The Journey Begins With Where You Are
The Spiritual Journey begins with where you are and not with an obsession of where you want to be. All spiritual journey is toward experiencing reality as it is. The fundamental experience of awakening or enlightenment is a state of consciousness' where we can experience "what is" without the interference of the mind.
Upon this foundation, you could have altered states, deep communion with your personal God (how you relate to the divine in your own religion or spiritual practice) or astral travel, but the grounded reality or "home" state where you live is experiencing reality as it is.
Experience daily life without past and without fears. Experiencing nature without the mind. Experiencing without mental chatter is what constitutes the foundation of an awakened state of spiritual consciousness. Once you begin to experience in this way, you feel one with everything.
There is no sense of separation. As you listen to music or dancing, you are just doing that and there is nothing else. This comes as glimpses to most of us now through meditation, oneness blessing and various spiritual practices. When this becomes an immersion 24/7, this is what we call oneness. The intent behind the oneness blessing and vision of Oneness is to help everyone get there. One of the biggest steps is to work on charges as the charges are the barrier to focusing on reality. The charges keep us focused on past or future. Experiencing reality as it is, is a very intense, focused state. A wavering or conflict-filled mind will not allow this state. Must have inner stillness to sustain awareness in reality. This requires intense focus and attention. One has to really work on annihilating conflict. As long as there is conflict, there is dissipation of energy and awareness cannot be sustained.
We can differentiate between "being conscious" vs. "being aware of what is" (Feelings, charges, truth of yourself.) Many of us see what is happening inside and see charges including anger and lack of forgiveness, etc. We can see our thoughts and know our conflicts. This is not the same as experiencing it.
When you are conscious, it is for a few moments and then attention is redirected. If you observe yourself, there is not sustained attention. This happens when you are merely conscious of "what is."
When we are not completely free of the past, conflicts and charges, the brain is like a circuit breaker interrupting so we return to the same issues and no transformation occurs and we feel stuck. There is no sustained awareness.
Imagine focusing a magnifying glass on cotton in sunlight. If you hold focus, it catches fire. The same happens with awareness. When we can sustain focus on any experience or feelings, the object observed transforms into bliss. It undergoes some type of combustion.
Why is the brain not able to hold awareness in sustained fashion? Why are we not able to stay with the oneness? What causes us to be distracted and diverted? The most important cause of distraction is the "what should be." This is a prediction, a product of conditioning. The mind is divided into good and bad, right and wrong. There is so much of "should be and should not" be brought to us through society, and culture. The mind projects a "what should be." We are focusing on anger, then a few moments later, the concept of calm or non-anger pops in and we think we should not be angry. This breaks our attention and is the greatest distraction.
Spirituality has been misunderstood time and time again. People think spirituality is becoming free of "what is" and moving to the "what should be." The moment you discover your suffering, you want to discover joy. Always the mind is so interested and obsessed with reaching something else. People believe becoming something else is the goal. In the process of pursuing these virtues, the "what should be" becomes stronger and the "what is" becomes lost...
If you chase the projected ideal of the mind, do you think attention will ever be possible for you? The very fact of projection will deny the ability to focus. You have lost attention. If you're running behind projection, your attention levels dwindle. As every day passes, your brain will become more unfocused. Sadly, people focus on the "what should be" and think that is the focus they should have.
To be really aware of yourself, is to focus on what is happening inside of you (the physical sensation the emotion) and to see the focus on "what should be" is merely the trick of the mind. As long as you chase that, you will not be allowed to experience the "what is." It is like walking in circles and there is no end and the mind continues to come up with daydreams and projections.
One can never really arrive at experiencing reality if he or she is only chasing ideals and "what should be" This is the exact opposite of what we need to do. That is why the journey begins with where.
If you're feeling uncomfortable then that is all there is. If I'm not feeling love with my family or in a particular relationship, the hurdle is to stay with that awareness. Truth is immensely powerful. As you allow yourself to go into that truth, you will experience it completely and hold awareness in sustained fashion. Then the experience opens up and unveils its story and speaks to you, Your anger and guilt and jealousy will speak to you. As you listen to these emotions and stories, that is when the charge is being slowly healed. The inner healing and shift of consciousness is only possible when we stand in truth. If you move an inch away from truth, you have lost attention and no progress will happen.
Anger, jealousy, hurt is never the problem. As long as we can experience those feelings, there is not a problem. If there are two realities that the mind is touching, this creates the conflict between "what is" and "what should be." The mind will eternally shuttle between the two. That is the nature of inner conflict.
Session to heal yourself:
Close your eyes for contemplation and exercise. Think of one experience or conflict you are undergoing or have had in the past. Conflict about anything. Try to see how in that conflict the mind is actually shuttling between two realities "what is" and "what should be." The mind's expectation or projection of what should be. Try to watch that all conflict in life follows the same route. Unless it projects another reality it is not possible to be in conflict.
Let us say you had a failure, it can be failure. Is there is a conflict about the failure? The conflict can arise because the mind is projecting a condition or image that there will not be failure, that is not true. When you compare with psychological activity, there is dissipation of energy. Slowly open your eyes.
Therefore, the next time you're going through difficult situation, feeling pain or discomfort, please realize there is nothing wrong with that experience. If we can stay with that truth, we will learn a great deal. What is spoiling the process, is the constant effort to reach a projected state. The next time you get caught, see if you can see the projected ideals of the mind. Try to become aware of where the mind is reaching and when you start becoming aware of the "what should be", then your attention can return to "what is" As we see the tricks of the mind, your ability to stay focused on the "what is" will increase. That is the spiritual journey of self-realization.