drop your masks!

I have just returned from a weekend retreat at the Global Retreat Centre run by the Brahma Kumaris. This is a non religious, NGO whose teachings I have been exposed to for many years through my parents.

Please do check out the amazing work they do.

The core of the weekend retreat was to become more spiritually aware. Being “spiritual” invokes in a lot of people the concept of religious dogma and rituals. For some, it even invokes this image of tree hugging, wheat grass sipping, chanting  hippies!

“Spirituality is about acting out of your inner humanity.

If you go deeper, you’ll be acting out of inner divinity”. – Sadhguru Vasudev

What does being spiritual being to you?

Spirituality is simply about being aware – and being aware that you are aware!

Living a spiritual life is about living from your true essence of love, peace and joy. And a spiritual journey is simlpy about living more and more from this true essence.

“Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power but in character and goodness. People are just people and all people have faults and shortcomings, but all of us are born with basic goodness” – Anne Frank

One of the ways of getting aware of this true essence is through daily meditation.

How will this spiritual awareness help you on a day to day basis?

The practical aspect and beauty of gaining spiritual awareness is that you eventully get moment by moment awareness of what you are going through.

The key is to be aware that we don’t see things as they really are, but based on how we see the world.

It is as if we go through our lives wearing a mask which we thnk we must wear to get through life.

Simply be aware of your awareness and what you base it on.

At the retreat, Geoff Marlow talked eloquently about the 4 things on which we all base our awareness and then wear a mask to hide the real essence of who we are:-

1.You are not your possessions

When you believe that you are what you own, this creates a desire for more and more material accumulation.

The marketing industry very cleverly creates a never ending spiral of spending by convincing us that we must have the latest fads and fashion items such as the newest mobile phones and zippiest cars.

Check out the latest BMW adverts – BMW is no longer a car but it is joy!

What do you believe what the model of your car or where you live, says about you?

2.  You are not your achievements.

When you believe that you are your achievements, you invariably end up constantly striving for the next promotion, accolade or success in your life.

You end up in a never ending spiral of striving for more success and base your happiness on external recognition from your peers, friends and family.

At the same time, there is nothing wrong with having your identity vested in possessions and achievements, but just be aware of the consequences.

“Be spiritual, own lots of things, but don’t let anything own you!”

I too love my gadgets, gizmos and the finer things in life, and am learning to not let my life revolve around them. But must get an Iphone soon. 🙂

3. You are not your relationships.

We base our status in life and happines on whether or not you in a relationship with a significant other or whether you are highly socially connected. Of course with the advent of social media people seem to be in a race to have thousands of Twitter followers and Facebook friends.

When a relationships end or you lose lose someone , you grieve the identity and role you associated with them andnot necessarily the loss of that person. For example when your marriage breaks up.

Ask yourself – how much of your identity is vested in your relationships?

And remember that you are not your relationships.

4. You are not your thoughts

Your thoughts are all about how you think and feel about things. People get so vested in their thoughts and their political and religious beliefs – they are willing to die for them.

People’s personalities are based on their core values and their recurring thoughts. But once you realise that the way you think and how you see the world is just one of many myriad ways of looking at the world, you can accept that there is no right or wring way and you can see how you are much more than your thoughts.

So to summarise, be aware that you are not your

Possessions
Achievements
Relationships
Thoughts

Taking the first letter of each of these words, you get the acronym PART which is a great way of remembering that once you have true awareness, you are simply an actor playing a part in the magic of life.

If you reverse the word part, you great the word TRAP. So do not fall into the trap of basing your life on the part you play!

“Possessions are the trappings of success”.

Once you are aware that you are an actor and that others are also playing a role too as actors, then you don’t have to base your happiness on other people or on anything outside of you.

Knowing that you are far more than your possessions, achievements, relationships and thoughts, allows you to see the world in a new way in each moment.

It is actually rather liberating and allows you to live from your true essence of love, peace and joy.

From today onwards, become more and more aware of who you really are, throw away your masks, stop acting and start living.

What masks will you throw away today?

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