Inspiration from the Buddhi Bird

Why is it that some of us are suffering right now, while others are doing well, despite immense challenge and adversity?
How we relate to what is happening in our lives comes from our mindset and beliefs, and our experiences in the past.

Let me bring you back to story of the two birds, as a way to see more clearly into your experience.
two birds in a tree
In Mooji’s words:
“Some time ago I saw a picture depicting a parable from the Bhagavad Gita. It showed two birds in a tree, and one of them was building a nest. This one is flying off collecting things, arranging the twigs – its active, doing many things.
Above this bird, on another branch, is a second bird. It looks identical to the first bird, and it’s not building anything. It is just observing. It’s not building a self-image out of its perceiving, and its not deeply interested in any aspect of what it sees. Its perceiving is happening quite spontaneously without effort or judgment. There’s a silence there, that feeling of Being without thought. Just looking.

This is a beautiful portrait of who we are.
These two birds are connected. The first bird represents our dynamic being, the self that is engaged in the world, in future and past, in growing. It is the aspect that is living life with the sense of my family, my children, my work and so on.

The second bird represents that conscious witnessing within us. It is the ability to observe life taking place and activities unfolding, but it is not actually doing anything…

Initially the first bird who is building the nest, may not be aware of the second bird. As soon as it is able to be quiet, it becomes aware of the second bird, which is actually itself at a deeper inner level.

When the first bird’s mind is synchronized with the second bird, the activities become much more gracious. There is a sense of unity, a oneness… The second bird represents the change of perspective from the mode of the person to the state of presence.”

Self isolation and sheltering in place, offers us an opportunity for retreat and to get to know these two different aspects of ourselves.
The first bird engages in the world around it and is also called the I-maker or ego mind. It is the part of ourselves that creates stories about life and how we are experiencing it. It is easily influenced by our feelings, especially fears and desires. For example, when we feel threatened it can create a story about being a victim or create an other version where we become the hero. It can make us feel unworthy or let us believe that we are most worthy, while others are not.
It is the judge, jury and creator of how we believe we SHOULD be living our life.

In times of challenge, this part of ourselves takes center stage. The old ways of being, the habits and the comfort of everyday life as we know it have been taken away.  The I-maker is fearful of being out of control and threatened by the unknown and possible harm.

Have you noticed this part of your being on overdrive these days?…. I certainly have.

The second bird, or other part of ourselves is a conscious witness within us, at a deeper level. Sometimes the I-Maker is called the small self, while the other is referred to as higher Self. The higher Self has a bigger and broader perspective of life. It can see through the stories the small self makes up and sees beyond them. It is without judgment and is always present when we allow our attention to go there. It is called Buddhi and is close to Divine Presence or Source.

I believe that we can touch this deeper part of ourselves when we take time to pause and turn our attention inwards. When we Find our Middle Ground.

Now more that ever, take time to find some quiet space and reflect on this significant time of change. Take time to pause and create a space of Retreat and Reflection. Notice what stories you are telling yourself to try to make sense of what comes up. Notice resistance to the changing reality. Notice how you distract yourself from the discomfort and fear. Let go of judgment and be kind to this part of yourself.

Mindfulness and meditation will open up a bigger part of yourself, and create an anchor in the present moment. If you haven’t practiced meditation or yoga, then this is a wonderful opportunity to come to it. There is much being offered online and with apps such as HeadSpace.

A walk in nature and ten minutes of legs-up-the-wall are my practices these days, when I am not teaching yoga. I find them grounding and approachable. Take the time to explore what works for you.

Namaste

Minds Like Crows

Enjoy this re-post from three years ago.

oooOOOooo
magpie nest

“Our minds are like crows.  They pick up everything that glitters, no matter how uncomfortable our nests get with all that metal in them.”  ~ Thomas Merton

I love this analogy. Its part of the human condition to keep picking up thoughts and not letting them go. Adding more and more until we find ourselves overwhelmed.

In yoga there is the term “monkey mind” for a mind that continues to jump from one thought to another. Whether monkeys or crows work for you, take a moment to reflect on how attached to you might be to your thinking.

Do you keep analyzing and adding more thoughts? Or perhaps jump from one to the next? How much are you adding to your mental clutter ?

metal clutter

When we take time to pause and be still, we become aware of our thinking. We realize we are not our thinking. As a witness to our thoughts, we become less attached to them.

With awareness comes detachment and the ability to let our thoughts go.

Don’t add to your inner clutter, find your middle ground.

In the Mirror of your Mind

silent observer

Free photo 112089727 © creative commons stock photos – Dreamstime.com

“In the mirror of your mind all kinds of pictures appear and disappear.
Knowing that they are entirely your own creations, watch them silently come and go.
Be alert, but not perturbed.
This attitude of silent observation is the very foundation of yoga. You see the picture, but you are not the picture.”

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

The foundation of yoga is to become a silent observer without attachment to the world we create in our minds.

… and then remember not to hold our breath 😊

Namaste

Mooji – The Parable of the Two Birds

This inspiration is from Mooji and is taken from ‘Vaster Than Sky Greater Than Space’.

“Some time ago I saw a picture depicting a parable from the Bhagavad Gita. It showed two birds in a tree, and one of them was building a nest. This one is flying off collecting things, arranging the twigs – its active, doing many things.

Above this bird, on another branch, is a second bird. It looks identical to the first bird, and it’s not building anything. It is just observing. It’s not building a self-image out of its perceiving, and its not deeply interested in any aspect of what it sees. Its perceiving is happening quite spontaneously without effort or judgment. There’s a silence there, that feeling of Being without thought. Just looking.

This is a beautiful portrait of who we are.

These two birds are connected. The first  bird represents our dynamic being, the self that is engaged in the world, in future and post, in growing. It is the aspect that is living life with the sense of my family, my children, my work and so on.

The second bird represents that conscious witnessing within us. It is the ability to observe life taking place and activities unfolding, but it is not actually doing anything…

Initially the first bird who is building the nest, may not be aware of the second bird. As soon as it is able to be quiet, it becomes aware of the second bird, which is actually itself at a deeper inner level.

When the first bird’s mind is synchronized with the second bird, the activities become much more gracious. There is a sense of unity, a oneness…

The second bird represents the change of perspective from the mode of the person to the state of presence…

If you can slow down just a bit, your witnessing will become very serene, and you will notice that the activities of life are just happening by themselves.”

 

Every one of us is like these two birds. Yet, when we identify with being the doer, then we lose touch with the wholeness of ourselves and the Truth of who we are.

Slow down and take time to be an observer of whatever comes up in your thoughts, feelings and sensations. Embrace your second bird.

When you come from a state of presence everyday life transforms itself.

Namaste

 

True Detachment

“Detachment is like flying high: the higher you fly, the wider a landscape you are able to view.

But when you are unable to fly beyond the limited realities of your daily life, you are like a person who is confined to a narrow cell, unable to enjoy the expansion of nature…

True detachment from the world becomes possible when there is increasing attachment to the Divine Self within one’s heart.”

~ Swami Jyotirmayananda. Taken from “Yoga Gems” edited by Georg Feuerstein

I think we all want to have the feeling of flying high and seeing beyond every day reality. To connect to something beyond our daily life.
Yet, its easy to get confused between true detachment and putting up barriers to the world around us. Some of us may retreat and withdraw from life, rather than engaging in it and touching what is deep within us.

We must continue to connect to our heart. To the loving Source within us. Otherwise it becomes a mind driven practice of witness consciousness, that keeps us confined, rather than sets us free.

Namaste

Staying in Your Middle Ground

slow down

Miniature World Of Snails By Vyacheslav Mishchenko from boredpanda.com

When we slow down, and are able to observe ourselves in that moment, I call it finding our Middle Ground. It is the first step in spiritual self inquiry. It’s when we look inwards, asking ourselves the ultimate question”Who am I?”

In this space we become a curious observer of ourselves and develop witness consciousness.

“The witness is your awareness of your own thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Witnessing is like waking up in the morning and then looking in the mirror and noticing yourself — not judging or criticizing, just neutrally observing the quality of being awake. That process of stepping back takes you out of being submerged in your experiences and thoughts and sensory input and into self-awareness.” ~ Ram Dass

For me, the practice of yoga and meditation brings me to my Middle Ground. As I learn to be here more and more, I realize that the true nature of us all is awareness. I am the perceiver of myself and the world around me, and happen to live in a thinking, breathing, physical and energetic body.

Yet, finding our Middle Ground is only the beginning. The next step is to stay here, and come from this place every day.

“Along with that self-awareness comes the subtle joy of just being here, alive, enjoying being present in this moment. Eventually, floating in that subjective awareness, the objects of awareness dissolve, and you will come into the spiritual Self, which is pure consciousness, joy, compassion, the One.” ~ Ram Dass

As we practice being present and aware, a new sense of being emerges. We become less attached to external objects, and we feel a sense of connection with everyone.

Living in our Middle Ground, develops compassion for others, and for ourselves… just the way we are.
We feel less disturbance and motivation. There is no longer a feeling of lack, or anxiety. We recognize that everything passes and we are no longer attached. There is no worry or fear.

Yet, staying in our Middle Ground continues to be a practice. There will be times when I am brought back to feelings of  fear or uncertainty, or become attached to something pleasurable. This seems to be way of human beings.

With awareness of this we can bring ourselves back to the first step once more.

And that’s okay.  Its simply an opportunity to find our Middle Ground once more and sense the spiritual Self that is there for us to keep connecting to.

Namaste

Mooji Inspiration – Mind Play

Don’t be in front of the mind. Be behind the mind.
Then you can observe the mind—if you even care to.
As soon as it becomes clear to you that you are outside the bubble of the mind play,
you are immediately in a different atmosphere.
You are in the atmosphere of the Self and far too joyful to be bothered by as small a thing as the mind.*

~ Mooji

Its good to be in the company of Mooji, with his lightheartedness and joy for life. What a wonderful reminder to not take ourselves so seriously, especially the bubble of mind play.

Go burst a few thought bubbles today!

 

*Mooji (2015-12-03). White Fire: Spiritual insights and teachings of advaita zen master Mooji (Kindle Locations 1609-1611). Mooji Media Publications. Kindle Edition.

* Haiku – tragedy

life is not a tragedy

George Zach is a Greek comedian living in the UK.

~

Be the one who sees

Life is not a tragedy

Find Your Middle Ground

~

 

If you are new to this site, welcome!

To find out more, please follow these links on finding your middle ground and the steps to take you there.

 

* We are Not our Thinking

“Thinking is something you watch the mind do. You are just there, aware that you are aware. You are the indwelling being, the consciousness. Its not something you have to think about. You are it. You can watch the mind being neurotic and not get involved. This is all you have to do to unplug the disturbed mind.”

~ Michael A. Singer from The Untethered Soul

We are not the thinking mind, we are aware of the thinking mind.

Awareness itself.

When we embrace this discovery, everything begins to change.

Our beliefs and thoughts become clear and we can question them.

It is the key to detach from the beliefs that hold us back, keep us limited and safe.

This awareness leads to freedom, connection and infinite possibilities.

So go on, take time to unplug.

Soften… Let go…

Watch your thoughts like passing clouds.

 

* You as the Perceiver

be the perceiver

 

Whatever happens in your head is not you.

Whatever happens in your body is not you.

Whatever happens in the world is not you.

Whatever happens is not you.

Yet none of it can exist without you, the perceiver of it all.*

~ Mooji

When we get sucked up into the pounding emotions of the world around us, and listen to the media that fans the fires of fear, this becomes a really powerful message.

Becoming detached from what we thought was a part of ourselves, sets us free… and brings more discernment and balance into our lives.

Take a moment to consider. “Am I too attached to something that is not supporting my wellbeing?”

This question in itself will help you step back and enter the space of the perceiver.

p.s. The other answer to your question is yes – chocolate can also support our well being.

 

*Mooji (2015-12-03). White Fire: Spiritual insights and teachings of advaita zen master Mooji (Kindle Locations 1382-1384). Mooji Media Publications. Kindle Edition.

* Inspiration – getting clear about unhappiness

unhappiness revealed

“Inquiring deeply into

The source of unhappiness,

One becomes clear about unhappiness.

When one is clear about unhappiness,

One becomes clear of unhappiness.”

~ Wu Hsin

In yoga philosophy, unhappiness is rooted in attachment to pleasure and wanting things to be a certain way … our way. It is also connected to aversion, when we dislike and avoid things that are not a certain way … our way.

It seems to fit with Wu Hsin’s words of wisdom, as well as the tenets of Buddhism.
In daily life we fall into the habit of being pulled between trying to get what we want and trying to avoid what we don’t want.

When we are caught up in attachment or aversion, it prevents us from seeing how things really are.

Clarity comes when we become aware that unhappiness comes when our mind resists what is, and wishes things were different. As we observe this more and more within ourselves, we come to realize that accepting how things are, and letting go of our stories is the key to being happy.

How does this resonate with you my friends?