Taken from a talk December 25, 2012
Rajivji (R): This is a ball, right? Come on Shreekanth (S).
[Rajiv throws the ball at Shreekanth who catches it.]
Now, I threw this ball at him. Who were you looking at? The ball? When I throw the ball to you, what were you looking at?
Shreekanth: I just seemed to react instinctively.
R: Absolutely, so that was instinct; reacting to it. But, your eyes could see that the ball is coming towards you. And instinctively your hands came together – that’s looking! I was not there in the picture; it was the ball and you and the ball coming towards you.
This is generally what doesn’t happen with emotions – you look at the person and not at what’s coming towards you. Say, if a person’s situation is like this – that he creates anger within you. Instantly your attention goes towards the person. (in Hindi): “That person did something to me so I got angry.” So you are looking at the person who is throwing the ball but not at the ball which comes and hits you. So that’s why it hits you point blank on your face and you don’t know what to do! And there are so many balls coming from all directions. Like this… they keep coming … but you are not looking at the ball!
So, the first thing is to change your vision. Change your vision! Try to look at what comes towards you. First, remove the object that throws the ball at you. Remove him from the picture totally, and instantly you come to know that what is more real is the ball, that emotion – that is more real than the object (person) who has thrown that ball at you! But instinctively we always accuse, we go to the story or we go to that person, but we never look at what is happening within ourselves. In fact we are very uncomfortable when that comes to us – “Because of him I have got this” – it’s normally like this. We love to blame others for what arises within us.
But say, I remove the person from there, instinctively, like you did; you felt the ball is coming to you, stretched out your hands and you looked at it. It is instinct, because you have been holding balls for a lot of time so instinct is very much in place, right? But, earlier, when you started off as a small kid, it was not like that. When you are a baby, you are taught – “Here, catch the ball.”
But over a period of time – now you are a young man of 30 years and now you’ve developed the habit of catching balls very easily. But it was not like that earlier when you were small. So you have to start young which means that I have to start looking how it comes to me. Without looking at the person; without looking at the object that has actually thrown the ball, I look only at the particular ball of emotion that comes to me.
Now what happens when I look at it? I have to catch it. Then it becomes instinct. Then as you said, “Instinctively I was able to catch it, I did not look at anything”, that’s what happens here. Instinctively you are able to catch the emotion once you’ve developed that kind of proficiency, efficiency, practice; you’re able to do it. So then you catch the emotion the moment it arises. It may not be easy working on it. Okay, I’m feeling a sense of anger within myself, boiling inside of me and I am able to watch the movement. The object is gone; the only thing is that emotion which arises within me.
Now what happens? I don’t move from the centre. I am able to hold it. I am able to hold on to that uncomfortable feeling or emotion. It is uncomfortable, I agree; it’s not easy. In my body some things are happening; I can feel it, but hello! Let me just feel it completely, let me see what it is! And I look at it completely in the totality; I don’t label it; I don’t say it’s bad or good. It is what it is. I just look at it completely in the totality, from all angles. I feel it completely!
What happens? It dawns on me that it’s not so bad. Even though it’s uncomfortable to start with, there is a settling, a grounding; a stillness is perceived in that also – a state of poise, a state of stillness, peace is felt when that is happening – when the movement is taking place. The reason is that you have completely accepted and felt the emotion right from its point of origin to its end. When you feel it that deep, accept it and welcome it then that uncomfortable feeling becomes a part of your body; it becomes organic. How can you then run away from something which has become you? It is no more foreign to you. IT BECOMES YOU. It melts, dissolves and crystallizes into you revealing a centre prior to it.
So initially you will see that there is an arising of a particular emotion, it goes to a peak and then it falls; arises, goes to a peak, falls. And then? It arises and falls and
then just for a little bit. And then it dissolves into you when you completely feel it as a part of you. You can then intuit or perceive that the arising, the fall and the dissolving is all taking place on a centre prior to these movements. This is your still, blissful state of Awareness where you will now find yourself to be.
What has made that possible? It was only your observation – just the look of it. It is because we are looking at who’s responsible for this, we miss looking at what actually is within ourselves. In fact you should bless the person who gives you this opportunity because he gives you a door to really understand what is going on within you, you real true Self. So bless him! Every time someone gives you the opportunity, just look and smile, good. Do that much, forget about him and start looking at what’s happening within you, what’s really transpiring within you. Don’t run away from it; you can’t run away from it for long. Don’t suppress it for it’s no good. You need to really understand the movement and once you understand the movement of it, you’ll know that we exist prior to that! Because Awareness, you as Awareness existed when the entire movement was taking place! Now your centre has changed from that emotion to an Awareness which is prior to it – still, loving, settled, peaceful – and you go there; and everything is falling on that still Awareness.
And this habit of looking in the waking state – of my thought, of my emotion, and then recognizing an Awareness prior to that is what constitutes Self Inquiry – the looking – and then recognizing this Awareness, it starts to become more and more profound, more and more powerful and then it goes into your deep sleep states and then you see that even those states are arising and falling on that Awareness.
~ Rajiv Kapur