If you are reading this post most likely you, like me, are following a spiritual path. Most of the people I know, do. For like nine years I was also following the spiritual path. Up until recently then I’ve realised that what I do is I’m working on my personal development. Sounds less sophisticated (in my surroundings) but it is much more real.
I was lucky to meet my fellow budhist practitioners back in Lithuania more than nine years ago, and I’ve learned some meditation basics from them. Eight years ago I’ve met my dear teachers Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and Sogyal Rinpoche. Their teachings was like water in the desert: I was listening to them all the time and I went to as many retreats as I could. I moved to the Netherlands were I could finally get all those books on Budhhism (there was not much available in Lithuania). So for three years I red spiritual books only. Some of them like Introduction to the Bodhisatva’s Way of Life or The Words of My Perfect Teacher made such a great impression that I was applying their methods every single minute. And I was trying really hard…
I cannot say that I was a hard core meditator but I did my best: meditated as often as I could, chanted quite some mantras and prayers, did some personal retreats, practised Yantra Yoga and tried hard to become a lucid dreamer. I was on the spiritual path and found it very strange then some of my fellows would doubt if their are going to attain Enlightenment in this lifetime. I was sure I will because there are all the necessary conditions: I’ve met a genuine Master, I’ve got the transmission and I’m following the path.
Don’t get me wrong: all those mantras and minutes of meditation was not the waist of time. In fact, I believe it was a very cause of what happened next: my spiritual path became the story of my personal development. You see, until you really connect with yourself and face your seems-like-never-ending-vessel of your inner fears, traumas, obsessions and tendencies you are creating yet another story: the story of your spiritual path. This story might have little bit more value than the other stories we are making up all the time but it’s the same illusion. And I know it’s a big statement and might not be true for all the people but it’s coming from my personal experience. So I’m going to illustrate it with one example.
During the time when I was reading (you can almost say “eating”) Introduction to the Bodhisatva’s Way of Life I was also going through some stuff connected with my parents. I felt like they didn’t give me enough love and I was very angry. On top of that I was angry that I was angry (=bad practitioner). The essence of the Bodhisatva’s Way of Life is genuine compassion and loving kindness. So I was trying very hard to transform my anger to compassion for my parents. But in reality I just reset my brain to program “my parents did their best and they do love me but can’t express it”. So I believed I was practising compassion to ALL sentient beings for few years. And then I was forced to face my inner shit. And I did face it. But now there was not so much anger but a lot of pain… pain of the child that was suppressed for many years. I am still working on that but I can feel the result already now: for first time in my life I truly love myself and the love and compassion I feel for my parents and other beings has no “because”: my heart is open to give and receive love. Not always. But most of the time 🙂