Baba says, ‘become the embodiment of awareness‘. For this you must overcome your attachments, He says.
I was an embodiment of awareness for half a cycle. In other words, I was soul conscious. I knew I was a soul, wasn’t something I had to make an effort to remember. I naturally behaved in that way, operating from the original qualities of love, kindness, knowledge, purity, peace. Then, I was happy because I was content. I was content because I my every thought, word and action were aligned with my truth of who I was.
Then I forgot.
I fell prey to the vices and the second half of the cycle was spent thinking of myself as a body and thereby being unfulfilled, discontent and unhappy. I lost my self-respect because my thoughts, words and actions betrayed me, they compromised my truth. I caused sorrow to myself and others. I constantly chased and hustled for ‘rights’ and ‘justice’ and for my very survival. I became attached to props- name, fame, job, role, relationships, possessions – all the things that I was told would bring me joy and happiness.
Baba says, it’s time to let go.
When I attach myself to something because I think it is a means to something I value deeply such as happiness or a sense of belonging, I inevitably become controlling. I guard it with all my attention, I become fearful of losing it, I can’t stand anyone’s critique of it. In other words, the thing I am attached to takes over and controls me. It wields power over me. It is hard to be content when my days are spent in fear and anxiety.
Baba says, remember who you are. I have come to purify you and take you back home.
So the way to let go of my attachment to old ways, the props which have often given me happiness and a sense of security, albeit fleeting, is to attach myself to the opposite. To God. If I can spend time with Him, listen to and read His words, remember Him, I slowly wean myself away from the temporary props and attach myself to The Eternal. The more I learn about Him, the more I learn about me. I become aware of my own truth and the falsehood that has crept into my being.
It all comes down to awareness. That is what this cycle is about, really. It is a game of awareness and forgetting. When I am aware, I am happy. When I am unaware, when I forget, Maya comes and I become unhappy. This study that Baba teaches me is to help me become aware again. And it comes from practice, He says. It’s not something you simply get by understanding. I have to pay attention and practice remaining in awareness for longer. Right now, most of us fluctuate between awareness and forgetting throughout the day. That doesn’t help…it’s time to up the game.
Just as how I can only build a muscle if I work at it daily, consistently, similarly, this too is a practice I must be diligent about doing daily and throughout the day. Let me take 1-2mins every hour to check my mindset, what is my awareness? Am I aligned with my truth? At every decision or choice point, let me pause for just a moment to situate myself in my true awareness and then make the decision. The more I practice, the more natural the awareness becomes.
Once my awareness shifts, my perspectives shift, new things are important to me now, I gain clarity, and a sense of stability in my life. So let me check what I am attached to today, is it the temporary things or The Eternal. Is it the false or the truth? That will determine my awareness.