A spiritual seeker wanted to find a teacher. He sought out a monastery and his teacher told him: “You can stay here but we have one important rule that all aspirants observe the vow of silence. You will be allowed to speak to me once every twelve years." After practicing silence and meditation for twelve years, the student could only say one thing, and he exclaimed, "The bed is too hard." After another twelve years of grueling silent meditation, he had the opportunity to speak again. He said, "The food here isn't good." Twelve more years of hard work passed. His words after thirty-six years of practice were simply, "I quit." His Guru replied immediately, "Good, all you've been doing since you got here is complaining."
Spiritual practice does not feed the ego-self. It does not reinforce identity, separation, and division. It is not for self-aggrandizement and neither is it for self-abnegation. Spiritual discipline -- or sadhana -- is mandatory for the serious spiritual aspirant and it is of necessity hard... very hard.
Within the effort and endurance of the ordeal the aspirant must simply transcend the suffering of sadhana and enter into joy. Joy is beyond this mere relative plane. It is not of the world of sorrow. This is no mere joy. This joy inhabits the heart like green inhabits vegetation, like the sky dances with the clouds, and like the grace of animals in movement appear as one with their surroundings. This joy is uncommon. It is not sought, possessed, or manipulated.
In your sadhana you fall through the cracks of time. You inhabit the infinite. You are one with the Eternal. Residing in the Eternal is the ultimate being-state in sacred-spiritual life. Gradually this stateless state stabilizes in you as you align yourself with Truth. The Truth permeates you with its fragrance and its essence and you come to realize that this fragrance and essence is what you Are.
Now people ask me, "Do I have to work through these psychological layers of early conditioning? Do I have to practice in second-stage awakening to fulfill the heart of authenticity and compassion? Isn't there some short cut which I can take?"
For some the answer is yes... Drop it now immediately. The skill of the spiritual teacher is to discern when an aspirant can let go without the arduous task of long psychological preparation toward wholeness, heart-opening, and spiritual preparation. But (s)he cannot bring it about any more than you can. We are born with a destiny, a distinct adventure that awaits each of us. I encourage you to enter into the process of that adventure with destiny wholly, completely, and without reserve. Give yourself to it absolutely. This is the quickest and the surest way and when you are with the guide, your sacred guide and teacher, the manifestation of your own illumination in the field of space and time. Don't complain whether it is twelve years, twenty-four years or thirty-six years, or more. Don't complain, because your freedom lies not in changing anything at all that happens in your life, but in how you meet those events. Don't complain. Don't be resentful, impatient, or annoyed with eternity. It gives you everything if you stop still long enough to receive it. It radiates love, wisdom, compassion, and light to you all the time. Don't complain about this or about anything in this life of Love and Consciousness; rather notice and participate in this...the only appropriate response: gratitude for it all.
Richard Harvey is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author. He is the founder of The Center for Human Awakening and has developed a form of depth-psychotherapy called Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) that proposes a 3-stage model of human awakening. Richard can be reached at [email protected]
Richard Harvey is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author. He is the founder of The Center for Human Awakening and has developed a form of depth-psychotherapy called Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) that proposes a 3-stage model of human awakening. Richard can be reached at [...]