The spiritual healing journey is a paradoxical experience, for it is from within our brokenness that we encounter the seeds of healing. It is from that state which is less than whole that we must nurture those fragile insights gleaned from our process. With gentleness and care, we must tend to our healing until we become a flourishing garden of inner peace and joy. Whatever the source of our inspiration, whether we have a teacher or accumulate knowledge from books, it is by our own effort in putting the teachings into practice, that spiritual awareness becomes established . Most of us think we know if we are making progress by the results of our relationships with ourselves and others. Yet when the sages teach that all is a mere appearance, that this body and world that we identify with are not real, how does one know if we are deluding ourselves into thinking that we are making headway on the spiritual healing journey? How can one know with the limitations of the mind, whether we are creating another ego trip of spiritual concepts?
A student approached the sage Nisargadatta Maharaj and said that scientists have discovered that it is only by observing the reactions of atomic particles that change happens. That it is the very act of observing that causes a change in that which is observed. The sage replied “…The observer is also changing. What is being observed brings about a change in the observer, and unless that change is brought about in the observer, the observer cannot observe the object; therefore, one can never get to the depth of spirituality.”
This is the paradox of the spiritual healing journey. While we see ourselves as individuals, living from the place of relative truth, we create more concepts of limitation, of individual consciousness, unable to experience the greater truth of oneness, of absolute reality.
Nisargadatta Maharaj said about this kind of experience on the spiritual path, “…You are only scratching the surface. It can’t do you any good at all. What you hear must enter you like an arrow and hit something deep within you. There must be an internal reaction; without the reaction what you hear won’t do you any good. You should know it when the arrow reaches its mark.”
The sage seems to be saying that it is only from a place of transformation that we can become transformed, or else we are only creating more delusion when we try to understand the spiritual journey from our limited perception. He had also said, “Whatever the experiencer feels or thinks is all in the consciousness , and is not real. ” So how does one know, how does transformation take place ? It is by spiritual practice that we wake up. In the practice of meditation, a seeker comes to recognize the center point of Consciousness which is constant. From that place, one observes the movement of consciousness. In relating with the world, the seeker stays focused on the center point so as not to be derailed by the movements of consciousness as actions are performed in the world. The seeker focuses on “I Am” which is that constant still center. Everything else is ever changing in this play of consciousness, a play of light and shadow which the sages tell us is the cause of all our suffering because we perceive them to be real and lasting.
The sage Nisargadatta Maharaj consoles us by saying, “Spiritual effort is easy as it is difficult…One who holds on to the Master’s words, “I am the self-luminous reality,” will find it easy.” That is the beauty of the spiritual healing journey, it is easy and difficult, paradoxical in that we can only heal from a place of recognizing that we are already whole and perfect.
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