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PEACE – AND WHERE TO FIND IT
My mantras and visualizations calm me down. Isn’t that good?
While it’s true that there are practices that can provide a measure of short term relief knowing yourself as peace will likely continue to elude you because these practices typically keep the mind engaged. When emphasis is placed on an external practice, conscious living can rapidly devolve into a pseudo spiritual lifestyle.
It’s also the case that the egoic mind’s fear of dissolution encourages it to select teachings and practices that are less of a threat to its existence. After all, why merely feel your breath when you can think happy thoughts or say a mantra instead?
Practices to keep us lost in the abstract realm of thought and imagination can’t create the conditions for a permanent shift in consciousness. The power of any techniques lies in our felt experience while performing it. For example, if we focus on the vibrations rippling through our body during our mantras, we give new life and potency to a practice the egoic mind has largely neutralized.
Our felt experience of the un-interpreted moment is always more important than the yoga or meditation posture we hold, the clothing we wear, the book we read, and the group and teacher we are a discipline of. Looking and superficially acting like a conscious person makes the ego feel good for a while, and is certainly less threatening than living a conscious person.
Often the ego will grant you your “spiritual lifestyle,” as long as it emphasis outer from over inner essence. In fact, the ego is more than happy with all of the spiritual clothing, incense, bells, bowls, CDs, DVDs, and retreats if these potential useful tools are instead used solely to enhance one’s new identity. A spiritual lifestyle may be an improvement over the one we left behind, but it’s still a role the ego can happily inhabit since it keeps us at the surface of reality.
Be assured, the deep body awareness that quiets the mind is no more a threat to who we are than a dream. When we wake up form sleeping, the dream story that seemed so real quickly dissolves. When we wake up from the dream of “me” attachment to our personal story disappears just as effortlessly.