As the year is winding down, it seems like there is nowhere to go but up. It doesn't look like COVID-19 is going anywhere anytime soon, and the threat of holiday gatherings being cancelled like everything else is real.
This was the worst year, and nothing made sense any longer, except when it was the best year, because time for reading seemed to expand like one of those endless summer afternoons when one was in the late stages of grade school. Reading was a refuge in 2020
Friend, I am writing this article on the basis of my experiences for your festive season to read. I am having a discussion with you and other like-minded people to think about our journey on this planet especially in the last 50 years. We have seen globalization everywhere. Google has taken over grandma, the kitchen has changed to factory outlet Information has become knowledge; social media has taken our get together away, YouTube is giving us directions to meditate and motivational speakers are our new priests and much more.
Friend I am a product of the East and certain ways I feel conditioned by this. Eastern culture is based on society and the West is based on an individual. We will have to create a balance. We need to understand that individuality does not mean to make a circle of protection around us in the name of civilization and personal freedom. To be alone does not mean aloofness; it is an opportunity to grow. Individuality does not create a wall between us and society rather it is complete transparency of life. Family system does not mean to forbid personal growth in the name of love, responsibilities and affection. Family system should be a platform to facilitate the best possible spiritual growth. We will have to make a bridge between east and west. We need to create a balance.
Friend I am roaming all around the globe and dealing with people of different races, color and culture. I have realized that humanity is suffering all over. Conventional system is doing its best but unable to heal the oozing humanity. Besides this many traditional healers, alternate practitioners are also working very hard to help.
We live in an age of turmoil, tension and transition. The old is collapsing and the new is struggling to be born. This awakening of consciousness has resulted in a yearning for inner balance, self-actualization and freedom. Given that we have taken human form in this life, direct results of the above would-be stress relief, increased energy, greater awareness; etc. This is all but a process of change and transition. Balance in the physical realm is an inevitable by-product of self-actualization. There is merit to the practices and systemic approaches that have existed hitherto and which have been relevant for specific periods in time. Prior studies, philosophies and practices have provided an important foundational understanding of spirituality, origin, etc. But it is individual experience that is the best teacher. There is no danger or because for fear that you are doing something incorrectly when you are guided by the voice within. There is no correct structured way or institutionalized path. We need to experience life as a playground and free ourselves in turn. I do not see danger in such a way of living, only benefits.
Friend, in every era man has searched in thousands of ways, for true health, for what is not evident, tangible and material. The path towards this somewhere is yet unknown, a rough sea, mined with dangers ... with tricksters, gurus, healers, doctors, and so-called masters wanting to impose their vision of things.
I think there are many modalities of healing, like corners in a room. Each one is different but each one is relevant. Each one gives a different perspective on the whole, but each one belongs, and without each corner the room is weakened.
Friend another widely observable impediment now in western spiritual practices is that of becoming attached to a particular routine … following it just because one is used to following it. Mindless, automatic practice poses considerable danger especially to those who practice a certain meditation for many years. Driven by a sense of duty to follow certain regulations or rituals or by identifying oneself with a certain cultural wrapper - neither of which are defined as the essence - one forgets to remember the purpose of alive and dynamic spiritual practice. By becoming conditioned to act according to such habits and self-established priorities, one’s lifestyle becomes stiff and impaired; one tends to lose the ability to look at every situation anew and act freely, creatively, according to time, place, and circumstance.
Besides the above-mentioned dangers of becoming preoccupied with the externals, and misusing the original methods for the purpose of attaining mundane goals, there are many more ways to divert, compromise, and become lost on the way. Sincere essence-seeking aspirants on the path of self-realization are thus advised to constantly strive to develop the qualifications necessary for the practice they follow, to seek expert advice, and to keep the true goals alive.
While I believe that Eastern practices and philosophy have been “tailored” for Western use, I nonetheless do believe that the export of Eastern philosophy to the west has been necessary. The worldwide Consciousness of people today, is not as it used to be many millennia ago. We are moving away from an Age of Transformation where the World has been in the state of chaos. Individual choices appear to be changing: questioning as opposed to following; embracing change as opposed to being resistant to it; moving toward spirituality rather than systematic religious practices. The archaic, institutionalized order is breaking down.
It is for this reason I feel individuals are seeking understanding from Eastern philosophy and practices which have their roots in matters of soul evolution towards being connected to a unified source. All of the spiritual Gurus/Masters have through their own experience founded movements and drafted certain guides to “living”; however, this has come from their-individual-experience. By following the paths laid down by others I believe you limit your own growth. Learn from what resonates with you and forge a path that is uniquely your own. Key to all of the above is an awakening of self. No practice or philosophy will have the desired impact on an individual who is still “asleep”.
Friend I would like to end and start this discussion with the following: -
In spite of the fact that most of us know what we hear, a lot of what we know we don't practice and still feel we need to be told or taught. As if we have never grown up and taken responsibility for our own lives. The celebration of our own lives. We always seem to need to be reminded of the fact, yet it's the simplest thing in the world…or should be
Friend, Dive deep into the experience of loving everything about YOU for no particular reason at all. You are a unique expression of the Divine. Just let yourself go wild with celebrating this eternal being that you already are! You could spontaneously start with dancing, singing, expressing gratitude for just being alive. Look at all of the creativity inside you, and the many blessings the Universe has given you. You are a super powerful manifesto and you can manifest anything your heart desires! Celebrating who you are will help you realize the immense truth of your true power. Yes, you are so amazingly perfect, just accept it and see what it feels like. The more often you can rejoice in who you are, the more amazing experiences you'll attract into your life to celebrate. In that very perception is the eternal.
Dr. Ram Garg
BAMS, MD (Kurukshetra University) India
14 Guillaume Avenue