Sunday, December 6, 2009

No Expectations

"Your expectation of something unique and dramatic, of some wonderful explosion, is merely hindering and delaying your self-realization."--Nisargadatta, I Am That

The mind likes its orgasms and says you are not fulfilled until you have them. So we have created a culture full of O's, with our entertainment, our consumption of things, our vain pursuits. Even in our spiritual lives, when we turn away from the fruitless material quests, that habit of looking for the Wows still holds sway, and we think we have to have Hollywood-like moments where angels descend and burning bushes speak and flying saucers land and aliens tell us that we are the One to become divine, to become accepted by God. Sure these things can happen, just like orgasms can happen, but they come and go. Mere phenomena. Looking for such experiences, which is the allurement of psychotropic drugs, is what Trungpa called "spiritual materialism."

I have a 4-year-old son who finds the wonder in the commonplace as he watches a leaf fall or finds a mushroom on a stump. If we really want the Wows it is all around us because it is within us. We don't need to manufacture it or seek it out. The real ecstasy is just being oneself, whether in a state of excitement or in tranquility. It does not matter. The rider of this physical/emotion/mental/spiritual roller coaster is the one to be focused upon, who smiles enigmatically amidst the screams and ahhs of this adventure.

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