Patience and Concentration

It’s very important to have a deep commitment to your practice. It’s so important to understand, to somehow get, that there is unimaginable depth within you. You then have to honor that depth through your practice by dissolving the tension of your day and the tension of your life, by dissolving and working through the disappointments of your ancestors. You finally come to the place where you really can completely open your heart and your energetic mechanism to participate in the profound abundance that is the essence of life itself.

This just doesn’t happen quickly. It’s like growing a tree. Growing anything that is great in its dimension and its stature just doesn’t happen quickly. You have to be willing to walk into the unknown within yourself every day and open within yourself every day. Every day you connect to something deeper and something deeper and something deeper, which will eventually open into a profound depth. In our culture now, they tell me, we have a 2-minute, an 8-minute, and a 20-minute attention cycle. That’s pathetic, it’s just pathetic, and it’s happening all over the world.

In contrast to that, the accomplished people of south Asia a couple of thousand years ago understood the micro movements of the breath in conjunction with the moon. They got that there is an integration going on within our breath that is coordinated with the motion of the moon in the sky. They understood this perfectly, and we don’t even have the slightest clue.

How many of you can concentrate long enough to catch hold of the shift that goes on ordinarily in relationship to your breath? Well, that’s just not what’s going on for us, and in a way it’s very sad. What peace and what joy and what richness of creative expression might flow from you if you can be patient and concentrate long enough to really experience the circulation of your breath and the creative energy within you, and come to some authentic contact with that which is truly alive within you?

Through spiritual practice, and in spiritual community, we clear away all the tensions, all the self-rejection, all the inner struggle. We do this to come to understand the extraordinary and simple energetic event that we are. Then, moving beyond the tensions, we are giving that energetic mechanism space to really grow in the field of our life. Growing it brings us to a completely mature understanding of exactly what we are and what this life is.

Creating the Space in Our Life

Nityananda once said that not everybody can be the guru at the same time. Somebody needs to be a disciple. What he meant by that is that each of us is called in our life to a unique experience that is un-comparable to any others. Our experience cannot be judged by promotions or by our financial circumstances. Ultimately, it cannot be judged by any circumstance other than the depth of our connectedness to the power of life itself within us, and the understanding that we have from the depth of that connection about the nature of life itself.

All spiritual practices in every tradition are about making contact with life of our life, and from this contact with the life of our life, understanding what we’re doing here and understanding what life is. This isn’t a cerebral exercise in any way. It’s not about figuring out anything, it’s not about analyzing anything. There is no knowledge to grasp. It is about making contact and holding that contact. It is about making the space within ourselves and the field of our experience for the life of our life to expand and to demonstrate its own rhythm, its own inherent motion and its own natural truth. In this way, because we hold that space, we hold that contact, we simply come to know. There’s nothing to figure out. It’s a knowing that arises out of contact, alignment and flow.

Spiritual practice is about clearing all the garbage out of our heads and our hearts, and clearing all the tensions out of our life. For boys, it’s clearing away the boy things, their egos and ambitions, their contests and their triumphs. For girls it’s about getting rid of their girl things—the fence around the nest and so on. It’s about getting rid of all of those things, so that the life of our life has the space to really breathe and to really move, and, in its breath and movement, to teach us. It is not teaching us something intellectual or cerebral at all, but teaching us the feeling to hold in our hearts. It teaches us the space to hold in our minds and the rhythm with which to move in this world that is free of the delusion of accomplishment or acquisition. It establishes us in an unbroken appreciation for the unimaginable possibility that is available and expressing itself in the space that we establish and hold through our practice.

This requires a conscious effort. There’s no pill we can take that’s going to do that for us. There’s no chemical at all. There’s no book we’re going to read that’s going to explain it to us. It’s impossible. It is the conscious effort of making contact with the life of our life and holding that contact in the space of our heart, which should be ever-expanding.

This isn’t so easy because it’s hard to remember for boys to remember that we’re not our boy things. It’s hard. It requires vigilance, and the same is true for girls and their girl things. So, with vigilance, we release tensions and allow our creative energy to flow, and in that flowing it fills the field of our experience with so much richness, beauty and joy it elevates us beyond all of the insanity that permeates the whole planet. And by holding that space, we have the possibility of doing good to others and completely changing the world.

Clearing the junk out of our hearts and minds and the tensions out of our life is not so easy. It takes work, it takes commitment , dedication, and practice, practice, practice. That commitment and dedication and passion for growing and practice, practice, practice through the days of your life will allow the power of life itself within you ever more fully to fill the space of the field of your experience. It will completely release you from all of the entanglements of this life, to become completely established and absorbed in the ultimate truth. That’s the coolest thing we can possibly accomplish in this world, and I hope you do it. The reason that I sit here everyday is to support you in your effort.

Our True Responsibility in Spiritual Practice

When we engage in an authentic spiritual practice, we have the responsibility to change ourselves. With that personal responsibility, there is a requirement of additional thoughtfulness. Otherwise, what tends to happen is that as we are empowered by our contact with creative energy, our egos get energized. Then what our sense of personal responsibility does with that power facilitates change in us, but that change gets expressed in conventional pathways. Our commitment to our own lives collapses into a kind of self-centeredness that is aligned with the conventional values of our culture.

I can’t think of a time when the circumstances I have felt personally responsible for haven’t turned into a disappointment. Any sense of commitment we have to worldly endeavor almost always gives rise to some profound sense of failure. The fact of the matter is that maybe it isn’t a failure. Maybe it’s just that the possibilities that are available to us in the world from our ordinary states are intrinsically limited. That kind of endeavor isn’t a place where we should be looking for fulfillment in the first place. In the beginning, middle and end, fulfillment exists only in us.

I used to think that sadhus went into caves in the mountains for long term retreats in order to have some kind of spiritual attainment. Now I don’t believe that’s why they went on retreat. It’s my opinion that they went on retreat to get away from people so that their natural awareness of the profound abundance at the core of their being would not be disturbed by all the insanity that goes on in the world.

The solution to all of our personal problems and issues is present within ourselves. We truly need do nothing other than establish contact with our own deepest resource, align ourselves with that deepest resource every day, and flow in that resource in our daily lives as it flows within us. Contact, alignment and flow are the essence of a fulfilled life. That is what we need to take personal responsibility for.