Spiritual Opposition

I received an interesting response from a dear friend of mine, whom is a Professor and a spiritual teacher for many of us and it was about if families always accept that you are a spiritual person? Do families always embrace those that start walking on the spiritual path or move ahead in it?

I did write yesterday that your family members know about your reality, whether you are truly spiritual or not. However, it definitely isn’t always embraced. My dear friend pointed me towards a very interesting direction here. Sometimes, your family or close friends can become a hindrance to your spiritual path. There is a great amount of internal fear in being spiritual and the reason is that it allows you to be comfortable with being alone. However, family and close friends may fear that they will lose you if you fully embrace your aloneness and they use their imagination of you moving into a cave and meditating until you die. They may fear about how they will live – food, shelter, transport, their smartphone etc. They may also fear that you will not need them anymore as much as they need you. They may start to fear your independence and within them, they also crave for that independence but they don’t necessarily want someone else have it, even if it is their own beloved family and friends.

It is known in my family that my conversations will end up being spiritual in some sort of way. For me, spirituality isn’t an app that I check now and then or a piece of clothing when it feels like I have to. Spirituality for me is an everyday and every moment part of my life. In fact – it is my life. I can’t live without it. It has totally consumed my mind. This is not always embraced. I know I am left out of social events with friends because of my spiritual nature. If I am at an event, most talk has to be on a superficial level and I get bored. Even if spirituality is discussed on a superficial level, it is tiring for me.

In the past, my family have not been supportive of my spirituality and there was always worry that because I was not materialistic enough, I wouldn’t hold a good job or want to earn good money. However, I have shown my family that I have all of that spiritual seeker within me despite moving up in my career along with buying a house and even moving to another country for a better life. However, there is something in me that is always wishing the ascetic lifestyle. I would love to be a monk and what I have learned in the past few months is that I can be living in the world, in the midst of materialism, in the midst of social change and be a monk within. Untouched by the world and its drama, yet acting in it fully. It has taken me a long time to get to this place in life.

I feel that the opposition to my spirituality has not touched what others have gone through. Some are definitely called hypocrites and claim that it is all a show – a pretense to claim these beings are spiritual. Again, this is stoked by fear. If we see that someone is able to live out spiritual oneness, we attempt to discourage them with hurtful jibes. However, these people carry on in their spiritual life, no matter what their close friends and family say. They know the purpose of their life.

Many Gurus saints or bhaktas have faced opposition from their close ones too. From Guru Nanak to Kabir to Rumi to Tukaram to Mira Bai. Their passion and love for the One, for their realization was overwhelming and I assume for their family members torturous. Who would like that their family member starting loving God more than them? Or at least that is how it is perceived. Tukaram used to get a good old scolding from his wife. Rumi’s children were jealous of his relationship with Shams. Not every spiritual person, not every mystic is able to please their close friends and family.

There is a reason why I have, what can be termed as a normal life. I have a wife, eventually we will have kids, we have a home, a car, a job, a Netflix account and social media accounts. At the same time, my weekend is more or less devoted to spirituality, to my own individual practice as well as in the week. I read scriptures on a daily basis. Any free time I get and I will have my iPad out, reading on the Kindle app. I also do spend quality time with my wife, we go on date nights now and then. My spiritual life is perfectly balanced. However, some may say that one command from my Satguru (True Master) can change things? I may be asked to preach, if my Satguru truly desires so. This will not change my lifestyle but my lifestyle should become exemplary. Yes, my diary will change it’s focus but the monk within can still reside in the hustle-bustle of this world.

Not everyone has it easy and I guess this is my post to say that it is okay if you are condemned for being spiritual. Atleast, you know deep in your heart that you are doing the right thing for you. How can we care for others, if we ourselves are in turmoil? We should never dampen that spiritual zeal to further enhance our spirituality. If you feel you are being challenged in your spiritual journey, let me know. Let’s talk about it.

Love.

Being Nothing

The Truth is always revealed about us eventually and if you have a family, it is even quicker. Your family recognize any inauthenticity before you even utter the first word. Your actions, your body language, your intentions speak before anything else. That is why that if we truly want to be spiritual then the first people who will declare it is our family. For example, my wife will be the first to tell you my reality. That is the way it is.

We often seek to pretend to be something we are not in our social circles or when others are around. When we are with our own then our real nature shows. If we are truly kind and considerate then that shows. If we are mean and horrible then that will show. We cannot fool those that live with us each and every day.

We like to show the world that we are something else. We want others to have a certain image of us and we play upon that image. Yet, the spiritual path, the path of wisdom is all about destroying the image. We do not need to be labelled, or put into a box of a certain kind. We are to be free from such notions. The path of the wise is about becoming nothing and this is the biggest fear we fearfully hold. Being nothing is linked to death. With death, we know that nothing will happen to us. Inside we know it. For example, even if you believe in heaven, you are still nothing on the Earth now. This can create a sense of fear of us. The highest spiritual attainment for the mind is to become nothing, to become empty and this is the truest victory. It is only at this point that we understand that we are actually Fullness. We are Imageless. We are Formless. We are beyond even the sense of nothingness, emptiness or void.

Too much of our life is about what we are trying to portray instead of revealing what we truly are. It is the ascetics, the monks, the spiritual householders that truly look to reveal what they really are. Vedanta calls this Brahman – the Ultimate Reality. How many who claim to be spiritual, who claim to be sharing wisdom, who claim to follow religious rituals are in touch with the Ultimate Reality that is within them? Not just within, it is around one, beyond one and the Ultimate Reality is the Gyana (Knowledge) that is understood beyond the mind. Therefore, this can only be shown and known when one accepts what they are. Once one is able to silence the mind so that it can be programmed as being Brahman then they are Brahm Gyani (Realized Being). It is the Realized Being that is living the Ultimate Reality as the Ultimate Reality.

I am very fortunate that I am able to discuss this with close friends, my wife on a almost daily basis. One thing that has really helped me is seeing Brahman, or Nirankar (the Formless) in my wife. In the morning, when I bow down to touch her feet for blessings, I truly feel that the Ultimate Reality in her and in me too is Greater. This is the birth of real respect. This is the beginning of being authentic. This is the flowing river of love. It creates mystics. For if you can see love in the eyes of your beloved one, in your parents, in your friends then wisdom is at your beck and call. What is the point of wisdom, if it doesn’t create respect for others? What is the point of wisdom, if one is not open-minded towards all.

I do want to talk about spiritual intoxication and maybe will tomorrow. How do you practice spirituality in your day to day life? I would love to know.

Love.

The Seeker must become the Mystic

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Wisdom has set me on fire,
There is nothing to discriminate,
There is no other,
But the One True Self.

Wisdom is one thing; the practical side is totally another ball game. In the life of a mystic, there are two journeys. One is seeking the Truth itself and the other one is action or application of the Truth.

The seeker goes out searching for the Truth. They do not know if they will achieve anything. Will they achieve liberation? Will they see God? Is there a God? All these are unanswered questions and the seeker is comfortable with these doubts. The seeker moving towards becoming a mystic is fully aware that the questions are not real. They don’t need answers because they are distractions towards the Truth. The Truth doesn’t need to answer any questions. If we do not accept the Truth then there are two reasons. One is that we have not accepted the Truth and the second, which regardless of the first reason is more important, and that is whether we have applied this Truth to our daily lives.

The Seeker goes out and with all of their life, with their every breath, with every bit of their energy they need the Truth. When they meet the One – the Master, the Guru, the seeker receives the Divine Wisdom, known as Brahm Gyan from the Guru and life is transformed if the awakening occurs. The Seeker now has the knowledge, what next? The application must be there. The Seeker must see the knowledge, the wisdom in every aspect of life. In nature, in nurture, in essence, it should see through the eyes of wisdom and then the Mystic is born. Every action carries the dust of the Truth so that whenever another seeker wants the Truth, it should follow the trail of dust that the Mystic leaves behind.

When the awakening has occurred, the Mystic, like their Guru will be someone who has patience for one and all, they go beyond their labels – their nationality, race and religion. They move beyond boundaries. They have compassion for everyone because they see the same Light within them in others. They do not discriminate, like the Sun doesn’t discriminate on what it give its Light to. The Mystic, like their Guru understands the importance of forgiveness. That means forgiveness of one’s own mistakes and the large-heartedness to forgive others. Who are we to judge on the severity of a certain mistake or mishap that someone has made directly or indirectly towards us. The Mystic is an example, and the Light that shines from them is because of the wisdom they received from their Guru.

If the Light that we shine differentiates and judges then is it the Light of God or Truth? Are we following the words of the Guru, if we are using our own mind over the Guru’s teachings? Have we truly accepted the Guru? If the seeker discriminates and judges then the question goes on whether the seeker truly feels that the Guru is someone worth following. If the Guru doesn’t judge but has compassion for all, then isn’t that the natural course of action for the seeker? The Mystic has to follow the Guru but the seeker has a choice. The seeker is at a crossroad, it can either choose to follow the Guru’s way or it can abandon the ship and carrying on searching. Therefore, the seeker can never claim to be a disciple of a Guru until they surrender their mind to the Guru and whoever surrenders understands the Guru and becomes a Mystic. This is the grace and blessing of the Spiritual Master.

This Light, this Wisdom, this God that is revealed by the Master is only for those that want to become mystics, who want to have union with the One. The One that has created everything is the manifest and the unmanifest. The One that has no end, no beginning and is self-existent. This One, which is the Truth, which is consciousness, awareness and bliss. This is the way of life for the Mystic.

The Mystic never wants to let go of the Guru’s path and everything for the Mystic is about being as the Guru so wishes. If the Guru says to love everyone, then love everyone it is. If the Guru says to be compassionate, then compassion it is. If the Guru says forgive under any circumstance, then forgiveness it is. The Guru has the final and only say in the Mystic’s life. The seeker will pick and choose whatever is said but will do whatever their mind says. The Mystic understands the Guru’s actions, whilst a seeker can misunderstand it.

The evolution of the seeker has to occur. The Mystic must be born and this is where having a Master is necessary or makes it easier. The Master will show you the way, they will be the example and they will liberate you from this earth. No longer will you be confined in the body and mind, you will become the vastness of this One. When the Mystic is born, this world becomes more beautiful. The beauty of the One can only be understood by those in the mystic tradition and the Guru has defined this tradition.

To move forward in one’s awakening, to truly feel free and liberated, the seeker must become the Mystic.