24 October 2008
Mike always has the best posts in his blog Silent Musings -- short, pithy, and exceedingly on point about spirituality. I found myself laughing in agreement at his description of riding the Los Angeles commuter train -- in my previous life as a legal assistant I rode the train to downtown Chicago everyday and also learned to laugh at the floor. because there's no where else to be but here.
just this, just here, just now.
every time I return from India people stare at me in disbelief at some of my stories about, shall we say, the less touristy aspects of India that I deal with on a daily basis when I'm there -- the legless beggars, the starving dogs, begging children pulling on my clothes. "how can you stand it?," they ask.
easy. I laugh at the floor. as Mike wrote, I find the profound beauty in the Indian floor beneath my feet and know how foolish I would be to think that it should be anything other than what it is.
I received an email today from a friend who is in Varanasi and she said that she watched a man standing in the Ganges, washing up for the day and brushing his teeth....about 5 feet away from him was a corpse and a dead cow.
just this, just here, just now.
"Surrender means giving up the pursuit and accepting, done to the bone, that you’ll never get anything from meditation or any other spiritual practice, other than being right here exactly where you already are. Mundane, of the world, form is emptiness, and emptiness is form. If you actually give up, and aren’t just fantasizing about surrender, you may find a profound beauty in the simplicity of the floor beneath your feet. And perhaps you will find yourself laughing/crying, as the floor laughs back at you for the foolishness of all those years of seeking."
As yoga practitioners and meditators we run from one form or style to another, always seeking, never stopping. there's nothing inherently "wrong" with searching and seeking, I've done plenty of it myself. but there comes a time when you need to know when to stop and to just be with what you already are. perfect. we are already in the place where we need to be and all our healing comes from within. if you don't have your answers, maybe you're not asking the right questions, because we already have all the answers we need. search deeper -- we only need to listen to them when they arise within us but that's the problem -- we don't listen to and believe our true voices and we continue our search for the next best thing until we fall down, exhausted, and surrender everything to the Universe.
only then do we realize we are perfect, just the way we are.
"It is important to see that the main point of any spiritual practice is to step out of the bureaucracy of ego. This means stepping out of ego’s constant desire for a higher, more spiritual, more transcendental version of knowledge, religion, virtue, judgment, comfort, or whatever it is that the particular ego is seeking. One must step out of spiritual materialism. If we do not step out of spiritual materialism, if we in fact practice it, then we may eventually find ourselves possessed of a huge collection of spiritual paths. We may feel these spiritual collections to be very precious. We have studied so much. We may have studied Western philosophy or Oriental philosophy, practiced yoga, or perhaps have studied under dozens of great masters. We have achieved and we have learned. We believe that we have accumulated a hoard of knowledge. And yet, having gone through all this, there is still something to give up. It is extremely mysterious! How could this happen? Impossible! But unfortunately it is so. Our vast collections of knowledge and experience are just part of ego’s display, part of the grandiose quality of ego. We display them to the world and, in doing so, reassure ourselves that we exist, safe and secure, as “spiritual” people."
--Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism