Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Heart of Spirituality

"Loving yourself and loving others is only possible by living in the present moment."

Spirituality is very interesting, because the words that we use when talking about it seem very religious.  The funny thing is that this is the opposite of the truth.  It can sound very "churchy" and new age-y and all of that.  However, these are the most down-to-earth and practical teachings in the world.  This is because they are truth and true wisdom.  It is so difficult to communicate intangible truths to others at the risk of seeming "out there" and the simple fact that teachings are trying to make these truths concrete.  This is, of course, impossible.  No one can fully express spiritual truths in words that we can fully understand; the words are meant to be guideposts so that you can come to the realization yourself.  Any "out there" teaching can be communicated in "material" terms just as well as it can be communicated in "spiritual" terms.  In other words, the truth can take on any form so that anyone can see the guideposts.

A belief in "God" is not even necessary as spirituality can be communicated in language of this world, using only tangible things and concepts that you are already familiar with.  Buddhists, for the most part, do not believe in a god as many define that term.  We get so tripped up on these terms, because they have been over-defined, defined poorly or even incorrectly defined in some cases.  I think we all need to learn how to not get hung up on words.  We need to look to the meaning behind the words.  Even Atheists believe in a god.  Their god may be the rational mind, nature or science.  It's very silly, really, that there is this war of words when it comes to spiritual things.

I firmly believe that someone who does not even believe in a spiritual world can master concepts that arise from the spiritual world on the physical plane.  There are countless examples of this.  Just look to any popular, successful person that does not believe in anything beyond the 5 senses.  Famous actors, philanthropists, and artists are but few examples.  The reason for this is that any plane of existence, such as spiritual or physical can be explained in its own terms without overlap.  They are mutually exclusive.

The heart of what I see as the most beneficial message that I can communicate is the root of all problems in this world.  I have written about it in the past but need to address this directly.  The Western world's main problem is addiction to the mind.  You see 12 step groups for every addiction but, it is my belief, that any religion has been created to address this problem.  We are so stuck in our head most or all of the time, that we are not living our lives.  We are living our lives in our head, which is no way to live.

Addiction to the mind means that we are slaves to our mind.  We do not have direct control of the mind.  We do not know how to turn it off.  All spiritual teachings come from this one problem.  If you solve this one problem in your life, you have solved the problem that that has given rise to all religions.  If addiction to the mind is the problem, what is the solution?  The solution is self-control.  We must learn how to control the mind so that our mind is slave to us.  At the same time, we must love our mind.  Once we are able to be more present, love is then possible.  Learn how to love yourself and love others.  True love is only possible if you can quiet your mind enough to let the love through.  Loving yourself and loving others is only possible by living in the present moment.  If we are stuck in the past or future, dwelling on these endlessly in our mind, we are incapable of living a life of love for ourselves and other people.  A life of love is only possible through learning self-control.

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