if you can become aware of
any thoughts, thinking, observations that are flowing through your mind right this moment.
What are you feeling – joy, sadness, anger, numbness.
Is a dialogue is happening in your head as you are doing this – a parallel conversation. Are you aware of it?
Maybe some images fom the past memories are popping in taking you on another trail away fom this reading. Bring yourself back to the awareness.
Can you observe all of this – right this moment.
If mind wanders, bring it back to here and now and to this awareness.
Now slowly, switch to the Awareness itself.
Who is observing? Can you in this moment – witness – that awareness.
Who is that – What is that – in you that is is witnessing you reading this?
Who is that – What is that – in you that can observe everything happening with you this moment?
Who is that – What is that – that has been present to the entire unfolding of your life – fom your childhood to this moment, it has witnessed every aspect of your life.
Who is that?
Are you a ware of its presence now?
Just stay with that awareness right this moment.
Observe how you feel. Observe the mind.
This awareness has always been with you.
Your earliest memory will be of this awareness.
What was before?
What will be after?
What do you know about it?
It consists of all that is here in this moment.
It is a witnesses to all of it. It’s our energy signature as I like to call it. It holds in itself the entire infinite possibility of “who you are”. Thoughts, thinking, logic, memory, feelings, identity – the sense of ‘I’, ‘me’ – may float in it but it is even beyond that because it
witnesses all of it. Are you a ware in this moment of that “awareness” in you – the observer, the witness?
That awareness is guaranteed to stay with you.
Pause. Take that in. Breathe in and out. Relax.
Isn’t it ridiculous that we spend our entire lives spending time, energy and money accumulating things which are never guaranteed to accompany us when we die, and never spending any time “knowing that”, “deepening that” – which is the energy signature of who we are.
Neither at home nor at school today, are we taught to know and develop this energy signature of who we are. We are caught up in the drama of everything outside with no awareness and value for the inside.
In fact we use drugs, narcotics, alcohol, etc to disconnect from this conscious awareness.
In a world, where stress has reached its pinnacle, suicide and depression is grappling young and adult lives, diseases are recognized as part of the normal aging process – is it not time to take a pause from this rat race of accumulation, and getting to know our Self a little more.
Today science acknowledges that everything is energy – we are energy. The mind is energy. The body is energy. And energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It has always existed meaning our energy signature has existed from time immemorial in the universe, and it will exist for time immemorial.
Energy only transforms from one form to the other. This body dies, recycles and becomes the earth and this mind or energy body moves forward. How much have you invested on knowing this energy body that you are made of?
We live on the land of India or Bharath where our ancestors have spend lifetimes knowing this energy that we are made up of. It is everywhere on this land – indigenous people in every remote corner of India have lived seeped in this wisdom. They have tread in this world from the inside out. Great seers, sages, Rishi’s, enlightened beings have walked on this land and left behind infinite resources for not just knowing this “awareness” but living established in this awareness. That is the Art Of Living – fully, freely and fearlessly living your life.
Today, on my spiritual path under the guidance of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, I meet thousands and thousands of people of all ages, races, nationalities coming to India to know and be established in this awareness. Many of these people make this trip from faraway lands by letting go of their priced material possessions and investing it in these journeys. They are focused on re-prioritizing their lives and re-creating a more
guaranteed list of what they consider precious. They feel responsible to do so for their children no the next generation.
Many times we think, re-creating this list and knowing “who we are” is going to reduce the fullness of our experience. That’s an Illusion. When you live this life established in the truth of your own being , you live an even fuller life. You life is not driven anymore in the pursuit of pleasure outside. You know that the deepest joy and bliss is within you. Established in that Joy, you are able to act and live this world fearlessly.
So today, I invite you to create a new list for yourself. And I leave you with two questions. As I have learned from my Gurudev – these two questions show up in your awareness as you transition from one energy form to another. It summarizes the very essence of our lived life:
How much knowledge have you gained?
How much love have you given?
May this awareness and these two questions support you to recreate a new list for yourself, and often ask yourself.
Knock. Knock. Who is there!