of The Practicing Mind, beautiful words:
In closing I would like to say this. All cultures begin by expending all of their energy and resources into survival. If the culture survives this infancy, its people eventually pass the point of having to spend all of their time focused on staying alive. They get to a point of what’s for dinner instead of is there dinner. Their days are filled with more and more free time. It is at this point that the society faces a fork in the road. We have been standing at this fork for quite some time. The one path states that you can spend at least a portion of this free time on expanding your spiritual awareness, your knowledge of your true self. The other path leads away from this truth into an endless cycle of meaningless self-indulgence which, at its core, is trying to fill the spiritual void that so many of us experience in our lives. The track record for all the great cultures that have come (and more importantly, gone) is unfortunately not a very good one. We can and must learn from this historical truth.
take time regularly to review all the things that you have acquired in your life all the way back to your childhood. What you will notice is that the toy that was everything to you when you were a child has no significance to you at all now, and yet at the time, getting it consumed your thoughts. What you may also notice is that the joy in the memory of that toy is not in the toy itself, but in the simplicity of life back then, a simplicity that was rooted in your unknowing, present moment living. If you look at all the “things” that you had to have in your life through the years, you begin to see that you don’t really care about most of them anymore, certainly not the material ones. Things like the car or the furniture lose their importance and value to you over time. You may even wonder what you saw in many of those things in the first place.
That moment of realization is a good time to notice if you are just repeating that process of struggling to acquire things that you are convinced will end the anguish and twinges of emptiness you feel inside. You come into this world with only your true self, and you leave the same. Everything that you acquire spiritually expands your true self and becomes part of you forever. We need to get off of this self-destructive train that runs on the tracks of instant gratification. All things of lasting and deep value require time and nurturing and come to us only through our own effort. I think everybody out there is aware of this at some level. We just get distracted by information to the contrary that comes at us every day. You can eliminate a certain amount of that by paying attention to what you expose yourself to in the way of media, be it TV, music or reading material. If it doesn’t enrich you, then you don’t need it.
Most importantly, if we make our first item of business to develop our practicing mind, then the process of becoming is an adventure, and we are filled with peace instead of struggle. I have put down here for you what I am learning in my own life through my own efforts. I hope that it helps you in the same way that those before me have helped me, by taking the time to put down what they have learned. Remember, none of this is new. They are just the eternal truths that we have learned and re-learned over the centuries from those who have questioned and found peace in the answers. This is when the fun begins