Monday, November 29, 2010

Spiritual practice - the pay off

Hmnnn……eternal human trait……always check what is in it for me!! Ah well, here goes! I quit my habit of smoking almost 5 packs of cigarettes a day, the very next day. No side effects! To put that in perspective, my earlier attempts to do so did not last even a couple of hours! In fact I was the personification of Mark Twains famous statement "what's so difficult about quitting smoking? I have done it hundreds of times!"

I could then taper of the drin
ks and eating non-veg food (though I still eat eggs and fish sometimes). I now practice for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. If family or other commitments hinder practice, I try to do my time anywhere I can, even the office during lunch. I am flexible with the place, the times and also the duration.

Does it mean I have now become anything special? Not at all! I still have all the human failings. I'm working on it, but years of habit are not undone overnight.

Does it mean that I am going to leave my family and take of to the Himalaya's? Hilarious thought, but it is precisely what most people associate yoga and spirituality with. Believe me, for a householder, that is pure escapism. The path of the householder who takes to spirituality is infinitely more difficult. 

The idea is very simple. Do your practice day in and day out, as routinely as brushing your teeth. After practice, just forget it and slip back into your daily life.

As my master puts it, the practice is like cleaning a muddy window, a wipe at a time. Each wipe gets it a little cleaner. For some windows it may take years, other may get clean much faster. The window is your inner self and the mud is the karmic dirt we have accumulated over lifetimes. As it gets cleaner it starts to show through. The signs are very clear......increased clarity in thinking and about life's purpose, acknowledgement of the divine in everything, gratitude for whatever you receive, however small..........there are many signs. But mainly, what we are striving for is the rise of inner silence within us. That silence then makes its presence felt in whatever we do. 

Rather than withdrawing from life, we actually start to enjoy it's many facets even more fully.
The idea is to burn that Karmic dirt as fast as possible so that the divine within all of us (what they call the Christ consciousness or the Atma) starts to shine through. The problem is that if you burn it to slow, it takes that much longer. If you burn it too fast with high intensive practices, it manifests in irritability and friction in daily living. The key is balance. The indicator of how well you are doing the balancing will show in how much friction is being generated in your day to day living. Does it mean life and your problems will change in any way? Not really...but it changes the way you look at obstacles and setbacks.

Householders with families, please note.......karmic dirt is cleaned much faster through living in society than by retreating to the jungle! There is a time for that and that is when that window is fully clean and you don't want to dirty it again through interactions in society. For most people the cleaning takes a lifetime or even many lifetimes.

We all have to make a start sometime. My time has come. It’s all about free choice and I chose to that start now. I'm not going anywhere and I have all the time in the world! Interested? Check out the AYP site through the link at the bottom of this page.

No comments:

Post a Comment