Meditation is a tool that we can use to discover ourselves, to reach self-realisation. It has been used to do this for many thousands of years. In recent times in the West, it has become popular. It is seen as an exciting journey by some, a journey tinged with the exotic, coming as it does from cultures that are strange, beautiful and ancient, from countries, such as India,China and Tibet. Others become filled with awe at all that opens as their meditations progress.
The excitement and the awe are real. It is a magnificent task that we set ourselves when we embark on this path. And we follow in the footsteps of many magnificent people. Buddhas and Christs have walked this way before. This is a path of reality. Reality is the only thing that counts. If we are to be successful, we must challenge ourselves repeatedly. "Truths" that we have held all our lives and that we have assumed are primary to all of life, may prove to be either true or false. We cannot assume what is true and what is not, however, for we must challenge and test everything for ourselves.
This is also a journey of self-realisation, of self-discovery. Our selves are filled with wonders and glory, even small mundane things, which some people experience as boring or unimportant, are wonders filled with life. The discovery of self includes all of this - the exciting, the fantastic, and the small and the ordinary. In the end, every one of these aspects will be a source of awe. This emerges only through our acceptance and full experience of the ordinary, of the substance of everything, in its very ordinariness.
In magical terms, the glamour is that which disguises substance. When magicians do not wish a thing or act to be seen in its true form, they put the spell of glamour on it to hide its reality.
As with all spells, the working, if it is to be successful, requires the participation of both the person who constructs the spell and the person who is the beneficiary of the spell. In our day-to-day lives and in our meditational lives, it is possible to play both parts of this magical illusion- to play the magician and the "magicee". It is also possible to play it with others, of course. Put another way, we can hide the truth alone, or with the help of others.
Lessons can be learned. As we progress, the temptation to put a glamour spell on the ordinary and not very nice bits of ourselves, is quite strong at times. Perhaps because we have embarked on an exotic and exciting journey, or perhaps because we hope that we have, we may try to interpret everything we experience in these terms. We may be tempted to define the"boring", or "inconvenient" in exotic terms, so that we "prove" that the "meaning" of our journeys are as important as we want them to be.
It is possible to have a stomach upset, because of a bacterium or virus, or because we have eaten something at the wrong time. The upset does not have to have great emotional meaning or a deep spiritual message. We may notice the rain, because it is raining and we are wet, not because our eyes are open to Cosmic Rain from the Beyond. Being available to the experience in its simplest terms, right now - that is, without interpretation - is a key of great importance in our spiritual growth.
Other people and beings can and do contribute to us enormously and we organise our lives beautifully, so that we are with those who will teach us what we need at the right time. Acknowledgement of this contribution is important. A good teacher of Chinese, for example,will make learning Chinese much easier than having a poor teacher, or no teacher at all. Acknowledging the skill and capacity of the teacher in no way undermines the responsibility,or the capacity of the student.
Understanding emerges from all experiences - real understanding - provided we know them as they are. Any attempt to interpret past the immediate and obvious will remove us from this understanding. We put glamour on experience whether we try to disguise by exaggerating the splendour of the ordinary, or by making mundane the resplendent. The further we take ourselves away from the actual experiences into our interpretations of them, the less we will understand, the more we are removed from the actual wonder of self.
A similar lesson is to be learned from attribution. Attributing events in our lives to others,even others who offer us amazing spiritual awakening, is another glamour. Each of us is totally responsible for every moment and every event in our lives. We are perfect in the organisation of our lives so that we meet people and create events that will lead us to learn and resolve whatever is important for us to do. This perfection is amazing. Understanding this will lead toan enormous sense of awe at the creativity and power that operate within each human being,creativity that fashions lives.
When we attribute the events or any actions in our lives to others, no matter how spiritually advanced they are, we are denying this power, this creativity, and removing ourselves from theself we have set out to realise. Acceptance of the total responsibility we have in our lives for every aspect, no matter how "wonderful", how "boring", or how "normal", is essential, if we are to be successful in the goal of self-realisation.
People who attribute responsibility to others tend both to praise and to blame. Falsely praising others is a form of attribution. Blaming is a form of attribution, also. Both involve our not accepting the responsibility we have in and for our own lives. Both involve the "up on the pedestal"/"feet of clay"polarity. If we are aware of either, then we will need to address both, so that we are available to the truth of our selves.
So, remain grounded and face the reality of the personal ease and the challenges that accompany your meditational journey. The rewards are well worth the effort. The value of the reality unearthed through this process far surpasses the distorted reality of anything we disguise by glamour. Through reality we discover that what is available in all creatures is awesome.
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