Tag Archives: Meditation

The Divine Nature of Losing Faith

I have been searching long and hard for answers to the nature of my own existence.

Why am I here? What am I supposed to do? How should I be in this world?

And all I have managed are teasers. Momentary experiences of peace. Realizations that though they are powerful, they are far too brief in their duration. I watch videos, read books, meditate, walk through parks, sit in silence, and all I have obtained is this false sense of progression.

I look for changes in my day to day life. Of how I react to certain situations and if it is reflecting any spiritual growth. When I argue with my wife, attempt to board an airplane, or deal with any of my natural fear triggers, am I reacting in a spiritual manner?

These reactions, whatever they are, form the basis of the definition of what it means to be me. If I don’t like what that definition is then I head back to the drawing board. I watch more videos, read more books. meditate more, try to have more peaceful walks through parks, etc, etc, etc…

This is the cycle that has repeated itself over and over. But ultimately I have reached a point where I have lost faith in this process. Nothing Eckhart Tolle can tell me will provide me with the ultimate answers to my questions. No Mooji video will leave me completely enlightened. No walk in the park will lead me to heaven.

This world can offer me nothing concrete for the answers I seek.

So I stopped. I stopped trying to extract proof from this world. I stopped burdening my experiences with divine answers. I stopped asking life to reveal my true nature. And I stopped looking to my reactions as a definition of me.

And it was wonderful.

Have you ever looked at something without expectations? I don’t think I ever have, at least not for a long time. When I would see a tree, I expect it to teach me stillness and beauty. When I spend time with my children, I expect them to show me what joy is. When I listen to a river I expect to learn about the natural flow of life.

And so I had placed walls around my experiences. And even though these expectations were created in pursuit of the ultimate truth, I had fixed the game right from the start so that I could never find the answers that I seek.

By losing faith I tore down these walls.

This loss of faith revealed that the truth cannot be pursued externally. Anything that comes to be through perception will never become the truth of who you are. This realization frees not only yourself but the world around you. The tree can now just be a tree, the river can just flow downstream, and a child can just be joyful. In this playground of infinity your soul will rejoice.

Who you are can never be defined by experience. When you know this, when you truly know this, you are free.

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I Am Not, Yet There Is

As it becomes clear that this body is void of any personal identity, the enigma of existence unravels.  What is left is an alarming emptiness. An impersonal organic structure of perception exists but not in service of an identity.

And as the identity vanishes, so does the haze through which I had previously seen the world. A remarkable clarity is born as the heavy emotions and burden of re-activity are lifted from my heart.

After meditating on this discovery I stood up from my trusty park bench, and somehow, I felt taller. But there was also fear of these new sensations. There is an obvious temptation to return to the old ego. To return to that familiar stomping ground. But this time I’ve come too far.

Walking back to work I feel as if I am floating. I repeat several times to myself “I am not, yet there is”. It is an accurate reflection of how I am feeling. That the long accepted paradigm of my existence is changing. I used to be a person in the world. Now there is just the world.

It is a pure awareness of my environment. I call it pure because there is no false “I” that I am trying to incorporate into it. I am not evaluating the goodness or badness of the events around me. There is simply no baseline against which they could be measured.

The Now becomes a given. Without a personality to make life conditional, things just are as they are. Thinking has not stopped, but I am not energizing it with excessive attention. There is an ease which carries me back to my desk.

It is not a beautiful day here by any means. It is rainy, windy and an unseasonable humidity is in the air keeping it slightly warmer than normal. It is a day that could have easily lowered my mood, but I am quite content. There is an ineffable beauty to it. Not so much from an aesthetic perspective, but in the energy of it. It is the energy of life simply living itself.

Is Community Needed On A Spiritual Journey?

I currently have ZERO friends (please, don’t stop reading here) who are on a spiritual path like me.

It can be kind of a lonely place. Though I have never minded being alone. ‘Alone but not lonely’ my parents would often say.

I have been on this journey for almost three years and I have not yet had one meaningful, live conversation about spirituality. This blog is pretty much the only outlet I have for  discussion of the metaphysical.

I do pass along the occasional tidbit to my wife, if I think it can help her through the turmoil of PPD. But outside of that she is not like me. Even if I did find ‘The Power of Now’ on her bookshelf, she doesn’t have the same hunger for truth or meaning.

From time to time I have forced a conversation about spirituality and they have always been tortured experiences. I come off sounding incoherent with somewhat of a loose grip on reality. I am convinced that the beliefs of the person listening to me affect the depth of the words coming out of my mouth. Eckhart Tolle has said that when he is asked a question the depth of his answer depends on the depth of the question.

My question is this, do I need a spiritual community to deepen my spirituality?

So far my spiritual quest has consisted of reading books, reading interviews, watching YouTube videos, practicing yoga, meditation, and contemplation. And as frustrated as I may get, I ALWAYS feel like I am making progress. My understanding grows in clarity with each passing day.

As a side note my favorite ritual, by far, are my daily walks to a nearby park bench which lies under two mature maples, overlooking the Rideau river. I sit for about twenty minutes in attempted silence, or I ponder the latest spiritual tidbit I have come across. Today was especially beautiful (see the picture below looking up from the bench).

Looking Up

I am actually dreading the coming winter and being robbed of my routine by the bitter cold.

On some level I believe I am afraid of seeking out a local spiritual community on the basis that they may challenge certain beliefs that are currently giving me comfort. One of my greatest concerns on this spiritual path is coming across someone who believes they are enlightened, but actually aren’t, and they say something that shakes the very foundation of my beliefs.

I often been tempted to attend one of Eckhart Tolle’s retreats, though they timing isn’t great now with two kids under three. I wonder what the experience has been like for anyone who has attended. Has it been transformational? They say meeting a guru can greatly expedite a spiritual journey.

For the moment I will hold my course as it has served me well. But I am very interested in hearing any opinions you may have to offer.