Previous Parts: Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 |Part 14| Part 15| Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30 | Part 31 | Part 32 | Part 33| Part 34 | Part 35
My Experiment with Truth IV
It’s easier said than done. Every time I tried to be a witness, to be able to watch me and my actions with the same interest I watch other people or situation, I would fail. I would get involved with the drama; I got identified with the situation. Perhaps our conditioning makes it sure that we invariably become identified with anything. However after meeting and discussing with Arvind, I was determined to find the WITNESS inside me..that intense presence which burns all the ego borne illnesses. I knew that it was possible and I was going to try it. Gradually I started my journey. I started catching myself more and more in the .moments when I was absent. And suddenly I realized that I was mostly absent... my consciousness getting identified with the mind. I used to be always busy with past or future.
My mind engrossed in analysing what had happened and what’s going to happen. I always interpreted every situation in respect to ‘I’ ...trying to find my ‘I’ in other people or situation. I realized that except that ‘I’, I had no sense of self. However I was not disappointed this time. I concluded once again that to know your mistake is half the battle won.
One can only move forward from there because one can’t remain stuck with one’s mistake. It’s simply impossible to remain there because knowing is enough to pull someone out of the dream....the dream which we see with open eyes. I realised that witnessing is actually awakening from our conditioned pattern of life....this understanding gave me wings to fly. I started watching my every action. At work, if I was talking to the patient, besides being interested in his response, I would watch myself also.....my way of talking, my response to his questions, my ways of explaining things to him, my level of involvement. I noticed that by watching, I was becoming more patient, the habit of doing things in hurry was slowly vanishing. I was finding myself available to the task in which I was involved with rather than my wondering senselessly in dream world. My presence was also making me feel integrated rather than being split in multiple pieces, all being pulled along different directions.
Gradually I extended my witnessing to other areas of my life also....in dealing with colleagues and staff at my work place, at home with my daughter and also in my interaction with my husband, my in-laws and parents. My awareness made huge difference to the way I interacted with people around me. I could see that by being aware, by being present, by watching myself, I was able to break my conditioned behaviour. I knew I was an impatient person. However I couldn’t be impatient when I watched. I couldn’t be frustrated when I watched. When I was intensely present to the situation, I started finding it funny to react. And the biggest change was that I didn’t have to control my reaction, it would dissolve spontaneously by my watching. I was losing my anxiety, my fear, my jealousy, my possessiveness one by one. It was impossible to be present and having the ego based negativities. They simply couldn’t exist simultaneously. I decided that it’s our choice always, either to be lost in the mind or be aware....be present. A strange sense of calmness and grace had started descending on me. Though I would off and on fall into the darkness of conditioned pattern where mind becomes our master, I was quick to revert back to my awareness because now I had the knowledge that a space which was beyond mind did exist.
At my work, I started drifting away from unnecessary competition amongst colleagues. It seemed to me that till now, I was only trying to cement my ego further by competing with others. I felt amused that I was spending so much time and energy on glorifying an elusive identity ...my ego. The realization was hilarious thought to me that I was busy in making building when the foundation never existed. That more we are unaware of our being, more we are lost on our ego. ...the day we know ourselves, we cannot be lost in our ego. I didn’t feel possessive any more. I felt as I didn’t own anything. I felt more like a visitor in this world, who is here for some purpose, who has to fulfil his destiny and leave the world. The very idea of possessing something dissolves as soon as you realize that you are a temporary inhabitant. I could see positive changes in myself; at least my negativities were being dissolved by my presence. Although I knew that I had long way to go but nevertheless I was happy with the new beginning. However Arvind was losing his battle. His illness was becoming progressive and he was not responding to drugs any more. I visited him again and found him very week.
He had started showing the signs of full blown AIDS. He had TB also and combination was proving to be lethal for him. I was trying to do whatever I can to help him to mitigate his condition. I visited him frequently these days, not for holding any discussion but to just stay with him. I would sit there for hours holding his hand, both of us silently exchanging our feelings. I was grateful to him for giving me an elixir of life and he loved the feel of family which he could not have of his own, I provided to him. In spite of his condition deteriorating, his endurance was unparalleled, his smile always intact. I was forced to believe in what I never believed before, that its body which is annihilated and not the soul. His soul was as pure as ever, no shades of disappointment, pain, misery written anywhere on his face. It was as if body didn’t belong to him.
I also recognized gradually ...what Arvind used to tell me that as you start gaining your awareness, thoughts are first one to be assessible to be watched, which is followed by feelings and lastly by emotions. I was progressing well in watching my thoughts, but I was still vulnerable to be identified with my feelings and emotions. It was not possible for me to not to feel bad or let down by circumstances. However, I would try to contain myself because of my witnessing rather than spilling it over and activating my thought process. I wouldn’t let it make stories out of it. When I watched, the cascading pathway of the thought processes would not be activated or could not be sustained if activated by momentary unconsciousness. I was sure that eventually I would win over my feelings and emotions also. I had to...I had to make that choice for my peace and contentment.
~To be continued