Nando: mySamasati - The Challenge of Awareness in Everyday Life
About a year ago, it was in the winter sometime, I was standing in the bathroom brushing my teeth. I suddenly realized that I'd "forgotten" again! In itself, that's not a big deal. I forget things all the time. But I had made another silent promise to myself to remember to be aware two or three weeks before. And somehow forgot it almost immediately. Again!!!
"What is going on?!" I thought. "Why can't I remember to be aware once in a while in my life? Why can't I remember this at all??!!" Alright. That's not such a big deal either, I get annoyed at my incapabilities sometimes, like anyone else. But wait. There's a little more to the story.
You see, I've been a sannyasin for a while. Since January 20th, 1979. I was in Pune I with Osho ... at the castle in New Jersey with Osho ... at the ranch in Oregon the whole time, with Osho. As soon as I could make it back to Pune II, I was there and stayed, and stayed, and stayed ... for 14 years. Listening to Osho nearly every evening, participating in the commune as intensely as possible, even leading groups in the Mystery School, many of them: Love and Aloneness, Power, Fear, From the Head to the Heart, Beliefs, Darkness Meditation, Men's Liberation, Money ... all very beautiful, but somehow, all that seems only to have scratched the surface of my consciousness.
In all that time listening to Osho, one thing stands out. He talked about a lot of things, contradicting himself often on every topic under the sun. But one thing remained very consistent. Again and again, many thousands of times, he told us, he told me to be aware. Witness. Watch. Observe.
Standing there brushing my teeth, it really hit me that after so many years, and all that dedication and sincerity and love and after throwing my whole life into it, leaving everything else behind in the world, I still couldn't manage to remember to be aware in the flow of my daily life for even a minute or two. I didn't know how. Even though I find it very beautiful when I do remember. And even with my own very sincere promises to myself.
Either I'm not very good at this, or awareness is indeed a very deep challenge. And so, humbled at my recognition of the shallowness of awareness in my day to day life, I decided I needed help to remember. A Zen master with a staff hovering over my head seemed perfect.
And that's how the idea for 'mySamasati' was born.
'mySamasati.com' is a web application that sends out an email every day containing a simple awareness meditation, and / or a quote from Osho about awareness. Those emails follow me around like the shadow of a Zen master. In itself, an email isn't much, of course. But coupled with my ... how to call it, good intention? Sincere effort? Desperation ... and the simple fact that it's Osho that's following me around in those emails, many more moments of awareness are happening these days. Good. It seems to be working.
And to tell the truth, I am a little desperate seeing how little I've really understood. Life is passing me by. If there are future lives to be lived, how will I ever meet someone like Osho again? I can only hope I have a ticket ...
In the beginning, my first idea was to build a simple version of this for myself. But like everything else I've done in connection with Osho, the idea soon evolved into a community project, open to any sannyasin or seeker who would like to subscribe. It's an exploration, an attempt to discover what awareness is by experimenting with it. The emails are just reminders to be aware in any way that it happens during the day. It doesn't matter much what is written there.
And you know, I don't have a big ideal behind this. If I can be aware a few minutes a day, great! I'm happy. If a few more minutes happen, perfectly good. I'm encouraged by a quote I found, where Osho says essentially that awareness is a journey taken one step at a time. That there are no experts and no beginners, everyone is just in the middle. And that this is the only way that the journey can happen, one single step of awareness at a time.
Here it is:
"The phenomenon of witnessing has no ABC or XYZ. It is a simple phenomenon. It is a single step. It is one process. "The journey of one thousand miles is done by the simple step, one step. You cannot take two steps at one time. Step after step, just a single step can be stretched to ten thousand miles or to infinity.
"Watchfulness is a simple step. There is no alphabet in it. There are no beginners in it, there are no amateurs in it and no experts in it. Everybody is in the middle, always in the middle.
"You are moving perfectly right. Just go on."
And so I go on, one small step of awareness at a time.
Sw Deva Nando