Blog #4: Adhering to Natural Wisdom
This is the 4th in a series of blogs (1st blog here) that will demonstrate the live-process of “recovering” from a two month stint of intentionally performing “Crimes Against Wisdom.” The former “Crimes” series detailed the absurdity of my experience of daily, moment-to-moment, purposefully ignoring 10 years of training in yoga, meditation, ayurveda, and psychology. This blog series can be laughed at, here. You can sign on for the RSS feed of this current series, here, by choosing the appropriate link in the upper-right corner of the page. And, please feel free to “like” what we have to share on Facebook, here and follow us on Twitter, here. Thanks.
Pain and Discomfort
Old-school natural wisdom tells us that pain and discomfort are perfectly natural aspects of life. In fact, contrary to the vain attempts of modern culture to buffer this reality, life is mostly comprised of difficulty. Freedom is not found in avoiding the facts of life, living for a contrived experience of ease, luxury and comfort (as in the “American Dream”). That is false-freedom. True-freedom lies in engaging the hardship and necessary effort of living in such a way that we pierce through to a state of simple-joy that is beyond and inclusive of the dualities of pain and pleasure.
That’s all a heady way to say: we’ve got to work our asses off if we want to have a decent life. I lay in my bed, a few days into this “recovery,” sore all over from the workout you saw on the last video blog and lusting to go back to sleep. I have used the principle of momentum these last few months to create an impulse towards laziness, apathy and “comfort.” So, now, I must swim upstream of the momentum I have created through my own choices of body, energy and mind.
There is no great secret to living an amazing and dynamic life other than hard work and simultaneous surrender. It is impossible to actually override principles of nature (i.e. the principle of momentum), so I know that I must employ those same natural laws to steer my life in the direction of my choosing.
I have a certain amount of momentum heading in the direction of crimes against wisdom. Now – according to the frequency, intensity and duration of my thoughts, feelings and actions of adhering to natural wisdom – I must tip the scales of in the favor of my desire to be a healthy and happy contributor to the welfare of all.
It will not be easy, then, these next few months to drag my butt out of bed everyday to do yoga and meditate. It will not be easy to work out 5 days per week. It will not be easy to say no to the extra sweets that I don’t need. It will not be easy to remember to keep my heart open when I am confronted with fear. It will not be easy to let go of anger when it appears I have been wronged in some way.
But, who said it was supposed to be easy?
It is a disease of the mind to think that life should be a piece of cake, and it is a plague to think that an excellent life is a birthright rather than a privilege bestowed upon those who earn it. It doesn’t matter what our goals are. We will not excel in anything – and therefore won’t know the true satisfaction of a life of mastery – unless we work harder than we think we have to.
What makes this appeal different from any other motivational speaker’s you might ask? In the words of my teacher, Effortful surrender. We are not interested in contriving a life of struggle in order to pull ourselves up from the bootstraps and be “anything we want to be.” That fantasy-view births suffering. The view I write of is one in which we do work hard, but we simultaneously remember to humbly seek the path that is set out before us with a sense of natural ease.
Sometimes we might have to cut through a ton of conditioned expectations about what life should be about to find this path, but for all of us there is a unique “nadi” that we are destined to live. By doing so, adhering to this natural wisdom, we will reveal our inherent joy and unconditional contentment. By doing it not, we seal our fate as being one of those jerked around by the ups and downs of life. A success makes us happy, a slap on the face makes us sad. This is not our True Nature, which is unshakable and ever at peace.
The rub is that if we have been off-kilter for too long we won’t a have a good sense of our natural way. There is another principle of natural law, which says: if we are imbalanced for more than 3 months then we will be attracted to that which furthers our imbalance and we may even be repulsed by that which is best for us. I don’t think this is too great a surprise to many of us reading. Are we not familiar with the feeling of wanting the stuff of life that we know is not good for us and feeling averse to that which will truly nourish us?
Thankfully, according again to the frequency, intensity and duration of our thoughts, feelings and actions we can restore our balance. When balanced, we will be attracted to that which deepens and enhances our state of health and happiness and repulsed by the stuff that will detract from the true vision of who we are. I assume, again, that many of us are also familiar with this experience. Do we not naturally want to eat better food after exercising? It doesn’t feel like a discipline to do so at all, and we don’t miss the brownie sundae – we actually don’t want it… right?
I am merely encouraging us to expand on this principle, to delay our gratification, and to do the hard work it takes to get over the hump and into the flow of a life of natural wisdom.
When we get the principle of momentum behind us in the direction of our natural life path (“nadi” in Sanskrit”), then life still includes and demands hard work and sacrifice – but it doesn’t feel like a struggle. I have undertaken the experiment detailed by this blog series to prove to myself, and hopefully those that read along, that it is worth our monumental efforts to right ourselves when we have gotten off track. These next few weeks will not be easy, I have no doubt about it… but I know it will be worth it to get me in line with the destiny of this precious human birth.
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