It was a pleasant Saturday afternoon with a lightly overcast sky when I headed over to the Urban Ashram where Gautam Sachdeva, author and publisher (Yogi Impressions), was having an informal talk about his life with a small group. Strikingly young he carried the attentive alertness of a young monk with an easy, relaxed smile. He shared various stories of how he first met Eckhart Tolle when he was on vacation in Hongkong, at a time when Eckhart had sold just 50 copies of his book. He shared the story of how he was reluctant to meet this scarcely known teacher on account of his being on vacation, and how that led to an hour’s conversation about mundane topics with Eckhart. As he walked out, he said, he felt truly heard as Eckhart was listening to him being absolutely present.
He then narrated various stories about being in the spiritual publishing business that had led him to encounter various sages and masters with their various human quirks that taught him to simply take the message and let go of the messenger, and to rely on his inner discernment, rather than to the judgment of the people around.
Further on he shared how the ego keeps one entertained and distracted from the present moment by identifying with pain, sorrow and even employs addictions to ‘beneficial’ spiritual techniques.
A very valuable teaching he shared was from Nisargadatta Maharaja where he says that instead of saying, “I am listening” or “I am seeing”, one can say “It is being heard” or “It is being seen”, hence dissolving identification. Something about this definitely hit home.
He went on to share about how the ego can pressurize you one into doing. Going through these cycles of “I must do something about this” or “I should be doing something useful” since the past few months now, I could easily connect to this point. It has been an exhausting few months for me with the ego on a continuous tantrum of “I have not done anything!” or “I am not doing anything in my life” thoughts. But through yesterday’s talk it became clear how much the ego has attached itself to putting efforts and making ‘usefulness’ of things, an addiction. Hence, activities like writing which happen effortlessly through me are disregarded by the ego.
As an exercise, I encourage you to try this – in which areas does the inner voice tell you that you haven’t put in efforts or have not been good enough? Or that you have to do this or else…
These are the various ways the ego keeps all our mental and spiritual strength occupied instead of letting us focus on the grace that is already operating in our life.
A good affirmation that came to my mind as I was introspecting was “I now focus on the grace that is naturally leading my life with abundance“.
Coming back to the talk, as he talked about ego and its various entertainment strategies, my wise self started speaking to me again telling me how the very seek for oneness is nothing but the ego mind which believes it is separate. This belief is an illusion for what exists truly, is only oneness. There is no alternative state of existence. And the more I sought oneness, the more real this separateness became. I recall my maitreyi-guru telling me this – “Drop the search. Drop the search”. The point finally did arrive home through this talk.
The last thing which was really enlightening in Gautam’s talk was how one delves in one spiritual technique after another, until one becomes a cocktail of techniques, leaving one confused. The perfect barometer of the right technique for you he said is that which brings you peace, and brings you to present moment awareness. And this gauging is an intuitive one. If you haven’t found one that is leading you to peace, then keep exploring until you find one, he says.
It hit home how that has always been the case for me – following my heart I have been led from one technique to another with an intuitive understanding to leave that which served me earlier, but which now no longer does. The core objective behind a spiritual path itself is to be able to enjoy life as is. Sure there will be the inner ego telling you to change this in your life and that, and in my case, that was the very reason I was consciously drawn to past life regression therapy. But after more than 3 years of practice, the awareness in me has become clear about letting situations pass by, without really attaching to why ‘I’ have attracted them. Yes, now I recall Gautam also mentioning this very valid point in how the “Law of Attraction” has become overrated and abused by the new-age gimmick to attract ‘anything you want’. He mentioned how it must be used with awareness to bring you to a state of balance and equanimity, rather than becoming obsessed with things to attract.
Personally, I have always experienced a neutral stand in this theory, maybe because my inner radar knew the truth all along – wherever there is a need, it is the ego talking. One never attracts what one needs, but what one already is. The more one observes and sees one’s true nature, untouched by anything external, one realizes that there is no need. Presence surpasses every need. And this mention by Gautam was another conscious revelation of my experience over the past year. The more one lets go, the more one receives.
Overall this talk was the universe’s way of helping me realize that every moment is a culmination point of our evolution. We are constantly given such signposts of our inner evolution which, inspite of what you try, how much you try, is always progressing beyond our mind-made theories at an eternal pace, untouched. It has created change in the way I recommend practices to my clients – instead of asking them to do things with a certain regularity, encouraging them to follow their inner barometer and hence, encouraging them to trust their inner feelings more, enabling them to be more self-reliant that can be put as “…as God intends”. Now Louise’s affirmation is validated – “Everything comes to me in the perfect time-space sequence”.