The spirituality of “practices”
To be able to understand the way a person operates within the context of society, we will need utmost awareness. That cannot be taught through “best sellers.” Awareness is not “marketable.” We cannot take “master classes” in that. Although, most self-help books, clearly spell out this word “awareness” as another key word to throw in inside a “spiritual” coffee conversation. However, the word is not the thing.
Awareness comes when we are able to “detach” from “what is.”
“what is” differs from person to person. It is what we mostly focus on. It is subjective.
For example: “Can I look at the sunset with all my heart and walk away from it with the same empty heart? Empty: A completely innocent heart.”
Most when reading those lines will “practice” those words. “Now, I am looking at the sunset with all my heart… How beautiful! Isn’t that glorious? Marvelous! .. then a few minutes later. Now… I am walking away without a memory of it. Empty. I will not even take a picture. I will forget it.” On the way home, the thought “so that is what innocence is all about. I felt innocent. Wonderful. Now I need to keep practicing that.”
That “innocent” practice is not what innocence is. That is a rehearsed action, which lacks creativity. It is the outcome of a mind taught to follow and taught only to believe in what it reads or hears. Moreover, that mind has been taught to daydream as to ingest a “feel good pill,” a placebo cemented with the belief that to follow to the dot, means to “do it right.”
Observe that in “spirituality” to follow means to miss the point.
Words cannot be taken literally. This is not a course of computer science or technology. There are no certifications for awareness.
When I am AWARE of Life, right now… and there are no thoughts of any kind in a natural way (that is without practice) then, I can FEEL. That may be “all my heart.” From there, I must find out for myself how the mind returns and takes over with memories and the meaning of it. That finding out is inner AWARENESS.
If I spell everything out, like the quote above or like any “best seller” would do, practice of what I said will be unavoidable for a reader who has been conditioned to follow. He may like what I said, so he follows to the dot. He may not like what I say, so he rejects it to the dot. That is the same exact movement although in different, “opposite” directions; but liking or not, is not the same as finding out. That requires awareness.
In short, “practice” as following directions, recipes, steps, techniques in “spiritual” endeavors; will make us dull, insensitive. For that is mind.
“Practice” as the ability to meet with newness “what is” without a script or a recipe; requires utmost intelligence and sensibility.
It requires the ability to be flexible and change as Life IS.
When I see the sunset. Am I seeing it? When I no longer see it. Am I still seeing it?
That could be as much as it could be written for those AWARE, but for those who are not, a detailed explanation will be needed which brings “practice” of something which cannot be practiced.
Do we see that?