We are born ultimately for one reason only, to awaken to the Truth. Most all else we do is a waste of life, waste of precious time and energy. But this is not what I want to go into today. Today, for the benefit of those who have heard the calling, I want to present a different approach to the monumental task of moment to moment to awareness.
Spiritual awakening, as you might have heard, requires constant awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings and actions. To those who have seriously committed themselves to this practice, know that it is no easy task to maintain such moment to moment vigilance. If you are greatly inspired you might manage to keep it going for a few days, but eventually, if you are in the midst of life and activity, you will drift back into your patterns of thought and lose your state of attention and presence.
So what can help?
There are techniques which are very helpful in maintaining such uninterrupted awareness and especially those tied to the breath are particularly helpful, but today I want to suggest a rather different approach, which although is simple, I have found to be quite effective.
It is the practice of Goodness.
Be good and do good at all times, no matter what. If you attempt this practice, you will learn a great deal about yourself, while at the same time accomplish two other very important goals. One you will end up having to live with quite a bit of moment to moment awareness and alertness, and two, you will become an emissary of light and love, which is the ultimate way to live pre or post enlightenment anyway.
The reason this approach is so very helpful, is because we are mired in self-interest. The “I” is our obsession and very little good comes out of that state. So to be good, you have to be very watchful of what you say, how you act and what you think. You have to become alert to the negative consequences this constant self-interest brings.
As you delve into this practice, you will notice how you might be dismissive of a child who is eager for your attention, or how you might hurt another with a simply gesture, or a harsh word. You will start to see how being caught in the pursuit of pleasure and security, leads to anger, irritation and selfish behavior. You might be surprised at the patterns you have fallen into, which bring pain to others.
The outcome is that you will start to become conscious to the ways of the mind and ego. This is the essence of meditation. You will start to realize where your self-centered thinking has brought you and how it impacts your ability to be loving, caring, kind, generous and compassionate.
This awareness will then put you on the path of Self-Realization.
Imagine if everyone adopted this practice. Even if enlightenment was not possible for all, the world and society would certainly be revolutionized. It would bring an end to wars and conflicts and make the world a more peaceful and nurturing place. But it has to start with each of us.
So I suggest giving this technique a try.
Just be as good as you can possibly be, every single day, every single moment.
Wake up in the morning and say to yourself, let me be completely good today. At night, before sleep review the day and see where you slipped up. Don’t be harsh or judge yourself, for that is not being nice to yourself :-), instead just take stock of the day and your behavior. Just study it and learn from it.
Try this and see what happens. It is a very interesting practice and it will not only affect your consciousness, but you will notice how it affect those around you. Relationships will start to take on a very different color and at a more subtle level you will start to affect the whole consciousness of mankind. That thought is a discussion for another day, for now just be good and do good.