Am I Doing This Right?

baby
What is a spiritual journey supposed to look like? The good news is, it’s supposed to look exactly like it looks! You can’t get it wrong. You can’t get one single moment of it wrong.

You are unique. There’s only one of you in the entire universe. That makes you very special. Appreciate your specialness for a moment. The very existence of you – the human being that you are – is a total miracle. Have you ever been present at the birth of a baby, or seen a newborn? That being arrives into this world straight from the arms of the great mystery, so awake and alive, ready to share its own unique version of universal love with whoever is willing to receive it. That being is you.

So get to it. Whatever it takes. And enjoy it – that’s the most important part. What a blessing this is that we are able to share love, in whatever way suits us best. That’s the challenge, really – to find your own way of aligning with the universal love and beneficence that is All, and to find the joy of expressing it, of sharing it.

Your path might take any number of twists and turns. Don’t worry. That’s the fun of the journey. You don’t have to follow one teacher, or one teaching. I read early on that it was necessary to stay with one thing, and not ask too many questions. I tried that, it got me into trouble. Certain parts of the unique me were being muffled, and that wasn't bound to last.

You might find that non-duality is too limiting for you to find full satisfaction of what you are looking for. I certainly did. There is a strong focus in non-dual teachings away from your physical being, your human experience, and particularly your body. Looking back on some of the things I was taught in non-duality, I find them downright unhealthy. But when we are buying into a whole package, and we trust our teachers, sometimes we just go along with things.

But you might find yourself wondering how your fantastic, unique physical being can be a part of this journey towards wholeness. The point in non-duality is clear – attachment to things in the material world cannot lead to permanent happiness, because everything material is impermanent. It’s a sound argument, and I spent years defending that argument myself, on this very website. But now, I am instead including my physical, emotional, and psychological selves in my exploration, and it’s a much richer experience in every way. There is a joy in my journey that was not here before.

The beauty of exploring our experience as one particular human being with a unique mind, a complex past, and a mortal physical vehicle is that all of these sprang from the great mystery itself. This great mystery is the “awareness” of non-duality – this is the “consciousness” they are talking about. From this consciousness arose you, beautiful you. Special you. One-of-a-kind you. It is not important to think about yourself, or the world you live in, as unreal.

Go ahead and take yourself as a human being. Live it. That’s the whole point. You are a unique window into consciousness, and only you can bring the flavor of you into the stew that is existence. You are needed here. Go ahead and have therapy – lots of it. Explore your past hurt and childhood traumas. Cry them out. Live in your body, learn how to heal yourself with energy, be humbled by aging. Let your heart burst with joy, and let it also get broken in pieces. Be amazed by your senses and the insane variety of experience coming into them.

But…

Here’s the fun part. While you are being an intrepid explorer of physical reality, which can be quite intense and challenging at times, you can also know, at the same time, that you don’t have to take any of it completely seriously. If you have dabbled in non-duality, this all goes without saying. If you have not, you might want to. Because knowing that all this just appears, is indefinable, and leaves no trace is ultimately completely freeing.

There need not be a detachment from this physical reality at all. We don’t need to leave this world behind. That is not what freedom needs to look like. Freedom is going to feel like freedom. You won’t have to question whether you’ve “got it” or not.

I guess what I’m saying is, if you are dissatisfied with the results of your search so far, it might be that you keep moving further “out” in hopes of making some final break. And my recommendation is to start moving “in” and see if that’s better. It’s okay. You have the tools to navigate it. You won’t get sucked back into taking this whole world seriously.

Expressing the unique “you,” as an outpicturing of the One Awareness, seeing how far you can push that in the time you have left on this planet, and seeing how much love you can give and receive – that seems to be what this Awareness would tell us it ultimately wants, if it could talk. Oh wait, it CAN talk – that’s YOU.