Being Efficient, Being Aware

Buddha with India and 3rd cen BC

Hi Carlos,

I just took my reflection time for today so I`m writing to you with an aspect that has been on my mind for a while. Talking about being connected with ourselves I am often wondering if this means to get lost or not in the actions, things, moments, etc we`re doing/living. Should we be lost in what we`re doing or should we do what we`re doing in a detached kind of way? In which of these alternatives someone is more connected with himself/herself? I`m a bit confused here because on one hand, for example, during the classes I hear you encouraging us not to get lost on the moves and on the other hand I hear around that in order to do something good you have to be totally involved in it. I hope I made my point clear…if not, I`ll try to be more relevant next time. Thank you!

 

Dear friend,

Beautiful question, and very nice formulated.

Your question is: ‘Should we be lost in what we`re doing or should we do what we`re doing in a detached kind of way? In which of these alternatives someone is more connected with himself/herself?’

First of all, I don’t think that we should do anything in a detached kind of way. I think that everything that we do should be done with as much intention, care and meaning as we can.

What I think you are asking me is: should we remain AWARE while doing what we are doing or should we get lost on our activities in order to be as efficient as possible?  I will try to answer your question from this point of view, but please, if this is not what you mean feel free to correct me and ask me again.

 

If you have a choice, why would you get lost on anything? Isn’t it beautiful to be aware that we are awake, that we are alive, that we exist? The realization of our own existence is our right, our possibility and our gift.

A dog does not have this gift. He is alive, but he does not know it. He is like a program in a computer, responding to things according to his DNA with absolutely no other choice.

We too respond according to our DNA, but we also have a choice, and this is amazing!

For example, every living thing in the planet is programmed to act in a way that assures the continuation of the species. But we as human beings have also the choice to express love.

When a dog sees another dog, his only option is to do what he has been programmed to do. But when we see another human being, we have a choice, and this choice depends on our awareness.

- We have the choice to act how the dog, or any other animal, will act, and behave according to the physical needs of the planet.

- We have the choice of acting at an even lower level than a dog (something a dog cannot do either, only humans can), and act according to the needs of our most basic desires, like our desires for power, fame, pleasure or comfort. (This is the kind of behavior that is creating all the suffering and pain and pollution that both people in general and the planet in particular are experiencing right now.)

- But also, we have the choice of acting from awareness, which in its highest forms means acting according to the law of Love: a law that says that nothing is separated from anything else, and that everything depends on everything else for its existence. That everything is actually made out of the same ‘Tree’ and so whatever happens to you is also happening to me; and so by caring for you, I’m also caring for myself.

Of course there are many possible variations to these three possibilities, but whatever view we take, it depends completely on the awareness we have at the moment we act.

 

To come to a more moment-to-moment-everyday-life, which I supposed is where your question was coming from, my answer will be: remain aware as much as you can. No doubt there are many activities that can be done more efficiently without awareness; look at all those huge multinational companies destroying the resources from the planet in their unlimited greed. They are very successful, making tons of money and probably satisfying many of their desires. But the only reason they can do what they do is because they act with absolutely not awareness of the law of Love.

Being aware does not mean to live like a robot continuously watching what you do, like watching your hand grabbing a glass of water, or paying attention to how your legs move while you walk. These can be very powerful and useful exercises to train our attention—we do some of the exercises during the Yogilates classes—but it is not what you may want to do when, for example, you are having a deadline in your office. It is like playing accords when you are learning an instrument. It is a very useful exercise to learn music, but is not what you do when you play a concerto by Beethoven. (Having said that, keep in mind that the best musicians keep practicing all their lives and they only stop playing their accords when they play their concerts.)

For me, awareness, in its highest forms, is synonymous with love. So in your question, we can replace the word awareness with love, and in this way the question can be reformulated as: should we act from love at every moment (being aware of yourself and see if you are taking care of yourself at a physical, emotional and spiritual way; being aware of the people you are dealing with and see if you are treating them with care and respect; and being aware of the effect that the activity you are doing may have in life) or should we be lost on what we do (which means being aware only of the desire to finish that activity for the sake of efficiency irrespective of your well being, the well being of the people around you and the well being of life).

What do you think? Should we try to be efficient or should we try to be loving? Isn’t it possible to do both at the same time?

For myself I will say: remain aware at every moment of everything that you do: aware of yourself, of the people around you and of the consequences of everything you do. Without awareness, we have no choice, and choice is really what makes as humans. Awareness is a gift; one we are not obliged to use. It is only a choice.

 

Again, thank you very much for sending me the question. It is very useful for me to receive them.

All the best to you and we keep in touch,
Carlos

 

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