Looking back to see the future


I hope this new year is bringing you the experiences you hoped for.

I’ve been reflecting on the core idea of this blog, that is, bringing the meditation practice into daily living by weaving spiritual practice into every aspect of being. At the heart of that practice is observing ourselves as we interact with  our world. This year my mind has been drawn to looking at how that power of observation could help us to uncover the deeper layers of conditioning that are there in the subconscious. It would be interesting to unearth both the helpful and the unhelpful aspects, don’t you think?

Our country of birth, the community we were born in, all created some of that conditioning. When we travel or encounter those of different cultures this conditioning becomes more apparent. We see there are different ways of being in this world. We can get a similar type of awakening if we look at films or read books steeped in other cultures. Or we can choose to overtly study cultural differences. Eventually I think it would be marvellous to consciously choose and embrace those elements from different cultures that are more liberating.

I’ve wondered how my background impacts my soul purpose. Why was I born at that particular time, with my specific family? How did those circumstances help me in my journey of soul evolution? And what about my current life circumstance, how is it supporting me?

I’ve loved journalling since I was a small child so I have looked back at my journals to try to answer these questions. What is uncanny is that the same themes come up throughout. I found when I look ed back at my “sent” emails I saw some of those same priorities. As I looked at the history of websites on my computer the same themes showed up. I have a feeling if I was to look back at credit card expenses I will see the same. In other words how we see the world is there for us to uncover no matter how we look at our history.

I don’t have all the answers that I’m seeking as yet. I’m still looking back, because I feel my past will help me to decide how to move forward. It’s an interesting thought to contemplate, isn’t it? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

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4 Responses to Looking back to see the future

  1. Henk says:

    Namaskar Madhavi,

    What great joy I feel in reading your blog again. In looking back into the past, you with your blog has changed my life, my present moment and future. A far better present and future and looking back the last year, a nice past.

    Your sentence “to looking at how that power of observation could help us to uncover the deeper layers of conditioning that are there in the subconscious.” gives me a practice to make my own, a practice to own, like eating or breathing. How am I conditioned?

    I like the part… “Eventually I think it would be marvelous to consciously choose and embrace those elements from different cultures that are more liberating.” What can I change? In eating I have adopted several elements, a bit in exercising the body, with loving or being also. But there must be more…

    “…my past will help me to decide how to move forward.” Hmmm, very interesting. Thinking just of the word past brings up in my being a lot of potentiality. I can and have changed my past, in the now, for a better present moment and therefor a better future. The way I felt and thought about events in the past, I can change them and I feel different now when I look back at those events. More love and peace.

    In moments of being caught in conditioned thinking, talking or feeling I can recall moments of glory in the past (not reacting in a conditioned way but with patience and love). It was possible in the past so it must be possible now or in the future. The past then gives me strength.

    I am fascinated with the concept that past, present and future are all one. Every of these part I can use to grow now. Where do I want to go (peace and love everywhere) and what is stopping me?

    Thanks! With love, Henk

  2. Marlene says:

    Namaskar Madhavi ,

    It often feels like the deep conditioning I have is a part of who I am, but I know that is not truly the case at a deeper level.

    I think it can be both fascinating and scary to explore what is embedded in our subconscious when it comes into our awareness. I agree with you that it is helpful to unearth both the helpful and unhelpful aspects but for some reason I seem to focus more on the unhelpful aspects. Perhaps that is because those are the ones I need to change.

    I find it difficult to break out of the conditioning because the change that is required can feel unfamiliar and uncomfortable. But when I do take a step to make a change, it can also be both interesting and liberating. I can experience another way of being, even if it initially feels a bit unnerving.

    I have asked myself how it impacted me to be brought up with parents of two different cultures, and why that was. Why was I born into a family with a certain religious tradition? My spiritual practice is quite different today that when I was young, so why was it that I needed to experience that, and what was it I needed to learn from it?

    When I experience certain cultural foods, gatherings, books, or programming of my own culture, I find comfort or pleasure in it because it gives me a sense of understanding and belonging within a particular group. However, although it may be familiar and comfortable it does not necessarily help me grow.

    I find it interesting at times to hear about, or learn about, different cultures, traditions and religions. It makes me aware that we are largely a product of our environment, and that if we change the environment we can change our experience. But the environment we are raised in has deep and lasting effects, and I still dream today about the house I grew up in (but having present day experiences in it) even though I haven’t been in it for more than 40 years.

    At times I consider what a waste it has been for me to have missed so much of life’s potential variety of experiences by clinging to what was, and is, familiar and comfortable. As you stated, Madhavi, there are many different ways of being in this world. Why did I choose this way of being? I know through Guru teachings that we all have the potential to be or to experience whatever we want to be or to experience, so that is the thinking that I need to embrace more of the time.

    As you said in your blog piece here, Madhavi, it does require the power of observation…of observing oneself. For me, I find it has to be both an observation and a conscious effort on my part in order to make even a small change to break out of my conditioning. It does not happen easily for me.

    Regardless of what I understand, or fail to understand, about why I born into a certain country, certain family, certain culture, I embrace the idea that it was part of what I chose to experience in this human lifetime for my soul’s evolution, so it was all beneficial. I only hope to experience continued growth.

    With love,
    Marlene

    • Chan Madhavi says:

      Namaskar Marlene

      Thank you for your thoughts on the subject. I’ve been thinking about what you have shared … much to ponder.

      luv madhavi

    • Henk says:

      Namaskar Marlene,

      Thank you for your reply. I find your thoughts and steps you’re taking interesting. Your sentence about the Guru’s teachings brought up the thought that anything is possibly, at some point, and the next thought came: what do I want in life? There are in-numerous possibilities! Really.

      With food for instance; I have been increasing the amount of fruit and veggies in stead of bread or dairy. With different ingredients I could find in the house, I ate breakfasts that no-one has ever eaten. In all the thousands and millions of years, all the meals that ever have been eaten, it is possible to eat a meal that no-one has ever eaten. What freedom, what possibilities! With all this past events, still all is open.

      I find recognition in your sentence “At times I consider what a waste it has been for me to have missed so much of life’s potential variety of experiences by clinging to what was, and is, familiar and comfortable.”, but I find freedom and peace afterwards thinking of the experiences that are possible in the familiar and comfortable as well.

      With love, Henk

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