In brackets I have added little description from my own experience so that you can understand Nafs.
The desire nature, “Nafs”, is like the horizon – it always looks as if it is just there, maybe ten miles away. If you rush you can reach it within two hours. But you will never reach it. After two hours, when you look, you will find that it has again receded back, and the distance is the same.
This goes on – that’s why all the religions have called this desire-nature the source of all kinds of mirages, illusions.
It creates an illusion, an illusory line, there – the horizon. The horizon does not exist because the earth and the heaven never meet anywhere. And the earth is round.
It just appears that somewhere the earth and sky are meeting – just yonder, there. And it seems so close that it seems worthwhile to try.
It remains always so close and always so distant. Between you and the horizon the distance is constant. It is the same distance.
The desire for more ie Nafs cannot be satisfied.
And because the desire for more cannot be satisfied, you cannot see “that which is” (your soul or your reality or your consciousness)
You always hanker for that which is not (objects-living or dead- of material world) so your mind is somewhere else and you cannot see that which is very obvious and surrounds you (and seeing it as it is is the very purpose of our life because then we get a feeling to have come home for eternity).
You see the horizon; you don’t see yourself. You see the distant; you don’t see the close-by. And God is your neighbour, God is really inside you, you are God. But that is very close and you don’t have any time or energy to look for the close. You will have time and energy only when your desire for the distant has disappeared.
“Nafs” is a neurotic state of mind. Just look inside yourself and you will always find “Nafs”.
– Osho talks on ‘Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 2’ #7 Full Emptiness
I also used to get astonished because mystics used to say that existence is all around us and within us too. If it is so obvious then why we cannot see it? Because I could not find even slightest proof of it all around us and within us. Yes we can understand that through breathing the outer remain connected with the inner every moment without fail but we cannot see it is such because our attention is towards material worldly objects.
This is how our attention changes the very quality of the thing. Our mind is biggest barrier in diverting our attention towards the material world. It enjoyed being busy, anxious, when body is in hurry or work like a robot.
The good news is that we can bring it to default state ie calm and cool. Meditation is the way to bring it to no-mind state. Once a person gets a few moment of no-mind state, then he enters the virtuous circle leaving the vicious circle of mind and thinking. Slowly things start falling in line if the person keeps practicing it consistently and persistently by applying it mindfulness during other acts of routine.
Awareness meditation is the way worked for me and I tried it first during brushing my teeth in the morning after trying 8-10 meditations over period of 15 years! So there is no need to reinvent the circle for you. May be you too find it suitable otherwise with Dynamic meditation and/or Kundalini in the evening it is suitable for most of the people. There are 110 other meditation techniques discovered by Indian Mystic Gorakhnath about 500years before and further modified by Osho for contemporary people that one can experiment and the suitable one could be practiced in routine life.
My experiences may be of your help in taking only one step. Because everyone has to move forward alone, this is the nature of this journey.
In my life mindfulness or awareness meditation helped miraculously. Apart from that living a simple, authentic and totality in life is very helpful even when we are serving people around us with great love and care without discrimination.
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