Excerpt About Spiritual Practice
The Trap of Spiritual PracticeThat is the trap, the paradox, of spiritual practice. You are trying to learn not to do anything, but the very fact that you are sitting implies that you are striving to accomplish something, to reach some kind of spiritual state, or maybe attain an enlightened condition. The moment we go in with that attitude, we are already pushing in our consciousness, in our soul; we are trying to make things go in a certain direction. An operation has been set in motion to achieve a certain result. So even though our spiritual teachings tell us that there is nothing to accomplish, that isn’t real for us, so we keep manipulating our experience. We can’t help but feel that we need to accomplish being ourselves in some way. Now there is nothing new about that self-manipulation; even before we learned anything about spiritual work, we were always trying to change our everyday experience. We judged it and devalued it and tweaked it and squeezed it. We pushed it and pulled it and held on to it. We have always tried to make ourselves feel something that is different from how we actually feel, because we have it in our minds that however things are in our experience is not the way they should be.