Spiritually we are told a major goal of practice is to transcend ego, to give it up, let it go. No matter how it appears, true sacrifice is not one of giving up your life or yourself. Rather it is giving up your individuality, or separateness from all else. Done correctly this actually results in an enlargement of your self as you increasingly identify with Spirit or God. This sacrifice actually leads to gain, this loss to increase. This is but one of the many paradoxes of spirituality, an integration of opposing principles, that when integrated point the way to a higher truth.
The strategy outlined involves a second paradox related to spiritual practice. It pertains to the ongoing debate whether one strives to achieve one’s goals, or whether one need not because one is already an evolved being, with enlightenment existing within. Like the previously mentioned paradox, when both positions are respected it is apparent the simplest spiritual practice can yield great result. And, that even though a technique or practice may appear easy to understand, and even put into practice, there are complications that challenge the practitioner to work diligently to achieve results. The right effort is required, must be focused on the right objectives, and address unforeseen challenges unique to one’s life. Not alone in this endeavor, the practitioner might hold this principle as “God helps those who help themselves”.
The following strategy is an approach to spiritual change that incorporates these two paradoxes. While honoring the way of Spirit/God it promises ego transcendence to a more evolved spiritual character. One simply stops having expectations, complaining about life, and fighting against what one does not want in any given moment. Instead, one is encouraged to restrain these actions to allow the natural spiritual response to emerge. A response shaped by Spirit, or higher mind, that receives, accepts, and collaborates with life and all of existence.
First, one is to have no expectations of others or of circumstances. The infinite variety of human nature and behavior, and of world events only disappointments the ego. And being unable to discern the dictates of the law of consequences will only frustrate you. Instead, at these times relinquish your individual self by releasing attachment to needs and desires. This does not mean you cannot advocate, or in some manner actively pursue what is important, only that you do not let it dominate your existence. Employ both willpower and reason based on your spiritual principles to accomplish this. Eventually you will employ spiritual intuition and no-mind/no-thinking to naturally and proactively relate to the world in this non-attached manner. As with the other techniques of this strategy, this takes time and practice.
The second technique is one of not complaining about anything. One accepts Spirit’s will presenting itself in any given moment and circumstance. This means no criticism of the way things are, what they should be, or what they could have been. One accepts things for what they are, with no judgement. This is not denial, as one still recognizes what is disharmonious or harmful. Not only is criticism to be prevented, but one also refrains from making positive statements, whether of people, events, or things. Overall, you practice suspending your conscious mind’s evaluative function, and instead employ the no-mind/no-thinking mind to assess, conclude, and act. This relaxes the ego, and facilitates merging with the situation in a spontaneous, spiritually principled, and loving way.
Thirdly, one must not fight against what happens. Do not resist or attempt to counter others’ actions or events unfolding before you. However, you do assert, appealing to the best in others and/or the situation. In this regard, you do not give-up, so much as surrender to existence as it presents itself in the moment. And like with not complaining, no-mind/no-thinking decides one’s response, insuring a more informed decision originating from the truth that all is one. Inherent in this approach is the paradox of “acting without acting”. That is, while the individual ego refrains from acting, the spiritual self with which one has identified is the one that acts. You not only respect, but you are also reliant on God’s way.
This strategy of relinquishing self honors the way of God while serving to glorify God. It requires both embracing the paradoxical principles mentioned and having a developed meditation or prayer practice so one may employ no-mind/no-thinking awareness. Additionally, a great deal of patience with, and compassion for oneself is necessary throughout the learning process. And it is here, that what was once weak and unreliable, begins to emerge as a stronger and more resilient acceptance, patience, and loving toward the world. Concurrently one experiences an abundance of ease, comfort, love, and joy in one’s life. As well, the beauty and magnificence of existence reveals the continuous presence of Spirit in the world.