LETTER 5th MAY 2024 – The Broad Place

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LETTER 5th MAY 2024

For today’s Soul Care Sunday we are going to dive into a study of awareness of consciousness and moving our attention from the distracted mind into something more spacious and graceful.

What we know from neuroscience is that the mind is constantly projecting a reality around us, based on past experiences. It is so utterly gifted at this that it can project up 8 seconds in advance. This is really handy when we are trying to go to the bathroom in the dark at night, or quite amazing when we know how to navigate shops and restaurants (where to stand and pay without signage for example), and less than helpful when we are trying to work out what’s really going on in our lives. That interaction with our friend/colleauge/lover, isn’t really presence, but based on past experiences being thrown forward. 

 And the left hemisphere of the brain fills in all the gaps of information it might not have available based on past experiences, montaging these into our present moment as a projection too. Layer in that we are primarily somatic beings, feeling our way through the world through a process called interoception – where we judge the exterior world based on our interior experience, and I think you’ll get an idea into how much we need awareness of our human experience. Space from our looping overthinking projecting mind into something clearer, more creative, and spacious where all things are possible. Awareness is the key. The ability to Witness and to See. 

Let’s break this down with a conversation Nisardagatta Maharaj and a student. 

Questioner; Why does the mind create all these divisions? 

Nisargadatta Maharaj; To divide and particularise is the minds very nature. There is no harm in dividing. But seperation goes against fact. Things and people are different, but they are not seperate. Nature is one, reality is one. There are opposites, but not opposition.

We are not trying to break the mind, strangulate the mind, control the mind, instead we can become aware of what it is doing. Don’t buy into the teaching ‘tame the monkey mind’ which I hear taught so often! We are not in opposition to ourselves, our minds are a very natural part of being human. But being dominated by our mind can create a lot of suffering.

Q; I find that by nature I am very active. Here I am advised to avoid activity. The more I try to remain inactive, the greater the urge to do something. This makes me not only active outwardly, but also struggling inwardly to be what by nature I am not. Is there a remedy against longing for work?

M; There is a difference between work and mere activity. All nature works. Work is nature, nature is work. On the other hand, activity is based on desire and fear, on longing to possess and enjoy, on fear of pain and annihilation. Work is by the whole for the whole, activity is by oneself for oneself.

Again here, we don’t go up against our natural responses but observe them and ask if they are accurate and true. We don’t force ourselves to sit in a cave meditating if that’s not part of our destiny. We move with our lives, but with incredible awareness and a gentle investigation of ‘what am I really up to here?’. For example we could go force ourselves into long periods of inactivity, but if the intention is to control or force, it will be futile. Same goes for if we feel naturally curious, or drawn towards stillness, but we are constantly running ourselves into the ground, anxious, striving and don’t allow that depth and stillness. Both will create suffering. 

Q. Is there a remedy against activity?

M; Watch it, and it shall cease. Use every opportunity to remind yourself that you are in bondage, that whatever happens to you is due to the fact of your bodily existence. Desire, fear, trouble, joy, they cannot appear unless you are there to appear to. Yet, whatever happens, points to your existence as a perceiving centre. Disregard the pointers and be aware of what they are pointing to. It is quite simple, but it needs to be done. What matters is the persistence in which you keep on returning to yourself.

M; Do you what you feel like doing. Don’t bully yourself. Violence will make you hard and rigid. Do not fight with what you take to be obstacles on your way. Just be interested in them, watch them, observe them, enquire. Let anything happen – good or bad. Don’t let yourself be submerged by what happens.

Look at it this way. The mind produces thoughts ceaselessly, even when you do not look at them. When you know what is going on in your mind, you call it consciousness. This is your waking state – your consciousness shifts from sensation to sensation, from perception to perception, from idea to idea, in an endless succession. Then comes awareness, the direct insight into the whole of consciousness, the totality of the mind. The mind is like a river, flowing ceaselessly in the ned of the body, you identify yourself for a moment with some particular ripple and call it ‘my thought’. All you are conscious of is your mind; awareness is the cognisance of consciousness as a whole. 

Q; Is the search worth all the trouble?

M; Without it all is trouble. If you want to live sanely, creatively and happily and have infinite riches to share, search for what you are…meditate on what is your true being and try to be it in daily life, and you shall realise it in its fullness. 

So this week for our Soul Care Sunday, what might it feel like to really soak in your awareness with honesty and bravery. For it does take courage. In a world constantly grasping for your attention, with a little casino of entertainment housed in your mobile phone, with a probably over stimulated nervous system – slowing down enough to really see what’s happening in your life is courageous. Not waiting for the diagnosis or the death of someone close, but acting now. Becoming present to yourself and your human experience in every way possible, and to open yourself to the flow of consciousness and to let your life be lived through you, not with you constantly battling each element – is absolutely worth the effort.



Mutribo and I have started a Conversations series I think you 

We have curated this luxurious Retreat for those who wish to come to India, and have a truly nurturing time, have their every need met, and all of the potential stress removed from the experience of travel in India. We have curated an experience after hosting many Retreats in India so that you can have a spiritual journey, a learning experience, space for transformation, and complete pampering for mind and body!

We hire the entire property of 26 acres, with all 22 villas, restaurants, yoga class shalas, an Ayurvedic treatment centre, walks, gardens, and access to the beach – just for us. The intimacy and relaxation that you experience is honestly of another level as everyone unwinds together in an intimate group, but with so much spaciousness that you can also find much peace and solitude.  

We generally live unaware of the nurturing inner voices of our being, drowned out by the din of daily life. And after the pandemic of the last two years, diving deeply back into a connection with ourselves is the ultimate gift we can give ourselves. Only when everything else quietens down and we are at peace can we truly hear the voice within, of our soul, of our intuition. This Retreat is reclaiming this space within.

We have taken out all of the stress, and the guess work of traveling to India. Even down to calculating all tips, from your drivers, to your coaches, to the ceremony pundits, all staff, everything we have taken into account so you can truly relax into the experience of India!

Every day there will be yoga classes for you to attend, and also your own private yoga deck within your villa. There are daily meditation with Jac, and she hosts talks, tools, and philosophy is shared. For the aspiring or professional creatives, there is a stunning art and pottery studio where you can be mentored by the resident artist. Think fresh squeezed pomegranate juices, spicy chai’s, amazing Ayurvedic body treatments, meditation to birdsong whilst sitting in a traditional shala overlooking a private beach. You can then go for a swim in the ocean and wander afterwards to the rhythms of the waves, or perhaps you wish to dip into the hotel pool and have some sun worship. Organic food that is farmed on the private property, and prepared for each meal with love, a process so integrated and interesting that you can also take gardening and cooking classes to understand more deeply the process. Spacious rooms, built traditionally with your own private yoga deck with views on the second storey, and open air pavilions to retreat and be in silence. There is only wifi available within the Library, so each day you can truly tune out from the rest of the world, while we take your mind, body and soul on a journey.