Never think about yourself in any way which condemns. One has to learn to respect oneself; that is the beginning of a great change. We have been taught to condemn, to despise, to hate. We have been told to love others but we have not been told to love ourselves, so we do not have a good image of ourselves. And without a good image of ourself, we will never be able to know who we are.
One chooses not to look at oneself if one is condemned as a sinner. One can enter into oneself only when one feels that one is going into something beautiful. The beginning of love is to love oneself. The beginning of God is to think of oneself as divine. Nobody is a sinner, but if one believes that he / she is a sinner, then one remains a sinner; it is only a question of belief.
Become swayambhu — swayam meaning self, bhu meaning existence — so, self-existent. There are things which are not self-existent; they depend on others’ existence. For example, water is not self-existent, it depends on hydrogen and oxygen; it is a combination. If hydrogen and oxygen disappear from existence, water will disappear. It is a secondary phenomenon, not primary.
Consciousness is a primary phenomenon. It is not a combination of anything else; it is itself. That is the meaning of swayambhu. One cannot disappear from existence. There is no way to destroy us; no death can kill us; no poison can touch us. The innermost core of our being is eternal. It has been always and it will be always. And it cannot be destroyed because it is not a composition, it cannot be destroyed because it is not caused by anything else.
Right awareness comes with living consciously. Awareness can also be wrong. It is wrong when it is cultivated, practised, forced, somehow managed by effort. Then it is wrong. It creates a tension in our being; rather than relaxing us it makes us more tense, it creates stress.
Awareness is right when it is spontaneous, when it is not forced, when it arises not out of effort but out of understanding. Don’t practise it; a practised thing is always false. And when we start practising something we close the doors for the spontaneous; then the spontaneous cannot happen. We become so full of the practised that our very practice hinders it.
Whenever we live anything intensely there arises a kind of awareness which is totally different from the practised one. If one is running, then that is done intensely with complete focus, one will find a floating awareness around us. We need not make it, it is there. We are looking at a sunset: we are thrilled and we come to a peak of experience; suddenly there is awareness. It is always there when the peak comes.
Just as at the peak it is always sunlit and the darkness disappears, so at any peak moment one is aware, and that awareness arises on its own accord. So, live life intensely, totally; live life at the optimum. Put oneself utterly into each and everything that one does; do not hold back.