I was asked this by a friend at Facebook today, and i feel I should share these words, so here they are, pretty much as I sent them.
Living is my spiritual practice.
In other words, I am practicing being present-minded in each moment. I am practicing love, open-mindedness, awareness, etc. in each moment. In each moment I am practicing the process of allow, admit and accept. I am practicing being authentic and honest with myself about what I am feeling or thinking.
If there is a goal, and the author Jeff Foster says this best, it is to come to a point where I am only awareness. An open space where things happen. To my understanding this is one definition of enlightenment. But being enlightened doesn’t mean you go into a cave somewhere, or you don’t continue to live. You continue to do whatever you are doing, but your perspective has changed. You see the truth of the people and objects around you. There is an awareness of an ego, an identity, but you are at a point where you no longer see yourself as that.
This is very hard to describe. My spiritual practice is my way of blazing my path through the spiritual wilderness to that destination. As far as I know I am not enlightened. I have had no life-changing experience of Truth. I have had one spiritual experience of ecstatic love. In essence I am like water, flowing around the obstacles of ego and the beliefs, mindsets, programming and thoughts of my family, my former religion and my society. The goal is not to resist the ego or run away from it. The goal is to flow around it, to move past it, to this place of open awareness, where I can look at a person, like you, and I see myself, looking back at me.
Myself, in these terms, is who I really am. Soul, my essence, spirit, God, etc. It is whatever lives on when the physical body has died, along with its ego. It is what connects me to you, to the objects in the room I am typing this in, to the planet and everyone and everything on it. If there is a goal, it is to arrive, not fight to get to, not chase after, but find myself simply arrived at a point where I see this Truth.
All of this assuming it is Truth. I must get to that point and look around, in a sense, before I know for sure. Because all Truth is meaningless unless it is experienced for one’s Self.
My spiritual practice used to be my religion, Christianity, which as I said was part of my identity. But now I follow no institutionalized religion, again as I said. I have set out, through the spiritual wilderness, to experience the Truth about God and Life myself. If reincarnation is real, this journey could take many lifetimes. Or I could finish it in this lifetime. My practice is not to worry about this, not to get stuck in illusions of time. My practice is simply to experience. I am being brought to whatever it is I need to know, not at an intellectual level but the kind of knowing that is in every fiber of one’s being. I am not entirely sure what this kind of knowing is like as I do not think I have ever experienced it. My practice is to remain aware, open and receptive. To experience whatever comes, without attachment or aversion.
In day-to-day terms this translates to, as I said, being fully present in each moment, in everything I do. When I am making pancakes for supper, as I did tonight, my full attention is right there, moment by moment, making pancakes. I am not thinking about anything else. Not only that, there is love in my actions. I mix love right in with the dough. I could not do that if I did not care, or was in a rush. My practice is to be present-minded, and loving, aware, open and receptive in each moment. When I meditate, my practice is to sit there and observe my breathing, then my thoughts. When I do yoga, my practice is to feel my body, every part of it I can in each moment, and to develop the same awareness of my body as everything else.
Sometimes I write, words like these, and there is art for me as well. For some time now I have tried to be patient and practice drawing, singing, photography, programming, level design in Unity 3D, modeling in Blender. I am learning self-hypnosis because I feel some sort of resistance to doing these things I am interested in doing, and I wish to flow around this large boulder in my path. I have not yet, to my conscious awareness, found my medium.
This rock, and an even bigger one, or maybe a rocky channel I must navigate through. This channel is figuring out what my purpose is. What my dream is. Why am I here. if reincarnation is real, what did I come here to do? Where do I go from this place? I feel a drawing to the Big Sur in California. When should I go? Should I go there? These are the questions to which I must not try to seek answers, but allow the answers to come, in the natural flow of my life. If I try to make something happen, past experience tells me I usually mess it up. When I let go and let flow, things fall into place exactly ss they should, not just for me, but for anyone else involved.
So these struggles are also a part of my practice. In essence I am in school, learning how to recognize God, what I call The Source, inside me. Learning how to hear the voice of this energy. Learning how to work with that energy to manifest things in my life. I am both trekking through a spiritual wilderness, as I call it, and learning how to trek through the spiritual wilderness, and probably, when all the trekking is done, look back and find there was no wilderness. When the knowledge comes, I’ll probably realize I knew this all along. Somewhere along the way I forgot, just as I forgot that I am perfect, just as I am. Just as I forgot what I came here to experience, assuming I made any such decision.
All beliefs are held loosely. This is perhaps the most important part of my spiritual practice, Learning not to define myself by my beliefs or my spiritual practice. Remembering what I learned when I defined myself by my former religion. Learning, and remembering the learning, to not let my beliefs or my spiritual practice become apart of my identity. Because defining myself, thinking of myself, as a spiritual seeker, is just more seeking, just more ego. the seeking, the trying – these are all operations of the ego. It is allowing and experiencing, without trying to do anything, that is outside of the ego.
I prayed, before I wrote this, to be blessed. To be directed and guided. That the Source’s words would come through, not my own. I hope that I was open enough that those are the words that you have just read. If you have any questions regarding any of this, please feel free to ask. I know it is a lot of stuff to read, and it may be hard to understand. But this is yet another part of my spiritual practice. To be the finger pointing to the moon. To describe the moon to someone who may have never seen it before. If the words I write cause to do your own internal investigations, then their job is done. There is no desire here to start some new religion. There is no desire here to be some sort of spiritual teacher. There is only sharing, with an intention that you find your own path.