Sometimes knowledge just comes at the right time in your life, wouldn’t you say? I attended Swami Nityamuktenanda Saraswati’s lecture about Spiritual Living at the height of my wedding planning stress. It was about a week before the wedding and literally almost every waking moment that I wasn’t working, I was wedding planning. It kind of felt like this whole process was getting away from the real reason people get married… which is because they love each other right?
Luckily, I had the opportunity to come down the weekend before the wedding for Ashram week. Could not have asked for a better theme. The two days that I spent here brought me back down to earth and helped me remember what’s really important…
All the lectures and talks I attended that weekend were insightful, but I especially loved the Living a Spiritual Life lecture by Swami Nitya. The lecture was jam-packed with enlightened information, but I’m going to do my best to give you the gist of it in this post. Of course, NOTHING beats actually being there listening to Swami Nitya speak and the energy in the room.
To be spiritually enlightened forget everything that you preconceived as the way it is. That is all those patterns, habits and even traditions that we have developed over the years are actually holding us back. They are holding us back because essentially, they are causing us to constantly be thinking about how things should be instead of just letting them be.
According to Swami Nitya, “This world is your subjective experience of what you see and perceive through your senses.” However, what we see and perceive is not the truth because we all see things differently and subjectively.
Are you following?
Essentially our mind makes sense of things because of per-existing patterns in our lives, what we’re told and how we’re conditioned by our society and culture. Each person builds up what she calls our own “filing cabinet” because of our individual and personal experiences.
However, true spirituality is just truth. It can’t be described or put into words. Because when you put this “experience” into words, you are using the patterns, words and descriptions from your own “filing cabinet”. In that sense, everyone has a different experience of the same thing, yet ultimately we are all the same.
It’s that we perceive that we’re different that causes misunderstandings, conflicts and even wars. However, if we all understand that we are the same essentially, that we are made of the same stuff and come from the same energy, then we are coming from a place of love.
She pointed out something interesting. The country of Bolivia has declared that Mother Earth has the same human rights as a human being. Basically they’re saying we are all one, all living things. I gotta say, I kind of dig it. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this concept, but it definitely brought me back to it.
I think what I got out of this talk is that we’re all coming from different truths and different places, but if we just take a step back and realize that all our patterns and habits have been taught to us and that really, we’re all from the same place (this world that we live in) then it makes sense. To me it’s actually really refreshing to let go of that sort of thing. I’m not saying it’s easy because it’s really not, but it feels right and peaceful when I have those moments.
So I “tried” to apply that to the week of my wedding. It was hard! Yes, I admit it. It did help me a little bit though and each time I think of being here that week I feel really happy. So I try to keep in mind what Swami Nitya said. I don’t know if I’ll ever be spiritually enlightened, but at least I’m making a couple of itty-bitty steps towards it.