Is there anything out there to pray to? To bow to? To follow? In Buddhism one bows to her own Buddha mind. She symbolically raises up the feet of the Buddha, the feet of her own true potential. In that, “the Buddha” is a reflection of who she can be. It’s like the story at the beginning of Illusions (by Richard Bach), where a river creature finally lets go of the rocks and flows freely down the river, while all the others continue clinging for fear, and they hail him as being a saviour. Meanwhile the one who let go says, “No, look you can do it, too! Just let go and the river will take you!” But the others do not listen, and instead tell stories about him long after he is gone.
Page 52 of Songs of Kabir reads: ”Kabir says: ‘Listen to me, my Friend! My beloved Lord is within. (by Rabindranath Tagore)” How does this work in our spiritual practice? There are many forms of spirituality: kriya yoga, zen meditation, Christian contemplative prayer, reiki, taoism, shinto, and so on. Which is the right one?
You have to discover that for yourself, but here’s my perspective: it’s right because it brings you to the Kingdom of Heaven within.
What does that look like?
You’re intuitively guided, and it’s accurate. You start getting feelings about things, like for example, “This is a good time to leave my job.” You leave and two weeks later get your dream job. Or, let’s say you’re not normally a social person, but something compels you to talk to that blind guy in the corner. You do and he ends up becoming your best friend.
You’ll know It because one day you’ll say to yourself, “I don’t know how it works, but it does. And, it’s always good.”
The decisions you make start bringing you into closer harmony with the universe. You start doing what you have energy for, and dropping what you don’t. Things you thought you had to do but hated prove to be unnecessary. For example, when I first came to Asheville, I did a summer internship at a retreat center. During that time I was preparing to stay here when it ended. I thought I would have to get any old job, even one that I didn’t like, just to support myself since I didn’t know anyone. I resisted it because it felt like a meaningless endeavor, but to be “responsible” I applied to several nonetheless. At the end of the internship, however, the retreat center at offered me one out of the blue, and it led me in a new direction, to what is now my current occupation.
So, you’ll know It because success becomes more effortless. Your energy starts resonating with what you actually need to do, and resisting what you don’t.
Things start happening, such as you decide to go back to your super-healthy diet. You say something to your friend about it and they go, “Wow I was just thinking that.” You start noticing these little “coincidences” happening every week, then every day, then several times a day. It starts becoming more than just coincidence, but your daily, predictable reality.
You know It because synchronicity becomes your daily reality, and it’s not through controlling, but following the Inner Guide, listening which leads you to these spontaneous and magical occurrences.
So, I can’t tell you which religion or meditation practice, which set of rules to follow, which guru, deity, or saint to follow, but I can tell you what I believe the fruits are. When you are guided by inner promptings that work, when success becomes natural, and when you are spontaneously on the same page with people in ways you never thought possible, you’re on the right track. But I’m warning you, if you really start following It It will bring you to a place of utter bliss, love, and surrender. Can you handle that?