Wednesday, 12 November 2008

The life I am now a rolllercoaster...

Yesterday I went to the shop that had called me to bring in 4 more copies of my book. When I got there the manager told me that he was going to make the book his book of the month next month. As you can imagine I was overjoyed by this. He then looked at me and said 'it is a very honest book, I mean like honest'. I looked at him trying to figure out what it was he was trying to say. I held his gaze and I said 'it is an account of my experiences, it is not the Truth and I'm not claiming it to be the Truth'. At this he smiled and asked me if I would like to go out to have a cup of coffee next week. I agreed because it is better than carying on a conversation on the shop floor and so on Saturday week 22 November I will be returning to to the book shop to have that cup of coffee and a chat.

But it got me thinking. Why write if one is not going to be honest? I thought that was the whole idea of being a writer. Writing for me is like the spiritual path it demands complete and total vulnerability. As a result of the spiritual experiences I have had I am vulnerable. I have nothing to defend or control and the result is an open vulnerability. I think this vulnerability scares the mind because it ultimately results in a space of emptiness or nothingness that the mind cannot be with. We claim to want inner peace and stillness and yet for many of us when this state is about to happen we get scared and immediately fill the space with ideas, thoughts and so we are scared about that which we most crave for.

The spiritual path demands stillness. Without stillness there is not the spiritual transformation that results from the expansion of consciousness. When there is nothing to hide, nothing to control, nothing to fear then and only then is the state of inner peace and calm possible. And there is nothing to hide, or fear or control because ultimately these are empty. They have no power only that which we give to them. I have seen this and have come out on the other side. The result of it is that I have a vulnerability and lack of protection around myself that to others may seem scary. I accept that. It is a very long journey to get to this point. By saying this I am not saying that I am in anyway different to others but I have been on the spiritual path for a very long time. For me spiritual development is just as important as all of the other lines of development i.e. physical, intellectual, emotional, social but it has been neglected for so long. Yet the irony is that it is spiritual development that drives all of the others. This is my assertion and I can't say this enough or too many times. What I have written in my book, what I write in this blog are my own views that I have got from observation or from insights. I do not claim anything of what I write to be the Truth, only ideas to be considered. Each one has to find their own Truth.

What I really liked about Buddhism when I first heard about it in 1998 was its emphasis on testing it to see if it feels right and if it doesn't to look for something else. I really believe this. Listen to what is written and spoken but then go within and see if it fits with your own observations and experiences of life. This is being authentic about the spiritual path. It is how I have journeyed on it. I have listened respectfully to teachings and then have looked to see how it fits with my own observations. This is not to be arrogant but to acknowledge and accept that no two of us have exactly the same path. The end is the same for all but the paths are different.

Tomorrow I leave for my 3rd weekend of the Team Management and Leadership Programme which is in Amsterdam. This quarter has been such a rollercoaster. I have had to confront many things about my life that weren't working. The toughest being how my identity used my obsession with control to keep me down and playing small. This was a phenomenal breakthrough for me and resulted in the publication of a book that I had written for almost 2 years but wouldn't publish. I wouldn't publish it because I couldn't control what would happen to it when it was published. But I wasn't aware of any of this. All I was aware of was a resistance towards publishing the book together with a very rigid way of looking at things. A tough conversation that I could never had had with myself resulted in the breakthrough of seeing the power of a decision I had made when I was 11 around my need to control life. This resulted in me giving up the need to control and then creating a whole new world around freedom and from then on to the end of this quarter, it is freedom that has been showing up.

Now I am about to start my 3rd quarter of this programme, new games, new challenges but I know that transformation doesn't end....what ends are cycles on the spiritual journey from non-Self to Self........

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