Having reached my 62nd birthday this past week, I can see how far I have come in life, and yet for many years, there was a feeling that there had to be more. And you know what, there is, and it is easier than you might think to find.
I have spent years on the spiritual path searching and following a calling that resided deep within me. Can you relate to having a calling or feeling like something is missing in your life, or intuitively you know there is something more to life? If you do, then keep reading.
I have taken, classes, workshops, and gone on retreats to understand myself and to follow this calling. I have read books and articles. I have listened to countless recordings and watched hours of videos of other spiritual teachers and people I respect for their knowledge and expertise.
All these things were helpful to some degree and led me down a path of self-improvement. The promise was always there that I would find what I was looking for, but it was never fulfilled. The calling remained, and somehow even with all the changes I made, something still felt missing.
Then a realization came that I do not need to do anything, I have no place to get to and nothing to do to reach the full realization of the self. Why? Because it has always been right here and accessible to me anytime I want, it is my real nature.
You can be sure that the most significant obstacles you face in life are the thoughts you have about yourself and your life. Notice right now, because for some of you your thoughts are already going to work and telling you to stop reading this post. They can be very clever and subtle so pay attention and notice, is this true? If it is pay attention to what they say, do not attach to any agreeable or disagreeable thoughts and keep reading.
We THINK we are the body. We THINK we are the mind. We THINK that we are separate from one another. We THINK, we THINK, we THINK our way into a life of delusion. We are stuck in the past or thinking about the future. We attach to these thoughts, we repeat our stories, and we let them take us away from living in the here and now.
We allow this to happen without ever questioning these thoughts and we believe that every thought is entirely correct. We repeat our stories, our suffering, the pain we are in, to those who will listen, and to ourselves. We follow our beliefs without even knowing where they came from or why we have them. Sometimes we do not even see that we are following them, we are in a fog. We are not in charge any more we have become the follower. Many of our beliefs are conditioned in us from a very young age, passed down from adult to child and perpetuated by what we read and watch. We find our tribe, the people we associate with because their beliefs align with ours, which preserves this fog.
We have been deluded for so long that our delusion becomes our reality and we cannot see that our thoughts and beliefs are not 100 percent true and that they lead us away from the truth and keep us stuck in our story, which has become so real we cannot see anything else.
We all get glimpses of the truth, but our thoughts immediately step in to justify why the truth is not right, or they tell us a new story, and we perceive it as the truth. Our thoughts will say to us that the other person or idea is wrong. We will even have experiences that support this falsehood. They can be mystical, perceived to be unique or individual, and this will make us think we are on the right path, that we are somehow more unique or special than someone else.
Just like a dog chasing its tail, we always THINK we have just about reached our desired destination and that the missing piece is just around the corner. However, we never seem to get there, do we? If we never wake up and see this, then we will continue to follow this erroneous guidance blindly.
Here are a few questions to help you dive a little deeper. Where do most of your thoughts originate? Yes, sometimes we are using our thoughts to accomplish something. However, have you noticed that most of your thoughts are brought forth without your conscious participation? Do your thoughts come from the place that is calling you or are they just part of your physical nature, your personhood, the mind? What is your real nature, this body and mind, or something more significant?
Spend some time with these questions. Can you observe the one who is contemplating these questions? If you can, who or what is that and how does it feel to be in that space? Could this be your real nature or true-self?
Waking up to who we are and what we are not, is complicated by our thinking, and this keeps us stuck in life and from seeing the truth. My intention is not to convince you of this but point to the place where you can have direct experience, because it is genuinely through experience, that we come into knowing the truth. I hope that for some of you that happened when reading the above paragraph, but if not do not worry.
We THINK that we must unravel our conditioning, figure things out and solve all of our problems before we can find our way of having direct experience, but this is just not true. These kinds of thoughts keep us chasing our tails and from not having direct experience. Just know that if you made it this far down that page something greater than your personhood is calling you.
For now, revisit the questions above regularly. Spend time in the space as the observer every day. Notice, do you imagine this space or is it real?
If thoughts come up or pains in the body know that this is a distraction of the mind and let them go. We are so mental that this is where you will want to go first in the beginning. Just know that your thoughts are what have always led you away from your real nature. Be patient and loving and do not be afraid, you are safe within this space.
If you have questions, ask me in the comments or contact me and follow my blog as we continue this journey in the next post together.