EGO: I experimented with who I choose to interact with in a few ways. For people who I feel physically attracted to I have purposely avoided flirting or even interacting with them, and I have also attempted to interact on a more authentic level by checking my motivation. After a class discussion about desires being at the base of things, I realized that in this case it’s not sexual desire that is at the bottom, but the desire to be loved/noticed/appreciated. Putting value in another’s reactions to me motivates my thoughts and deeds when it comes to sex and relationships. Furthermore I observed that because this is often my motivation for interacting with a person, I presume that someone who approaches me has the same motivation, that they are attracted to me. Which is a huge ego-trip.
BEING PRESENT: I experimented with talking to a girl I had a crush on, and she engaged me in a conversation that led to us making plans to spend some time together for non-romantic reasons. However, this led my mind to extrapolate what might happen in the future. Through this situation I realized that it is one way that I have a hard time being present. If I am truly present in the moment I can have a conversation, not project into the future, and not worry about what will happen next.
OTHER NOTES: When forming our experiments, our group brought up the question ‘how can Bramacharya be accessible to everyone in our modern society?’ Later group discussions reflected that our individual experiements were not proving to be terribly difficult. I think we anticipated them being more challenging because we entered them with limiting thinking like “I can’t…” have sex, fantasize, etc. For me, forming my hypothesis helped me focus on the positive saying “I want to respect people by thinking of them in ways that see them for who they are as people, and the Divinity within them”. That shift from the negative to the positive is in itself a redirection of my energy from the base to the spiritual, which is the point of Bramacharya.