Bhagavan makes spirituality easy, and says it is the amount of joy you have in your life. It is not measured by how many hours you meditate. Everyone, he says, will have a unique form of spirituality and awakening. If there are six billion people on the planet, then there will be six billion extraordinary experiences of awakening and of the Divine. That’s six billion special practices of spiritualities, six billion special experiences of spiritual transformation. One is not better than the other. Just be honest with yourself and know growth never really ends.
There’s an old story about a man seeking enlightenment. He finds an enlightened holy man who shares his before-and-after scenario with the spiritual seeker. “Before I was enlightened, I chopped wood and carried water,” says the holy man.
The seeker, expecting to hear about how amazing the holy man’s life became after his awakening, says, “Wow, what did you do afterward?”
“Chopped wood, carried water,” replies the holy man. “Only after I was enlightened, I really enjoyed it.” The spiritual seeker who looks to quiet the mind and pursues communion with God is growing his or her consciousness and doesn’t look for extraordinary experiences. When your consciousness grows, it means that you are developing the ability to experience the simplest things in life with joy.
You can have the same experiences repeatedly and feel a new, heightened sense of awareness each time. Eating a big slice of your birthday cake is always fun. So is seeing the same family members every year, riding the Tilt-A-Whirl, or catching the same bass in the lake behind your house. Unawareness is feeling disconnected or let down by life, feeling depressed, like a robot living on emotional reactions. You sense lack everywhere, in everything. If you think you’re leading a spiritual life, ask yourself, “How well am I experiencing my reality? Is there joy in nearly everything?” If you’re awakened, you see life for what it is rather than what you think it should be. Living a spiritual life is feeling at ease with yourself, your feelings, and your relationships. It’s accepting people exactly as they are and being grateful for them. You’re able to face other people without fear, guilt, or defense mechanisms because you’re not on guard, not afraid of making mistakes or losing something.
A person who is truly spiritual can live alongside of others and never forget God, even for a moment. The Sufi sage Abu Sa’id ibn Abi-al-Khayr once said that the true mystic can come and go, eat and sleep, buy and sell, marry, chat, and be with others in the mainstream of life but never be out of touch with his or her own divinity. No matter what your life experiences are, there is no reason ever to be separated from who you really are.
I hope you enjoyed this short article on being with ease with yourself. I’d love to hear from you, so please do share your comments and personal stories below.
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