Hello. Maintaining the balance and staying consistent seems to be my biggest obstacle. I will feel balanced in my week, then the next week be completely out of balance. This has been a trend for several years. Weeks where I prioritize meditation, I feel a significant difference. I will have less emotional swings and feel more in a flow state. Weeks where I don’t, I tend to feel a little more fatigued, less motivated to care for myself, etc. it’s fascinating that I watch this happen, but don’t step in to do something different. I’m hoping this class will change that a bit. I guess ultimately, I have a harder time showing up for myself than others.
I tend to start and stall on habits continually, even if I am enjoying them. Clearly, I am getting in my own way.
I can get quite obsessed with things, whether it be hobbies, tv, books, etc. I’ve found that at first, I can be aware of the creeping obsession, the feeling of urgency around the things I do, but gradually, I get pulled into the obsession and consumed by it.
When I’m in that headspace, I feel too rushed and too consumed to sit and meditate or let my mind rest instead of thinking of the things I want to be getting on with. Going on short weekend retreats helps reset my mind. I’ve just come out of the other side of a music production obsession! Here’s to staying aware of my attachments and desires and committing to deepening my spiritual practice!!
Much love <3
So grateful for this course! Obstacles I’ve encountered in the past have been about beginning a practice with too much enthusiasm and throwing myself into it so that it’s not realistic to maintain over time- so I love the few minutes a day approach of this course. Thank you!
My biggest challenge is not putting myself first. Being an East Asian woman, perhaps it’s my upbringing, but sacrificing myself for others, especially my children, feels more natural than doing what’s best for me first. The current phenomenon of ‘Self Care’ might be a cringey, but learning to truly prioritise myself at the right time is something I have realised is essential in living.
I liked when Ram Dass quoted the teacher that said drilling too many shallow wells is not the same as digging a deep well. I fall into the danger of looking for the one new thing that will lead to enlightenment. I’ve explored nature mysticism, centering prayer, mindfulness, lucid dreaming, journaling, cacao ceremonies, silent retreats, pilgrimages, workshops, etc. I’ve benefitted from each but in this moment feel called to dig a deeper well. Ram Dass once said something like, “The quieter you get, the more you hear.” This course feels like an invitation to settle more deeply into stillness. Who knows what I’ll hear.
For many years I have found my biggest obstacle has been my ego and perfectionism. Throughout the length of my spiritual search I always find myself being too hard on myself and always expecting myself to be the best meditator. Also, feeling like I need to gain a spiritual teaching role. I have struggled so hard with just letting myself be good enough. I always feel like I am failing simply because I can’t meditate as well as, say, the Buddha. I have consistently put myself up for comparison against the highest of beings. That’s never been realistic and has always been self-defeating. When you feel you can never been good enough it steals your resolve to continue and when you feel you MUST be the greatest example you are never content wherever you are.
I think after many years I am starting to just let me be me. Good enough just as I am.
I can relate to Ram Dass talking about the feeling of doing a chore when it comes to daily spiritual practice. Years ago, I was surrounded by people, taking classes, and doing meditation groups and it never felt like a chore or something I had to do. It was another exciting adventure or deep learning or a walk along the journey of spiritual growth.
Years later I have had teachers come into my life and try and impose a practice and this has never worked for me. Maybe I am the contrary. I have no issue bowing to the master the path has set in front of me but often these practices you must do to progress fell to the wayside and my mind and life shed them like a spring flower in autumn.
I find myself at this juncture in my life sorely out of “practice” and that inner desire has raised itself within asking for renewal. For months now I have been searching to fit spiritual practice into my life once again but had not found a place that my heart opened to. Then I heard Ram Dass say, “if your practice is a practice like meditation, or study, or chanting, or mantra, or something like that” and at that moment it hit me over the head as an obvious truth. Our practice doesn’t have to be any one thing. We just start today and allow the activity, for now, to be whatever it is. If it is reading for a time each evening and writing a journal entry about it that can be a practice. Or chanting for a time in the morning to set my mind on the path that is a practice.
I think I forgot that our inner being will lead us if we give it space to nurture us. My gift today was remembering I can trust in “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path.” Without reservation, I give myself in full trust and take a small step into the dark of my unknown path wherever it may lead.
Not making connections with others in these groups to help me move accountable for participating in chats and outside this format of keeping a consistent practice going. Therefore, I lose interest. Other things take precedence.
Diane, let’s make a connection! That has been my belief over these past Covid years - that spiritual practice/unfoldment/ecstasy is easy/pleasant and something I want to do when there is the promise of connection. This is the first Community that I have contributed to in this format. And I did hear that next Thursday we will have the opportunity to connect in smaller breakout rooms. That will be great.
It has thus far been easiest for me to maintain a daily practice when I am doing it with others. Just knowing that they are also doing the same practice could work if we made that commitment to one another to do the practice at the same time and join through the ethers. I was able for a whole year to maintain a dedicated Zikhr practice (Remembrance of the One) twice daily and more recently for almost 2 years a dedicated T’ai Chi Chih practice. The whole time I was doing the routine, I thought about how I could share it with others. Perhaps my desire for connection is my practice! Certainly has been over these Covid years. And there are many opportunities for me to practice through Zoom gatherings. All paths of the Heart lead to the One.
I have this reoccurring issue of feeling bored with a combination of believing that it won’t make a difference anyways.
I recently came to terms with understanding that if I believe that it won’t make a difference than it won’t so why do it? taking away my boredom? WRONG! (lol) It makes it worse I over analyze and think about what would’ve it looked like if I just, tried.
Sooo, my dear community, I’ve recently just believed in my progress, no matter how little, and my surrounding environment replicates it out. Like a ripple in water. So just remaining positive, hopeful, and encouraging to ‘self’ has made all the difference in my daily practices.
Thanks for reading <3
I really appreciate your realization that “our inner being will lead us if we give it space to nurture us.” Yes, I, too, believe that conscious awareness of being in the present moment is a great practice and bringing the joy of chanting, singing, praying to the One enhances our ability to remain Here Now.
My perfectionism has me constantly thinking that I am doing my sadhana ‘wrong’ - and yes I see the paradox in this statement. My other excuse is that since my work day starts so early, I ‘don’t have enough time in the AM’ which is when I am most clear and want to do my sadhana. Lots of obstacles on the path to work with and I am grateful to be part of this community supporting each other on our spiritual unfolding. Jai Ram!
Totally resonate with your sharing! I see myself in the words you shared Maggie.
An up that has also become a down at the same time for me through the path, is something mentioned in Ram Dass Cook book Day 1 audio about digging the well hole wide with different angles and perspectives of several ways vs. focusing in one and dig deep.
Those different angles and ways bring richness to my path but at the same time they can also create confusion in my Sadhana in regards of how to incorporate specific spiritiual practice time and what to choose for that designated time. An example of this is Bhakti and Vipassana practice. I have been doing Bhakti practice for some time now and last year I became in touch with Vipassana practice; after completing Vipassana retreat, I could see the richness in incorporating that a structure into my practice and life but oooooohhh my heart calls me for that Bhakti connection in this incarnation so when it is time to decide how do my formal sadhana daily time is going to look like sometimes I try to incorporate everything and end not doing it that well and loose consistency quickly.
I have a bunch of different things that I like to do “first thing in the morning.”
I have a neuroscience based app/device called BrainTap that I am supposed to do morning and evening.
I am doing an 18 day meditation/healing series right now which happens every morning at 7:30 am.
What I actually enjoy most is just to dive into the mundane tasks like vacuuming and putting the dishes away from the night before.
I also cook my lunch in the morning before I head out to work or the gym.
My mind is the most fresh in the morning, so it’s important to get certain things done in the morning while I have my mind working well.
So I guess that’s it… the morning is my best time of day, and definitely the best time to meditate, and it’s also the best time of day for me to do all kinds of other things as well, so the morning gets really full really fast.
When I get depressed or anxious I stop doing everything that helps me. A habit I want - and hope - to correct.
- Reminder for self - What are the ups and downs you’ve experienced in creating and maintaining a dedicated practice? (Self for me and self for you if you read through all the comments and forgot what the question was! )
Main issue for me was jumping from practice to practice chasing a feeling I had in a past because the feeling did not happen fast enough (chasing the experience). In the end, at this stage of my Sadhana I can say, looking back at my start that I am very grateful I jumped from practice to practice, as now I know what does not work for me and what does.
What really pulled me with being with all of you (Us?) today is that I am a bit of a loner when it comes to practicing my sadhana, and knowing how many devotees of Maharaji are still spreading his grace up to this day (Can you imagine holding on to a practice for more then 50 years and still respecting your teacher, never claiming that what you teach is actually your own compared to other “gurus” you can find on the internet?)
I am very grateful to be here and wish you all an amazing journey, I see a lot of comments above mentioning a particular time, and also the teachings of day 1 where Ram Dass mentions to not be neurotic in achieving anything to be very close to my own experience as well. Yes, a particular time to practice is very beneficial in starting this journey, just like a flower that is slowly growing from a seed also sees sunlight only during a certain set of hours each day, so can you be when picking your time to allow the sun to shine from your soul into your mind
But also by trying to pull the flower from the ground with force, you are only killing the flower, which speaks true of that neurotic overachievement. Just be, just let the sun shine a few minutes a day, be in a safe conducive environment (Soil) and occasionally feed you nutricious food (water) in time, " slowly but inevitably" (Krishna Das famous quote) you will come to a point where your old self could never even have dreamed of.
<3 Ram ram
Since I’ve retired from work, I have been able to maintain a daily practice for several years. I feel fortunate that the habit has come easily at this time in my life after struggling to find time for so many years.
So far, after one day, this course has brought back sweet memories of my little group of meditators from 50+ years ago and the awe and inspiration I felt reading Be Here Now for the first time. I look forward to growing my sangha and practice in the coming weeks.