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Sesshin Reminder

Given by Bhashkar Perinchery

These orientations can be practiced without coming in any conflict with your cultural, religious, ethnic, or national background. The perspectives presented here are significant for the individual as well as the global reality. Read these orientations carefully, consider them courageously and wholeheartedly apply it to your everyday living.

High Noon of Humanity - The quiet individual choice we make

What makes us human beings really human, what allows us to live the humanness, is when we realize that we have the potential, the chance, and the capacity to observe, to watch and to witness what is taking place in the body and in the mind without identifying with it.It is the recognition of this capacity and the application of this ability that brings about a unique and decisive development in human life! Although on a certain level we are like every other animal or a robot, this capacity to consciously observe ourselves and not remain trapped in the identification with the body, the personality, or the conditionings can bring about a tremendous difference. Until we human beings come to recognize this capacity and start applying it in our living, we are not yet fully living up to our human potential.  We are not living the way we are fully capable of as a human being; living a life that can be so deeply fulfilling and full of love, joy and playfulness.By applying this potential we are able to see more deeply rather than just projecting through our conditionings. Our ‘normal’ perception, one where we are projecting through our conditionings, is not really a seeing but more like a very subjective interpretation of what is! The recognition and the application of the capacity to observe what is going on with oneself without identifying with it is a very decisive factor on an individual level. Collectively and globally it is also becoming a decisive factor, this ability to recognize this potential and live on the basis of seeing what is real rather than letting our conditioned, narrow perception of reality continue dominating our life and dragging us in a self-destructive direction!Those of us who go through life with a narrow idea of ourselves do not often realize that such a perception of reality is not a perception in a true sense but just ‘part of an initial survival kit’! We tend to use the capacities that life has endowed us with in a blind, aggressive or forceful way or we resign and close up. In both cases we turn against life in such a way that is ultimately self-destructive. This is comparable to a cancer cell which no longer considers itself part of the whole body and simply functions from a narrow idea of itself; multiplying without considering or consulting the actual requirements of the body. Going about itself in such an aggressive way it does not realize what it is doing to itself and the whole organism. The result is clear: it becomes a deadly sickness; a self-destructive process! It is a similar process on a deeper level when we human beings do not recognize the potential of consciousness in us and do not realize that we do not exist separately from the whole; we are not only this personality, but we have a deeper basis!Only through us becoming conscious and realizing that we are not just this conditioned idea of ourselves are we able to allow the capacity of our deeper intelligence, love, imagination and fantasy to enter our life in such a way that our life becomes a playful, celebrative and wondrous development.  This is valuable for oneself and for everyone else too! One of the great mystics from the last century, George Gurdjieff, used to say provocatively that we human beings have no soul, that the soul has to be developed! These words have to be considered deeply! Even though we have the potential of a ‘soul,’ like a seed, if we do not realize our responsibility and recognize the urgency to help it to come into manifestation, we are acting like the beggar who, without recognizing that he was sitting on a great treasure, lived and died miserably as a beggar! In this story, after the man's death it was found that just below where he was sitting a great treasure full of diamonds and gold was hidden! Unaware of it, sitting his whole life on this incredible treasure, he spent his life begging! This parable is very valuable because we are coming to a point in the life-process, individually and globally, when we need to really bring this capacity, being able to look at ourselves and recognize our deeper possibilities and values, to fruition. This will enable us to bring our inner treasures into manifestation so that we no longer need to go on in an aggressive and blind manner or into a resigned state towards self destruction! The Mayan calendar and the prophecies that surround it are making some points that are very valuable to consider. If we human beings continue holding on to an inner state that is similar to that of a robot and that forces us to remain on an animalistic level, it won't become possible for us to really respond to the tremendous challenges of actual situations and act intelligently and sensitively to the requirements which these situations demand!This has to be very sincerely considered so that we understand that we cannot go on indefinitely with all the destructive potential which we human beings have accumulated and the kind of insensibility with which we approach nature and the consequences that arise from it.  It does not require any great wisdom or any esoteric or spiritual power to see it, just common sense.  Looking honestly one can see that we need to wake up inside. Only when we consciously distance ourselves from our conditioned and unconscious reaction patterns can we allow our deeper intelligence and the sensibility of our hearts to shine through. It is easy to identify with automatic reaction patterns if we do not gain a conscious distance.  Only through recognizing this capacity in us, observing ourselves without identifying with our inner automatism, and putting it carefully in to practice, do we develop our creative potential and find access to a deeper clarity and deeper inner confidence. These are the qualities which are urgently needed if we want to respond to the enormous challenges and pressures of life in a healthy manner.Such an inner development can be compared to a person working on a computer without knowing that the Internet exists.  One day he suddenly becomes aware of the Internet’s presence and instantly gains access to the enormous and nearly unconceivable variety of information through this medium.We need to realize that we have a choice: either to continue to react helplessly, blindly, unconsciously, and like a robot or an animal or realize that we need to allow this potential, this capacity of ‘consciousness’ to observe ourselves, to witness the body, the inner process of the mind, the inner feelings and the energy and begin to live from a deeper insight and responsibility. It is this individual step that is going to make a real difference in the world.By attempting to change things from the periphery, trying to manage things politically without an inner basis for them, and without recognizing the deeper roots of these things we will not be able to bring about the real transformations which are required. We need to become deeply conscious of the blessing which we all have: to be in a human body, to be on this planet, to have all that is required to live a life of joy and fulfilment. We need to wake up to the 'reality' and see that the paradise that we dream about is not far away, but it is here! Its only requirement of us is that we deliberately become more attentive and wake up to see that the foundation of the paradise is here. We only have to recognize and live it with the right remembrance and attentiveness. This awareness has to be brought in. Yes, it can be the end of the time period of unconscious power and the fear-based way of living and the beginning of a new era of conscious understanding and compassion, mutual respect and playfulness. In the 'Upanishads' there is a saying TATWAM ASI, which points to the innermost reality. It means ‘you are that’. It is not just a theoretical explanation of anything, it is a poetic indication. It reminds us of something very significant; that our reality is deeply interwoven and non-dualistic. Bringing it into actual consideration can open our vision to deeper dimensions of our reality. You are the one who can see it all, you are the one who is capable of not to going blindly and not reacting in automatic negative patterns. You are the one who can witness it all and thus see not only what the mind is projecting, but to be in touch with the wholeness of the moment, that which is coming from outside and that which is happening inside you.  It is the wholeness of the situation! It is this capacity that helps you to also realize very clearly and deeply, that you can either make your life into a ‘blessing’ or follow the automatism and make it into a 'curse'!Nature has given us a certain freedom, but along with this freedom comes a responsibility. This is a freedom to wake up and rise to our humanity, yet it is also a freedom to withhold by blindly holding onto the known and the familiar and not really looking honestly and courageously to what the reality is, as if we are merely a robot or an animal.The following two reminders are to turn your attention to what is taking place in yourself into daily practice and to go about your day-to-day living in such a way that you can realize the tremendous potential, which is waiting to come into flowering, in yourself. It is like a seed that requires your initiative to free it out of its enclosed state so that it can come in touch with the earth and, with the right warmth and wetness, becomes a plant, then a flower and ultimately bears fruit! In a similar sense each human being who begins to apply this potential becomes a blessing to oneself and to the world; flowering in love and deep gratitude, recognizing how wondrous and sacred everything is, and living a quality of joy and freedom. It is this awakening to our reality that will help us to live with the diversity of life, respecting ourselves and each other, recognizing the uniqueness and also realizing that behind the unique manifestations there is an undivided 'oneness' of reality.The first reminder: In the moments when any kind of negative feelings arise in you or when your energy is pulled into a negative process, whether it is a gross manifestation of negativity or a subtle process, bring your attention to it and see that you can observe this phenomenon without identifying with it. Through observing this phenomenon and bringing your attention to all that is and all that is with it and behind it, you are able to allow some space for your intelligence, the sensibility of the heart, and your fantasy. An answer can arise within yourself that is not based on the negative and blind reactions,  which is not just a mechanical way of going about life or reacting like an animal that cannot see more than what is apparent, but allowing your human potential to be in touch with the situation and the moment wakefully and deeply! In this way you can see that you need not be trapped in negative states, nor get overtaken by blind, unloving and uncreative reactions. Even if at times you do not remember to be observant and feel yourself getting overtaken by emotions, it is extremely helpful to continue with the orientations and practice further.  Do not give up!In deliberately connecting to the capacity of sensibility to the deeper reality and to the potential of intelligence, we are able to respond life’s situations in more fulfilling, rightly intelligent and healthy ways.  This is very valuable. This must become our inner orientation and decision since this is where we begin to take responsibility for ourselves as humans and discontinue acting as if we are simply helpless automatons that cannot exist differently in life.When we ignore our capacity for awareness and do not allow the potential we possess to manifest through our living inwardly, we are dying as human beings.  We are reducing our life into a robot-like existence, which can be neither fulfilling nor liberating! We can easily miss the true beauty and fragrance of love and not realize that this life is a great blessing!Only when we put this subtle potential of turning our attention inward into practice are we able to see if what is mentioned here is really true! Do remember that it is not just trying to figure out what is happening from the head, it is being wakefully open and being with the whole situation in a non-interfering way.  This allows a response to arise from clarity and peacefulness.That is why to be rooted in the consciousness from where we can observe all that is makes the difference! It is an approach that has to be used with a quality of patience. Often we react immediately without looking at what really is, and go into blind reactions without seeing that impatience is also part of that automatism.  We realize that this blind and automatic reaction is not the answer and instead we have to stay with and be in touch with all the undercurrent reactions that automatically arise in us. Without a conscious observation of our reactions energy gets dissipated! By following automatic reactions we are entangling the energy in one fixed direction, but by seeing it and not following it blindly nor suppressing it blindly we disentangle the energy from the inner automatism. That is what gives us the capacity to go with the energy in a different way.  It can become truly very creative!In all the moments when negative reactions, on a subtle or gross level, arise remember inside that you are not going to follow it blindly nor will you try to suppress it blindly. Just stay present, observing all that is taking place. Do not try to justify the negative nor try to cover it up.  Do not indulge in it. Do not seek a political kind of approach to justify that your negative reactions are okay because it seems that many others are also agreeing with it.  No, it is not a question of going with some calculations and explanations and following the automatism like that! It has to do with really seeing that you have the capacity to answer and respond to the challenges, which you normally call problems, in such a way that you can go about it lovingly, intelligently, and gracefully. Thus it becomes a flowering not only for yourself, but also a support for the flowering of all the others, who are beginning to recognize this possibility and begin to allow it into their life.The second reminder: Deliberately and directly bring this possibility of non-identification in various moments throughout the day, for example, just as the clock is ringing a full hour.  Use the ringing of the clock or just the observation of the full hour as a reminder to allow a way of 'being' without identifying with all that is taking place with the body or the mind. You are allowing the remembrance that you are the one to whom all these experiences is happening;  you are the one who can see it all and you do not need to identify blindly with the body nor the mind nor be overtaken by it in an unconscious and mechanical way. It has to do with allowing our human potential. It is simply allowing our deeper capacity by not identifying with the obvious in an unconscious and blind way, but being rooted in the one who is experiencing it all; to whom all these experiencing is taking place.Every full hour when you hear either the ringing of the clock or just notice it, take some moments to be with yourself without identifying with the body and the mind. Bring your awareness to the one to whom all these experiences are taking place allowing a rootedness in the one to whom it is all happening. That is also the bridge to the recognition; that this one is the foundation of our reality. This one is the one who is in oneself and in the other; this one is the mysterious, the wondrous, from which all life process is emanating! Allow it to be your own experience! It is not enough if one is just agreeing or disagreeing with everybody about all these things. When one brings these reminders into practice, one will come to realize on one’s own what is really meant with it...Let it become your recognition. We are making choices all the time whether we want to choose or not.  Our energy is always moving in one direction or the other. When we look deeply within ourselves, we realize that each of us is making a choice in one way or another.  The truth is, if we do not consciously choose a positive direction for our energy and allow love and creativity to be our orientation, our energy will move towards darkness and self-destruction even though we are unconscious of it. It is almost like we consciously chose the darkness and self-destruction!  We have to come in terms with this dynamism of our energy process.If we follow our conditionings blindly without applying the human capacity to look at ourselves without identifying with the programming in us, we let suicidal programming determine our future!It is high time to really recognize that we can either let the automatism go in a way that becomes a destructive process or we can take responsibility and go wakefully in our life and allow our human potential to come into manifestation in our living. That is how we can really be human beings in a true and deep sense and experience the divinity which is in everyone, which is behind all the manifestation! Let yourself recognize how sacred, valuable and beautiful this life process is and how much intelligence, sensibility, care and playfulness have been brought into this manifestation of life.  Take these reminders to heart and bring them into practice.  They are very valuable.:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::The following text is what was given for the one hour sitting that followed:When we sit now, stay wakefully with the remembrance that you are the observer of all that is taking place, you are the one to whom all this is happening. Be rooted in the one who is observing it all, without identifying with the body, the thoughts or feelings. Without trying to force any change or trying to control anything, remember that you are just sitting to become familiar with and to be rooted in this consciousness from which you can mirror and see everything that is there in you right now. With such an orientation we sit the next hour.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------We would very much appreciate if you would pass on this text to friends and the media. We are seeking support in raising awareness about the urgency for such a development in the world - which means in the individual - today. We are also planning to make it into an audio recording. If you would like to support this project, please email us at info@lifesurfing.org or call us at 773-262-1468. Inner Metamorphosis University Chicago


The Sesshin Reminders - given by Bhashkar Perinchery on a monthly basis- inviting you to explore, discover, understand and live life in fullness and harmony. They can be incorporated easily into your daily routine, without demanding additional time and will help you attune to the quietness and joy within yourself. 
Sesshin is an ancient Japanese tradition from the ZEN background.
Seven days before full moon is to occur, the Sesshin period begins. It is a period in which you intensify your search for truth. Additionally we offer the monthly Full Moon Meditation.

12 of these sets of reminders have been compiled in the book The Source of Joy Within for a whole year's practice. Each set of these Sesshin reminders is meant to be used for a period of three weeks. After that, it is recommended to allow a gap of one week before you begin with the next set of reminders.

Meditation Chicago Monthly Reminders