Spiritual people can be some of the most violent people you will ever meet. Mostly, they are violent to themselves. They violently try to control their minds, their emotions, & their bodies. They become upset with themselves & beat themselves up for not rising up to the conditioned mind's idea of what it believes enlightenment to be. No one ever became free through such violence. Why is it that so few people are truly free? Because they try to conform to ideas, concepts & beliefs in their heads. They try to concentrate their way to heaven. But freedom is about a natural state, the spontaneous & un-self-conscious expression of beingness.
If you want to find it, see that the very idea of 'a someone who is in control' is a concept created by the mind. Take a step backward into the unknown.
- Adyashanti -
This paragraph had been sitting in my phone for a good few weeks now. I love it when people put words to my thoughts. I like having 'Oh my God, yes!' moments! :)
Sometimes I have students who ask me, 'Do I have to be vegetarian to be a yogi?', 'Do I have to do x amount of yoga every day?', 'Do I have to do this & not do that?'
These questions are often accompanied by feelings of guilt, remorse or embarrassment, as though they've committed some grave sin against themselves & humanity.
Does the phrase 'ignorance is bliss' ring a bell? :P
This is one of the problems of knowing too much - one begins to over-think, wondering should I do this, should I do that? Before we did not hold any prejudices towards certain things, now we are being told that this is good, that is bad; & we start to question our actions; whereas before we just did whatever the hell we felt like doing!
Take for example, the hours of Brahmamuhurta, which is between the hours of 4 - 6am. It is said that this is the best time for asana & meditation practice. As we start going deeper into yoga, our minds start questioning, 'I do not practice during the Brahmamuhurta, does that mean I am a bad yogi? Do I have to observe Brahmamuhurta to advance in my physical & spiritual practices?'
Now, this is all well & good. Questioning & challenging one's thoughts & beliefs is always good, because in that same space, there is room for growth & evolution.
The problem starts when one is not a morning person. Or one's lifestyle or social obligations prevent one from rising early. Then the epic Heart VS Mind battle begins again!
You set the alarm for 4am, only to snooze it 5 times before completely turning it off & going back to sleep. Then when you actually wake up at 8am you feel guilty for not being disciplined enough to wake up earlier! Why to put yourself through such hardship? It would be good enough if you did your practice, regardless of the time, no?
So is not ignorance bliss?
Before this, everything was fine & chicken tasted good & the world went on spinning as it does. But now, even the simplest of things makes us disturbed! How to be happy & present in the moment?
I am not condoning the consumption of meat. What I am trying to portray here is that we need to stay true to ourselves, at any given moment in time; & not force ourselves to live up to some image we have of ourselves in our minds.
'Buddha sat under a tree for 40 days to gain enlightenment. I should start a regular meditation practice too........but I really want to go play football right now!'
'I should not be so attached to my spouse, yet I find it makes me very sad to actively deattach myself from them!'
'The best time for asana practice is between 4 - 6am, but damnit I can't for the life of me wake up at that God-forsaken hour!'
Why to torture ourselves with the burden of what we think is right? Something could be right for a few, yet wrong for others; regardless of how much scientific study has been done to confirm the benefits of a certain thing, if it is not for us, why force ourselves to go against our true selves?
It is good to aspire to better ourselves. But it is also too much to forgo our present selves for our future selves! At the same time, this is a very grey area we are talking about. Decisions are always a very personal matter, & not everyone is always ready to change their habits & do whatever the hell is supposedly 'good'. I don't mean that if you like strangling people, you can continue on with your habit, but you of course take steps to changing yourself, right?
Habits are very difficult to change, especially life-long ones. So don't be too hard on yourself! Not everyone is capable of going cold turkey; the key is to take baby steps towards your goal. Slowly but surely, you will reach it! Keep persevering!
That being said, our thoughts are energies. Even when we are thinking about something we don't want, we are feeding it energy. Therefore, the more you think about 'not wanting' something, you are in fact doing the very opposite of what you actually intend to do - you are feeding this resistance in you! Have you ever observed yourself? The more you focus on something, the more it disturbs & lingers in your mind. If you just accept the fact of the matter & be like, 'okey lah'...it goes away ridiculously easily, doesn't it?
So don't feel bad about yourself! We are all trying our best here, & there is no right or wrong!
Above all, remember to be happy! Live every moment of your life without guilt! Spirituality is a very personal thing, & there are no hard & fast rules to it. To enjoy each moment as they come, that is the goal! Happy practising, everybody! :)