Even as a spiritual teacher, life is not always easy. There is an idea that after awakening, life just flows along in some kind of fluffy way—that there is nothing we have to do and nothing we want and nothing to work toward—and so we experience only the bliss of ease and happiness. But this is blatantly not true, at least not from the perspective of the human experience.
I was leading a writing retreat in Italy recently when one of the students—a professional psychologist, longtime practitioner of Buddhism, and would-be memoirist—posed a question that’s frequently asked: Why is writing a spiritual practice?
We’ve all done it. We behave in a way that feels painful, or is destructive, or think we shouldn’t, and we resolve to behave differently in the future. We believe that the way to change behavior A is to take up behavior B. What we discover is that, however fervently we wish to change our behavior, it’s not that easy. We can’t just drop behavior A just because we’ve decided to for whatever reason.
The call to “know thyself” seems to reside deep in the human psyche—this maxim was inscribed in the ancient Temple of Apollo in Delphi, and we have been experimenting with ways to gain self-knowledge for thousands of years. Many of us engage in practices—mindfulness, meditation, yoga, contemplation, and an array of therapies—that have grown out of this collective search for self.
New this September, Non-Duality Press presentsNon-Duality Questions, Non-Duality Answers, the latest book from humanistic psychologist, therapist, and lecturer Richard Sylvester. With compassion, respect, provocation, and humor, the book explores non-duality from a variety of angles, addressing questions on a wide range of topics—from A Course in Miracles to gurus to madness to zen and so much more.
Everybody worries, but some people have more than their share. Their peace of mind is often disrupted by “what if?” thoughts of bad possibilities. They recognize that worries are repetitive and unrealistic, but when they try to stop worrying, it gets worse rather than better!
Consciousness, also referred to as The Absolute, The Supreme Reality, No-thing etc is appearing as everything and everyone right now. That is Your identity, Your true nature. You ARE The Supreme Reality, in and as which arises Awareness, in and as which arises form (the play of life).