Join me Sunday March 19th for a workshop Meditation, Spiritual Depth, and the End of Spiritual Seeking. Register here.
We can see it on their faces and sense it from the calmness we feel inside when we are in their presence in person or online. They exhibit a depth of stillness and freedom from compulsion. Wanting this for ourselves is part of human nature. In it’s beneficial form, it can inspire us to deepen our practice, strengthen our mind and let go of what is holding us back. It can also heighten our sense of unworthiness and drive a search to fix what we feel is lacking in us.
Spiritual seeking isn’t a failure or something we are doing wrong. It is a natural impulse towards knowing our basic goodness. It is also true we can use spiritual experiences of bliss (along with alcohol, drugs, shopping, gaming, sex, gossip, food, worry and overwork) as ways to avoid painful reality.
Spiritual traditions speak about stillness, oneness, peace, love, connection and unity. What prevents all of us from knowing and experiencing this? Part of the answer is found in our body, nervous system and brain. Part of the answer is clearing avidya, ignorance of our true nature or mistaking the daily reality of our lives as all of who we are. Nonduality means there is no separation between our personal experience and daily life (manifest) and Being or Consciousness (unmanifest). “We” are both or all.
Most people are quite familiar with the part of the mind that wanders. Thoughts (words and images) pop in without our consent and without preplanning. At times we feel we are at the mercy of anxious and intrusive thoughts. Our brain and nervous system use experience from our past to maximize our chances of survival and that involves a negativity bias toward noticing danger. This small part of the mind is quite compelling and we pay attention to it most of the time. Unless we have a meditation or contemplative practice of turning inward, we are unaware of the stillness of the vast depths of the mind.
“In the centre of every whirling wheel, there is an absolutely still point. Weary of the whirl? Go rest in the centre.” Swami Veda Bharati
Try this 2 minute practice of stillness
or this deep exploration / resting in Awareness