The great Taoist master Chuang Tzu once dreamt that he was a butterfly fluttering here and there. 

In the dream he had no awareness of his individuality as a person. He was only a butterfly. 

Suddenly, he awoke and found himself laying there, a person once again.

But then he thought to himself, “Was I before a man who dreamt about being a butterfly, or am I now a butterfly who dreams about being a man?”

Be Aware

According to Chuang Tzu – All that can ever be experienced is phenomena. Remember, not only are the objects of the world phenomena and dreams, but also objects of consciousness. They may be objects of the world, they may be just objects of the mind. They may be great spiritual experiences.

You may see kundalini rising in you: that too is a phenomenon, a beautiful dream, but a dream all the same. You may see great light flooding your being, but that light is also a phenomenon.

You may see lotuses blooming inside you and a great fragrance arising within your being: those too are phenomena, because you are always the seer and never the seen, always the experiencer and never the experienced, always the witness and never the witnessed.

All that can be witnessed, seen, observed, is phenomena. Material, psychological, spiritual phenomena – they are all the same. Remember: That which can be seen is a dream.

Start contemplating in this way: If you are walking on the street, contemplate that people passing by are all dreams. The shops and the shopkeepers and the customers and the people coming and going, all are dreams. The houses, the buses, the train, the airplane, all are dreams.

Suddenly, like a flash, one thing comes into your vision: “I am a dream too.” Because if the seen, is a dream, then who is this ‘I’? If the object is a dream, then the subject is also a dream. If the object is false, how can the subject be the truth?

If you watch everything as a dream, suddenly you will find something slipping out of your being: the idea of the ego. Meditating this way again and again, one day the miracle happens: You look in, and the ego is not found there.

The ego is a by-product of the illusion that whatsoever you are seeing is true. If you think that objects are true, then the ego can exist; it is a by-product. If you think that objects are dreams, the ego disappears.

And if you think continuously that all is a dream, then one day, in a dream in the night, you will be surprised: Suddenly in the dream you will remember that this is a dream too!

And immediately, as the remembrance happens, the dream will disappear. And for the first time you will experience yourself deep asleep, yet awake a very paradoxical experience, but of great benefit.

Once you have seen your dream disappearing because you have become aware of the dream, your quality of cons-ciousness will have a new flavour to it. The next morning you will wake up with a totally different quality you had never known before.

You will wake up for the first time. Now you will know that all those other mornings were false; you were not really awake. The dreams continued. The only difference was that in the night you were dreaming with eyes closed, in the day you were dreaming with eyes open.

Awareness and dreaming cannot exist together. Here, awareness arises, and there, the dream disappears. Your eyes will be so clear, so transparent, and everything will look so psychedelic, so colourful, so alive.

Even rocks will be felt to be breathing, pulsating; even rocks will have a heartbeat. When you are awake, the whole existence changes its quality.

Learning from the story Dream: Be Aware

Experience Learning

Awareness Is the Seed of Godliness in You

Risk everything for awareness, but never risk awareness for anything. This is the commitment of a seeker: that he is ready to lose his life but not his awareness; he has found a value which is higher than life. There is no other value which is higher than awareness. Awareness is the seed of godliness in you. When it comes to its full growth, you have come to the fulfillment of your destiny. As you go deeper, your actions may not be efficient but they will have a new quality, the quality of grace, which is far more valuable. No machine can have the quality of grace. Your actions, your words will have a beauty of their own.

The way a man of awareness lives, each moment is filled with tremendous grace and beauty. It is reflected in his actions, even in the smallest actions – just in the gesture of his hand or just the way he looks; in the depth of his eyes or the authority of his words or the music of his silence. His very presence is a celebration.

Awareness Is Simple, Very Innocent

We think what “right awareness” is.

There is no right awareness, because there is no possibility of wrong awareness. Awareness is right. So first drop the wrong question. Once you are asking a wrong question to yourself you cannot get the right answer.

Don’t ask what is right awareness. Simply ask what is awareness. Your question gives the fallacious impression that you know what awareness is, that the only thing that you don’t know is what is right awareness and what is not right awareness. Erase that fallacy completely from your mind.

Awareness is simple, very innocent. Everyone has it, so it is not a question of achievement. One wrong question leads to another wrong question: first you ask what right awareness is, then you ask how to achieve it. You already have it. When you see the sunset, are you not aware? When you see a rose flower, are you not aware? You are aware of the beautiful sunset, you are aware of the beautiful rose; all that is needed is that you become aware of your awareness, too. That is the only thing that has to be added, the only refinement.

You are aware of objects. You have to be aware of your subjectivity. When you are looking at a sunset, you are so absorbed in the beauty of the sunset that you completely forget that there is a greater beauty which is making it possible for you to know the beauty of the sunset – it is your awareness. But your awareness is focused on an object – the sunset, the sunrise, the moon. Drop the object and just remain engulfed in pure awareness, in silence, in peace. Just be alert.

Awareness Should Be Moment to Moment

The first thing to be understood: awareness should be moment to moment, but it can be only when it has become effortless. With effort you will lose contact again and again, with effort you will have to rest. Effort cannot be continuous, it is impossible. How can you make an effort continuously? You will get tired and then you will have to relax. Every effort needs relaxation. So if awareness is through effort, then awareness cannot be a constant, continuous flow. There will be moments when you will have to lose awareness. Those will be the moments of relaxation from the effort.

Life pulsates. Life always moves to the opposite. Effort, then you have to rest. Again you make the effort, then you have to rest. But there is an awareness which goes beyond life – the transcendental. Then there is no pulsation, but it is effortless, it is spontaneous.


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