August in the Mediterranean culture is the month of relaxing, taking time off work, enjoying the sun, the sea, friends and family, nature.
I would like to inspire you to invest your attention while you might be somewhat away from your everyday routine, in the observation of your attitude.
In his book, the Laws of Human Nature, 2018, Profile Books Ltd., Robert Greene elaborates on what is Attitude as follows:
Each of us sees the world through a particular lens that colours and shapes our perceptions. Let us call this lens our Attitude.
The attitude that we carry with us, is mostly activated by our conditioned mind, a mind that makes assumptions, has beliefs and clings to an identity.
Our conditioned mind is a controlling construction, a mechanical instrument useful to be used to drive safely a car, to use a computer efficiently , to handle our finances or similar tasks. In that way our attitude is either reactive or responsive depending on the side where we can keep control.
As long as we live our lives through our conditioned mind, two paths of attitudes can open:
1. The Constricted (Negative ) Attitude : Hostile, Anxious, Avoidant, Depressive, Resentful, our Lens is very Narrow, Emptiness is felt as a dark and fearful place to be, life is not appreciated instead it is experienced as a struggle.
2. The Expansive (Positive) Attitude: Responsible, Honest,Conscious, Aware, Curious, Loving, Generous, our Lens is wide open, we are on the way to liberate ourselves from our conditioned mind. Our Radiant Mind and Heart are directing our lives, Emptiness is felt as a luminous place, Meaning and Purpose unfold. Life is a miracle in action.
Adyashanti in his book Emptiness dancing, 2006 Sounds True Inc., writes:
In the Zen tradition they say that if we allow ourselves to be stripped away of our own identities, beliefs and assumptions we may find ourselves falling backward into, who we were before our parents were born. This is falling into the most essential root of being.
If you are not trying to control anything, you feel certain thought patterns and energetic qualities falling away like leaves or snow falling, it’s a delicate falling.
This is what spiritual inquiry is for. Asking “Who am I?” is being present in the space of not-knowing and questioning all your beliefs and assumptions.
The realisation of eternal truth comes at the expense of all of your illusions.
If trees where like humans, you would see them reaching down with their branches and raking up all the leaves to hold onto them for security.
Wouldn’t you feel bad if you saw the trees doing this, holding all their leaves to themselves as if they were in an existential crisis?
This is our tendency, to pick up the pieces of our pet beliefs and theories and hold on for dear life.
Sometimes people ask me, “If I realise that I, as a separate identity don’t really exist as I thought I did, then who is going to live this life?”
You realise that, “You” are not living this life, this radiant heart is what is actually living this life-along with this radiant, empty mind.
When you give up being who you thought you were and let yourself be who you really are, then this radiant heart lives your life.
A great way to think about and explain the true nature of every person is to say that when true nature is birthed into full consciousness, your mind is open as far as it can go.
It doesn’t mean your thoughts expand into the cosmos, it means your mind is so open that there are no edges to it.
You notice that as soon as you grasp a thought and believe it, the mind closes down onto that thought.
So the natural mind is an open mind, and the natural heart is open, come what may.
That’s the shock of our natural condition, the mind and heart are naturally open and do not know how to close under any conditions at any time.
And at the same time, you are beyond the open mind and heart.
Everything is contained within what you are.
The conditioned mind is always taking on God’s job, wondering what people are doing and why they do it.
But that is none of your business, none of your concern.
You can just start walking through life with this natural openness to what is and be that way under all conditions at all times.
That’s what the true Self has been doing all along.
When your true nature is realised, it is not as if you will have some amazing experience and after that you say, “Okay world, I’m ready.”
The deepest experience is when you realise that this open, radiant, empty mind and open, radian heart have always been open.
They don’t need to open, they are not going to open, openness has always been here.
You no longer see two, you see the ONE in and as everything.
What allows this opening to take place as a great depth is to realise we are already the openness into which we are opening.
If we keep identifying with the human aspect of ourselves, we think, “ My God, I am opening into something too big for me.”
When we really let go and fall into this open silence, we can’t find any end to it.
It has been eternally here from before the beginning and in that, our humanness finds a welcoming to open itself.
This is so because we are not opening ourselves into a mystery that is alien, or foreign, or different, but into what we have always been.