Every spiritual path has its traps. The fourth way is often plagued by too much thinking. I see what takes place in some so-called fourth way schools and it is oppressively intellectual. Each path has a kind of culture. Yoga schools are generally very polite and politically correct. Buddhist schools tend to have a lot of introspective self analysis. Sufi schools specialize in emotional, ‘heart-felt’ gestures. Too often, the people on these paths are just choosing one conditioning over another, but not randomly; they choose the culture where they feel most comfortable.
Is there an anti-dote for this tendency?
Simple existing? I am sitting. Can I simply sit? This position has certain exact sensations, a precise location, a relationship to objects, space, function (I am sitting in order to have a conversation with you). Can I enter into this experience and simply inhabit it? I may find that doing so is remarkably satisfying in itself. Nothing more is needed. It doesn’t need to lead anywhere.
The wind on my face is a sensation. Can I stay with it but not embellish it or try to make it something else? Mostly, the answer is no. Either the experience is momentary and immediately lost or it is massaged in the search for meaning or accomplishment. Can I just agree to exist, not as a spiritual practice but just as it is?
I am asked what it is like to be present. The essence of it is the sense of existing. Nothing is embellished. Nothing needs to happen until it does. It’s the simplicity of the state that is most elusive and, at the same time, most beautiful.