I just returned from 1.5 months of work with the Yawanawà tribe, integrating my third one month stay in the village. I will start sharing again here about it.
Yesterday I watched Chasing the Present a 2019 documentary you can find on iTunes. It’s basic for those of you already on their spiritual path but good to watch.
I recommend it for those of you interested in learning more about getting on a spiritual path and ending the permanent loop that makes people unhappy: chasing more material stuff, recognition, social validation or generally more mind and ego activity that keeps us chasing what we think is happiness.
Silence and self-introspection
Two tools that are precious and simple, yet counter-intuitive for most modern minds. Our minds are cluttered with to-do lists and things we think we want.
Who is “I”? Who is the person that listens to the “I” in my mind? There are constantly two people in our minds, one that keeps enumerating needs and one that keeps listening to those needs and making them real.
If we meditate we can quickly see that these two do not really exist. Who is “I”? Is it my body? My mind? What’s behind it all? Who is this being that keeps wanting thing and creating needs? The more we look into our minds in silence and observe it and these needs the more we see they do not really exist. It’s all like a dream. Even my name is a conditioning since I was born, chosen by my parents. The work is to see this conditioning and observe it, observe these thoughts and needs as they appear and pass like clouds in the sky.
The “I” is a construction. The first step is to become aware of it, it is consciousness. Then become aware of all the thoughts and needs as “what our mind does”. Like “what our body does” they are just events we can observe. We do not really have these needs or problems, we just think we do. Once we become the observer of our body and mind needs we can see the “I” is something else. There is something beyond our mind, bodies and even consciousness of both.
Silence, introspection in meditation are precious tools accessible to all and the guides in the movies explain it very clearly. The main character of the movie, a successful business person, realizes that whatever he accomplished or whatever society taught him was success does not actually make him happy. He spends two years in India studying with monks and meditating. “I” have not spent that time studying this path but could see it in the few meditation retreats I attended.
For a deeper experience the main character goes to Peru and spends one month with a shipibo “shaman” or messenger working with plants.
Graham Hancock explains it well. “It might not be the first time or the first ten times you work with the plants, but one day or another it will show you your place in the universe and why you are here. You might learn more in a few hours with what the plants show you than your entire life, even though this information isn’t on the cover of the New York Times. There is no way you can control the messages given by the plants. If you try to control it you will just block and miss the messages, the only way is to surrender to it and accept passively what they are showing you.”
This has been my work for nearly five years during many retreats in the forest and I always learn more. The “I” has become a twenty-year old student of the forest and indigenous, making many mistakes and always learning from them. This student is embodied in a 48 year old body and mind conditioned by modern society. I am working on “seeing” the conditioning and removing a lot of it while keeping what I learned. It’s integration of the “two identities” I know have.
Watch this movie if you want to understand how you could be happier watching your needs go buy and get ready to receive why you are waking up in the morning and how you can see the meaning beyond the “I”.
While I have lived many of the experiences the main character goes through, it has been helpful and enjoyable for me to watch this movie.