Tuesday, March 08, 2005


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At the beginning of Lent, I decided to forego reading any spiritual books because I felt that I had become too dependent on them and was too busy reading about Truth instead of actually experiencing it.

As it turns out, it's not that simple.

I've broken the book-fast completely. See, what I discovered is that through my spiritual reading (Jnana Yoga or Svadhyaya), I was in a sense reprogramming my mind. You can liken it to two different practices: meditation and mantra. In both practices you replace your habitual mind patterns (such as anxiety, fear, and restlessness) with other material (nothingness in the case of meditation, a repetative word or prayer in the case of mantra). While reading books and texts, my mind goes into "receive" mode (which in turn leaves a residue throughout the remainder of my day) instead of regurgitating its usual toxic gunk.

What I've learned through this fast, then, is that if I am reading a book or scripture about Loving God, I in fact do actualize that practice. If I'm reading about finding Peace within, it encourages me to live from that place of Peace as I drive or work or wash the dishes.

Someday I'll move beyond this and won't need to keep reprogramming myself. In the meantime, I've got a lot of old conditioning and old mental programming to overwrite and I'm quite "OK" with that. It's all one step at a time. This just happens to be the step I'm on.


isaiah said...

This is the way I look at my music, singing, and writing. It's all a prayer or meditation for me. The same with reading, I agree. It's all where one holds the intention. Our every action and thought is creating - the question is: What is the intention actually creating...peace or discord, love or fear.

"In the meantime, I've got a lot of old conditioning and old mental programming to overwrite and I'm quite "OK" with that."

I see I'm in good company!

Thanks for this post.

isaiah said...

In re- reading your post I'm struck by the thought that you could substitute the word "Reprogramming" with "Re-membering".

Very thought provoking post, Trev.

Jon said...

Very good post, Trev--Thanks!

I think of the spiritual life as being a matter of constant emptying and refilling, or learning/unlearning. It all works together until what we're filled with is Emptyness itself.

Meredith said...

I ditto what each of my friends here have said. As my dear friend often asked me, "Where are you placing your precious attention?" And if by reading, or writing, or conversing we keep our precious attention on this ultimate dimension in our lives, then the warmth and nourishment of this attention sweetly stays with us. The beauty is the outcome - the manifestation of a purer consciousness.

Namaste, dear Friends.