It is amazing how the set ups of the outside world are constantly remind me how ‘real’ and ‘troubled’ I am, or how I could use the body to influence the mind. Maybe I am missing a point here, but I am still not seeing how an effect can sway the source of experience.
My teacher once shared that it is possible to use the body to still the mind, very much like yoga. Most people have reported that yoga helps them to relax or in some ways still the mind. In my nearest context of experience was fasting.
I was advised to fast for a period of 7 days and thereafter follow some special vegetarian diet. Honestly, I didn’t really and still don’t believe in it, but I went along with it anyway; planning with a friend when to start, when to break in between the diets so that we’d complete the whole process of ‘purification’ by a certain date. While she was inspired to do it, I was just ‘following’ what the mass did. I doubted myself since most of the people whom I looked up to and trusted were following the process; I must not be seeing something that they did.
I lasted for 2.5 days. The experience was not of any suffering save for the hunger, thirst and the lack of concentration and presence in some matters and towards certain people around me. While I was aware of a certain surge of energy that accompanied while I attended to ‘important’ matters, the rest of the time I was in a ‘non-doing’ mode, if you get what I mean. It was a restful state in some ways for me, but not much joy in the experience.
By the third day, which is today, I started questioning myself why I was doing this. While I enjoyed the early wake before the fasting time, I felt no connection to the whole process. Perhaps there were expectations, I don’t know. By the time the questions started popping, I realised that the habitual self-inquiry had set in.
It was all about what was outside to fulfill a lack within. What the healers said; what the other people whom I trusted were doing and etc which all stemmed from not honoring and trusting myself. As much as I am not dismissing the possible benefits from this whole process which I was advised to follow, I was not really into it. I was just a follower – not of faith, but for approval, forgetting that I may have different kind of feathers from the others albeit on the same journey. It felt like I was following others’ flow of life, instead of my own.
Finally, I decided that no one could give me the approval that I needed. I asked myself deeply, if I really believed in it and if, it was necessary at all. I didn’t; so how could it be necessary for me? My initial intention was not noble in the first place, and for that I released myself of that struggle.
My guilt subsequently was in having the drive to do things differently from others. Perhaps, different is a strong word and authentically would be a more appropriate word. I find my inspirations spring from things or experiences quite differently from others. However, because I was the only one, who had such an authentic way amongst the rest, I doubted myself hence shy away from myself like a mole in a hole. There I was, sharing with others about authenticity; and here I am, battling with myself between being authentic and flying with the flock.
Having said that, I am acknowledging that each step of the way is always a work-in-progress towards freedom. I am free, for no one and nothing has ever bonded me except for my own self-created prison. No one is counting and no one is keeping score, except myself. Only our ignorance allows us to continuously run amok in circles, much like a hamster running its round non-stop on a wheel in a cage. The good news is, by recognizing ignorance is already wisdom at work; and with wisdom working, we can never lose.