Monday, December 28, 2009

Spiritual Life vs Regular Life

So, I've had this blog now for a while and those of you how have read it know...well, i don't keep it up very well. This morning I woke up thinking about that and decided that i should post more often onto it and really "share the journey." Therefore, here I am and committing my self to regular posts (hopefully one per day) with something that will hopefully be useful to all.

This is open to discussion and comments, so if you have  a contribution - bring it on!

This one is on spirituality and life.

It's come up in a few of our meditation sessions on Sundays in my house. I've said some things about it and now I share this with anyone who's reading it.

Spirituality and "regular life" are, in my book, not two and different lives we live. Tantric yoga text, Buddhist scripture and in other places one can get a glimpse of the concept. "Spiritual life" and "everyday life" are one and the same thing. It should be...if you intend to stay sane! In fact, the purpose of spiritual practice IS to enlighten you to the possibility of seeing, feeling and living "regular life" as an expression and manifestation of spirit and your spirituality. Yes, even things like doing the laundry and washing the dishes can be an experience of spirituality. Raising your children, waiting for the bus, going through chemo therapy...everything is spiritual.

Why, you ask, it doesn't feel that way? Generally because of the ego-self's tendency to concur and divide, to want to understand even that which cannot be understood by the rational faculty, to assign importance to itself and by doing that to put you in the center of the universe as the doer, the expereincer of good, bad and neutral events and to hold on to the notion of it's own history and perpetuity.

Therefore, we end up thinking that being spiritual is wearing certain types of clothing, religious or spiritual symbols like the Om sign or a cross, doing things like hanging out with only spiritual people, burning incense, bowing, doing yoga, sitting to meditate.... Yes, being spiritual is all this indeed IF you are going about these things with attention, presence in the moment and wonder of living. What makes an activity a spiritual one is your ability to remain present in the moment and express the moment through the activity rather than express your ego's needs and preferences through an adaptation of behavior, or a dress code.

Being in the moment requires giving up your notions and judgments of what this moment is really about and intuit the right course of action from a place of openness and willingness to participate in the manifestation of life just as you are rather then as you would like people to see you.

This is not the same as giving up control in the conventional sense. It is about gaining control of the possibilities that lie ahead without being attached to any particular outcome. This is not the same as not planning for the future, or copping out by saying "It all doesn't really matter at the end" or "we are all one." This is about realizing the marvel of the oneness and the responsibility to do that which should be done for the benefit of all beings...which includes you :). By giving up your attachment to a particular outcome, you continue to work in the direction you think you should, but you keep your eyeballs open and you are available to change course, to refine your actions, to learn from them and if that which you were expecting to happen in the way you were expecting it to happen, does not happen, than there is no mental and emotional suffering in store for you.

There is only the joy and excitement of stumbling along the path you should be on, which beats any day zooming along a path that's not for you to travel on. As it is said in the Gita - "it is better to struggle in your own dharma that it is to succeed in the dharma of another." Another way to put this is - if you want fulfillment - travel lightly on the train you should be on in the direction you should be going, not just any train, any direction just because you can.

More on that another time.....

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