In my early days I saw spiritual life as a hardship that was to be suffered and endured; a left-over of old misunderstandings. I then found myself rebelling against the dogma that organisations were trying to convince me, and seeking freedom at all costs – until by grace, I saw that my fixed pursuit of freedom in itself was another form of attachment and earthly trap.
My conscious spiritual journey this life has taken place over three decades and the more I research and practice, the more I believe that it is about opening to, and connecting with, a higher joy and eventually Divine Bliss. Of refining character while letting go of the ego nature, and being receptive to more of one’s higher soul nature and Spirit. Of finding joy in one’s heart and connecting with others in love. Being willing to suffer and sacrifice, while finding an opening to one’s direct and individual experience of love and joy.
The spiritual path is not necessarily an easy one as much past conditioning and habitual beliefs make it so. Learning to “let go and let God” is what I aim for, but as I aim for this way, I also need to let go of any preconceived ideas of what God might be. God essentially is the best idea that has been attempted to describe the indescribable. ‘God’ is also called ‘the Source,’the Eternal,’ the Divine, and ‘All-That-Is.’ It is what it is, and my search includes trying to connect with that Creator as well as the creator within myself. To connect through ideas as well as feelings and beyond that. Sometimes I am taken up and out of myself, into the pure bliss. It is at these times that I do feel alive and why I keep searching and practicing to know and live this Spirit of Love.
The Divine offers me everything I could ever want or need, yet I resist it, believing that I am “not worthy” or some other limiting beliefs – leftover misconceptions that became embed in the unconscious at some stage along the way.
For many years I felt caught in the middle of being somewhat ready to leave behind personality attachments yet not fully satisfied at the offerings of experiences more divine. There were many years lived in semi-wastelands of the choices involved in letting go of clinging to both worlds yet not fully living in the pleasure of either.
Over time and through making several difficult choices along the way, I eventually feel more at peace in living simply and discovering greater blessings in surrendering.
I certainly have had the blessings of wonderful teachers and teachings, with gifts of writings and ‘satsang.’ Despite the challenges and occasional difficulties that I might have to face along the way, spiritual life is a gift and reward unto itself.
Teachers that have greatly enriched my life experience, including directly: Ananda Tara Shan and Tarajyoti Govinda; indirectly: Paramahansa Yogananda, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Neem Karoli Baba, Thich Nhat Hanh, Shunryu Suzuki, Jack Kornfield, Annie Besant, and many many others. Also those with psychological insights such as Baba Ram Dass (Richard Alpert), Byron Katie, Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks and many others, through understanding of the ‘human condition.’ Each offering ‘maps’ to assist in making one’s way through the inescapable “stuff” that is ours to acknowledge, accept, embrace and integrate into our greater self, the process of becoming whole.
Moment by moment, issue after issue, struggling now and then, until remembering again that, at some level, everything is essentially perfect as it is. … In the end, Love being all one really needs. To love and to become love.
So many fascinating ways of viewing – what is. Infinite notes in a symphony of cosmic proportions. And amidst the delight of ideas about the Divine nature, a Persian proverb hints that we seek truth, “not in books, but in meditation”- for one would look to the sky to find the moon, “and not in the pond.”
So, while I am here – and while I am consciously aware – I seek, I ponder, I wonder and sometimes, beyond my very personality self, I am in awe.
I have been given the gift of discovery beyond my reasoning mind – beyond all mental constructs. For a moment I experienced that which connects every single thing in this Universe. I was privy to knowing something of, All That Is.
And another time when That, which is beyond all of what men see, radiated out and said “hello” to me. In different ways and at different times – I have been most truly blessed.
And I hope, that through this work, this play – to share something of what I am given – and that it be of some value to you – in your wondering, and enjoyment, of the Way to Love.
Arjuna, 21 July 2011