Tuesday, 26 August 2008

The power of a comment......

This morning I received a comment to my blog entry about my visit to Mother Meera in March this year. The comment prompted me to resume this blog which I have neglected for some time. I am still amazed at the statistics for the number of people who return to read past blog entries. Strange as it may seem given all the insights and experiences that I have on a regular basis I experience huge resistance to sitting down and writing. Once I am here it flows and I enjoy it. When I received the comment I re-read what I had written about this visit and I want to use this blog entry to distinguish between Mother Meera's Darshan which is done in silence and silence as an entry point into the state of being. Silence is a powerful transition space that takes the consciousness from the state of doing to the state of being. However to get to this point of entry with silence requires the quietening of the mind's internal and incessant chatter and its continuous forming thoughts. The mind will never voluntarily allow silence to take it to this point so extreme measures are called for. This is the purpose of long silent meditation retreats. The long days and nights of silence bring the mind to breaking point, then it quietens.

This is how it happened to me. In 1996 I was on a silent 10 day meditation retreat in India. For the first 3 days the mind was busy observing, commenting, selecting those people it would speak to when the silence was broken. Then on day 4 I started to feel incredibly restless. I had thoughts like 'what are you doing here', 'it's a complete waste of time'. I persevered with this but by the time day 7 came I thought that I was losing my mind. I kept fighting and resisting everything. In the end on day 8 I decided that I would leave the retreat because I had more travelling to do alone in India and I wanted to make sure that I would be able to do this safely. In that instance when I gave up fighting with my mind I experienced this deep sense of peace and calm. Surprised I didn't know what it was but decided to go to bed and see how I felt in the morning. The morning came and the sense of peace and calm remained. I decided then to stay for the remainder of the retreat. My abiding memory of that time was of a mind that was relatively free of thoughts at least compared to the intensity and frequency of the thoughts that had been in the mind before this shift. I saw the direct relationship between number of thoughts and experience of bliss. Less mind activity equals more serenity.

As a result of this experience I consider silence to be more powerful than speech and in that regard Mother Meera understands the power of silence also. Where my unease lies is that as far as I understand it she never speaks to any devotee or permits any devotee to speak with her. Sri Ramana Maharshi was also a strong and ardent advocate of silence. But he also spoke the wisdom he had accessed through silence. I don't believe that the state of enlightenment which is nothing more than the absence of thoughts and the mind returning to its original home - the Self, can be brought about by silence alone. Some discourse, some context to set the spiritual journey within and some stimulation for the mind is necessary. At a certain stage all of the knowledge that is gleaned from discussion, debate has to be given up and the consciousness has to come from nothing if that abiding state of peace, joy and bliss is to be experienced.

The spiritual path is as real a path as any other. At the moment I am doing a one year team management and leadership programme with Landmark Education. What it is bringing up for me is the conflict between my identity with its ego that wants me to stay and play small and my possibilility or soul that is crying out for me to play big with the insights and experiences that I have. What I have seen is that because I am so aware of the narrowness of the spiritual path I have spent much of my time being wary of being big headed or getting ego inflated. Ego inflation sounds the death knell to the spiritual path. So my way of ensuring that this doesn't happen is to constantly make myself wrong thus sentencing myself to a life of suffering, and having no fun. Seeing this now is so ridiculous given what the fruits of the spiritual path provide;, making wrong and suffering is the complete opposite of what the path has to offer. I see my unconscious commitment to suffering as the way that my identity ensured that I do not live into the life that is possible when I don't suffer or make myself wrong. The further along the spiritual path the consciousness travels the more subtle are the ways that the identity sabotages it. The spiritual is a game for the Truth...

I consider humility to be the most important quality on the spiritual path. It acts as a protection against ego inflation. However what I had been doing is making myself wrong in order to ensure I remained humble!..duh... and this just just doesn't work. So through this blog I am declaring that my new possibility for myself from here on is the 'possibility of being humble without making wrong'. In this way I can honour and acknowledge myself and not fear that it will result in ego inflation. I am using this year as the training that I would get from a Guru or spiritual master if I had one. The team programme with Landmark is not a spiritual programme but is about becoming a master in certain communication distinctions which are given when one takes on the training involved in the communication curriculum. What it is showing up very intensely and directly for me is the permanent conflict between my identity and my soul.

My identity has been resisting creating possibility because each time a possibility is generated and put into action the identity gets that little bit weaker. What I have seen is that my resistance to creating possibility (a way of being) reflects the commitment of my identity to keep my consciousness in a state of suffering and make wrong. This is a safe place for the identity. I used to vaguely wonder why every time the concept of possibility came up that I would experience an irritation perhaps this explains it......

So thank you for the comment on Mother Meera that has prompted me to return to this blog. Thank you also to those loyal readers who have returned to read different postings. May this writing which is from me but not of me touch, move and inspire all who read it to take the spiritual path on with reverence and earnest, with the faith that the state that mystics and saints have written about through the ages is as real now as it was then.

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