“Sadhana shouldn’t be done for one’s own liberation, but for the sake of becoming loving, compassionate, and understanding enough to remove the suffering of the world. We have to become so large-hearted that we experience the suffering of others as our own, and work to alleviate their suffering.” Amma
For all of us, life must feel tangible and real regardless of which philosophical paradigm of thought we choose to view the larger panorama of life. We all have in common our collective shared human experience of being confronted with the ubiquitousness of negotiating between the banal and the profound, which are intertwined and imbedded within all of our experiences of being alive. Whether or not we are spiritual aspirants, we all seek a life with more peace, happiness, and fulfillment. The only difference is that a spiritual seeker is choosing to embody a truer sense of consciousness within themselves at an experiential level, often through some form of theoretical teaching and practice that is taught by a spiritual teacher.
Theoretically, the goal of the spiritual path is a process of aligning our inner selves with a greater sense of self awareness to fully comprehend the truth, through the inner purification that strips us of our self importance (ego) leading to our true sense of Self. This inevitably invokes a greater sense of inner simplicity, compassion, and humility which allows us to perceive the whole of existence as interconnected, being one unified whole.
I have spent a tremendous amount of time in spiritual environments and with spiritual seekers of all kinds. I came to strongly realize that if we are serious about evolving in this way, one needs a teacher who embodies this truth. If we do not have a teacher to help dismantle our ego of self importance, then we will not progress very far. It took me a long time to become fully aware of my own sense self importance, as it was not until after I found my spiritual teacher that I realized that feeling like I was so ‘spiritual’ was not conducive to true inner growth. Spirituality is really about letting go of our sense of; self importance, being special, spiritual pride, being self righteous, and competitive with others as to who is more spiritual.
I too have been one of these people, who would engage in endless philosophical discussion on spiritual theory. In addition, I had a very strong sense of spiritual pride after being on this path throughout my life. In addition to having had numerous phenomenal experiences, starting when I was a young child. However, as the last decade of my life has unfolded in a seamless flow of challenging lessons. All of these experiences became a catalyst for very deep inner reflection, dramatically altering my previous perception of myself. Another huge lesson for me was through interacting with several ‘spiritual’ people who played the mini-guru to others, all the while their personal lives were steeped in controversy and hypocrisy.
I am far from being enlightened, yet throughout my life I have always been highly opposed to all forms of hypocrisy. I am well aware that all of us share our own measure of ambiguity and few of us live completely free from hypocrisy. These seemingly negative experiences made me hyper aware that if we are going to represent something, its wise to practice what we are advocating through our positive actions. I am following a spiritual path of inner purification towards developing a greater sense of empathy and compassion towards others. I am not indicating by any means that I am a fully humble or compassionate person, in contrary I have the same imperfections as everyone else.
I feel that the further we wander on this path the process of purification is supposed to bring us into a deeper sense of humility, simplicity, and compassion where we at least can try to be kind to ourselves and others, through practicing compassion, which is the essence of spirituality. When we embody a sense of compassion for all other living beings, there is a greater sense of awareness towards our actions and their consequences. Even though, the truth of the matter is that we are all beginners, stumbling along the spiritual path. The more we simplify ourselves and the less we feel that we truly know, the farther we can travel and truly learn.
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