If you have a daily practice, be it meditation, prayer, yoga, or a religion of some sort, there is every chance that it is holding you back from realising the entire grandness of who you are.
Think of your spiritual practice like a cast on a broken leg or arm. (Please bear with me while I labor on this metaphor). You have a bone that is damaged and needs stability to allow it’s natural healing process to repair it. Remembering here that it’s not the cast that is repairing the bone, all the cast is doing is creating a stable environment so that the bone will do what it is capable of doing, healing itself.
But you get excited by this cool looking cast. It’s your point of difference to everyone else. You show it to people and even get people to draw on it and write on it. It grabs a lot of attention wherever you go, with many people starting up conversations about this new thing in your life. You openly tell everyone about how you had this damaged bone; you go into the intricate details of how you broke it, and how this amazing cast is healing your bone.
Over time though, the bone heals, and it’s time to take the cast off and let go of all the attachment to the cast. Its task is complete and it’s not longer needed. But you love this cast. You have people’s names on it and you become so attached to this incredible thing that healed your bone. You don’t want to let go of it, and you want to keep it on. After all, it saved your arm or leg right?!
So you keep it on, and overtime it becomes infected. You get sores and wounds appear beneath the cast. You still refuse to let it go, after all, the cast saved you! Now it leads to a major infection that turns to gangrene. But this cast saved my arm, and now my arm is infected!? How can this be so? Isn’t my cast the saviour? How could this be??
I’m not here to tell you that I am God, I’m here to tell you that you are God.”
– Swami Nithyananda
Many of us require stability and guidance while we heal and find our essence. These structures, like our spiritual disciplines or sadhanas, our gurus and sages, are there for precisely that reason- to help us go within, to help us repair physically, emotionally and mentally (I don’t say spiritually because spirit is never damaged or broken). They help us reconnect to our Divine Grace. Sounds woo woo perhaps, so let me rephrase that. Within you is the essence of love, the same essence of love that is in your gurus, religious leaders, yoga teachers or idols. They may have the ability to remind you, guide you and help you feel secure and stable while you reconnect to this inner fire. But nonetheless, it’s ALWAYS within you.
I need to add here, I’m not advocating walking away from daily meditation, yoga, prayer or religion. I have my daily practice of stillness, stretching and contemplation and always will. But if we continue to always put ourselves below our practice or gurus, then we will never fully Self-Realise the magnificence of who we are as a Soul. Your tradition or religion is a structure. It maybe a very relevant structure that supported you and carried you through a difficult time. But whatever greatness and love you found in that structure, it is within you also. At some point, (is that now?) we have to realise that we are ALL OF IT too.
Just as it is inscribed on the wall at the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, ‘Know Thyself’
Divinity is Divinity. Grace is Grace. Love is Love. It’s all within you.
To explore spirituality and the soul more please feel free to check out my book Spirit & Soul. In this book you will explore the seven states of consciousness. After reading this you will feel elevated and light. Click below to find out more.