“All spirituality is about waking up” Anthony de Mello. De Mello was an Indian Jesuit, well versed in yoga and eastern philosophy which regards the “normal” person as being asleep, hypnotized by their past, running on automatic pilot, looking at the world through pre-formed filters, not truly alive and living from moment to moment.
Yoga identifies three stages of human development :
Patanjali, author of the first book on yoga, explains that to wake up, you have to draw your energy away from these mechanical patterns and reactions, that form the false self or ego with its continual mental chatter, and with which we have identified. The aim of yoga, he says is to “still the whirlpools of the mind” so we may connect with and uncover our true self.
The Self is seen as already perfect : there is no need for “Self-improvement”, all we need to do is lift off that which prevents our true nature from shining through. When we lift the barrier, Self-realisation is what naturally happens.
Any time we spend in meditation starts uncovering more of that perfect, loving self inside us. It has its own inner wisdom and direction, which is always moving us to the perfect place in life for you.
Waking up is the first step on the path to finding true freedom, peace of mind, realizing the Self, and becoming Enlightened.
Most of people who are interested in all this, are in the process of waking up. You have found cracks in the thought patterns, and you have had the experience of joining with something unlimited, God or the Absolute, as it is often called in yoga.
Your moments of clarity, your merging with something greater than the ego may have come from different directions: you pushed through some physical barriers in your sport, yoga or tai chi practice to a feeling of exhilaration and serenity, of one-ness with everything; you experienced it at the birth of your child, through your meditation practice, in your peak sexual experiences; you were working on a seeming insoluble problem and you had a “eureka” experience; you were greatly moved by the beauty of nature, art, music, poetry or the contemplation of goodness or heroism in someone who truly inspired you; your back was up against the wall, your normal thinking process was overwhelmed, and somehow you found yourself operating in a more creative or intuitive mode; you had moments of surrender to God, or the Absolute.
These peak experiences, however they arise, are by de Mello’s definition above, spiritual experiences: they have begun the process of waking up. You are curious as to how you can be more awake, more alive, more free.
Keep with the meditation to uncover more of your true nature, your real self.