Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes


A life of awareness, a life of epiphany

Posted on April 05, 2015 by jimparedes

HUMMING buy trusted tablets pharmacy IN MY UNIVERSE By Jim Paredes (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 5, 2015 –

Sit on a couple of pillows with legs in lotus position. If you can’t, just sit on any chair. Keep feet flat on the ground. And your back should be straight. Do not slouch. Try to find comfort in that position.

Think of nothing.

Okay. I know that is close to impossible. In that case simply watch your thoughts pass by. Do not entertain them. Just let them enter your mind’s blank screen and let them pass. Do this for a while. No clinging. Do not invest emotionally as thoughts pass by. Just observe them for what they are. They are only thoughts.

Be calm.

Soon, you will realize how many thoughts you actually entertain automatically. It is as if you can’t help it. You cling to some and the others you let go. Your mind seems to control you when you should be controlling your mind.

But if you keep doing this, you will soon feel less anxious and reactive about them. You will calm down and you will see thoughts and feelings as just phenomena rising and leaving your mind, no different at all from clouds passing by.

You may also begin to see not just your thoughts and feelings but also yourself in the third person having those thoughts and feelings. You become capable of seeing an “objectified” you. When this happens, you have now become both subject and object. You are the one being watched and the one watching. And you may wonder how it happened.

What actually happens to a lot of meditators is this; the “witness” appears. Because you can objectify your thoughts, you can also now see yourself as an object too.

Who is the witness? Well, it is also you. As simple as that sounds like, it is a big deal. And sensing the witness inevitably leads you to inquire further about who you really are.

If I am also the witness, how am I doing it? To understand better, ponder on these questions: Who is it that experiences the world through your senses? The one who looks through your eyes, and smells through your nose and feels with your skin? Who is the one who cries and laughs, and feels and works up the emotions you are capable of?

If you answered “me” to the questions, then you are correct. But how correct you are will only be revealed the deeper your awareness goes.

And the more you probe into the witness, the deeper you are drawn in to this mystery of who you are. In my personal life, I know there is the Jim Paredes that people see, and a Jim Paredes that I alone seem to know well at times. I can distance my self and treat it as a third person.

But the more I reflect on this quaint and unique identity that is Jim Paredes, the more I know that everything about him is essentially all made up.

We conjure identities to distinguish ourselves from others. We are male or female or gay. We go to certain schools. We were born of a certain status, nationality, etc. We carry the title of the professions we belong to. We are perceived as many things to many people including ourselves.

In zen, the question, “What was your original face before your parents gave birth to you?” is often asked. This is so to break the comfort of identity, and go to the substance of who you are without all the titles we have been identified with.

We were spirit before we were born. As spirit we had no history or identity. We incarnate briefly into this life of details and identities, and become spirit once again when we die.

To me, this incarnate life we live is a mere blink in the eye of eternity. This is not the big deal because it is as transient as our thoughts and as the clouds passing by. We come and go.

Meditation makes you think of stuff like this. It takes you out of your usual perception of life as you mostly live it. The witness makes you more aware that everything, including those we deem as deeply important will surely also pass. And knowing that this is so makes us aware that everything is important.

As truthfully as I said two paragraphs ago that life is not THE big deal, I now say without fear of contradiction that life is also a big deal. It is a paradox. Why? Because since in this time and place we live in, we only have a few moments that will come and go, we must pay attention to every moment as a gift and live it fully.

Paying attention and knowing the value of every encounter and moment we live can lead us to a great respect and reverence for everything. We are life itself unfolding our unique story with the rest of the universes. We feel an overpowering sense of appreciation and gratitude for life itself. It is short. That is why it is valuable, because we will never pass this way again.

I purposely was not going to write about Easter in the traditional sense of talking about the Risen Lord, etc. Instead I wanted to share the simple but profound epiphany of this moment, this very now and every now that follows.

You may be reading this article to simply fill up the time before an important event, or doing so as a habit or for lack of anything to do. The reason does not matter. Just read with full presence. Whatever you are doing, do so with full attention.

Now turn on your witness mode and watch yourself do what you are doing. There is more to life than what you’ve ever suspected was going on. There is you, and the rest of the universe unfolding. There is ironically also the experience of timelessness even in this limited field of time and space that is life.

The witness is rejoicing! You are living a life that will never be lived again. And now you are aware of it and it is mind-blowing!

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