Post Thirty-Six

Step 36. My Life Is A Mystery To Explore.
Truly your life is a mystery and, yes, truly it requires that you explore it if you wish to comprehend its purpose, its meaning and its true direction. This is essential for your happiness and fulfillment in the world, for if you have been looking carefully at your life, you will realize you have not been satisfied by little things. For you who seek Knowledge, something greater must be given. You must penetrate the mere surface of things, which seems to adequately stimulate most people. You must accept your deeper yearning or you will cause yourself unnecessary grief and conflict. It is not important what other people value. It is important what you value. If you are seeking for greater meaning, which is true meaning, you must penetrate the surface of your mind.

In your two practice periods today, again concentrate in meditation upon feeling the presence of your Spiritual Teachers. This is not something you have to try to do. It simply means relaxing, breathing and allowing your mind to open. The quality of your relationship with your Teachers is essential to give you strength and encouragement, for you may justly doubt your own skills, but you have good cause to fully trust the skills of your Teachers who have passed this way before on their way to Knowledge. They know the way, which they are seeking now to share with you.

Practice 36: Two 15-minute practice periods.

Here you will find the entire book free for download

Here you will find pointers for getting started if this is your first encounter with this practice: Taking the Steps to Knowledge.

December 13, 2012 Round One: I have the desire to explore my life and yes, I truly think it is a mystery. I want to delve beneath the surface and discover something greater, more meaningful, more profound.

I want to feel the presence of my teachers and perhaps I feel it, but I also doubt sometimes that I have my own Spiritual Teachers looking out for me personally, supporting and guiding me. I do not think that God is personal in this way, so why should there be a personal relationship between me and my teachers. Who are these teachers and why are they interested in me? Is this not just wishful thinking? Or perhaps, again, I am missing some essential point here. 

August 6, 2014 Round Two: A mystery has a myriad enticing possibilities, to me it means that nothing is set in stone, if something is mysterious, it is malleable, multifaceted, with the potential to be miraculous.

I tried chanting Aile, Aile, Contrayana, Mesu Veda, Mesu Veda during my first practice, and I seemed to drop into a different place, some expansive place of bright glory. There were no thoughts crowding in on me, just the light from my Teachers. It is still hard for me not to want to visualize my Teachers, rather than just try to feel their presence. I am not sure whether I am truly feeling their presence when I meditate, but I feel I am in a place that is bigger than what I usually call my mind.

Chanting is not that easy for me, however, I find the words do not roll easily off my tongue, I trip and stumble, but I do find allowing my mind to open to be a very beneficial exercise. It is easy for me to simply move out into a bigger space and just allow myself to be in that space, accepting the mystery of it all.

July 23, 2018 Round Three: Yes, I am looking for greater things and to satisfy this need I must penetrate the surface of my mind, open it to receive my Spiritual Teachers and their guidance, for they have been this way before. I continue to open my mind as I did the last time and feel the expansion that occurs. Now I am able to feel the presence of my Teachers rather than try to visualize them. They are amorphous and have no shape or form. They surround me with support and love.

First 15-min practice. I couldn’t find a quiet place. I did not go out to the greenhouse but decided to stay inside. I could hear the quiet noise of the TV through the wall and the neighbors quiet talking and laughing. Why are they not asleep at 4 in the morning? How will Michael and Lera manage sleeping in the front room when they come in August? I hope they are not as sensitive to noise as I am. I know Michael isn’t. But what about Lera? I was distracted from my practice and went into the bathroom. It was quiet there, but not the best place to be association-wise. I was able to sink below the surface mind into the expansive space where my Teachers abide. Practice from 4.18-4.33.

I am going to have to get over my reticence about Volodya’s presence and go boldly out to the greenhouse.

I didn’t do the second practice. I forgot. It was a quiet day with rain in the air. I rested a lot and then did a little in the garden. Did not find any Colorado beetle grubs on the potatoes. Sasha was making raspberry jam and then we had tea and cake early in celebration of his 62nd birthday. We felt rushed because Volodya said he would be coming in to take a shower, so we wanted to finish and be gone from the kitchen when that happened.

I had a thought about Volodya in the context of Step 36. If I see him as penetrating the mystery of his life and responding to a deeper yearning (his desire to live here in his old stomping ground) so as not to cause himself unnecessary grief and conflict, this makes the situation I am in easier to deal with. If I see Volodya as saying to himself - it doesn’t matter what other people value, it is important what I value - I can justify his behaviour. But on second thought, that seems egotistical and selfish. However, I think the Step means something else. It means people with values that are different from mostpeople’s shouldn’t beat themselves over the head about it but follow their “different” values and put a brave smile on their face.

I feel the presence of my Spiritual Teachers with me on a regular basis. So I get the feeling I don’t have to set aside 15 minutes specifically to feel this.


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