Today's excerpt is from the chapter titled 'The Role of Life in Awakening'. If you didn't read the overview of the book yet, and would like to, click here. Enjoy and feel free to comment!
~ Your human life is the biggest distraction to your enlightenment - but it’s also the key. ~
"The question that all seekers sooner or later face is: ‘If I let go of the mind’s attempt to control my spiritual journey, then what is controlling this experience? What then determines my choices, and what do I need to focus on if I’m committed to my enlightenment?’ Personally, I have driven myself to the verge of madness with all these questions — until I realized that I don’t need to know where I’m going or how I’m going to get there. I don’t need to use any techniques, and I don’t even need to understand the science behind enlightenment. However, because the human always needs to focus on something, I found two practices to focus on to keep the mind out of my Soul’s way whilst allowing the unfolding of my awareness:
1. The first one is relaxation: Do whatever you can to relax mentally, emotionally and physically (but especially mentally). As profane and simple as it sounds, relaxing allows you to expand and open up to other dimensions of yourself and to release the mental hypnosis of mass consciousness. The mind will violently resist this act of relaxing, because (much like a soldier) it’s programmed to stay vigilant and tense. With time and practice, the mind will release its Chronic Stress Syndrome and adapt to this new state of balance and calm.
2. In addition to practising the art of relaxing, I have learned to assume that everything that happens in my life serves my enlightenment. For example, if I’m feeling hurt or anxious or stressed, that is my opportunity to apply my awareness to my everyday life. The more I bring these two dimensions of myself together (i.e. the more I allow my aware self and my human self to inhabit the same space), the more I’m allowing my embodied enlightenment. You don’t have to travel to other dimensions to connect with Spirit – instead the connection happens naturally as you bring your presence and awareness to whatever situation you are in. When you ground your spirituality like this, the artificial line between inner and outer experiences, between the spiritual and the mundane, becomes obsolete; you realize that your life is the only method you need to “practice” on the path to self-realization.
~ Be where you are with your awareness, and what you need will come to you. ~
If you are ready to be an embodied consciousness right now (not ready to get there, but ready to be there) follow the key of your life and be present with your experiences. See your life as a canvas, and all your experiences as raw material for you to create art with. Your so-called problems and challenges are like particularly delicious colours of oil paint, and now you can apply your consciousness (your skill of painting) to create an art piece.
Once you have stepped onto your awakening path consciously, every single experience you encounter will bring you closer to the realization of enlightenment. Basically, your choice of enlightenment + staying alive = self-realization. The quicker you accept this fact, the easier it will be – because then challenges become meaningful nuisances rather than pointless obstacles that need to be overcome. Like an artist, you will come to view those challenges as additional colours that enrich your palette."