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George: Hi, Tan. It was quite an experience talking to you on Skype. It made everything more real instead of it all being “in my head.” When one is doing this alone one never knows if it’s all imagination and one hasn’t even started on the path, so it was very helpful you situating me. That was very validating for me.
Tan: It is important to remark that this is just a validation of the fact that there is a seeking apparently going on. The seeker and seeking are mithya.
It is an appearance. However, you – awareness – do not need validation. We have to be careful not to identify with the seeker and the seeking as a great accomplishment.
You never need a validation, since you are the only thing that is always true (satya) and valid.
Always discriminating between you – the truth – and all else, for example, the seeking – the appearance – is freedom from the appearance. This is moksa.
George: This morning I went to a meditation session at the Buddhist centre. I got into a very sattvic state in which I was able to see my body and thoughts and the words of the teacher as objects arising in me. It’s hard to describe. I felt very calm and peaceful and at times, as if floating. At times I wasn’t aware of my body as a body, but just sensations, sounds, thoughts, belonging nowhere. I think I was witnessing these arising in me.
Tan: Yes. Also, the meditation technique that James proposes, pratiahara, exactly often creates such a sattvic state. You, awareness, however, do not get into a sattvic state. The sattvic state appears in you.
George: When I left the centre I found it difficult to know what to do. This is a persistent problem, as I don’t have a partner or any friends here. How do I spend my time? I will be alone all weekend till Tuesday. This is one of my biggest problems. For someone like you, who has a family and a job, you might not understand what I mean. I know that this is just something that is known to me, awareness, but I still need something to do, and suffer from loneliness and boredom. I went to a café and sat and read James’ book for a while, then came home. I live, as I said on Skype, like a hermit and I find it very difficult. But I won’t go on about it. Yes, I can remind myself that I’m not the body and not the feelings of loneliness and boredom, but not for days on end!…
Tan: James sometimes talks about students who get bored and do something dharmic in order to fill their lives with activity.
One of James’ students was retired and trained to become a kindergarden or elementary grade school teacher (Montessori system) and works as a teacher now.
There are many dharmic activities that can be useful to spend time with. I remember what boredom is.
But I have not been bored for a nanosecond for many years. Boredom and loneliness have completely vanished.
What is boredom?
I want to act, but I do not know what to do and I am unhappy that it is so. So in boredom there is always a lack of acceptance of the current situation.
If I accept everything as a gift from Isvara/God and take the karma yoga attitude, can there be boredom?
If I accept boredom as a gift from Isvara/God, can there be boredom?
Boredom also means I seem unfulfilled and I appear to need something to fulfill me.
If I understand that everything is arising is me, and I am the only thing that is ever-present and that I am always full, whole and complete, can I ever be bored?
No. I do not think so.
You are always with yourself. There is never anything else. And you are always whole and full.
George: I seem to be rambling on now, so I’ll leave it there. There’s a huge contrast between these moments (actually, more than moments, probably more like an hour) of witnessing and the hours of boredom and loneliness.
~ Love, George
Tan: No worries, ramble on. ☺
But it sounds like you discriminate between witnessing as being good and boredom and loneliness as being bad.
As you stated above – both are just appearing in you, awareness.
They may appear to be different, but have the same value to you because you are the only valuable and ever-present item there – because you shine as awareness and make all these things appear.
~ Love, Tan